To Our Foreign Readers: English is the Key to Your Future Success!

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English is the Key to Your Success!

In today’s competitive world, the ability to speak, read and write English is the key to your success at school and at work.  You need a school that can give you trusted and competent instruction.

Nomen Global Language Center is that school!  We are located in the heart of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, in Provo, Utah, USA.  Nomen Global has been teaching English for 19 years. We have taught over 6500 students, from over 58 nations, including China, Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Mali, Thailand, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia.  We are fully accredited by The Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA).  Our instructors are all qualified and experienced.  Our staff are fully-trained and knowledgeable.  They are friendly and capable.

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Our tuition schedule compares well with all other English Language Schools in the United States.

We can offer you a homestay while you are studying English, or we can help you find an inexpensive apartment to rent by yourself, and to share with other students.

We offer an excellent TOEFL course. Classes start year-round. Please click here for more information, and to begin the enrollment process.

We have a flexible schedule of classes for all levels of English language learners, from beginners to advanced. You can check which level you are at by clicking here.

We have GMAT, LSAT, and GRE classes.  All our classes lead to academic excellence and practical English language experience.   Check them out here:

To begin this great adventure you will need to obtain an F-1 student visa from the United States Embassy in your country.  Please click here to start learning about the process of applying and paying for an F-1 student visa.

We look forward to seeing you here at Nomen Global Language Center.  We are anxious to help you succeed with learning English, and to have a happy and prosperous life!

Success is knocking; are ready to answer, with great English language skills?
Success is knocking; are ready to answer, with great English language skills?

Nomen Global Language Center.

384 West Center Street

Provo Utah 84601 USA

Telephone: 801-377-3223

Fax: 801-377-3993

You can chat with us by liking our Facebook page.

 

The Great Folding Chair Heist.

clewn

My dad knew quite a few questionable characters when he tended bar at Aarone’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I got to know them vicariously, when dad would narrate their exploits at the dinner table, much to the disgust of my mother, who strove in vain for high tone and gentility in our lives.  There was Pickle Joe, who made a tenuous living selling bottled preserves that he processed in a shed under a bridge on the Mississippi.  An incautious wielder of knives, Pickle Joe kept losing a finger here and a finger there over the years, according to my dad, which would invariably turn up in one of his jars of pickles.  Needless to say, my mother forbade any of Pickle Joe’s products to cross the threshold of our home, much to my disappointment; I rather fancied a jar with a human thumb swimming amidst the dill weed and cucumbers.  Jelly Bean was a frequent visitor at the bar; he got his nickname not for his sweet tooth but because his fingers were so sticky, as if he kept jelly beans in them when not rifling the till or picking a pocket.  Mr. Skeets sold hot watches and jewelry, which turned your skin green on contact.  Father Prolasch liked to come in after Mass on Sunday for a prolonged tipple that usually ended with him napping on the pool table.
And so when I joined Ringling Brothers as a clown in 1971, the raffish characters, that abounded like the Mississippi carp I angled for near the sewage drain, did not necessarily upset me.  Life was full of interesting people, and I was fortunate enough to now be surrounded by them.  They were honest and hardworking, for the most part.  There were two new clowns, however, who came into the alley at the  same time I did, who thought the world owed them a living and didn’t scruple to confiscate whatever they could lay their hands on.  I will not name them, as they both left the show after one season, never to return.  They were definitely Bad Hats.
I would have nothing to do with them.  That is, not until the show got to the Convention Center, in Anaheim, California.  The Convention Center supplied clown alley with sensually soft, plush, red folding chairs, which, in turn, led to my first participation in a crime wave.  I’m sorry to say that almost all of the new clowns that season participated in this caper.  Common decency, to say nothing of our aching derrieres, demanded it
You see, we clowns never knew what kind of chair would be available in each building.  And clowns do a lot of sitting between numbers and between shows.  Mark Anthony, Swede Johnson, and Prince Paul, all had their own special chairs to sit in, which were carried by the show as a kind of perk for their long years of service with the show.  Otto Griebling kept a camp stool in his trunk.  The rest of us had to make do with whatever the arena could provide us with, which often was nothing.  With nothing to sit on we had to improvise with splintery crates or go hunting for dilapidated and rusty folding chairs that threatened to collapse the moment we sat in them.
But in Anaheim we were supplied with wonderfully soft and forgiving folding chairs that were a pleasure to sit in.  I could even snuggle down and take a nap in one!  And, I’m ashamed to admit, that is how our two Bad Hats got so many of us to participate in a chair heist.  They intimated, on close out night, as we were bidding a fond farewell to those wonderful chairs, that there was no need leave them behind; we could each grab a chair and take it back to the train with us.  After all, the Convention Center would not miss a dozen or so chairs . . .
Ah, but they would!  And to prevent anything of the kind from happening, security guards were placed at the Convention Center exit ramp.  None of us would be allowed to leave the building until we had been frisked!  This heavy handed attempt was a miscalculation on the part of the building.  Having affronted us with their suspicion of our dishonesty, we decided, as a matter of honor, that we HAD to steal those chairs!
We emptied the blue prop boxes of all their rubber chickens, foam rubber dragons, turkey basters, and other sundry clown props, and loaded the beautiful plush folding chairs into them, locked them up for the Bulgarian baggage smashers to load onto the train, and then carried our own clown props back to the train with us.
And so it came to pass that for the rest of that season we had great chairs to sit in.  Charlie Baumann, the German Performance Director, growled at us that he would inform the Anaheim police and have us all thrown in the hoosegow, but in this case his umlaut-sodden bark was worse than his bite – especially after he was bribed with two of the plush chairs for his own dressing room.
To this day, whenever two or more of us from that blemished episode meet anywhere in the world, we give the high sign and then whisper “Anaheim” before going our separate ways . . .

