Wednesday, August 22, 2007

posting reminders & a new poll

hello all

Once again - please post more. You can write original posts with questions and ideas you would like the class to discuss. I also expect you to respond to one another's posts, introductions and comments. Please DO NOT TELL ME YOU DON'T HAVE TIME! How long does it take to write 1-2 sentences responding to someone's post or to ask a question? If you truly do not have time, then you also do not have time to be in this class.

Besides, is it really fair to expect me to do most of the writing? Guess what? I don't really need the practice as much as you do...

If you start a post, please publish it. Don't leave it in Drafts and then forget about it. If you do, it does not really count as writing a blog entry. Besides, I may just come along and publish it for you. I just did that for Gusa and Phan Minh Tri.

I just set up a new poll. Please take it. The other one is still up but now further down the page. If you have not taken that poll, please be sure to take it too.



  1. Hi Ms Vanessa.
    It 5.20 in the morning.Every day I get up early. About two hours before start my work. At the first half hour I drink my coffe. Then I start some homeworks.
    I start my work at 7.00 o'clock in the morning until 3.00. Lackily my job is near to my house. When coming back from my work I eat, and get to sleep, because I do very hard job as you know. I sleep 2-4 hours every day. When I get up it is night.Then I have to do some homeworks or go for a walk for a change. This is happens from July to August. With this programe I lost a lot of 'things' like to go for a swim, to go a small trip, or to something to enjoy me.
    From September the things change a litlle. When the tourist leave from here my work in the laundry is less.The last month I worked without pause.Even the Sundays. I was and I am like a zobi:)).
    Time to time I opened the blog and I read as articles as I can but I didn't write .
    You have right to tell us that we have to write here.Sorry that I don't do it more often. I like your company and all the job that you are doing for us. I presiate.

    I have to leave you for now to prepare for my work.
    I come back a soon as I can.

  2. Hello, Ms Vanessa
    And everyone,
    To me, writing is the most difficult skill in English to master. So we have to write everyday to practice the writing skill. If we don’t have time we can try to write a comment in this blog everyday even we only write two or three sentences. I feel miserable because I didn’t participate for writing comment often even though I often practice quizzes in this blog. That is why my writing skill is so horrible!!!
    Anyway, thanks professor for helping us improving our English skills.
    From kim

  3. Hi Ms. Vanessa and everybody in the class,

    How are all of you?

    It is a great idea that we should post comments on each other's writings and I am sure it will go a long way in improving our English level skills.

    Ms. Vanessa can you give some topic to write ? Like, now a days, I am reading the plight of women in India and also various judgements in matrimonial disputes. Or you can give some other topic - current socio-economic problem - to write on?



  4. hello all

    I think LAZY GUY makes my poor english skill look so diffeicult !


  5. Mata - thanks for writing. I know from experience that writing in another language is much harder than writing in one's own. I also that procrastination or putting something off is a very natural reaction.

    Writing in English is hard for native speakers too. I know from teaching college composition.

    The good news is that more you write and the more often you write, the easier it gets. If you are comfortable and at ease writing in your own language and already have the habit of writing, that will eventually transfer over to writing in English. If writing is hard for someone in his or her own language, then writing in an unfamiliar language is bound to be even harder.

    When you have a hard work schedule and cannot sleep much, then concentrating, especially on writing, is going to be harder.

    By "zobi," do you man zombie? When I don't get enough sleep, I feel like a zombie too.

  6. Rajeev & all,

    Happy to post discussion topics to write about, but I'd rather have everyon's input and suggestions instead of being the only one to pick topics.

    It might be interesting to wrtite about - and compare - women's roles and situations in our different societies.

    Education, economic opportunity, working conditions, environment, etc - all topics that affect ALL of us.

  7. Good morning Ms Vanessa.
    By the word 'zobi' i mean 'zombie'.
    I think in my own language I have good writing. My marks in my school are very good in composition. If I could speak English better, you will surprise with all things who I have in my head.Many times I have bad feelings when I want to write so many things and I can't do it.
    Also I want to write some things in own language but it is not the right time to do this.
    I must to ready for my work.
    See you soon I hope.

  8. Ms Vanessa and all members,
    I' m so country , Greece is burning right now that I'm writing to you.
    Until now 53 people are dead!!!! There are a lot of fires everywhere in Greece!! !!
    I'm sure Ms Vanessa that you know the history of ancient Olympia .
    She is burning right know. I see it in Tv news . I can't beilive this!!!!
    This is terrible that this happen.!!! Only in the movie I could see this ...They have burn a lot of villages.Some people of them died wlile tried to turn off the fire..
    This is terrible..
    I'm so sad...
    Sorry about this sad message..


