A end-of-course poem as a present

The poems you wrote to close the course and your blogs were really good, and -several of them- very moving.
So, here is mine: a present we read on the beach in our last class.

It was a great pleasure and honour to have been together in this new C1 experience. And who knows, may be one day we can have another learning journey with the C2!

An end-of-course poem
in extolment of learning and deprecation of exams

They were a jolly band of students,
eager for learning and for fun,
never afraid of photocopies,
daring the longest English run.

Their brains –no doubt- were neuroplastic;
flow was the substance of their mind;
Virginia Wolf, if resurrected,
would write a novel on their kind.

They travelled far, to Greece and India,
searching for meaning and for light.
They knew the names of birds and forests.
They always got inversions right.

They never walked in the same manner;
they gave speeches on demand;
Chomsky was often at their table;
History was their native land.

They shaped a circle of discussion
for the outer world and the inner soul,
an English-learning, knowledge-focused,
Ubuntu-inspired rigmarole.

They bore a hundred thousand listenings,
with expert yoga breathing skills.
They stood Emilio’s beastly homework,
a plague that love and leisure kills.

So when at last the moment came
that all students fear and dread,
the end-of-course examinations,
a monster with a thousand heads,

with perfect calm they faced the trial,
knowing that nothing can destroy
what is already part of you,
what you have learnt with fun and joy.

Emilio Alzueta
Motril, 2012


Science of the heart

Folowing what we were discussing on Thursday, here you have a PDF from the Heartmath Institute. Please, try to read from pages 3 to 8 for tuesday. I coulnd’t find an appropriate video to watch, so we will leave it at reading. As we said, this is very exciting research that takes emotional intelligence a step forward and which is in agreement with much human wisdom accumulated through the ages -something we sometines tend to overlook with characteristic hubris.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work Flow has been one of the most influencial books of psychology written in the last two decades. In fact, the concept of flow has been become an accepted fact in psychology and education. This is short paper on some of these educational applications. What do you think? We will watch a video with an interview to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Thursday.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow

Sir Ken Robinson, about education

This is the TED talk which has been most widely watched in the last years. Ken Robinson is one of the leading experts in education, which -if you compare what he says with our educational system- can be, in fact, seen as rather sad. This talk is a true classic, delivering a profound message in the most entertaining manner, full of wit and humour. Watch it, do the normal exercise and then post it in your blogs

Lovesong, a poem on passionate love by Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes was married for some time to the also poet Silvia Plath, who ended up commiting suicide. This is a poem he wrote, called Lovesong, in which he describes a passionate relationship and which is filled with very rich, interesting vocabulary. Read it, decipher it, recite it to your beloved.


He loved her and she loved him.
His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she sucked
She wanted him complete inside her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the curtains

Her eyes wanted nothing to get away
Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life
Should not drag her from that moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his arms round her
Off that moment’s brink and into nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there was

Her embrace was an immense press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace
Where the real world would never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt hungry
His words were occupying armies
Her laughs were an assassin’s attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of revenge
His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing
His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway
Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks
And their deep cries crawled over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great trap
His promises were the surgeon’s gag
Her promises took the top off his skull
She would get a brooch made of it
His vows pulled out all her sinews
He showed her how to make a love-knot
Her vows put his eyes in formalin
At the back of her secret drawer
Their screams stuck in the wall

Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves
Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop

In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs
In their dreams their brains took each other hostage

In the morning they wore each other’s face