Archive for the ‘Stories, Poems & Songs’ Category

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free ebook! Stories from My Teacher… (at last!, we made it!)

February 2, 2015

Our first ebook, in case you are into stories told by teachers in class! 🙂 ❤

Stories from My Teacher. On the English Language, Lifelong Learning & Our r.evoL.ution!
http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/ebooks.htm

portada2015

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On nonviolent struggle (2)

December 19, 2013

Interviewing Howard Clark – video 2
by Mujer Palabra (June 2013)

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Why did I become a pacifist? + On nonviolent struggle in the world (1)

December 19, 2013

Interviewing Howard Clark (Mujer Palabra June 2013)
Howard died last Dec 5, 2013

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Another suggested reading for this coming learning year…

September 1, 2013

OneCrazySummerOne Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia, three girls travel to meet their mother and deal successfully with complex questions related to love, individual and collective.

One Crazy Summer at talkingpeople.net, with info on a 2011 documentary by a Norwegian director, on Black Power in the 60s & 70s.

Chapter 1 Kind of Glossary

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What she says about bridges!!

June 28, 2013

(edited by me… can’t ask her for permission!
I LOVE THIS POEM, so I’ve fixed it a bit in shape because it seems it was taken from a notebook and it’s not clear she wrote it in verses or in which verses — I LOVE IT BECAUSE… see how it connects (bridges) Death then to Life?? Amazing!!!)

Oh damn I wish that I were
dead — absolutely nonexistent –
gone away from here — from
everywhere but how would I…
There is always bridges
— the Brooklyn bridge
– no not the Brooklyn Bridge because
I love that bridge
(everything is beautiful from there
and the air is so clean)
Walking it seems peaceful there even
with all those cars going crazy underneath.
So
it would have to be some other bridge
an ugly one with no view — except
I like in particular all bridges
— there’s some-thing about them and besides
I’ve never seen an ugly bridge

600full-marilyn-monroe

Marilyn Monroe

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Some thoughts on learning (edited)

June 8, 2013

Learning should be like a journey, an event where exploration and discovery take place, this is, where limits dissolve and we move more freely and also beyond.

A learning year should never leave you untouched, as a person, as a Some One. It should allow you to be better, both as an individual and as a social being.

Exams turn out to be a thin slice of this cake. The least meaningful part. The red tape. ADDED LATER: Though, as you can see from my notes on talkingpeople.net and here, I use exams as excuses for some meaningful learning too! 🙂

Language learning is about communicating. Communicating is about learning about oneself and others, it’s about learning to live with oneself and with others, it’s about building realities (living, life) together. Whether we like it or not, whether we have such purpose or not, the fact is that through communication we build our society, the social mechanisms that have an impact on our lives. We should acknowledge such power and use it for the general good and also to improve the quality of our daily lives.

What do you think? What’s your experience? How do you relate to learning? How much learning do you think you do in life?

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Free ebook: Jokes

June 8, 2013

In case you want to read jokes in English

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/212959

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Turkey – people are doing stuff whether reported or not

June 7, 2013

Let’s protect the internet! It’s the only place reporting what they seldom report on the media
Repression is still going on – as usual, against the people who demand a better world.
protectingyourself
Gezi’de her yer kütüphane.
Bus turned into library by resisters on Taksim Square (from Fb Diren Gezi Parkı)

busintolibrary

What the fuck is “forbid”?

whatthefuckisforbid

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Epilogue to Thinking of loved ones, life & death

June 4, 2013

Some days ago I wrote I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the people I love, in this post, and some people I love have reacted — disagreeing! My partner. He agrees we never know anyone, even ourselves, in some ways, but in relative terms he believes I know him! An old student of mine. She wrote to say she was surprised about me saying that because in her view I was one of the most receptive people she knew. She was often surprised in class at what things I knew about them!

So I’ve been mulling over this. Consequently, tonight I had a dream. My dream reminds me of a childhood chain of events: when I was a little girl, and because I was a girl and not a boy (I’m sure this would not have happened to me if I had been a boy, I mean), I used to inform my mother of who was a good person and who would hurt her. My mother was very generous and people used to use and abuse her in all kinds of ways (though she never saw it this way), so I was always trying to prevent this from happening. As it usually turned out, I was right with people — it’s really easy to detect love and kindness, or material interest in people’s approach to you, really, in my view. The irrational, illogical and unconsciously patriarchal conclusion (unconscious because my mum was a protofeminist) was that I was a witch, I could guess!, it was magic! — instead of “She can gather info and put it together and give it a useful interpretation!” The interpretation was not that I was especially intelligent or receptive in something. (Actually, the other trait of my intelligence, having a very developed imagination, was also distorted at school, of course: in boys it could be a sign of intelligence, in girls it was dangerous, always.)

Because I was a little girl “She’s a witch” was meant to be funny, but in the same way I knew that little girls have to be very careful when going on adventures on their own (I don’t mean careful about wolves, for instance, but about men and even boys), I knew that being “a witch” was a poisonous “gift”. I hated my mum saying that, especially because the focus would shift to ME and she would certainly ignore my advice. But now I can explain it: girls, little women, have been considered non-un-anti-intelligent for centuries in patriarchal societies, so if they were, it was something evil, really. Actually all patriarchal dogmas say women are inferior to men, lazy, evil, and that is why men have to control women. It’s very recent men have become real parents, fathers, and men and women have started to believe in human rights. And it’s very painful to realize how we, the species, have been able to believe that women were inferior for such a long time. This is just our beginning towards this kind of justice, of course. I mean, it’s still few of us women who can lead the kind of life I’m leading: chosing, deciding for myself, getting respect from people.

Anyway, going back to my topic. There’s something else I remembered. As a teenager I remember not wanting to look at portraits because I felt — in this adolescent radicality that later on makes us laugh in wonderment — I would learn intimate stuff about that person, when the fact was that that person was not wanting to tell me about it. 😀 Weird! But it seems somewhere in me, in that complex road to self-repression, I knew that if I contemplated the world I could find out stuff. As a teenager, I was still a girl, so this was no valuable trait I should work on. The result was that I spent my teenage in my own world, a non-stop daydreaming experience, isolated from people, not understanding anyone, not being understood by anyone, a total-exposure to the adolescent stage.

And after all that, I left my mum’s home, and started becoming my own person. It’s taken me over 30 years to realize that my problem was not that I was “a witch”, “had too much imagination”, “was in my own world”, and the things that teachers concluded when I was in primary, that I was a bit mentally retarded. My problem was that I was a girl in a patriarchal world, that is hostile and worse still, doesn’t allow people to see how hostile it is to the human beings who are born with a vagina. Hostile to their intelligences (the mind-heart), not only to their bodies. When I was thirty lots I realized far from being little intelligent, I was intelligent above the average. At least, I was someone who decided to use and develop her intelligence, which makes your intelligece richer, of course! But here — it’s now that I’m 50 I realize perhaps I had this complex, the complex of not knowing the people you love!