U.S. to Continue Firing Missiles Into the Pacific Ocean.

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Murkowski Lauds Successful Missile Test

Senator: Alaska Continues to Play Key Role in Pacific Theater

Senator Lisa Murkowski has congratulated the Missile Defense Agency for its successful missile test conducted over the Pacific Ocean, which will may lead to expanded missile investments at Alaska’s Fort Greely:

“Today’s successful test spotlights Alaska’s continued strategic relevance in the Pacific theater.  The test shows that we have turned the corner on technical issues with the GMD intercept vehicle and are moving forward to a new chapter in our nation’s vital ballistic missile defense capabilities. The success makes it more likely that additional intercept vehicles will be stationed at Fort Greely – something I will continue to strongly support through the appropriations process. Growth at Fort Greely, along with the introduction of the Long Range Discrimination Radar to Alaska in the near future, will bring a significant boost to the state economy and secure Alaska’s strategic importance.

“I congratulate the Missile Defense Agency leadership and all their researchers, scientists and technicians for ironing out the technical issues that caused past failures, and look forward to working with them to expand Fort Greely’s capabilities and leverage Alaska’s strategic location for the protection of our entire nation.”

Earlier this month, Senator Murkowski questioned Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral James Syring about his assessment for the upcoming test.  Syring laid out a range of scenarios for the exercise, while expressing optimism that they had resolved technical issues.

 

 

 

Summer Shibboleth.

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It snows in the Midwest during high summer.  As the long days reach their climax and the sunlight begins to sag a bit in the evening the linen-white fluff of the cottonwood swirls clumsily about; it piles into drifts around the porch and patio, as silent, as patient as the winter’s precipitation.  It does not last, but, like the Biblical manna, it begins to disperse and disintegrate when collected in the wonted amount that children think necessary.  It propagates the cottonwoods, but, more importantly perhaps, it tickles the imagination, floating down and mocking at our petty schedules; a reminder that our mortal lives, after all, are no more than a piece of gauze blown by the wind.

To walk through a cottonwood blizzard on a warm and windy day is like walking through a sun shower; inviting, peaceful, harmless, and just of the moment.  The phenomena is not like a rainbow, full of grandeur; nor like a thunderhead, bursting with menace; nor even, really, like a winter snowfall, full of hushed mercy.  A cottonwood blizzard is a silly caprice of Mother Nature, nearly beneath her dignity.  She thinks no more of it than we do, as we kick up a mound of it on our way to work or play.

To me it is a shibboleth.  It distinguishes those who tarry from those who strive.  I have sat in the park entranced by its delicate ballet, while dozens of people passed by – jogging, walking dogs, bicycling, and strolling hand in hand (too much in love to notice a cyclone, let alone some cottonwood fluff!)  Occasionally a baby stroller comes by, and the infant will make eye contact with me, seeming to say: “What goes on here?  All this wonderful white stuff to chase and play with and no one is stopping to do so!”  I nod sadly in agreement.  There’s no time for cottonwood fluff in anyone’s agenda; people don’t circle a day on their calendars, marking it “Enjoy the cottonwood fluff from 2 to 4.”  Should I ever meet someone who tells me they have a favorite spot to watch the cottonwood fluff, I will give that person silver and gold to take me there.

And then, as precipitously as it begins, it stops.  The banks of fluff go gray and lumpy, and are carried off by the ever opportunistic ants to their caverns below the sidewalk, where they grind it so fine with their chittering mandibles that it finally disappears altogether.  No one mourns its passing, except me I guess.  If anything, the adults will say to one another “Thanks goodness it’s gone! It was terrible for my hay fever, and it got into everything.”

Summer continues to wend its way through the stale heat and greening waters, and people talk about chopping all the cottonwoods down so the fluff won’t be back next year.  Like most schemes hatched under a hard sun, I am happy to say this one never matures into action.

For Rent. Adventures with Landlords.

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I grew up in the house my parents owned. They paid the bank $125.00 a month over a period of 30 years for the privilege of never having to worry about the landlord. As a child I never could understand their exultation whenever they mentioned the depredations and witch trials conducted by the landlords of their youth, and how they were now free of the wretches.

When I worked for the circus I never had to deal with landlords; I either slept on the circus train or bunked in the back of a truck. It wasn’t the Ritz Carlton, but it was free, and I was young, so what did I care?

Then I switched careers to work in radio. Suddenly I needed to rent a room. And I discovered what my parents had endured long, long years before.

I had to pay a month’s rent in advance, as well as a damage deposit.

The utility company and phone company required the kind of paperwork Dickens wrote about in Bleak House, in the case of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce.

I needed references, money in the bank, a note from my employer, and clearance from the Humane Society.

I found out that if the pipes leaked or the heat didn’t work or the screens were ripped I could call on maintenance and they would immediately provide a sterling excuse for why they couldn’t get it fixed until next Shrove Tuesday.

There is much more I could write, but the annals of tenants and their battles with landlords is already old and rich – at least in the Western world. So let’s hop over to Thailand . . .

When I began another new career as an ESL teacher in Thailand my first teaching assignment provided me with a free 2-bedroom apartment. It was cross-ventilated, had a stove and fridge, and was right on campus, secluded in a grove of Golden Shower trees.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was living in a fool’s paradise.

When I finally pulled up stakes for a new teaching job I had to find a new apartment. Just down the street from my new school was a 7-story apartment building, run by an elderly Sino-Thai couple, who couldn’t speak a word of English but understood that I had money and a job – that’s all they wanted to know. It was a bare room, with an iron bedstead and mattress stuffed with clinkers, with an inside bathroom but the sink & mirror were out on the balcony. No big deal, I thought; after all, here in the tropics there’s no hardship to brushing one’s teeth or shaving out in the open. Not until the monsoon blew in. And a few Rufous Treepies made their nests on the cement beams above my unprotected noggin (they are quite territorial and unacquainted with the finer aspects of hygiene.)

The building had no trouble with khamooys  (thieves) I’m happy to say, because they locked the entrance at 10pm sharp every night and let loose a pair of ferocious pit bulls that roamed the halls and could not tell the difference between a cat burglar and an innocent tenant. There were several nights when I didn’t make the curfew, and rather than face those two werewolves, I just bunked with some friends.

And then there was the water meter. The landlords were very emphatic about showing me how to read it, so that at the end of each month I could report back to them how much water I had used, which they would charge me for. Well sir, I started to notice that when I read the meter in the morning prior to leaving for school at 6:30 am, and then read it again after getting back home around 7 pm that night, the numbers mysteriously increased. I checked for leaks and made sure I turned everything off before leaving, but still each night I’d find an additional ten or twenty gallons of water added on to my meter.

To this day I still don’t know who was making free and easy with my H2O. It cost me all of six dollars while I was there, but it just chaps my hide to think of someone getting into my room and surreptitiously dry gulching me. There’ll be a necktie party, sure a shootin’, if I ever catch the ornery cayuse!

When I moved out of that establishment I took a house for rent – or rather, it took me.

The landlord was an elderly Thai lady, widow of some senior grade government bureaucrat in Bangkok. Her own house was richly appointed with writhing figures from Thai mythology carved out of teakwood, intricately woven palm frond baskets, and ornate lacquered funerary jars (Thai widows are big on this last item – in case they need to cremate any more husbands.) She had a small bungalow behind her own house, on a spacious green lawn, which she was renting for next to nothing. Of course I should have been suspicious – but she was just an old widow, harmless as a dove, right?

The place proved to be idyllic for the first two months, and then the rainy season began in earnest – and my cherished domicile was cut off overnight in the midst of an endless sea of muddy, boggy grass. Getting out of, and then back in to my house required hip boots and the survival skills of a Crocodile Dundee. The nights were made hideous by the lubricious croaking of a million lust-crazed frogs seeking a mate. I would meet the old widow’s cook coming in to my submerged house as I was leaving in the morning; she assured me that if she waited patiently in my living room a large juicy fish would slither across the tiles in no time, and she would then have her mistress’ lunch without resorting to the market.

