Friday, March 25, 2016

Beowulf: Vikings, Heroes

I. Work in small groups:

Come up with your own definition of the word HERO

Webster's definition for hero:

The definition of a hero has changed profusely throughout the evolution of society. In the days of Beowulf and the Vikings, a hero was a man who was strong and courageous, willing and able to protect his tribe and provide for his people. But today, since our culture has vastly changed, so has the meaning of this word; now it is used for the brave and selfless people of the world. 

Beowulf is painted as a great hero before his name is even mentioned in the story, and this image does not falter against those of previous kings. Every man described as "great" through the story is also always described as some combination of warrior, ring-giver, powerful, and war-lord. Vikings were always either being attacked or attacking someone else, therefore their leaders and heroes must be warriors to keep the tribe alive.

II. Game: Work in pairs. Decide if the statements about the Vikings are true or false.

1. Vikings did not wear horned helmets. 

2. Vikings were not simply savage brutes.

3. The Vikings were famous for sailing huge distances from their home in Scandinavia between AD 800 and 1066.

4. The name ‘Viking means ‘a pirate raid’ in the Old Norse language. 

5. Around 500 years before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the American continent, Vikings had visited its shores, landing in what is now Canada in around AD 1000.

. Among the many gods Vikings believed in were Thor, the god of thunder,  

7.  The Vikings were expert boat builders and sailors. 

8. When important Vikings died, they would be placed with all their clothes, jewellery, even their animals, in a burial ship.

9.Vikings' favourite food is fish!

10.  They were dirty and filthy.

11.  They spent all their time raiding and warring

12. Vikings were a unified army

13. They were large and heavily muscled

III. How do you associate what you saw in the segment with the Vikings fact you read about? How is the hero shown in the segment?

False: 10, 11, 12, 13

Vikings did not wear horned helmets. There is no evidence to suggest that they ever did, apart from in some ritual ceremonies. Having horned helmets would seriously impede your ability to fight effectively in close combat. 

Viking helmets were in fact conical, made from hard leather with wood and metallic reinforcement, or made in iron with a mask and chain mail. The idea of Vikings wearing horned helmets arose during the 19th century when romanticised and nationalistic views of the Viking people became popular.

Vikings were not simply savage brutes. Images of wild-haired, wild-eyed raiders are but a myth. In fact, the Anglo-Danes occupying parts of Great Britain were described as excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours, as they insisted on bathing at least once a week and kept their hair well-groomed.

Archaeologists find evidence on a regular basis of combs, spoons and other grooming utensils that indicate the Viking people were very keen on maintaining personal hygiene.

They didn't spend all their time raiding and warring

While raiding proved an excellent source of income, many of the Vikings held farms back in their homeland that their wives maintained during Viking season. When the men returned home from a raid, they resumed their normal routine of farming.

Vikings were NOT a unified army

Due to the difficult geographic location, the Scandinavian people were very spread out to conserve limited farmland. In addition, the penetration of Christianity caused many great divisions among the people still worshipping the traditional Nordic pantheon, further emphasizing the divided nature of the people.

5. They were large and heavily muscled

Due to the short summer seasons, growing crops was difficult and resources were always scarce. As a result, many of the Scandinavian people were much smaller than commonly depicted due to limited food sources. While the living conditions in Scandinavian regions were certainly harsh and made a hard people, many Vikings suffered from the scarcity of resources and the people set up their homes over great distances with no real unified leadership. During the Viking Age, the Scandinavian people were able to make a stronger push to the outside worlds and create a reputation for themselves beyond simple barbarism. While some Vikings were driven with the lust for riches, many sought more peaceful economic relationships with the surrounding nations.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last Vegas: Aging

It is an art to age well. It is very important that we prepare ourselves for our future and that we know how to deal with the new perspectives of an aging life, This is a funny scene, because I do not want the topic to have negative connotations. I hope you like it.

I. Divide the class into two groups. One group will come up with the pros of aging and the other group will come up with the cons of aging. They must justify their answers.

II. The groups share their ideas and complete their lists.

III. Sts read the Pros and Cons provided by the site and decide whether they actually addressed all the items.

The Pros of Aging

1. Aging gives each person unique experiences that they can use for the greater good. 

Ever hear the expression “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” ever? Aging allows us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t continue with them. This is knowledge that can then be passed down from generation to generation, eventually benefiting all of humanity in some cases. In others, it just means you learn not to touch a hot stove.

2. Aging provides certain rights and privileges. 

In many cultures, those with gray hair are often revered because of the wisdom that they can provide other. On a more basic level, aging provides people with choices that allow them to consume alcohol, smoke, or even vote in elections. As we each get older, there are certain rights and privileges we pick up along the way that younger population demographics just don’t get to enjoy.

3. There’s a chance to make a lot more money. 

Think that college degree is going to pay you a six figure salary right away? For most people, they’ll need to think again. Aging provides experience that can be turned into dollars and cents. If someone has run three successful tech start ups and is getting ready to start a fourth while someone else is fresh out of college with a degree and starting up their first idea, who is more likely to get 100% funded? The person with a track record for success.

4. It offers the chance to experience new things. 

Aging definitely comes with some specific stages. There’s our childhood. We’ve got the teen years. Then there’s the long stage of being a working adult. We might reach retirement. Then some folks wind up being in a place where others must care for them. In each stage of life, we have the opportunity to experience new things. Good or bad, it’s a dynamic part of the human experience.

The Cons of Aging

1. Health care costs skyrocket. 

As people get older, their health needs become more profound. Age extending medications may be required. Surgeries to correct a lifetime of potentially poor choices may be necessary. Parts of the body begin to wear out, requiring therapies, replacement, or adaptive technologies. Older folks might be able to make a lot more extra money, but they’ll need it to take care of their ailing bodies in the future.

2. Everything just seems to ache at some point. 

Just about everyone has gone to the doctor for a new ache or pain and been told that it’s just a consequence of the aging process. When we were young, growing pains could sometimes be so bad that we’d never want to get out of bed. As we age, those same pains come back because of how we’ve used our bodies so that we never want to get out of bed once again.

3. It can become difficult to compete in a changing world. 

Technology has radically evolved over the last two decades and looks to continue doing so into the future. Those changes required adaptation that the aging population doesn’t always embrace. Tomorrow’s innovations are going to do the same thing to us as email and social networking has done for this generation of the senior population.

4. There’s no getting around the aging process. 

As much as we all might like to be immortal, it just isn’t going to happen with current technology. Average life spans have crossed the 80 year mark in a number of countries and is continuing to grow. We’re living longer than ever before, but the one simple fact remains: if we’re alive today, the aging process is happening right now and one day we are going to wind up dying.

IV. Work in pairs and come up with tips to age well. Then share your lists with the class. Finally compare your list with the one provided by the awesome site that follows:

Give Yourself Reasons to Smile

Establish Healthy Eating Habits

Find Fun Activities that Make You Move

Spend Time with Positive People

Learn to Meditate - Ten minutes of meditation per day can help you to feel calmer and more centered. 

V. Watch the movie segment and talk about the questions.

1. Where are this group of elderly?

2. Which of the tips of Ex IV are they following?

3. Do you think this kind of activity is positive for them?

4. Do you think you would like it if you were older?

5. What are your feelings about aging? Are you scared of it? What do you do to postpone your aging process?