So — I have just realized that perhaps the feeling I didn’t know the people I loved came from a kind of trauma… ! 😀 Perhaps I’m just as able as anyone to know the people I love!! 😀

Wow! Can we really say we know ourselves?! 😉 Not as something definite, for sure. If your mind is open, you keep learning, if you keep learning, you keep evolving, changing…

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News: Hurray for Turkish people!

June 3, 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/02/turkish-protesters-have-been-heard-turkey?commentpage

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News

June 3, 2013

Got a very bad back, but hopefully my PT will put me in shape again. The earn-a-living-week is about to start and I need my body!!!!

From our adult language school in public education, got still a few Writings to publish and a few videos to edit, with Students’ work, but it’s Exam Month, and we’re all day at the School wasting time (and me hurting my back with all the not-possible-to-lie-down-a-bit every 5 hours) and doing the most horrible thing on the planet (in the educational context) which is Murdering a Love of Learning, sorry, I mean, giving and checking exams.

Away from paid work…

My friend Hilal from Turkey is here, so I’ve videoshot an interview to her on her activism (feminist antimilitarist) and events in Turkey. It’s about 100 minutes! So I might not be able to edit it as fast as I’d like to. This week I’m also interviewing Howard, the chairperson at War Resisters’ International, in English, too. I’ll be able to use this video in my future English courses, so it’s exciting. Once I videoshot a (pragmatic) pacifist friend of mine from London, and here is what we came up to! He came to my groups at the state-run school where I worked to tell adult learners about this all: http://www.eoigetafe.es/ingles/pages/activities/culture/london/cockney.html

More… it’s spring. People are popping up everywhere, like mushrooms after the rain.

I’m also in touch these days with old friends from Blue Gate (the only anarchist-working social place I’ve ever been in, and I tell you, it was all about nonviolence, freedom, respect and cooperation) in Greenham Common Wimmin’s Peace Camp. We’re working on this project: http://www.mujerpalabra.net/activismo/greehamcommon/greenham.htm
(to leave a track of its existence, because History is full of omission of good things we humans did, and very especially women)
Apparently, the peace movement is being “colonized” or “infiltrated” by “spiritual/religious” people who have the mission to spread the word that feminism is evil and we should stop raising issues because everything is all right. The bad thing about this is not that they think so. It’s that they try to defame, hurt adorable nonviolent critical thinkers like feminists, who have never in their lives tortured, killed or abused anyone, but just posed their criticism, and decided to live the life they wanted to live.

As a species we’ve always been into ignoring or murdering people with great ideas for us all, so it’s not new. But since the 20th century we’ve realized we can be much better, and that our past gods were far too violent to follow. Anyway,

Will they wipe us out as usual, or will rational empathy survive and turn us into the cooperative peoples we should be, instead of the violent peoples the exploiters push us into being for their own benefit? It’s scary. Why can’t people keep living their own chosen lifestyle and allow the rest of us to lead our own? Why are those believers so hostile and aggressive to non-believers? Supposing they’re right, they’ve just got it all on their side to win and we to burn in hell for not not believing…? I really think that if there is a god of some kind, it can’t possibly be this cruel.

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Smashwords!

May 31, 2013

There’s a site for indie writers called Smashwords, and I’m reading the guides because I think I might put together a collection of stories based on stories I tell in class… I was thinking it might be called “Stories our teacher tells us!” 😀

The three I’ve actually written so far are: Asking Questions in Church, Dishwashers, and The Casino Story. But for publication I might work on them a bit more.

Then, I was wondering if I should have a second second for “Talks & Discussions” because in this way I might be able to include some of the Speeches I give every now and then! 😀 I’m thinking of pieces on love and living, sex (Having Orgasms is Good for People!), death, attitudes to learning, exams… and language matters, like the recent piece — I would have to review — on The language problem in monolingual communities

Well, it’s all an idea I had two days ago!!! 😀 And far too busy now to work on it!

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Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, Stevie Wonder

May 31, 2013

(Don’t worry about anything / Worry about nothing!)

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Why did the chicken cross the road?

May 31, 2013

chickenI’ve been looking for the sheet I wrote answering this question by women artists, thinkers and activists. At that time, the 90s, it was not that funny because people did not know these women… Still today, most people don’t know those women writers.. Sigh! Anyway… I haven’t found it in my computer, so I suppose I should start looking through my papers! But they’re all scattered in various houses where I lived, so I suppose that’ll be something I won’t manage to do!

Oh, poor women! It’s so hard to get you into most people’s minds! But that doesn’t mean they did not exist, in spite of all the injustice and obliteration…

I do remember one I wrote. It’s what GERTRUDE STEIN would say: “A chicken crossing the road is handsome and convincing.” 😀 Hey, found one on the Net: VIRGINIA WOOLF, “She wanted a room of her own.” 😀 She did, she did!!!

In the comments below I’m posting some answers I’ve found on the Net – by valuable men AND women. You can also post some if you like. Hope you enjoy them!

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New video!: What Leads to Success?

May 30, 2013

A wonderful presentation by Juancar, who in spite of being an Intermedio 2 student (B1), shows an Upper Intermediate or B2 level in this outstanding exercise! You will learn or clarify some key concepts that lead to a good life! Come on, listen to him! And if you like it, remember to send the link to more English learners! The exercise of listening and reading corrected mistakes helps you develop the skill of listening to yourself and fixing your mistakes as you speak.Thanks, Juancar, impressive work!

Btw, I posted a note under the video, on the correction included about the phrasal.

PS: I’m not sure I’ll manage to edit the videos I videoshot in the Avanzado 2 group… 😦 But I’ll try my hardest. I’ll keep you posted, don’t worry!

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Thinking of the loved ones and life and death

May 30, 2013

Damyanti (hi!) has lost two people she loved very recently and I’m really sorry. She was asking for prayers and I wanted to keep her company but I couldn’t like that, so I posted a hug, which is another way of keeping people company when they’re hurt.

I’ve always thought spiritual people, or believers of religions, must feel really lucky in life (well, they actually call faith “a gift”) because I imagine it must be amazing to reunite with your loved ones after death, or to have some sort of awareness that all the suffering is over, all the injustice.

familianuclearI think my mum died on a May 30. It was 1990, in another life of mine. I’ve had so many lives, but all of them over here. And because of that, because the only place where I know she is is in my mind (my heart-mind, for being a feminist allows you to understand that the mind is where you can reason and where all feelings are produced), I try to think of her every now and then.  I’ve often thought I didn’t really get to know who she was, the person she was. I’ve often wondered why this happens to me. I never develop the feeling that I know the people I love. And when I hear someone saying, “I know you” or similar sentences I get sad, because I never say that.

I wish I knew the people I love.

Although it is also true that I tend to love everybody I relate to — in my own way, I mean, I’m an independent person, and loving for me is not about dependence, but just a feeling you share that connects you to people while they are around.

