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Recipe: Spaghetti with Vegetables

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Cooking, Students' Corner
Kindly written by  Ana Rebollo 
• 400 g spaghetti                        
• 4 tomatoes, cut in half
• ½ cup sliced courgettes
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 red pepper, chopped
• 1 green pepper, chopped
• ½ cup vegetable stock
• 1 teaspoon salt
• thyme
• pepper
• In a pot of boiling water add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Then, remove the pot from the fire. After that, drain and set aside.
• While the spaghetti is boiling, chop the onion, the red and green pepper the tomatoes and then slice the courgette.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, add ½ cup vegetable stock. When it´s boiling, first add the onion and after a few minutes add the pepper, courgette and the tomatoes and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
• Scatter the sauce over the pasta and serve.
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A Man’s Best Friend

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Maria Pardo
A species of animals I’m interested in are dogs.I love all kinds of dogs. When I go out and meet a dog we both usually connect immediately. Dogs don’t speak but we look at each other and we communicate just by means of a look . I prefer dogs to cats. Cats are usually selfish and dogs are very generous. When a family moves, cats prefer to stay at the old house whereas dogs prefer to leave with the family.

Sometimes we can see homeless people in the cities with the only company of a dog. This animal never abandons his owner even if the owner has got nothing, not even food. They are absolutely faithful. People say that the dog is a man’s best friend and I completely agree with that. They help people that feel very isolated especially the elderly and sick . I totally disagree with people who abandon animals mainly in summer when they go on holidays.

I have had four dogs in my life. The last one was Pinky. I adored him. He wasn’t a pedigree animal but he was for me the most beautiful animal in the world. He had a lot of white fur and a silky coat. He was small and had enormous brown eyes. He was slow and a little bit quiet. When someone arrived home, Pinky used to bark with strength to let us know and used to move his tail.
Unfortunately, Pinky died last year in July because of his age. He was thirteen years old.

Blame it on the snow

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Hello dear students:
I know most of you haven’t been able to make it to the school due to severe weather conditions.
Just this time I am going to  tell you what we did in class so you can do your homework and work on some of the activities done in class.
Task 1. Warm-up. Guided speaking  about Christmas, traditions related to it commercialization of this season. (photocopy available at request)
Task 2. Vocabulary: materials, adjectives describing materials… done with slips of paper on the blackboard ,more motivating than in your textbook but you can also find it there. Page : 37
Task3. Listening  from page 37
Task 4. Verb phrases with “take”. Textbook page 42 (ex.11 and 12)
Homework: You are to prepare a short speech of not less than 2 minutes about one of the topics you’ll find on your books, page 39, ex 12.

Guessing Historical figures

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
1. You are going to read about a historical figure or/and listen to someone reading about him/her. To    listen, click on the icon.

2. Guess who this person might be and then click to see the answer
3. You are to post a comment writing about a historical figure that you like/dislike. I’ll correct it and post your comment for everybody to guess. I don’t have to guess, so please send me the answer to your post.


He was the leader of the National Socialist party in Germany and, subsequently, Chancellor. He was known by the title of Der Fürer. He wrote a book entitled Mein Kampf. He was an admirer of the composer Richard Wagner. He dreamed of forming an Aryan race. He committed suicide in 1945 when he realised that he had been defeated in World War Two. Can you guess who that was?

He was a lawyer, born in Gujarat in India. He became the leader of the Indian Nationalist movement against the British rule. He worked for over 20 years in South Africa, fighting the cause of Indians there. He said that nonviolence was the most powerful weapon in the hands of mankind. He believed in pacifism, nonviolent protest, religious tolerance and the right to life. He was assassinated at the age of seventy-nine, a year after India gained her independence from Britain. So, any guesses?

Now it is your turn….
Read all the comments to this post and write down your guess for each description. Then , click here to see the answers.

Mobile phone: friend or enemy?

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Mario Peláez Fdez
Everybody knows that mobile phones have changed our society, making our communication faster, but, has it become better? 
It’s true that we’ve modified our communication habits, because now we can talk with anyone, no matter where he/se is, but: Do we know the importance of communication? Or do we just do it becauseit’s a habit, a routine?                                                            
I don’t mean mobile phones are completely bad for us: They help us to keep in touch with our friends and to ask for help in case of danger, and they help other people to find us if there’s an emergency. 
But, on the other hand, some people are starting to substitute the face-to-face communication with the mobile phone communication. I mean, they’re trying to “mobilize” our communication. For example: teenager couples send each other, on average, more than fifteen text messages per day! Are we going crazy? It’s the same kind of communication that we should eliminate between friends. A boy or a girl comes from high school. He/She’s going to meet his/her friends half an hour later, but she’s texting all his/her friends to ask them if they have any interesting thing to tell him/her!
As I see it, we aren’t caring enough about how we relate to each other . We’re addicted to our mobile phones, because we think we can’t live without them 
If you don’t believe me, ask a teenager about what he/she prefers: a week without his/her mobile phone or a weekend without going out. I think most of the teenagers would say that they prefer the second option (I wouldn’t, but I think most of the teenagers would) 
However, there’s something that I consider a very important advantage about mobile phones: nowadays, most of the mobile phones have got a camera and a MP3 player on them. I think that it’s an advantage because it’s a way to keep your music with you at all times and to take photos wherever and whenever you want. 
So, if you ask me, I think that mobile phones are a great product, but we should be careful, because we mustn’t be mobile phone addicts

Justo’s DIY Cathedral

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Manuel Torga Rubio 
I remember when we were studying unit 2, we talked about Rock Gardens of Candigarh in India and the name of Justo Gallego , a man from Mejorada del Campo,sprang to mind. He is believed to be a madman.He was born in 1925 and wanted to be a priest but when he was at the monastery, he came down with a serious illness and he was made redundant. Afterwards, he promised his mother to build a cathedral, to the greater glory of his God. He sold family’s lands and began to build the cathedral without an architect’s university degree.Everybody in the village laughed at him but he had a” can do” attitude, an eye for detail and he was passionate about his new job, he was keen on doing his labour of love.
Anyway, he used bits of rubbish from the buildings sites, waste material, bricks, lumps of concrete, girders; he recycled anything he could find, he had his daily job satisfaction as a workaholic. When he finished his money, he started to receive money from his neighbours. For more than 40 years he has dedicated all his physical efforts to fulfilling that vow, canvassing local support, donations and eventually some people helped him doing voluntary work When his buildings started to become real then some people changed their mind about him. Actually, he was building a cathedral, similar to other cathedrals.
In the end, he represents the perseverance, the idea that all you wish for can happen, you must onlt work hard. I was there and I know that´s true….
Cheer up, Don Justo!!!

Want to read more about Justo and his cathedral?
This article has been sent by Ana Rebollo. Thanks a lot.
There´s always some good and bad in everything. I´m an only child and I think that the main advantage is that if you are an only child your parents are able to provide you with all the needs, financial or otherwise. And they can afford a really good education for you. You don´t have to share your toys or wear hand-me-downs and you always have your own room. But on the downside, only children tend to be spoiled getting everything they want because parents don´t have to divide among other kids. Only children get the full attention of their parents and that can create self-centredness and that could be a problem in the future because they would not be able to accept other points of view. I think when you are an only child you are more independent and more mature as they often only have adults at home to socialize with. One of the advantages of being an only child is that you don´t have anybody to fight with and you are never compared to a brother or sister. However, it can be boring when there is nobody else to play with when your parents are too busy to entertain you so sometimes only children can be quite lonely. I think that if you have siblings you are more sociable and you can learn how to get along with people a bit more easily and you also learn to share, not to be selfish and to put yourself in someone else´s position. 

A Practical Joke

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Funny Stuff, Students' Corner
According to the definition of the Wikipedia  a practical joke or prank is a stunt or trick to purposely make someone feel foolish or victimized, usually for humor. The term “practical” refers to the fact that the joke consists of someone doing something (a practice), rather than a verbal or written joke.
In Western culture, April Fools’  Day  is a day traditionally dedicated to performing practical jokes. Another day common for pranks and practical jokes is Halloween, in the form of Trick ot Treat.
And… I fell prey to  practical jokers, namely , my closest friends. . I’ll tell you what happened. It was Christmas time and I had decided to invite my friends for dinner on New Year’s Eve. They were about 14 people .My friends tried to put me off the idea of celebrating at home because they thought  it was going to be too much work  for me. But I happily told them that I was going to have everything delivered to me by the Corte Inglés Catering Service.So, I called this company and agreed on the menu and on having it delivered on the afternoon of the 31st .And I proudly told my friends that I had everything under control. Silly of me!
On the morning of that very same day  I got a phone call , very businesslike by the way, where a very professional voice ,or so it seemed to me ,asked to talk to Ms Cabal  and told me that she was going to put me through the Catering Department of El Corte Inglés. I thought it was to confirm the delivery time. To my surprise , I was told that my menu could not be delivered as I had failed to book it within the deadline. Politely , I told them I had phoned them within  the right period but they apologised and said it couldn’t be done. The more I tried to convince them , the angrier I got until finally I threatened to sue them . I was so angry and frustrated. I asked to talk to whoever was in charge of The Customer’s Service .When they put me through and I started to complain I heard people laughing . It had all been a practical joke from my friends phoning from the office they work in and everybody in the office had listened to me as they had set the phone in the  hands-free mode and about 10 people  were laughing at my frustration.
 What about you? Have you ever played a practical joke on someone  or maybe been the victim of one?

Piano man

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Music, Students' Corner
Sent by Mario Pelaez, one of my students. Thanks a lot, Mario
“I’ve liked this song since I was a child” Mario says
It was released in 1973. The title track is one of Joel’s signature tracks and a seminal song in piano rock. It remains a concert standard, and is the source of Joel’s nickname, Piano man.
About the song…well, I think it’s so moving. It’s a song about people who are disappointed with a part of their lives, about people who still believe in their dreams even thought they haven’t been able to make them come true, and the central character of the song is the pianist, the “piano man”, who plays to alleviate their pain, to make them forget about their lives for a while…

Designer Clothes

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Estela Ramon Garcia, 4th year student
First and foremost, I have to say that I’m not the kind of girl who is hooked on shopping and on designer clothes because I’m convinced that you don’t have to wear brand clothes to be dressed up or to be cool, actually, a lot of brand items aren’t cool at all. I mean, usually, while I’m looking through some magazines I realise how spaced-out film stars are, because they put on such  ugly gear that they look really scruffy and badly-dressed, don’t they?
On the one hand , having brand clothes is surpassing the boundaries because as far as I know, there are people who blow their money on buying these clothes instead of saving it for a rainy day, and in the end they are broke. From my point of view they just do this to boast and pretend they are wealthy.
On the other hand there are well-off people who can afford to purchase these trendy clothes because of their huge wages. This kind of people usually splash out their money on having everything from a designer name. I believe that people usually fall into the mistake of thinking that if you don’t have expensive clothes you are laid-back and not cool at all. Nevertheless, the truth is the opposite thing, because you are more likely to be spaced out and spoiled if you have loads of expensive things. In my opinion, this sort of people isn’t cool or fashionable , they are posh. Read the rest of this entry »

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