Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stalking Penelope Cruz for homework


Soo I did some more Spanish today. Actually some Lit coursework as well. The entire morning I spent doing coursework, got grumpy it was afternoon. To get my mind off being grumpy I watched a Spanish movie; which is part of my "syllabus". (Notice how I don't waste time. Haha)
My Unit 4, A Level Spanish paper has a research based essay in Section C. You can choose from 5 options in advance what essay topic you want to do.Its like coursework except you present you final in a time paper.

I chose Literature and Arts. I didn't think about the implications in terms of language when I did that. Hehe..I was just excited about doing a novel or a film. I chose Como agua para chocolate, but after reading it for my diploma course, I decided not too! It is a very hard to read novel because of all it Mexican terms, it complicates the whole thing a 100 times more. Sooo I chose a movie by Pedro Almodóvar called

The movie features the infamous and super pretty actress Penelope Cruz, her sister Lola Dueñas, Yohanna Cobo as her daughter, Carmen Maura as her mother and Blanca Portillo as 
neighbour in her village home. 


I am too tired and lazy to do a review right now. So I am putting a brief post together. Maybe I shall add to it later. The movie is very colorful and the directing is amazing! The movie has suggestive If you get it that is. Otherwise its a everyone who speaks Spanish or can download get a version with subtitles. If you do, and you like colors and interesting story then you totally must.
It got people at home and in school, who don't speak Spanish, hooked!
So its a you-should-definitely  watch it.
If you, just like me are watching this for your A level exam paper.
Here is a very VERY VERY useful link for you. Its a guide designed for A level students to use for studying for the paper. Its a series of pretty worksheets made by a Uni professor.

An interesting webpage.Be warned you need Flash Player 7 to actually access the cooler site. 

The movie has a beautiful Flamenco sound Penelope Cruz lip syncs too! :D
Its beautiful, according to some brisk Googling the singer is Estrella Morente.

P.S. Have you noticed how extremely pretty and hot Penelope a.k.a Raimunda is in the movie!
Her wardrobe= bright colors and floral prints

Her footwear= pretty jute high platforms

Make up= so pretty, her eyes and pink lips! <3
Her hair-do= <3
Her jewelery= Gold and the same throughout!

♪ You know which song I'm humming..


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

¿Como nos comunicamos? A Brief Lesson on Spanish Grammar

Some Spanish Grammar concepts I've been studying over the past two days...


Uses of Subjunctive
  • Verbs of "mental activity" such as creer, pensar, considerar are followed by an indicative when used affirmatively.

Creer/ Pensar/ Considerar + que+ Indicative

Ejemplos (examples): Creo que debes comes mas chocolate.
                                      (I think you should eat more chocolate.)
                                      Pensamos que vuelas a Italia. 
                                      (We think you should fly to Italy.)            

  • However when used in the negative form, subjunctive must be used in the following subordinate clause.

No + Creer/ Pensar/ Considerar + que+ Subjunctive

Ejemplos (examples):No creo que comas mas chocolate.
                                      (I don't think you should eat more chocolate.)
                                      No pensamos que vueles a Italia. 
                                      (We don't think you should fly to Italy.)


Reflexive Verbs
  • In sentence containing reflexive verbs , the subject and object of the verb are the same person. In Spanish reflexive verbs are always accompanied by a reflexive pronoun.

Divertirse (to amuse oneself)
Me     Diverto
Te      Divertes
Se      Diverte
Nos   Divertimos
Os     Divertís
Se      Diverten

*When you translate a reflexive to English, it often doesn't have a reflexive pronoun or the reflexive is "understood" i.e Lavarse- to wash (to wash oneself)

Ejemplos (examples) :
Ducharse (to shower)  Vesitirse (to dress)   Hacerse (to become)
Peinarse (to comb)      Ponerse (to put)        Darse (to give) 


Uses of sunbjunctive

Como si (as if) + subjuntive
  • Subjunctive is always used after "Como si "  

Ana me miró como si estuviera loco. 
(Ana looked at me as if I was mad.)

How to express "for" with a period of time.
  • For actions referring to an action which began in the past and is still/ was going on, maybe expressed in the following ways:

Lleva + Gerundio = 
Lleva esperando media hora 
(I've been waiting for an hour)
Desde Hace + Tiempo
Espero desde hace media hora 
(I have been waiting since two hours)
Desde* + Fecha
Espero desde 1998. 
(I have waited since 1998)
Hace + Tiempo + que
Hace media hora que espero. 
(Its been half and hour since I've been waiting)

[ * Desde = since ]

  • "For" referring to the duration of a time period is conveyed through 
  • "por" or "durante"

Voy a comer por 2 horas. 
(I am going to eat for two hours) 

Romeo buscó para Julieta durante el anos de guerra. 
(Romeo searched for Juliet during the years of the war.)


