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Spreading tentacles of English...once again! , by Alex Sospedra.

THE FIRST CERTIFICATE EXAM IS NO MORE!!

THE FIRST CERTIFICATE EXAM IS NO MORE!!

Today I have taken the rest of the parts of the First Certificate Exam. This means that I have finally taken the exam I have been preparing for from last year, and it has been an exciting experience. The exam has lasted for three hours and forty minutes and I have started it at nine o’clock in the morning, but I haven’t been able to arrive home before half past three in the afternoon as they have let us to rest for about thirty minutes after each part of the exam.

 

All the students gathered together in the Olympia Hotel, which is in Alboraia. I went there with two girls who are classmates of mine in my English Academy. But we were not alone at all: the hotel was totally crowed for the event. One of my mates told us she had overheard someone saying there were nearly one thousand students there! And there were quite varied people: my classmates and I were the youngest students, but there were some people who were about forty years old or more.

 

We did the different parts of the exam in a big, well-illuminated room, which, in fact, seemed to be a restaurant. We could take the exam in wide tables, sit down in comfortable chairs. Besides, organization was quite good. As we all had left the unnecessary things we carried and had sit down in our chairs, an army of British Council workers started to hand out the answer sheets and the exams papers. A woman told us the instructions and finally said “Good luck” at the beginning of each part.

 

Firstly, we did the Reading part, which lasted for one hour. After a short half an hour, we had to start the Writing exam, which consisted in two parts. In the first one, we had to write a letter to a museum manager called Carla, who had sent us a letter in which she asked us about specific details of the visit that our English classmates were going to do. Then, in the second part of the exam, we had to choose from different options: writing an essay in which we had to talk about what we loved and hated about being our age, a music report, a story, etc. I chose the essay option, because being a teenager is a very common topic, so I already had some interesting ideas to write about.

 

Later, we took the Use of English exam (Grammar exam) and the Listening test, which lasted from 14.20 to 15.00 h. Both of them were easier than I had expected, like the other parts of the exam. Therefore, I was quite proud of myself when I set off the big building. I checked some answers I doubted about on the dictionary I had carried with me and I happily saw I had put the right words. And there was something that gave a more transcendental, literary touch to the event: clouds totally disappeared when we finished the Listening exam. Day smiled us! And sun was like a regard to me.

 

To sum up, I must say that taking this exam has been an exciting experience which I recommend everyone who enjoys languages or not. While doing the exam, fear goes, since you are completely focused on what you are doing. There is no time to stupid, mental disturbances! Then, you think you will be able to do anything you aim to, and you might realize you are more skilled in strange languages than you had always thought. Besides, there are the ‘official’ advantages of taking the FCE: it is recognized by the most of European and international companies and it is the higher level before Advanced courses. I can assure you that, if you decide to take the FCE, you won’t regret it!

¿Y esta publicidad? Puedes eliminarla si quieres.

ANOTHER TALE WITH NEW VOCABULARY: REDEMPTION 3: THE VIDEOGAME.

ANOTHER TALE WITH NEW VOCABULARY: REDEMPTION 3: THE VIDEOGAME.

He was just an offender. He had already been in front of lots of different prosecution witnesses, in countless trials, in different states of the European Union. The older he was, the harsher the sentences were and the less sorrow the judges felt for him. He had always thought that adults weren’t his peers, but this changed into an indefinite thinking when he realized that he was more than twenty.

            However, his life veered off when he felt his cheekbones for the first time: he had rested his head on his hand. He had started to think.

            When he started that conversation with the nothing, he felt a new man; because of this, he put down his former personality since then, and he didn’t try to instinctly and constantly show off or to want to take after his bad, insensitive and insensible friends. Of course, he started to secretly look up people who had a well-paid job and had no criminal record. But, in general, he was proud of himself for all the changes he had done. He was gaining more and more points each day to reach the following level.

            Finally, the last day of his personal hell, while his nostrils were contracting and dilating because of emotion, something changed: light…!

—    Son, you seem a hermit sit down there in front of the screen, dribbling all the day as if you were a zombie.

—    Don’t exaggerate, mum! I’ve been playing just for three hours.

—    Three hours?! You’ve been here for more than six hours! Look at you: you’ve not even taken off your pyjamas!

—    Bfff…

—    Don’t complain about anything, that I’ve already cleaned up…blub, blub, blub, blub…

Another day, another story…Or was it the same again? He didn’t remember. He was just imagining the faces of his friends when he told them what he had done in Redemption 3 that weekend… Simply amazing.

ENGLISH TALE IN THE NORTH POLE: “WE JUST WAITED FOR A FLOCK OF GUEESE”.

ENGLISH TALE IN THE NORTH POLE: “WE JUST WAITED FOR A FLOCK OF GUEESE”.

Imaginary Writing exercise: “Write a story that starts with this sentence: Unfortunately, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Because of the chilly wind, it was fairly cold even inside the car. We just waited for someone to rescue us from that frozen hell, but by the time our muscles had nearly become completely solid, we came across a snowplough. We were already thinking about our return to life when a flock of geese—which were probably migrating—suddenly attacked to the vehicle and to its driver, who was eating a sandwich without realizing what was going on beyond his big tummy.  

            The birds got into the engine and got caught on the blades that removed the snow. Because of geese blood and the crevasses caused by the pecks of the birds, the driver couldn’t see anything through the front window, not even that he was going towards a precipice. Finally, the snowplough exploded and its driver died in a fury of fire, engines and bones…

            In spite of the horrible—and striking— aspect of that event, we didn’t make any facial expression: in those moments, we weren’t made of flesh, but of ice…We were like salt statues in the middle of the nowhere. Because of this, we just waited for a flock of geese to help us…

PRACTICING A STORY WITH NEW VOCABULARY: “THE UNBEARABLE LECTURE.”

