Category Archives: Our workshop

Here we will share exercises that may help us, compositions that we like, projects done in class, tips that are useful for us, etc…

Bad Mobile Phone Habits

This is an article by Jonathan Webb giving his opinion about bad mobile phone habits. What do you think? Do you agree? Do you feel similar to the person described in the article?

July 16, 2008

Bad mobile phone habits happen in many different places and in many different ways. From the way people answer to where people answer can be seen as rude or annoying to the ones standing around at the time. Movie theaters, restaurants, and even church are just a few places I have personally witnessed bad phone habits. However, the worst habit of all is not the answering and talking that takes place on the phone, though I sometimes wonder if people realize how horrible it is to be in a restaurant and hear everything someone is saying on their phone. There is a habit that is much worse, and it is taking over our society.

The worst habit is texting. People will text to each other for hours on end, when a five minute conversation would probably communicate what needed to be said and free up the rest of the day for other things. I have seen people texting each other from the same room! Can you believe that? What kind of society are we becoming when we would rather type a message to one another on a phone that just have a conversation? Email was the beginning of this and now it has gone to a ridiculous extreme. I mean, seriously. Teenagers now are actually putting tape over the numbers so they will be able to text faster and without looking at the phone.

Now, I understand there may be instances where texting is necessary, my point in all of this is to convey my concern that America’s future is in the hands of people who will not be able to carry on a face to face conversation with someone because they have grown up attached to a cellphone. Looking someone in the eye is a lost art in our society and I blame a lot of that on the amazing popularity of the cellphone. I am not an old man, but I can remember how we operated without them and everything was fine. I had to actually shake hands with people and look them in the eye when having a conversation. Perhaps we should offer classes at school now to teach things that should be common knowledge for an adult.

Answering your phone in certain places is terrible and I think it is rude, but it does not compare to this obsession with texting. If you are too busy to sit through a whole movie with out even a glance at your phone, you have way too much on your plate! Slow down, take a breath, and enjoy life! The phone calls and the text messages can wait until you get home or back to work, whichever way you may be headed. Give your interpersonal skills a tune-up and actually have a face to face conversation with someone, they are quite enjoyable.

That Night… (by Alberto García Iranzo 1ºNA)

This is another example of a good story with a twist in the end… In fact we should all learn a bit from it or at least take it into account some times… Thank you Alberto for your contribution!!

I thought that night was going to be as usual.

I was 23 years old and I was living in Valencia because I was studying at university. Some friends, Jose, Dani and I used to go out every Friday, after a week in which we had been studying or working, such as Jose, who was 25 and worked in a bank. My other friend, Dani, was 23, like me. and we both were studying the same career, journalism. We met at the university and we got on very well.

That cold and rainy night I went to the bar where we usually met. It was an old and dirty bar, but it was near our houses, so we gathered there. I used to be late but that night I was the first to arrive. My friends didn’t arrive and I was very tired. Suddenly, a new sports car appeared at the end of the street and it was driven very fast. They were my friends…’Come on, have you seen my new car? Tonight we’re going to…I don’t know. Get in!’ said Jose. It was an expensive BMW car. Jose was very impulsive and a bit crazy. When I was in the car I realized that it was plenty of empty beers. They were drunk. I got angry and shouted at them. Jose stopped the car and I decided to drive to our houses. However, the police was doing a checkpoint. When Dani saw them he said that he had cocaine. Jose and I were shocked and we were very near the police so we didn’t have time enough to think. Moreover my driving licence was at home so I decided to scape.

Obviously the police followed us and I drove very fast. We arrived at a narrow and dark road and we couldn’t stop. Unluckily, we hit a very big tree.

I lost consciousness and when I came round  I was at hospital. Out of the room Jose was waiting and the police was watching me, but Dani wasn’t there. He had died.

In two months, Jose had lost his new car and I had to pay an expensive fine after being to court. I’ll always remember that night and Jose has never separated from me since that day.