SONY DSCPerhaps the only person I know a bit more is the only person I’m in love with, because I think that when you fall in love with someone it’s because you KNOW (perceive) something about the beauty of that person. We share such a cheerful and loving love, so quiet and deep, so independent and collaborative, :D,  that if I weren’t so very busy every day, with tons of interesting and exciting things — fighting injustice and violence, creating curiosity and transmitting joy and passion!! A dream? — (that I suppose I can do because I enjoy this loving ground), I would hug this person and be unable to move away ever.

I know there must be thousands of persons each of us can love because I know the story of your half-orange is not true. On my part, I’ve found this person (never wanted to form a monogamous couple, really, but… :), and the love is so strong that I feel that if anything should happen, I would probably kill myself.

But then — I think, century after century human beings have survived loss, including the most painful kinds of losses, so perhaps if I should remain alive, I should simply put my life into some good use, like move to places that are too dangerous for most people, to help out…

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Farewell, best of luck & thanks for a wonderful year!

May 28, 2013

Well, the course is over. Our amazing shared journey of discovery has come to an end. But there’s no time for heartbreak. Exam month is here and we have to fucking survive the experience! So come on!!! Go for it! If you haven’t developed the habit of using English every day, esp. by listening to it, start your intensive two weeks now till the exam, and then keep it up, to move into LEARNING FREEDOM, into becoming an INDEPENDENT AND RESOURCEFUL LANGUAGE LIFELONG LEARNER! This kind of people, :D, can also sign up for courses, but when they do, it’s just to meet other people and work with them, not because they really need any excuses to use their English! (love bubbles – pompitas de amor). 🙂

Yesterday and today were my last lessons as a teacher in public/state-run education in this Autonomous Community, where I have been a teacher since 1980 whenever I was in Madrid, and since 1996 in public education, first secondary and then adult language education.

I never go out with students for drinks till they get their certificates, but today I did, with the very interactive Avanzado 2 evening group, my dear  wild ones. We had a couple of drinks, a couple of laughs and got a drive home!

I would like to thank you all for a wonderful journey this year. It was hard for me physically, after being ill last year, and being new again (yet again! I’m the oldest newbie everywhere!), and in the context of very hard working conditions for public teachers, but thanks to your work and our relationship I have been able to get in touch again with my old-new self. And this has been very important. I have to say that being ill had almost pushed me into depression (I had one once, years after my mum’s death, and it’s hell, nowhere anyone should ever be), but I was lucky enough to avoid that and just keep it all in the physical area of migraines. Well, this year, the fact that my work was a source of curiosity, and passion, and fun, I’ve managed to avoid migraines for most of the time, and I wouldn’t have without you all making my professional life meaningful, rewarding and again fun!! 😀

togetherSo enjoy your English, enjoy preparing the exams and the exams themselves, and then don’t give importance to the results, whether they are good or bad, because they have no true importance. The important event was the journey, and the ways in which learning and sharing have actually changed your lives.

Biggest hug (but I’ll keep posting for you because I have Juancar’s, Ana+Ángeles+Bea’s and Oscar+Chema’s video to edit!) 😀

Oh, the links to the YouTube channels where you can find videos by students with teacher’s comments are EOI Getafe YouTube and EOI Leganés YouTube.

dreamtimedreamworkPS: The book I’m using to learn about dreams and how to work with dreams is “Dreamtime and Dreamwork. Decoding the Language of the Night“, edited by Stanley Krippner (Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1990). It’s very expensive (specialized book) but I bought a few much cheaper copies via Iberlibro from the USA — second-hand. If you don’t spend over 100 euros, you pay no taxes, so it’s just the price Iberlibro shows: the cost of the book, which might even be less than one euro (for some) + the shipping costs (which range from free to 3 euros to 7 euros), and the longest time it’s taken for a book from the West coast in the USA to reach my home has been a month, but it’s usually 1 or 2 weeks.

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Improved version of the World Book Day video!

May 22, 2013

Please, spread the word. The more visits the video gets, the more people will want to see it, and the more we’ll be spreading good ideas for the classroom experience, linking academic learning with LiFE!! I included the pics of Cake Days!

If anyone appearing in the pics did not sign the permission, and doesn’t want to appear, I will downloaded and blur his or her face, OK? No problem!

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Language Misperceptions in Spain. The language problem in monolingual communities

May 18, 2013

by michelle (talkingpeople.net)

Because for 40 years we were told that in Spain people should speak Spanish, and people who belonged to bilingual cultural backgrounds were persecuted and banned from speaking their other language (which terrified everybody all the same), there is a Spanish-nationalism tradition in monolingual communities in Spain that exhibits (and exposes) this fact: those people’s very-aggressive hostility to bilingual communities. Why should they feel like that? Why such self-justified bellicose outrage? And what if there is resent among people’s whose language was banned? (Obviously, those who feel that need to overcome it, after decades of language revitalization policies and the end of past persecution.) What’s the big deal their heart warms more when they speak the language that was once persecuted? (If you were forced to stop speaking your family’s language, how would you feel?) Why should their heart necessarily love more Spanish than their community’s language? (I don’t mean to justify intolerance on anyone’s side, of course. I’m a free thinker and as such, I’m critical of all nationalisms, because nationalism is not — in my view — about collective identities but about collective impositions.)

In monolingual communities we are confronting a problem and people consistently refuse to tackle it: we need to consider, at least in Madrid, the kind of monolingual people who are always accusing bilingual people of intolerance are not aware that they are perpetuating a tradition which we should have already long overcome — the Spanish democracy re-started in 1976 and the 1978 Constitution included the acknowledgement that Spain was a multilingual country, a country where different cultures coexisted with the Spanish culture.

The 1978 Spanish Constitution recognizes the linguistic diversity in Spain in Article 3.3 where it states: “The richness of the linguistic varieties in Spain is a cultural heritage that will receive special respect and protection”. Co-official languages in Spain: Aranese (in danger of extinction), Basque, Catalan/Valencian and Galician. Other languages in Spain

Since the 1990s I’ve been bringing up this issue in my lessons, especially when I had Advanced level English students. I’ve tried to make people think critically about the biased opinions monolingual people help spread, distorting in this way the educational process of language and cultural respect to diversity in Spain. To this day (2013), I’m still shocked at the strength of people’s misperceptions, at how they defend these biased opinions as if this was a fundamental ideological issue in their lives, yes, a question of patriotism… Why should someone living in Madrid, an Autonomous Community in Spain, have a say about whether a Catalan person should not prefer to speak Catalan in Catalonia, another Autonomous Community in Spain? Why should they feel they can actually say / they have a “right” (!) to say that Catalans have to speak Spanish in Catalonia, when we’ve had Autonomous Communities – protecting cultural diversity – since the 1970s and 80s? From a democratic or linguistic stand, there is no way language and cultural diversity can be seen as threatening or negative for any community or any part of a community.

