sábado, 30 de octubre de 2010

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Hi class!! Did you like the novel? I really enjoyed the analysis we did in class.
Now, here's a final question for you:
"The text leaves open the question of whether the suicide constitutes a cowardly surrender or a liberating triumph." What do you think? Take a stand and back up your choice.

domingo, 17 de octubre de 2010


You have read a novel by Kate Chopin: The Awakening, and a short story: The Story of an Hour.

Let's lear more about the author and her context.

I've taken great material from a webquest:

I've assigned one question to each of you. We will deal with them soon, so please, start working.

The Life and Times of Kate Chopin

Use the following hyperlinks to discover information about Kate Chopin and answer the questions that follow:

1. On what topic do Kate Chopin’s works focus? Sofia S.
2. What reaction did her two novels, At Fault and The Awakening, receive? Bibi L.
3. When did Kate Chopin live and write? What were the social, political and legal realities for women of her time? Cintia A.
4. When did critics/scholars finally begin to accept The Awakening? After viewing a timeline of the women’s rights movement, suggest a reason for that acceptance. Florencia D. S.
5. Are Chopin’s own life/family background/beliefs evident in “The Story of an Hour”? Cristian P.
6. Who were some of Chopin’s female contemporaries with whom she shared similar concerns? Lorena B.
7. Compare/contrast the following quotes taken from two of Chopin’s stories:

"Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had
apprehended instinctively the dual life—that outward existence which conforms, the inward life
which questions." Description of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening.

"There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There
would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe
they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature." Description of Mrs. Mallard in
"The Story of an Hour." Valentina P.

8. Choose a few lines from Chopin’s own words (her diaries or journals) and explain how those beliefs/concerns make her “a woman ahead of her times” and how they are reflected in “The Story of an Hour”. Fabiola S.
By reading we discover different worlds! Hope you enjoy the activity in spite of the effort it calls for!

domingo, 3 de octubre de 2010

"The Things They Carried": further discussion.

Here's something for you to think and write about.

In the story, the description of the different items in the soldiers' backpacks serve to humanize and individualize the soldiers. By listing their various belongings, O Brien helps the reader identify with the characters.

Are you what you carry? Does it reveal who you are? If your house was on fire and you could only carry out 10 items of your most precious belongings, what would you take?

Let's share our ideas. I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

lunes, 27 de septiembre de 2010

"MAD MEN" Episode 6: Babylon

Hi everyone!! Let's start this week with some interesting questions Brian has sent.

1) Pick one of the following characters and describe that person'sfantasy life. What dreams, desires, or wishes does he or she have?Then contrast that fantasy with the reality of the character's life.
- Joan
- Roger
- Betty
- Don
- Rachel
- Peggy

2) Of the characters listed above, which one is the most likely to have his/her fantasies come true in the future. Why?

Have a great week!!

lunes, 30 de agosto de 2010

"My family and other Animals"...last question!

How do you imagine the characters' life back in England after their experience in Corfu? Choose two of the characters: Larry, Leslie, Margo, Gerald, mother.
Let your imagination fly!

domingo, 29 de agosto de 2010

"Mad Men" Episode 3: Marriage of Figaro

Hi guys! These are Brian's questions for this week's episode. Answer them, please.

1) How do the different characters relate to the idea of marriage?Compare/contrast the opinions of at least two people.

2) Based on all the three episodes we've seen so far, which behaviorsor vices do the characters find unacceptable? Which behaviors have weseen that are taboo or shocking by today's standards?

3) Why do you think the housewives feel so threatened by Helen Bishop?

sábado, 28 de agosto de 2010

Interesting facts about the movie "My Family and Other Animals".

Hi guys! I hope you all enjoyed watching the movie. I did!!!
We are dealing with the ecosystem and I found this quotation by Gerald Durrell. Isn't he absolutely right?!

We have inherited an incredibly beautiful and complex garden, but the trouble is that we have been appallingly bad gardeners

I also found this info about the production of the movie which I would like to share with you.

