dilluns, 18 de maig de 2015

my time in Castelló

Dear blog: we have to talk... This is over; it's not you, it's me. I'm gone.

As you will already know if you have read my recent work on the blog, I'm finishing baccalaureate. In fact, I already have. I've survived final exams and all there's left to do now is preparing university entrance examinations.

My time in Castelló is over and my path in life starts to define... now it's probably the best moment to look back and check how much have I improved since I started writing on this space. As I consider, there's quite a difference between my first posts on September 2013 and the last stuff I have been publishing these days.

To check this difference, I've searched my first post here ever, titled "My dreams". On that post I talked about my aspirations in life and about some short-term dreams. Compared with my last work it's easy to notice an obvious lack of vocabulary both for adjectives and verbs. The structure of the text was simple and so were my sentences. I've detected mistakes, some of which are possibly typing mistakes, but not all. To my surprise, I've discovered that I wasn't very fond of using capital letters back then!

Apart from the linguistic aspects that you can check if you go to the link above, I've noticed a personal development. I've laughed at myself when I've read that I already wanted to be an architect, however, I did not only want to design buildings, but also challenge the laws of physics! I'm glad to check that I've achieved one of the short-term dreams I exposed there: I've obviously improved a lot my sailing skills.

If we focus now on my current English competence, we could say I've reached the C1 level, which I expect to achieve officially on Saturday 6th of June, when I'll be doing the Advance level Cambridge exam. Referring to writing skills, I feel whenever I write a significant improving on my vocabulary and sentence structures as well as an improvement on my text structures and also maturity. A good example of that would be my post "Every day closer"; rich in connectors, new vocabulary (at least for me) and compound sentences. I've also chosen this post because it illustrates my personal moment now: heading to university.

Finally, I'd like to talk about my oral skills. Although I'm not able to prove it with evidence here on the blog, I can feel whenever I talk that I can speak fluent English. My spontaneous vocabulary has also increased a lot and I think that my pronunciation is every day a bit better thanks to the films and songs I listen to in English.

All there's left to say on this final post is thank you. Thank you for having read my publications, my tasks but also my thoughts. Thank you, teachers from Castelló, for enabling me to speak another language! From now on I'll continue studying English in order to, some day, be able to speak it not as a second language but as a mother language.

Before saying goodbye, I want to wish luck to all my mates, who are also about to walk some of the most important steps in their lives. All the best to you, and all the best to Gemma, Esther, Milco, and, specially, to Sonia, my English teachers!!!

dilluns, 11 de maig de 2015

what money can't buy

A while ago we listened in class to Michael Sandel's TED talk titled "what money can't buy". This intriguing exposition that turned into debate when Sandel introduced the following idea: is it good to pay students for reading books in order to enhance their interest in the subject?; left me thoughtful for several days.

As I see it, there's no point in paying children to read. Reading is a passion that grows from inside enhanced by motivations from our background: to see our family enjoying a book, to be provided the books that suit the best for us according to our age, personality and maturity, to present reading as a pleasure, not an obligation...

Going back to the general issue he was trying to introduce, "can money buy everything?" I must say I consider that unfortunately nowadays it is possible to achieve almost everything if you're affluent. Therefore, I'd like to bring in a new question: is it worth the same something achieved with money than something achieved with personal effort?

Obviously, the result is the same: you wanted something and you get something. However, from my point of view, those who achieved their goal working for it feel a great dose of reward that those who achieved it just for the sake of their fortune will lack. The lucky ones who own a great amount of money and get what they want whenever they want will probably feel unsatisfied and their desire to acquire things will only grow and grow indefinitely.

With these words I wouldn't want to lead to misunderstandings, so I have to clarify that I've got nothing against the rich. I just think that even them, should teach their children to work for things, so that they would learn that money is just a tool, an exchange value, not a goal, and that things achieved with personal effort are much more worthy than those just bought.

Let me return to our main concern, money can buy a lot of things, but not everything. We can't confuse the utility of money to exchange work for devices with the materialism we're reaching, where people tend to think that emotions, and humanity can be purchased...

Take a look to Sandel's talk and get your own conclusions.

everyday closer

As you may be fed up of reading posts about my dream of becoming an architect, I will talk today about my dream of becoming an architect;)

I wrote some weeks ago that I could see university approaching and I was quite scared about it. Well, I am still a bit worried about the changes my life will experience in the next six months, however, I couldn't wait for them to come more eagerly.

Two days ago I was looking through information about the grade, when I came across with the official page of the UPC (the University where I'll be coursing my studies), (what a chance, right?) and found the documents where every subject is analyzed and presented to the students. I must confess I was afraid of finding something disappointing. Nevertheless, what I found only increased my excitement about this degree. I was very pleased too to discover that UPC is rated both by students and by official european institutions as the third best university in Spain, and the best one in terms of architecture.