PRACTICING A STORY WITH NEW VOCABULARY: “THE UNBEARABLE LECTURE.”

(The new vocabulary is in bold.)

Our main character is now in a lecture at his university. He is thinking about his last relationship with a beautiful girl from his class: how he met her at that strange party, how he started chatting her up; and, finally, how they rowed so horribly that they grew apart and decided to settle down…later, surely with another person.

            Meanwhile, the lesson was going on without novelty. “This is a big pain”, the student said without knowing that sentence had been repeated in that classroom for hundreds of years. The speech of the professor seemed to be testing them and the consequence was that the boy and his classmates were coming to the end of theirs endurance. He was feeling that a crevasse was being opened in his inner ear by the words of Him, I mean, the tough inquisitor on that grey and brown, checked pullover. Our student desperately desired him to be able to set off that warm, bad-illuminated hell, which was nothing more than a ballroom of long, boring sentences and passive looks.

            He couldn’t face up to it any longer. Of course, there’s no need to point out that he had already used up his mental energy. He just wanted to set off and go to the bedroom in his college and sleep.

            He desired to rob something (shoplifting wasn’t enough; that was just for superstars and childish teenagers). He wanted to mug, to vandalize…He needed action, movement, life!! But he could see no more than dribbling mouths, papers and heads; he could hear no more than yawns, student dripping slobber and that unbearable snuffling of the boy who was sitting down behind him.

He was also feeling how his brain was becoming more and more slippery. There had been a long time since he had got used to daily go without activities he liked to do—night was his only refuge—, but he felt he couldn’t stand it anymore. Then, he didn’t want action: he just wanted peace, the latest and longest peace: he wanted to die!!

Suddenly, the bell rang. It was the end of the lecture. Students slowly stood up and dragged their chairs. It was three o’clock in the afternoon. “Well—the student said—, another day is over”. The teacher called him. When he got to his table, he started telling him something like “…more responsible. If all of you did always listen to my lectures, I wouldn’t have to repeat things so many times and we would have more time to do interesting activities…”. “This old man has a stressful voice. Let’s go”, he thought.

The following day would be another story. He was sure that life was keeping the best things for the end.

 

Letter to a newspaper...

Letter to a newspaper...

Dear Mr Director,

I’m a faithful reader of your newspaper. I always enjoy your accurate articles and your also rigorous investigations. Contrary to what other newspapers include in their filthy pages (with its pieces of news full of aberrant subjectivity), your paper is different, innovative, responsible with the important role that journalism and media have in the contemporaneous society and well written. In fact, in my opinion your paragraphs are the only ones which have the enough decency to have commas, semicolons, full stops and so on. Besides, you’re not either sensationalist or narrow-minded: you are neither accidents-loving—as some papers and television news bulletins often seem to be—, nor too much brief when you talk about an interesting, significant piece of news.

 

To sum up, I sincerely congratulate you for the great work you do with your newspaper. I hope you carry on publishing as you’ve always published: being loyal to your readers and to the reality of the news.

 

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Smith Smoothie Smoothen.

Continuation to the tale

Continuation to the tale

            The police officers were astonished by the story and some of them finally trusted the word of that strange man…but not the most of them. Anyway, no evidences had been found; there were no more witnesses—how would have there been any other people in that abandoned place?—. The investigation was deadlocked. The only possibility they had to solve that strange disappearance—or death—was to keep on seeking for any new evidence in the houses of the two main (and only) characters of the story…And, finally, to go to the place that overstressed old man had told them about.

            Two weeks later, the police found some ancient books hidden in a secret chamber next to the bathroom of Warren’s house. The officers though that they were similar to which Carter had described to them. The leader police, Brody Fisherman, had the brilliant idea of showing to Carter all those books. If they were lucky, Carter would identify the last book that brought them to that graveyard and the cryptographs would be able to start working over the possible clues hidden in the texts.

            There were four police officers in the room. An oscillating bulb was the only thing that was illuminating all the people gathered there. Carter was in the center of the room, sit down in front of an old, wood-made table. Brody Fisherman was next to the second more important policeman in the district: Mr. Attenborough, as fat and moody as always (or more, Fisherman though; an imperceptible smile appeared in his face).

—    Ok, this is the forth one we found. Look at it as long as you need— another policeman said to Carter after leaving the old book on the table. Carter carefully opened the book, as if he though some horrible monster could suddenly go out from it. A few minutes later, his face expressions changed.

—    Yes! These are the same undecipherable characters that I saw on the book that Warren carried with him that night! And this is also the last book he read before beginning the study of the other book—. He created the enough expectation to arouse policemen’s curiosity. One of them—the same that a few minutes before had given to Carter the book— picked up the mysterious object and looked at it.

—    These are just counts! Lots and lots of counts!

—    Let me see— the fourth policeman said. He was the only in the room who know a bit about cryptography and accountancy at the same time…—Yes, this book just seems to contain…counts. Numbers and numbers, with some words on the right side of all the pages…—he was turning the pages of the book—…Maybe it is some hidden code…

The other three policemen in the room were trying to look at the surface of the book while the fourth one read the words written in the book. Finally, he closed the book and looked at the title page.

—    I was right. The evidences coincide: here, it says “Gustavsson’s Agents, Medical Assurances Company” in Norwegian! —he also could understand five languages or more. Norwegian was one of them thanks to his father. But this is another story.

—Counts!? Are they really counts of a Medical Assurances Company!?— Attenborough said, as surprised as everyone in the room.

—So it seems to be. I can’t imagine what other thing can be…

—Oh, dear! It was that! And I didn’t catch it! I should have realized before! If I had, now Warren would be alive!! — Carter desperately shouted.

—    Calm down, man, calm down. We’ve been to his home and he had no money; then, he won’t be able to pay any medical assurance— Brenk said (the polyglot policeman).