Now, ten years later, my life is different and I work at home! Next week it is my birthday and Jose is going to buy a new vehicle, but this one is only for me: a new wheelchair.

wheelchair

Good intentions? (by Manuel Ferrer Pardo 1ºNA)

We’ve seen in class what a mini saga is. It consists of a story told in exactly 50 words and it contains a twist in the end. Here you are an example of a good story with a twist in the end, although of course it’s been written in more than 50 words. Thank you Manuel! I’m sure your mates will enjoy it!

A woman was lying down on her hammock and enjoying the good weather, very closed to the sea shore. It was a sunny day and no clouds remained in the sky. She was wearing a beautiful spotted Lycra swimsuit and fashionable sunglasses. She felt very relaxed, although she also wanted to take care of her son who was only ten years old and had gone to play with his friends a few metres further. They were building castles with sand and sea water they carried from the sea.

Ten minutes later, she felt asleep due to heat of the sun until she was awaken by her son’s voice: ‘Mummy! Give me two euros, please! Only two euros!’, said the boy loudly.

‘You have already spent a lot of money, boy, I don’t want to give you much more!’- replied the woman angrily- ‘I’ve paid seven euros for the bucket, the spade and the fork today and… let me think… I can’t remember whether I gave you five or six euros yesterday. You are a squandering boy!’

The boy kept looking at his mother’s eyes and said in a lower voice: ‘Mum, let me explain, that money isn’t for me, it is for an old man who is shouting from behind those dunes’

‘I’m sorry about that poor man’, said the woman, ‘tell me, what is he shouting?’, the woman asked ashamed.

‘Ice-creams! Delicious ice-creams! All sorts of ice-creams!’, answered the boy.

boy_with_ice_cream

Poor Man – Rich man (by Javier Toscano- finalist)

Here you are the story of another student who participated in the writing competition. Enjoy it!

This is a story about a couple of children who were living in
Henderbridge, a small village sited next to the forest in the south of
England. They were the only two brothers of a humble family,
Robert, a restless 7-year-old child and a placid child called Hugo, the

Elder one, who was born only one year earlier.

It was very noticeable the huge differences between both
Siblings, both in their physical appearance as in their way of thinking.

Ambitious Robert and disinterested Hugo.

Quest for a quiet life, Hugo, when he was only a youngster,
Understood that he must stay in Henderbridge village in
Order to help his widower mother Sara with the farmhouse’s hard
Tasks, whereas Robert was always insisting on going to a London

Academy, because he was certain that if he got to live in bigger
Town, he would have more opportunities than in Henderbridge to

Improve his possibilities to be rich (his main goal), without making
Out that his mother had to become a workhorse for him to study in a
Not cheap academy.

Incredibly, Hugo shared his daily chores in the farmhouse with a
Non-stop necessity of reading on occasion.

Settled in Henderbridge, building his own house was Hugo
Principal priority. He had previously bought a plot of land by
Auction. After keeping his nose to the grindstone for years, he moved
Into his new house at the early age of twenty-five, although he was
Not alone, but with his newly-wed gorgeous wife Helen.

While Hugo was enjoying his new life along with Helen, Robert, after
Having finished his Business Studies, decided to set up an
International company, which after working harder, became a
Corporation in a few years. As a consequence he was proud of
Himself, but he kept on thinking that this was not enough.

Spending all his time trying to increase his personal
Account, Robert had not come back to Henderbridge for
Yonks, he did not even keep in touch neither, his brother nor
Sara, his mother.

:

In spite of becoming rich in his early forties, Robert was a
Solitary man, without any real friend, only yes men around him.

Noticing it, Hugo did not doubt in making a big effort to convince his
Obtuse brother that he had just earned enough money, in order
To enjoy another lifestyle. Robert just laughed.
More and more, the more the merrier, it’s Robert’s maxim. On the
Other hand, Hugo, without having never tried to steal the
Show to anybody became in Henderbridge a well-known
Trusted farmer.

