lunes, 11 de diciembre de 2017

Ruta Natural en noviembre. 25.11.2017







Camping

Does anyone like going camping?  When was the last time you went camping?  How often do you go?  What are the benefits of camping?

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I'd like to hear your opinions on this activity.  It's something that I wish I could do more of.  Of course there may be those of you that would rather spend your free time doing something else.  Why?  What aspects of camping are unappealing?  Do you have any bad experiences?  Here's a list of some people's traumatic experiences:


jueves, 7 de diciembre de 2017

Vegetarian or vegan

I know we have talked about food before, but some how the topic of veganism never came up.  Are you or anyone you know a vegetarian or vegan?  It's becoming more common:


Are any of you interested in becoming a vegetarian or going vegan?  What interests you about it?  What are some of the obstacles or challenges to living that lifestyle?


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For those that aren't ready to make the leap there is an alternative: Flexitarianism


What are other environmental affects of our collective diets?  What changes to your diet would you be interested in making?

The next article is about factory farms and how a piglet was rescued from one.  CAUTION: don't read this article if you are planning on eating pork any time soon:


martes, 5 de diciembre de 2017

Documentación la España vacía


La España vacía

En el club de lectura de los jueves hemos leído el ensayo del escritor Sergio del Molino, La España vacía.

Esta ha sido una de esas pocas veces en las que todo el mundo se ha puesto de acuerdo al decir que han disfrutado con la lectura. Quizá demasiados datos, quizá se olvida de algunas regiones... pero sin duda, Sergio del Molino nos ha llevado por donde él quería y hemos estado de acuerdo con él en su descripción del Gran Trauma

Sin duda la mayor parte de las personas que asistimos a los clubes provenimos de los pueblos, de allí vinieron a la ciudad nuestros padres, abuelos o nostros mismos, y el tema de la despoblación nos toca muy de cerca.

Las referencias literarias, cinematográficas  e incluso musicales son infinitas. Este es uno de esos libros cuya lectura te lleva al descubrimiento de otros, a pasar las tardes, ahora que llega el invierno con una manta encima viendo películas, escuchando música y leyendo libros. 


ESCUELA DE VAMPIROS, una función terrorífica

En el club de lectura infantil hemos leído un libro terroríficamente divertido: Escuela de Vampiros, una función terrorífica.
Y monstruosa... que nos ha divertido mucho, y que hemos leído con atención porque nos hemos sabido todas las actividades que hemos realizado en el club.
Por último entre todas hemos creado un cuento espeluznante. Ahí va


LA PATATA LOCA
Cuenta la leyenda que hace mucho, mucho tiempo había una patata que estaba loca, tenía 10 ojos, cinco narices y dos bocas. Un día se tiró por el balcón y se aplastó entera enterita. 
Fue entonces cuando Patato Loco la recogió y ka llevó a la freidora. Después de comerse con ketchup a Patata Loca, Patato Loco se tiró 17 eructos y medio, y tuvo que ir coriendo al baño porque le entró una enorme cagalera.
Mamá Patat çloca que era la madre de ambos cogió un candelabro y le dio en todo el cogote
-Ay cómo duele
Otro hermano, Patatñin Loquín fue a la policía y se lo contó todo, y una patrulla patatil fue volando para allá en el coche. pero sin darse cuenta que la familia Patata Loca estaba en la calle. Les aplastaron haciéndoles puré.
Asñi que ten cuidado la próxima vez que comas puré de patata porque puedes volverte tarumbaaaa

miércoles, 22 de noviembre de 2017

Smartphones

I think we're all old enough to remember a time without smartphones, but there are many young people that have grown up with them.  Have you ever considered the affects (both positive and negative) on their development?

This article asks "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation"?:


In some places classes are being offered to students on a topic that in the past no one would have considered necesary-love:



I'm looking forward to discussing the differences between your generation and others as it relates to smartphones and hearing your opinions on the effects of the smartphone on today's generation.  