—    Noooo, Warren!! Oh, Warren, what a terrible fate I have let you to take!! Why, Warren, Whyyyy!!??

—    Be quiet! — Fisherman said.

—    That’s right! — Brenk added.

—    No, I was speaking to you. You shut up!

—    …

But Attenborough was losing his patience.

—    Now, can anybody explain to me what the hell is going om? What are they talking about??

 As always, Fisherman answered to Attenborough’s lack of patience in order to explain him what his short brain had lost from the environment.

—    He has just discovered two things: the horrible destiny of his suicide friend and his huge stupidity.

—    But…Which is that horrible destiny you talk about?

—    I’ll explain you, but let’s go to my office. If not, this poor man will lose his last four neurons because of another shock…

Back to the past—where Carter brain was trying to simulate the scene in the graveyard and convince his mind about what had really happened— we find Warren walking in a deep darkness. It was so deep that he couldn’t see the light of his lantern. Carter is in the entrance to the descending, terrifying path towards the unknown of the catacombs, land of ancient bones and spoilt innards. Suddenly, something changes and Warren’s voice is received by Carter through his telephone.

—    Carter, it’s terrible—monstrous—unbelievable!

—    Warren, what is it? What is it?

—    I can’t tell you, Carter! It’s too utterly beyond thought—I dare not tell you—no man could know it and live—Great God! I never dreamed of this!"

Warren had just gone into a strange, fairly illuminated ballroom. There were some tables at the back and a few big chandeliers over the heads of all those evil people…A dull, aristocratic classical music was being played and flew in the ninth-century environment. Impressive dresses, dinner jackets, bowler hats…One of them, a especially pale man—as smart-worn as disgusting— moved closer to Warren.

—    Ahm,…Ugghh…— when he was going to speak, he realized how Warren was worn— Eh, hello. You are..? — asked with an effeminate voice.

—    Ah, ah…I am…Warr…

—    Invitation card? — of course, he was already patronizing Warren.

—    Ahm, no, sorry, I…I…Oh Dear, Oh my god…—he started to see with detail all the elements in the ballroom, the faces of the people there— This, this is more than I can stand…

—    Ok, then you might be…A client? — a creepy smile suddenly appeared on his milky face. Just a second of doubt gave the enough information to the strange man to carry on with his logic deductions…

—    All right, you are…a possible client!! —he didn’t asked any more, just shouted—This is the more exciting thing that has happened here for hundreds of years…Maybe more!...This is delightful! —He turned round and spoke, fairly excited, to the rest of the people in the room. — Hey, ladies and gentlemen! We have a new possible victim…I mean, client!

Some claps and stupid laughs were heard. A lot of new conversations started and the music became louder and a bit outlandish, but continued being dull. Warren’s face was expressing as much the terror as its muscles could. Although it wasn’t only strong fear: it was also revulsion, stress and constriction. He tried to speak, but he was trembling.

—    Arr, are, are you…medic-cal as-ssurance a-a-agents??

—    Hi, hi, hi, hi— the man laughed again with his 'pink' voice. Anyway, he carried on enjoying the moment and the laugh became more creepy and dark—Haa, ha, ha, haa…You’re right— he suddenly said, with the evil face of a child. Then, the man turned away from Warren and went towards the few waiters in the room—who were clothed as penguins—and said to them:

—    Come on, come on! Move! Carry the soufflé to the tables, my guests are starving! Oh, musicians: play some song like…the other ones.

Obediently, a weird song in a strange style—which was a mix between contemporaneous and classical music— started spreading through the ballroom like a lumpy sauce. Warren quickly turned round and pushed the button to turn on the telephone:

—Carter! For the love of God, put back the slab and get out of this if you can! Quick! —leave everything else and make for the outside—it’s your only chance! Do as I say, and don’t ask me to explain!

—Warren, brace up! I’m coming down! —Carter answered.

—Don’t! You can’t understand! It’s too late—and my own fault. Put back the slab and run—there’s nothing else you or anyone can do now!

The pale man returned where Warren was fixed to the ground like a nail because of the paralysis of terror.

—Quick—before it’s too late! —Warren murmured to his telephone before the pale man get to there. He offered to Warren a cup with a green liquid, which he ignored.

—    Do you want a little? This is from the clients of the thirties, concretely the 38. What a year! — Warren was staring at him without saying anything— Oh, come on, it just costs thirty pounds per cup. It’s not so much!

—    What…What is it?

—    Ha, ha, ha! You’re quiet funny, filthy vagrant! — Even though the words he said, the man had a sincere smile in his reptilian face. — Come with us, you don’t seem to have too much money, but I assure you that it won’t hurt you too much to become a client of our company…Hi, hi, hi, did you caught it? “Assure”, “hurt”! Ha, ha…I’m the best…

—    S-so, are you really a medical assurance company??

—    Ahm, yes, stupid ignorant— the man said. He didn’t express a lot his scorn, but. of course, that was what he felt.

—    But, didn’t those kind of creatures extinct centuries ago??

—    In what world do you live? We’re in the United States! And although we’re hidden, we’re in all the countries…By the way, our bloodthirstiness has no limits!!

—    Aagggh! Vampires!!

—    Don’t doubt that.

They were already in the center of the ballroom. An old, wood-made table had been put there. All the people were approaching to them. Before getting to the table, the pale man started to give instructions to some waiters.

—Carter—hurry! It’s no use—you must go—better one than two—the slab—Warren whispered to Carter through the telephone. He deduced that he had to sit down in the chair that was in front of the table, and went. As he was doing this, he carried on talking to the telephone when he though nobody was looking at him.

—Nearly over now—don’t make it harder—cover up those damned steps and run for your life—you’re losing time—so long, Carter—won’t see you again.

