My First Time on Stage

by Noureddine Charfeddine

It was a rainy Monday in late September when I received an email sent by the headmaster informing of the creation of a new theatre workshop in our school. I remember feeling curiosity while I was reading the email. I was tempted to do theatre for the sake of improving my speaking skills. Nevertheless, the email asked for some commitment from people who were interested, and this made me seriously hesitate whether I should participate or not. Acting is challenging and requires more skills than just some good will. Finally, I decided to send an email to Isabel, the coach of the theatre group, expressing my interest to try out this activity and discover if the drama workshop was a right way of improving my English. One week later, we had our first meeting. We were a group of around 15 people, with more girls than boys, with different English levels and very different ages. Some had some previous experience in acting but most of us were fearless and inexperienced adventurers.

During the first 3 weeks, we worked on some team building and confidence exercises and, afterwards, we practiced theatre techniques like gestural and oral expression, stage awareness and improvisation.  From the first moment, Isabel made it clear for us that nothing was impossible to do; it was only a matter of practice. She pointed out that the most important things to improve and achieve our goals were our will and motivation to try it again and again. Some exercises were far from easy but her support and advice made them feasible. Perhaps, if I had to highlight one exercise, I would choose the one in which we learned about the importance of internalizing why we were saying something. The simple fact to stop and think a little bit about the aim of our text made memorizing easier and helped us to have a better and more natural intonation and pronunciation.

After Christmas, we were supposed to choose the text for our play and to start the rehearsal. However, people started to drop out, every week there were fewer and fewer of us.  It really was a critical moment for the continuity of this initiative. Some said we should give up and stop the activity of the group. Personally, I didn’t agree. In fact, I felt more and more relaxed every week, and I enjoyed more and more the time spent in the theatre group. Fortunately, thanks to Isabel’s support and the enthusiasm of those who kept on coming, we agreed to continue with our program. However, since we were a smaller group of people, we decided to adapt the text and begin rehearsing. Despite the inconvenience of being fewer actors, which forced some of us to play more than one role sometimes, the rehearsal was truly fun.

Finally, the presentation day arrived. The venue was full of people, some of whom were former members of the group, and others were our teachers and classmates. We felt pressure and even stage fright but, at the same time, we trusted each other and believed that we would be able to do it. And, without any doubt, the performance was a success.

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DER ORT, AN DEM ICH GERNE LESE (2)

Sara Izquierdo Beamud

Was ist Lesen? Lesen bedeutet für mich, der Welt, in der wir leben, zu entfliehen und in eine alternative Welt einzutauchen..

Das Foto rechts wurde vor zwei Wochen von einem Freund gemacht. Seit 2017 besuchen wir verschiedene Café-Buchhandlungen in Madrid, wo wir unseren Kaffee mit Milch bestellen und wir während eines Imbisses lesen.

Die Café-Buchhandlungen sind einer der besten Orte zum Lesen, da man alle Arten von Literatur zur Verfügung hat, vom Abenteuerbuch bis zu einer Zeitung oder einem Notizbuch. Normalerweise bleiben mein Freund und ich am Wochenende anderthalb Stunden in den Café-Buchläden, um abzuschalten.

Der Ort, an dem ich gerne lese

María Gómez Zúñiga

Ich habe dieses Foto ausgewählt, weil ich glaube, dass sein Licht sehr originell ist.

Mein Vater hat das Foto am 10. April gemacht, während ich eines meiner Lieblingsbücher lese.

Der Ort, an dem ich gerne lese

Das ist mein Lieblingssessel, der in meinem Wohnzimmer neben dem Fenster steht.

Dieser Sessel ist der gemütlichste meines Hauses. Wenn die Sonne scheint, fallen ihre Strahlen durch das Fenster. Deshalb wärme ich meine Füße auf, die oft kalt sind. Und wenn es regnet oder gewittert, höre ich den Regen gegen das Fensterglas prasseln. Ich kann auf diese Art die Natur genießen, ohne hinaus zu gehen. Es ist auch lustig, die Vögel zu hören. Auf diese Weise reise ich nicht nur mit den Geschichten, sondern auch mit den Sinnen.

Auf dieser Couch lese ich am liebsten Romane. Ich habe nicht sehr viel Zeit zum Lesen, aber jeden Tag lese ich abends zumindest eine halbe Stunde.

El lugar donde leo

Marilyn reading Miller

Nuestro concurso anual de fotografía llevó como título este año “El lugar donde leo”. Los estudiantes debían participar con una foto y un texto en el idioma que están estudiando explicando lo que se puede ver en la foto. Hubo dos ganadoras, las dos estudiantes de alemán: María Gómez Zúñiga y Sara Izquierdo Beamud. Enhorabuena a las ganadoras.

