Thursday, April 20, 2006

Foreign languages~

My name is Gala, and I’m a sixteen Franco Brazilian girl. My parents, like the rest of my family, were both born in Strasbourg, France. But, when my parents went to Brazil to teach French for a training course during three months, they “fell in love” with this country. So they decided to stay here end begun to work at USP; I was born three months after their arrival.

Since I was born, I was confronted with two cultures: the French one and the Brazilian one. However, even if my parents used to speak in French with me all the time, my first words were in Portuguese, as my first speeches. My first school was a Brazilian one but then, when I was around five years old, I went to the Lycée Pasteur, the Sao Paulo’s French school. Because of this change, I was taught reading and writing in French and I spoke it all the time at home. Now, you might think that I feel more comfortable with French culture, under all the points of view, and that this culture represents me better than the Brazilian one. I will say that you are wrong! In fact, for many years I felt more comfortable in writing in French, reading in French… but when it comes to “speaking” I would say that I was/am able to handle both languages, even if I made errors in Portuguese, such as confusing verbs or inventing words. Fortunately, nowadays, this problem is gone; and I write easily in the two languages. In relation with speaking I find easier to speak during the day, for an example with friends, in Portuguese but, when I have to speak in a formal way like during exams, or when I go to the directory, French comes up quite quickly because is in French that I have more vocabulary and “right” words.
I presume that none of these two cultures represents me better that the other one… However, there are some facts and choices that I’ve made during my life, that show I’m a little more Brazilian… When comes the World Football cup, I always support Brazil; I have the chance to study, later on, in France, but I really prefer to stay here! I cant’ bear when people ask me if I live in the jungle with monkeys at my window!
I think this tendency comes from the fact that I was educated here, that I grown in Sao Paulo and that my friends speak Portuguese as me. Besides, I cohabitate with Brazilian culture all my life, and daily. So I may say that Brazil’s culture represents me the best even if it is a matter to be moderated.

I can’t say I’m averse to any kind of languages. There are some that, when I hear them, seem a little aggressive, like if the person was angry or something. That concerns German, Polish… but I’m not averse to them, is just that I do not like them, nor attract me.

In my opinion, foreign language learning should be fostered in all the countries. First of all, because a language is a culture. I mean, nowadays, there are many languages that are disappearing because they are not revealed enough. For an example, Indians tongues or African ones… people don’t find them attractive, because they are not recognized by the society and won’t provide them a better statues like English, Chinese or Spanish does.
Secondly, when you travel and are able to speak the country’s language, you don’t feel so lost or shinny. Last year, when I went to Germany, I couldn’t talk to no one, and when people spoke with me, I simply ignored them! And they looked so impressive, I almost feared them. In the other hand, going to Mexico was completely different because I speak Spanish and I was able all the time to make new friends, answer them, laugh… and I didn’t feel lost at all!
Finally, others languages allow us to read books without translation and to know and hear music from abroad and understand the lyrics! I simply hate when music is translated, for an example “You’re beautiful” (James Blunt) in Portuguese!! It’s horrible, destroys the music, it meaning, it beauty.
Here in Brazil, most people learn English at school and more and more Spanish too. At my school, we can choose to learn Spanish or German during the last five years, while English is obligatory and we have it since the first year of college.

I believe speaking a foreign language gives you a better social status because distinguishes you from the mass which the knowledge of other languages stops with “merci”, “bonjour”, “I love you”, “hola”… I think that, since the moment you can manage two languages, you will be recognized by the society more easily. Besides, nowadays, the more you know about the world, politics, history, languages, cultures, etc… the easier you will get a job, and a good one! In my opinion, speaking others languages is not only prestigious in a certain way, but it became a “necessity”, a big “asset” if I may say so.

When you learn a new language, you learn the traditions, the way of being and acting of this country. For an example, in France, people are known to be more reserved while here one is more "cool", welcoming…
Of course, when you trying to adapt to a new language and culture, there are some challenges. First of all, comes the grammar (I think the Portuguese one is complicated for a foreigner), and the alphabet in case of Chinese, Japanese… even in Portuguese: in Brazil, neither "K" nor "y" is used…! In my opinion, the greatest difficulty is the manner with which one must behave. I love babies, and when I see one I always smile or say like “ooooooh” if he is cute. Well, here, people smile, whereas in France they just don’t run away because it will seems too wired. Really!
But, thanks to my education and my permanent cohabitation with another culture, helped me a lot when it comes to adapt a new culture, even if is just for one month.
Compared to that, intercultural competence seems to be very important: the competence to accept and respect foreign cultures, like with immigration and on the side of the immigrants to adapt themselves to the new culture… This can be developed by encouraging cultural exchanges between countries, students, and even at your house, I mean, not letting pass the chance to learn your culture to your children. This movement of intercultural competence and exchanges happens also thanks to the displacement of companies in other countries, bringing a new manner of consuming, new products, new expressions (in a long run).