The pale man was walking towards him once again. All the people were surrounding the table…

—Curse these hellish things—legions—My God! Beat it! Beat it! BEAT IT!

Finally, the man stopped ordering things and spoke to Warren, another time with his effeminate voice.

—    Ok, as you see we are ready to start.

—    Bu-Bu-But what ha-happ-pens if I-I don’t want to get any medical assurance?

All the people in the room immediately started laughing, as loudly as their aristocratic paunches, dresses, jackets, monocles, hats and Britain decency could support.

—    Well— the pale man answered—, you don’t have that possibility…But, as you will be able to deduce, the first thing we have to do is to convince you. We will inform you about all the horrible advantages that our company has and afterwards, when you completely agree with our beyond-the-grave conditions—I don’t know if you understand me—, you will sign…the binding contract!

—    Noo! Nooooo!!!

Of course, Carter was desperate. From the surface, he kept on waiting to any sound that came from the radio, but there were no more messages from his friend… Until some clicking was heard by him.

—    Warren, are you there?

Silence…

—    You fool, Warren is DEAD!

—    Aaaghhaaaa— and Carter fainted. If he hadn’t done such a thing, he would have probably heard what the telephone said after that horrible sentence: it said worst things.

—    …DEAD tired! Negotiations have been exhausting for everybody, ha, ha. — all the people in the brightly illuminated ballroom were having a great time. Alcohol and gold were copulating in a big party. Meanwhile, Warren was still sit down in the chair in front of the wood-made table. The red velvet of the chair contrasted with the brown, full of holes Warren’s jacket and his extremely sweaty face. Of course, he was signing the medical assurance contract— No, I’ve just told you a big lie. He accepted all our conditions and we didn’t have to make any effort…Ha, ha, ha…By the way, who are you?

A safari which was more wild than expected.

A safari which was more wild than expected.

Adolescent elephants attack...Yes, they are all adolescents though it's not evident at first sight...

 

First Certificate exam exercise: Write a story that starts with this sentence: “It was a trip I’ll never forget”.

It was a trip I’ll never forget. Some friends and I decided to ho because of the adventure environment but it was more than that: thrillering races, some quiet, fantastic nights; other ones nerve-cracking and dangerous…We know we did the trip of our life.

 

My group of friends and I went to Kenia three years ago. We thought it would be better to make a middle-scheduled trip in order to have enough disorientation and panic during our stay to feel like nineteen-century European explorers. However, we got a lot more than that: the bus in which we were travelling through the savannah—in which we were the only costumers that day—broke down. While the bus driver was trying to fix it, a group of teenager elephants brought down the transport. The driver run away towards an unknown valley in the East; we run away towards the unknown mountains in the North. We had to stay there because we thought the extreme heat would kill us if we tried to return to the village from where we started our safari.

 

After lots of days and nights there, we had perfectly learnt to survive in the wild environment. But we had the strong hope of being rescued one day…About a month later, we all were unsuccessfully chasing a rabbit when the smell of oil was perceived by two of us. We decided to turn right the little forest there was and we just stared at what we had discovered: a full of cars petrol station. We didn’t know if starting crying or laughing. “So…I suppose that’s all”, one of us said.

It rained cats and dogs, but it was a good birthday

It rained cats and dogs, but it was a good birthday

Writing exercise form a First Certificate exam: write a story that starts with this sentence: “I will always remember that day as one of the happiest days of my life”.

This is the second version of the exercise...:

I will always remember that day as one of the happiest days of my life. It’s strange that it seemed to be one of my worst ones when it started…

 

It was my birthday and a party had been perfectly prepared. My friends and I would have it in a restaurant on the beach. So, it was supposed to be a fantastic sunny day with pizzas, sea water and lots of friends. But idyllic mental images don’t usually get real, as I found out when the incredibly pessimistic weather report said us “good morning” in its way. We would have to put the party back.

 

As it was still raining in the noon, I definitely had to turn down the idea of having the party. However, I suddenly started to plan a possible solution in my mind not to run out of the party. I reminded the existence of a nearby sports centre and called everybody right away to tell my friends about my plan. We met there, hired an indoor pitch and played football for hours. After getting ready at home, we met again in a bar in town, where we had dinner and had a great time too. It was one of the greatest days I’ve had, that’s for sure.

A strange destiny, an ironic end.

A strange destiny, an ironic end.

Writing exercise form a First Certificate exam: write a story that starts with this sentence: “I will always remember that day as one of the happiest days of my life”.

This is the first version...:

I will always remember that day as one of the happiest days of my life. In all likelihood this sentence is the biggest lie I’ve ever said. This is the story of a crazy day in my always disorganized life.

 

A few years ago, April the 1st started as a usual day. When I got up, I had to bear the unsettled shutters of my bedroom windows and my cat desperating mews. After having reprimanded it, its grunt was heard by my teasing-loving neighbor, a boy who is the same age than mine. The difference between us is that his greatest hobby is to wander through the streets wearing a pink skirt and a red sweater singing “It’s raining men” out of tune and deep voice. That day he decided to do this into my home. I was late for school, so I really was in a rush. When I fast opened the door, a posh voice and a nasty cologne smell invaded the whole flat. I shouted to him “What are you doing!?” as loud as I could in order to scary my outrageous neighbor (this is the best way of communicating him he is not welcome, believe me). But now, I regret having done such a thing: he suffered a neurotic attack because of my action and I finished the morning kidnapped in the tiny cellar of my own flat.

 

Fortunately or not, I discovered a secret trap to escape. It led me to an ancient well, through which I got to the public general sewer. After two hours trying not to put my feet into the dark, filthy water, I found an exit. The first thing I saw was the sun and its light…The ironic thing about end of my adventure was the second thing I saw: my blue-painted school.

Writing composition for a Selectivo Exam: What would you propose to improve society if you were an influential politician?

