Grade 7 • My first time in England • Important people in my life • The Lord of the Rings • The SistineChapel • The Pope / Berlinguer • Clown Therapy • The Red Cross and me • Disney • Mypassionfor fashion / drawing / dancing • The Rise ofan Empire • Myphobias / interests / obsessions • Bullying / Adolescentproblemstoday • Mytalents / my future prospects / mydreams
Grade 7: The UK vs. the USA • My choice • My curiosities • Origins: The War of the Roses vs. the War of Independence • Government: Constituional Monarchy vs. Federal Republic • Music: Pop Music vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll • My opinion
My Choice: The UK vs. the USA Mychoiceaboutthistopiccomesfrommycuriositytodiscover the differencesbetweenthesetwocountries. Itallbeganwhen I startedstudying English in my first yearsofsecondaryschool. Myteacherusedto note some of the differences in the language; oneexample I rememberhermakingwaswhenshehaduswrite down “flat” forBritish English and “apartment” for American English. Then I realizedtherewas more toitthan just that. I havebeenstudyingitforalmost 7 yearsnow and I thinkitistimetounderstand more in depthwhythesetwocountries are culturallydifferent.
My curiosityOrigins: the War of the Roses vs. the War of Independence A rose has always been the national emblem of England since the War of the Roses. This war broke out between the House of York (whose symbol was a white rose and which was helped by the Scottish and the Welsh) and the House of Lancaster (the red rose which was helped by East England and London). The aim of each side was to win the throne of England. At the end, Henry Tudor, from the House of Lancaster won, but he married Elisabeth of York creating the Tudor dynasty which united Great Britain. After the discovery of America by Columbus and the arrival of the Pilgrims to the New World, America thought the British government had been unfair towards them because they were taxed for the tea. So they first protested by dumping the tea into the port and then George Washington and other forefathers signed on the 4th of July 1776 the constitution of the United States declaring its independence from Britain. Therefore creating what we know today as the United States of America.
My CuriosityGovernment: Constitutional Monarchy vs. Federal Republic The U.K. has a completely different government from the U.S.A. While the Queen is an heir to the throne and reigns with the support of the Parliament, in the U.S.A. the President and Parliament are elected by the people. In the U.K., there are 2 important houses: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. While in the U.S.A. the government is divided into three branches: the executive, the judicial and the legislative. The legislative branch is represented by Congress which is in turn divided into two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Whereas, the President of the U.S.A. stands for the executive branch. In the United States, the president holds enormous powers and is the head of the state, in other words, he can declare war without the government’s approval. Although in the U.K. the Queen is the Head of State and the Anglican Church, she does not have such powers.
My curiosityMusic: Pop Music “The Beatles” vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll - the king Elvis The music of “the Beatles” is considered the music of the 20th century. In 1962, four boys from Liverpool founded the first pop group that would have become the greatest and most popular pop band in the world. During their years together, kids were influenced by and copied their looks. But even today, teenagers still listen to their music. One important event of their career, happened when they went to America and met Bob Dylan. They started to fill their songs with social and pacifist meanings. In America, instead, one person was able to create an unknown style of music and began a new way of dancing. His name was Elvis Presley. He is considered the king of rock ‘n’ roll. He was a self-taught guitarist and put together country music and rhythm and blues and created a phenomena that is still listened to today.
My opinion aboutthesetwogreatnations If I were to visit these two countries, I would visit their great sights and try the famous “fish and chips” at the corner shops of London and the “hot diggity dogs” on the street corners of New York. I might even try some Thai or Indian food since it is so popular. Friends have always told me about the wonderful things they have seen and tried when they hadvisited these two amazing places.
Mycuriosities: Origins Government Music Mychoice Origins: The war of the Roses vs. The War of Independence Government: Constitutional Monarchy vs. Federal Republic Why…? Music: Pop vs. Rock THE U.K. vs. THE U.S.A. My opinion What if…?