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viernes, 17 de noviembre de 2017

Thanksgiving & Awkward Conversations

Next Thursday will be Thanksgiving in the U.S.  I bet most of you know what it is and how it is celebrated, but if not here's a refresher from the notorious Sun:


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This children's video explains it as well:

This story gives a less whitewashed version:

Aside from turkey and Black Friday Thanksgiving is also known for awkward conversations with family members that you don't see eye to eye with.  Does this ever happen to you at your family gatherings?  What topics often devolve into screaming matches?  What are some topics that you can't discuss?
Here's some tips on how to avoid awkward family conversations:


Or you can follow Larry Wilmore's tips:

Realistically though, Thanksgiving isn't the only time you can have an awkward conversation.  Here are some suggestions to help you avoid making some mistakes:


miércoles, 8 de noviembre de 2017

Traffic, Commuting, and Public Transportation

In Houston I used to spend an hour and a half in traffic each way every single day. It drove me nuts.  I wasn't the only one:


What is/was your daily commute like?  Have you had jobs previously where your commute was worse/better than now?  What would be your cutoff before you say enough is enough and change jobs?  What is your limit?

In most places in the U.S. people drive to work, but in many other places people use public transportation.  Here's an article about public transit around the world:


Do you prefer public transportation to private?  What are the benefits of walking, cycling, driving your own car, or taking a bus or subway?

Here is a Ted Talk by the mayor of Bogotá about public transportation:


And here is another where a sociologist explains America's dependence on the automobile:



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lunes, 6 de noviembre de 2017

viernes, 3 de noviembre de 2017

Sports

This week I´d like to talk about sports, and it´s perfect timing too because yesterday my hometown team won the World Series (baseball championship):


What sports do you like?  What sports do you play or did you play in the past?  What professional teams do you support?

Should professional teams be able to move from one city to the next?  Are they private entities or public institutions?  Often in the U.S. owners try to move a team to greener pastures depriving the city of their beloved team:


Often, as in this case, the issue at hand is the owners insistence on a new stadium.  Should stadiums be publicly funded?  John Oliver had a segment on his show Last Week Tonight about this topic:


I´d also like to talk about the intersection of politics and sports.  Are there any instances that you can think of where sports and politics bleed into each other?  
In the U.S., you may have heard, professional athletes were protesting police brutality but of course the black hole that is Donald Trump turned it into something else entirely:



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viernes, 27 de octubre de 2017

La musica italiana



Buongiorno a  tutte, dopo un primo contatto con voi avvenuto lo scorso mercoledi, abbiamo deciso che il primo argormento della prossima lezione di conversazione in Italiano é "La musica italiana", con la possibilitá di fare una comprensione del testo di alcune canzoni che piú vi sono piaciute. 
Un argomento che accomuna la gente e ci fa sentire piú vicini, un modo per rompere il ghiaccio e imparare nuove parole. Vi aspetto tutti, la prossima lezione sará il mercoledi 8 di Novembre. Un saluto a tutti e buona festa di tutti i Santi.

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miércoles, 25 de octubre de 2017

Encuentro en Oviedo con el premio Pricesa de Asturias de las Letras


Patria, Fernando Aramburu




Para comenzar este nuevo curso, en el club de lectura hemos leído durante el verano Patria de Fernando Aramburu, un libro del que parece que todo el mundo habla, y que ha gustado a personas tan diferentes como Mariano Rajoy o Jorge Javier.

Lo cierto es que en el club la opinión general ha coincido también. Es un libro correcto, de fácil lectura, que engancha desde el principio y que nos lleva muy verazmente a la situación vivida en el País Vasco, en los pueblos, durante los años en los que ETA actúa. Si bien a algunas personas les ha parecido de una construcción literaria simple y con algún personaje maniqueo, en lo que sí estaba todo el mundo de acuerdo es en que sin duda, la historia de Patria es muy interesante.

Quizá no sea nuestra novela favorita, pero sí es un libro que probablemente recordemos durante mucho tiempo.