Production Notes
"Living in Corfu was rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas..."

from My Family and Other Animals, 1956

My Family and Other Animals was shot on the Greek island of Corfu over a five-week period, but it wasn't much of a holiday for the cast and crew."Although considered a 'sunshine island,' our filming on Corfu was plagued by rain to the point where, when we filmed out at sea, we got caught in a massive electrical storm," reveals producer Simon Lewis. He adds that, ironically, when the weather was good, "none of the actors were allowed to sunbathe on their days off as this would have affected story continuity. The film was shot out of sequence and the cast get browner as the story progresses so real suntans were banned. Everyone had to stay in the shade and tans came out of a make-up bottle.

"The location did have its positive aspects though, especially for the younger members of the cast. "On a trip into Corfu Town on her day off, Imelda Staunton bought a catapult as a present for Eugene Simon (who plays Gerry). When he received it he was so delighted that he rushed off into the garden of the house where we were shooting to look for a stone to try it out. The first 'stone' he picked up turned out to be a tiny baby tortoise! Eugene christened it "Slingshot," he became the unit mascot and appeared in the film."

"We could only film with 13-year-old Eugene for four and a half hours a day. So wherever possible we substituted a double. But Greek education laws are also very strict and it was difficult to get permission for local boys to come out of school to film with us. In the end, five different boys doubled for Eugene at various moments in the film."

With animals being so central to the program, there were bound to be some mishaps on set: "My favorite moment (probably unrepeatable) came when we needed the dog who played Roger to do a very specific look. Understandably, and frustratingly, this didn't go too well. The director (Sheree Folkson) was heard shouting something angry and expletive-laden at the canine actor. To which one of the crew replied 'But Sheree -- it's a dog!'"

"Many weeks were spent training a pack of dogs for one scene. In rehearsals they had been perfect. On the first take, they were released and all ran away. It took half an hour to round them all up again. Disaster!"

"We had trained some magpies to sit on top of a typewriter plucking at its ribbon. But on the day of the shoot, the director asked one of the actors to raise a cricket bat above his head as if to hit them. Magpies are far from stupid. They flew back to their cage and refused to perform for the next hour. The script required us to film a gecko preying upon a mantid. It took a whole day to film!"

One scene showed sea slugs off the coast of Corfu. "Although real sea slugs are to be found in the waters around Corfu," reveals Simon, "we had rubber ones made so as not to disturb their natural habitats."

Sadly, not everyone has the same concern for nature as the production team or Gerald Durrell himself: " The heavy use of insecticide to protect the olive crop on Corfu has killed off much of the insect and small mammal population -- many of the animals in the film had to be specially imported from the UK," explains Lewis.

Corfu, Greece

Corfu is is the most northern of the Ionian islands, lying to the west of the Greek and Albanian mainland, at the entrance to the Adriatic Sea. The Ionian islands include many uninhabited rocks and islets as well as four large islands -- Corfu (Kerkira), Leucas (Levkas), Cephalonia (Kefallinia), and Zacynthus (Zakinthos). Altogether, the Ionians make up just 1.8 percent of Greece's total land area.Mountainous, especially to the north, with notable landscapes and dense vegetation, the fertile southern lowland is cultivated rigorously to grow olives, figs, citrus fruits, and grapes. Today, tourism is a major attraction -- traditional villages, Byzantine churches, museums, Venetian fortresses and a variety of golden beaches lure visitors.

lunes, 23 de agosto de 2010


There's a BBC movie production based on the book "My family and other animals" written by Gerald Durrell. Great story! Here's the trailer of the first 10 minutes. Sit back and enjoy it!!! Then, answer the questions below (but not as a blog comment).
Good luck with the listening! I hope you find it funny!

Answer the questions or provide the information required.

1- Where’s the family in the first scene?
2- What’s wrong with:
* Margo
* Leslie
* Gerald ?
3- Time of the year:
4- Where does Larry get the idea of moving to Corfu from?
5- Mother’s comments about moving to Corfu:
6- Comment on the customs scene.
7- What’s the dog’s name?
8- What’s the customs officer’s excuse for not giving mother her suitcase?
9- Why does Margo get upset at the table?
10- What explanation does Larry give for the taxi drivers behaving in such a crazy way?
11- How come the taxi driver, Spiro, speaks English? Characterize his driving. What’s his attitude once he gets to know the family?
12- Why do they move to another villa?
13- What do Larry and Leslie think of mother?
14- Why do they look at her feet?
15- How old is mother?
16- Find at least 5 phrasal verbs used by the characters.