Der ort an dem ich gerne lese – María Gómez Zúñiga.

Der ort an dem ich gerne lese – Sara Izquierdo Beamud.

Cine VOSE – Aladdin

El 14 de junio, veinte estudiantes de la EOI Valdemoro celebraron el fin de curso con una película en versión original en los cines El restón. La actividad fue organizada por el Ayuntamiento de Valdemoro.

Erasmus Experience

Text written by Elena Valenzuela Campaña

“Erasmus Experience: The Person Who Goes Is Not the Same Person Who Returns”, talk by Ylenia González Rodríguez.

Ylenia gently offered us the last Small Talk session of this academic year at the EOI. She is studying a Degree on Lenguas Modernas, Cultura y Comunicación, and she absolutely has a knack for communication, since she used a nice English along with an intelligent sense of humor to get into rich detail about her Erasmus experience in Belgium. Her talk left little behind, for the whole information was perfectly arranged, while she was so honest to show us both the bright and the dark sides of her stay.

First, Ylenia talked about the requirements, costs, fees, and procedure to apply for an Eramus Scholarship, about the facilities where students are hosted… technical information mixed with her personal feelings and points of view. Then she explained why she chose Belgium, or why she wanted to study abroad.

On the bright side, she mentioned the friendships (these special fraternity arousing when students are alone in the same place and situation), the fun, the parties and travels; but also growing up by facing, for the first time, the daily duties that her parents usually do to run a home. Ylenia now appreciates how coping with all this stuff has made her be more grateful, responsible and aware of the importance of earning a living.

On the dark side, she remarked the loneliness during the first days when you have not met yet the other mates, the fears of apparently hostile scenarios, dealing with a highly demanding University there, or handling the same prejudices that Europeans have for Spaniards.

So, it was fun to see how Ylenia confirmed that yes, we Spanish people are so different from our neighbors; not so serious, but easy-going and fun. Bullfighting is also still there, and we could just let it be. But there is a perception we should think about: why good manners, like speaking quietly in public places or correctly addressing a teacher, were abandoned in Spain when they are still so important for the rest of the world. We are not worse than the rest, and however, we are badly misjudged because this rude first impression.

Having lived this blend of feelings and experiences, Ylenia absolutely convinced the audience, as she had promised, that the person who goes is not the same person who returns. We have no longer the military service, nor the gap year they take in Britain before University, but we have Erasmus to live, as Ylenia did, one the most exciting lifetime experiences.

Concierto Desparpajo

Justo antes de escuchar a Vivaldi

El 4 de abril, celebramos la V Edición de Concierto Desparpajo, una actividad realizada como colaboración entre la Escuela Municipal de Música y la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas. Pudimos escuchar un total de 10 canciones interpretadas por la agrupación de violonchelos, grupos de música de cámara y combos musicales, todas ellas precedidas por una presentación en inglés o en francés.

PUZZLING MYSTERIES AND MYSTERIOUS PUZZLES

Text by Miriam Marín

On March 18th, we had the opportunity to attend a very interesting talk offered by Oxford University Press. In this case, Milena Papantousia talked about some curious mysteries around the world. The talk was divided in three parts: Mysterious places, strange animals and puzzles that humans invented to have fun.

The first part showed us some of the most famous places in the world because they were linked with some awesome mysteries. The Bermuda Triangle is well known because, in that part of the planet, there have been some unsolved disappearances of both planes and boats. Nobody knows how they can disappear without a trace. Some other places are known because scientists are still thinking about how humans could build those structures (Stonehenge), sculptures (Easter Islands Heads) or huge designs (Nazca Desert) and why they made them.

The talk continued with some weird animals that some people swear to have seen like the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti, Bigfoot, the Kraken, etc. Milena showed us some videos in which we could see some really odd animals, maybe because they suffered some genetic anomaly. This might be an explanation of why ancient humans considered some animals monsters, but, in other cases, they could talk and build the legend about animals that are extinct nowadays.

To finish, Milena talked about why humans need mysteries and she went on to speak about some of the puzzles we have created throughout history to enjoy our lives like riddles, quizzes… Today we have another kind of puzzle called Escape Room. It seems that Escape Rooms have their origin in The Crystal Maze, a TV show that started to broadcast in 1990 in the UK. It is similar to Dungeons and Dragons, with a host acting as the Dungeon Master. It requires not only mental but also physical skills. This program became so popular that people were ready to be entertained in the same way as the contestants of that TV program. That way the first Escape Room opened in the UK.

Do you like riddles? Have you ever been to an Escape Room? I am sure that you will enjoy these mysterious puzzles either participating or reading about some of the examples you have read in this article.

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