2009 Languages of SpainBy-default-mentality people (“ordinary” people) in monolingual communities in Spain say things as false, unfair and openly impolite as this — and it makes me feel so ashamed and overwhelmed that I can’t even react properly in spite of my knowledge and my role as a language teacher: “Galicians don’t know how to speak / write Spanish” (!! against ALL evidence!), “Catalans / Basques have to speak Spanish whether they like it or not because we are in Spain” (!! Francoist mentality!). Just two grotesque examples (grotesque, if we consider it from an informed and democratic standpoint). The fact is that monolingual communities speak only one language, and bilingual communities speak two, and they do. Why should monolingual people be unable to understand that there exists bilingualism in Spain? And that speaking your mother language or languages is a human right? And that languages that have been banned (!!) have needed language revitalization policies – which we have fortunately had since democracy started? Shockingly enough, in Madrid the educational authorities are pursuing bilingualism – not Quality Foreign Language Education, bilingualism they call it — with… English!, a language which is not in people’s cultural background, except people like myself, children from culturally-mixed marriages at the time when Franco, the dictator who isolated Spain from being in touch with the world (with the social movements in the 1960s for instance) welcomed US American airbases in the country. Except minority cases like my own, English is and will be a Foreign Language in Madrid (which doesn’t mean people can’t learn it well and also in the public education system, where we have qualified teachers like myself!)

People in monolingual communities in Spain like the Autonomous Community of Madrid should stop making the ignorant “jokes” and comments on bilingual people we hear every day. This shames us all. This speaks of people’s ignorance and prejudice, it does not “defend” any legitimate Cause. When we tackle the language issue we should exert some minimum respect, and express our questions and comments as such, rationally and with empathy (tactfully at least), because in our past there has existed a terrifying language reality that has made a lot of people suffer and we should not pretend Nothing happened. We should not use our questions and ideas as weapons for showing despise for a different language community. We should question our own perceptions and feelings (in monolingual communities), too, admitting we also have a trauma, the trauma of believing there are languages which are more important than others and should be imposed, if necessary.

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A video on World Book Day (Av 2&co)

May 17, 2013

Our second 5-minute video on the School’s YouTube channel!

I learned so much!!! I’ve learned to edit videos with iMovie!!!

If anyone wants any changes, I can download it and fix things, so just let me know.

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Dishwashers (audio story)

May 14, 2013

Here is the other story I have on the Talking People podcast. It was part of Letters from YT (Your Teacher), a series of letters I used to send out to old students from the TP eCampus! (I’m not doing that anymore, but I might, some day!)

Dishwashers, for Sandra Pò (another activist friend of mine)

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Telling a (true/fictional) story (audios, tips)

May 14, 2013

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Asking Questions in Church

May 14, 2013

An audio story, for Upper Intermediate students on.

A childhood memory to inspire people to prepare theirs?

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A story by Alice Walker (audio)

May 14, 2013

alicewalkerFor Advanced students

How did I get away with killing one of the biggest lawyers in the State? It was easy

From the book of stories, You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down

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RIOS MONTT, WAR CRIMINAL FINALLY SENTENCED!

May 11, 2013

RÍOS MONTT CONDENADO POR CRÍMENES CONTRA LA HUMANIDAD
¡Podemos! ¡Podemos! ¡A seguir luchando! ¡Hay que forzar a los “líderes” a respetar pero no como nos enseñaron, siempre con más destrucción, sufrimiento y violencia! ¡Con razón empática, pura inteligencia! ¡Hay que cambiar el mundo! ¡A seguir aprendiendo a comprender y convivir!

FELICIDADES A TODAS ESAS PERSONAS VITALES PARA LA ESPECIE QUE JUGÁNDOSE LA VIDA LITERALMENTE Y LA VIDA COTIDIANA HAN LUCHADO Y LUCHADO HASTA CONSEGUIR ESTA JUSTICIA, QUE TANTO NECESITAMOS EN EL MUNDO PORQUE TENEMOS QUE CAMBIARLO A MEJOR.

NINGUNA CREENCIA RELIGIOSA NINGUNA IDEOLOGÍA NINGÚN BIEN MATERIAL ES MÁS IMPORTANTE QUE LA GENTE – OPTEMOS DE UNA VEZ POR TODAS POR LA GENTE! APOYEMOS A LA GENTE! DEFENDAMOS A LA GENTE!

La justicia es mi amor: http://www.mujerpalabra.net/blog/?p=741
No soy un grano de anís: http://www.mujerpalabra.net/creadoras/michelle/pages/poemas_cuadros/poemas/nosoyungranodeanis.htm

RÍOS MONTT INTRODUJO LA LLAMADA GUERRA DE BAJA INTENSIDAD EN LA REGIÓN Y EL REINADO DEL HORROR

http://palabrademujer.wordpress.com/tag/indigenas-violadas/

Noticias:
Condena: http://hilodirecto.com.mx/80-anos-de-prision-a-rios-montt/
Podría iniciarse la reconciliación (Comunicarte): http://noticiascomunicarte.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/la-condena-al-exdictador-rios-montt.html

In English (sorry, I am too emotional right now to post just in English!) 🙂

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22490408

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/5/10/live_verdict_expected_soon_in_guatemalan_genocide_trial

ixil

juicio-genocidio-Rios_Montt-Jose_Mauricio_Sanchez_PREIMA20130510_0340_32

rigoberta

rindiendo-declaracion

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Monologue on sb you love & admire

May 9, 2013

Mónica got this year her first job as a sports journalist, and she’s a journalist because of her grandma, she explains, so here goes an affectionate homage to this amazing woman who the people who loved her miss so much today.

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2monica_grandma.htm

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So how was your 3- or 5-day hol?

May 6, 2013

I wonder. Did you get a holiday? Did you manage to have a good rest and enjoy yourselves? If unemployed, did you fight depression and made the most of the May Holiday?

I traveled/travelled to the Mujer Palabra planet: locked up in a room I worked like a maniac  in the good company of my adorable cyberfriends. We were getting people’s work published on the mujerpalabra.net site. It’s been really intense, and tiring, but also exciting and interesting. We managed to collect some good ideas for analyses on our “Cuaderno de ideas”, on very tricky issues like feminist NVDA (nonviolent direct actions, like those by Femen), and the “accusations of islamophobia” around the support to Amina, and on how to defend social struggle from ill-focused or distorting ideas that seem to spread like wildfire. But we got more stuff done. Have a look if you like: http://www.mujerpalabra.net/novedades/2013_05.htm

We’re way behind in terms of publishing pending materials, but at least we managed a 5-day workload this time, which was good for a change. If only we could win the lottery or something!! Then we would be able to quit our bread-winning jobs and devote all our time and efforts to trying to spread ideas that can make the world a safer, less violent, juster, kinder, more interesting and enjoyable place!

Anyway, back to teaching and learning at the School. Just two months to go. The bad thing is that the whole of June is Exam Month and I do HATE exams with all my might!!

Next Friday we’ll have a Teachers’ Meeting and I’ll find out when the lessons end, exactly. I don’t know if we teachers need to assist the Level 1 exams in the last week of May. But hey people, I’m new in this School. You might know better than me!

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Silvia, bestest student rep!

May 6, 2013

Hey, Silvia, do you think you could give me your written home address next day in class?