Readily, instead of taking advantage of that situation, Hugo
Insisted on his maxim: If you are well, you don’t have to
Change anything which at some stage is helping you to be
Happy, because you actually don’t need more.

Well-heeled as Robert was, he on a whim decided without
Hesitation to start a political career. Suddenly Robert,
Obviously became important but lost free time.

Hugo, after dying his mother, by an odd disease, organised
A discreet burial, where as well as the close family and an
Vicar from Scotland, was present Robert who without any
Explanation vanished just after the funeral.

Grief, was the feeling which Hugo felt, when after a while found
Out his brother’s leave. Robert had wasted the opportunity of being all
Together.

Months passed until Hugo forgave his brother Robert for his
Odd behaviour in their mother’s burial. He decided to visit
Robert in London. So at that very moment, he gathered
Everyone of his family and turned up in Robert’s mansion.

Bachelorhood was too obvious at a glance in Robert’s home,

Untidiness throughout, a gloomy lifeless house which seemed
To be empty. Robert was always too busy.

While Robert pretended to have a fantastic and hilarious life,
Hugo noticed that it is not really certain as a consequence
Of his obsession with keeping up with the Joneses.

Not until he went into retirement, Robert accepted the fact that,
Even having managed to be rich and having achieved political
Eminence, Hugo had really been successful in life, for he had always
Done what he liked despite of his lack of money.

Lord Robert at his sixty-fifth birthday went back to Henderbridge where
Experienced the best years of his life, without being worried about the
Share index or political issues. At that moment his only duty was to
Spend the whole day with his actually rich brother Hugo.
.
A summary of this story can be found in the acrostic written in bolt on the left margin

The Wild Boar (by Gaspar Moreno- finalist)

This is the short story written by a finalist. Why don’t you read the story and leave him a comment with your opinion? I’m sure you’ll like it!

Last January, I got up very early on a Sunday morning. My friend Juan was waiting for me. Juan is a hunter, that day we and other nine hunters with twenty trained dogs went to “ El Portillo”, one the most wonderful places in the mountains of Enguera. It is very difficult to arrive at “El Portillo” because the track is a stony road, we had to descend around five hundred meters until arriving to a narrow pass, sorrounded by high mountains of an indescribable beauty. The mountains are full of tall pine trees, there are also a lot of undergrowth, rosemary, camomile, lavander and other plants. At the botton of the narrow pass, there is a small stream with crystal clear water.

We went to the hunt of the Wild Boar, my friend Juan had promised me an unique show, so I decided to go.

When we arrived, it was still at night, the hunters placed themselves on places that were not visible for animals. The day was very cold, the air was freezing, still it was not dawing and the moon was small. I sat next to Juan, waiting for the Wild Boars to appear.

When it had dawned, the dogs began to be restless, we heard noises of animals running and suddenly a group of five adults Wild Boars appeared in the narrow pass, the five were fine strong animals; the dogs came out running to their encounter, quickly the dogs sorrounded one of the Wild Boars, the rest escaped away, in a few seconds we heard several shots, a voice said that one Wild Board had fallen.

However, the most impressive fact was happening around twenty meters under us. The dogs pounced on the Wild Boar, they bit everywhere, the Wild Board screamed and charged at the dogs, a dog flew and it fell half-dead, it was bleeding through its stomach; the fight was ferocius until the almost conquered Wild Boar fell on the ground.

I asked my friend why he had not shot the Wild Boar,  and he answered that he could hurt the dogs.

Suddenly, another hunter came closer to the animals with a knife in his hand, when the Wild Boar was lying he knifed it mortaly.

Little by little, the hunters could separate the dogs from the Wild Boar, only one dog had died, the rest had small wounds, but they were well.

While all this happened, the light began to appear through the east of the narrow pass, at first the light illuminated the top of the mountains, the shades became characteristic colours of the winter, first I could see the high pine trees, secondly I could make out the undergrowths; a few minutes later I could see the small stream, the water seemed a mirror, reflecting the light.