Lo + adjective 
  • "Lo" is often followed by an adjective in the masculine singular form creating an abstract noun. 
  • In English = "the (adjective) thing

Lo bonito es que el novio esperó para su amor. 
(The beauty is that the boyfriend waited for his love.)


Uses of subjunctive
  •  Subjunctive is used with the following expression to make value judgments and are usually impersonal.

A mí me parece bien/mal           Vale la pena              Es imprescindible
Es normal                                  Hace falta                 Es necesario  
Sería mejor                                Es importante           Más vale
  • These expressions are usually followed by the infinitive.

Sería mejor reducir el uso de los moviles. 
(Its better to reduce the use of mobiles.)
  • However when the subject changes:

Expression + que + subjunctive

Es importante que el cuerpo tenga suficiente agua en esto clima calor. 
(Its important that the body had enough water in this hot weather)

*dusts chalk of fingers*
Hope you had a good class! :)


Edward Maya ft Vika Jigulin Desert Rose

Info: Edexcel Spanish for A Level (Chapter 7, 
pages -131,133,135,137,141 & 143)

Photos: WeHeartit 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Assonance, Consonance & Dissonance

is the repetition of identical or similar vowels. This occurs especially in stressed syllables.

Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

"Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time...."

Pooh, said to you
'I love you honey'

(Hehe I made that one up!)

is the repetition of a sequence of two or more consonants, but with a change in the intervening vowel. 

from W.H.Auden's poem 'O where are you going?'

"Out of this house"-said rider to reader,
"Yours never will"-said farer to fearer,
"They're looking for you"-said hearer to horror,
As he left them there, as he left them there."

(And this..)
"Money minded miser"

is the opposite of assonance. It occurs when sounds are so different they clash* with each other.

from Ted Hughes' Wind
"The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly"

(this one too!)
"A white flag waves distracted by the wind,
that breaks its peace and harmony!"

*the difficult sequence of sounds in the lines(above) prevent the verse flowing smoothly, reflecting the gull's hard struggle against the wind. (have attempted to create similar effect in my own example!)

Now you try?

A Handbook of Literary Terms by M.H.Abrams & Geoffrey Galt Harphaim. Cengage Learning (page 19)
A Level Study Guide English Language & Literature by Alan Gardiner, Revision Express (Page 71)

Photo credits

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress Check

So this one post a day is not working out. Lol. 
This probably means I have been slacking off.
*sigh* I posted my previous post (dissonance!) 4 days ago! Let me quickly log what I did in those 4 days.

did some Spanish exercises- 6 out of 19! (Bad!)

-Friday was not productive enough:
I did half and essay on the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs for General Studies (which was 3 and a half pages long, and I still got more body and a conclusion to finish up the essay!)
- I also stayed up all of late Friday night and very early Friday morning to do my Lit Coursework on Women and Magic Realism. It was exhausting re-looking up those sources and incorporating them in my essay piece!

I got my results for Spanish exam. Result: not disclosing numbers, it was Good, can do better. Honestly it was an improvement. Just silly grammar and more specifically syntax rules I need more revision with.  The entire day was mostly a waste, because I was rejoicing the mini-success of my incomplete but so-far-so-good essay.

-Oh, I also did a minuscule amount of research for my History coursework. I took a poll on whether to pursue Stalin or Lenin. And the winner is/was: Joseph Stalin! 


Make posts on:

  1. Dissonance
  2. Links and essay tips for performance-enhancing drugs killing sports
  3. Women and Magic Realism- a little revelation
  4. Spanish (silly) grammer and syntax rules
  5. Ahh maybe Jospeh Stalin and Russia!
Until next time!

Pink Floyd# Shine on you Crazy Diamond. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012



This was previously a blog page dedicated to all things VA (as the link says). But I had a change of mind and switched to a cross between a blog and a diary counting down my days to my A level finals!
I am awfully disorganized, so the plan is to do to one post a day about my miserable study routine.
It will:

  1. cheer me up!
  2. Help collate all my info
  3. Get me organized
  4. (hopefully) Help fellow miserable students wandering around the blogosphere!
  5. .......


The idea, originally, was to make a blog cataloging all my history resources, because my work
relies heavily on the internet for that particular subject. But I decided to make it more general and include all subjects.

which are:

  • Spanish
  • English Literature
  • General Studies
  • History
  • Economics & Business Studies


So Hello to All!
My apologies to my followers who were following it when it was a VA blog. Feel free to un-follow!
A brief outline of what this blog will include:

  1. My ramble about the dilemmas I face as a 12th grader.
  2. Some references and sources of my information.
  3. Random jabber and school talk.
  4. Mostly school related images and info!
  5. and other surprises.

Feel free to contribute via comment, leave me a line in the comment form if you want to contribute a post of help or resource or info!

Until then