Halloween

Next Tuesday will be Halloween.  Will you be celebrating it?  How about your children?  How has Halloween changed since you were young?
I´m sure you know all about Halloween traditions, but do you know how much Americans spend on the holiday?

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The first of November is a holiday here in Spain, but do you know how they celebrate it in Mexico?
Do you know of any other countries that celebrate this holiday and any of their traditions?  

There are many taboos related with death.  Which ones do you know of around the world?  In some places merely talking about death and planning for it are difficult and taboo for some people:

martes, 24 de octubre de 2017

Les "Malgré-nous"

Août 42 - Février 53 : "Malgré-nous", les oubliés de l'Histoire


Dans la Wehrmacht, la Luftwaffe, la Kriegsmarine, ou encore dans la Waffen-SS, la branche militaire de la SS. Les "malgré-nous" désigne les Alsaciens et les Mosellans français incorporés de force dans les troupes hitlériennes à partir d'août 1942.


viernes, 20 de octubre de 2017

Food

Next week I´d like to talk about something we can all relate to.  Food!  We all have to eat it, we all enjoy it in varying degrees, and we all have a special relationship with it.  What foods do you like?  What don´t you like?  Are you a picky eater?


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Food can affect us not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  Are you an emotional eater or a stress eater?


Please come prepared to share what your favorite meals are, what your least favorite meals are, what the best thing you have ever eaten is, and what some foods may remind you of:  


miércoles, 11 de octubre de 2017

Columbus Day

As often happens to me here in Spain, I forgot an American holiday that just passed recently.  Columbus Day was on the 9th of this month.  I would hate to miss an opportunity to talk about this holiday just because it has passed.  This year it has drawn a lot of controversy about whether we should celebrate this Columbus´ achievements or not.


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It brings to the forefront the larger question of whether we should look at our history factually or celebrate our successes without tainting them with some of the unsavory consequences. What do you think?  Should we keep the statues and memorials and honor his achievements?  Or should we take them down and admit the often overlooked darker aspects?  Should we face history or erase it?

This debate has gotten especially pointed this year and has stemmed from a debate about Confederate statues being taken down around the country. 


What do you know about this situation?  Should the statues be taken down?  I won´t pretend to be impartial on this issue, but I would like to hear what everybody thinks about this situation.

Here´s a video depicting some of the protests in the U.S: 


Here is a 2 minute video of the mayor of New Orleans explaining his point of view on the issue.  The video is produced by The Atlantic which is a monthly magazine "which covers news and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life"



Do you have any memorials that are objectionable or controversial here in Spain?  What have other countries done to commemorate their history?

I look forward to our conversation.

Natural disasters



I´d like to thank you all for coming yesterday.  I look forward to all of our interesting conversations throughout the year.

I´d like to start out by talking about natural disasters.  Have you ever been in or affected by a natural disaster?  Are there any natural disasters that terrify you?  Would an area being prone to a natural disaster prevent you from living there?




As I mentioned in class my city, Houston, was affected by a very strong hurricane this summer.  Here is a video showing some of the aftermath:


This video explains a little about why Houston flooded so badly:


Of course, it´s difficult to talk about natural disasters without mentioning climate change.  I´d like you to read this article from a local Houston news outlet and tell me what your thoughts are on the language that it uses:


martes, 10 de octubre de 2017

CLUB DE LECTURA 2017-2018




Parece que nos gusta leer... y mucho, porque no solo va a continuar el club de lectura un curso más, sino que además ampliamos días... y el jueves tendremos un club nuevo.

El próximo miércoles 18 y jueves 19 ¡nos vemos!


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EL CLUB DE LECTURA INFANTIL...

¡¡YA ESTÁ AQUÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ!

Que sí, que hemos vuelto, el martes pasado comenzamos de nuevo el club de lectura. Estuvimos presentándonos y haciendo un imán para la nevera con las fechas del club ¡para que no se nos olvide ningún día!

y el 7 de noviembre... ¡nos vemos de nuevo para comentar Escuela de Vampiros de une scritor que se llama Peter Bently.