RUE Episode 96: The Storm

This episode takes viewers into the Columbian Era, and demonstrates some of the terrible effects that Spain’s discovery had on the people who lived in the West Indies – effects that would ripple out to all parts of both American continents, into today, and will likely continue into the future.

The Strom
The landing of Columbus is America – 1492. This began the Columbian Era and the destruction of Native American culture. It’s an events that still has effects in today’s world.

Watching Episode 96

Working from home, I’ve produced Episode 96 of Ramping Up your English. The main focus is the arrival of Europeans to America. You can watch the entire episode from Just click here to go right to Episode 96: The Storm.

Episode Summary

We began Episode 96 with a quick review of simple past-tense verbs. These basic forms are indispensable for relating events from the past.

The name of this episode is The Storm. The featured video shows the background of the voyages of Columbus, and how the interactions of Columbus and his crew affected the Tainos: the Native Americans who welcomed these Europeans to the island in the Caribbean Sea.

The video was followed by a list of actions and situations that occurred during the time of Columbus, with an eye to finding patterns in Native American/European interactions.

Videos Used in Episode 96

The focus of this episode is the Video The Storm. Click here to watch the video on my You Tube channel.

The video is also on Click here to watch it without ads.

Links to Related Videos

With the focus now on Columbus, here’s a video about this historical figure. Click here to see the video by Native American History.

Learning Materials in Episode 96

We used two groups of educational slides in this episode. The first group was a brief review of simple past-tense verbs (not always so simple since some verbs are irregular in their past tense. The materials are below.

The rule for forming the past tense of Regular verbs
These are all regular verbs. ED was added to the present tense verb Belong. Since Live and Use end in E, only a D was added.
Two of these verbs are irregular. Can you spot them? Note that the words built and had do not end in ED. They are irregular.
These are all regular verbs
Note that the word MET is irregular – the past tense meet. Also, the present tense verb MARRY did not simply add ED, the Y was first changed to an I. Some verbs ending in Y are changed like that, but not all of them.
Can you identify the irregular verbs? Spoke is the past tense of speak. Became is the past tense of become. Moved is a regular verb.
Here’s a list of irregular verbs used in these examples.

Ten Actions in Video The Storm

We’ll se how many other Europeans receive this kind of welcome – and which do not.
Native Americans were used to trade. Europeans often had an advantage when trading with Native Americans.
Let’s see if this pattern holds for future interactions between Europeans and Native Americans.
Columbus was not present during some of this abuse, but they happened on his watch.
Had the 40 crew members left behind at La Navidad abused their Native American neighbors? We know of such abuse by other Spaniards. Is that why they were all killed during the year they remained without the rest of the crew?
Columbus readily accepted the story by his Taino host that the 40 deaths were at the hands of another tribe that lived inland. History doesn’t record any real investigation.
Despite clear orders from the Catholic Monarchs, Columbus persisted in enslaving Taino people. Would more slavery follow?
Higher government officials disapprove of abuse, yet they profit from it.
Ramping Up your English
We know this happened to the Taino, since they had no immunity to diseases such as measles and small pox.

Covid 19

As this episode is posted, Oregon residents are being asked to stay home and follow CDC guidelines to slow the progress of this coronavirus. I reflect on the role European diseases had in the demise of Nature American communities. With all our technology, we are susceptible to damage and death from this disease for which we don’t (mostly) have immunity. Native Americans had no such technology, nor did they have a concept of germ theory (neither did Europeans of the time).

We are able to take measures to slow the spread while treatments and vaccinations are developed. That’s an option Native Americans did not have. We use our best tools to keep the death rates in the low percentages, and those measures seem to be working at this time. Native Americans saw death rates of up to 90 percent in some communities. It’s something to think about.

I was within a day of producing this episode when the order came down from Oregon’s governor – No visitors on college campuses. Public Access – as its name implies – involves the public; and the campus is closed to the public until at least the end of April to help contain the COVID 19 Virus. (Now that closure will last until September, if not later).

While I’m eager to produce new episodes of Ramping Up your English in the studios at RVTV, I completely support the governor’s actions, as well at the actions taken at the campus. I plan to produce more new episodes at home until the Digital Media Center reopens.

Update 12-22-21 We’re still in the COVID19 pandemic, now with the omicron sweeping the world. The RVTV studios are still closed to the public. I’ll continue producing new episodes of Ramping Up your English.

Update 7-4-22 As Americans celebrate Independence Day, the effects of COVID 19 are very much still with us. While vaccines drastically reduced deaths and hospitalization, infections continue, even for those who are fully vaccinated. Last year at this time, the numbers were way down, but soon the Delta Variant came, flooding hospitals and funeral homes again. The Digital Media Center has reopened, but my situation does not allow such indoor congregation. Nonetheless, I’ll continue producing episodes of Ramping Up your English.

Covid 19

For information on the COVID 19 virus, visit the CDC website using the link below:

Dear Viewer – Stay well, and we’ll see you on the other side of this thing.

John Letz – Producer and Host – Ramping Up your English

March 31, 2020 May 4, 2020, and July 4, 2022.

Next Episode

Episode 97: Vocal 3 helps viewers clarify key vocabulary that’s necessary for understanding the events that followed from the voyages of Columbus. Click here to visit the Episode 97 page.