University English: the blog for ESL students

September 8, 2016

My Introduction

Filed under: Introduction — richardlstansfield @ 1:27 am

Hi everyone.

Thanks for coming.

I decided to introduce myself here because this is the web-site that I used for six years as a supplement to my lessons. Through it I kept my students informed, stored useful pictures and video links, etc. Feel free to explore around if you want. (I’m not sure how interesting you will find it, though. You might be interested in the presentations that my students made.) If you’re curious, I also have a couple of other websites which I made for a couple of special English as a Second Language courses that I taught. One was oriented towards science, and the other centered on music.


I was born in Vancouver, but when I was about two years old, my parents and I moved to a suburb of Montreal, where I grew up. After earning a bachelor’s in psychology, I switched to education (specifically, Teaching English as a Second Language). I loved psychology, but as I prepared to go to graduate school in it, I felt that education might be a more suitable career for me. After graduating with another bachelor’s, this one in TESL, I went to South Korea, intending to only stay for a year. I ended up staying for over nineteen. In my last few years there, I felt I wanted to further develop my education, so I made plans to attend graduate school after returning to Canada.

While I was in Korea, I had a new type of corrective eye surgery. I had very high myopia (short-sightedness), so neither lasik nor lasek would have corrected my vision. I had contact lenses inserted into my eyes. Here are some pictures showing what that looks like and you can click here to read more about it.


How I ended up at UNB

While in Korea, I read the book “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. If you’ve never heard of that book, you can get a sense of it by reading an article by the same author called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” I knew that that was what I wanted to study at graduate school. I looked up the names of a couple of the researchers at the back of the book and e-mailed them. I was directed to a researcher in Norway named Anne Mangen. I asked if there was someone in Canada I could study with. I was pointed towards a professor at the University of Alberta named Cathy Adams. She asked me where I was from in Canada. At the time, I was still in Korea, but I replied that I grew up in Quebec, where my family is still located. She informed me that if I would like to return to Eastern Canada, and I quote, “I can highly recommend Dr. Ellen Rose at UNB.” So I contacted Professor Rose via e-mail, applied to UNB, and returned to Canada. After staying for a while with one of my sisters in Quebec, I moved to Fredericton at the end of July 2016.


Ironically, I moved to Fredericton to be a full-time, on-campus graduate student, but all of the courses that I’ve taken or will take, save one, are all online. For those who are curious, those courses were: Introduction to Research, Needs Assessment, Issues in Educational Technology (my only face-to-face course), Introduction to Instructional Design, and Instructional Design for Online Learners.


In my free time, I like to stay fit. I’ve run nine half-marathons and a 15 km run. Here’s a picture of me after finishing one of my half-marathons, with my finisher’s medal.


This coming May 14, I’ll be running a half-marathon in Fredericton. It’ll be my tenth.

The ironic thing is that I actually don’t like running that much. I find it to be kind of boring compared to other kinds of exercise. So why do I run half-marathons? Because it’s the ultimate fitness test, and a goal that I can work towards.

By the way, if any of you are interested in accessing free, high-quality exercise videos, go here. All of their videos are rated by difficult levels, from 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult). You can also find their videos their YouTube channel. Other YouTube channels that you might want to check out are Joanna Soh, Blogilates, Millionaire Hoy, and Christine Salus.


After living in Korea for so long, you might think that I developed a love of K-pop (Korean pop music). However, I actually find Japanese music to be more interesting. One reason is because they don’t see anything strange with mixing different genres. For example:

Wagakki Band

They blend traditional Japanese instruments (wagakki) and shigin (poetry performance) with modern rock music.



They are the unlikely mix of heavy metal and J-pop (Japanese pop music).


Pop Meets Metal

I also like heavy metal versions of pop songs.

Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion”

Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”

“Levels” by Avicii and Skrillex

Adele’s “Hello”

Anyway, that’s all for now.

See you online.



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