Month Birthday Merci


Do u remember how u saw Blogs, Twitter, or Facebook before u blogged, tweeted, or booked your face ?  (bad puns = my speciality)


Offer yourself a 30-second pause, sit back and just recall for a second


How have things changed ?   Has it been a good ride ?




For me, I never thought of blogging or tweeting because I thought it was all about moi moi moi and the restaurant I’m eating at tonight.  Since January of this year, I’ve found it to be JUST the opposite, at least with the folks I share with.  My plunge into social media has been about community and sharing… sharing in an way I could have only dreamed about before.



Hence, a month after diving into the blogging world, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to you, my blogosphere community.  I’ve followed many of your blogs for some time now, and have loved the exchange.  Now, you’ve joined me on a few journées in language, and, for me, that is the great power of the PLN— companionship.

(and the etymology of that word is “those with whom you eat le pain… bread”)



I’d like to celebrate the blog’s month birthday with a lil’ challenge and prize.

le vin français, we oui !



Among the 2000 visitors this past month, some chose to share comments, and as another blogger said in the last entry on eltchat dogme flies:


“we bloggers ♥ that! “


So, for those très très appreciated commenting VIPS below, I’d like to to put a bottle of french wine up for grabs.  (burgundy or bordeaux, your choice and my finest recommendation)

@cecielt @seburnt @hoprea @lizziepinard   @ethess  @davidwarr @yearinthelifeof   @cintiastella  @naomishema @patjack67  @harrisonmike @janetbianchini  @shellterrell @marisa_C  @vicky_loras @dalecoulter @mtranslator @annabooklover @hoganmike @ddeubel @ann_f @eltbakery @willycard @languageweb @ozsolmaz @imadruid @kenwilsonlondon@heikephilp @cerirhiannon @cerirhiannon @annamusielak @tarabenwell @lclandfield @sandymillin @dudeney @tykendall @vladkaslniecko      @eslteachertim     @kalinagoenglish     @englishraven


However, it’s no fun to just give stuff away, so we need a bit of a challenge…



The spoils will go to the FIRST person to guess the SPECIFIC region in the world where this photo was taken.  Hint… it wasn’t in Paris.

If no one’s guessed by tomorrow, then I’ll give ya’ll a better hint, and the game’ll continue.  :)


BTW… if you’re not following the folks mentioned above, they are the best of the best. Plus, their blogs or websites are wonderful, so they all deserve a bottle of rouge, right ! AND… if you didn’t make the VIP list this time… I promise there is more fun to ensue very very soon, and it’s like we tell our students—

“participation is very very important”,  so let us hear ya’ll next time :)

LOL n cheers, brad


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About Brad

--- i'm a learner-teacher, language geek, outdoorsy kind-of-guy --- U might miss the next tweet... Wanna subscribe by email ? ;-)
  • Cecilia Lemos

    I have to say I checked the properties of the photo to try to find a hint…but nothing… Will do some research! ;-)

    My experience with social media is very similar to yours Brad, it had a 180 degree change after I joined the PLN and discovered what can be done with it, instead of the “I’m going out for groceries now…”. And I am very thankful for that!



  • Mike


  • Henrick Oprea

     Hmmm… Something in me is telling me this was taken in Chile, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because I’ve just watched a show about the survivors of the disaster in Chile in the 70s. OK, I just love it when my memory fails me like that, but it’s that one in which the survivors had to eat the flesh of their dead friends to survive… yeah, yeah… it’ll never come to me right now.

    Pretty honoured by the mention, and just like you and Ceci, the same thing happened to me. I had given blogs and twitter a try at least 3 times before I finally found out how to use it properly. :)



  • Dalecoulter

    Somewhere in China perhaps? 

  • Naomi Epstein

    Mazal Tov on your blog’s birthday!
    You even found a  way to connect the acronym PLN to etymology – YOUR challenge on this blog seems to be ouding yourself in creativity!

    I second everything Cecilia said – she was one of the people who helped me get started!

    My educated guess for the photo is Mexico! 

  • James Taylor

     I’m going to go with Mongolia, but only because I want to be mentioned on that list next time. I don’t drink you see, so you can send me a big lump of fromage if I’m right!

  • Anonymous

     Does Ohio have mountains? Is that France across the Channel? Germany…? Okay, let me think about this seriously for a moment. Is that in Corsica? 

