Top 5 books

The Master and Margarita- M.A. Bulgakov

Crime and Punishment- F.M. Dostoevskij

Hearth of Darkness- J.Conrad

Suite Française- I. Némirovsky

Angela's ashes- F. McCourt


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an apple a day..

an apple a day..

This is me

My photo
Padua, Veneto, Italy
Hi guys,my name is Anna,I'm Italian and I'm studying foreign languages at the University of Padua. This is supposed to be my last year of studies,or so I hope,and I'm trying my best to finish asap,'coz it's really high time I were under way! I have many loves in my life,my Luv,my cats,books,violets and apples (but this is an old and long story to tell!). I don't want to bother you now,I'm going to tell you more in depht later! I'm waiting for you on my blog,read it,love it,hate it and feel free to leave any comments. This is the place I stay and it can be yours too!

Wednesday, October 7


I came back from Russia more than a month ago and it took me a lot of time to write this post. For many reasons. Because I had to study for my exams in September, because I had too many things to tell that I didn't know where to start from, because I knew that in the very moment I began writing about it,I would feel terribly sad and miss Moscow like babies miss their mums. It was the first time I was far from home for so long and thought it would be hard to live without facilities, parents and friends..I say "thought",because it actually was omg so incredibly funny!!

On the way to Pushkin institute, here I established my first "contact" in Russia!

My first meal in Russia! It was a Bliny with mushroom and cheese,nothing special but for my hunger it was super!
Ok, my room wasn't exactly what you can call a pricess suite,but had a bed (actually,there were 5),a bathroom more lokely to be a dungheap than a real toilet for ladies, and lots of little paw-paw funny inhabitants. Tараканы,better known as beetles! They were everywhere: in the kitchen, in my room, in the was impossible to feel alone in that place! I shared my room with other three girls from Italy,they were all nice and had lot of fun together,not only in the dormitory.

Yes,that was my room..I don't show you the bathroom,if one could ever call it so!

The landscape outside my window..not really what I'm used to see!
Life in Pushkin (that was the name of the college) was funny and lively: in the morning I attended the lessons (only when I woke up in time!) and in the afternoon..well,there were always lots of things to do! What would you do in a city like Moscow? For example you can take the tube and go to the downtown for a walk with friends in the GUM.

Or visit some museums and enjoy a cup of tea with a superb honey cake at Starbucks while it's raining and winter seems to have come back all of a sudden (on 15 August it was 9°!)

Or,if it's warm and sunny,you can go for a walk in one of the many beautiful parks (like Tsaritsino park for example!).

Ok,that's enough for today,I'll blog again tomorrow and more photos will come later!
See you all,hugs&love

Tuesday, July 21

I'm a hopeless spendthrift!!

Oh Jesus! I should have posted it more than a month ago! It must have been the pre-leaving chaos,I forgot to do so many many things!! Anyway,here it is and,as Russians say, "лучше поздно, чем никогда!" (= better late than never!).
Well,sales are on since 4 2 weeks I've been able to burn out a full year savings! Usually people think that sales are a good opportunity to buy expensive things at a lower price doing nice affairs! Unless you keep on doing "nice affairs"! I don't know what happened,the shopaholic syndrome caught me all at once,I must have been really crazy to throw all that money away! Anyway,my thirst for useless appareil has been calmed down. Here are some of the preys I caught in my fishing net:-)!

Shoking pink sabot by Guess..the funniest but ohsojuicy shoes I've ever bought!! Actually,it's almost impossible to find a dress that matches them,simple skinny jeans are maybe the simplest but best solution!

Electric blue, my fav color,yay! Actually this was the dress for my cousin's wedding, just to avoid to pass unnoticed!!

Big sized turtle sunglasses to see the world go slowly..
And here I stop. Had more to show but think it's high time I tell you about my month in Moscow!!
Thus,let's keep in touch,more updates are coming,byeee!!


Monday, June 29

NIN in Milan!!

On Friday 26 went to Milan to see Nine Inch Nails live at the Idroscalo park..I have few words to describe how it was..may use just one: amazing!!!
This was kinda rock festival, played Korn and Mars Volta too, but I only cared about my beloved NIN. Of course the weather was ugly as ever,but I think it's quite normal..all the times I go to a concert it's raining, or it seems the sky is falling down or it's bloody cold/hot. Never a sunny day/warm still night..never. But it's ok all the same, I got used to such extreme climatic conditions! I remember last year in Berlin, it was the 8 of July and there were 12°..bloody cold,I was freezing my ass off!!
Well,this time things went more or less the same was raining,it was not hot at all, but fortunately we warmed all up as soon as they started playing.

