The Berlin Blockade

After reading about the Berlin Blockade, Lenny asked us to answer some questions and complete a chart about the topic.


The Berlin Blockade, 1948-9 Cold War: Iron Curtain

  1. What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?

Life in Berlin was harsh after WW2 as this was a devastated city, greatly affected by war. Population had declined massively and the ones who still lived there had lost everything.  People were now poor. In addition, German´s capital was also suffering the tension between the Soviet Union and the USA. Citizens wanted to recover from war, but it was not easy among still existing conflicts and tension in their territory. The fact that the place was divided in zones made population be confused and scared without knowing what would happen next. This scenario became worse after the Berlin Blockade, in which the West had no supply from the USA, GB and FR.


  1. How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?

Soviet policy towards the Berlin differ from that of the West. Stalin specifically wanted to keep Germany crippled. He did not want Berlin of any other part of Germany to recover completely. However, the West had a very different idea on their minds, they wanted Germany to recover as she was before as without at least rebuilding their industries they would not be able to satisfy the population´s needs.

  1. Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?

The Western Allies (GB, USSR and USA) introduced a new currency into their new unified territory. Stalin believed the new currency was an attempt against the East economy. This finally lead into the Berlin Blockade, which finally meant the start of the Cold War.


  1. Why was the airlift such a major feat?

The airlift was a major feat as this was the final straw for the beginning of the Cold War. This event showed the rivalry between the two great powers and how this increasing tension was irreversible.


  1. In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?

The US and the USSR can be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift because they were very suspicious of each other although the two countries had expressed they were not willing to go to war. On the one hand, Stalin wanted to cripple Germany as they feared they could recover and eager any conflict, while on the contrary the western nations wanted Germany to at least recover to be able to satisfy their population needs. Moreover, Stalin blocked the supply roads between western germany and their zone in Berlin, as he thought this way Berlin would be totally dependent from the USSR, making the western states give up the capital. However, by 1949 it was clear for the Soviets that the Western Allies would not give up Berlin. The US saw the blockade as a threat to the freedom of Western Europe, finally giving a start to the Cold War.


  1. Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?  

Stalin in the end was forced to reopen communications and remove the blockade as it was clear that this had not made the western countries give up Berlin and, on the contrary,  numbers show that over this period more supplying airlifts got into the zone than before the crisis.


Extension question; Who was more to blame for Berlin becoming a major flashpoint in the Cold War, the Soviets or the Americans?

In my opinion they were both to blame. Although the USSR was the responsible for the last straw, which was the Berlin Blockade, the USA had been responsible for many other factors that increased tension. Firstly, the capitalist country had always been suspicious of Stalin’s actions. Also, he had promised to stop any other country from turning communist (policy of containment). Moreover, the atomic bomb tried without even consulting the soviets also increased the tension. Finally, considering all the previous events of the 1930´s in which these two countries had not had a good relationship either also contributed to the start of the Cold War. They were the two greatest powers which wanted to rule the world with their economies and ideals, but a the same time both had opposite ideas on mind (communism-capitalism…). The two nations contributed the the Cold War as this wouldn’t have happened without both increasing the tension, which is why none of them has more to blame.  




Visita a La Casa Rosada

El viernes 15 de junio realizamos una visita a La Casa Rosada. Previamente, en grupos asignados por nuestra profesora, habíamos desarrollado 3 preguntas acerca de la visita para poder asistir a la Casa Rosada con más conocimientos sobre su historia. Luego, debíamos hacer un video con fotos y grabaciones que nos hayan parecido interesantes durante el recorrido.

