Lynne Davis

Lynne Davis

Lynne Davis loves being able to write whatever she wants, when she wants to. Although she has written some good poems, and self-published a book of them ("Watercolor Music"), she does not consider herself a poet. She has tried and tried to write fiction, but she just can't get the hang of it. She's pretty well accepted that what comes most naturally to her is writing articles and essays. At some point this year her essay, "My Night with John Updike," will appear in a book of Updike remembrances edited by Jack De Bellis.
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B.A. English, minor French, St. Louis University, MATESOL, Southern Illinois University


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  • Beggars and Buskers in Paris
    The tourist in Paris will find beggars and buskers everywhere--people begging for money, and people performing, often with considerable talent, for the same reason. Do you donate, or ignore them?
  • David Muir to Take Over Diane Sawyer's Job in September
    David Muir, 40, is taking over for Diane Sawyer, 68, on the ABC World News. I heard it Friday, June 27, at the end of 20/20.
  • Stalking the Best Cinnamon Rolls in Carbondale, Illinois
    I have been searching for the best cinnamon rolls in Carbondale, Illinois and other nearby Southern Illinois towns. I have chosen my top three delicious cinnamon rolls. Each one has a special feature of its own. And there are some honorable mentions.
  • I Went to a Bullfight in Madrid!
    I went alone to a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Spain. Bullfighting is controversial, and my family refused to go. But I wanted to know what it was all about--so I followed Rick Steves' suggestion; I watched for a while, then left early.
  • Free and Paid Events at 2014 Southern Illinois Music Festival
    The 10th Southern Illinois Music Festival, "Mostly Mozart in the Midwest," begins on June 10, 2014, and includes classical, jazz, and even rock music to fit every budget.
  • Korean Drama Be Strong, Geum-Soon, Shows Traditional Culture
    The popular Korean TV drama Be Strong Geum-Soon, which I started watching for Korean language study, really illustrates traditional Korean culture--and the changes that young Koreans are beginning to introduce.
  • A Quick Summary of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte for Met Live in HD-Goers
    Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte is the next Metropolitan Opera Live in HD, on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 12:55 pm Eastern time, at movie theaters nation- and worldwide. The opera's plot is simple, the music glorious.
  • On Opening Day, My Daughter Left School Early
    My daughter is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. When she was in high school, I let her leave school early on Opening Day. I wrote a note saying she had an appointment. She did, with the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, who hit a Grand Slam that day!
  • Single Moms: Go See the Single Moms Club!
    I really liked Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club. The reviews aren't great, but I was a single mom and this movie gets single moms! It's also funny and has a lot of heart.
  • Swimsuit Time Is Weight Watchers Time
    It's spring and I need to lose weight fast. I go to Weight Watchers. It helped me lose 20 pounds when I quit smoking, and now I go back whenever I start gaining again.
  • Juan Pablo Won't Say Those Three Little Words
    Bachelor Juan Pablo angered many fans by not saying on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, that he was in love with Nikki Ferrell. Did he hurt Nikki's pride, or does she understand him better than we do?
  • Paws for Reflection
    The snow covers some things and reveals others.
  • Annual Art in Bloom Show at St. Louis Art Museum Closes Early
    The long-anticipated Art in Bloom show at the St. Louis Art Museum had to close after only two of three scheduled days because of ice and snow. I was lucky to get there before the weather!
  • On the Bachelor, Andi Lets Juan Pablo Have It
    On The Bachelor last night, Andi realized there are things she doesn't like about Juan Pablo. As she suspected, he thought their fantasy suite night was great. She didn't.
  • Author/Activist/Scholar Angela Davis Speaks at Southern Illinois University
    Angela Davis, famous for her activism in the 1970s, was the keynote speaker at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale for Black Heritage Month. Davis is the founder of Critical Resistance, dedicated to abolishing the prison-industrial complex.
  • Check Out First Friday Music at Morris!
    I listened to young opera singers on February 7, 2014, at Morris Library, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, at the First Friday Music at Morris series, a free monthly event open to the Carbondale community. Next one is Friday, March 7.
  • Why Our Breakup was for the Best
    When a relationship ends, we can be honest.
  • Spring Thaw
    This poem reflects some common feelings at the beginning of a love relationship. It's a kind of February thaw inside.
  • Out of Love
    I wrote this poem after a long relationship ended. At first I was distraught, but then I began to realize the perks of being alone.
  • Look Younger Right Now for Free
    You can look younger right now for free by following some simple secrets I've discovered.