  • Brad Patterson

    OOoooooo… there are a few that are pretty close.  Here’s the first REAL hint—-  it is somewhere I’ve lived.   So, all of these guesses, except Chile (unfortunately) could be peerrrrrty darn close :)       AND james, fromage might not travel well… my wife’s hometown’s speciality is artichokes and red onions… tempting ?

  • Brad Patterson

    I wish… no mountains in Cincinnati.  Good guesses… keep ‘em coming ! This is gonna be a high quality bottle of vin !!!

  • Brad Patterson

    yer a pretty darn good guesser, u are sir.  please see below for possible culinary reward 

  • Brad Patterson

     i like that guess… and i have lived in Mexico… what part of mexico might you say… we’re looking for a SPECIFIC region :)

  • Brad Patterson

     Glad you finally figured out the way to enjoy social media.  I’d been close to pulling the FB plug once or twice too.

    See my comment below for chile… and they have GREAT wine there !

  • Brad Patterson

     Basses-Pyrenées… what was that hashtag last night ?

  • Anonymous

     Sierra Madre Mountains? 

  • Hoganmike

    Hmm. Well, I don’t know where you’ve lived Brad, but I’m gonna go with New Zealand, south island.
    Happy blog birthday!!

  • Brad Patterson

    We’re getting closer geographically compared to your last guess, though still not right country :)  

  • Brad Patterson

     Been through there.  MAJESTIC.  no wine for you, yet :)

  • Brad Patterson

    hmm… china…. that’s an awfully big country :)   

  • Anna Varna

     I have no idea where the photo is, I’m not even try to guess, but I just wanted to say thank you for the mention and that this post comes on a day I was almost ready to pull the FB plug. But in honour of my great PLN I’ll keep hanging on! Thanks Brad!

  • Sandy Millin

     Hi Brad,
    Thanks very much for your mention :) I love reading your posts as I always learn something. My favourite was learning that ‘moon’ and ‘measure’ have the same root :) I joined Twitter way back in August, but didn’t start to use it properly until January, so have had a very similar experience to you. I’d always hoped social media would be useful for me as my aunt has used it to great effect with her business, but I had no idea how to approach it as a teacher until Shaun Wilden (@shaunwilden:disqus) – another great person to follow – came to our school and told us about it. I can honestly say that has changed my life and the way I approach teaching completely!
    Without really having any idea, I would like to say that your photo was taken in Kazakhstan, but that’s only because I’ve become fascinated with the landscape there since teaching a group of Kazakh students at summer school last year :)
    Looking forward to reading many more of your posts!

  • Vicky Loras

    Happy Birthday to youuuuuu, happy birthday to youuuuuuuu, happy birthday for your blog’s first moooooooooonth, happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu!!!!

    Yay! Yahoo! Whoop whoop to one of the most fun, nicest people I have ever connected to on Twitter : ) We are all so happy you joined in January, it was like we have known you much longer than that. The icing on the cake will be a super duper face to face tweet-up. 

    Thank you so much for including me up there with all those awesome people. Some I have met, some not – I hope to meet all of them and soon!

    Now about the place in the picture….is it in Mongolia? Never been, but reminds me of Mongolia as I have seen it in documentaries.

    See you soon, surfer dude!

    Many many thanks,

  • Brad Patterson

    You’re welcome, and it’s really me that should be thanking you !

    Glad that community is keeping you hanging on… if you do feel like guessing, it’s still open :)   

  • Brad Patterson

    I just plunged into twitter and think I fell pretty luckily into the hands of some kind PLN members.  Lucky us.  :)

    Kazakhstan , that’s getting close to the general area, and I think somebody’s gonna get it reaaaaal soon :)

  • Ken Wilson

     I’m going with Mongolia too… the only reason being the terrain looks the same colour as when I was flying over it earlier this year. 


  • Brad Patterson

     Mongolia has been the overall closest guess, and the most often guessed as well.  Nice work !!!!

    I think this means I have to get you all a little bit closer… hmmm…. 

    random hints—–     I could spend 7 years there….

  • Mike Harrison

     I think it’s in the Urals…

  • Ken Wilson

     Shandong Province, China – as close as that??

  • Brad Patterson

    WOW !!!    Now you’re talking my chinese hometown, and you’ve gotten closer to the region (coming from Mongolia).

