Teresa Gassió has been teacher and pedagogy therapist for near thirty years now. She’s, at present, living in Corbins and teaching English at INS La Serra in Mollerussa but she also has been teaching Catalan, Spanish to a number and variety of students since she has had pupils from 6 to 18 years old during her career.
She agreed to come to help us in our conversation activities, on the one hand, talking about her experience teaching in Scotland and, on the other, explaining her trip experience to Tanzania on holidays.
I thing it will a very interesting witness. See you next Wednesday at the school library but a earlier than usual al 21:00h
Yesterday was our 10th session. Carla Minguet told us about her experience working abroad as a scientist. She wanted us to realise that a normal person, like her, and doing things enthusiastic and professionally could achieve important goals in life.
We had a conversation that I can qualify of debate since the discussion was introduced in three blocks and everybody wanted to participate actively.
In the first one Carla told us her feelings when she started working in Glasgow and shared with us some funny anecdotes and misunderstandings.
In the second block we spoke about the subject of her research. Looking for agricultural solutions to fight against the hunger in the world is a tough work and it was difficult to reach an agreement between different opinions.
And finally the education runs into a very hot debate between attendants specially teachers, who had also different opinions and points of view above the matter.
Summarizing it was a very interesting meeting which left several matters we should discuss in the near future.
After a few harmless raindrops, twelve people gathered again at the swimming pool in good companionship and lovely weather. With three of the attendants coming from Balaguer, our Speak Up group seems to be gaining popularity. However, we hope Menarguins/ines on holidays and those attending different duties can join us again next week.
Just as promised, here is the short glossary of political terms we introduced yesterday, before a long talk and very nice discussion about projects, parliaments, politicians and historical heroes:
POLICY una política
POLITICS la política
POLITICIANS els polítics
POLITICAL PARTIES els partits
TO CALL AN ELECTION convocar unes eleccions
TO HOLD AN ELECTION celebrar
TO VOTE IN AN ELECTION
CANDIDATES STAND FOR ELECTIONS es presenten
MPs / MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT diputats
TO PASS A LAW aprovar una llei
STATUTORY LAWS estatut
DEVOLVED POWERS competències
PRIME MINISTER <> FIRST MINISTER
Next Thursday, without leaving Scotland, Maria del Mar Miret is going to talk about politics and school projects: "Catalonia and Scotland, two nations without a state within Europe”. This is the school project title that they started in 2008 with a group of about thirty students.
As a part of the project they interviewed politicians, economists and so many other experts in that matter, not only here in Catalonia but also in Scotland. They travelled to Edinburgh and they managed to be received in Holyrood Parliament by MPs for the Scottish Nationalist Party and all the other major parties.
Maria del Mar has been teaching English for twenty two years now and she has spent her last eleven years at INS RONDA, Lleida. This school strongly promotes learning foreign languages including English, French, German and even Chinese, and they usually travel abroad as an important part of their projects.
It was a wonderful evening with our first guest, Judith Munsó, who had a lot to say about life in the Scottish Highlands. She is an experienced language teacher (German, French and Spanish,...wow!) well on her way to become truly Scottish: "It is not that cold, really", we heard her say!! We could see this brave woman has really settled down and feels very much at home among friendly Scottish people. Lovely little Lydia is not to be forgotten, so well behaved and patient -for over an hour!- as she looked at her mother in surprise: It is Catalan in Scotland, now English in Menarguens! Who can understand these grown ups! (my own thoughts). Jordi Casals deserves a special mention for bringing a nice touch to the closing part of the session, in which he asked Judith to read a well-known poem by Robert Burns (from a compilation of European poetry translated by Marius Torres). Wasn't it a little present to be able to hear Burns with the proper Scottish accent?
Judith, thank you for your vivid account of life on the Isles!
My heart's in the Highlands
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the Straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go
El meu cor és als Highlands
El meu cor és als Highlands, el meu cor no és ací,
el meu cor és als Highlands, cérvols a perseguir;
caçant cérvols salvatges i daines -per això,
el meu cor és als Highlands, vaig allà on vagi jo.
Adéu-siau els Highlands, adéu-siau el Nord,
on sigui que jo vagi, on em dugui la sort,
la contrada dels nobles, el bressol del valor,
les muntanyes dels Highlands són sempre el meu amor.
Adéu-siau muntanyes ben cobertes de neu,
adéu penyes, valls tendres que als seus peus verdegen,
adéu-siau arbredes i boscúries penjants,
adéu torrents i salts d'aigua remorejants.
El meu cor és els Highlands, el meu cor no és ací,
El meu cor és als Highlands, cérvols a perseguir;
caçant cérvols salvatges i daines -per això,
el meu cor és als Highlands, vagi allà on vagi jo.
Next Thursday we’ll have a special guest. Judith Munsó, who’s living in Scotland at the moment, is having her holidays here in Menàrguens. We want to take advantage of this and we have invited her to talk in our next meeting. We are very happy that she has accepted the challenge.
As far as I know, Judith is living in Scotland, she has a beautiful daughter, and she teaches Spanish and other matters to Scottish people to make a living.
Judith is going to speak about the differences and similarities between life in Scotland vs life in Catalonia. Today, due to the political situation in our countries, we think that Scotland and Catalonia are very close, but the fact is that we come from very different cultures.
We are looking forward to hearing about Judith’s experience.
See all of you next Thursday.