Friday, January 23, 2009
How can you make progress? This is a question for many people that try to learn English everyday. They want to improve English in their work, hospital, or any place where English is spoken. The answer is: to come to school and learn English or to take courses in order to prepare for a small career. Improving English takes different forms. Take control of your time, and organize your life. City College offers more career choices than many years ago. This school is better than it was many years ago. It offers more opportunities for academic or career preparation.
Posted by John Robinson at 1:28 PM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
On ORHAN PAMUK
I love to read because it is the best way to travel. With your imagination you can travel around the world, and you can break the laws of space and time. One reason more for reading in English or French or Spanish or Latin: it’s cheap and, in this country, free, because you can find interesting books in the public library, and you don’t have to pay money in order to take books out. When I read, I go to many countries, times, and I discover different cultures. For me, reading is very amazing and funny. It’s like breath. Now, I’m reading "Other Colors", a book of essays written by Orphan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. When I discovered Pamuk’s work I was 33 years old. I read his novel "My Name is Red " on a beach called Playa Paradiso, (Paradise Beach), in Guerrero, Mexico. With this novel I traveled to the Sixteenth Century to discover a murder of a painter who drew the Prophet Mohammed, a violation of the religion rules of the Muslims in Turkey. The story is beloved because the daughter of the painter, called Shekure, a beautiful widow with a beautiful name, I think, tries to find the killer like an ancient Sherlock Holmes. In "My Name is Red" Pamuk describes the times when the Muslims didn’t accept images of Mohammed and when they fought to conquer Spain and founded, years later, beautiful cities like Granada, Toledo, and Cordoba. I read "My Name is Red" in Spanish, and the story caught me for its descriptions of strange lives and habits. Yesterday I bought "Other Colors" to discover more about Pamuk’s world. He lives in Istambul, the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire. I hope I enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed "My Name is Red" which was written when Pamuk was not a Nobel Prize winner yet.
Posted by John Robinson at 12:47 PM
About The New "Hope"
There is a new face in the political arena. The whole United States and the world have been waiting for that change, and supposedly now it is here. I want to think like most of the people, I guess, that the new president of The USA is going to change the way that things have gone. He has a big job in front of him about all these issues: economic, health, wars, environment, poverty, and so on.
In his speeches, he talks about peace, tolerance and respect for other countries, cultures, and religions, but he didn't say anything about the conflict in Palestine or another humanitarian crises around the world. I know that he is in his first days of his administration, and he is going to close Guantanamo, the biggest shame of these years for all of us, and that is a really good example that there are new directions and new compromises of this new government.
But, it's important to remember that the one of the counties that is always looking for wars is the United States. Anyone of us can see that in any war around the world, The USA is there, and not always as a humanitarian help, or as a neutral army. The latest presidents of that country started so many wars, and I think that one war is too many. I hope, like everybody, that this is going to change.
Obama has a lot of work to do, and it's necessary that all the amazing countries help him to do it, with patience, but struggling hard to get it. He is not God, he's just another human, and we must not forget that.
Another world is possible!!!! Yes, we can!
Posted by John Robinson at 9:09 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Yesterday afternoon I went to pick up my daughter at her school. By the time I arrived at the school, Lisa had already come out. There were many things that helped me to arrive late, for example: I was far away from the school and the bus was late. By the time I got there, she was already outside, waiting and seated on a bench with her friend Valerie, so finally I picked her up.
We had to wait for the bus. Because it had already left, we had wait for a long time. By that time every bus was crowded. Before we took the next bus, we went to the store to buy some food for dinner. We bought some plantains, tomatoes, some fruit, bread, basil, and the most important thing: milk. Then we got on the bus that took us to our house.
Posted by John Robinson at 9:46 PM
When my sister married, I was late for her wedding.
She told me to be on time to the church and not to forget!!
I remember she said, the wedding is at 7:00 pm.
I said, "Okay, don't worry. I will be on time."
But when I tried to start my car, it didn't work.
I had to ride the bus.
I was to sad because by the time I arrived at 7:30, she had been married already.
She was so mad at me.
The good thing is, she forgave me, because we are sisters, and we love each other.
Posted by John Robinson at 9:31 PM
Hi , Mr. Robinson ,
My name is Kim My Vuong . I have been your student for two years . You're a very nice teacher . I have never met a nicer one. I am from Vietnam . Our poor country had a war before 1975. My brothers escaped Vietnam for freedom . I came here in 2000. I was very sad because this country was very strange to me. But I have to learn English , so I go to Mission Campus. I began with Level 1, and now I am in level 7/ 8 and you are my teacher. When I ask you something, you always help me and answer my questions. Today I send you this letter to thank you .
Kim My Vuong .
Posted by John Robinson at 7:35 PM
Hi, my name is Rosie. I'm 30 years old, and I'm from Honduras. I came to this country 3 years ago. I started studying English at Downtown Campus in August 2007. I stayed there for 1 semester, then I started studying in Mission Campus in 2008. It's been a while, huh? I'm taking 2 classes: one is with Mr.Robinson. He is one of the coolest teachers. You learn really fast with him. The other class I have is with Mrs.Thomas. I was a little confused at first, but then I got the hang of it, put myself together and started to learn faster and faster. I guess I should be proud of myself. This is all about me. I'm not boring, am I?
Posted by John Robinson at 6:09 PM