Sunday, January 22, 2012

How green are you?

The answer I can give to this question is: I used to be quite green, but not anymore.

It's not that I don't care about such an important thing as looking after the planet, but it's just that I don't find the time in my  busy agenda.

Certainly,  I could do much better in this area of my life, because whatever you need to know about saving the planet is available in the net, television, magazines, newspapers, etc. So, it's not a matter of lack of information, if you decide to start getting conscious about this important issue right now, you will just need a click to get a lot of tips to save the planet. It's that easy.

When I was a university student I used to recycle. I had different bins for different kinds of garbage. Every Wednesday morning, around 10, the recycling truck visited my neighborhood and I waited for it with the garbage I had collected during the week. Sometimes I woke up late and missed the truck, so I had to wait until the following week. It was terrible, because I didn't have enough space in my small apartment for 2 weeks'  garbage, but I was so green that I happily coped with it.

About transportation, I always try to use my legs if I can, but  in general, I  use transantiago to go to work.
I don't have a bike, but if I had one, I don't think I would use it as a means of transport, because I would sweat a lot. I have to go to different places on the same day for my classes and sometimes the distances between one place and the other are too long. It wouldn't be nice to start a new class sweating as if I had just come from the gym.

I have never thought about joining an eco-organization, the topic of the environment is important for me but not that much. My time is reduced and I prefer to devote my free time to other activities like my band or going to the gym.

The only thing I do related to organizations is  support the cause of "Red por la Defensa de la Precordillera". This is an organization that defends "El Panul", an endangered forest in La Florida. (If you want more information visit the official link I help this organization by promoting its cause whenever I can, facebook diffusion, going on "caminatas al Panul", etc

You can also have a look at this article in "El Ciudadano" about why this forest is considered endangered.

As I said before, useful information for this noble cause is available for everybody in the net and in the media. However, this is only at an individual level, and that is the problem. Looking after the planet should be part of the government's agenda.

For example, the State should be aware of the importance of saving natural resources, protecting the environment and other things such as recycling.  National information campaigns are a good idea, just like the ones the government normally launches with issues related to prevention in public health. Representatives should also legislate in a more environmentally friendly way.

Writing this post about being green,  I have come to the conclusion that I would love to do something for the planet again. It's the government's duty, but it's also a personal challenge.
Continuing recycling would be a good starting point for me, like I did in the past.

I guess  I will add "doing something for the planet: start recycling" to my new year's resolutions list, why not?

Now, my dear students it's your time to tell me how green you are. Include the following points in your post:

- Where do people learn about enviromentally friendly practices?
- Have you incorported recycling into your habits? Describe
- Do you use a bike or your legs instead of a car?
- Have you joined or supported any eco-organisations? Why/Why not?
- What else have you done /would you like to do?
- What have you done to reduce your carbon footprint?
- What's missing in our society/Santiago regarding this issue?

Number of words: 250 - 280
Don't forget to make comments on at least 3 of your classmates posts.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Sense of Life

What is the sense of life?

It is a very difficult question to answer.

First, because the answer is too personal. What is meaningful for me could not be significant at all for others. People can live their lives and still don't understand what the sense is. It is perhaps a question that you only come to answer on the last days of your life, after you have lived enough. Or may be it is something you will never understand ... you will die one day without knowing why you came to this world and lived with a certain family, in a certain place meeting the people you met.

Fortunately, in my personal case, I think I can tell what the sense of life is. Despite my youth (I have only lived 30 years) I don't see the answers far away from my understanding.

I believe there is a reason for everything, a hidden purpose for every event and experience in one's life.
Nothing is random, everything has a purpose. The meaning of life resides in the people you have around. In other words, I would say life has a deep social and spiritual sense.

The human being is esentially a social creature, so we can't live our lives isolated. Life is meaningful when we are able to look around, see others and recognize their value. Life has a sense when I can connect with the rest. If I live a hedonistic life it will always be empty and meaningless.

"The sense of life: the hand open and hold out to others"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Girls Schools: The best institutions to form succesful businesswomen?

An interesting experiment about appetite for risk related to gender was carried out by two economists at the University of Essex, Alison Booth and Patrick Nolen. The particular conclusions drown by this research will appear on Next month's edition of the Economic Journal.

