Friday, April 27, 2012

A Letter to Paul (from Elena)

Hi Paul!

It's me Elena. I'm excited about keeping up via Internet.It's amazing! Pepe told me about your divorce from Sandra. I'm so sorry.

I know you considered Jacky your true love and tried to be happy with Sandra but life moves on. You are so young and rather handsome, you will have more opportunities to meet the suitable person for you.

My advice is don't hurry and take your time. On Internet you can find interesting people or maybe you should join a photography club I remember you were really good at taking photos.

Don't be sad and remember you can phone me wherever you want.

Best wishes,

A Letter to Paul (from Vanesa)

In Matter of Chance, we learn that Paul and Sandra were unable to make their marriage last. We imagined finding out about this news via facebook and writing to Paul straightaway.

Dear Paul,

How are you? I’ve just found out on Facebook that you and Sandra are no longer together. I’m so sorry. I know that you are living through some sad moments these days, but you know life is bittersweet. The bad things have to help us to grow and find a piece of happiness. The time with Sandra was precious, but you have to be honest with yourself and accept that your heart always belonged to Jacky. She was the love of your life and Sandra was only an affair. I guess you feel that you have a big hole in your soul, but the only thing you need is time. Just wait and you will see! You are a strong man and your wounds will heal soon.

Warm regards,


Chance, Fate, Destiny, etc.

Our NI2 class recently read David Hill's novel Matter of Chance which tells of an English couple, Paul and Jacqui, who leave their homeland to settle in Como, northern Italy. They have no sooner begun their new life in this quaint little town, when Jacqui is killed by a roof tile which comes loose and falls, hitting her in the head. She died instantly, Paul tells us, but he lives on unable to overcome the loss. In fact, you could say the book is about loss and recovery, mourning and moving on.
Many students criticized Paul's decision to take up a new relationship with Sandra, his Italian workmate, only four months after losing his wife. The relationship leads Paul into a world of intrigue and deceit from which he almost cannot escape.
I enjoyed all the students essays about Italian life and also the imaginary letters to Paul. In terms of favorite characters, many chose Sandra as a strong, independent woman. Others felt that Paul was the true hero who could endure such loss and soldier on. 
Josefina chose the roof tile as her favorite character because "a simple thing can chance people's fate forever." 

Rafa, the Goat Sitter

My EOI teaching colleague Rafa GutiĆ©rrez Cabrera is an amazing character and great boss, a real team leader. His great sense of humor and compassion for the underdogs also get him into odd situations.

Recently Rafa's brother, an eminent vet, asked Rafa to look after a dozen ailing goats. Now, the backyard is full of these wise-looking creatures and a once quiet life rings with bleating. The goats have to share the space with Rafa's roosters and hens. Though Rafa reports that they seem to all get along well, it is beginning to look like our sagacious don has become a gentleman farmer.

Krakow (Vanesa's favourite city)

Krakow: a mythical city in the heart of Poland

Krakow, situated on the Vistula River, in the south of Poland, is one of the country's oldest cities. History, legends and an odd man with a trumpet surround this amazing place.
I visited Krakow two years ago, when I was living in Warsaw. I had a friend living there, so it was a perfect opportunity. The Old town was the first part I saw. Immediately I fell in love with this magical city.
There you will find St. Mary's Basilica where every hour on the hour a trumpet is played from the tall tower, a funny, unbelievable spectacle. Near the Old town there is the Wawel Cathedral, considered Poland's national sanctuary, where the remains of many national heroes are buried.
The city is very pretty with lots of cultural sites and has many things to do and see: museum, theaters, parks, pubs and concerts. Of course, one of the most interesting things about Krakow is its history. In each neighborhood you can see and learn about important historical moments for the Polish people.
I wouldn’t mind living in Krakow. I quite fancy quiet cities like Krakow. Moreover, people from this place are very kind, nice and pleasant. They always have time to help you and they are very warm. Maybe, who knows, Krakow is my future.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Frankly, my dear... (classic quote)

One of my favourite films is Gone with the Wind, the classics film that won 10 Academy Awards. (by Georgina NI 2B)
Set in the 19th century American South it tells a story of the American Civil War and subsequent reconstruction era. The film opens on a large cotton plantation called Tara in rural Georgia in 1861 on the eve of the American Civil War.
The main character is Scarlett O’Hara, a silly girl who loves her husband’s cousin. In the first part of the film she is very silly but in the second part development in a bold, mature and strong person. The film stars Vivian Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Cark Gable and Leslie Howard.
My favorite phrase is almost the end of the film when Scarlett says, “Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?” To this he answers, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” and walks away into the fog. I have fond film memories because it was the first film that my father allowed me to watch when I was a young child.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Digging in my yard one day, making posts for a fence to separate my lot from that of my neighbors, I happened upon an old chest full of gold coins buried in the black soil. As I am not interested in wealth or personal gain, this discovery only caught my attention because it was so strange. I have never been ambitious and do not care much for material possessions.
After digging up the chest, I took out the coins and cleaned off the years of dirt and dust. I shined them with an old rag, they were so dirty and tarnished. Once I had neatly stacked the coins on my desk, I took to counting. It was clear I had come upon an incredible  fortune. To pass the time, I began to imagine all the things one might buy with these riches. I imagined how crazy someone would become when they found this stash, if they happened to be greedy.
Fortunately, this was not my case.
Today my neighbor came to claim the coins. He tried to convince me that the money was his because his grandfather had buried it years before and, therefore, it belonged to him. I was so annoyed with his arrogant attitude... I killed him! 
If he had not been so desperate to claim those coins I probably would have give them over, because, as I say, I was not interested in the money. But if there is one thing I cannot abide, that is greed. Really, I just hate greedy people.

(translated and adapted from the work of the Argentinian story teller, Jorge Bucay, entitled "Codicia")

Saturday, April 14, 2012


What do you mean it's sinking?!
Titanic promotion

Talking Movies: Titanic

We have been playing a game, Movie Moguls, which I invented for my fourth year students, but applicable atall levels. The activity involves promoting a favourite film to other students who play the role of intrepid and discerning movie critics. It is a speaking activity but some students did such a good job, I decided to type up their notes. Thanks to all and especially Juan Antonio, who well into his 60s, is a most enthusiastic student.


The Titanic was an enormous, reportedly unsinkable steam ship, the most luxurious one at that time. Its sinking happened in 1912 unfortunately, only five days after setting sail from Southhampton to New York on its inaugural voyage. It struck an iceberg to the south of Terranova, a big disaster in which a lot of people died because the ship hadn't got enough lifeboats. There was a big confusion among its crew.

I enjoyed this gripping film because it was about exciting situations based on a real story.

In fact, the casting was perfect with Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet so their performances were stunning. It was directed by far exceptional James Cameron in 1997. Its soundtrack was superb with Celine Dion's extraordinary voice as a singer.

I was so excited, (shouting and crying) while I was watching that interesting film, (a thriller) that I totally forgot I was into a cinema with people around me. It was amazing!

Althought when I watched Titanic film long time ago I knew its story, plot, twists and unhappy ending through reading, I was pleasantly amazed by the impressive production as the most remarkable movie that I have ever watched in all my life.

Precisely on these days is the anniversary of this tragedy, so I would recommended to celebrate it watching it in its new version in 3D; in fact, I would like to watch  this brilliant masterpiece .

                                            Juan Antonio Moreno NI-2A