Deadline:September 2
Do not post your answers. We'll discuss them in class!

domingo, 22 de agosto de 2010

MAD MEN again

Hi guys! After episode 2 (Ladies' Room), you have to respond to one of the following medical scenarios:

1) Your son is getting into trouble at school at least once a week forserious classroom disciplinary problems. The school officials tell youhe has a hyperactivity disorder, and that to stay in his class he mustbe medicated. He has always been a rambunctious, energetic, creativeperson, but since he started taking the pills his personality seems tohave changed completely and now he seems almost like a stranger toyou.

2) Your husband suffers from a very serious heart condition but won’ttake his medicines because the side effects are unpleasant andsometimes physically uncomfortable for him. Without the medicines, thefragile state of his heart makes him susceptible to heart failure atany moment.

3) Your mother is starting to develop Alzheimer’s and often forgetswhere she’s going, what task she’s working on, and sometimes where shelives. She does NOT want to enter an assisted living home but shelives in another city hours away from you and needs constantattention.

4) Your brother has a mental health issue that causes him to act outin very risky ways, sometimes endangering himself and others aroundhim. None of the current treatments on the market have been effectivebut he is eligible for a highly controversial and possiblylife-threatening experimental treatment. The state officials have madeit clear that if your family doesn’t find a suitable treatment soon,he will be forced to live in a strictly-monitored, high-securitypsychiatric treatment center.

miércoles, 18 de agosto de 2010

MAD MEN... Let's work with Brian!!

Hi guys!!! It's been a while since you last wrote on our blog.
I've really enjoyed the first episode of Man Men! I have the feeling it's gonna be great!

This is what Brian wrote:
Here are a few questions I thought the students might reflect on, even
if they don't have time to write full responses to them this week.

1) Why do you think the show is set in the year 1960? In the USA, how
are the 1950's typically represented? In contrast, how do we usually
imagine the 1960's?

2) How would you describe the dynamic that we see between men and
women in the first episode? When their "parallel universes" cross, how
do they tend to interact? Have we seen any exceptions to the typical
roles and relationships between men and women?

3) We met many characters in episode one. Take a minute to reflect on
the different personalities. Which is your favorite so far? Which is
your least favorite?

sábado, 31 de julio de 2010


Yes!!! The second term is about to begin and I intend to make the most of it. By now, besides having learnt your names (not an esay task for me!) I also know some things about each of you and I believe this knowledge will make it easier for me to find better ways to help you improve your mastery of the English language. But before we start this semester, I would like you to take a few minutes and write your thoughts about Language and EDI: how you feel you're doing so far, do you think you are making progress?, what your expectations are (I already know you expect to pass the midterm exam!!! and so do I), any aspects that could be improved or added. Your ideas will be very helpfull to me. I've also been talking to Brian about his work in class. Besides teaching some classes and helping us with vocabulary and pronunciation, I think it would be good for you to have personal meetings with him, on a one-to-one basis, so that after listening to you speak/read, he can give you some advice as to what you should improve. What do you think? He is also planning to carry out a project and you will probably take part in it.
I'm looking forward to reading your contributions. They will certainly make of our class a better environment to learn. Thanks and don't take too long!

viernes, 2 de julio de 2010


Hi guys! Have a look at the last point in the hand-outs on the movie: Some of the topics dealt with. You can include others! Take at least one topic, develop it and post your comments.
Have a nice Winter recess!

miércoles, 30 de junio de 2010

TRIFLES.... what is the story about?

Hi guys! To round up the analysis of the play Trifles, I would like you to comment on the theme/s the story covers. I will start by stating one of the topics presented to the reader:
* Empowerment of the female gender.
Looking forward to reading you all.

sábado, 26 de junio de 2010

TRIFLES by Susan Glaspell

Discuss the the idea of law vs. justice expressed in the play. Who stand for law and who for justice? Let's share ideas.