I’ve got something for you, but I’d rather send it!

🙂

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Protect girls from the Princess industry!

May 3, 2013

Mighty Girl Book Clubs: download the info on how to set one up! Avoiding fairy tales that educate girls in having the sole ambition of looking pretty and being saved by a prince!

Books for mighty girls and mighty teenagers!

pres

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Next week: Celebrating World Book Day

May 1, 2013

Next May 6 and 7, after this week’s 3-day holiday, we’ll celebrate World Book Day. Here is all the info on the raffle: May 6 & 7 Raffle (2 pdf pages)

I’ll bring varied podcast episodes / the episode “To belong” of the Baby Human Geniuses in Diapers documentary, for the first half of the lesson, for we’re done with unit 6, right?

Avanzado 2 Martes englishlings!, please remind me of giving you the stapled paper copies! Remember I’ll be on a strike on May 9!

Have a lovely 3-day holiday! 🙂
(In Spanish we call them “puentes”, “bridges”, when they connect with the weekend, but if you say “I’m on a bridge” English-speakers will never ever guess what you mean! :D)

Mentioned before…

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Monica’s monolog on her grandma (Intermediate, B1)

April 29, 2013

Well, I was waiting for pics and the transcript, but Mónica found a job as a journalist!!! So I’m publishing her wonderful two-minute monologue so that you can all enjoy it! It’s inspiring!!

A little tip: if you have to say (when you’re talking to people) “continue (doING something)” say “KEEP (doING something)” — it’s more natural!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2monica_grandma.htm

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A poem to keep you good company!

April 11, 2013

For María (a colleague of mine), who is sad these days, and for people who might be feeling low, sad, confused, overwhelmed, displaced… so you can breathe in deep, relocate yourself in space, find a sense of belonging and some peace and quiet and beauty!

wildgeese

Learning a poem (by ear), with its music, is like learning how to sing a lullaby to yourself, which is comforting, soothing and liberating! Visualize the words: it’s like being there, in nature! And nature is a source of strength for us animals on the planet!!

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver (written and audio texts)

Some people were inspired to create this…

wildgeese_spiral

wildgeese_meanwhile

wildgeese_imagination

More poems by Mary Oliver at Talking People

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The Casino Story

April 5, 2013

By michelle (April, 2013) – 1,250 words – I’ll record it for the Talking People podcast when I find some time! (EDITED AT 1:11 April 5 to fix stuff)

Today in class I told a story that suddenly my memory brought back to me! I have to say I was not totally accurate, so that’s why I’ve decided to write it down – so you can get the Complete True Casino Story!

When I was a college student I had become independent. I shared a flat with two other people. One was an older friend of mine – a misfit just like me! — and the other a young business man who smoked dope non-stop and loved a Spanish singer that I hated! 😀 All of my other friends lived with their parents, so our rented flat was very much booked for all kinds of events, and populated by all kinds of people!

Those were wild days, really. Not like people imagine “wild” – I just mean, days full of youthful ideas and actions! I used to paint my forehead instead of my eyes, with stars and planets or with a tree! I used to walk barefoot and wear all kinds of clothes, from African tunics to a leather jacket! I used to host people who needed a house for a few days, pay everybody’s drinks, organize poker games (we played with “duros”, 5 peseta coins, and “cinco duros”, 25 ptas.) and give away books. I used to walk in the city night and talk to people I met, and I met a lot of very special people. I also had all kinds of friends – friends from my mum’s neighborhood, and from college, from left-wing political parties and from the right-wing, believers, non-believers, cheerful people, depressive people, rich people, homeless people!

One day I was meeting my friend K., her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s best friend. After our last meet up, we wanted to find a new hang-out spot, because in our usual place we had got poisoned for eating river crabs! (And what a night that was!) So that afternoon we went to a different area and walked into an extremely crowded and noisy and smoky pub because it had good music – jazz & blues – and a pool table. After a few beers and a few games, I had to go to the toilet. The Beer Emergency, you know. So that was that!

As I was squatting and aiming my pee flow, next to my right foot I spotted a wad of notes! A WAD of MONEY NOTES! I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Once out, we flocked together and counted the money excitedly: 80,000 pesetas! Nowadays that is 500 euros. I wouldn’t be able to pay my monthly rent, which is 1,200 euros. (By the way, my salary is 1,900 euros after 15 years in public education. Regardless of what ordinary people think, this salary is not much for all the qualifications and work we are required to do. Which doesn‘t mean I’m not happy. I know I could earn more in many other places, but it’s the public service I’m interested in! Anyway!) However, in the 1980s, 80.000 pesetas was Big Money! At the time, the rent of the house we lived in was 24,000 pesetas. We just paid a third each, which, plus shared expenses, was like 10,000 pesetas a month. At that time I earned 100,000 pesetas a month for eight months and managed to get by the rest of the months without having to find another job. I was earning a living teaching English in private language schools. Considering the figures I just mentioned, I’m getting vertigo just thinking of inflation! Aren’t you?

Going back to my story, I had found enough money to pay my rent for 8 months! But those were sweet times in terms of finding jobs. I used to find a job whenever I needed money, so I was carefree. On top of that, I was young and eager to experience things. So this is what happened with the money.

We were really excited about the wad of banknotes and started making wild proposals on how to spend it! It didn’t cross my mind to give it to homeless people, because it all felt so merry and so unreal! It was all like a joke, until someone said: “We could go to the Casino!” It was on!!! Never in a million years would we have dreamed of being able to go to the casino TO GAMBLE!! So that’s what we did! We rushed to my house to borrow the business man’s car and then drove to the Casino. We were allowed in, which amazed me – I was sure I wouldn’t be allowed in – because we were wearing our usual clothes! I actually looked like a hippy. The two boys were wearing casual clothes, and my friend looked a little bit better. She actually made up and wore rings and bracelets. We were an odd-looking gang, and there we were!

I can’t remember all we did. I mostly remember the feeling it was all intensely exciting. But I do remember a scene or two. I remember our friends, the men, playing Black Jack and winning. And I remember my friend K and I spending our wads in different kinds of games. Then I remember the boys giving us their winnings. Apparently, they thought we were putting it away, keeping it safe! Instead, we ran joyfully to the roulette, to lose it all in a second! So we went again to our friends, and they kept winning and passing us the money they had won, and we kept betting and losing! Obviously, our intention was to become rich, but the roulette was fast as lightning and had no mercy on us!

After tons of gambling and after having the hell of a time, which included some flamenco dancing in the spectacular toilets, meeting and talking to weird people and giving a hard time to some waiters, the boys came up to us and said:

–Let’s go and have dinner at the Ritz Hotel!

K and I looked at each other, “Did you win more?”

–More? We have won enough to buy a meal for 4 over there! You’ve got the money, haven’t you?

–Well… we did have it! We lost it all at the roulette! But it was fun!

“What?!” Well, they got really upset, but they couldn’t show it too much because the fact was that I could have kept the money for myself after finding it.

