Tuesday, October 30, 2012

License to Wed and Due Date: Babysitting

These segments are great and extremely funny. Talking about babysitting, nurturing, taking care of children is a friendly topic, because most of us have already experienced it at least once in our lives, so it is a true conversation generator.
Babysitting is many teenagers' first job. Many adults also end up having to babysit for their relatives or even friends. We know not everyone is tailored for babysitting, but most of us have already done it at least once in our lives.

 Babysitting is the practice of temporarily caring for a child on behalf of the child's parents. Babysitting is commonly performed as an odd job by teenagers for extra money.

Work in pairs and decide if you think the following statements are babysitting do's or don'ts. Justify your answers.

1. Clean up so that the home or hotel room looks as good as it did when you arrived.

2. Chat with friends if you're allowed to use the phone.

3. Cover up any tattoos as much as possible. Tattoos can make you look scary to children and parents alike.

4. Eat all the clients' food if they give you permission to do so.

5. Answer the parent’s telephone. Take a complete message and speak in a friendly, helpful tone of voice.

6. Ask the parents to come home if a pet or child is sick or otherwise difficult to handle.

7. Let parents know if a child was misbehaving and if the child received a time out or another privilege was revoked. Time out and revoking of privileges are the only disciplinary tools that you have as a babysitter.

 8. Transport children in your own car.

9. Keep bathroom and bedroom doors open at all times and especially when bathing, changing, dressing or helping potty training children. This helps to eliminate any misunderstandings or possible false accusations.

10. Spend money on the children, although the parents did not ask you to do it; i.e. to order a pizza or to buy ice cream.

 Source: http://socasittersunlimited.com/health-nutrition/safety/babysitting-tips/ Watch the segment below and observe how the characters babysit. Make a list of the babysitter's rights and wrongs. Explain why.

1st Segment: License to Wed 

2nd Segment: Due Date

How do you compare both babysitters? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Would you hire any of them?



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Transformers 3 - Humanity's Achievements - 1st Man on the Moon

Although I'm not a great fan of this sort of movies, Transformers is definitely above average. These two thought-provoking - or just nonsense - scenes are great to talk about the 1st man on the moon or humanity's achievements.

 I. Think about 5 achievements/accomplishments of humanity. Don't consider inventions, just achievements. Achievement: something that has been accomplished, especially by hard work, ability, or heroism Accomplishment: something done admirably or creditably. Ex: The construction of the pyramids in Egypt.

 II. Share your list with 2 partners and select the 5 most important ones, in your opinions.

III. Class discussion: What is the most important achievement accomplished by humanity? Justify your answer.

IV. POPSI considers the first man on the moon the greatest achievement of all. Do you agree with them? Don't miss visiting POPSI. They inspired this activity.

V. Read the five human achievements that could top walking on the moon. Rank them in order of importance (1 - most important). Be ready to justify your choices. Can you think of another achievement that would top walking on the moon? a.



The Discovery of Alien Life

Chances It Will Occur Within A Decade: Hard to say. The current thinking is that the best place to look for extraterrestrial life is on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Europa has a vast ocean, as well as a good deal of oxygen in its atmosphere. The combination of water, oxygen, and energy from the gravitational pull of Jupiter have led some scientists to theorize that organic molecules might form life at the bottom of Europa’s oceans, similar to the life that formed on undersea volcanic vents on Earth. There are no missions planned to explore Europa.



A Manned Mission to Mars

Chances It Will Occur Within A Decade: Nil. The technology could certainly be developed, but right now, the political will (yet alone the financial support) just isn’t there.

Full Nuclear Disarmament

Chances It Will Occur Within A Decade: Not great. Promising, though, is that last 10 years saw the number of nuclear weapons cut in half, with even further reductions on the way. While a world with zero nuclear weapons may still be far off, it’s not unrealistic to imagine a 2020 with significantly reduced stockpiles.

Free Energy

Chances It Will Occur Within A Decade: The cars will be different, and the light bulbs will be more efficient, but 10 years from now, we’re still going to have to pay an electric bill.


Chances It Will Occur Within A Decade: Moderate. For decades, people have predicted an HIV vaccine right around the corner, and the virus has made fools of them all. However, advances in genetics and computer modeling have greatly enhanced the development of drugs in general, so a vaccine may be closer than ever before.

 VI. Watch the first part of the segment from the movie Transformers 3 and discuss the questions.

1. What is the achievement shown in the segment?
2. Describe what happened in the scene.

3. How accurate is the story, according to what we know from our history books?

4. Why is walking on the moon so fascinating to most people? 

VII. Watch the second segment from the same movie. The segment shows what really happened there, but was hidden from our books.

1. Describe the scene.

2. What happened there?

3. Could have that actually happened? Why (not)?

4. What if this footage were not fake? How different would walking on the moon be seen nowadays?

 5. Should NASA hide this sort of information, if it is true? Why (not)? 6. Should NASA go on spending billions of dollars to explore the universe? Justify it.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

As Good As It Gets: Dealing with Difficult People

 This is a classic with wonderful acting and plot. You can't miss Jack Nicholson's best performance ever.

What is a "difficult person?" 

Anyone who doesn't behave as expected. We do, after all have some unwritten "rules" about appropriate behavior in our society. Be fair; wait your turn; say "please" and "thank you"; talk in conversational tones and volume... Difficult people ignore those mores, or act as if they are exempt - often while they expect you to live by the standards they're flaunting. They're usually loud, intrusive, impolite, thoughtless, selfish, and, difficult! Activities inspired by this excellent site: Athealth.com

Work in pairs:

1. Do you know any "difficult person", according to the definition above? Talk about him/her. What is your relationship with him/her?

2. What would you recommend someone do when dealing with a difficult person.

 3. How do you react when you have to deal with a difficult/rude person?

4. How difficult do you think you are?

5. What are the consequences of being difficult where you live? Explain it.

6. Do you agree with the statement: "Difficult people are the ones who actually make us reflect upon our acts. Their role in society is to show that politeness and kindness is just a convention established by society".

II. Read some tips on how to deal with impolite people. Decide if you think the tip will actually help or worsen the situation.

1. No matter how rude they are, it is just not worth the effort to be rude in return.

2. The best way to deal with impolite responses is by completely ignoring the person who talks rudely.

 3. Whenever a person tries to be rude with you and says something offensive, try to negate the effects by responding in a kind and sweet manner.

4. Direct confrontation is the most important step you can take to stop such outrageous behavior.

 5. Face the person head on and make him or her well aware of how such behavior is unappreciated.

6. Ask the other person to stop such a behavior. III. Watch the movie segment from the movie "As Good As It Gets" and discuss the questions that follow:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Why is Jack Nicholson's character difficult?

3. Which of the tips above did Helen Hunt's follow? Give examples.

4. What would you do if you were in her shoes?

5. Have you ever seen anything similar to this scene in a public place? Talk about it.