Writing composition for a Selectivo Exam: What would you propose to improve society if you were an influential politician?

As far as I am concerned, some politicians haven’t had enough mental capacity to properly prevent today’s problems, to solve deep, national problems either. So, I think the first thing I would do if I were an influential politician would be to propose complete and exhaustive QI tests to be established for my companions, in order to put an intelligence top to forbid to the less capable ones to achieve any important public employment. I would also establish other mental tests to find out politicians with psychological characteristics which might make them dangerous for the state in any sense.

These measures would be the first aspects to improve. Afterwards, I would try to convince them to invest a lot more money and effort in giving power to removable energies. It’s a basic point to solve in the future to improve our relationship with the natural environment.

Warren's death and Carter's penitence

This is my translation of the poem. I have added or eliminated some words in a few lines in order to make it more aesthetic in Spanish:

 

Warren, idiota, ¡estás MUERTO!

Difunto, muerto, apagado.

Siente tu sangre fluir.

Escapando de tus huesos.

Tus extremidades y tus músculos fallan.

Plantado ahí, metido hasta las rodillas,

En la rojez sanguínea de tus vísceras.

 

Tu armadura, un curioso rollo de alambres.

Linternas eléctricas, palas e instrumentos, ¡ese teléfono!

Y Randolph Carter, ese manojo de nervios.

Lo que eran ellos: salvadas sombras mortales, en las sombras.

 

¡Warren, héroe desventurado!

No pudiste averiguar por qué algunas cosas

Te hicieron avanzar, poco a poco, hacia un destino

Que estaba predestinado desde el principio.

 

Raros, desconocidos, antiguos caracteres,

Extraños libros e idiomas secretos.

Nocturnas expediciones por vaporosas ciénagas.

Bajo una luna menguante y creciente;

Tu débil susurrar pronto se transforman en llanto. 

 

Aterrorizado aunque fascinado, sabías

Que tu ejecución estaba cerca.

Eso te asustó, sin duda.

Tus fervientes y secretos éxtasis

Y tu inclinación al horror;

Tus horrendas ilusiones y fantasías,

Esas imperiosas pasiones

Concibieron todas tus siniestras misiones.

 

Tu ardiente curiosidad y las nudosas ramas de tu locura

Te impulsaron a levantar las losas para curiosear,

Para penetrar en los prohibidos y oscuros osarios,

Para invadir el silencio de durmientes siglos.

 

A través  de los miasmáticos gases y los fétidos  vapores,

A través de la Puerta del Hades (Reino de los Muertos),

Bajo las pétreas escaleras de caracol

Descendiste.

 

Tú viniste, aquí bajo la superficie, a comprobar,

Oh Warren,  ¡tu teoría era cierta!

Quítate los ojos, mira a tu alrededor.

Las Legiones Infernales, ¿las ves?

¡Cadáveres de todos los tamaños!

Ellos descansan quietos y grasos.

Ellos obedecen y satisfacen todos mis caprichos,

Ellos

¡Incluso cantan y bailan!

 

¿Y Lo que no tiene nombre?- soy yo.

 

Yo soy la  Reina de la Necrópolis,

De las catacumbas y las urnas,

De los cenotes y los mausoleos,

De las profanadas almas y esqueletos,

De los huesos y las cenizas que nunca se descomponen.

 

Warren, no tengas desesperación;

Me pediste una explicación:

 

Soy terrible, monstruosa, increíble,

Amorfa y gelatinosa, todo lo que dijiste; ¡y más!

Amplios y gruesos labios; saltones, cristalinos y fluorescentes ojos.

¿Por qué?  ¿Es poco satisfactorio a tu ver?

 

¡Warren! ¡Te esperaba!

Tengo una misión, repugnante e inmensa:

Unir la carne con la carne; juntar los huesos con los huesos,

Hacer tus miembros otra vez miembros, músculos y escurridizos tendones.

 

Aún tu corazón late en mi mano, ¿lo ves?

Volveré a dejártelo en el pecho.

Y como los felinos ojos en la oscuridad, tus ojos volverán a ver

En la noche eterna de Necrópolis.

Aquí es donde ahora te quedarás.

De este demoníaco lugar y estos lechos de infortunio

Jamás ascenderás.

Explora otros lugares y con Carter juega.

 

Warren, hombre idiota, aprende esto:

Tu curiosidad es a quien debes culpar.

¡Pero no te avergüences!

YO emití brutales pasiones desde el subsuelo.

Encanté a tu mente,

Podrí tu cerebro.

 

Desde el inmenso dolor y peligro,

Tú emergiste como ganador;

Como un héroe renacido.

 

Has ganado la corona del horror;

Serás temido.

Por favor, recibe este honor:

¡El saludo de las reales catacumbas!

 

Abrazaste terribles teorías,

Te obsesionaste con la Cosa.

 

Las tierras de Necrópolis ahora te dan la bienvenida,

 

Harley Warren,

¡el Rey!

 

And my own-created continuation:

 

Do now what you have to do,

Distort, kill; create suppurative Fear,

You shouldn’t be rude

To the Queen of Horror!

 

Drag the unlucky men to hell,

Make your victims cry,

Make them bodies a trail

Of bones, guts and bits of skin.

Make them into pieces of filthy carmine

Warren, Oh Warren, they have to smell

Their bloody blood, as you hardly strike

Their mortal hopes, and also their lies!

 

Unbelievers of your power

Will be full of sorrow for your rise.

They will eventually look after

Their back from you, to stay alive!

 

Like Carter, poor mortal!

He blames to himself, for your death

Stupid, vane existence. Don’t you think so?

Don’t you see it now, erudite Harley?

 

Mortals are fetid puppets and clowns;

We had better snatch them.

Dark Filthiness, that’s Existence high!   

Its purely wickedness is eternal life!

 

Now, you have got over life.