Yo trabajé con Bautista Buljevich, Lucía Caviglione y Tomás Braun. Estos son nuestra presentación y nuestro video:

Counterparts By James Joyce – VOCABULARY

After reading Counterparts, by James Joyce, in class we discussed the vocabulary of the story.


the tube: a machine for communicating within a building.

an order on the cashier: official permission for an advance on wages.

snug: a small private room or booth in a public house.

g.p. : a glass (half-pint) of porter.

caraway: a white-flowered biennial herb of the umbel family, with spicey, strong-smelling seeds. The seeds, when chewed, were thought to hide the smell of alcohol, and thus were offered to customers by turn-of-the-century Dublin bars.

manikin: a little man; dwarf.

instanter: without delay; immediately.

the dart: the solution.

stood . . . a half-one:  bought a half measure of alcohol.

the eclogues: short pastoral poems, often in the form of a dialogue between two shepherds.

my nabs (slang): my friend or acquaintance.

Ballast Offices: the location of the Dublin Port and Docks Board

Irish and Apollinaris:  whiskey and soda.

too Irish (slang): exceedingly generous.

chaffed: teased good naturedly.

tincture: a trace; a smattering.

small hot specials whiskey: mixed with water and sugar.

bitter: bitter, strongly hopped ale.

stood to: bought for.

smahan: a smattering; a smidgen.

barracks: buildings on Shelbourne Road for housing British soldiers.

Peony: is a pink whitish flower

That’s the knack:The quality of the gifted one

Put in your gab:to talk

Should examinations be abolished?

As our last oral presentation, Pilar asked us to make a speech developing the topic “Should examinations be abolished?”.


In this speech we will develop the topic, “Should examinations be abolished” and explain why we consider examinations should not be abolished.


As our first argument, pupils have to be evaluated by their teachers to see whether they make progress or not. Some people may argue that exams are not necessary, as they favour kids who have a good memory and techniques in most of the subjects. However, coursework and exams may test a greater range of skills and represent an efficient way to measure the knowledge on topics. Although in some tests memory is one skill needed to get the higher mark, to be able to remember names for example, this ability is not compulsory for getting a passing mark in most of the cases, and in the exemptions it is not the only fundamental skill. Understanding the topic is the obligatory ability, as in most of the test students need to develop answers or use formulas learnt in class but using different variables. By only learning concepts by hard without understanding the subject at all students won’t be able to succeed.


It has been defined that the purpose of a test is typically for teacher and student to determine what the student knows, understands, or is able to do, depending on the content and style of a test. Most tests could be considered status reports, it isn’t a finished picture but a guideline that  give as a result the gaps are that are needed to work on. Nevertheless, exams are also fundamental for government to know in which areas the country, or city needs to deal with.


Examinations also present benefits for students, as exams are a way of learning and will prepare students for the real world. With no exams, pupils would not have any stimulus to study, and therefore, would not be able to acquire knowledge.


So, I strongly consider that examinations should not be abolished as they present lots of benefits for teachers, government, and mostly, students. By testing kids, teachers are able to realise how much students understood and progressed, government can be able to keep a record of the level of education in the nation or area and students itself are able to learn and get prepared for future.

In Pursuit of Happiness – Letter


Task; Imagine you are Christopher Gardner. Write a letter to a friend telling him\her about your tight economic situation. Ask him\her for help.


Dear Mike,

I am writing to you as regards a problem I have been struggling against for a long time, which I thought I would be able to solve it by myself. Unfortunately, I am still battling against my situation and I wondered if you could help me.

Since last year I am living from hand to mouth, things got out of my hands and I am not able anymore to control my economic situation. I am desperate to be able to take good care of Chris. Covering all of his necessities day after day is a constant fight. I am on the rocks, and despite my determination, hard-work and optimism I am realistic, I need money urgently. I desperately need help.

I have not written to you for a long time, but you are the only one who can help me, please give me a hand. I am not asking for money, I need a stable job, to be able to better my economic situation so I can give my son the life he deserves. As you are a well known businessman I wondered if you could help me to get a job. I am facing this situation alone since my wife, Linda, left me sometime ago. I cannot afford this situation anymore, I need your help Mike.

I hope you can be able to give me a hand, I promise I will compensate you when my life gets better. Please let me know your answer as soon as possible.


Thank You,

Christopher Gardner


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