- How would you define a responsible person?
I would define a responsible person as someone committed to complete the tasks and works assigned on time and putting effort on it. Moreover, I consider that being responsible includes accepting the consequences and acknowledging when mistakes have been made. Responsible people tend to be very organised.
- Are you a responsible person? Why or why not? Give examples of people you know in your personal life or in the public domain who are responsible. How do these individuals support your definition?
I consider myself a responsible person, as I am able to organise myself to complete tasks on time. I don’t like having anything pending, I usually try to complete my work with enough time. However, I sometimes find difficult to accept mistakes and correct them, which is why I am not totally responsible in that way. I believe my mother is an example of a responsible person. She is very organised and likes to complete tasks and work with a lot of anticipation, she never has anything pending. People always trust her when talking about work matters.
- How does one learn to become a responsible person? Who are the “teachers” and where do we find them in our lives?
I don’t know if there is a formula to become a responsible person. I think commitment is needed, and being able to get organised and to listen partners and teachers. In different stages of life it will be fundamental to become responsible if the objective is succeeding, which is why it depends on each person the way of learning how to become responsible. However, there are different people that can guide or help us. I think that these teachers I am talking about are not only the ones we find at school or university, but also every people in our lives which guide and push us to become more responsible and better everyday. I consider that we can find teachers in different aspects of our life, and even we can be teachers too if we are responsible and we find partners struggling to get there.
- Is being responsible a character trait that you value a lot?
Why or why not?
I really value being responsible, as it is a big step needed to be successful. Being responsible involves organisation, commitment and effort, which are key characteristics for us to achieve our goals, not only in our jobs, school or career, but also in our daily life.
- The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” What does this statement mean? Can you think of a situation in your own life in which you used this statement as the guiding principle for the action that you took? If “yes,” explain.
The Golden Rule means that we should treat others the way we would like others to treat us. Although I cannot remember a particular situation in which I used this principle, I have known this principle since I am little, as my family and teachers always repeated it. This statement is very useful in many aspects of our lives, and definitely no matter our age. We should always respect, tolerate and treat others the way we like to be respected, tolerated and treated. We should always take this statement into consideration when we are interacting or discussing with others. It is a principle I usually remember of, and that is very important for everyone to follow.
I sometimes find difficult to notice when should I include connectors while writing essays or texts. Besides, I get confused where in the sentence to place contrast connectors, such as despite. I usually use the same result and conclusion connectors, so I would like to learn more variety to use in my writings.
Causes and Effects of Uncontrolled Urbanization
If you are an urban dweller, you may know the real meaning of urbanization. 1. …However…, this does not always indicate your sufficient insight in the “uncontrolled urbanization” topic too. To form a causal chain, it is right to say that more jobs, more services in the urban side and absence of land in the countryside force people to migrate to larger cities which brings about uncontrolled urbanization. 2…As a consequence.., some problems arise such as unemployment,inadequacy of infrastructure/services and some environmentally unwanted events as well as unpleasant demographic incidents.
3…Firstly….., it is a good point to dig up the reasons for people to come to larger cities. First of all, by all accounts, cities are perceived to offer a wide variety of job opportunities on the grounds that there are very different branches of businesses in cities. Inasmuch as unemployment level is hugely high in the rural areas and the work is only about farming in contrast to countless business sectors in chief cities, more and more people choose searching for their chances in the metropolis.
4…Then…., comes another significant reason: There are better services in cities. As a matter of fact, transportation is extremely developed so as to make use of time efficiently. Medical services are supported with the latest technological improvements, there are unbelievably modern hospitals. 5…Besides…, education is taken into account seriously. There are very high-quality schools with excellent teachers, teaching with up-to-date techniques. None of these can be found in the rural areas, at this stage.
6…Among…. factors causing migration to big cities, there is a strong push factor stemming from absence of enough land. It would be very hard and useless to cultivate the land if it is too small to make an agricultural production. One important thing triggers this incident increasingly during the last years; namely, division of land. To explain, in the rural areas when someone dies, the inheritance would usually be the land. 7…Therefore…, the land is divided into many parts due to the fact that in the countryside it is common to have lots of children and they all have rights to take one part of the inherited land. 8…However.., what they get are useless small lands rather than a gigantic land which is capable of making a great deal of agricultural production itself. The inability to do the only thing, farming, again brings about migration to big cities with the hopes of making money.
As mentioned earlier, all these facts and figures necessitate uncontrolled urbanization, in the midst of the causal chain. 9……On the other hand…, what are the side effects and drawbacks of this growth?
Our teacher, Pat, proposed an activity in which we had to create our own poem. The activity consisted of many steps to be able to finally produce our own poem. Firstly, we had to choose a picture that we had taken. Then, we had to look at the picture and write 5 nouns, 5 verbs and 5 adjectives that came to our minds when looking at the photo. The third step was to choose 2 literary devices (metaphor, simile, symbol, personification…) and think of them while looking at the picture. Finally, taking into account that we had to include all the words and the literary devices, we started writing our own poem, which had to be based on the photo but did not have any other condition. While writing, we had some minutes in which we read our poems to a classmate and shared questions and feedback. I chose a picture of a landscape, whose main focus was a blue sky with some clouds scattered along it.
The activity was really enjoyable, mainly because we were free to write the way and with the structure we wanted (respecting that it was a poem and not a story). I was able to reflect upon the picture and let my hands write whatever came to my mind with just looking at the picture. I really loved the idea about this work being totally individual as it would have been difficult to perform this activity in pairs. In pairs, we would not have been able to completely reflect and choose a picture that we both had something to transmit. However, I loved the fact that we had a moment for feedback and questions with a classmate. I believe this activity invited us to reflect and think a lot, using elements we had learnt in literature the previous years. It was a completely different activity to the ones we usually perform at school, which is why it was also really fun and entertained us a lot.
As we did this activity, I directly thought of an activity we did last year on Language class with Pilar Pando. The activity was in groups, and each one had to focus on a different task. Our group (Tomas Braun, Sofia Mele an I) had to write a poem based on Malala Yousafzai´s dreams (as we were reading the book about her life). I immediately connected these two activities as in both processes the final product was the same. I remember that for that poem we had to focus on facts and look for the most important words, ideas and feelings we wanted to transmit about Malala´s dreams. In this activity, we also focused on a range of verbs, nouns, adjectives and literary devices we wanted to include. Although Malala´s poem was in groups and this one was individual, the fact that in this activity we had the opportunity to receive help and ideas from a partner was also helpful.
I also thought about another poem we had to write last year on Literature, where I worked with Anouk Laferrere and we wrote about Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. While connecting this three activities, I reflected on how by three completely different processes and tasks we reached the same final product in all three cases.
Malala´s dreams poem:
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes poem
«Where art lives»
Near the core,
the flow of burgeoning dwellers
beholds an emblem of artistic heritage.
walls used to conceal
the hollow pumping of drainage,
Like the lub-dub of a heart.
But now filled,
embracing the modern art
of the once colonizers,
and the once colonized.
Alluring beauty of art
maintained with passion and thrust,
Shall reflect awe,
and impression in your view.
To start this last term, we worked on an group activity which consisted in choosing a poem and be able to give information about the author, movement in which he participated (e.g; romanticism) and finally analysing the poem itself. All this information had to then be included in a presentation and uploaded to the blog. My group was conformed by Trinidad Porretti, Sofia Mele and I, and we worked on William Wordsworth’s poem “A complaint”. While investigating about the author, we discovered how he was one of the founders of english romanticism and how this, and other aspects of his life, influenced in his writing. Analysing the poem gave us a deeper understanding and permitted us to connect this activity with other topics, and aspects of our lives, as the poem tackles the theme of love. The presentation also had to include an explanation of the title, which we were able to easily understand, and a drawing summarizing the poem (or one for each stanza). Here is our presentation; http://abrilteranfrias.cumbresblogs.com/2019/10/07/presentation-a-complaint/
Thanks to this activity, I was able to reflect on this method of learning, and how helpful it is. I think one of the reasons that explain how well I understood the poem is group work. I was really able to discuss and look up information with my teammates and learn from their point of views about the poem. I believe that, although individual work is also important, group work is helpful when analysing stories or poems as it offers us a much deeper analysis with different ideas and perceptions. In this case, we were able to connect our thoughts and the three of us were able to learn from each other. Also, having to place all the information in a presentation really helped me to visualize all the work we had done in a more organized and appealing way, making it more easy to retain the information. A presentation forces you to reduce and summarize the information as much as possible, something that is hard sometimes.