    I spent 3 years in Shandong… a famous actor with my name spent 7 somewhere else :)  

  • Vicky Loras


    I don’t know….. (tick tock tick tock) um……………

  • Sandy Millin

     So with 7 years, it must be Tibet! But I don’t drink ;)  

  • Brad Patterson

    WINNER !!!!!!    CONGRATULATIONS… are you a Brad Pitt fan, or do you read the book ? 

    I loved both !This picture was taken in what historically would’ve been considered Tibet, though is now split off from tibet as part of Schezuan, 四川, “four rivers”, home of spicy spicy food, and the area hit with the earthquake a few years back.I’ll give the full pic story in the next post because it’s pretty cool.Sandy, would you still like a bottle of wine to give to a friend, PLN member, or maybe another french delicacy ?  Do you cook, like chocolate, or would you take a range check for TESOL france in November, and a specialized tour of the town ?  Shelly and Ceci will be staying at my spot and we could all go out for dinner on me :) I’ll DM for more details :)

  • James Taylor

     It’s Tibet!!

  • Brad Patterson

    yeppers… and the two folks who guessed don’t drink wine… oh the irony :)  

  • James Taylor

    Hehe, I didn’t do it just to be annoying, honest! I think artichokes and onions could travel from Paris to Brussels… ;-)  

  • Brad Patterson

    this and Mongolia was getting close, and certainly same topography  

  • Janet

    Hi Brad

    I’ve got here in the end!!  I think Sandy’s guessed it with Tibet, hasn’t she?  My first guess was Peru, so I was nowhere near close enough :)

    Thanks so much for including me in your list, Brad.  I feel honoured!  Happy  month birthday!
    I agree Twitter has certainly changed my outlook on life and I feel much more connected as a result.  It’s taken me to a lot of places, including  Brighton, where it was lovely to meet you.


  • Brad Patterson

    merci for the happy birthday !  and yes we all hope 2 have a big tweet-up soon.  IATEFL was awesome for that.  Bisous, Vicky ! 

  • Brad Patterson

    Great meeting you too, Janet !

    Brighton was great, and has amplified everything on the net.  I wake up most mornings excited to see what folks have said, done, blogged, want to share are seeking.   Kinda cool !

  • Brad Patterson

    we’ll getchya those tasty veggies then… as long as that’s legal :)  laposte can be picky about what yer allowed to send “internationally”.  Either way, good guessin, and now the second time you’ve won a blog-related prize !!!!  

    Impressive, James :)  

  • James Taylor

     Well, you can always save them for TesolFr later in the year. 

    And congratulations on the 1 month birthday!

  • Ceri Jones

    Oh no!  Looks like I missed the party :(  
    Very happy one month old!!
    But is that all?  Only a month? Really? Feels like your blog has been here forever (in a very, very good way :) )
    Consoling myself with the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to enter the competition as we’ve already discussed this photo … about a month ago ;)  

  • Sandy Millin

    I’ve never seen the film, although I do quite like Brad Pitt :) I thought it was one of those film titles that everyone knew, but apparently not. That shows you how much of a film nut I am…pretty addicted!
    Won’t be able to decide about whether I can go to TESOL France til I’m working in my new job and know how much I’m spending…but really hope I can be there! Would be great to meet everyone. If I’m not there, I’m planning to be at IATEFL next year and hope to meet a lot of you there!
    Thank you :)

  • Bethany

    TESOL France will offer a second bottle of wine if you do this competition again with a different picture. What do ya say, Brad?

  • MarisaConstantinides

    Looks like I missed all the fun but would have never guessed it anyways… :-)

    Any chance of the winners sharing some of that wine?

    Thanks for the mention, Brad, you’ve dived in head first and looks like you’re having a ball!

    It’s a great group of people and I feel so lucky too to be part of this widening circle which so generously takes people in as if they were lifelong friends.

    And lo and behold, soon they get to be that way!

    Cheers for your fab new blog and very creative posts and three cheers to this great PLN

    Looking forward to seeing you all soon!


  • seburnt

    Happy 1/12th bday, Brad’s blog!  Appreciate the VIP status 100%.   You deserve the follow too, so if any of you aren’t following Brad here, then you … I guess we’re at your blog, aren’t we?