K and her boyfriend split up some days later. They had issues. He was constantly feeling threatened by our friendship, by her friendship to other people, too, to anyone! He was so jealous of everything she shared, instead of feeling happy for her.

So here was the inaccuracy in my story today in class: it’s not both of us lost our boyfriends after that! I just said that to make it shorter and to make you laugh. At that time, I would have never ever had a boyfriend. I just wanted to have lovers. I didn’t want to start up a monogamous relationship – it felt suffocating. I had just left my mum’s house and I wanted to live my life, and travel!

In any case, I’m quite sure that if any of the other three people who I spent that day with doing fun things were asked about this night out today, they would probably smile and have a very good memory because we did have great fun!

It’s true nowadays I would not spend any money in a casino. That was my first and last time in one. The world around casinos is an underworld, full of crime (today very much protected by democratic governments behind the facade of “fighting the crisis” — puke, puke, puke!), tragedy and abuse, even if “ordinary” people might go there and just have a drink and a laugh, like we did when we were young.

Today I would probably give the money to homeless people, or keep it for my old age. But the best and the worst things about youth is that — the tons of mistakes you make!

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A story on childhood memories and Greece and stuff

April 3, 2013

This one for Avanzado 2 students and anyone wanting to enjoy the story!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tppodcast/2010/10/03/stories-house-of-light-shadow-by-nicholas-gage/

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BACK!!!! (bye bye spring hols! ♥)

March 31, 2013

Hiya, dear all! Just back from being locked up in nature due to non-stop rain! I couldn’t even go for a quick stroll!!!

ghoststoriesmarujamalloshirleymanginiBUT — I’ve been reading a bit: ghost stories by women writers (I’ll bring a few copies of this one for the end-of-course goodbye raffle! because they are GREAT and the weeny presentations of the authors are like pebbles shining in crystal clear river waters! 😀 !) and about the Spanish painter and revolutionary (!) Maruja Mallo and the Avant Garde in Spain (you’ve got to get a copy of her bio by this US American woman. In Spanish it’s published by Circe but it costs about 30 euros!! It’s originally in English, yes! BUT IT COSTS 70 EUROS!!!). Then I’ve done a bit of translating for social activism: on Feminist Curiosity (bits of the intro) by Cynthia Enloe (it’ll get published on Mujer Palabra, in Activismo – Pacifismo feminista). Finally, I’ve been doing some writing (a poem on friendship lost, which turned out to be feminist as an accident, 😀 , well, when you develop a feminist intelligence it’s like when you understand something: you cannot stop using that understanding!) and a new feminist postcard (you can color it: 1 pdf page: cartel_colorear. I’ll do it in English soon-ish) which I think will help humanity to overcome all the hurt patriarchal values have done to human intelligence!).

Yes! Yes! And done a bit of work for you! I’ve written 1,000 words on Mainstream or Alternative Medicine so that Avanzado 2 people can listen to an example of a monolog on that (I need to record the audio now).  Then, I’ve prepared two special speaking activities. (Btw, remember to bring the handout with Three Proposals.) Here’s one: Next Tuesday, when we’re back to school (eek!!!!!!!!) I’ll order 50 copies of this one-page handout for a Timed Speaking Activitiy in the Avanzado 2 groups! I’ll give it to people in our first lesson together and you’ll do the looking up stuff before the lesson when you’ll actually “improvise the interaction.”

I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I also FUCKING HOPE YOU WILL FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS!!! 😀

TIMEDSPEAKINGACTIVITYFORAVANZADO2  (FIXED LINK) – traveling to Greece ♥, Iceland ♥♥ or Cyprus

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday and hope it’s not a Rainday! Next Monday I’ll try to send my feedback on the recordings I did not manage to finish working on last week!

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Happy spring holidays!

March 22, 2013

Dear all (to my students – the happy hols is for all, though! :D),

  • Remember we’ll be starting unit 6 when we’re back in class, and that we’ll be doing just part of the unit, for lack of time. So if you haven’t finished unit 5, try to do so. Remember using your audios should be your priority, because it helps you with oral communication and with your grammar and pronunciation! When we’re back, I hope we can listen to a few people holding timed conversations or timed monologues every day.
  • Remember to post your Installation, too (Avanzado 2) And Intermedios remember to listen to your classmates.
  • Here is some literature you can print and read, and there are audios for some of them.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Yaba daba doo!!!

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March 21: Celebrating Poetry Day & Fighting Racism Day

March 22, 2013

♥ Joy Harjo

Learn about this amazing Muskoke (Creek) American musician, writer and activist! ♥

Should I dream you afraid so that you are forced to save yourself? Or should you ride colored horses into the cutting edge of the sky to know that we’re alive we are alive.

Read/Listen to her poem Strange Fruit

mediterranean_mapHere is a poem I wrote in 2012 dedicated to the Palestinian people. I wrote it after watching a documentary about a Music School they were trying to create or hold together in the Gaza region (a densely populated area on the planet where you can get killed very easily, apart from having to endure war-like hardship). Olive trees are also connected to the origin of the worldwide movement called Women in Black. Israeli and Palestinian women did something which patriarchal politics abhors, which was plant olive tree together in a shared land. Olive trees are also about our connection as part of the Mediterranean cultures. I’ve translated it into English.

Los olivos (michelle renyé, 2012)

van_gogh_bosquedeolivos1889La piel oliva es dorada y verde.
Los ojos y el pelo negro noche lluvia
y profundos,
como el verano en los jazmines.
Las hojas son verde ceniza por abajo
y se vuelven al cielo abierto,
tantas veces
con tanto esfuerzo, con dolor,
y levemente brillantes
por encima, como un recuerdo
de aceites y manos, de cuando
podían plantar olivos, verlos crecer.

La música está prohibida.
(Es ley en la democracia del genocidio.)
Las personas jóvenes no temen más
que aman, por eso cantan
en un espacio de ruinas secreto.
Sus ojos contienen al fondo cascotes
caídos sobre los olivos bajo el sol
sobre la tierra amarilla gastada agotada,
llana, terrosa, dura, persistente; hecha mirra,
y aprenden a tocar en cajas con cuerdas
y se juegan la vida cuando bailan.

Es lo que nunca cuentan las crónicas que escriben
los padres de todas las guerras.

Translation:

Olive Trees (michelle renyé, 2012)

Olive skin is gold and green.
Eyes and hair black night rain
and deep,
like summer in jasmines.
The leaves are ash green underneath
and turn and twist towards the open sky,
once and again,
with such effort, such pain,
and slightly shiny
on top, like a memory
of oils and hands, of the time
when they could plant olive trees, see them grow.

Music is banned.
(It’s law in the democracy of genocide.)
People young do not fear more
than love, that’s why they are singing
in a secret space of ruins.
The background in their eyes contains
rocks of rubble fallen on the olive trees under the sun
on the yellow soil worn out exhausted
flat terrous hard persistent; made myrrh
while they learn to play boxes with strings
and risk their lives when they dance.

This is what’s never told in the chronicles written
by the patriarchs of all wars.