This is a photo of Susan Glaspell

martes, 22 de junio de 2010

The Mirror has Two Faces.

Hi guys! Send your comments about the movie.
Looking forward to reading them!

lunes, 7 de junio de 2010


Hi guys! I really enjoyed reading your comments about self-esteem and posted something for you all too. And it was while reading what you wrote that the song HERO, by Mariah Carey, came to my mind. I would like you to listen to it on youtube (there are many versions) and choose the idea or concept you like best. Tell us about it soon!
See you

lunes, 31 de mayo de 2010


Have a look at these pictures of an Orange Festival in Netherlands.

Have you ever seen anything like it?


sábado, 29 de mayo de 2010

The Mirror has Two Faces: Thought provoking!

After last class' scenes, I would like to share these questions with you (and I expect you to join in the discussion, of course!).
. If you could talk to Rose and Hanna, what advise would you give each of them to improve their mother-daughter relationship?
. The dictionary defines self-esteem as "the belief and confidence in your own ability and value". What are your considerations about it? How can people build up healthy self-esteem? Can you recall any personal experiences in which your self-esteem was either lowered or boosted?

I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

sábado, 15 de mayo de 2010


Hi class!! Let's work with the movie we are watching in class, which I hope you're enjoying as much as I am!

About Rose's lecture on love:
* Do you think we are culturally preconditioned to fall in love? If you think we are, which are those conditions culture imposes on us?
* Do you believe the idea we have of romantic love manipulates our decisions concerning love and the ideal partner?

Please, answer the questions. You can also include comments on what other classmates have written.
Remember you have to post two questions about the lecture and answer questions someone else has asked.

Enjoy the activity! It involves thinking and writing about our beliefs.

jueves, 6 de mayo de 2010

Let's read a poem by Florencia and Valentina!!

This poem is based on a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

20 years have passed since we got married
Our feelings haven’t changed, our love is the same
Without my husband I wouldn’t be who I am today
I wake up every morning, with him by my side
I wake up every morning, with my hurt beating utterly fast
The air is sweet, my life is complete
The sun brights, my smile shine shines
The smell of his hair, the strength of his arms
He is like an angel, that glitter in my eyes
If I were a swallow which had to fly away
I wouldn’t go, I would stay
With my man, the love of my life, I would always remain


20 years have passed since we got married
But my feelings have changed, my love is not the same
Without my wife, I would be on my clandestine love’s way
I wake up every morning with her perfume on my mind
I wake up every morning with my heart in another house
The air is cold, I need to hear her voice
The sun doesn’t shine if I am not by her side
The movement of her lips, the fragrance of her skin
She is like the moon, that light my lonely nights
If I were a swallow, I would fly away,
I would enjoy my freedom, I wouldn’t stay
With my dearest secret love, I would always remain

Nice poem! Now, let's learn something about the painter and his work.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. He was a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality and he was so passionate about painting that he even continued when he was old and suffering from severe arthritis. However, he painted with the brush tied to his wrists.
Renoir's paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. He enjoyed the Impressionist style and he liked to paint outdoor scenes showing everyday people dancing and having a good time. In these paintings Renoir mastered the display of light in a way that makes these scenes so vivid and spontaneous.

In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings. The works of his early maturity were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light.

This is the painting that inspired the girls to become poets!

Let's enjoy some photos! Don't they look great?

lunes, 26 de abril de 2010

This is what Lorena and María Luz did!!!

