Saturday, April 30, 2016


“This tiny village has been excommunicated and cursed with a spell so powerful that only the Pope can lift it”
By: Inka Piegsa-Quischotte
Level of Difficulty: *
1.       Why is the situation of the Spanish village surprising? Because….
2.       What is the name of the village in question?
3.       What makes the village special?
4.       Ruiz was a typical witch/ wasn’t a typical witch because she was/wasn’t dressed like one and she had/ didn’t have the usual stuff witches have with her.
5.       Circle the answer(s) that fit(s) : The story of witchcraft was a trick/ a cover-up/ a fabrication/a hoax.
6.       What was going on at the castle was a business venture / a criminal activity. How do you know?
7.       What political advantage did Trasmoz have?
8.       What practical advantage did Trasmoz have that helped the locals in their activities?
9.       The whole of Trasmoz was excommunicated because they were practicing witchcraft. True or False? How do you know?
10.   The monastery started diverting water from Trasmoz because the excommunication hadn’t worked. True or False?
11.   What does “the defeat” refer to in the phrase “the Church never forgave the defeat”?
12.   Why is it necessary for the Pope to lift the curse?
13.   Circle the correct answer: After the curse, Trasmoz flourished/ was deserted / was ruined/ was neglected.
14.   Read the story of La Tia Casca and decide which of the following fits best:
·         Casca was blamed for the epidemic because she was a witch
·         Casca was blamed for the epidemic because they couldn’t find any treatment
·         Casca was blamed for the epidemic because of her personality
15.   The festival organized in Trasmoz every year proves that……………………………………..
16.   Is Ruiz telling the truth when she says she can’t cast a spell?
17.   Why did the writer throw rice and salt over her shoulder?
This exciting and interesting yet simple text should go with a bang in class given the title. The structure of the text has given me the opportunity to pose some serious comprehension questions which will, I hope, come more easily thanks to the subject matter.
1.       Because it was excommunicated in its entirety and cursed with a spell so strong that only the Pope can lift it
2.       Trasmoz
3.       It has centuries of witchcraft history
4.       Wasn’t atypical witch because she wasn’t dressed like one and she didn’t have…
5.       They are all true
6.       A criminal activity; They were forging fake coins
7.       It was a lay territory
8.       It had rich iron and silver mines
9.       False: the Church was angry because they weren’t paying taxes to the Church. The witchcraft was an excuse
10.   True
11.   King Ferdinand’s decision that Trazmos’ actions were justified
12.   Because/ since a pope sanctioned the curse
13.   Was ruined
14.   The second one
15.   The tradition of witchcraft seems to be alive and well
16.   Personal answer

17.   To ward off evil spirits

Thursday, April 14, 2016


      Social media has become the most powerful and predominant feature of people's daily lives.Especially in the last century, it has become an inseparable part of our lives.It has gained more and more popularity and now social media is being used by26 % of the world's population for diverse purposes.With the increasing number of people using social media, there has appeared a debate as to how social media can be used to change individuals' and society's features in a positive way.
         First of all, with the advent of social media people's lives have become much easier.The world  has become like a global village which people can participate in and benefit from. It has gradually (especially) affected the field of education since access to information has become quicker and easier.That has helped people to become more well-educated by adding new information to their pre-existing knowledge.Besides its advantages for education, it can also be used to create awareness ofworldwide events and to start an aid campaign for those who  suffer from civil wars or natural disasters and thosewho need economic support to rebuild their countries.  
       In addition to its benefits  for education and social support for worlwide events  it is mostly used by people to communicate with each other and stay connected.Social media  gives opportunities to people to interact with each other even if they are many miles apart.This strengthens their relationship although they live in different locations. It has also provided a virtual platform whereby youth can create groups and discuss various topics , which make it possible to create bigger knowledge store.For instance , in Jamaica, young people are informed about HIV via social media and they have become more careful about this dangerous disease.Thereby, social media offers lots of opportunities to create a better world and healthier society both physically and mentally.
      On the other hand, there seems to be a  minority that claim that social media plays a dangerous role in people's lives.They assert that it causes people to lose their vocabulary which equals to losing their potential to express themselves.Yet , in the real world, there are some people who cannot voice their opinions, or cannot feel relaxed when they are among people.However, social media can be used to realizeboth of these .According to some research, texting while driving is the big cause of death for teens because it distracts them. Yet, it is a preventable fact and people can overcome it easily.
           To conclude, social media has become more popular in today's world.It gives lots of opportunities to people such as staying connected, raising their level of education and having information about events from the other side of the world.Thus, it is a crucial advantage for people to create a healthier and better world.