  • Nora Ephron Fans, There's Hope
    If you miss Nora Ephron, you'll be happy to know that her three sisters are all writers. Delia, Hallie, and Amy Ephron have written screenplays, novels, essays and plays--and are still writing. "Sister Mother Husband Dog" is Delia's newest.
  • Dvorak's "Rusalka" is Met Live in HD's Post-Super Bowl Opera
    Antonin Dvorak's opera "Rusalka," with soprano Renee Fleming in the title role, is the Met Live in HD at theaters production for February 8, 2014. The beloved Czech composer's tale resembles "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen.
  • William Faulkner's Home in Oxford, Mississippi
    William Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi, is twenty minutes off Highway 55 and well worth the trip--especially for writers, who will be inspired by the quotes on the wall, the rooms where he lived, and the atmosphere where he created his stories.
  • Bachelor Juan Pablo Surprises with His First-Impression Rose
    On Juan Pablo's first night as the Bachelor, he gave Canadian opera singer Sharleen the first-impression rose. He loved her dress and was impressed with her "mundo," or worldliness. She wasn't as enthusiastic.
  • Cold Snap in Carbondale, Illinois
    In Carbondale, Illinois, we are one of the many places in the United States experiencing unusually cold temperatures in January 2014. I just want to hibernate!
  • I'm Glad to Be Home from Vacation
    I love vacations and trips, but I also like getting home to where I am comfortable--knowing where everything is, no longer constipated, having time to myself and control over my day.
  • Snow and Ice on Vehicles is Hazardous on the Road
    After a recent snow- and ice storm in southern Illinois, I see so many vehicles on the road with icy snow on the roof. Don't they know they are a hazard to themselves and other motorists? Clean off your cars!
  • Called Centering Prayer, It's Really Meditation
    I'm committed to doing Centering Prayer meditation from now until Christmas. If the practice becomes a habit--and I hope it will--I will continue indefinitely Thomas Keating's way of meditation.
  • Met Live in HD's Falstaff is a Holiday Treat
    The Met Live in HD at movie theaters presents Verdi's Falstaff on December 14, 2013, at 12:55 pm Eastern. Give yourself the gift of beautiful music in this comic opera conducted by James Levine.
  • First Person: In Carbondale, Illinois, We Escaped Tornadoes
    On Sunday, November 17, 2013, tornadoes threatened Southern Illinois. In Carbondale, our luck prevailed. Though the sirens went off at midday, no funnel clouds were seen.
  • Art Activity for Beginning ESL Writers: A Place that I Love
    My ESL students drew pictures of "A Place That I Love," using colored pencils. After showing their work and talking about the mountains, beaches, and temples they had drawn, they wrote good, detailed paragraphs about those places.
  • Thanksgiving--the Perfect Time to Start a Diet
    Thanksgiving is a great time to start a diet. Go into the holiday season with a plan for losing weight--or at least not gaining more. These tips will help you take control of your eating and feel good about yourself!
  • Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Eat Fruit!
    We know we should eat more fruit to lose weight and get healthy. But apples, oranges and bananas just aren't as mouth-watering as cakes and cookies. We know the phrase "forbidden fruit," but fruit isn't that much of a temptation, really.
  • First Person: Retired, Happy but Still Working
    I took early retirement at 59. Ten years later I'm still working, at my third part-time job. I have structure, free time, and discretionary income. It's perfect for me!
  • A Quick Summary of Eugene Onegin for Busy Live in HD at the Met-Goers
    On October 5, 2013, the Met Live in HD presents Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, at movie theaters. Here's a quick and simple plot summary. It's in Russian, but with titles in English.
  • Neil Patrick Harris Disappoints as Emmys Host
    Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, 2013. It was his second time, but not his best. He'd been in Southern Illinois filming Gone Girl. Maybe he got the "allergy thing" there, at Giant City State Park.
  • The St. Louis Symphony's 2013-14 Season-Opening Concert in Forest Park Dazzled the City
    The rain on September 17 stopped just in time for the St. Louis Symphony's 2013-14 season opener at Forest Park. It was magical--the weather and the performance and the fireworks on Art Hill--and Steven Jarvi conducting.
  • Why I Love the Paducah Symphony Orchestra
    Raffaele Ponti conducts the Paducah Symphony Orchestra with spirit and charisma at the fabulous Carson Center in the art-centered river city of Paducah, Kentucky. And tickets are affordable!
  • Taylor Ferns Makes History at 2013 Du Quoin Race
    Seventeen-year-old female driver Taylor Ferns made history at the 61st annual Ted Horn 100 at the Du Quoin State Fair on September 1, 2013. Taylor helped this female take an interested in the automobile race.