I am going to tell you a story about what happened to me, Celestina, 60 years ago.
I lived in a little town called High Wycombe, near London. In that place people were very individualist, they were interested in their own life, had big secrets, besides their thoughts and feelings were not shared with anyone.
At the very beginning my life was hard. I was born in 1929 in an extremely poor family in which my father had to work long hours in order to maintain us; my mother, who was an immigrant, did not speak any English. As she could not find a good job to help her husband, she devoted herself to look after her six children.
Since I was the eldest and my father was obliged to go to the war in 1941, I started to work in a farm for a prestigious and rich man of London, Mr. Broom. The little money I earned was sent to my mother every month because I knew that they needed it more than I.
I worked there for a year in unhealthy and deplorable conditions until Christopher, Mr. Broom´s son, fell in love with me and asked me to marry him. In that moment I felt that it was the train that passed through once in life time, so it was the only alternative I had to escape from that misery.
At the beginning I was not interested in the marriage and I tried to avoid his company every time I could. As the years passed by, I felt a real connection with him and I even loved him, nevertheless it was too late because he was not keen on me anymore. Although I was pregnant, he rejected me all the time, and as a result of my suffering I had a natural abortion.
Since then, I remained ill and with some “mental decease” – according to what Christopher said to everyone. So my sister, Caroline, was the one who took care of me during this bad moment I was going through.
When I was twenty I started to suspect that my husband had a lover, because it seemed to me as if he had always something to hide, he arrived late frequently, and had mysterious meetings at nights.
I remember a conversation we had in our bedroom:
Celestina: - We must talk!
Christopher: - No, no, no. Don´t bother, I have to meet a businessman right now.
Celestina: - You are always busy, I feel as if I don´t belong to your life. Please! Talk to me! Explain me what´s going on!
Christopher: - Shut up! You, insane woman.
Celestina: - Stop mortifying me. I know you are hiding something. Tell me what it is. Is it a lover? (Shaking him from his shoulders)
I recognize that in that moment I was out of myself so he pushed me against the wall in a violent way and yelled.
Christopher: - You are imagining things! Your eyes are betraying you. I don´t want to take part in your ridiculous story.
Having said this, he left quickly and closed the door with a bang.
As soon as he left, I was getting mad and that extreme sadness made me take the most atrocious decision which I never thought I would do. I remembered the last words my husband said to me; so if my eyes were betraying me, I will have to do something in order not to have those visions any more. Immediately, I turned around and saw a pair of nail scissors, without thinking it twice I dashed and took them. My eyes were full of tears and my hands were trembling. At that moment I approached the big oval mirror and taking a deep breath I did it…
Suddenly, I fainted. When I woke up, an hour later, I was laying on the floor, the only thing I could notice was blood everywhere and an intense pain in my left eye. Desperately, I stood up and look myself in the mirror.
A shout escaped from my mouth.
Celestina: - I can’t believe I did it! I can’t see, I can’t see! Please, I need help immediately.
While I was saying this, I covered my eye with my hand trying to stop the bleeding.
Christopher arrived quickly and was shocked by the scene.
Christopher: - What happened? What did you do? – He asked very worried.
I uncovered my eye and cried:
- It’s your fault! Look what you have made me do. I’m blind! Is this what you wanted? I won’t see ghosts anymore. Now help me!
Christopher: - You are completely crazy! Well, don’t move, I will look for the doctor.
Some minutes later he arrived alone.
Celestina: - Where is the doctor?
Christopher: - He couldn’t come but he prescribed you this medicine and a patch.
Carefully, he started cleaning my face and healing the wounds, and then he attached the patch.
During a month I was confined but still had the feeling that Christopher had a lover and that she was my sister. Since then I started planning a revenge.
One day I cited both to my bedroom in order to share a cup of tea. I was going to meet my husband at four and my sister at five. As we had arranged, my husband was the first to arrive and I had a special surprise for him. I prepared a nice table covered with a white tablecloth and an apple pie, which was his favorite dessert. I served mint tea and I pretended being kind and friendly, that was my strategy in order him not to suspect from me. Intentionally, I forgot the sugar in the kitchen so I asked him to look for it. When he went I poisoned his tea with a few drops of cyanide. Not until he drank it, he fell out on the table and died some minutes later.
In that moment, I murmured to him:
Celestina: - You deserve it! You obliged me to do it!
Then I took his dead body and dragged it to the closet.
The next guest came, it was her turn.
Caroline: - Oh, thank you so much for your invitation.
Celestina: - I just want to demonstrate that I really appreciated you took care of me.
Caroline: - Oh! You needn’t have to.
Celestina smiled and said: - I forgot to bring the delicious brownies I cooked for you. I will go for them.
I went downstairs and took the sharpest knife I owned. Without realizing what I was going to do, I entered to the bedroom. Silently, I approached and stood up behind her. Then I took her head and committed the crime. I beheaded my husband’s lover and carried her with Christopher.
They stayed in the closet for a couple of days until my neighbor felt a disgusting smell and called the police. They came to my house and found me swinging in a chair as an insane. They inspected the entire house in order to find what was wrong and finally they could discover the corps hidden in the closet of my bedroom.
As I was out of myself, they could not imprison me, so I was confined here, where I’m writing this story, at a mental hospital. I recovered my health but I have to pretend I’m still crazy in order not to be imprisoned.


