Laura Loves Languages

A place for many opinions

2015 Update to Chloebentley’s Blog

To all my friends and family, I am blessed to be blogging in my sixth decade. I still have so much more I want to do, even though what I do right now is enough activity for at least six people. Last month, I walked a 1/2 marathon called the DC Rock n’ Roll. Cannot tell you how elated this achievement makes me.

For seven years, I have been helping all those who are searching for a cure to fight multiple sclerosis, alongside the most badass fighter I know, my own child. She is an inspiring advocate for health of body, mind and spirit and a true inspiration to our whole family. She is frankly the first reason I have paid such attention to my own diet and fitness level. I am in the best shape physically as I have been in many years,as a tribute to her and thanks to her.

I am still in the most exciting profession that anyone can have, a career in World Languages. This profession has brought me full circle from teaching French and Portuguese in the early years at my alma mater and now at ,y own institution. Presently, I teach all of my classes online, through one of the pioneers in distance learning.

I continue my journey in the world of OER, the solution to making educational materials to the world. This year, I will be working as Editor of MERLOT World Languages for 15 years. Through MERLOT, I have become involved in the MERLOT Africa Network. I am very proud of this work.

So what shall we talk about?

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Community College, e-learning, Languages, MS Awareness, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Capital Challenge Walk 2010

CCW-LexIt’s CCW week and we are all busy bees getting ready for the 50K. I’ll be walking for two days and cannot wait to get started!

A lot has changed since last year at this time when we were Challenge Walk and MS newbies. After the two years since diagnosis, Lexi has amazed us in her utter strength in the face of this horrible and unpredictable disease. I have sat with her often in the last year when she suffered pain that I wished I could take from her. It was as if she were still that baby that I would hold close to me when she had colic or when she was a young child growing that six-foot wing span.
This spring, we went to Florida for Mother’s Day and the hot sun that we have always loved was both our joy and our enemy. MS does not do heat. Making her way from the street to the beach took every bit of strength we all had- her Dad, Lexi and me. One side of her body completely stiffened and flat refused to go forward. Little by little we made our way, the end result being the cooling emerald green waters where she moved and glided with total freedom. I can still feel my joy that day to see her splashing and enjoying the movement of the water. We stayed in the ocean as long as we could. When finally we had to get out, it was really hard for her to stand up again. Lexi really did not want to accept help from a stranger, but he was right there and so nice to her. He pretended to be showing off his strength to some women he’d met at the beach and helped lift Lex right out of the water. We all applauded his chivalry. People are so nice sometimes, another lesson we learn all the time these days because of MS. Lexi’s sister, Angela and brother-in-law Dennis have fund-raised tirelessly. They walked in Washington Walk MS and went back to NYC and did Walk MS there. Angela has made websites and designed marketing pieces that rival the work of any agency in an effort to make a difference. She is tenacious and uses her endless creativity and talents to lead us on the team. All the motivation comes from the same place. We cannot sit by and do nothing. The whole family is united in the fight, my own Mom, Marie, my stepfather Paul, my brother, sister, their families are all supporting us. We are very blessed.

Talking about the kindness of people, MS is BS will reach our $15,000 goal for the National MS Society this year, more than we raised in our inaugural year and hopefully less than we’ll do next year. A gifted artist from across the country donated his entire inventory of wearable art which we sold at craft fairs and markets. Painters and photographers donated paintings and pictures, a potter gave us pots and candlesticks . Renowned musicians donated their time in concerts and team members baked cakes. We were the winning charity for a Chef’s challenge won by our friends at Maple Ave…….Friends and family just gave and gave. Colleagues at work and longtime friends gave. We definitely feel the love from our spectacular team, the National MS Society, and all the folks we’ve met on other teams. We all support each other and that’s what CCW is all about.
If you are reading this post, check out our web presence at Please keep all who have to deal with MS in any way in your thoughts and prayers. Two days, 50K closer to a cure.

September 23, 2010 Posted by | MS Awareness | Leave a comment

Summer 2009



Anyway you look at it, it’s summer in DC! Look how long it’s been since I’ve been in this blog!! Meu Deus no ceu, nao posso acreditar!!

These days I have been spending a lot more time in town and the doggies are certainly happy about that. I have had the time to bundle up my delicious and to twitter about language stuff. Summer is great for catching up with things I could not do before the AY ended.

no braces

I also get to spend more time with my  babies, which is way overdue. Priorities are coming into sharp focus and  I am convinced that this is how it was always meant to be.  We are battling, but we’re all so happy to have each other. Life is good.

MS is BS is gearing up for the Capital Challenge Walk in DC and we’ll be walking. We’ve already done pretty well with fundraising. Rick’s musician friends all pitched in for a BBQ blues jam to benefit our team. It was historic, the music was perfect, and the rain relented and gave way to the summer sun.

Life is good.

July 12, 2009 Posted by | Languages, MS Awareness | Leave a comment

A Pill for MS is Coming and then a cure….

I know this is a language blog, but it is also about me. So please indulge me in a moment on the laura side…..

I have to be hopeful. It is all I have. I was in Brazil last summer, nine hours on the plane away from my family, when I learned that my 21 year old daughter has MS. How could that possibly be? These days we watch many of her AAU basketball buddies with whom she played in high school battling it out in the ACC and Big East- Duke, UConn, Maryland. My little girl with the six foot wingspan and leopard print cane battles a different opponent and we are proud of her tenacious D.

This is MS Awareness month. Every hour someone else is diagnosed. They will feel sick, feel hot, feel cold, lose their balance, sleep a lot and then suffer amnesia. They will lose feeling in their feet and legs and then get sensation back and lose it again. They will feel the love of their friends and family and still feel very alone. They will inject themselves every other day with the hope that their treatment will be successful.

Yet this is MS Awareness month and look what I found out today:

In April, we will be walking in Walk MS. We have hope that a pill is coming. A pill and then a cure. All of you who have MS or have loved ones who do, we walk for you, too. MS does not define us. One love, one heart.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | MS Awareness, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment