Reflections on Writing: Dreams, Desires & Determination

Six Months Have Come, and Gone.

Once, a long, long time ago, I dreamed of being a writer. My desires came face to face with reality, and I did not become a writer. Instead, I lived my life. I became a soldier, for ten years. I became a nurse, for ten years. I have been a teacher of English, for ten years.

No, I’ve been a teacher all my life. I once told my wife, Gaby, I was born a teacher. She smiled at me, thinking I was joking. Then, after getting a better look at me, she realised I wasn’t joking. I explained to her how all my life, no matter where I have been, no matter what I have done, I have always been, first, foremost, and always…a teacher.

Within that lifetime experience of being the one people turned to, for the explanation to things that others tried to explain, was the awakening of determination, to one day tell my story, and my stories.

Dreams, desires, and determination are excellent qualities for someone who wants to be a writer. You have to dream that you can do it. Not have someone tell you that you can do it, but have a profound knowledge that your destiny is to write your story. That’s what I call a “Dream”.

Without “Desire” your dreams will die with you. All of your stories will be buried with you. No one will remember your name, that you lived, that you had your own unique way of being a part of this world, and making sense of it by putting your innermost thoughts and emotions in a permanent form, the written word. Desire, however, will not let you deny the deep longings that are a part of your very DNA, desiring expression.


Yet even desire lacks one final element. Determination is needed. Determination makes you realise that one day your day is coming. Where I come from (Luxora, Arkansas), the people like to say: A dream deferred is not a dream denied.

In other words, you achieve your dreams through persistence. Just because you didn’t achieve your dream today, maybe you will tomorrow, if you keep trying. Maybe you will succeed next week, next month, next year, next decade, or in my case, the next 5 decades, if you keep the dream alive within you.

That is what it will take for you to realise your dreams, persistence in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Just don’t quit.

Don’t you dare quit, don’t ever give up, never.

Keep dreaming, keep the flames of your desire alive, and keep determination, in a persistent kind of never-say-never-until-the-fat-lady-sings kind of way, and sure enough, your day, your moment, will come.

It did for me, and it will for you too.

I’ve been a one man publishing house since February, 2012. That’s six (6) months of living a dream. No, that’s not true. Let me explain.

I always wanted to write a book. Yes, that’s right. I said, “a” book. One, just one piece of writing, a real book, with my name on it. It took me a lifetime, over fifty years (and a few months now) to realize that dream. To be perfectly honest, no publisher, no editor, no one contacted me and asked me to write a book. Further, I didn’t bother to send out any manuscripts or copies of my work.

After all, who would be interested in actually paying to read something written by a guy who lives in Chile, practically at the end of the world? Maybe, if I lived in New York, or Berlin, or London, or Paris, or Moscow, you know, one of those big, fancy, middle of the world, modern city, metropolis, megalopolis places, then maybe, people just might be willing to take a chance on something written by someone who writes the way I write.

So, that was that. And then one day technology changed everything. All I had to do was write my book, and following a simple process, become a published author! What’s more, I could do everything at home, all by myself.

OK, that was interesting, so I did it. And along the way, I discovered that writing a book was the easy part. So, I learned the ropes, how to do as much as I could, based on the knowledge that was freely available on the internet about self-publishing.

Free. All of this requires no investment. There is no physical location where a hundred or a thousand books by Thomas Jerome Baker is being stored. The system is called, “Print on Demand”.

How does it work? Well, when you find a book written by Thomas Jerome Baker, and purchase it, from either Amazon or Createspace, they will print the book for you. Or, if you want to read an electronic copy (ebook), Amazon Kindle will make it available to you, immediately.

To conclude, I return to my original words. I’ve been able to live out a dream. It is very fulfilling to go to sleep at night and know that the stories that were inside of me have been shared with the world. The things I have wanted to say, about the topics that were of interest to me, I’ve said, in a permanent, for-posterity (after I’m gone) kind of way.

So, when the day comes that my remains are but dust in the wind, the evidence of my having lived, loved, dreamed, and simply been a part of this magnificent thing we call “life”, will continue, on and on, into infinity itself. And who knows?

Maybe one day, a hundred days from now, a hundred months from now, or even a hundred years from now, it will be pretty cool thing to have a book that was written by Thomas Jerome Baker.

Of course, you don’t have to wait that long. You could get your book by Thomas Jerome Baker today. Keep it in good condition, and when the time comes, you will know what to do with your book: keep it as a treasured memory of the imagination, or you could also…

Well, before you do anything, first of all, you’ve got to get your book, written by my favorite author, Thomas Jerome Baker.

I hope you enjoy your story, your book, for it was written by me, for you, the reader(s)…

Pinterest: Paperback Books by Thomas Jerome Baker

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Amazon Author Page: Books by Thomas Jerome Baker

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The Mother Tongue

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom: How We Learn English [Kindle Edition]

Book Description
Publication Date: September 21, 2012

The Mother Tongue Taboo (speak only English in the classroom) addresses all the “Taboo Topics”: Monolingual Fallacy, Native Speaker Fallacy, Early Start Fallacy, and More is Better Fallacy.

This book transparently shows 2 countries, one successful, one with marginal results at best, where Linguistic Imperialism, ie. the Four Fallacy Thinking…is not a Fallacy, but Reality, or Evidence-Based Results. In other words, it’s not ideology, not philosophy, but responds to the real world rather than an imagined world.

When you read this book, do so with an open mind. Above all, prepare to have your thinking challenged.

If you teach English, or if you have children, if you don’t trust ideology and instead prefer factual evidence, this book is a must have, it is for you, it is for those like you…

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom” is told from my point of view. Yet, in a larger sense, it’s an ELT story that makes the effort to share, a moment in time, with some very special people, in a very special country – Chile, a place time forgot, a place where we do things the Chilean Way.

Don’t bother looking for it on the map. Be content to know it is located at the end of the world, literally.

One of the most defining characteristics of an EFL classroom in Chile is the quality of the teacher. If the teacher teaches English in English, they display what the quality of their beliefs are, namely, “in this classroom there is no place for the mother tongue.”

If the teacher teaches English in Spanish, maybe they read my book, but weren’t impressed. The teacher’s beliefs are also on display, namely, “there is a place for the mother tongue in this classroom.”

Who is right? Who is wrong? At any rate, the language that the teacher teaches in, is crucial. It will ultimately define the students’ achievements.

As you read the book, stay with me. I have not chosen the direct path, because, if you do not have the background on what it is like to use language as an instrument of national policymaking, then you will end up with a misinterpretation of a simple question: Should the mother tongue be used in the Chilean EFL classroom?

After reading this book, you will understand why the Chilean teacher teaches as s/he does, and be in a good position to reexamine your own practice…

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Product Details
File Size: 938 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B009F51VCW

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom: How We Learn English [Kindle Edition]

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Memoir: The Last Shot

The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other: 1980 Luxora Panthers [Paperback]

Thomas Jerome Baker (Author)

“The Last Shot” is told from my point of view.

Yet, in a larger sense, it’s a story that makes the effort to keep something alive, a memory of a moment in time I shared with some very special people from a small town called Luxora, Arkansas, my hometown, population 1,317.

Don’t bother looking for it on the map. You won’t find it unless you know exactly where to look.

Be content to know it is located about 4 miles east of Osceola, Arkansas on Highway 61… or 12 miles west of Blytheville, Arkansas, same highway.

One of the most defining characteristics of a small town in Arkansas is the quality and traditions of its local high school sports teams.

In 1980, I had the great fortune to be a member of two of Luxora’s greatest sports teams ever: the State Championship track and field team of 1980 and the State Runner-Up basketball team of 1980.

I graduated on May 17, 1980 and since I left, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been back to Luxora.

This book, about the Luxora Panthers basketball team of 1980, is a memoir of sorts, pieced together from my memories and from news clippings about our team.

It’s a way for me to go back, in my mind’s eye, like a bird high in the sky, and look once again upon my Luxora, as I remember it to be.

I thank you kindly, if you decide to join me on this journey back to Luxora, Arkansas, home of the mighty Luxora Panthers…

Product Details

Paperback: 116 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(September 17, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1479329762
ISBN-13: 978-1479329762

The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other: 1980 Luxora Panthers [Paperback]

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Memoir: The Last Shot

The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other [Kindle Edition]

Book Description

Publication Date: September 15, 2012

“The Last Shot” is told from my point of view.

Yet, in a larger sense, it’s a story that makes the effort to keep something alive, a memory of a moment in time I shared with some very special people from a small town called Luxora, Arkansas, my hometown, population 1,317.

Don’t bother looking for it on the map. Be content to know it is located about 4 miles east of Osceola, Arkansas on Highway 61… or 12 miles west of Blytheville, Arkansas, same highway.

One of the most defining characteristics of a small town in Arkansas is the quality and traditions of its local high school sports teams.

In 1980, I had the great fortune to be a member of two of Luxora’s greatest sports teams ever: the State Championship track and field team of 1980 and the State Runner-Up basketball team of 1980.

I graduated on May 17, 1980 and since I left, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been back to Luxora.

This book, about the Luxora Panthers basketball team of 1980, is a memoir of sorts, pieced together from my memories and from news clippings about our team.

It’s a way for me to go back, in my mind’s eye, like a bird high in the sky, and look once again upon my Luxora, as I remember it to be.

I thank you kindly, if you decide to join me on this journey back to Luxora, Arkansas, home of the mighty Luxora Panthers…

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BSD5EU

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Luxora: My Hometown

This book is autobiographical. It relies on my subjective remembrance. There is a clear delineation between fact and fiction. I have tried to be true, above all, to my own Luxora experience. Everyone who is a Luxora Panther, with black and gold blood flowing through our veins, will find a bit of their story, told in my autobiographical essays. For this reason, I wish to share and thus dedicate this book to all the people of Luxora, Arkansas, my hometown.

Kindle Reader Edition: $0.99

Download Free Kindle for PC

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How to Coach A Debate Team

How to Coach A Debate Team [Kindle Edition]

This book contains all you need to know to successfully coach a debate team. You may need to convince students that debate is a good idea, though. Here are six reasons:
1. Debating ability is a valuable skill.
2. Debate utilizes useful English.
3. It is a unique way to teach grammar.
4. It develops critical thinking skills.
5. It introduces global issues.
6. It develops research skills.

A more powerful reason to coach a debate team is given to us by Dr. Martin Luther King: ““Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace… If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

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The International Baccalaureate [Kindle Edition]

The International Baccalaureate [Paperback]

The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.

It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.

I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.

In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.

I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.

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Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

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Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.

He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.

Thomas is also an ex-member (2011-2012) of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

Thomas was recently selected for membership in the Comunidad de Innovación Escolar, from among hundreds of educators. The CIE promotes innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial-mindedness at the grass roots level, in the education community of its members, as well as in the wider education community.

Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty six (46) books overall.

The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.

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Amazon

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom: How We Learn English [Paperback]

“The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom” is told from my point of view. Yet, in a larger sense, it’s an ELT story that makes the effort to share, a moment in time, with some very special people, in a very special country – Chile, a place time forgot, a place where we do things the Chilean Way. Don’t bother looking for it on the map. Be content to know it is located at the end of the world, literally.

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom: How We Learn English [Paperback]

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Pinterest: Paperback Books by Thomas Jerome Baker

Pinterest: Amazon Books by Thomas Jerome Baker

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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