This story was based on a painting by Pablo Picasso. Would you like to know about his life and work?

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. He is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), his portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
Picasso demonstrated uncanny artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence; during the first decade of the twentieth century his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life, making him the best-known figure in twentieth century art.
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad, a series of names honouring various saints and relatives. Added to these were Ruiz and Picasso, for his father and mother, respectively. Born in the city of Málaga in the Andalusian region of Spain, he was the first child of Don José Ruiz y Blasco (1838–1913) and María Picasso y López. Picasso’s family was middle-class; his father was also a painter who specialized in naturalistic depictions of birds and other game.
Picasso showed a passion and a skill for drawing from an early age; according to his mother, his first words were “piz, piz”, a shortening of lápiz, the Spanish word for ‘pencil’. From the age of seven, Picasso received formal artistic training from his father in figure drawing and oil painting.
The family moved to A Coruña in 1891 where his father became a professor at the School of Fine Arts. They stayed almost four years. On one occasion the father found his son painting over his unfinished sketch of a pigeon. Observing the precision of his son’s technique, Ruiz felt that the thirteen-year-old Picasso had surpassed him, and vowed to give up painting.
Picasso’s father and uncle decided to send the young artist to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando, the country's foremost art school.
After studying art in Madrid, Picasso made his first trip to Paris in 1900, then the art capital of Europe. Since then he started a successful career as a professional painter.
He had four children
Paulo (4 February 1921 – 5 June 1975) (Born Paul Joseph Picasso) — with Olga Khokhlova
Maya (5 September 1935 – ) (Born Maria de la Concepcion Picasso) — with Marie-Thérèse Walter
Claude (15 May 1947 –) (Born Claude Pierre Pablo Picasso) — with Françoise Gilot
Paloma (19 April 1949 – ) (Born Anne Paloma Picasso) — with Françoise Gilot
Pablo Picasso died on 8 April 1973 in Mougins, France, while he and his wife Jacqueline entertained friends for dinner. His final words were “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink any more.”

Loly and "Light" didn't really work much at role playing their story because they made some dolls do it!!! Very creative!! Enjoy the photos.

By Fabiola and Lucila

They chose Vincent Van Gogh to work with. Here's something about the painter and his portrait.

Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is "The Potato Eaters" (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.
In 1886 van Gogh went to Paris and he began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. Near the end of 1888, an incident led Gauguin to ultimately leave Arles. Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his own ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.
In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself "for the good of all." During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.

This is the painting they used for their story:

Here's the story for you to read and enjoy!!!