  • 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera Live in HD Schedule
    The 2013-14 schedule for the Met Live in HD operas, in movie theaters across the United States and the world, is available here.
  • Seamus Heaney: A Memory
    In the mid-1990s, Irish poet Seamus Heaney gave a reading at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. I went with my international students.
  • Gare De Lyon in Paris--Why Visit?
    The Gare de Lyon in Paris is a great place to visit--if you're traveling or just want to see a beautiful train station built in 1900 and a fabulous, art-filled restaurant called Le Train Bleu.
  • They Speak French in Paris--and so Did I
    I went to Paris recently and, just as I did when I was twenty-one and a recent college graduate, tried to practice my French. This time I did better, because I was older and more relaxed.
  • Packing like Rick Steves for Paris
    When I went to Paris recently, I used Rick Steves' packing list, as I always do for trips abroad. But I modified the list a bit, according to my own needs and experience. I'll share what I've learned about packing.
  • Surprise Lily
    A poem about the flower that pops up out of nowhere in late summer. Some call it Surprise Lily, others Pink Lady, others Naked Lady because she has no leaves!
  • Thinking About Hip Replacement Surgery?
    I tried everything I could think of before I finally decided to have hip replacement surgery. When I had the surgery, it went well, and the recovery was pretty simple. I feel young again, don't have pain, and can take walks! Thinking about it? Do it!
  • Ooh Doggies! My Top Ten Southern Illinois-isms
    Southern Illinois is more Southern than you might think. It's a five-hour drive to Chicago, two hours southeast of St. Louis, and only an hour and a half from Paducah, Kentucky. We have some Southern ways of talking; here are my top ten.
  • Clothes Make a Great English Conversation Topic
    A student in my English classroom in South Korea told me to choose interesting conversation topics, like perfume, in order to get more student participation. I like the conversation topic of clothes, for the same reason. And everyone can say something!
  • Bachelorette's Mr. America Pageant Has Better Questions Than Previous Night's Miss USA
    At the Bachelorette's Mr. America Pageant, the questions were silly but at least general enough that they could be answered. In contrast, the Miss USA Pageant had contestants like Miss Utah fumbling for answers. Why not use more general questions?
  • Southern Illinois is Allergy Country!
    I never had allergies or sinus problems until after I'd lived in Southern Illinois for a while. And that's what they say: If you don't have allergies when you get here, just wait; you will!
  • Tour of Newly Renovated St. Louis Public Library is a Treat
    The renovation of the hundred-year-old St. Louis Public Library is complete, and free tours of this beautiful and up-to-date library are a great way to spend part of a day in the city!
  • Trouble Brewing at Desiree's Bachelorette Pad
    Episode 2 of Desiree Hartsock's season on the Bachelorette finds most of the guys in the house getting fed up with Ben, the single parent, who keeps butting in on everyone else's time with Desiree. The Bachelorette thinks things are going great!
  • Reality Steve Spoils Desiree's Bachelorette Season
    The famous Reality Steve has spoiled Desiree Hartsock's Bachelorette season by leaking her final two Bachelor picks, and her final choice. He says it's Brooks--but he's been wrong before. We can still enjoy the show.
  • Desiree Hartsock's Bachelorette Season Finally Begins!
    Desiree Hartsock's season as the Bachelorette started last night with a one-on-one with Chris Harrison, who seems to be attracted to the lovely, talented young woman from Sean's season.
  • Shocking Revelation About the Bachelor Mansion
    In the Collector's Special People Magazine issue on 25 seasons of the Bachelor, it says the Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants aren't allowed to read books in the house. In my book, that makes the Bachelor/-ette mansion a prison.
  • New Ways of Using the Word "So" in the Media, from Lena Dunham to PBS
    As a linguist of sorts, I've noticed that people are using the conjunction so in new ways these days: on PBS and NPR, experts begin paragraphs with so; on Girls, Lena Dunham ends sentences with so. Who started these new usages?
  • The 2013 Southern Illinois Music Festival is Coming in June!
    The 9th annual Southern Illinois Music Festival begins on June 3 and continues through June 23, 2013. Don't miss this wonderful start to the summer, with concerts all over Southern Illinois--some free. This year's theme is "A Swarm of B's."
  • Coming Soon: Desiree Hartsock as the New Bachelorette!
    I can't wait for the new season of the Bachelorette! It starts on Monday, May 27, 2013, and features Desiree Hartsock from Sean Lowe's season as the Bachelorette who gets to travel the world and choose her favorite from among 25 handsome guys.
  • Handel's Baroque Opera Giulio Cesare Live in HD is Fun!