Now you will cause the Crime;

Death and constriction, through the Line,

Fates’ Mortality, infantile Cries,

Breathlessness and deep sorrow… in the Dark of Mine.

 

 

Carter’s life advanced without illusion

Since I married Warren, as a slave

of my terrifying Cause.

 

I brought about his entire pain,

I absorbed his life, I rolled

His entire happiness, already scarce.

His blame was his neurons’ union.

 

I couldn’t take his soul with yours, Warren,

In the moment you joined me.

But I always over-remain, so he

Has been harshly punished for that

During all his squalid life.

He shouldn’t have had bad manners!

 

Now Carter wanders the depth of the Hades.

Cerberus mouths amuse gnawing his bones.

His organs spoilt a long time ago.

His stupid soul turning over endlessly,

Like Azathoth does in the Final Void’s madness.

 

Warren, you won. Even

Your filthy obsession is gone,

You still have your riven

sinews as rats’ better resort.

You’re lucky, Warren!

You chose to join death and dirt

Before I reclaimed you, though

I was no requiring your green soul.

 

Anyway, a great, funny mortal you are.

Enjoy your stay in my realm,

You, forever ‘Warren, king of Catacombs’.

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THE FRENETIC JUNGLE ADVENTURE OF SANTIAGO GIMENO.

THE FRENETIC JUNGLE ADVENTURE OF SANTIAGO GIMENO.

Yes, although it seems impossible, Santiago Gimeno could perfectly be the man of the photo.

 

I wrote this little story two years ago. Now, I’ve translated it into English. I wish I have not committed too many mistakes! By the way, new, interesting vocabulary is in boldface.

            Santiago Gimeno, a Spanish man who is 34 years old, after having thought  about it for a long time because of his terrible fear of flying (and because he wasn’t sure if he earned enough money to pay it), decided to make a scheduled trip with a group of  unknown people to the South-East of Asia. The flight didn’t go well (he used a lot of those paper sickbags that are given in commercial planes), but when he arrived at his destiny and saw the rainforest in the background, he felt that adventure called him. Besides, even though it was impossible for him to understand anything the tour guide said (he was just speaking Thai), he seemed to be nice.

          The bus transported them to the interior of the dense rainforest. It was comfortable, but putting the canvas in the top floor—now open-top—had been forgotten. Due to this, some lianas constantly hit the passengers.

            Among the tourists, there were a lot of nationalities: Swedish, Italian, English, German, Japanese, Kyrgyzes…But, fortuitously, he was the only Spanish man, so he had to speak broken English to ask for a cream for the lashes caused by the impertinent lianas. When they had already been driven through the jungle for a while, they arrived in an unimportant place where the bus stopped. The tour guide led them through a vague path—which only seemed to be known by him.

            However, suddenly, the arms, legs and face of that enigmatic Thai man came out in a rash all over and run away, shouting like a mental guy, leaving the group puzzled and motionless. After a while, they stopped hearing him; anyway, they decided to wait for his return, something that they started to evaluate as an impossible event when they had already been waiting for four hours. Now, Santiago Gimeno was alone with the rest of the tourists, without knowing where the devil they were, in a jungle full of insects that bit you even if you were wearing jeans…; a jungle full of exotic plants that set your teeth on edge…; a jungle full of also strange animal sounds, which you couldn’t guess if they were made by birds or by monkeys...

            After walking all the day with the jungle stifling heat, the group got to a clearing (which, in rainforest language, means less than four square meters without trees). They decided to stay there that night crowed together to be able to fit under a torn, plastic canvas that a Jamaican tourist had pulled with his left foot without realizing for all the day.

Evolution of drugs in modern society.

Evolution of drugs in modern society.

Nowadays, drug addiction is one of the most worrying problems. Although drugs have been consumed by men and women for thousands of years, some modern drugs are much more dangerous than they used to be before. Besides common ancient drugs like alcoholic drinks or some vegetal species like coca, lots of illegal organizations have created and distributed a large amount of new, quite addictive substances to earn millions of euros and dollars selling them both to rich and to poor people. Therefore, those gangs become rather powerful at other people’s health expense.

 

Two of the most sold drugs in the Earth are alcohol and nicotine (in tobacco). The first one has been probably drunk by humans since the seventh millennium before Christ. It has been consumed in large quantities by many cultures, but drinking it too often can involve an addiction for some people: it is alcoholism, which represents a worst psychological dependence than tobacco could ever create in any people. What’s more: every addict who achieves giving up drinking will never stop desiring any alcoholic drink. However, tobacco is more potentially addictive to any people than alcohol: nearly the 100% who try nicotine become addicted to it; the percentage is just 82 % for alcohol. Anyway, there’s no relation between what this scale measure and how dangerous is a drug: the percentage of ecstasy in this scale is 20,1 %!

We can say that analgesics have unfortunately become the second or the third most consumed kind of drug in many developed countries since the beginning of this century. In the USA and Europe, analgesics are the favorite drugs for famous people, though neither using analgesics as drug nor this socially specific preference is just new fact: heroine, morphine and other opiates have been used for aristocrats and, in general, rich people, for several centuries. And there is a curiosity related with this: the heroine was created by Bayer as a substitute for morphine, which was only used as anesthesia. It is a disappointing fact that Bayer developed heroine to obtain a less addictive version of morphine!

 

As we said, lots of drugs were just consumed by rich people in the past. However, in the twentieth century, these drugs and other have reached the leadership of preferred drugs among people of any social class. Furthermore, lots of new drugs have been created in the last years. These dangerous drugs are obtained from chemical mixes in which artificial and natural molecules are used. Artificial substances come from lots of sorts of analgesics and others, even horses’ analgesics or fertilizers. Natural ones come from traditional Indian vegetables like cannabis, coca, hallucinogenic mushrooms, etc. The mix between this sorts of substances bring about disastrous effects in consumers’ brains, therefore in their whole lives too.