No need to go on – I long ago accepted the fact that landlords the world over are all about the same – they’ll gouge you for as much as they can get, and in Thailand, they did it with a smile on their face.  In Thailand I have never gotten a cent of my damage deposit back, either. Of course in the tropics buildings just fall apart on their own, even if you’re never in them, so I’ve learned to accept that injustice – at least without requiring bypass surgery for a conniption fit every time it happens.

I wonder if there are any treehouses for rent anywhere?  I might as well have some fun for my rent money.

“What Trash Can?” Adventures in Driving.

He never knew what hit him!
He never knew what hit him!

“What trash can?” I asked peevishly, as Old Bluey, our Ford station wagon, left a trail of tin cans and food scraps in its wake.  I had not seen any such item as I drove serenely down the winding country lane, although I had heard something akin to a crash, which I attributed to the carburetor overheating, or some such technical kerfuffle.

My wife, when she managed to pull her fingers away from her eyes, weakly repeated her assertion that I had just struck a trash can.

“Have it your own way” I replied, not ungraciously.  After all, I didn’t want to offend her; she was not only my wife, but was also teaching me how to drive.

Unlike Amy, who grew up in rural North Dakota and had driven vehicles of various sorts from the age of 14, I had been raised in the big city, where I walked, rode my bike, or took the bus.  My dad had a car, but it was strictly for work and occasional family outings. He never offered to teach me to drive, and I never really cared to learn – I skipped Driver’s Ed in high school.

Two years into our marriage we were in Bottineau, North Dakota, where I was News Director at KBTO. I got the news without using a car, simply by telephoning or stopping by the cop shop every morning.  But the station manager finally decided he wanted the station’s news car, with the call letters emblazoned on each side, at every major event in the county. So he offered me a substantial raise if I learned to drive.

Who better to teach me than my helpmeet, Amy?

If she had any misgivings about such a proposition she hid them well.  We started in the capacious parking lot of the high school, where I managed to swerve and avoid lamp posts, elm trees, and unwary pedestrians with, I thought, surprising ease.  I told her I was ready for the open road. That’s when I noticed that funny little nervous tic on the right side of her face – strange that I had not ever seen it before.  She still has it, but only when she’s tired and upset.

The gravel roads of Bottineau County were very forgiving of my twists and turns as I mastered the intricacies of left turns, coming to a full stop, and going into reverse.  She instructed me patiently, sometimes in a high-pitched whisper, on driver courtesy.  Who knew that you weren’t supposed to drive down the middle of the road at all times?  That seemed the sensible thing to me. But I listened to her advice, passed my driver’s test, and began driving the KBTO news car.  I also got the raise.

I do not know what all Amy has told our children about those early days in North Dakota.  All I DO know is that not a one of them will allow me to drive my grandchildren anywhere, at any time!

Here’s a Sample of What They Do All Day in Congress — in case you were wondering.

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Senate resolution honors American cowboys

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined 10 of their colleagues in introducing a resolution today that would declare July 26 the Day of the American Cowboy. This is the ninth year the resolution has been introduced and serves to honor the accomplishments and contributions of cowboys from around the nation.
U.S. Senator Craig Thomas, who served Wyoming in the United States Senate from 1995-2007, started the tradition of naming the fourth Saturday in July “National Day of the American Cowboy” in 2005. Since Thomas’ passing, Enzi and Barrasso have continued the tradition in honor of his legacy. The day annually coincides with Cheyenne Frontier Days.

“More than a tradition, the American cowboy has been a part of the spirit and culture of the United States for generations,” said Enzi. “Their reputation for honesty and hard work embody the way of life we in Wyoming strive for every day. The National Day of the American Cowboy is our way to acknowledge the contributions cowboys have made throughout historyand the continued impact they have on our nation today.”
     “The American cowboy symbolizes the spirit, values and traditions that people in Wyoming cherish most,” said Barrasso. “Washington could benefit from adhering to the cowboy’s commitment to honesty, integrity and hard work. I look forward to joining Senator Enzi in honoring America’s cowboys and cowgirls across the state of Wyoming.”

Senators Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., John Hoeven, R-N.D., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Jon Tester, D-Mont., and John Walsh, D-Mont., are also cosponsors of the resolution.

Heartburn Hotel.

You wanna supersize that?
You wanna supersize that?

In the latter part of my circus career I graduated from doing buffoonery to doing publicity for the show.  I traveled ahead of the circus to make sure posters were up and that newspapers, radio stations, and television stations had plenty of information and ballyhoo about the upcoming performances.  I stayed in motels such as Motel 6, where there were no frills, and no cooking facilities.  So I ate all my meals out.