Everybody had seen the cruel show, everybody had enjoyed it, everybody congratulated the hunter who had stabbed the Wild Boar to death, but nobody had seen the wonderful show of the dawn, when the morning light invaded all the corners of the narrow pass, showing us the true beauty of nature.

Running like the Wind (by Carmela Cerdá- Winner)

Here you are the composition of one of the winners from the writing competition so you can also read and enjoy her tale. I’m sure you’ll like it! By the way, why don’t you leave her a comment on her story?  😉

This story and its characters are all invented.

Only some bare facts are based on reality.

This is the end of a sad and pretty story: Marita is sitting on the floor, crying, by her own. She is holding a box in her hands. As her tears are going down on the glass screen of the box, the butterfly inside the box seems to be bigger, the bigger the prettier.

Marita was a lovely girl. She was seventeen years old, and she was a good student at the University of Barcelona. Her dream was to be like a famous biologist named Jane Goodal. She loved animals and all about Nature. At the end of the first course she had to do a research about renewable sources of energy, so she chose the wind. She loved going out to the top of the mountains and feeling the wind around her face, hearing the sounds of wildlife and seeing the frightened animals going so far away from her, it made her feel very good.

One weekend of spring Marita and her mother Carla went to the mountains. They had got a little cottage near the Natural Park of Garraf, and they thought to spend as much time as possible together. Marita’s mother travelled a lot and she had not enough time to spend with Marita. She worked for FAO and her task consisted on collecting seeds from the world. She contributed to create a seeds bank for the future, collecting seeds from wildness plants and crops too, and keeping them somewhere in The North Pole. Se was a special woman, she was very kind, sweet and intelligent, and very pretty too. Marita wanted her mother to help her with her study, so they agreed to profit the weekend working and studying at the same time.

On Saturday morning Marita and Carla went to a wind farm near the park, Marita had to take notes of the wind turbines for her research: occupied area, location, height, etc., and her mother wanted to catch some seeds. While Marita was counting the number of wind turbines she could see something rare, a man dancing among the wind turbines. What was he doing? It was amazing, he looked like an elf, was he flying? Marita felt a great deal of curiosity and walked along turbines’ line towards him.

The man was carrying something in his hands, and he sometimes jumped trying to catch something. He was a good-looking man, tall and slim, with a long black beard and a scar on his face. When Marita was just in front of him he said:

Stop! Don’t move! –he was trying to catch a butterfly just behind Marita- Be quiet! if you don’t want to be hurt! –Marita didn’t move, she was surprised-.

Hello! Can I speak? –She said in a whisper while the man caught a pretty butterfly- What are you doing? I’ve been watching you from about half an hour and I didn’t understand what you were doing -The man looked Marita seriously-.

Oh! Who are you? And why you were watching me?

I’m sorry, my name is Marita and I’m here to do a university research, the role of the wind as a renewable source of energy in the word of energy saving, what about you?

My name is Jordi and I’m doing a research too.

What kind of research are you doing?-asked Marita

Something about butterflies, the wind and butterflies.

That sounds interesting, tell me more, please.

Do you know how much damage wind turbines can cause to butterflies? It’s awful. Over 98 % of these animals die when they fly near these monsters. The rotor blades make the wind increase next to them and absorb all the delicate things around them, like butterflies. The first rotor blade makes a draught, put the butterfly into the draught and the next one hits the butterfly causing its death.

Oh! It’s terrible! I didn’t know anything about it -At that moment Marita’s mother was coming towards them, she had been looking for her for a while-.

Marita!- Carla called- What’s happening?

Mum! Come here! I want to introduce you someone- As Carla was approaching them she started to feel something special, her heart started to beat harder, it couldn’t be real, she knew that man, he was….

Hello Carla! -said Jordi- What a surprise!

Hello Jordi! -said Carla- How are you? -she was a little bit nervous.