    Greece Declares Emergency as Forest Fires Rage

    ATHENS, Aug. 25 — Greece declared a national state of emergency on Saturday as scores of forest fires that have killed at least 46 people continued to burn out of control, leaving some villages trapped within walls of flames, cut off from firefighters and, in some cases, from firefighting aircraft grounded because of high winds.

    Desperate people called television and radio stations pleading for help that they feared would not arrive in time.

    “I can hear the flames outside my door,” one caller from the village of Andritsena told a Greek television station, according to Reuters news service. “There is no water anywhere. There is no help. We are alone.”

    Although most of the fires have been on the Peloponnesian Peninsula, some broke out on the outskirts of Athens on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of homes and a monastery and closing a major road linking the capital to the main airport for several hours. The national fire brigade said that by evening it had brought those blazes under control, including one that came within about six miles of the city.

    The government response to the fires, Greece’s worst in decades, is leading to renewed criticism of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis less than a month before parliamentary elections. Mr. Karamanlis had already been heavily criticized for his government’s handling of fires earlier this summer.

    The country has been vulnerable to fire this summer because of drought and three consecutive heat waves that sent temperatures soaring over 100 degrees. More than 3,000 forest fires have razed thousands of acres of wooded areas since June; the earlier fires killed nine people.

    The latest spate of fires on the peninsula started Friday. Strong, hot winds have spread the flames.

    “The situation is unbelievable,” said Yiannis Stamoulis, a spokesman for the Greek Fire Brigade. “We’re dealing with savage forces of nature and it’s humanly impossible to effectively take them on, however strong and well prepared we may be.”

    He added, “We’re fighting an asymmetrical war.”

    Firefighters expect the death toll to rise, because they have not yet been able to search some areas that had been overrun by flames.

    Hardest hit by the fires were a dozen hamlets tucked into the rural highlands around the town of Zaharo in the western peninsula, where at least 12 people, including some who may have been trying to flee by car, were killed.

    Charred bodies were found in cars, houses and fields in areas around Zaharo, firefighters said.

    At least some of the people there were believed to have been killed or trapped after a collision between a fire truck and a convoy of cars apparently trying to flee the flames.

    Scores of other residents, including elderly and disabled people, remained trapped in their homes, phoning in to local television and radio stations, crying for help.

    “Help! Help! Help!” wailed one resident as he spoke with Mega television from the town of Artemida. “Get some one here fast. We’re losing everything.”

    Minutes later, another caller pleaded for authorities to help save her two children, one of whom she feared was in shock after having seen their home go up in flames.

    South of Zaharo, rescue teams confirmed at least six deaths in the seaside town of Areopolis, in the Mani region, a popular tourist destination known for its rugged cliffs and ravines.

    Among the victims in the area were a pair of French hikers who were trapped in a flaming ravine. Their charred bodies were found locked in an embrace, the authorities said.

    Hotels and dozens of surrounding villages have been evacuated.

    With national elections set for Sept. 16, Mr. Karamanlis suspended campaigning over the weekend to oversee the national response to the fires.

    Late Saturday, Mr. Karamanlis appeared on national television and declared that he was mobilizing all of the country’s resources to tackle the blazes to “prevail in a battle that must be won.” Mr. Karamanlis also suggested that the recent fires might have been purposely set. “So many fires sparked simultaneously in so many regions is no coincidence,” he said, wearing a black tie and suit in a show of mourning. “We will get to the bottom of this and punish those responsible.”

    But political opponents accused the prime minister of shunning responsibility for what the authorities have called a “national tragedy.”

    “Rather than deflect attention and lay blame on some anonymous arsonist, the prime minister should take blame for the government’s failure to effectively handle this crisis,” said Nikos Bistis, a opposition socialist lawmaker, on local television.

    The overstretched national fire services are being helped by an estimated 6,000 soldiers mobilized for the operation. The national teams take control of forest fires from community brigades.

    A fleet of water-dumping aircraft was expected from France, Germany and Norway, after Greece appealed to the European Union for “urgent assistance.”

  10. Dear Ms Vanessa!
    I'm agreed that sometime our members of blog don't have time for writing (I'm too), but for more quick improving our English we must to train day by day.
    Sometime it is not easy, but if we want to reach an improving level of language, we must to do it!
    By the way, the interface language of our blog was changed to German! May be this changing only I can to see?


  11. Mata

    I've been reading about the heat wave all through Europe this summer. Extreme heat and drought leads to fires. We have a lot of forest fires in all the western states in the US and parts of western Canada. Since forest fires are always a problem here, there may be more people trained to deal with them. There is even a system of fire watch towers maintained by the US Forest Service. Even so, fires are still scary.

    Firefighters who jump out of planes to fight fires and often travel to other states to help fight fires are called "smokejumpers." It is a very dangerous occupation.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Canadian site - CBC news in depth -about forest fires

    from the International Herald Tribune, Greece Declares Emergency as Forest Fires Rasgfe


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