Web de Rumbo a Gaza

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The Guy’s Guide to Feminism

March 16, 2013

guys_guide_cover_medA book to get!

Read on

On Facebook

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Installations 1

March 12, 2013

weaving-silkToday in Avanzado 2 people were trying to imagine what kind of installation they would put together if they wanted to tell people about themselves, as a self-portrait. Because I was bored and had no one to talk to, 😀 I wondered how I would portray students! Que tengo mucho peligro! 😀

María — I thought I’d portray María as a tapestry. It would have to be a silk tapestry, full of bright colors but also with less defined areas and with areas of very subtle hues. When people looked at it, they would take in how skillfully weaved it was! All the care in world put into its making!

treeinbubbleJosemaría R. — On second thoughts, I have to say I was not right in picking an olive tree. Although olive trees are beautiful, they are not the kind of beautiful Josemaría is! 😀  So I would have to work more on the idea of a tree. I’d place the tree in a way in which we would be aware that it’s got roots. Just imagine a whole tree without the ground. Yes, in the air! Oh, got it! It would be in a container full of water!

aparadordevitrinaAna — for her installation, I would pick one of those pieces of furniture which is key in the dining/sitting room, and which is like a chest of drawers but has its top half with glass, so you can see through. The wood would be really solid and beautiful. The design would be simple and beautiful. And behind the glass we would be able to see some precious objects of Ana’s! It wouldn’t be cluttered. Just a few. Perhaps some free space too. And what about the drawers…? Ah!? Ana, tell us!
I would place this piece of furniture in a well-lighted space and I’d probably add a couple of huge plant pots, but I’m not sure about this! (By the way, here’s the exhibition Ana told us about!)

home-designOscar — my installation for Oscar would require three long (and wide) window panes arranged as half of an hexagon, like in this Hopper picture. But we would see them from the inside and as our background. Then there would be a big beautiful light brown wooden table. It would be placed as if tracing a vertical line towards the windows. Oscar’s seat would be with its back to the windows, the chair would be drawn out as if he had just left. On the table we would see a newspaper. Aold_typewriternd some delicious natural orange juice shining in the morning light. On the left, at the longest side of the table, yes, there would be a typewriter. And next to the table, closer to the spectator, there would be a waste paperback, full of balled pieces of paper. The space should have a lot of warm morning light!

By the way, doesn’t this remind you of the game, “If X were music,… / If X were a period in History, … / If X were an object, …/ If X were a smell, …, what would he/she be?

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On Social activism and Achievement

March 12, 2013

Today Rubén (Avanzado 2 Martes) asked me what had we achieved when I was volunteering as a pacifist in a project in a country at war. This question is complex and deserves and analysis I have no time or mind to make just now! And the answer is as complex!! It’s like a few galaxies put together!

So I’d like to hint at possible answers with an analogy: what does a teacher achieve in a school year? Do we measure their achievement in terms of number of students who pass their finals? The teaching-learning experience is like an amazing journey. Wouldn’t this kind of measurement be far too poor? The teacher-student relationship is a very particular and amazing kind of relationship, when it actually has chances of developing. Do you believe that people passing exams would mirror achievement?

Helping people pass an exam if a very small part in my work as a teacher. My work is precious, far more complex, and this does not mean I ignore “the problem” (exams), and it doesn’t mean either all I do is well done. So I cannot measure my achievement as a teacher just by thinking of how many students passed their finals. If you ask me, as a teacher, I mean, I have to say I don’t know how to measure it because teaching is a very complex activity. But I do have a guiding star — I always try to offer the best of what I’m capable of, and this does not exclude paying attention, interacting, listening, and making mistakes, for mistakes are opportunities for discovery and exploration — and therefore for unexpected learning! When the year comes to an end, as a teacher, I’m exhausted and heartbroken because all of those very rich connections you have enjoyed throughout the year end. But then, a new stage begins: the new learning that holidays bring about, and this time you’re not in charge! And next, a new exciting school year, full of people to meet, to work with!

As a social activist, the first area of my achievement is myself. I profit from all my work for society, because I dissent and give myself the chance to grow, to pursue ideals and learn to live inspired by them! And how can I measure the rest? Should I say, “In Guatemala, our work helped many people not be kidnapped by death squads, tortured and murdered, and these people in turn, worked their lives out to bring a betterment to their society.” As you can see it’s getting harder to nail down… I could also say, “In Guatemala I learned about how to work through nonviolence for the betterment of society in the face of Low Intensity Warfare.” Hard to nail down, right? I could say, “X is alive because we helped,” much more specific, but — is this a self-contained description of my (our) achievement? Is this it? No, it isn’t. There is so much more! But I simply cannot explain comprehensively!

Here there is / was my first attempt to think in terms of achievement, and as I can see, I totally failed anyway! (oh, and here is Asking Questions in Church, btw!)

In a nutshell, I am my only “achievement,” a human being in interaction with other human beings, and the struggle never ends! 🙂

AFTERTHOUGHT: Perhaps, the deep reason is that actions in social activism are not about “convincing people to follow a certain ideology”, but “helping us all to build a less violent and unfair world”!

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On love and what love is not and what we turn love into if we don’t analyze the issue!

March 12, 2013

Today this issue came up, and I don’t know how come! Anyway!

I have some advice for adults who are in charge of bringing up children, siblings, in a home. I would like to tell them — Please, don’t tell these children that their siblings are Family, meaning that they should love each other because they’ll be the only true and everlasting support they get from human beings. When you do this, you are turning a very human trait, that of love, into an obligation, and this is not positive for the relationship. The truth is that we humans get support from very many and different people throughout our lives, people like friends, but also from people we are not attached to emotionally. And the truth is Family relationships are oftentimes full of hurt. I can imagine this — if we didn’t tell children this kind of horrible things, siblings would possibly develop naturally a love of supporting each other, mutual love, or not, but the story would be about that, not about hurting each other. There is nothing as disempowering and damaging as fighting with someone you love.

I believe this is also a good piece of advice for people who fall in love and want to share their lives. Love should not be turned into obligation. This kills love! Love is not about sacrifice: when we love someone and we’re free to love, supporting this person, doing something altruist for this person should just be about this, about love, and not about selflessness and sacrifice. Actually, when we love and we’re free to love, say I’m sleepy but my partner needs some help, I might prefer to stay awake to help, just out of love. I may also simply go to sleep. Both things are possible and they do not say much about my love for that person. There’s no possible fight here, in free love. The person who needs help will understand the other falls asleep, in the same way that the person who manages to stay awake to help the other will do so because of love.

Life is simpler when we do not chain love to obligation, and it allows for much healthier relationships. At least, this is what I’ve come to believe after a life full of love towards many different people (friends, acquaintances, teachers, colleagues, people you meet when you travel…) but also including frustrated love in the Family. If I had children (something I have never wanted to do, in spite of having a womb! — and I’m not saying this with sadness, I’m just stating a fact in the very novel context of a feminist-developing society where women are starting not to be seen as containers, but as human beings with a mind, who may or may not wish to have children!), I would certainly avoid saying “Love your Family, they will always be there!”