In the experiment,  the economists created a questionaire of multiple questions that measured the degree of risk taking capacity in a universe of 260 male and female pupils from eight state single-sex and coeducational schools in Essex and Suffolk. The questions in general,  involved choices between 2 options:  a real-stakes lottery option  and a sure bet option

At a first glance, the final results and conclusions of the research showed a well known fact and predictable trend: that males tend to have a greater appetite for risk than females. However,  the surprising finding was the difference related to the risk taking capacity in the group of  females pupils. Here, the variable "school type" resulted in a significant difference: while girls at single-sex schools were willing to invest more in a hypothetical risky investment, coed female prefered the options which represented a sure bet.

According to the researchers, this difference can be explained by  the degree of inhibition which both type of pupils normally deal with. In an all-female environment, inhibitions related to the "appropriate behavior" and cultural driven  norms are genearlly reduced. This lack of inhibition would result in a greater risk taking capacity.

The importance of the experiment's findings rely on the implications theses results would bring on the emerging field of experimental economics and would also explain why women who studied in single sex schools tend to be more successful in the world of business. In conclusion,  If you want your daughter to be a high-flying businesswoman or banker, send her to a single-sex school. Very interesting.

(You can read the original article in

This time you have to go to: and then:

  • Select a piece of news connected to your area of studies / future career.
  • Write a summary of it.
  • Provide the link to your piece of news.
  • Leave a comment on 3 of their partners' posts.
  • 200 - 230 words

Monday, January 2, 2012

A little Fiction ...

"I woke up that morning feeling really strange. I didn't know exactly what it was ..."

As we have been working on narration, this time you will write a short story. You continue the story using your imagination, but don't forget to include the following:

  • 200 words minimum
  • Your story needs a structure: Background, Development, Resolution.
  • Make a right use of the narrative tenses ( past simple, past continuous, past perfect )
  • Use time expressions, connectors and descriptive language ( adjectives, relative clauses)
  • Make it interesting to motivate your readers.
  • Comment on at least 3 blogs from your classmates.

For language references you can visit word reference site, as usual, and also the following links:

Sunday, December 25, 2011


When people think of traveling they often think of Europe and visiting countries like France, Italy or England. I would love to go to Europe and visit these countries, but there is one place I really need to visit in my life and that is Hungary.

I've been obsessed with this country since I was 13 and I read a short story written by Cotazar called "Lejana". In this story, a woman daydreams in the middle of her complex everyday reality and transports herself to Budapest, where despite being a beggar, she is free. Cortazar describes Budapest streets, its people and  a bridge that I would really like to see by myself.

Apart from this, I don't know much about this country. The only concrete information I have is that Hungary has a beautiful language and poetry. Some years ago I had the opportunity to go to a poetry reading at Biblioteca Nacional, where I met the Hungarian Embassador. I went with a friend who had Hungarian origins and I could listen to her speaking Hungarian with the poets and the Embassador. It was a nice experience.

If I went to Hungary, I would visit Budapest and I would see all the sights. Then I would continue with other cities in the rest of the country. From what I have seen in pictures I think Hungary is full of beautiful landscapes, castles, cathedrals and parks.

I don't think I would like to live, study or work here, mainly because of the language. As I said before, the language is beautiful, but it has no connections with English or Spanish, so I think It would be difficult to learn. My interest in Hungary is only touristic.

One day, I will visit Budapest and I will go to the bridge of Cortazar's short story. I can't die if I don't visit this wonderful place.

Now it's your time to think about that country you would like to visit. Say:

- Which country would you like to go to? Why?
- What do you know about it?
- What would you like to do there?
- Would you like to study/work/live there? Explain.
- Make comments on 3 of your classmates’ posts
- Word Count: 150 - 180 words

Monday, December 19, 2011

What is Love?

(...) I want no other, no other lover
This is your life,our time
When we are together, I need you forever
Is it love (...)

This is Haddaway's definition of love. That's why he knew he was in love ...

Free Themed Post

Now that you know what you have to write about this time, read the following tips that will help your writing be more organized:

1. Divide your writing into paragraphs. Every different idea is a new paragraph.
2. Start your post with an introduction. Use lively and interesting language to motivate your readers to read on.
3. Use the first sentence of every paragraph to state the topic content of it.
4. Finish your post with a conclusion which can include a quote, thought or final comment.