    I couldn't believe it, but a Baroque opera with harpsichord can be fun! I enjoyed every moment of David McVicar's four-hour production of Handel's Giulio Cesare Live in HD.
  • How to Eat Enough Fruit Every Day
    We all know we should eat five fruits and vegetables every day. A salad and a serving of another vegetable, plus three fruits, will do it! Here are some easy ways to make sure you eat that fruit!
  • Use "Mr. Morton" Song for ESL Grammar Class
    I used the rap song "The Tale of Mr. Morton" from the Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks CD to teach basic subject and predicate to ESL students of various levels. They loved the song, and the grammar sank in too!
  • Five More Confusing Celebrity Pairs
    I get a lot of celebrity pairs confused--but I do know the difference between Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber! For me it's di Caprio and Damon, De Niro and Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rene Russo. Here I try again to get them straight.
  • Five Confusing Celebrity Pairs
    I always confuse certain celebrities because their names, faces, movies or music seem similar. Her are five of my top confusing pairs. Writing about them might help me keep them straight.
  • Spring is the Time for Free Music in Carbondale, Illinois, Area
    Spring semester is the time for free music in Carbondale, Illinois, and the surrounding area. Student and faculty recitals offer excellent entertainment; the Outside the Box Festival is mostly free; and the annual Spring Concert at John A. Logan is free.
  • Trick Yourself into Studying, and Do Better on Midterms
    Midterm exams are coming, and these two techniques will help you trick yourself into studying: Break it Down, and Just Look.
  • Leslie H., Sarah, Selma and Others Show New Diversity on Sean's Bachelor Season
    A disabled woman, four African-American women, and an Iraqi-American woman made Sean's Bachelor season more interesting. I hope this diversity is a trend for the future of the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows.
  • On the Bachelor, Sean Sends Tierra Home
    In a long-overdue moment of clarity, Bachelor Sean Lowe finally sent Tierra home on February 11, 2013. But from the looks of the home visits next week, the drama isn't over.
  • Kacie B. From Ben Flajnik's Bachelor Season Tries Again with Sean
    On the second episode of Ben Flajnik's Bachelor season, he gave Kacie B. the first one-on-one date. Now Kacie is back on the Bachelor, trying to find love with Sean Lowe.
  • Cool Assistive Devices Available After Hip Replacement Surgery
    Hip replacement surgery is becoming easier these days. So is at-home recovery with the "hip kit" filled with clever aids for daily lilving.
  • Winston the Bagel Man Not the First--But the Most Famous in Carbondale, Illinois
    This article from 1983 explains the history of Winston's Bagel Cart, one of the most famous landmarks in Carbondale, Illinois, and a cherished memory of graduates of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
  • How to Make Valentine's Day and Other Flower Arrangements Last Longer
    Valentine's Day is coming, and if you're lucky, you'll get flowers. When these beautiful, expensive flowers start to fade, don't just throw them away! Make another arrangement with what is still fresh. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
  • Five Things that Are Better in Korea
    South Korea has a lot of things that are better than their American counterparts. Five of them are: technology; service; availability of good, inexpensive food; good transportation; and safety.
  • Hugh Jackman Deserves Academy Award for Les Miserables
    Hugh Jackman's performance and singing in Les Miserables deserves an Academy Award. Amanda Seyfried also had a sweet singing voice. Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe didn't sing as well in the epic musical version of Victor Hugo's novel.
  • My Christmas Song Love/Hate List
    Some Christmas songs make me crazy, I hate them so much. But there are others that I love. Here are my top ten.
  • Women Wear the Pants in the Met's La Clemenza Di Tito
    The recent production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito at movie theaters Live in HD featured two women playing men. A fairly common occurrence, these roles are called "trouser" or "pants" roles, or in Italian, travesti.
  • Stroll the 2012-13 Gingerbread Walk on Main Street in Belleville, Illinois
    Take a stroll down Main Street in Belleville, Illinois, this Christmas season. The annual Gingerbread Walk, more charming and more amazing every year, is in the shop windows from November 20, 2012, to January 3, 2013.
  • Paul McCartney Makes Some Mistakes in St. Louis
    At his concert at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Paul McCartney had to ask the crowd of mostly baby boomers how to pronounce the city's name. He also fell on the floor after a couple hours' straight of playing his songs. But he got right up!
  • Bra Straps--Who Cares?
    When the fashion changed drastically from the visible bra strap's being a faux pas and very unladylike to being a cool fashion statement, I knew my Grandmother would have hated it; I wrote this poem for her.
  • Typhoon in Korea: An English Teacher's Adventure
    In the fall of 2000, I was teaching at a university in South Korea when a typhoon, a dangerous storm with heavy winds and rain, struck the peninsula.
  • Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore Presented by Paradise Alley Players
    The Paradise Alley Players' presented Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore, based on Ilene Beckerman's eponymous book, at the Marion, Illinois, Cultural and Civic Center on October 20, 2012.
  • Met Live in HD Schools Program: An Excellent Tool for Understanding Operas
    On the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD website, you can find the Live in HD Schools Program, designed for children but useful for anyone who wants to understand the operas they go to see at the movie theater.
  • Use ET:The Extra-Terrestrial for ESL Listening
    Here are some suggestions for using the movie ET in a beginning ESL Listening class--along with a few exercises you can use now!
  • Schedule for Metropolitan Opera Live in HD at Theaters, 2012-2013
    The 2012-2013 Met Live in HD comes to movie theaters all over the United States and the world beginning Saturday, October 13, with Donizetti's delicious confection, L'Elisir d'Amore.
  • Sean Lowe from Emily Maynard's Season is New Bachelor
    When I found out recently that Sean Lowe, one of Emily Maynard's castoffs in her season, will be the new Bachelor in January 2013, I was disappointed. But I'll watch anyway, and maybe I'll start to like him.
  • Teaching English in South Korea is Different from Teaching in the United States
    When I taught English at a university in South Korea, it wasn't as easy as teaching English to international students in the United States, mostly because of infrastructure and materials. But there were positives!
  • Audio Books: My Cure for Insomnia
    My cure for insomnia is listening to an audio book. Listening to a good book in the middle of the night will either put me back to sleep or get me absorbed in something other than my worries.
  • Teaching English in South Korea--Wonderful, but Not Without Problems
    I taught English at a Korean university, and it was a wonderful experience, but yes, there were problems. Besides using my own limited creativity to solve these, I finally asked for help!
  • Tips for Solving the Word Jumble
    Here are some tips for solving the Word Jumble that appears in many daily newspapers--from someone who loves these jumbles and has developed strategies that work!
  • Challenges of Teaching English in South Korea
    Teaching English in South Korea is a wonderful experience, but I went after teaching English as a Second Language in the United States for eleven years. There were challenges, and limitations. But there were also rewards and pleasant surprises.
  • Who is Chloe Malle?
    In the September 10, 2012, issue of Life and Style magazine, Chloe Malle's look in a splashy red dress is compared unfavorably to Kirsten Dunst's. I wonder if you know that Chloe Malle is the Social Editor at Vogue who comes from a family of celebrities.
  • Popular Korean Drama Shows Resentment Toward Japan
    One episode of the popular Korean drama “I Really, Really Like You” shows resentment toward Japan as cooks in the Blue House prepare traditional Korean dishes for a cultural exchange with Japanese guests.
  • Where is Meg Ryan?
    Popular actor Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally) has been seen with beau John Mellencamp in Bloomington, Indiana, lately. I want to see her in a new movie--and maybe in Bloomington!
  • ESL Teachers: How to Teach "Until"
    ESL grammar teachers always get questions about structures--like how to use "until"--that they've never thought about. They use them correctly just because they "sound right." But ESL students want explanations. These are the rules for using "until."
  • Diary of an ESL Conversation Teacher, Part 2
    I kept this diary when I taught an ESL conversation class at the university level a few years ago. These short excerpts give an idea of topics covered, lesson plans used, and the ups and downs of teaching such a class.
  • Over One Hundred School Shootings Since Columbine
    Virginia Tech shooting survivor and gun-control proponent Colin Goddard says that since the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, there have been over 100 school shootings in the United States. We have to stop this insanity.
  • Diary of an ESL Conversation Teacher
    An excerpt from a diary I kept of my ESL conversation class at an American university a few years ago, this is a real example of how things go day-to-day--sometimes great, sometimes, well, not as planned.
  • ESL Teachers: Let Your Students Talk, Every Day!
    In my experience as a teacher of English as a Second Language, one of the problems was always getting the students to speak. When I took a Korean language class in Korea, I saw how easy it is to do so.
  • Love, Loss, and What I Wore is Coming to Marion, Illinois
    With Nora Ephron, Ilene Beckerman turned her charming book, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, into an off-Broadway hit that's coming to Marion, Illinois, this fall.
  • Studying in Seoul, Korea--a Great Way to Learn Korean
    I spent a month studying Korean at a Korean language institute in Seoul, South Korea. It was a great way to learn the language and meet nice people too!
  • Things I'm Glad I Brought to South Korea
    I was glad to have these five things in my suitcase when I landed in Seoul, South Korea, for a month of studying Korean. They made my stay more comfortable.
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