New technologies and language learning

New technologies and language learning

Nowadays, technology provides us with a great amount of information and lots of resources to obtain it, especially through the Internet. So, learning independently is supposed to be an easy, free and widespread activity in modern society. There are lots of web pages in which you can improve your grammatical or vocabulary knowledge in nearly any language without attending physically to any lecture or course. Anyway, there are also some potential disadvantages: some sources can be called anti-learning sources, because of their methods and the information which they contain. You will be risking failing if you trust any web page!

 

The conclusion is we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the Internet, but we had better to be careful while using it to learn.

'Friendly' conversation...

'Friendly' conversation...

—     Hello, Mr. John. How are you today?

—     Less stupid than you, Mr. Smith; today and always.

—     Your disdain disturbs my peace, old friend.

—     But I’m not in disgrace. Besides, no woman ever ditched me and no dog was ever able to refute my reasoning in any intellectual discussion.

—     What’s eating you?

—     Maybe that dog. Anyway, I’m grateful to you not to have forgotten your personal and professional failures, especially because I can deduce from your reaction how much you still concentrate your mind on maintaining our wood-borer-smelling friendship, while having in your head other things to worry about.

—     ...Do your really know how wood-borer smells?

—     You may know that wood-borer isn’t what smells, but the wood that is consumed by it. Ironically, this is the same that has happened to our vitality.

—     Not ironically, but causally. Time eats away everything. Well, it undermines everything.

—     Using your questioning way, do you really think that our friendship has become this creature because of the decline of our vitality?

—     Don’t use me as a short-sighted intellectual toy.

—     No, I’m not doing that! I said that because, as I’ve observed, this is not what happens to other friends when they become old men.

—     I guess you have just heard that in films.

—     Maybe yes, maybe I’ve also watched it in a book.

—     (Laughing) Do you really usually read pictured books yet?

—     No, I don’t, idiot. I’m referring to a reader metaphor…

—     (Yet laughing) Oh Dear, I knew that…

(Both Mr. John and Mr. Smith stare at each other. Afterwards, both of them suddenly start to laugh.)

The power of Youtube in today's world.

The power of Youtube in today's world.

 

My point of view is that it’s really a powerful tool. People can find on it lots of vane, stupid videos. As the Internet is becoming the most famous—and used—entertainment way and so many people like to spend their time idly, Youtube is a fairly good platform for any kind of advertising: since advertisements which try you to buy anything (a music CD, an outlandish jacket…) to the ones which mean you to cut down your CO2 emissions.

One good example of the power of Youtube occurred before the last Copenhagen summit about climate change. Thanks to loads of video and image advertisements that UN put on Youtube two weeks before the beginning of the summit, a huge number of supporting videos and songs were put on the webpage by people from all over the world. 

 

Is President J.L. Zapatero guilty for the economic situation in Spain?

Is President J.L. Zapatero guilty for the economic situation in Spain?

 

In my view, President J. L. Rodríguez Zapatero isn’t the only person to blame for the economic situation, but he has a big part of the responsibility because he and his party have a lot of power in the country. 

Firstly, the economic and construction industry crisis in Spain were initially caused by businessmen-women and stockbrokers. There are two classifications for these people: unconscious people and the selfish ones. The second group may have leaded the most of the important and influential decisions, whether they are those who have taken the decisions, or have convinced the people from the first group to take them. Sometimes, unconscious people consist in a huge group, so the state of the economy can become unstable…and crazy, especially when shares are increasing or decreasing its value very quickly in the Stock Market.

Secondly, there are a lot of politicians who like this system a lot, and want it to keep on working because they are winning a lot of money thanks to the intelligence of their personal stockbrokers. The problem comes when lots of people invest a lot of money in non-secure companies too optimistically. Later, ‘crash’ arrives: companies go bankrupt, fear and panic invades the brains of the brokers, the Government desperate and opposition party and citizens get angry. The difference between opposition party politicians and the rest is that the first ones try to take advantage of the incapacity of the Government to solve a situation which all of them had helped to create and maintain. This is what often happens, whether the opposition party’s colour is red, or blue, or green, or purple… 


In addition, Governments don’t usually find out how to solve people’s problems, and they take measures too late. 

To sum up, Zapatero isn’t the only person to blame for the crisis, but he is one of the heads of a non-intelligent, narrow-minded political-economic system. I am sorry for saying this because of all the people who votes for them, but after seeing how the Spain economic and labour situation is at the present, the right conclusion is most of politicians are like kids…

 

 

 

My self-portrait

 

I am a 17-year-old student. I have green eyes and short hair. I am ash-blond, short-sighted—I wear contact lenses—and fair-skinned, though I tan easily in summer. I am also long-legged, in comparison with the rest of my body. I am not tall, and short neither am I.

 

I am not strong, because I have never been mad about going to gym or doing sports; anyway, I am very keen on cycling, so I often go to the old riverbed of the Turia to ride my bike. Other of my hobbies are playing computer games—as city-builders or conquering games—and reading. I especially like historical novels but I am also fancy about science fiction ones.

 

In my opinion, I am good-natured and kind, though I am sometimes impatient. For example, I get fairly nervous when I have to wait for my computer to work; on the other hand, this is a very common situation in which most people acts like me…! I am often introverted. In contrast, I have always tried not to be like this.

 

Finally, I am not narrow-minded, and this is one aspect of my personality I really like. In fact, I hate people who doesn’t take into account that being open-minded is so important for social, civilized human life: undoubtedly, if we all were like that the most of time, societies would progress more peacefully than now…

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INTRODUCING EACH OTHER…in a students' party! By Iván Argente, Jaime Sobrino and Alejandro Sospedra.

