Saturday, July 19, 2014



    1. mild and refreshing; soft; soothing: balmy weather .
    2. having the qualities of balm; aromatic; fragrant: balmy leaves .
    3. producing balm: balmy plants; a balmy shrub .
On and off and on and off until he was laughing at the magic of the running water and the chickenand bread that lay balmy  in his stomach.
-- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun 2006
Imagine now, while the curtain's falling, that it's a fine balmy  day and the smell of clams coming infrom the bay.
-- Henry Miller, Black Spring 1936

Thursday, July 3, 2014



  1. unlawfully conceived : illegitimate
  2. having a disreputable or improper origin
  3. not worthy of respect or approval.
  • Many hoped that the newly-elected administration would focus on ending what they perceived to be a misbegotten war.
  • "The annals of medical history are strewn with wrongheaded theories, misbegotten paradigms and woefully ill-conceived treatments. U.S. physicians no longer prescribe heroin to children afflicted by coughs—common practice in 1912. Lobotomies, all the rage into the 1950s, too, are passé." — Chase Olivarius-Mcallister,The Durango Herald (Colorado), May 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014



Today, June 18th, is the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo! In 1815, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte suffered their final defeat in the "The Battle of Waterloo", and the Napoleonic Wars were over. The French were defeated by Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Blucher from Prussia.

The battle was fought a few kilometres south of Brussels in Belgium and was over within a single day. It marked the end of 23 years of conflict across Europe resulting from Napolean's attempt to establish a French Empire across much of the continent. Napoleon was exiled to the island of St Helena where he died in 1821.


Forces (noun): people in the military services; soldiers, sailors etc.
Allied armies (noun): armies from different countries fighting on the same side
Continent (noun): one of the world's large land masses (Africa, Asia etc)
Exile (verb): send out of one's country (usually for political reasons)

Today marks the 199th anniversary of this event. Look at our posts every week for a new 'this week in history' post!

The Team

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


This Wednesday, May 28th, is the anniversary of the fall of the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune was a revolutionary and socialist government that briefly ruled Paris from 18 March until 28 May 1871. The killing of two French army generals by soldiers of the Commune's National Guard and the refusal of the Commune to accept the authority of the French government led to its harsh suppression by the regular French Army in "La Semaine sanglante" ("The Bloody Week") beginning on 21 May 1871. Debates over the policies and outcome of the Commune had significant influence on the ideas of Karl Marx.

How did it all began? Well, on 2 September 1870, after his unexpected defeat at the Battle of Sedan in the Franco-Prussian War, Emperor Louis Napoleon III surrendered to the Prussian Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. When the news reached Paris on 3 September, shocked and angry crowds came out into the streets, the Empress Eugenie, the regent of the Emperor, fled the city, and the Government of the Second Empire swiftly collapsed. Republican and radical deputies of the French National Assembly went to the Hotel de Ville and proclaimed the new French Republic, and formed a Government of National Defense. Though the Emperor and the French Army had been defeated at Sedan, the war continued. The German army marched swiftly toward Paris.

On the morning of 27 May, the regular army soldiers of Generals Grenier, Ladmirault and Montaudon launched an attack on the National Guard artillery on the heights of the Buttes-Chaumont. The heights were captured at the end of the afternoon by the first regiment of the French Foreign Legion. The last remaining strongpoint of the National Guard was the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise, defended by about two hundred men. At 6:00 in the evening, the army used cannon to demolish the gates and the First Regiment of naval infantry stormed into the cemetery. Savage fighting followed around the tombs until nightfall, when the last one hundred and fifty Guardsmen, many of them wounded, were surrounded and surrendered. The captured guardsman were taken to the wall of the cemetery, known today as the Communards' Wall, and shot.

On 28 May, the regular army captured the last remaining positions of the Commune, which offered little resistance. In the morning the regular army captured la Roquette prison and freed the remaining 170 hostages. The army took fifteen hundred prisoners at the National Guard position on Rue Haxo, and two thousand more at Derroja, near Pere-Lachaise. A handful of barricades at rue Ramponneau and rue de Tourville held out into the middle of the afternoon, when all resistance ceased.