I was able to connect this poem with many aspects of our everyday life. Sometimes, we experience situations which make us feel that we are totally broken and that we will not be able to recover. This can be something simple or something extreme. We many times wonder why things happened, and continue thinking over and over the same thing instead of trying to move on. This idea of thinking that the world is going to end is what the voice transmits in the poem as a consequence of losing his beloved. While doing this activity, I also thought about another poem we had read last year, “She was a phantom of delight”, which was also written by William Wordsworth. This poem narrates three moments in the relationship between the lyrical voice and the woman he/she refers to in the poem: the moment when they first met, how they got to know each other better, and the occurrences that took place after their marriage. The voice expresses, throughout the poem, how much he loved her; In the first stanza describing her as a spiritual, pure and perfect character, and, in the last stanza, finally accepting she was more an earthly woman than spirit. The whole poem describes how much the voice is in love and admires his beloved. I was able to connect it to “A complaint”, written by the same author, as something similar occurs. Being left by his beloved made the voice´s heart become completely broken, he felt emotionally poor, as he deeply and madly loved her. This shows how William Wordsworth tackles this idea of love and relationships in more than one poem.
The activity I enjoyed the most was reading and discussing «The Lady in the looking glass». We dedicated several classes to the reading, as to fully understand and reflect on the story. Firstly, we contextualized the story and period by investigating about the author, Virginia Woolf. Then, the first step when reading was focusing on symbols of the first two pages. We identified the symbols of the flowers mentioned when describing the garden on the text, which mostly symbolized innocence, but without realizing the connection between the symbols and the story. Also, according to the pages read, we described the protagonist, Isabella, with the information revealed by the text. The next class, we finished reading and, after analyzing and talking throughout the reading, we were able to fully understand the story, and deeply reflect on it. Throughout metaphors, comparisons, symbols and a powerful epiphany portrayed by the object of the mirror, we were able to understand the complete contrast between the inner and outer self of the protagonist, depicted by the inside and outside of the house. This invited us to reflect on this story easily.
«The Lady in the looking glass» describes the story of Isabella, who shows herself as a cheerful girl, full of friends and with a really great life. This part of herself is portrayed in the story with the description of the outside of the house, a garden full of colorful and gorgeous flowers and with no imperfections. However, Isabella’s real self is nothing as the garden. She is dead alive, and feels empty. Her life is sad, and messy, just as the inside of her house. This permits to establish a constant parallelism between the house and Isabella, where the outside and the inside matches with the inner and outer self of the protagonist. I was able to reflect through this method of learning, as the story invites us to perform this reflection upon ourselves. This is possible as «The Lady in the looking glass» ends with a moral; «people should never leave a looking glass in their rooms». This invites readers, and made me reflect upon this phrase. The symbolism of the looking glass is reflecting the universe and our real selves, so by leaving a looking glass we should be conscious and prepared that the truth will come to light. This story, and especially the role of the mirror on it, made me reflect on how, although I try to always show happy, I still have a dark side with sad or obscure thoughts, as well as a part of me that is full of questions and doubts. By reflecting on this, I understood that although people usually show their outer self, their «colorful garden», we all have an unrevealed side, our messy and disorganized part, that we sometimes keep just inside of us, and is not revealed, at least until we find ourselves in a moment of revelation, were everything comes to light.