Loving your family is a likely outcome when you share part of your life with them provided they are not at war and it actually happens. If you love them, it’s because we humans grow fond of people we share life with. And there is more: like other animals, we are capable of altruism. On the other hand, not loving your Family may happen for many different reasons, and not just because you are a psychopath! If you don’t love your family, or if you do but it hurts too much to be around them, don’t feel bad, just move away if it hurts or you feel suffocated, or simply try to get along nicely, meaning with nice constructive politeness which does not mean being hypocritical, but simply learning to live together!

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Why do people feel modern art is crap?

March 12, 2013

Are people aware of the implications of their beliefs around modern art? Do people know that some of the beliefs we individually have come from what power-structures have taught us?

Never before in patriarchal societies have we had the freedom we have today in terms of expressing ourselves. [Not in all the planet, of course. Let’s say in “societies questioning patriarchal order” (“developing societies”). However, since we do, since art is at our hands, and free to express whichever subjectivity we wish to express, people despise it. They find no merit in this.] And this is what most people think of art: it’s crap, it’s corrupt, artists are cheating us! There’s nothing for meaningful thought processes like knowing when to divide things us in parts and reconnect them in different ways.

Art is about humans expressing something. It’s a human need. So what’s wrong if people are trying to explore things and express their own very particular viewpoint or experience? Haven’t people had enough of “universal truths” with all the History we’ve been through and with what market dictates today, and mainstream media?

The Art Market is not art. It’s a market. It’s a market that sells art, that makes money by selling artwork.

Would people today prefer to live in a world like the world that power-holders in Ancient Egypt presented for over 3,000 years (was that the time? I’m not good at maths!)? A world where only ONE SOLE DEPICTION of the human body was considered valuable, good for a society?

The diversity we find in art today shows the diversity we are enjoying. We are not sentenced to death if we write poems, or model figurines, or paint pictures people in power don’t want to have around. We are just excluded from market.

… 🙂

Do people need art? It seems that now that art is at hand, people do not need power holders to keep them away from art — they do it themselves. This is self-repression. Is this what our freedom will be about? Not needing power-holders to exclude us from areas of human knowledge because we will exclude ourselves, willingly?!

The more we ignore, the more easily we despise, or underestimate…

Give art a chance. You might discover relevant things about yourself and the world!

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So who needs feminism?

March 10, 2013

So men can talk about women in horrible terms, as if they were rubber dolls, but women cannot analyze the rape problem, this war against women that is “biological and inevitable” in patriarchal societies…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2290789/Men-talk-openly-rape-potential–vile-clever-women-like-Cambridge-undergraduate-tells-shocking-abuse-male-students-elite-university.html

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A little respect!

March 8, 2013

The bad thing about default ideologies — those which condition thought and language, and consequently, human relationships, the cultural default ideology people have without being aware that they have it — is that they expose its carriers’ inability to think freely and to look at the world around them with inocence.

These people who are unable to think independently feel annoyed, irritable, angry because we are celebrating on a particular date the existence of women on the planet. These people have never missed women as thinkers, artists, activists, in all those centuries in which male Historians deprived them of existence, and Men — the group ruling on human societies — had them locked up, exploited, and the rest, which is frightening and deserves attention.

WE ARE CELEBRATING THE FACT THAT WE ARE STRIVING EACH AND EVERY DAY FOR A BETTER WORLD, A WORLD THOSE UNTHINKING PEOPLE ALSO ENJOY AND BENEFIT FROM.

Just a little respect, please!

This year’s Mujer Palabra cyberpostcard says:

March 8
we are
celebrating feminism
burying patriarchal violence
planting the seeds of intelligent life!

8marzoestamos

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Stop the war on women

March 8, 2013

THE WORLD IS CHANGING AND WE’RE VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT!

(WE’RE CHANGING THE WORLD TO INCLUDE US AS HUMAN BEINGS, AND WE’RE THEREFORE CHANGING SOCIETY. PATRIARCHAL SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN FAR TOO VIOLENT FAR TOO LONG!)

ifyourenotoutraged

Women invite lawmakers to ‘Walk in My Shoes’

031312Legphoto06

stopwarangeladavis

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Who Needs Feminism?

March 8, 2013

http://www.whoneedsfeminism.com/about.html WNF – Start Your Own Guide 9-22

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Celebrating March 8: what’s so good about the human rights concept?

March 8, 2013

I certainly believe that December 10 should be an international holiday. You have to consider that it’s taken us till the 20th century to understand that all human beings have the same rights. Before we managed this idea, some people were considered worthless and some others the representatives of God on the planet, or those who could exploit and abuse feeling totally entitled to do so. Obviously, reaching this understanding cannot wipe out all the harm that the parameters that built societies for centuries constructed. But this is just a beginning, the beginning of a better way to organize societies.

Before we coined “human rights” it was religion organizing societies and what men and women could do in life, their roles, what their hopes and dreams should be. Today most people understand that religion and spirituality should not organize society, for those are private issues, to share with like-minded people, but not to impose on the population. We are learning to respect non-believers and also different kinds of religions or spiritual options.

The genius of the human rights notion is that both believers and non-believers can be able to accept it and respect it.

It is true that patriarchal monotheist religions are having a harder time with this notion, because their dogmas have assigned gender roles to human beings, and women have always been seen and treated as inferior — intelectually, emotionally, spirituality — and a source of evil. But numerous people who believe in those religions are moving beyond those dogmas. They are refusing to believe that it was women who brought suffering to the world, they are refusing to believe that sexual intercourse should exclude pleasure, or that women should have as many children as God sends them. They’re challenging many religious impositions and they’re trying to build a kind of spirituality consistent with the human rights notion.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, as a feminist, as someone who understands human rights, I’d like to post this little thought of mine in celebration of it all!

Venus 21st century: “You understand women have human rights, but you don’t need to develop a feminist intelligence of world? How come? (What a sad violent and pointless war)”

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A Letter from Eve Ensler, from Congo

March 7, 2013

http://www.vday.org/dearall

 

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Yeepee! Airport Experiences! 2 minutes, really funny!

March 7, 2013

I found a way of getting your work published without it being such a big amount of work for me — which means, I can publish more, too!

Instead of publishing your work on the Talking People Podcast, I can simply upload the audio you send me (please, try to export it or save it as an mp3 file), paste the transcript, add my corrections on that, link to the audio and voilá!

And here’s Laura’s hilarious airport experience! Don’t read the transcript till you have heard it once. Then, the transcript includes my corrections and comments in block letters or highlighted in pink.

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2laura_airport.htm

Thanks, Laura, and enjoy you bunch!

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Quvenzhane Wallis

March 2, 2013

give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right. – Warsan Shire

http://www.shakesville.com/2013/03/on-quvenzhane-wallis.html

http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2013/02/24/a-love-letter-to-quvenzhane-wallis/

http://poetry.newgreyhair.com/post/41290110631/in-preparation-for-war-warsan-shire

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