I think is totally possible to create an identity in a foreign language. If you stay 6 months in an other country and don’t come back once but just before the “delay”, you adapt almost all the culture from there… I see that with my friends: some go to France and when come back, are different. The behavior, the way of dressing, of speaking…
In my case, I can be me in all cultures if I speak the language. For instance, in English: well, I must say I have a terrible accent and not a lot of vocabulary but in off to be able to express myself and to make so that the others understand me easily. And, since the moment I can express my ideas and desires, I’m myself… because I’m able to show the others my personality! In Germany, I’m not able at all to do it! =]

Monday, August 15, 2005

WORK

In this post, I'll do a bramestorming of all the words that reminds me WORK. So, let's do it!!:

employee, school, salary, students, marks, final exams, employer, results, evaluation, capacity, groups, studies, travelling, writting, drawing, producing, speaches, presentations, professors, director, material, classrooms, meeting people, conversation, learning, languages, sciences, sports, calls, e-mails, meetings, organizing, events, competition, unemployment, university, independance.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

ReBels-

For me, rebels are people who never agree with the directives that are given to them by an authority like teachers or parents. They go against the system, against the rules, that are imposed on them like having to work and study the whole day, for instance. Instead of trying to discuss and negotiate with others and try to change it, they deliberately start breaking everything, start shouting, smoking, missing classes, with one only objective: confront the authority in order to make things even worse that they already are to show they are independent, powerful and are in control.

In everyone's life, there is a moment that you feel like acting such as rebels. There is a moment when everything is stressing you, when you disagree with everything that has to be done, is being saying or is imposed to you. A moment that you don't feel like hearing that you are doing it all wrong, that you don't deserve it, that you can't go to some place because of some reason... In my case, I feel like rebelling when my parents dont' allowed me to go out with friends and they just don't know why, they just don't want to, or when they judge me about something they don't even know !!! That stress me !!

We can topic some synonyms for a hero like ace, adventurer, champion, combatant, ideal, lion, model, master, paladin, victor, ton god, demigod, exemplar, gallant, daredevil... And for rebels too, such as freedom fighter, insurrectionist, insurgent and maverick.
We also find verbs that describe the actions of a rebel: combat, criticize, defy, denounce, disobey, dissent, drop out, fight, insurrect, make waves, mutiny, oppose, opt out, overthrow, renounce, resist, revolt, strike, turn against, upset...

Well, if we compare the words that are used for rebels and for heroes, we remark a big difference between them. In fact, the words assimilate to rebels are always negative, and always show the negative side of rebelling... I think we can discuss that; there are acts of rebellition and acts of rebelliton ! =) ! There are case when rebels insurge because they just want to, to get the authorithy on its nurves...
However, don't you think that some acts of rebellitions have another goal? I guess so, because there are rebellions which objective is just get things better, rebels that have a dream and are fighting for it because no one take with the serious this dream. To illustrate, I can name Che Guevara; he is undoubtedly a rebel because he fought against the system, but he foughts for a cause which was increase social inequalities in America and which sat, in the world. I think this transform him into a hero!!

Ok !! That's it...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See you guys tomorrow !! ( for the test.. oh no!! hehhe ))


Kisses
**Gala

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dekita's>> Is the zoo for you? :: discussing Aaron's article !

In "Is the zoo for you?", Aaron mentioned that in some zoos, “animals are caged up in small, dirty areas with little to stimulate them, instead of roaming on the open plains, swimming in the great ocean, or climbing freely through the treetops”. He also points out that while seeing animals in flesh is educational for children, is it really worth the suffering that these animals endure? Wouldn't you be happier to see these same animals in the wild, in their natural habitats?

What is being discussed is zoos in themselves: should we have zoos to see all the animals anytime, even if in jails... or not?

Right, let's begin with the positive side... Going to zoos allowed us to see and admire animals we never saw (if it's our first visit at zoo), and that we won’t have the occasion to see. So one of the positive sides of zoos is that zoos are a sort of wonderful place where you can see beautiful animals, such as tigers (( those are one of my favorites )), and a sort of educational place, mostly for children. That’s true!

Negative side: when you become a teenager, when zoos don’t interest you anymore, when you learn at school, at home, during life, a lot of things about animals… When you realize all the suffering that animals endure in zoos, in jails, not in freedom where they would be able to live their real lives… Zoos become such a horrible place!! Even if animals have good treatments in some of them, I know they are suffering anyway! And that revolts me !!

So, I can definitely say that nowadays I don’t like zoos, because animals are prisoners in there, while they should ((in fact, they have to)) be free and live in their natural habitats!!
Like
Sebrita, on her trip to find fireflies, I think it’s better to feel the happiness of seeing animals for the first time in the wild, instead of seeing them in jails !!!