To conclude this last My say about architecture, I will just promise something I hope to fulfill: as early as I will have concluded my first project, I will link it here for you to check it out!

trip to Cadiz

Perhaps I will surprise you a little if I now start talking about my trip to Cadiz, where I went in Easter. Although it is a bit late, I would like to tell you about it anyway.

I had to "skip" school on Friday in order to get there as early as possible. After fourteen hours in the road, we made it to Cadiz. That was a long night... We arrived at ten in the morning. We were warmly received by a lovely temperature of 26ºC. The same day, we unloaded the boats and accommodated in the hotel we were staying in.

We spent the first days training, until Wednesday, the day before the competition started, when we went to Tarifa. I really liked to go there, because it was the first time in my life I ever spotted Africa. The town was a bit like a slum, but the coast was paradisiac. Unfortunately I wasn't able to surf nor kite there, because I was with my sailing team and we wanted to stay together. 

On Thursday the Spanish Nationals started with a ridiculously light wind... on Friday we had almost 30knts and we managed to rise in the classifications, but finally we didn't make it into the gold fleet due to the disastrous result we did on Thursday. However, and although it may sound like the words of a loser, we learnt a lot and we kept on ascending positions every day.

That trip ended on Sunday, with an hilarious party night and a hard way back home... I enjoyed those days of "mini-summer" a lot and I wanted to share them with you. I really recommend to visit southern Spain, it is a beautiful zone with lovely people.

summer 2015

Sometimes, it seems to me that the year of a student consists of two periods: one enjoying vacation, and the other waiting anxiously for summer.

I would like to be an exception, yet I am not. Although I really enjoy school and learning and all that great stuff we're supposed to like, I prefer a thousand times summer. Who doesn't? 

Now that we're finishing off the school year, one of the hardest ones I've ever lived, I'm eagerly planning my summer: I've got a long list of "to do's". First of all I must get good marks in these last exams we're doing this week. Then, after "selectivitat", when this horror will be over, I'll come back to life.

I'd like to get my driving license as early as possible, regarding that I'm already eighteen and my parents have to take me everywhere whenever I can't go cycling. Besides, I'm determined to learn French at last, as well as improve my German skills. Apart from learning, there's much to do, so I'll have to earn some money. To do that, I'll be working part-time in my parent's sailing school both in the bar and teaching. 

With the money I expect to raise I will prepare a budget for going to University, but also I would like to fund a trip to Garda, Italy,  where an important race is held every summer. 

Finally, I will try to enjoy the most my time here, and perhaps I will make scuba diving course in "Cap de Creus". As you can see, many many plans... I'll try to accomplish them all, if not, I will enjoy, for sure, every second of summer, whatever I may be doing.

Pirate Captain Kidd's treasure found in Madagascar

7 May, 2015

 A 50Kg silver bar with inscriptions has been found in Madagascar by the US explorer Barry Clifford.  It is said that the bar belonged to the 17th century notorious pirate Captain Kidd. According to Clifford, his metal detector indicated that the whole cavity where he found the silver bar was full of metal, however, he wasn't able to identify nor spot the metal because of the muddiness o of the water inside the cave.

Captain Kidd was hired in the late 17th century by the British crown to tackle piracy and capture enemy french ships. Instead, he became a pirate. In 1701 he was accused of murdering one in his crew and sinking several British ships; the same year he was executed. It is legend that the rope broke twice before he was finally hung. 

It is extraordinary how the currently forgotten job of explorer can discover such interesting findings, contributing to the amazing world of piracy legends. This, of course, boosts tourism and offers us some more information about how living in the 17th century was. 

As a sailor, I've always been attracted to this kind of legends and when I saw this news report in the BBC, I knew I had to share it. Who on earth hasn't wondered as a child becoming a pirate?       

diumenge, 10 de maig de 2015

70 years since liberation

Seventy years back from now, Jersey island was liberated from five years of Nazi rule. Yesterday, the VE day was commemorated with local bands playing, a performance from the cadette's academy and several acts around the clock. 

The Nazi army invaded some of the channel islands during WWII, triggering the exodus of hundreds from their homes. Jersey was devastated, and the Nazi law was imposed. In this news documentary we hear the testimony of some who suffered the shortage of war...

Thanks to commemorations like yesterday's we remind ourselves about the horrors of war, and this motivates us to keep on working for a better society, with a sense of community and brotherhood among all human beings. Related with Human rights, we can't forget the overwhelming violation of them that occurred during WWII. However, we must remember too that, despite living in safe countries, war still happens around the globe and we are all involved in it as long as we refuse to make a difference and try to stop them.


source: BBC