Monday, 9 June 2014


Dear likely reader(s),

I would like to drop a line as a summary of the year we have just finished. 

We all have become aware of the fact that acquiring the C1 level in English turns out to be a demanding but, at the same time, worthwhile experience, which my twelve classmates and I are hopefully able to attain either this month or in September.

For English teachers registering in the C1 course is, to my view, conditio sine qua non. I must raise the merit of those mates who do not teach English for they have overcome difficulties with hard work and enthusiasm. We have been exposed to a number of strategies, displayed by our teacher, who has meant to develop our communicative competence. The range of activities and approaches to the language will definitely be useful for our lessons.

We have mastered both oral and written skills for a variety of purposes. A quotation I have learned and will always recall is one by Confucius, "The educated man is able to see a problem from another point of view." That day Emilio made me go beyond knowledge to move on to the integral growth of the person, that third scope of the subject matter, represented by that circle drawn on the introduction day, that remote 19th September, 2013.

As a final remark, which I probably should not include but I will write though, I would like to express the fact that the exam has not been prepared by the teacher may have been quite unfair for both Emilio and the students.

I look forward to your reading this post and the drink after the oral exam.

I hope to see you all next Wednesday.

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Whenever, by chance, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I usually scowl: a high brow merges with a receding hairline; short, spikey, brown hair which, two weeks after having had it cut, becomes mousy and grows tangled strands as though my pillow meant to snatch them from me; asymmetrical, hazel eyes topped by bushy eyebrows and a one-centimetre scar on the bottom left eyelid, caused by a concussion at the soft-hearted age of three; a Roman nose featured by wide, maternal-grandmother-inherited nostrils; both temples filled with dimples, which do not represent but the mark of teenage spots; gradually bigger ears (whether I like it or not); medium-length sideboards which lead into an everlastingly ill-shaven, four-day beard, which covers a double chin and a square jaw; thick lips that enclose big, crooked incisors; a rather dark complexion that suggests a resemblance to a regular Arab’s appearance – hence purchasing some silver bracelets in Tanger turns out to be truly economical for me.


Last Tuesday, 6th May, we attended a lecture by Professor Richard Harvey, of University of New Mexico.

The topic of "Intercultural Competence" was broached, alluding directly to those people who do not intend to travel or meet new people. When communicating, people must make a great effort to understand "the other" showing, in this way, not only empathy, but also tolerance and non-judgmentalism. As a matter of fact, the key of two people with different backgrounds to come across each other's messages surpasses the mere boundaries of language proficiency, merging into cross-cultural competence and religious expertise. He stated that interaction was an instance of the Iceberg model, in that it doesn't usually show values, beliefs or preferences of the people who take part in it.

Professor Harvey raised the importance of history as an ultimate conditioning for the individuals' conscience of the population of a country. He also exposed the D.I.E. exercise (Describe-Evaluate-Inform) and exemplified it superbly.

In conclusion, we had the opportunity to know about an interesting topic in a relaxed fashion, as Professor Harvey arranged the lecture as an exchange of impressions and made everyone present spend a nice evening.

Sunday, 27 April 2014


Good afternoon,

I'd like to express how a wonderful experience "Discovering the Poem inside You" has been. The setting, which I'd never been to, is remarkably beautiful, with outstanding acoustics. The reciters did the best reading version, better than every rehearsal. Finally, the narration was carried out by a true master of ceremonies. I hope everybody enjoyed the event as much as I did.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Thomas Hardy was, to my mind, an unusual writer. As a novelist he emerged as one of the late figures of the Victorian period. Some of his best-known novels are Tess d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. With the change of century and although everyone does not share my opinion, nonetheless, Hardy excelled at poetry. With a Romantic influence and a critical view of society, he wrote some of the most brilliant poems of the beginning of the 20th century in English. Here is one sample:

Neutral tones

We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;
         – They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles of years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro
         On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
         Like an ominous bird a-wing….

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God curst sun, and a tree,
         And a pond edged with grayish leaves. 
Outstanding mental image of the feelings of an abandoned lover.
Moving on to something hilarious, I hope you enjoy this one:

Ah, Are You Digging On My Grave?

    "Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My loved one? Planting rue?"
"No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
'It cannot hurt her now,' he said,
'That I should not be true.'"

"Then who is digging on my grave,
My nearest dearest kin?"
"Ah, no: they sit and think, 'What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No. Tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death's gin.'"

"But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? Prodding sly?"
"Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.

"Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say, since I have not guessed!"
"O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog , who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?"

"Ah yes! You dig upon my grave...
Why flashed it not to me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity!"

"Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting place."

Monday, 31 March 2014


The President of Uruguay is one of the most atypical political leaders nowadays. Well-known for having legalized marijuana, with the intention of reducing the flow of money to criminal gangs in South America, as well as for being a mediator in armed conflicts such as the one in Colombia, Mújica donates 90% of his salary to Uruguayan charities. The scene we have been able to watch, striking though it may be as we see Mújica in his hacienda with no sign of opulence, makes us aware that another model of politicians is possible. What is more, he is not willing to set an example in spite of the fact that he has done it.

I would like to summarise this interview with a quotation from this charrúa, "(One has to) live in accordance with how one thinks." If Western-world political leaders were only said this once a day...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


If I had to describe Suárez, I would call him "the fair politician" (nowadays' synonymous phrase for "nobody"), one who really wanted to be useful for the population. A father of our constitution of a really brave man - he showed it on 23rd February, 1981.
Adolfo Suárez meant the Spanish to be free and had the intention to rule a country with the policy of consensus. He resigned from his position without being forced to. Only could it have been possible in our country!