It’s my opinion of course !!!!!! If you don’t agree, please leave a coment !!!!!!

Our visit... too good, really !!!!!


Well, I already said in the title: our visit was perfect, really, I loved it!!!

First, we took our lunch and had in off time to do a walk across the park: Carole, Anna, Oceane and me... It was really fun, I mean, we were always laughing, taking photos with some sculptures all around!!

Then, we began our visit and saw his sculptures and paintings... The guide explained to us the different parts of his work, different times let's say. Moore began doing precise sculptures, with all the natural forms ((mostly sculptures of a mother and her child)). And along the visit, his production was getting more and more abstractive.
Besides this evolution of forms, we remark a changing in the materials he used to do his art. I think that first he used metal, then natural material like wood or even bones, and marble at the end...

After seeing all the sculptures, we watched a movie about him and his art. I confess... It was really boring, and so cold inside!!!

Well, I have to admit that although I was discovering a new artist, I didn't like very much his art... I prefer sculptures or painting where the artist represents the reality without changing anything. Of course, there are some master pieces that I appreciate, but those are few ones. I can't say that I didn't like a painting of Moore, it will be impossible! In fact, I liked very much the paintings where he represented trees ((like my xanna !!!! hehhehe ))... they are impressive, when you look at them... I don't know, you feel something, like if you were there, near this tree.

When we finished our visit, we were allowed to go to the park... with the same group (Oceane, Carole, Sofi and me) we went there again, taking a lot of fun pictures!!!

I can say I loved this visit for many reasons.... The Pinacoteca is a beautiful place and so is the park. I adore museums and discovering a new artist was an interesting experience!! And of course, we had a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!

]] Henry MOORE [[

Hey people !!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a post dedicated to Henry Moore, a British sculptor. On may 20th, we went to the Pinacoteca, a big museum and a beautifull one !!

--> Before describing our visit, I'll present you the sculptor, Mr.Moore !! =)


Henry Moore was an English sculptor who brought about a renewed interest in direct carving and enriched the formal vocabulary of the medium. He did that by examinating figurative motifs and abstract shapes.
He was born on July 30, 1898, in Castleford, Yorkshire. Despite an early desire to become a sculptor, Moore began his career as a teacher in Castleford. After military service in the First World war he studied in the Leeds School of Art.
In 1921 he won a Royal Exhibition Scholarship to study sculpture at the Royal Academy of Art in London. There, Moore became interested in the Egyptian, African and Mexican sculpture.
He was appointed Instructor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy in 1924. And during seven years, he realised this job . Again the Royal Academy traveling scholarship allowed Moore to visit Italy in 1925 where he saw the frescoes of Giotto and Masaccio and the late sculpture of Michelangelo, which inspired him very much !!
He was an important force in the English Surrealist movement. In 1936, Moore participated in the International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries.
In the begining of the Second World War, he stopped his production that was very inventive and productive before. But, during the war, Moore was commissioned as a war artist, producing powerful drawings of Londoners sleeping in the London Underground whilst sheltering from the blitz. He died in 1986.


Ok!!! That's it !!!!

Kisse to everyone there... !!!

**Gala

Monday, June 06, 2005

<--Marla Ruzicka --> My heroine !!!

To illustrate our unit, I choose Marla Ruzicka as my heroine (( a modern heroine )) because, first of all, I didn't knew her (( and I think you didn't knew her until my oral !!! =) ! )), and secondly because now I can sincerely say that I admire her!!!

Well, Marla Ruzicka was born in California. She became interested in humanitarian subjects in high school. Although she lived in New York, she rarely spent much time in the U.S.A. Instead of that, she traveled around the world and tried to alleviate the suffering she encountered (mostly children suffering).

While studying for her bachelor's degree in political science, she did voluntary work with Global Exchanges in Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, and Nicaragua... As a young adult, she worked on AIDS in Africa, protested the US embargo in Cuba and visited Afghanistan to survey the needs of refugees affected by America's "war on terror" (what ironic hen?).

In 2003, Marla founded the CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict), an organization dedicated to identifying the needs of civilian war casualties. The work of Ruzicka and more than 150 volunteers viewed scenes of destruction, carnage... Their work was published in many newspapers, books such as "The Media at War in Iraq", by Bill Katovsky, and it inspired many people who created a special fund to help innocent Iraqis, innocent victims from the American war...

But, unfortunately, when she was traveling near Baghdad International Airport to visit an injured Iraqi child, a bomber attacked a convoy of security which was near her vehicle... Three persons were killed, inclusive Marla who was 28.