Throughout this activity I was not only able to reflect upon myself or connect it to people’s inside and outside, but also to today’s reality. Many people are not able to truly express who they are, because of social pressures, or just because it is too harsh to accept it. Many people’s dark side is bigger than others, and it can not be solved if it just stays in the inside just as Isabella. While performing this activity, I could think about two Ted talks I had previously watched. One was about a woman who expresses how she hid her true self for so many years, until she finally realized and accepted who she really was.. At the end of the talk she says; “My biggest obstacles I would ever have to overcome are my own fears and insecurities. I believe that by facing my fears inside I will be able to change reality outside.” These last sentences made me find a really intimate connection between Isabella and Morgana Bailey from the ted talk, as they both showed themselves in a way they were not, and finally their true selves came to light. I believe that in different lengths every human is scared about facing their own fears, which is why I really thought about this ted talk while doing this activity. I was also able to connect this work with another talk I have watched, which was performed by a model who expresses how aspect is no guarantee that you are going to get everything you want in life, no matter how beautiful or happy other people perceive you, you can still be very insecure or empty. In “The lady in the looking glass”, readers at the beginning thought Isabella was really happy and fulfilled, as she supposedly received letters from friends, was rich and people admired her. However, we then realise that although she superficially showed herself this way, she was dead alive. This ted talk, in a less extreme way, transmits the idea that having money, being beautiful or being admired by people does not mean you are complete on the inside, and explore how “image is powerful, but also superficial”, just as in “The lady in the looking glass”.
1.The Wormsley Common Gang. Comment on membership, recruitment, enemies, activities, and motivations. How about gangs today?
- Blackie who was the leader at first
- T_ trevor . He became the leader after defying blackie
-they made up a gang and had no enemies. they gathered close to old misery’s house in a parking lot.
-not many members were recruited, trevor had been the first one in a long time. although they were used to joking and bothering the new gang members, this didn’t happen with trevor.
-they voted on all the activities which were to be carried out, each with an equal vote
- Identify three important conflicts present in the story. Explain what exactly is causing the problem—and whether they are internal or external in nature. Finally, explain which of these conflicts seems to the central problem.
- Internal conflict
- First blackie was the leader of the gang
- He had a strong personality.
- He was humiliated by Trevor
- Blackie lost the vote as well as the leadership
- Blackie has a competitor (t)
- Losing leadership ‘it was the end of the leadership’
- Blackie was humiliated in front of his gang, nevertheless he was still interested in Trevor’s plan.
- The destruction of old misery’s house
- External conflict
- Differ on taking a decision as regards how to accomplish the objective
- Mr thomas is approaching the house while the gang is inside.
- Should the gang leave or continue destroying?
- Finally stayed, locked Mr Thomas and destroyed the house.
- Describe what happens in the resolution of the story. Why might Graham Greene have ended the story in this ironic manner?
3) In the resolution of the story, the gang tied with a rope the wooden struts of the house to a lorry. The next morning, the driver came to fetch his truck and when he accelerated the car, the house collapsed.
- The author might have ended the story in such an ironic way so as to make reference to what war left to society, the damage that war left.
- Greene portrays a broken and damaged society who is characterised by a great lack of empathy towards the other.
quotation: “ you got to admit it is funny”
4) On the surface this is a story of action, suspense, and adventure. At a deeper level it is about delinquency, war, and the hidden forces which motivate our actions. Do you agree?
4) We agree with this as we believe that trevor reasons to destroy the house were not the ones that he publicly expressed to his gang. His actions were determined by the impact and consequences that war had had in him and his family. He had hatred towards a house that had survived the attacks and was in perfect conditions as before the war he belonged to a very wealthy family who had suffered the war and as a consequence they had lost their fortune. The house was trevor’s object of desire as he had resentment that it had survived after ww1 while his family was devastated by the war.
quotation: “ i am looking for something special” , trevor said showing his resentment and envy.
5. Of what significance is the setting of this story in blitzed London? Does the story have anything to say about the consequences of war? About the causes of war?
5) The setting of the story is significant as London was really involved in war and had really suffered the consequences and causes of it. England ended the war with a lot of casualties, traumas and destructions. All this hatred that trevor has towards the house is lead by the fact that he is not able to desist from his object of desire that is destroying the house. For trevor, the destruction of the house is a symbol of moving on and leaving the war behind, not being attached to it anymore.
