segunda-feira, 30 de abril de 2012

Signs From Around the World! - # 03

 Communication is everything!

"More Absurd & Amusing Signs From Around the World - Signspotting II". It was compiled by Doug Lansky and edited by Lonely Planet.

Don't you feel a little bit more relieved knowing that you are in a safe place now?! I just would like to know (just by curiosity) what the person, who wrote the sign, considers a dangerous area! Or it's better not!
Although the sign is funny for being contradictory, the question we should think here is: when I write something (mainly in our tests), am I or not being as contradictory as this sign? In our mind the thoughts are absolutely clear and we know exactly what we mean...but are they so clear and organized when I write to other person read it? We need to think about "the other" who is going to read our production. A good idea can be totally destroyed if I can't explain it. A good test can be a totally disaster if I know the answer and when I write it I don't even pay attention to my words. 
So, to keep doing a good work, in your tests, activities, works, e-mails and all your writing production, take this into consideration and ask help - talking to somebody else can really show you some points you may haven't noticed.
On the other hand, if you don't do it, maybe someday you can put yourself in a very touchy situation...which can be even more dangerous than the place where this sign is...for sure!

Post Question: being honest... - Do you read all your answers in your test before you hand it in? How often do you write...I mean, you just write compositions in your Writing Classes (Redação) or you have a kind of diary, poem book, blog, etc? Read the sign below and write what is wrong in it. What is it biggest mistake?

Tip: to help you to write better, take a look at this site. It has very nice tips about English Grammar, which will be very useful, mainly if you are studying for the vestibular!

domingo, 15 de abril de 2012

Sensitivity, photos and a different way of seeing what's there! Part II

Photo taken by Kátia Veloso
To know a little bit more about Mr. Robert Doisneau, click here and take a look at his beautiful and inspiring work.
As I said before, I really enjoyed myself taking some pictures of people in the street everywhere, anytime.
For this post, there will no question to be answered, but a very simple work to be done.
Photo taken by Kátia Veloso
First of all you will need to take a photo of a day by day situation. If you feel a little bit ashamed or uncomfortable about taking photo of strangers on the street,( that's ok - believe me, I totally can understand you!), you can choose a picture that has already been taken (without you on it). Although I think if you do it you are going to miss all the fun of taking picture like the French photographer Robert  After that, you will write a short paragraph ( a short one, really) about your photo. You can:
Photo taken by Katia Veloso
- describe the picture
- write about people on it
- write about the situation
- make up a little story
Use your creativity and above all, enjoy doing your work! I'm curious to see how you "see" the ordinary day by day! Have fun!
Ah, and don't forget to take some few minutes more to watch this video that presents some of the great pictures taken by this genius of photography listening the classic French song "La vie en Rose!" - It's so French - it's only missing the croissant and a red wine glass! Au revoir!

sábado, 14 de abril de 2012

Sensitivity, photos and a different way of seeing what's there! - Part I

          Paris is well known as the most romantic city in the world! For sure, a great contribution for it was the lenses of this talented French photographer Robert Doisneau. Much more than just simply take pictures of day by day situations and common people, Doisneau declare his love for the city and shows, in some classic pictures, how lovely and perfect the city is for lovers! An image that is accepted until today all around the world!
Besides taking photos of the streets and cafes in Paris, he also became a pioneer of photojournalism, registering valuable moments before and after the II World War. The famous fashion magazine VOGUE hired him as a fashion photographer but he didn't get used to it. Instead of taking photos of beautiful women dressed in very elegant clothes in an exquisite place, he enjoyed most  taking photos of people in the street. "The marvels of daily life are so exciting, no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street" he said. I couldn't agree more. I do enjoy his work for two reasons:
- the photos are very traditional, black and white and clean
- they show situations and people of a common day, a day that could  be mine or yours.
Looking at his work we feel like being there and I will admit...I also feel a little bit envious because I would like to have taken this or that photo of his. But that's a kind of positive feeling because it made me go for a walk with my camera and try, in a very modest way, to do exactly what he did...see the beauty that is always near us, but sometimes, for a lot of different reasons, we simply can't see it or just take it for granted.
Since I first saw his work (a long time ago, in my Art classes in High School), I've taking my camera with me wherever I go, even to my work.
I wish I could take photos every time I feel like doing it, but I can't and due to it some very good moments became nice pictures only in my memory.
You (my EG student) must be asking to yourself: Ok, I've read the post and what should I do now, since there is no question in the end of it? I tell you: go to read the next post "Sensitivity, photos and a different way of seeing what's there!" - Part II and you will know exactly what you should do! Have a nice work!


sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

Easter...and a little bit of History!

