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I have recently discovered two rare musical talents – Jeff Russo and Ramin Djawadi. Great composers!
A lesser known Ukrainian artist of Greek descent, Mykhailo Berkos (1861-1919), is no less impressive than the famous cohort of fellow impressionists. Just have a look…
Venice… A magical place on earth. One and only. Always in my heart.
The salad fork and the soup spoon. The wine glass and the water glass. The napkin in your lap.
All the rules and rituals of proper etiquette will certainly serve you well. Such knowledge is admittedly in short supply at present.
More important, though, are manners, as it takes very little learning to master them, but a great deal more diligence to practice them consistently.
You may know the protocols, but without sincerity, your elegant exercises will fall short.
With manners that spring from common courtesy, you may not know it all, but you will be forgiven by those who can see that you endeavor to extend kindness to all.
Manners are a mindset. Adopt that first. Open a door for someone. Offer your place in line.
Smile. Be interested. Listen.
Then study etiquette.
Over ten years ago, on a cold Friday morning of January 12, 2007, virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell stood near the entrance of one of the Washington, D.C. subway stations. It was 7:51 a.m. In the next 43 minutes, the violinist performed several timeless, classical pieces.
It was an experiment of sorts: if a world-famous musician brought some most beautiful music to people, would they stop and listen?
So, what do you think happened? 1,097 people passed by. At first, no one noticed him. Later on, only 27 stopped to listen to his music.
The violinist, whose concert hall performances are always sold out, and who plays on a Stradivarius violin that cost him approximately $3.5 million, earned just $32.
The very idea of the experiment was to show that you need active listeners. “Music needs that attention – you can’t throw it to people while they’re rushing to work,” said Bell.
The term “icebreaker” comes from special ships called “icebreakers” (укр. криголами) that break up ice in the arctic regions. And just as these ships make it easier for other ships to navigate, conversational ice breakers are little tricks (you might call them “openers” or “interest devices”) that help you do just that: break the ice, relax, have fun, and start communicating!
“What we write is not necessarily what people read.” (Steven Darian)
In his new book, “Technique in Nonfiction: The Tools of the Trade,” professor Darian provides information and tips critical to the success of new and experienced writers. It’s a real eye-opener. “Tools” will enlighten you about the writing techniques you never knew existed. It will also enrich your language and writing skills immensely.
I’ll bet people will want to read and re-read this book!