-Reflection (what did you learn, how and obstacles found?
-Connection (to another learning experience and real life)
Reading the destructors
- Reading and debate
- Cooperative work
The activity I enjoyed the most was reading and working with “The Destructors”, to which we dedicated three classes only to read and debate about it, being able to deal with this text really deeply. We firstly read the story and analysed it part by part, connecting it with war consequences in the setting (London) society. While dealing with “The Destructors” we focused on literary devices, on the conflict of leadership between the characters and the constant parallelism established between T’s and Old misery’s house after war. We dealt with the story in different ways to analyze it properly, in which we did not only discussed all together but we were also able to discuss a part of the story in pairs. This pair activity consisted in individually reading part III of the text and then being able talk about it with our classmate. After reading, debating and analyzing the story throughout different classes, discussions and activities we did a cooperative work, in which I worked with Trini Porretti and Juana Zufriategui, and where the final work had to be writing an essay about “The Destructors”. However, first we had to develop some questions about the plot, the protagonists and the background. This helped us, not only to develop the essay easily and clearly, but also to finish our analysis and have a full understanding of every aspect of the story.
The story “The Destructors” deals with the results of WWII in Britain. This fact made me easy to reflect about war nowadays, and how traumas are so deep after war, to an extent that envy and resentment are the only feelings that remain in society. War is so harmful, painful and destructive that the damage is not only territorial or physically, but also phycological (individual damage and as a society too). With this activity I was able to truly reflect, mainly thanks to the extended metaphor presented in the story. For Trevor, the only way to move on, and leave war behind was by destroying Old Misery’s house, which represented destructing the last thing that remained after war, in order to be finally able to start all over without leaving anything attached to war and to life before war. The Destructors clearly present a broken society, whose life was upside down and whose lack of empathy was a characteristic that defined them. The text is able to always establish a parallelism between Trevor’s and Old Misery’s houses, which showed two opposite faces. Old Misery and his house represented what Trevor had once been, before war. His world was turned upside down by war, and destroying what has remained intact after the bombings was also a way of ending with the unfairness created by war. Why did some people had to lose everything and others hadn’t? That’s a question I constantly asked myself while analysing the text and helped me to understand the story and finally be able to align with Trevor, acknowledging the reasons why he was so determined to destroy Old Misery’s house.
I was able to connect the story with different aspects of my life and reality nowadays. Thanks to my reflection I could connect it with nowadays wars around the world. Although I had many times thought about this topic or felt empathy towards people living in a troublesome environment, I had never been able to truly put myself in that position and really understand war traumas. The story contained metaphors and symbolism, facts that forced me to reflect on the text even deeper, and finally being able to connect it with reality in other countries nowadays.
I then tried to think of this activity in a more personal way, and I was able to connect this story with history. For three years we deeply analysed the two world wars, and particularly its impact in countries as London. This connection I was able to establish made me reflect and understand the hidden message of the story even deeper, and be able to remember, thanks to what we studied at school in history, on how great the impact of war was. This made me feel even more aligned to Trevor, and acknowledge how broken he and society were.
As I was able to connect the story to other aspects easily, I tried to connect it with my daily life trying to give this analysis even a deeper meaning. Although I wasn’t able to directly connect it with my daily life I was a able to connect it with bad thoughts I, or any of us, may have. Many times we are so angry with a particular matter or we are not able to express our feelings in a correct way that we have dark thoughts or we make things without truly doing it with the intention of harming someone. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by anguish, anger, envy, or by our own necessities that we do things we are not really conscious about. We are able to perform things that are not good, that show our lack of empathy as a society even knowing we a great life overall, or at least without having suffered such a trauma as war is. If we are capable of this, how, from our privileged position, can we judge someone who at a so early age had to experience a tragic and devastating war? This question left me thinking, and, although I also feel sorry for Mr Thomas who had nothing to do with it, I was finally able to truly understand Trevor, which is why I consider this my favourite and more interesting activity.