INTRODUCING EACH OTHER…in a students' party!  By Iván Argente, Jaime Sobrino and Alejandro Sospedra.

 

The 15th day of last October everyone in the English lesson became unknown for everybody--Well, not really. It was just a speaking activity...--. Then, we had to learn things about other people to be able to work as a group!

Yes, no one had ever seen anyone of that class. What should we do? Firstly, start talking to other people profanely— I mean, without spirituous drinks—. What did we really do? We had a party.

Of course, we couldn’t escape from school. Then, we imagined we were having a party:

 

(I added some emoticons to decorate the text{#emotions_dlg.tongue-out})

 

ALEX: Hello everybody! What are your names?Risa

JAIME: Hi, I am James Nephew.

IVÁN: Hey, my name is Silver, Ivan Silver. What is your name? (to Alex)

ALEX: Alex. I am sixteen. Are you sixteen too?

(JAIME and IVAN at the same time): Yes!Risa

I: Where do you live, Alex?

A: Here, in Valencia, in front of the Turia.

I: And you, James?

J: I live in Valencia too, down the ‘Pont de fusta’.

A: Wow, what an interesting place to live!

J: Yes, but I am living there temporarily: my family and I are moving to another house.

I: I do not sorry for you then. Your story is not as interesting as I though.

J: Maybe…Triste

I: Well, I live with my mother and my little sister.

A: Ah, I am only child. What about you? (to Jaime)

J: I do not. I have got a 21-year-old sister.

I: Oh, and I go to Comenius School. Where are you studying?

J: I am studying in Komensky School.

A: I go to Komenius Jean School. I am studying Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but till now I have not decided what to do in the future.

J: So do I.

I: Wow, what a scientist group. I am not like that: I am fancy about History, Geography and Latin.

J: Boring.

I: Why boring?

A: I agree with Nephew. It is a bit boring. But I respect that…

I: Thank you!Guiño

A: No, I was going to say that I respect that you like learning boring things.

I: But…Those subjects are not boring for me!Llora

J: Leave him, Alex. There's no point in explaining.

I: What!?Sorprendido

A: Yeah, that is true.

I: I was going to invite you to dinner in a fantastic restaurant I know to keep on talking like new friends, but this is enough!Enfadado

J: «Stuff, stuff, stuff…Frozen hearts, psychopaths, psychopaths…In the friiidge I haave…my bra-a-a-a-ai-aiiin…tururuuu…» Yeah.  

(IVAN and ALEX are staring at him, surprised by the situation)

A: Excuse me, but I am a bit surprised by the situation… (I told you they were!)

 I: I am not surprised by this: I am shocked by this! Did you hear the lyrics!!??

A: I’d prefer not to have heard them…Could I join in your fantastic plan now? I’m fairly afraid of him…

(J: «Climb, crawl, jump oover…throw, run, keep-it-opeen»…)

I: Oh, no! You lost your opportunity, man!

A: My name is Alex!

I: The point is that I was not sorry for him before; consequently, I am not going to be sorry for you either!

A: But, please…Triste

J: «Furious with the world, pum-pum, tired of wa-a-ays…PUM-PUM».

(Both ALEX and IVAN open even more their eyes and, suddenly, run away from the party. JAMES stays up there.)

J: «Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention, and for coming to another class of ‘Short course about how to frighten away annoying people in a party’»…Hah, hah…I am good, veery, very good…Yeah.Todo bien

Dialogue with an English friend: asking for advice.

Dialogue with an English friend: asking for advice.

 

 

 

 

In this situation, Mr. Tass saw a classmate of him trying to copy his work in an exam. He’s going to ask for advice to one of his best friends, Mr. Grog. Mr. Tass is the cousin of Mr. Tess, and Mr. Grog is the best friend of Mr. Greg. Don’t you know who these people are? Look at the Oxford English in Context book for Bachillerato, page 61, exercise 7, for more information. Even though it’s a bit long, try to enjoy!

 

Mr. Tass: Hey Grog! I’ve got a big problem. Can you give me some advice?

Mr. Grog: I’m quite busy now…

Mr. Tass: Please…

Mr. Grog: O.K. Let’s hear it.

Mr. Tass: Thanks a lot…! Well, last day, while I was doing an exam at Mrs. Lobster class, I realized Grig was copying from my exam!

Mr. Grog: Who’s Grig? By the way, what a strange name!

Mr. Tass: Yes, it means young eel or something like that…

Mr. Grog: What???

Mr. Tass: What? Oh, forget what I said. Grig’s just that lively boy who’s the shortest person of our class.

Mr. Grog: O.K. And what happens with him?

Mr. Tass: He copied from my exam!!

Mr. Grog: Ah! That’s fine. I mean, it’s not fine, it’s just that I’ve already unders..

Mr. Tass: Yes, yes, I know. But, please, give me a piece of advice.

Mr. Grog: Well, what I recommend to you is to forget this. Copying is a very common activity and they even consider it’s justified. You can also not to sit too close to him.

Mr. Tass: But we can’t change our place by other one, you should know that.

Mr. Grog: Hey, who’s supposed to give a piece of advice here?

Mr. Tass: That ‘should’ wasn’t…

Mr. Grog (laughing): Yes, yes, I know what you meant... (He becomes serious) Well, the problem is clear. I think you should tell him you didn’t like that at all, because you’re making a huge effort to pass your exams.

Mr. Tass: Then, he’ll say “But, why don’t you like it? Just let me to copy, I’m not hurting you!”

Mr. Grog: Yes, that’s a common answer too. In that case, if I were you I’d try to explain better your reasons. If he doesn’t understand you, you had better say to him you’ll tell the teacher he copies your work. When he realizes he’s risking to get a zero, maybe he’ll reconsider his ideas.

Mr. Tass: Oh, thanks a lot again! See you!

Mr. Grog: Bye!

 

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