Conversation group

Speak Up, Menàrguens!

Life and Culture

Life and Culture (51)

sportsWe are living in a society where most of us are concerned about education, not only our children education but people education in general.

Sport has been traditionally considered as a tool to provide values like effort, self-esteem, respect, positive attitude, perseverance or integrity. But, according to what we see and hear around, world sports seems to be in a perpetual scandal. Corruption, doping, arranged matches, violence in stadiums, etc, are quite usual and star athletes may not always be the best role models for our kids these days.

This week we are talking on Wednesday, 21:30h, about this matter and Silvia Cantons will help us to debate about it since she has two children in high level international sports competition.

Thursday, 08 October 2015 20:13

Thailand. Review

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07102015 smallYesterday we talked about Thailand. I was very surprised that many attendants had been to Thailand. Assun and Laia described their experiences but Albert, Dolors and Sabrina also knew first-hand about that country. Assun showed us a series of nice pictures and told us, summarising, what we have to know about this country if we plan to go there. Albert helped her since he had also spent his holidays in Bangkok visiting his brother who’s living and working there. Laia, in a different way, told us how is life and education in a little city far away from the tourist areas, since she  worked for three weeks in a public school, teaching English to her pupils who, apparently, had never seen a tourist before. We saw two different worlds in the same country.

The session was very crowded and we congratulate all the attendants for making that effort. Thank you.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 09:22


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thailandIn the last few weeks, two of our friends, members of Speak Up Menàrguens have been to Thailand for some time. We’ll see two different points of view. On the one hand Assun travelled there on her holidays for a strongly recommended trip. We ‘ll learn about a different culture, climate, language, customs and food. In short, what we should know about that country, according her point of view. On the other hand Laia spent about a month in Thailand carrying out social tasks in a NGO. We’ll see from her experience what do Thailand people need from us, and how this kind of experience help our young people to became more confident while they are out of their comfort zone, how they develop cultural sensitivity and how they adapt to globalization and social networking. 

See all of you next Wednesday 7th October, (21:30) at the school media room.

Thursday, 01 October 2015 19:49

Chile, history, culture and Geography. Review

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20151001131512 smallYesterday we learned about Chile from Alexis but he was not the only one who was born in that country. Surprisingly, Edu was born in Chile too, and they moved to Spain in 1973. Alexis left his country at the age of fourteen and he told us some interesting things about the Chilean lifestyle. According to Alexis, Chileans like “modern culture” from countries like the States, Germany or France and they are quite influenced by these cultures. But, he also talked about Chile’s ancient Mapuches, the native inhabitants before Spanish colonization. Their language, Mapudungun is almost extinct but it still remains in quite a lot of last names and expressions. We had no time to discuss about  literature, politics or natural disasters. 

Sunday, 27 September 2015 08:31

Chile. History, culture and geography.

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alexixNext week Alexis is going tell us something about his country, Chile. He’s 22 years old and he’s lived in Balaguer for almost eight years now. He likes programming computers, a profession which is very demanded in countries like the UK and Ireland.

He’s going to tell us about different parts of Chile and variations of its culture from one region to another, making comparisons between Catalan and Chilean society.

Alexis wants us to learn about mapuches, the old culture that populated Chile before the Spanish colonization. Mapudungun is the language of mapuches.  Our guest is descendant of this tribe since his last name is Huenchuan and he’s going to teach some Mapudungun vocabulary.

Finally we’ll discuss about natural disasters that recently have happened in Chile and how they affect society and culture.

See you next Wednesday 30th September.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 20:12

Studying and working abroad. Review

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20150924025729 smallYesterday 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. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015 08:19

Studying abroad

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carlaNext week we will count on the presence of Carla Minguet Parramona.

Carla was born in Barbens, however she moved to Menàrguens when she was 15 years old. Enthusiastic of life sciences and travelling she is now living in Glasgow finishing her PhD in molecular biology. During her PhD she has been involved in an international project between the USA and the UK with the aim of finding agricultural solutions to fight against hunger. Moreover she got a postdoctoral position to continue her research in the University of Glasgow. Carla is going to talk to us about her experience on studying abroad and she will give us her point of view about the scientific world she had the opportunity to know.

See you next Wednesday, 23th.

Friday, 18 September 2015 14:11

Historical events. World War II. Review

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20150918074112 smallYesterday we talked with Neil Kinsella about World War II. He started telling us a story about his grandfather who was a fireman but left his job to became a paratrooper during the war. A lot of soldiers and civil people were killed during the War but Neil’s grandfather surprisingly survived. But as we don’t know how neither when we’ll die, he died in a hospital bed when he fell asleep while he was smoking a cigarette and the mattress caught fire. The fire killed the fireman who survived the WW2.

We had new attendants like Ramon and Teresa who make the group more diverse and interesting. We talked a little bit about differences between WW2 and our Civil War, nothing to do between them. And finally we had a typical discussion about the ownership of the bridge over the river Segre when it flows near Menàrguens and Térmens.

Sunday, 13 September 2015 06:26

Historical events. World War II.

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Next Thursday, 17th September we are going to talk about history. We will count on the presence of Neil Kinsella who’s been living in Lleida for more than fifteen years now but he’s from Manchester (UK).

Neil will tell us about his grandfather, who had an interesting life and death. His ancestor was a paratrooper in World War II, one of the most important events in the last century for Britons.

We will enjoy to listen to the story from an ordinary person’s point of view since we are used to learning History from books, which usually tell us an official government version.



Saturday, 12 September 2015 09:46

Why do we like music? Review.

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09092015 small

Last Wednesday we discussed about music. Since we didn’t have a specialist in the subject, we started the session with a theory that could explain why we like music. The theory is we like music because we are used to listening to it. In addition, we like a specific kind of music more than another one when we can anticipate easily where the song is heading. This is possible because a lot of songs have the same background rhythm and harmony variations and they only change melodies.

No one agreed with this theory and people mostly said that we like music just because it makes us feel good. Others pointed out that music is closely connected with movement so it makes us feel like dancing.

We finally played a couple of songs with our guitars, Lluc -the famous member of the rock band 13 July- and this writer, and took advantage of this to learn some words about music, such as chord, note, score, scale, etc.

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