Grade 8 • “The Kite Runner” / “Twilight” • The American Dream • Obama: yes “he” can • Dante in Hell / Leopardi • Queen: the last rock group • Salem: Witch Hunting • Touring: Italy / Umbria / Greece / Canada / the USA • Italian Education Reforms • My town: Saviano • Global pizza • Totò in the Italian cinema
Grade 8: Memoirs from South America Introduction • I’ve decided to talk about my memoirs from South America. Firstly, I will explain why I chose this topic and the three most important places I visited, Carmelina’s hogar, Peñol Rock and Rio. Secondly I’m going to talk about Colombia and how its natural beauty, unfortunately, clashes with how Man has ruined such beauty. In addition, I will talk about the endless volunteer work offered to homeless Colombian children and my personal experience. Last, but not least, I will give some of my impressions about Brazil and the cruel reality of criminality in the “favellas” due to poverty.
First Point: To begin with, the reason why I’ve decided to talk about this topic is that it is the most memorable trip I have ever taken and I had always dreamed of doing it since my first year at university. • I left in January and the trip lasted 45 days, even though it was very tiring, it will remain a vivid memory in my mind forever. If I hadn’t done this trip, I wouldn’t have seen the most beautiful, and at the same time, the most devastating areas of Colombia and Brazil. What is more, I travelled alone for most of my trip which made this experience even more exciting. However, in Medallin, a friend of my family had taken me around some of the most dangerous parts of the city and an uncle of mine who lives in San Paolo had taken me around Brazil. Thanks to them, I hadn’t encountered any unpleasant events which many tourists undergo when visiting Brazil and Colombia, such as robberies and muggings. • However, there were some drawbacks, like communicating with others and asking for information (thank God, some people spoke English), but, overall it was an unforgettable experience.
Second Point: Peñol Rock As I mentioned before, Colombia has some of the most amazing places to visit. Peñol rock was one of them. There were 739 (seven hundred and thirty-nine) steps!! When we arrived at the top, my legs were trembling from the effort. But that fantastic landscape was worth every small step I took. • On the other hand, this is a typical example of how the hands of Man can ruin one of the most particular places in Colombia. The tradition wants that it should have been a meteorite, even if it doesn’t seem much more than an enormous rock with a horrible stair structure built afterwards destroying what was to be a natural beauty. In fact, according to me, I had found it the worst way to climb up, and I can guarantee, it was so dangerous and frightening. Halfway up, there was a statue of the Madonna where you could have prayed with hope that nothing would happen while you were going up, in fact, my friends told me that some people had died there before when the steps were at first wooden. • At the bottom of the rock, there was the statue of the first man who climbed up Peñol before the steps had been built, so I still ask myself today how it was possible for one man to go up there with only the help of his bare hands, the same hands of Man which has transformed this stupendous rock into a horrendous rock it is today.
Another memorable experience was at Carmelina’s hogar. For these people, hogar means a home, something familiar, a place in which they can be loved. As soon as I saw this place I immediately thought what had these children done to be born and live without anything? And what could have determined not only their fortune or misfortune but also ours? I can’t personally answer this question, but I know one thing, we are lucky. However, I have always seen that many unhappy people just stand around only complaining about nothing without having the faintest idea of what the word “misfortune” really means. To live your an entire life without a home, without any relatives, without anything, but only to love a missionary nurse, is enough to yell to God, “Why me? Why me?” I realized at that moment that I have been taking for granted many things in my life.
Third Point: Rio Finally, Rio is one of the most amazing cities that I have ever seen. If there were a happy city, if there were a city of joy, and if there were a variegated city that had ever existed, it would certainly be without a doubt, Rio with its contradictions, like some places with extreme poverty, called favellas, so neglected and dirty, while others so rich, amazing and breath-taking like Copacabana. My uncle had taken me around the city and I had had the opportunity to appreciate what respect they had for the ocean and the fantastic beaches, where I never saw any rubbish or stuff like that (on them). It’s important to preserve the value of your city above all when it’s a wealth not only for Brazilians but also for the whole world. From this reason, I can say that most Brazilians have learned their lesson about respecting the environment in which they live. Unfortunately, for those who live in the favellas have been neglected and vice-versa.