28 years old. Does someone deserve to die at this age? No. Certainly not. Marla was that young when she died in a car bombing, when she was going to help an Iraqi child. She gave her life trying to save another one. Her life had an only objective: save and help innocent victims of the war... and contributing to get our world better, she was killed. Isn't that ironic? Isn't that terrible? Marla did part of a good family, which had money... And she choose to do something that is higher than the human propose, she had an ideal, make everyone happy and able to have a better life. She deserves to be considered like a heroine. During all her life she fought for a good cause, and never gave up. She is a woman who worth to be remembered; giving her life to get things better in this world even if she wouldn’t be paid for it, just because she wanted to and she believed on her ideal, make her a heroine.

*Heroes*

Hello everyone!!

So, in this post, I'll describe our last unit, which was about heroes! Fisrt of all, I'll try to define a hero... Everyone has his point of view about it, but I believe a hero can be define like someone who fights for a good cause and is able to risc his life for it. A hero has to be focus on his action, fats, strong ( physically and mentally ), fast, detreminated, clever, and can't stop fighting until he wins his cause. But a hero is also someone that is always ready to help someone and someone that doesn't made difference between people... I mean, a man (( or woman or course !!! )) who saves anyone no matter who's the victim, the scene where the crime takes place!

But, heroes present differences between them. I think we can classify these differences in three principal kinds of heroes: the classical hero, the modern hero and finally the romantic hero.
For me, a classical hero is the middle age hero, a beautifull man, normally a prince, who is riding his black horse and is running to kill the dragon, so he can save the princess and get married with her.
I think modern heroes are the moovie heroes like spiderman, who have a lot of super naturals powers, like being able to fly. But, even if they dont appear to be, modern heroes are also normal people, only moved by their will power, and their wish to make a better world, fighting for peace or iguality, for instance. These modern heroes can be found anywhere, anytime, like my hero, Marla Ruzicka, which I'll present you latter.
Finally, I consider a romantic hero a man how is preppared to give his life for his love, who is able to achieve impossible things to prove his feelings.
I didn't include celebrities in these three categories, because I don't consider them heroes. They just play the role of heroes and are payed to do this... I mean, it's their job!!!! And contribuate with some associations giving money, doesn't mean they are some kind of heroes... And being well known all over the world, doesn't mean they are heroes either!!!!!

That is my point of view, how I see heroes!!!!!

**Kisses for everyone
***I hope you did well in bac blanc today!!! Wish you luck for the rest!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

))Concluding(( !!

Well!! After a month of classes, we finally finished our unit on stereotypes. During all these English classes, we had the opportunity to learn, discover and discuss all kinds of stereotypes. In fact, nowadays, we can find all sorts of stereotypes. It’s really impressive how a thought, how all this generalizations that are made about groups or persons are so diversified!! But even if many types of stereotypes exist, we can regroup them in seven main groups:

Physical appearance --> Blonds are said to be always stupid and bad drivers.
Nationality --> Italians are known as good lovers.
Gender --> Girls are hysterical, boys are good at math.
Age --> Young people are disrespectful with their elders.
Race --> Black people are said to have music in their blood!!
Religion --> Muslims pray during all day.

Job --> Scientists are absent-minded!!

After all the analysies that we did in class and based on the examples I gave, I can say that most of the time, these stereotypes generalize too much. I mean, that can give us a wrong image of something… Because when we use stereotypes, we judge or describe something that we never saw. As a result, we are maybe talking about something that is not true, or even doesn’t exist.

Concluding, I really did appreciate this unit for two main reasons. First of all, I understood what a stereotype really is and how I can describe or illustrate all kinds of stereotypes. Secondly, I learned that, before stereotyping, I have to know if what I’m saying is right or not because, sometimes, stereotypes become a prejudice against those who we are stereotyping.
And in order to stop with some false stereotypes, and if we have the rights information, we have to try to prove them wrong!!
BLONDS ARE NOT NECESSARILY BAD DRIVERS OR STUPID!!! =) !!


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Grammar !!

This last week, during English classes, we did some grammar lessons... What kind of?? Well, we saw comperatives and superlatives, parallel increase...
But, insted of writing all the rules and stuff, I'll make a parallel with stereotypes and our grammar classes with examples !!

So let's begin.... First with comparatives:

--> Brazilians are more easy going than french !!
--> British are worst cookers than the Italians.
--> Men are less talkative than women.
--> Turkish people are more friendly than English one.
--> Olivia thinks that old people are ruder than young people.
--> I'm better at handball than at football !!

Let's try with some superlatives:

>> I'm the most easy going of the class !! (( based on real facts !! =) ))
>> It's the happiest day of his life.
>> This T-shirt is the most expensive in the shop !!
>> Camille has got three sisters. She is the eldest one and is in my class.
>> Brazilians are the best football players in the world. (( That is not a stereotype... It's real !! ))

Those were some examples... See you all tomorrow !!!!

Kisses**
Gala