    I loved social media since the day I joined Facebook in 2007.  I won’t lie.  I resisted Twitter for a while after signing up for it.  I just didn’t understand what to do with it. It’s the PLN that has shown me the light there.

  • Shelly Terrell

    Congratulations on the month! It’s been a pleasure learning from you Panda! You’re the craziest, most exciting and intelligent Panda I have ever met! Glad to call you friend and can’t wait to share more conversations with you on this blog, on the beach, and in Paris :-)

  • Marisa Pavan

     Che Brad!

    Happy birthday to your blog! What a wonderful way of celebrating! Thanks for considering me one of your VIP blog readers. I always enjoy your posts, which sound so conversational to me. I don’t imagine my life without Twitter or blogs. I’ve learnt so much since I joined Twitter and met the members of my PLN. I’m Twitterholic, I must admit it. I love reading blogs and making comments in them. It’s an enriching activity.

    As to the picture, I haven´t a clue but will go on thinking. They look like the Andes mountains.
    Hugs from Argentina!

  • Henrick Oprea

    Argh!!! If only I were not working and had seen this hint earlier!!! I’ve watched the film, in case you’re wondering why I’d remember it so easily..  :)

    Congrats Sandy! 


    Gotta be in China. Perhaps even Tibet.

    西藏 or 新疆


    Ha ha ha. I just read the other comments, and while I am a geographical genius I am also very slow.   

  • Osman Solmaz

    Well, I’m too late for guessing bu I would say somewhere in Latin America, way down like Chile or Argetina! Since I don’t drink wine, not sad at all :D

    It’s such a great post Brad and it’s amazing that you have decided to blog and share your great posts whenever you have some time. I truly love having you around Twitter and blogs and thanks so much for the experiences you have shared with us!

    Hope you will have many many upcoming months for birthday celebrations, bro!

  • Language Garden

    Hi Brad, sorry to have joined in so late, I thought it was in China, not too far from your violin factory. Tibet it is, then. It’s amazing how similar it looks to other places that have been suggested. I always think it’s cool how plants from totally different places are related, or have similar characteristics, which always makes me think about languages, how on the surface they can seem so different, but they actually all share many fundamentals and only the surface features are tweaked. Anyway, great challenge, I’m sorry I missed the loard mayor’s show. It was a busy day yesterday…

  • Brad Patterson

    well, if it’s not in France then i’ll have to sneak a millefeuille over the border on my next trip.  Shhh…. :)

    Definitely looking forward to the meet-up.  

  • Brad Patterson

    merci !  so you’ll be at TESOL france then ?  VERY cool… i’ll get extra onions and elephant garlic and artichokes 4 ya ! :)  

  • Brad Patterson

    I did remember that I had told one special person a little while ago :)  but I knew you’d be fair.  Bethany offers a second competition below… so it looks like you’ll get your fair shot at a bottle… and then of course, in November we’ve already planned for a nice dégustation !

  • Brad Patterson

    Deal !  I’l have my people talk to your people :)  

  • Brad Patterson

    I agree whole-heartedly with your sentiment.  3 Cheers !!! 

  • Brad Patterson

    and a beautiful light it is ! 

  • Brad Patterson

    oui oui oui.

    bisous ! 

  • Brad Patterson

    you are definitely VIP here, Che Marisa… and remember, I’m Che Bradludo :)

    Hugs from Paris—- long arms extending over the BIG ol’ atlantic ! 

  • Brad Patterson

    right you are, and wrong time zone you are too… bummer… you even wrote the charaters !!!!  I’ll make sure to time it next time so you get a head start :)  

  • Brad Patterson

    not slow… asleep probably !  :) 

  • Brad Patterson

    For the year celebration we’ll make it super big and fun !

    Thanks for all your support, Osman.  You are a super side-kick :)  

  • Brad Patterson

    You would’ve guessed close.

    The main violin workshop is close to Shanghai, and to get there, it’d take maybe 15 hours driving…which is close by China standards.

    I’ll post more on this specific spot and the trip that surrounded that experience.  VERY cool. 

  • Bete Thess

    Hey, Brad.

    I am really honoured to have been graded 100% VIP! Wow! Like you, I’m a novice in the digital EFL community, but you outdo my performance in a wonderfully enjoyable, fun way. Congrats on the success of your blog and on the innovative ideas to keep people engaged.

