Saturday, November 28, 2015

Purple light, in the canyon...

Sometimes I remember the homeland of my childhood, and my friends, Rick, Dean, John...

Neither exercise junkies nor coach potatoes.

Image from Dr. Klara in wikipedia.  Two girls hiking in sham valley, Leh-Ladakh, India.  

Many people eat and drink in an excessive way over the NY period, and feel guilty about it. Because of this bad feeling, they get a gym membership in January. In February, most people lose motivation and hardly visit the gym. This desertion keeps going on during the next months, and then peopl start to feel guilty again, because they are paying every month for a service they don't use.

However, they are not going to cancel their membership because they wouldn't be able to stand the sense of defeat that this surrender would mean.

So gyms exploit this sequence of obsesive and neurotic guilth's feelings and earn a very interesting amount of money.

In fact, there are three kinds of people if we think about the human relation with fitness.

Coach Potatoes: those are the people who hate practicing sport and who dream of sinking in a fluffy sofa for hours while they stare at the rain pouring outside the window.

The exercise junkies: namely the people who can't survive without several hours of daily sport.

The sane sportmen and sportwomen. (do they exist?): they are those who practise regular and moderate excercise; those who exercise through daily activities. Probably, they don't need to go to a gym, because walking and running are free and economic activities.

In fact, studies show that this third option is the healthiest, because too much exercise reduces the number of white cells, and because too much aerobic exercises releases dangerous free radicals, and of course, because a sedentary life increases the cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Minyons de Terrassa" reach the Sky!!!

Never, no gang of Human Towers Builders had been able to raise the Human Castle called «4 de 10» (Ten flats high, and four persons in every flat).
This morning, the «Minyons de Terrassa», one of the best gangs of Catalonia, have achieved this victory.
Joy has exploded in the «Plaça Vella» of Terrassa. The «Old Square» of Terrassa, where this group of young and old men, and women, and children, and grandfathers, and grandmothers, of Terrassa... have reached their goal.

Day after day, this gang usually assay a series of difficult and elaborate Human Towers, a symbol of the power of a People when it works in a coordinated way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We lack a sweet view of his mind.

I'll never fear what my skin wants,
enjoying the air, the sun, and burning
the chains that a blind power has settled
to take me slowly towards the very death.

I'll never fear the soft sweet water,
inside the blue core of the sea,
away and free, like a big whale,
my recipe tastes very well.

My love resides where my mind is,
my mind was made from dust of stars.
A lover molded this wet powder,
and shaped simple lights of gold.

My God once thought my naked meat,
there's no use hiding his great design.
If we lost that that god devised,
we lack a sweet view of his mind.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A different educational activity to stimulate the creativity

I'm going to talk about a pedagogic experience I enjoyed at the end of the last term.

Here, in Catalonia, every year, during a week, we do what the system calls «Credit de síntesi» that in english would be translated as «Synthesis work» roughly speaking. This project is developed by the young ones working in little groups  of five or six members.
In the second grade of ESO, and specifically in my school, the theme of the "Crèdit de Síntesi" is Africa; Africa studied and analysed from all points of view.
Over the past two years, we have dedicated one of the days to attend a play, in the theater, about the world's inequalities and about the famine of some African regions; but this time (I'm talking about last June) the company who usually worked in this project stopped performing this play. And I had to seek another option to fill that day.
I have always thought that we must stimulate the creativity of the students, and that we must suggest funny and singular activities to motivate them, so I suggested to the teaching staff of second grade to set up a shortfilm's contest about Africa.
All the students, during the 14-15, learnt to use Movie-Maker along the study of technology, and so they knew how to link different pieces of recordings, how to add music to a video, how to writte titles and credits on a video... So, I thought they could face this challenge and come out with a good work for the Cinema Festival. 
The teaching staff agreed and we incorporated the First Festival of Cinema about Africa in my School.
Of course, they worked in little groups of five persons, and all of them were thirteen years old. Every group had to make a movie. Every movie had to have a maximum duration of five minutes, and the festival jury would evaluate the screenplay, the interpretation of every actor or actress, the work of the director, the originality, and of course the creativity.

Well, the results were great.

People who watched the movies in the theater of the school spent more than one hour laughing, crying, thinking, and enjoying the twenty four short films, all very different stories, different points of view, different feelings, all great.

They were great not merely because of the quality of the movies, but especially the enthusiasm, passion, fervour, of the children. Most of them discovered a different way to enjoy themselves; a way that probably they would have never discovered if they hadn't had the necessity of doing an assignment like this. After the festival, I heard some girls saying: «we have to repeat this experience». We have to gather again in Can Boada. To make their movie, these same girls had gathered in the hills near Terrassa, had dressed up with pareos, had their faces painted in red, yellow and blue... and had danced a tribal coreography trying to put across the idea that says that Africa is not merely a country of war and hate, but also a place of happiness and joy. They won the oscar for the best photography, and the Oscar for the best movie.

The jury awarded a prize (an Oscar) to the best actor or actress, to the best screen play, to the best movie, to the best photography, and some special prizes like the prize to the most newsworthy movie, that was won by a group that had made an interview with a Senegalese immigrant.

It was a thrilling and fun experience.

Children enjoyed and discovered a new way of creating.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making a Thriller

This afternoon we have been enjoying with a cam and the suitable setting. This is and old and neglected orphanage. Forty years ago some teachers mistreated many young boys in this dreary place. Little by little we are learning to make movies.
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