     The Internet is seen as a basic need nowadays and it can also be thought of as a part of Maslow’s needs hierarcy. Because human beings are social animals, the need to communicate and socialize with others isparamount/ a priority. Social media rapidly became popular among people because it can be used by a lot of users easily and fast thanks to the Internet. People can communicate with each other all over the world via Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube more easily and faster than any other means of communication. Even though social media helps people to socialize, it creates some significant problems which we are going to discuss in this essay.
    The most important problem is the reality of the information we get from  the Internet and the artificial life we create for ourselves. People who have profiles on social media engage in the virtual world and forget about real life. Most of the time people create different identities on their Internet profiles and this  may be the identify of someone else they want to be. Moreover, there are a lot of fake accounts on social media. Unfortunately, users, especially young people, are influenced by the profiles which are regulated perfectly. All this affects personal development negatively because people always feel inadequate and want to be perfect aAs a result, people in such a generation who are perfectly active in the virtual world via social media but haveproblems with self-expression in the real world are growing up.
     Another problem with social media is that it is the medium for companies to engage in trade because there are security gaps which are exploited by others. However, it does not provide sufficient privacy . Social media sites  keep all the data about us, and companies use it for advertisement through algorithms. For instance, when a user logs in to a shopping website to buy a dress, the system keeps this data and in the future, it suggests another dress which the user may possibly like. As a result, others know  what you like or what you want without getting your permission. This is a simple example. In this way, privacy rights are exploited by not only companies but also unrelated people. Life is yours but others can affect you and make decisions about you.
    To sum up, even though social media is used by ordinary people, it is shapedaccording to great powers who want to affect people in order to achieve financial or political goals. Otherwise, people think that they are becoming more social by sharing something via social media. However it is one-sided communication. When you post something via Facebook or any kind of social media, you cannot feel how it influences others because you are not able to see, hear or touch.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Should guns be banned in the United States?

        Individual armament has become a huge problem in America compared to other developed countries. An overwhelming number of Americans believe that owning a gun is a necessity for safety, and so it is estimated that 283 million guns are in civilian hands. However, this situation brings many problems along with it:  9 children are killed every single day with guns by accident. Therefore, private of ownership these dangerous devices receive criticism and should be stopped.
      One of the main pretexts of people who assert that it is necessary to stock guns in the home is the principle of liberalism. According to them, America is a state that provides a free life for everyone, so one can get what s/he wants with her/his money. However, this rule is not always valid. If anyone becomes is in danger of harming others, it becomes necessary to restrict his/her actions. Since guns constitute a threat to people, the principle of liberalism cannot be defended in this context. Young ones can also access these dangerous tools easily, which can cause many disasters. They can use them and hurt others or themselves, and it is another problem which the mentality of unlimited freedom causes.
       Moreover, one argument that gun owners love to put forward is that guns ensure safety. However, according to research, the result is obvious; the more guns, the more deaths. Although China, for example, has 4 times more people than America –which means more conflict generally, they have 10 times fewer gun deaths because American citizens have 7 times more firearms. What keeps a society safe is a reliable and peaceful environment, so giving a gun to every person is not the solution to the problem. Guns only increase the danger in society, and can also give rise to dramatic consequences, if they fall into the wrong hands.
    To sum up, legalizing gun ownership is presented as a solution to violence in society. However, guns become the main reason for violence rather than being an answer. 90 people get killed every day in the United States due to guns, they only cause fear and weaken social ties. Therefore, it is necessary to impose strict gun control on society, because the real solution is providing welfare and equality.
Oğuzhan ŞEN


Various well known universities in the US have the tradition of a Liberal Arts education, which they believe has contributed to their excellence in education. In a Liberal Arts system, freshman students are encouraged to take courses from various disciplines of Arts and Sciences without the pressure to decide on their area of specialization, hence their future occupation. Being exposed to diverse ideas involving Literature, History, Psychology, Sociology, Ethics, Music and so forth enriches the person’s vision and empowers the person with critical thinking skills necessary in all areas of life. Unfortunately, most universities around the world focus on early specialization and operate as vocational training centers and fail to prepare their students for life. For this reason, Liberal Arts should be universal across all universities of the world regardless of the level of development of the country.
Critics of a Liberal Arts Education assert that this system results in loss of time for individuals, families and the country. They believe that early specialization gains an average of 2 years and the graduates are able to join the market and become productive rather than losing those 2 precious years. However, in early specialization, most of the time, students are coerced into studying a field they are not passionate about. This may mean years of studying at a department and even working in a field they dislike and look for a way out for a different profession. Some even try to go back to university after years of unhappiness. This is a terrible waste of time and energy. It shouldn’t be forgotten that high school graduates are too young to make such an important decision in their lives as the choice of profession. For people to be productive as adults in their work, they need to feel passionate about what they are doing. A profession that suits one’s skills and interests is the key to success. The Liberal Arts approach allows the students to discover their interests, their talents and the world, and thus make the right decision about their profession. As can be seen, graduates of Liberal Arts programs can bring greater creativity, productivity and innovation to their work places.
Supporters of early specialization also claim that those 4 years of university education is necessary for a proper vocational training and any less would mean underqualified graduates for the job market. They believe for students to learn the ins and outs of their fields, they need 4 years of intense focus, otherwise they will not be ready for the demands of their areas. However, all successful companies around the world focus on qualities other than knowledge of the job in their employees and interns. Companies like Apple or Google look for intellectual curiosity, social skills, and internal motivation –all skills Liberal Arts successfully endows its students with-  when employing a person. Knowing how to think and how to learn are more important than anything because the demands of the market are constantly changing. Apple Company proudly desribes the root of its success  as the successful combination of technology and the art of design, whereas Facebook founders points to the combination of an understanding of both Psychology and Technology. For this reason, there is a new trend among the top universities to blend Liberal Arts and Technology, hence offer new undergaruate programs.
Liberal Arts education does not only prepare one for success in professional life. The skills it encourages one to develop are transferable to all areas of life. It creates free souls and free minds, as the former slave Frederick Douglas passionately advocates. He describes his journey from slavery to  freedom as one of a journey in Liberal Arts and defends this approach for the emancipation of all the supressed people of the world. It is so true that for humanity to find a way out of the chaos created by competition, greed and inequality, there is a need to found more egalitarian societies, work places, educational institutions and models of life; we need emancipated minds and souls. This is why the world needs Liberal Arts universities worldwide.
Ebru MacCullum


Life isn’t a bed of roses and there is often a good amount of suffering thrown in as well. Some claim suffering is necessary to come out of bad spells in their life more resilient and successful; others  claim that such experiences can destroy one. Who is right? Do your research and write an argumentative essay.

Sample essay


Power point:


 Reading material to make notes on

·Can suffering make us stronger?

·Can Suffering lead to success

 What doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger


·  Losing is good for you

Videos to watch and make notes on

· How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

·  The surprising link between suffering and success

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Social norms dictate that we determine one interest in life and focus on it to the detriment of everything else. People need to find their vocation and pursue a career path. What if certain individuals are not wired that way? Do your research and find out who they are and the advantages of being the way they are. Then write about them.
Note to the student: this essay task is not your run of the mill advantages and disadvantages essay; in keeping with the title, it is a combination of more than one task. Your essay should clarify what kind of person a multipotentialite is and the advantages of being so.
Thanks are due to another multipotentialite, Essie (, for this interesting activity
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         So, what is a multipotentialite?  
Reading material to make notes on
·         Putty-like Scroll down: on the right of the screen you will see many more articles linked to the topic; read them and make notes
Videos to watch and make notes on
On being a multipotentialite


    Life has never been easy and has necessitated hard work, sacrifice and forward thinking. For some, it has involved the daily struggle to put food on the table and be able to survive; for others it has involved the daily stress and strain of work in the private sector. Those who don’t seek employment are not immune to stress either as the constant toil in the home which includes a lot of repetitive work can be draining yet not everyone is influenced the same way by all the stress that is piled on: some put their shoulders to the wheel without another thought and get on with the task at hand without a backward glance, while others throw in the towel. They fret, they fume and lie awake at night turning events over in their minds. Such a tendency is termed anxiety and can be very damaging indeed. Luckily though, there is help at hand in the form of therapy, sleep, herbs and drugs.

   Expecting to be able to cope with everything life throws at one single handed is foolish and unrealistic; there is no shame in seeking help when necessary. Anxiety disorder is not something one can talk oneself out of on one’s own but fortunately, there are experts at hand in the form of therapists who can provide support and medication. Therapists mostly have a two pronged approach to treatment: they will prescribe drugs to raise serotonin levels and restore the chemical balance in the brain and they will also hold sessions with the patient and talk through his problems. This combined attack on the disorder usually works really well but it is not the only solution.
The job done by drugs can be done by herbal remedies too if the case is a mild form of anxiety disorder. Plants are the basis of a lot of drugs and remedies like St John’s Wort or 5HTP have proved to be just as effective as drugs like Prozac without having the side effects. In fact, many therapists will opt for these two herbal remedies and move onto drugs should they prove ineffective. An awareness of the properties of various different kinds of food and attention to diet will also help promote general well being but none of this will prove sufficient if the patient is not getting adequate sleep.

    Nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep for general well being as has been proved by countless experiments involving wakefulness. This is the period during which the body recuperates, eliminates toxins, prepares for the coming day and rests. Depriving the body of restorative sleep upsets the whole apple cart and does untold damage and can even lead to death. This being the case, the first thing any therapist needs to do is try and ensure that the sufferer is getting a good night’s rest. In most cases, a mild sedative will have to be used until the overriding problem has been tackled. In short, the problem of sleep disorders needs to be addressed if the anxiety disorder is to be successfully dealt with.

     In conclusion, anxiety disorder is not surprisingly, a very common problem in the modern world but there is plenty of help available. A combination of drugs, herbal remedies and therapy will aid most sufferers. There are also support groups on the internet where suffers can share their experiences and vent. Anxiety need not be a death sentence.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


A serious problem that does not come up as much as it should in the modern world is what we are doing to our oceans and marine life with all the plastic we dump in them. Do your research and write about the current situation, the reasons that things got so bad and the possible solutions.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         NASA reveals how 35 years of garbage turned into ocean garbage patches
Reading material to make notes on: The Problem

·         Ocean trash5.25 Trillion Pieces and Counting, but Big Questions Remain

·         The great Pacific garbage patch 
Reading material to make notes on: Solutions
·         The ocean clean up 
·         To clean up ocean plastics, focus on coasts…   
·         Could we clean up the greatest Pacific garbage patch?
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·         Solution to the great Pacific garbage patch
·         Great Pacific garbage patch
·         Tales from the ocean’s garbage patch
·         The clean oceans project

Monday, April 4, 2016


      Living in close-knit communities is not always easy as no two people are exactly the same: some are quick-witted and full of jokes, while others prefer peace and quiet; some are easygoing while others are short tempered. Since social situations where all kinds of different kinds of people mingle are a fact of life, people have to learn to get along but this doesn’t always work. One typical area of conflict is the modern workplace where people spend large portions of their time together with a random group of people. There are various reasons for conflict in the workplace ranging from the office set-up to compatibility.
    Most modern offices are not conducive to “getting along” in any sense of the word. Most offices in the private sector are either open plan with everyone working shoulder to shoulder or there is extensive desk hopping. Some people can switch off from their surroundings, ignore the pastrami sandwich on a colleague’s desk and focus on work, others are bothered by smells, noise and continued interruptions; tempers become frayed and people end up snapping at each other over very mundane things. The profit motive is front and center in the private sector and one way to cut costs is to reduce office size and encourage people to share desks. Although this seems logical on paper, in practice, the situation is very different: the staff can never personalize their work environment and feel they don’t belong. Alienation of this kind is certainly not conducive to good will towards others. In short, modern offices often aggravate conflict in the workplace by ignoring the human factor when planning offices.
     The role of managers is of vital importance when trying to create a pleasant working environment where work gets done to a certain standard. Firstly, the managers need to be cognizant of the respective strengths and weaknesses of each member of staff: lone wolves should be given tasks that can be done individually while team players cooperate and collaborate on other aspects of the job. One major reason for conflict in the workplace therefore is a disregard for individual character. The employees are at the service of the business and an asset of the company. This being the case, it is in the company’s interest to make the best possible use of their talents, and benefit from the effort they put into their work and the time they spend at the office. A mismatch between the task at hand and the staff member can cause stress and unnecessary aggravation. In short, one major cause of conflict in the workplace is ill-qualified managers who fail to try and get the best out of their staff.

     To sum up, businesses can do a lot to reduce conflict in the workplace. Devoting more care to office planning and making sure the right people are promoted to managerial posts are two steps which will vastly reduce the possibility of conflict in the workplace. Putting all the blame on staff members and expecting them to just get on is an unrealistic and potentially detrimental attitude.