    My professional life changed completely after I joined Twitter and started buliding my PLN and again after I started writing a blog. It’s as if you started challenging yourself every day, reading from other people and checking where you stand, your beliefs and even your knowledge. I’m absolutely in love with it all and getting more and more involved each day. Thanks for being part of it, thanks for inspiring me and so many other people.

    It’s a pity I missed the competition for the rouge. I’d have loved that, but my guess would’ve been New Zealand, not Tibet. :( I’ll be in for the next, though!:)

    Abraços from Brazil!

    Bete Thess

  • James Taylor

     Nice one – I look forward to them!

  • Julie Raikou

     Missed your blog’s bday.  Many Happy Returns!  Too busy celebrating Mr. Mark Andrews real bday! You have to promise to attend ISTEK 2013 or Damouchari.  Otherwise I’ll be tracking TESOL Fr.  Really lk fwd to hearing more abt yr Tibet experience!


  • Willy C.

     late… I’m very late for your b-day party!
    I even asked a friend to design an app that will take any picture and say where in the globe it is. but he’s just as late.

    I’ve been enjoying your stuff here, Brad! Keep ‘em coming!

    and if I’m not in Mars, see you at TESOL France!

    à bientôt

  • Brad Patterson

    Hey Julie.  Thanks for stopping by!

    Very cool.  I really hope to make ISTEK 2013 but that seems like lightyears away. Burcu and the turkish PLN were so cool at IATEFL, I’d almost go just to check out their home scene, let alone bathe in the inspiring waters of an ELT conference.  :)
    More to come on Tibet !

  • Brad Patterson

    VERY cool !  Your comment warmed my heart.  Yes, it is so rewarding all that goes on here, and brings so much back to our respective classrooms. 

    A big merci and abraço back to you.  Cheers :)  b 

  • Brad Patterson

     Hope u aren’t in Mars… unless it’s a mardi… which would kind of make sense. :)

    Don’t you love those “flashes of genius” that putter out when you realize someone else had them before you… doesn’t happen to often, but the irony of those moments is precious.

    Your blog rocks, and has earned a firm position on my very choosy blog roll, à mon goût !  Please keep them coming, as well, Willy, especially the recent short n sweet— packing a punch without requiring too much ADD reader investment— very 21st century , and in line with my approaches on how to engage an audience on the web !   cheers, b

  • Ania

    Yay, can finally read the blog – thanks  for fixing the bug;) And I’m sure if only I was able to read the whole post I would have guessed;) That wine would be happy with me;) Anyway – congrats on your blog’s month birthday:) STO LAT as we say:) Ania

  • Brad Patterson

    YEA !!!!  u finally made it :)  AND yes, that wine would’ve been happy with you, and many more await your arrival in Paris in november !!!!!!!!

    Big hugs for the blog birthday wishes.  Bisous, b 

  • Cintia Stella

    Happy belated birthday to your blog and thank you for your mention!

    As a former travel consultant, I was sure that the photo had not been taken in South America, and I had the feeling that it was somewhere in Asia (probably because you are a yogi and martial artist, which led me to conclude that you were connected to Asia somehow).

    Apart from being very talented, you  have a beautiful personality that shines through your writing.  You always have a word of encouragement and a funny comment to make the day brighter. Congratulations on the well-deserved success of your blog!

  • Brad Patterson

    Hey thanks, Cintia.  That’s very sweet of you.  Some nice words ring a bit false, but I take yours at face value and am touched.  MERCI :)

    I certainly was drawn to asia for the yoga/martial arts.  So much depth in those practices.  Look forward to hearing more and more about your new classroom activities.  BISOUS :)   Brad Che Bradludo

  • Anonymous

     Hey Brad,

    I’m a geography nut and sorry I missed the contest! But better late than never. I probably (in all honesty) would have gone with Patagonia – memories of Chatwin knocking in my head.    

    but you got me thinking I should make a blog post and list of the best Geography based games / resources for teachers. It’s coming up.  Promise, next contest I’ll be the first in the water! 


  • Brad Patterson

    MAN… i’d love to make it to Patagonia one day.  Keep me posted on your geography games/resources for teachers.  One of the relaxed fun classes I do with the university students was jeopardy.  Good times…

    and good luck in the next contest.  Maybe it’ll be café noir !     

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