A beautiful love story
Olivia Van Allen is wondering around the wharf while the sun is disappearing on the horizon and its rays are reflecting off the water. She has been waiting for Henry for an hour gazing anxiously at the sea. She is the only daughter of Mr. Van Allen, a highly respected priest of Bridlington. She loves her father but sometimes his views hurt her feelings. Lost in her thoughts, she can see Henry´s boat about a mile from the shore. Henry Digory is a young fisherman. He is the boy of her dreams and with his cheerful smile and warm blue eyes reflects his true love for her.
Henry has been Olivia´s lover for a year and she was very much in love with him. She kept the secret of their love during that year. However, her father discovered them and everything changed in her life. Refusing to listen to all her pleas, Mr. Van Allen forced her to get engaged to Edward Collins, a major figure in the local politics. Olivia was not allowed to see Henry any more. The happy days have gone for her and they were replaced by a deep melancholy full of despair. Even though her father forbade them to see each other, she was unwilling to surrender to his command. Thus, they decided to meet each other every night so as to continue their clandestine relationship.
An hour later as the night was falling Henry arrives at the wharf. He takes a look around to make sure that there is no one else apart from Olivia and him before he gets closer to her. As they are hugging each other they hear a noise as if someone was clearing his throat.
A tall figure with broad shoulders walks towards them from the dark and stands facing them. It´s Edward Collins with a cruel and sinister smile on his face. He opens his coat with his right hand and let them see a gun. Henry, who was shocked, realizes his bad intentions and jumps over him. During some terrifying seconds, Olivia is watches how he two men struggle for the possession of the gun when unexpectedly a short is fired.Olivia flies to them shouting hysterically and kneels down. None of them moves for a while and then Henry pushes Edward´s body aside with all his strength. She looks at him immensely relieved when she notices that he is out of danger. However, Edward keeps still on the ground with a gunshot wound on his chest. Olivia and Henry stay there for half an hour starring at the deceased in astonishment. Finally without a shadow of doubt, he takes her hand, boards his boat and sails across the river.

Photos taken in the class.


Here's everybody's work plus some photos. Enjoy them!

Choose one of the stories and change it somehow: it may be the end, you may retell the story from another character's point of view or anything your creativity will allow you to do! Then, write your appreciation of the activity you did (choosing a painting and writing a story based on it). It would be great if you also took one of the painters' bio and wrote a comment about something that called your attention about his life
Deadline: May 7.
Let's see these guys working in class!!!

Lucila and Fabiola

Maria Luz and Loly

Cristian and Cintia

Valentina and Florencia

Now... your writings and role playing! We had fun!!/p>

By Cintia and Cristian:

It was a cold day in autumn. Leaves were rustling and the river flowed faster passing under a bridge, which was in front of a huge palace. Although the weather was pleasant, unhappiness and depression was felt all over the place.

Dorothy was sitting over a rock and she wondered why she had to go through all that suffering. The girl was looking at the clouds in the sky, as tears rolled down her cheeks. Whispering, she took her guitar and started singing a sad melody. The birds, flying around her, stopped whistling when they heard a noise coming from the distance.

Suddenly, a cold tiny hand touched her shoulder. She turned around and took a step back yelling,”how you dare bother me like this! Don’t you see I’m busy thinking about my miserable life? I’ve lost the most marvelous person I’ve ever been with. While she was saying that, she noticed that the boy’s face was extremely bright and she couldn’t help staring at him. Worried, the teenager wondered if there was anything he could do for her. “I’m Joseph, I approached you because I like how you sing, and to bother you was not my intention, he expressed eagerly. “I’m so sorry; I’ve been having tough times these days. I apologized for being so rude to you;” Dorothy exclaimed sadly. “Never min, I know exactly how it is to feel alone in the world;” he assured and then, he sighed deeply. Afterwards, she looked at him saying, “I don’t think, you understand how low I feel right now. Imagine that you will never see again the person who was always backing you up no matter how wrong you were. He was always there for you. Besides, he never let me down. I will really miss him! The beautiful Dorothy burst out crying.

Joseph kept looking at her as though he had something really important to express. It seems that you want to say something. What’s wrong with you? Are you paying attention to what I am saying,” she asked angrily. “Of course, I’m listening to you carefully. The fact is that you are not considering that you still have your parents and a family who take care of you and do everything they can for you. I know that you will miss your grandfather and that’s pretty understandable. However, he is not the only person in your world” he explained. The young lady, feeling extremely confused by his words, asked him worriedly, “Can you tell me why you are telling me this” The boy went to say, “I’ve been alone since I was born. My parents abandoned me, who knows why. So, I’ve learnt how to live without the tenderness and love that any family gives to their children. I have nobody in the whole world. This is the first time I speak to someone. People go away because they feel scared of me. Although I’m a pretty alone, I’m not unhappy with my life. People like you are always complaining about any simple problem they have to go through and, they don’t even realize that there are some others who have worse problems than them. So, what I mean is that you shouldn’t get worked up over nothing. Get it?