The Paris Commune inspired other uprisings named or called Communes: in Moscow (December 1905); Budapest (March–July 1919); Canton (December 1927), and, most famously, Saint Petersburg (1917). The Commune was regarded with admiration and awe by later Communist and leftist leaders, including Vladimir LeninJoseph Stalin and Mao. It also inspired anarchism in significant historical uprisings.

Today marks the 143rd anniversary of this event. Look at our posts every week for a new 'this week in history' post!

The Team

*All materials, including the pictures, were obtained from the history of the Commune by Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray, a comprehensive collection of eye-witness accounts referenced to original sources are presented in "Paris under Siege" by Joanna Richardson and Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Huge Milestone!!!

Dear tutors and students,

Let us celebrate a huge achievement we earned just last month! March 24th marked a huge milestone for us. Thanks to our interns’ tremendous efforts, we now have 101 accepted tutors! This means that we had a 304% growth in tutor base over a 3-month period!

We also went from averaging 200 monthly chat sessions to 340 weekly and student complaints have decreased significantly. 

Never before have we reached such high numbers, and we, as the TutorChatLive family, have never been so proud that we kept going during harder times. We're further proving our concept; there are numerous people willing to join our cause and work for equal educational opportunities. This doesn't mean that we've arrived at our destination: We never want to arrive! But these successes prove that we're on a great path upwards. We must keep doing what we do best and continue building TCL with renewed vigor, knowing that our work makes a huge direct impact in students' lives. We are really excited to share with you many more achievements along the way.  

Cheers to our great interns’ work!

The TCL Team

Friday, March 7, 2014

Our first high school partnership!

Dear tutors and students,

Please let us introduce you to TutorChatLive's first high school partnership---California Scholarship Federation - Lynbrook High School Chapter!  

CSF is a prestigious honor society that provides members with several opportunities to perform community service while pursuing academic excellence. Students who wish to join the club must meet a specific academic grade point average, and must participate regularly to retain membership. Currently, CSF has over 190 members, making it the largest volunteer club at Lynbrook High. CSF offers its members opportunities to participate in a plethora of volunteer events, including gardening, marathons, and organizational charity activities. 

Currently 17 dedicated volunteer tutors from CSF are working with us. Since the start of our partnership, CSF tutors have volunteered 329 hours in total and have conducted 232 chats.With help from CSF, we're building a large network of volunteer tutors, effectively garnering community support to assist students academically

We would also like to give a special thank to Anna Her and Patrick Zhang from CSF. Anna and Patrick are currently interning with us and have provided incredible support to help us grow TCL.

Thanks again to CSF! We would not have been able to provide as much high quality tutoring to our students without CSF members' dedication and commitment. We would love to continue to witness how CSF and TCL help each other grow!

TCL team

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Today in History---March 7,2014

Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone

On this day in 1876, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell  receives a patent for his revolutionary new invention--the telephone.
The Scottish-born Bell worked in London with his father, Melville Bell, who developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf. In the 1870s, the Bells moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where the younger Bell found work as a teacher at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf. He later married one of his students, Mabel Hubbard.
While in Boston, Bell became very interested in the possibility of transmitting speech over wires. Samuel F.B. Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1843 had made nearly instantaneous communication possible between two distant points. The drawback of the telegraph, however, was that it still required hand-delivery of messages between telegraph stations and recipients, and only one message could be transmitted at a time. Bell wanted to improve on this by creating a "harmonic telegraph," a device that combined aspects of the telegraph and record player to allow individuals to speak to each other from a distance.
With the help of Thomas A. Watson, a Boston machine shop employee, Bell developed a prototype. In this first telephone, sound waves caused an electric current to vary in intensity and frequency, causing a thin, soft iron plate--called the diaphragm--to vibrate. These vibrations were transferred magnetically to another wire connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument. When that diaphragm vibrated, the original sound would be replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument.