Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ML U1 Writing: replying to a formal invitation.

From: Jaume Grau
To: Andrew McCarthy
Sent: 18 October 2012
Subject: Reply: Conference: Merging companies, merging cultures

Dear Mr Carthy,

I have received the invitation for participation in the conference and I'm happy to accept it.

I'd be grateful if you could provide some details concerning the organization of the conference. Where are you going to host the event? What time does it start? What kind of equipment is available? How much time do I have for the talk?

I have successfully downloaded the speaker's proposal form. I need some time to prepare the speech, so I'll send the proposal to you no later than tomorrow morning.

Your sincerely,
Jaume Grau

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Plans

During the next two months I'm going to cover unit 6 and 7 of "Successful writing" (http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Writing-Virginia-Evans/dp/1842168819/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354796488&sr=1-1&keywords=successful+writing+virginia+evans),
which cover discursive essays and letters.
By the end I'll have written approximately 3 essays and 9 letters.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mutating verbs (to french)

With the reference to my current experience and the article about mutating verbs, which I've yet to read carefully, here is a new family of English words with the same root.
To french every day.
It's becoming frenchier and frenchier.
I'm totally overfrenched. 
Unfrench me, please.
To french back and forth.
I'm going to french for two more weeks.
Sorry for having frenched the whole post, just can't help becoming frenchy.
Don't you think, it's rather frenchish from my side?
I'm having a frenchful experience.
See you in two weeks. Really miss my blog and frenchless way of life.
Gotta go frenching.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Locked door (a bit clearer)

  I'm going up the white marble stairs heading to the glass door. The huge building is dazzling under the lights of the day sun. Large letters declare: "Lingreds Museum Of Contemporary and Modern Art". I feel curious... Yes, curious is the best word to describe the feeling. I'm surely not thrilled. Nor am I skeptic. Not really.
 I'm not a fan of modern art. I'm not going to bellow from the rooftops that modern art is a complicated reflection of human nature presented from different angles, but -- I am curious. What can they invent? Are they going to surprise me? Can they?
--
 First floor. Photos. Black and white images. Blurred pictures. The sun hiding behind trees. Are these trees? Faces with red ribbons glued so that they are crossing them. Okay.
 Second floor. That makes me smile. An enormous picture of colorful balloons in it. The colors associated with highlighters. Pink, green, blue.
 Third floor. Okay. Here you go. These are supposed to be ladies. I vacantly leaf through the book about the painter who created them. Damn. He used real girls to create this. He painted them all over their bodies and then rolled in paper. The paint from the body left mark and that was the picture. Fascinating. There were reasons to be curious about this stuff.
--
I'm standing in front of a white door with a question written on it. The question is "Can a door be locked being open?" I presume that this is another brainchild of a crazy mind. I touch the plastic door handle, which obeys. The door opens inviting me in. Well, at least this door is open. And it's definitely not closed.
 There not so many people in the museum and I can't see anybody from the staff, so I hesitate. Convincing myself that nothing can go wrong here and being more and more curious I enter.
 I find myself in a small room, which is white and well-lit. I see one more door to my right. There is a sign on it saying, "The door is locked". I look back hoping to find the first door but I see a flawless wall instead. There is nothing left but to open the door to my right. Surprisingly, its handle obeys and the door opens letting me in.
 I find myself in a small room, which is white and well-lit. I see the third door this time in front of me. There is a sign on it saying, "The door is locked". I look back hoping to find the second door but I see a flawless wall instead. There is nothing left but to open the door in front of me. Its handle obeys and the door opens letting me in.
 I find myself in a small room, which is white and well-lit. I see one more door in front of me. There is a sign on it saying, "The door is locked". I look back not even hoping to find the third door and I see a flawless wall. I open the door in front of me. Its handle obeys and the door opens letting me in.
 --
I find myself in a small room, which is white and well-lit. I see a door in front of me. I touch the handle knowing what is waiting me. I enter and see a door. Should it be the door? Is it the same door? Is it locked? The sign says, "The door is locked". What does "locked" mean? The door opens and lets me in, is it locked? I'm still in front of it reading "The door is locked" for the umpteenth time, how the hell can it be open? Locked. Locked. I can open the door. It is locked. The locked door can open. Is it open? Is it open?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(to be checked) Locked door

 I'm going up the white marble stairs heading to the glass door. The huge building is dazzling under the lights of the day sun. Large letters declare: "Lingreds Museum Of Contemporary and Modern Art". I feel curious... Yes, curious is the best word to describe the feeling. I'm surely not thrilled. Nor am I skeptic. Not really.
 I'm not a fan of modern art. I'm not going to bellow from the rooftops that modern art is a complicated reflection of human nature presented from different angles, but -- I am curious. What can they invent? Are they going to surprise me? Can they?
--
 First floor. Photos. Black and white images. Slurred pictures. The sun hiding behind trees. Are these trees? Faces with red ribbons glued so that they are crossing them. Okay.
 Second floor. That makes me smile. An enormous picture of colorful balloons on it. The colors associated with highlighters. Pink, green, blue.
 Third floor. Okay. Here you go. These are supposed to be ladies. I blatantly leaf through the book about the painter who created them. Damn. He used real girls to create this. He painted them all over their bodies and then rolled in paper. The paint from the body left mark and that was the picture. Fascinating. There were reasons to be curious about this stuff.
--
 "Can a door be locked when it is open?", what is that supposed to be. I carefully touch the handle of the door. It obeys. The door is open. I enter. The door lock clicks closing. I find myself in a small room. There is a door to the right of me. And there are no signs of door behind me. Just a flawless wall. "The door is locked." I touch the handle. It obeys. Click. There is a door in front of me. "The door is locked." Can you guess what's next? The door is. Is it locked? "The door is locked." But it obeys. Is it locked? Is it the same door? If it's not does it make any difference. There is the next door. It is open. But if it is open why I am still in front of it? "The door is locked."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparation for the task: Santa

 The post was inspired by a conversation with my student about telling truth. And it is also a good topic for an energetic piece of writing.
 As for the conversation, we were discussing the poem by Emily Dickinson "Tell all the truth but tell it slant", and he said that it is a good idea in some cases to tell truth in a slant way. Developing the conversation I said that I'd prefer to tell truth directly to my children. And there was his question, 'Will you tell at the very beginning that there is no Santa?" But is there no Santa?
 The point is that I think that Santa exists. I don't mean a white-beard guy who comes to your house at night, but the idea of Santa is the Santa himself. He exists as long as people continue telling stories about him, as long as parents leave gifts under the New Year trees, as long as there is the anticipation of miracle in children's hearts.
 And when my child asks, "Who has brought the gifts, mummy?", I'll surely answer, "It was Santa." But when she grows up enough to ask "How has Santa managed to bring the gifts here?" I'll say that he does it through me and through your father. If there was no Santa there would be no gifts in the New Year night.
 What's more, telling truth in a direct way doesn't mean sitting in front of a child for hours and telling him everything what you know. It's just telling he truth he/she asks for.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lesson 4

Lesson 4 consisted of two parts: the beloved articles and an article about dashes.

As I have already mentioned, the journey in one thousand miles starts with the first step (my favorite proverb, by the way). So the journey has started, the steps have been done and I'm quite glad about it. To be serious, I feel much more confident with general rules, but tricky points still need to be practiced more. Thus, I'll be glad to have more practice.

It's surprising how just after being introduced to the use of dashes in poems by Emily Dickinson I get  the article "Mad dash". What a coincidence. =)

Vocabulary
versatile
 versatile performer
 The potato is a versatile vegetable.
 My own sentences:
 Derivative is a versatile tool in calculus.
compel (force)
render (express)
stanza (verse)
jiggy
haphazard (not planned or organized)


Question: in the sentence:
 When using dashes this way, limit yourself to one pair per sentence.
I don't really like the part "when using". I'd rather say:
  When one uses...
  When you use...
  When you are using...
  When dashes are used...
What is the grammar here?

Now, about a burst of energy given to a writing piece. A good question to develop. Here is my list:
- quotes (including proverbs, parts of poems...);
- dashes=) or some other unusual punctuation;
- descriptive language (expressive adjectives, for instance);
- occasionalisms (the i'vejustinventedit words);
- the usual staff: metaphors, hyperboles, comparisons;
- grammar tools: inversion, emphasis;
- sentence structure (short sentences);
- usage of symbols (which I hate);
- open-ended questions;
- jokes;
- personalizing it; 
- something else...

H/T 1) An energetic piece of writing
2) Lexicology
3) Record myself

P. S. I've read "A cat in the rain".