From that experience I garnered a list of American greasy spoons that stands unparalleled in the annals of indigestion.

I will confine myself to vague unidentifiable locations, although I firmly believe none of these Heartburn Hotels would ever dare use the courts to seek redress; I could present their flyblown menus as evidence and win hands-down.

There was the place in Alabama that advertised “The Best Biscuits-n-Gravy in the South!”  The biscuits were slabs of macadam, unsoftened, indeed unmoved, by the thin gruel poured over them and laughingly called “gravy” by the cook when I confronted her with the abomination on my plate.  The place was overrun with cats, and when I set my mess on the floor the felines were wise enough, or more likely experienced enough, to give it a wide berth. I paid for my meal without further discussion, but left no tip.

In the hinterlands of Minnesota I ran across a modest establishment with newspaper reviews plastered all over its front window; these were big city newspapers, and they uniformly praised the “down-home” cooking of the place. I eagerly ordered the house specialty, which was labeled “Fried Spaghetti al a Tina”.  All I can say is that Tina has a lot to answer for.  The whole gluey mess congealed on my plate as I stared at it, morphing into a rubbery mound drenched in tomato sauce.  My first bite, which lasted a good twenty minutes, was my last bite. Like Lewis Carroll’s Father William, “And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw/Has lasted the rest of my life.”

I have eaten French fries so thoroughly endowed with stale grease that they slipped through my fingers like a bar of bath soap.

I have been served salads so attenuated and so long imprisoned in the rancid depths of a refrigerator that the lettuce was as transparent as ice and just as flavorful.

At all-you-can-eat buffets I have been confronted with latex chicken, sawdust laden meatballs, cold gravy, warm soda pop, and apple crisp anything but.

And at a steak house in California I witnessed the gorge-raising sight of a cockroach slowly making its way across several different orders waiting side by side under the mellow glow of warming lights, until the waiters could grab said dishes and present them to unsuspecting patrons.  Excusing myself on the grounds of temporary onchocerciasis, I fled to the nearest 7-11 for a hotdog.

I’m still wondering today when that George Jetson meal-in-a-pill is gonna be ready . . .

Answer Two Questions, and You’ll Get Tens of Thousands of Dollars!

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Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have released a draft bill to simplify the process of applying for and receiving federal financial aid to attend college, allow year-round use of Pell Grants, discourage over-borrowing and simplify repayments.

The bill would reduce to a single postcard—called the “Student Aid Short Form”—the questions any student must answer to apply for federal financial aid and inform high school students in their junior year of the amount they’ll receive in federal aid to help pay for college. It would also address the problem of some students borrowing too much money, and simplify the options students have to repay their federal loans.  The act also streamlines federal grant and loan programs to better serve more students more effectively.

Bennet said: “While other countries are promoting access to higher education, we are making it harder and harder for people to attain a degree. This bill will simplify the entire financial aid process to promote more access and success. Under a simplified system we can expect more students will enroll and stay in school.”

Alexander said: “Every year, 20 million students waste millions of hours and countless dollars on a 100-question application form that only needs to be the size of a postcard. This bill would cut more than 100 questions down to two, and help families get aid information sooner, while protecting taxpayers from lending more money to students than they’re able to repay.”

The senators said that they want to be certain that the short form sends taxpayer dollars solely to those eligible, and so would reduce the form to as close to two questions as possible without creating an opportunity for fraud or abuse.

The Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act, or FAST Act, would transform the federal financial aid process by accomplishing the following:

  1. Eliminating the Free Application for Financial Student Aid, or FAFSA: The bill would reduce the 10-page form to a postcard that would ask just two questions: What is your family size? And, what was your household income two years ago?
  2. Telling families early in the process of what the federal government will provide them in a grant and loan. The bill would create a look-up table to allow students in their junior year of high school to see how much in federal aid they are eligible for as they are start to look at colleges.
  3. Streamlining the federal grant and loan programs. The bill would combine two federal grant programs into one Pell grant program and reduce the six different federal loan programs into three: one undergraduate loan programone graduate loan program, and one parent loan program, resulting in more access for more students.
  4. Enabling students to use Pell grants in a manner that works for them. The bill would restore year-round Pell grant availability and provide flexibility so students can study at their own pace. Both provisions would enable them to complete college sooner.
  5. Discouraging over-borrowing. The bill would limit the amount a student is able to borrow based on enrollment. For example, a part-time student would be able to take out a part time loan only.
  6. Simplifying repayment options. The bill would streamline complicated repayment programs and create two simple plans, an income based plan and a 10-year repayment plan.