I really don’t know where to start today, it was an unusual week. I guess one of my favourite movies is The Intern, with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Nero. For me, it effectively shows how two generations can learn from each other. Before you rush off to watch it, bear with me because we did something similar here in our community this week.

Igor spent an hour of his time with me, talking about how his upcoming move from Curitiba to Los Angeles came about. It is, by any standards, a fascinating yarn because it sounds so unlikely. After our conversation, I went to the University of Southern California website to get a picture of where Mira, (Igor’s partner) is going to spend the next four years. It was like a bombshell. World-class came to mind, what a privilege to be there and all that on a 100% scholarship. The amount of money the USC are investing in Mira must be close to $250.000, if not more. I really recommend you listen to our conversation, read the transcript, and click on the link at the bottom.

On a different front, a week earlier, Niki casually dropped a question into the discussion for Cléa. Basically, Niki was curious about the apparent contradiction of the hyper-futuristic Korean society and its high regard for traditions. It was challenging, especially for a 16-year-old who has only been there for just under a year. And Nathalie, too, was wondering how her daughter was going to master this question.

Luckily, I am an early riser and two hours before Cléa’s class, my fishing net revealed a fantastic tool. You can find Goblins in the “Tools” Dropdown on Brida. Basically, the tool uses AI to help you break down complex tasks into manageable subtasks, an absolute lifesaver for me. But, with a little lateral thinking, you can also use it to structure your thoughts. After getting through the latest gossip, I directed Cléa to Niki’s question. We talked about it and from what Cléa was telling me, I could see there was something we could work with. But I wanted to take Cléa up a level and also give justice to Niki’s question. We copied part of the text into the compiler field and then let it create a “task list”, which contained what I was hoping for. Keywords to prompt the thinking process, and with that, more content to answer the question. Opening the “writing paper” (also in the “tools” dropdown), Cléa began to sort her thoughts and after correcting the small mistakes, she published her answer. It’s worth reading, as is Niki’s response, with its hidden invitation to learn something else about Azerbaijan. I wonder who will see it and start a new conservation.

Now we have an AI tool in our collection which will really help you to improve your thinking in English, whenever we meet in our get-togethers.

Maxime very happily reported to me that the result of his Algorithm exam was better than expected, but clearly showed he had to work more in this field. So, a big thank you to everyone for saying that you are interested in this. You are helping Maxime and put the fear of God in me. This is a ginormous challenge, taking such a subject and making it user-friendly. As Cléa posts on her YouTube channel, “Be kind, English is not my first language”. So, be kind to Maxime, and by extension, to me…because the task is daunting, to put it mildly. If you haven’t already done so, posting a word of encouragement for Maxime would go a long way.

Speaking of being kind. Some of you know that Manfred quit smoking. Every Friday, we ask him how it’s going. Here are the statistics as of last Friday. Day 78, 1807 unsmoked cigarettes! His sense of smell has improved dramatically, and shedding the excess kilos is still a problem. But with the money he has saved (over €400), he treated himself to a new mobile phone. It actually merges fantastically with Walter’s new discussion about sports, fitness and health. Pretty cool stuff!

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