Feeling extremely embarrassed, Dorothy realized that all the words he had said were absolutely true and from now on, she decided not to overreact in any difficult situation. “You are such an amazing person. You have the will to move on even though; you know that many difficult situations will come up on your way. You have enough strength to come up against them. I’m really grateful that I’ve meet you Joseph,” she yelled with grief. Since that moment, Joseph and Dorothy got along with each other and promised to each other that under no circumstances would their friendship be broken.

About the painter:
Claude Lorrain
Birth Year : 1600Death Year : 1682Country : France Claude Lorrain, often called simple Claude, was born Claude Gellée in the Duchy of Lorraine but spent almost all his life in Italy where, after 1633, he was the leading landscapist, working on commissions from popes, cardinals, ambassadors, and kings. During his first years in Rome, he was an apprentice in the studio of Agostino Tassi, where he worked on large decorations and learned to handle their broad rhythms. Claude returned to Lorraine in 1625, hoping to make a living there, but went back to Rome in 1626 and never left Italy again. Until 1640, Claude painted landscapes that are careful in detail and show fairly sharp contrasts of light and shade. Later, probably under the influence of Poussin (the two artists used to roam the campagna together, sketching from nature, in their love of classical antiquity), he began to emphasize spatial composition, achieving a complete balance between masses of trees and of architecture. After 1650 in the full maturity of his style, he brought to his work a serene luminosity of early morning or late afternoon light so that his landscapes extend poetically and idyllically into an ethereal atmosphere. He thus achieved a new kind of landscape in which the classical balance of composition is subtly altered by soft light. Claude and Poussin were among the greatest seventeenth-century landscape painters, and both were important architects of later French artistic traditions, both classical and romantic. Claude, in particular, profoundly influenced later landscapes in France and England, among them Bonington, Constable and Turner; as well as the many English landscape architects of the eighteenth century who were interested in creating "picturesque" effects. Claude's influence is also seen in the works of Corot and Cezanne, both of whom studied nature in its various aspects and under different conditions of light.

PAINTING used by the group:

domingo, 25 de abril de 2010


Here's a list of phrases and sentences I would like you to improve. They're all taken from your writings in this blog and they may have a grammar mistake or stylistic problems.
Don't re- write them in the blog because we are going to check them in class. Deadline: May 7.

Good luck!
1- Considering that it is an extremelly slowly and small animal, why we wouldn't be able to make our dreams come true?
2- ... but in order these to be achieved...
3- ... something to focus in...
4- ... dreams come true so why to say not to dreams?
5-... we should work hard to achieve our goal which to be great English teachers.
6- Those around me contribute a lot in my experience in life.
7- We has conform a good team.
8- ... importance of tiny things have on our life.
9- ... as my father says always to me...
10- try to conspire all the world in order to help you...
11-I've been thinking about the pictures. They made me think about the things that had happened in our life.... that had left a deep...
12- They're the ones that makes us stronger.
13- These are words that my father usually tells me and I wanted to share it with you ...
14- ... the pictures are not only hilarious funny but also...

martes, 13 de abril de 2010


Hi guys!! I'm still hooked on our talk from today's class about working hard to make your dreams come true. Remember? I've this nice presentation which I would like to share with you because it deals with what I beleive is needed to achieve your goals in life: effort, creativity, work, flexibility and faith in yourself!!

When someone tells you that you can't do something...

Look around..

Consider all options...

Then GO for it!

Sometimes you've gotta stick your neck out!

Use all your skills and positive attitude!

Be creative!

In the end, you will succeed and prove them wrong!

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals in life???? I'm looking forward to reading your answers!!

domingo, 11 de abril de 2010


Hi everybody!!! I'm so happy to start this blog with you! I hope it will be a chance for us all to share ideas, thoughts and learn a bit more about who we are. Ah! by the way, we will also work here.

In this first encounter, I would like to share this tought with you, which I think is powerful:

"When it rains on you, dont just get drenched and curse the rain....Instead be like the spider web that has gathered the raindrops and made a beautiful garland out of it.....You have the magic to create happiness out of anything..."

We have the magic to create a meaningful and joyful learing experience out of this year together

Let's share what you think about it. Post your comments! Liliana