Fine, thanks. It’s a pleasure see you again -she looked prettier than he could remember, he thought.

Incredible! You know each other! –said Marita, who started to feel something towards Jordi, and she smiled.

Oh yes! It’s a long story, isn’t it? –said Jordi.

Yes, it is –answered Carla.

After that meeting Marita thought that it could be a good idea to spend more time all together, so she suggested to have a meal that day at the cottage and said that her mother was a very good cook. Both of them accepted the suggestion.

Marita’s mothers was a little bit excited about staying next to Jordi, she had a important reason, she and Jordi had been lovers eighteen years ago, it brought her back nice memories, but there was something dark about Jordi. When they were starting to be very happy, Jordi disappeared. Nobody knew what had happened with Jordi. He was researching something about a dam in South America when he began to have problems with the enterprise which had been commissioned to do the building project. Although he never told her anything, Carla knew things weren’t going very well.

Now, Carla had the opportunity to know what had happened eighteen years ago.

Marita was very pleased with Jordi. He was telling her many stories about nature all around the world, she loved that sort of things. Jordi was very kind, funny and intelligent. She liked him very much, and her mother too. They spent all the time talking, drinking and eating, they seemed to enjoy themselves.

After that meeting they met some times and Marita and Jordi became friends. Marita wanted to know everything about butterflies and travelling around the world and Jordi enjoyed with her, she looked like her mother, she was gentle, funny, curious and very clever. Marita met Jordi over three or four times a week and they spent much time together in the mountains. As Carla did.

One day Carla and Jordi were having dinner at a restaurant in Barcelona. Carla wanted to know some things about him from the past.

Jordi, tell me the truth, why did you disappear?-said Carla.

I don’t know yet -said Jordi

I don’t believe you.

I know it’s difficult to understand, but someone kidnapped me and put me apart from the dam project. I was causing problems to the enterprise because there were many reasons to stop that building: endangered species, native people living in the valley and a high risk of producing earthquakes. On the other hand I always thought that FARCs kidnapped me because of money, they thought I was an important person from the Government, and It would be easy to win the game. But now I’m not sure. Maybe it was an alliance between both of them. The FARCs had guns and people, and a place to keep me away, I don’t know, somewhere in the jungle. And the enterprise had many reasons but neither people nor guns. At the end some friendly NGOs paid for the rescue.

Oh! I’m very sorry about it. I missed you very much. I thought there was something wrong in your missing –said Carla.

Don’t worry, actually I feel very good in spite of fact that they hurt me – he showed the scar on his face- I missed you too.

You know I loved you, don’t you? –said Carla at the same time she looked at him waiting for an answer- Never mind -said Carla- The most important thing is that you are safe and sound.

Oh! Thank you very much! I loved you too. It’s a great pleasure to see you again –said Jordi and kissed her.

One more thing: I have to tell you an important thing –said Carla.

Don’t say anything, I know it. Marita is my daughter, isn’t she?

Yes, she is. And I’m very glad both of you get on well. But if you don’t want to…

Don’t worry –he interrupted- I love her from the first day I met her, she looks like you, she is a very lovely girl. I’ll have to tell her that –said Jordi. His eyes seemed to be bright – If I can.

You must know one more thing -added Jordi- I’m afraid something will happen. As you know, I work for The UICN, they want me to do a research about why endangered butterflies are disappearing, and it’s surprising that the more the wind farms increase the less the number of butterflies is. I think many people expect to be very rich by installing as many wind turbines as possible. And the government has fallen under the influence of these people. I’m afraid I’m getting in the way…

Oh, that’s terrible! The same story again, I won’t be able to bear it –Carla started to cry.

Don’t cry my sweet woman! –Jordi kissed her- And If I have to leave, please, give this box to Marita –There was a beautiful Machaon inside – Nobody has to know where I am, neither you, and be sure I’ll come back.

They spent all the night together.

After two days Jordi disappeared.

THE END