Colaboração da Profª Bykovas
Easter is one of the very special holidays we have through the year. All around the world people celebrate it in their particular way. Although each holiday has its specific celebrations, all of them have a very nice point in common: they all give us a moment out of our routine (or at least we should get out of it), which is a good opportunity:
- to spend some quality time with people we love (get together to have a special meal -  Easter Sunday lunch)
- to enjoy some of our favorite food (some of them very typical of each celebration - Chocolate Eggs)
- to participate in some different activities ( very different from our day by day - Beat and/or Burn Judas on Hallelujah Saturday)
- or simply to rest a lot and enjoy some very good time with yourself in your home (if you are not a teacher...if you are, probably you can't rest a lot, just a little, due to all the things to be corrected)
Anyway, we can celebrate doing whatever we think it's right and enjoyable for us, but one thing I believe we need to take into consideration - the reason why we and so many people celebrate it. To help us in this task, we can count on History. It really doesn't matter if you celebrate it the way "books" says it must be done or if you invented new traditions and gave what we call an "upgrade" in your celebration. You can do it, after all, traditions started somehow with someone doing something over and over, didn't they? And the great majority of the histories about how traditions started are very beautiful and inspiring. You don't need to follow it, but you must know it. So, I'd like to suggest a link where you could learn a little bit more about this lovely holiday. (click here) It's interesting to know this holiday is so old that its origin is unknown. And do you know how Easter and Mardi Gras (the kind of American Carnival) are related?
As always, everything is connected. And what about you:
- How are you going to celebrate Easter? Do you celebrate it?
- What was the most interesting information you got from the link? (For 2ºEM, choose one of the sentences in the article in the Present Perfect tense and explain why it is written in the Present Perfect according to the rules we have studied in our classes).
I also would like to wish all you a very blessed Easter, full of joy and peace. Have a nice Easter Sunday!

segunda-feira, 2 de abril de 2012

Keep on reading! (International Children's Book Day)

Today we celebrate the International Children's Book Day! The date was chosen to honor Hans Christian Andersen, who was born on April 2nd in Odense, Denmark and who was famous for writing some of the most well-known fairy tales we've enjoyed so far.
As it is said, once a child, always a child - we can grow up but the child we were once will always be inside of us and in a very secret place he/she will keep doing the same things we used to do...playing the same games, going to the same favorite places, enjoying the same food (mostly candies) and mainly having fun with the same stories and heroes. It will follow us and even influence us during all our life.
That's why it's so important to help our children developing the joy of reading - it will help them to be more creative and we know creativity is the key word to survive in this world. One of this blog goals is exactly that, bring suggestions of links, sites, posts to stimulate our reading habit. And, of course, receive your suggestion about it too!
When I was a child, my grandfather used to give me many books. One of them I still have it with me (like a treasure) and it had three stories: 1st - The Pied Piper of Hamelin (O Flautista de Hamelin - click here to read the story), 2nd - The Ugly Duckling (O Patinho feio - click here to read the story) and 3rd - The Three Little Pigs (Os Três Porquinhos - click here to read the story). They were my favorite childhood stories and bring me very nice memories. All of them ended with the same sentence: "And they lived happily ever after!"  How important it shows that no matter what happened, at the end everything would (and will) be fine. It brings HOPE and God knows how we need it in our lives. I know there are a lot of educators who think this story end is not good because it is what they call "far from reality - nobody lives happily ever after"! I do respect their opinion, although I strongly disagree. I prefer quoting the Brazilian journalist and writer Fernando Sabino: " No fim tudo dá certo, e se não deu certo é porque ainda não chegou o fim!" ( In the end everything works out, and if it did not work out well it's because we haven't come to an end yet.) In the end, everybody is happy (or at least is trying to be!).
And what about you, what was (were) your favorite childhood story(ies)? Why? What did you learn from it?
Remember: Keep on reading! Reading is cool!