Here some pictures taken before,during and after the concert. Look, Trent is bloody cool!! He rocks and his music too. He said this is his last tour in a while. What does it mean? He's gonna take a break and then come back? I don't know this english expression and, since I'm afraid I could not see him for a long time, I'd like to know what "in a while" exactly mean:-/!

Me and Lara..

The landscape at the Idroscalo park at 5 was still sunny and hot,but just for a while...

The stage..

Stormy black sky behind the scenes and the trees(8 pm)

Trent Reznor!! Or better, God on stage:-)! Wow guys,I had the thrills when saw him..he's so incredibly hot! On stage he gave all his best,he's a real artist,played with his hands and his heart!

Trent again

And again!! Here he's playing "The Hand That Feeds"..

I was in second row, right in front of the bass player (that was really nice,btw!) let you imagine when the crowd started jumping and dancing! I forgot to take a pic of my feet after the concert, but I can describe them. Completely destroyed!! My black shoes turned white,covered with dust, mudd and grass.

Anyway, this is the portrait of our ugly faces after the concert:

Is it clear enough?
Here you'll see the video of The Fragile (asap,it depends on how long it will take to upload it-_-), best song ever played..soo sentimental, was almost crying:-)

That's all for now...let's keep in touch,bye!


Sunday, June 7

24h in Florence!

Hi all,
as I promised I've come back to talk about my last escapade around Italy! I don't know about you, but sometimes it happens that I only feel like giving all up,my homework, my courses, the work and my family, and jumping on the first train (or flight!) that passes near me!
Well,in the past this happened quite often but I seldom could do what my feet were asking me, mainly for money reasons-_-! Now that I've got sort of part time job I am much more free to do what I want,and despite the fact that I have loads of exams to do, I prefer to listen to my instinct, pack my things and go!
This time I decided to go to Florence to visit the city and have a relaxing weekend..I planned to stay away for 2 days but things went not that kind and my fab weekend turned out to be a 24h rush from home to Florence,back and forth..hectic,fast paced, but nice all the same!
Here some pictures!
Rainy day..bloody cold!!

Way to railway station..10 minutes before the train leaves..I'm 10 kms far from the to find parking!!
My travelling buddies..
And my safety bag:-)
Venetian country landscape outside the window..

In Florence now: my hotel..outer pretty ugly, but sooo nice inside!!

The bathroom, so bright and white I couldn't believe my eyes!!

The Old Bridge and the river Arno..

Old statues near the Uffizi gallery

I went in Florence mainly because I wanted to visit the Uffizi gallery so..booked a tour for 17.30,bought a guide and psichologically set myself for a cultural afternoon. Well,when arrived at the check-in I was told official tours stop at 18.00 so I would have had only less than a half regular tour..but in their website they said I could do the check-in until 18.00..incredibly annoying situation! These things can happen in Italy only-_-!! So I decided to leave the Uffizi and shift to a more interesting tour..the shopping tour!!
This is HM. The biggest one I've seen in Italy so far..and this is Matthew Williamson's star collection for HM! Woah,drop dead gorgeous, wanted to buy everything!!

U-huu, stains everywhere. Love 'em, savage cheetah passion!!

This is Simone, my trip mate..and personal shopping assistant:-)!

And this is me
Then came back and got ready for a real Tuscany dinner..that is Fiorentina steak and red farm wine! Absolutely yummy,hehe!!

I stop here to post pictures. I hate the way blogger upload them, starting from above instead from the bottom, it's a real loss of time and patience (isn't it absurd??)
Well, you know, when I came back I felt better for a while but then started thinking about my next destination..Berlin!! Dunno when to leave,maybe around the half of July.
Anyway,I'll let you know about my future plans:-)
See you soon,got to post a lot of things,ouch!!
Have fun,bye!

Friday, May 22

soon or late..I'm back again!

Hi guys,
nice to be there! I've been quite busy in the last few weeks, (I'm really working too much, should stop right now!!), but today I've managed to cut out two hours exclusively for me,so let's star updating my blog!

Thinking about my past experience of blogonaut, that is more properly "blogolurking"(as our teacher said one day), I run into many language blogs written by students from all over the world (Europe, Asia, Southern America) and I was really surprised that they were always using English in a natural way, with no troubles at all. Well, there's no doubt that English is the language of the international communication, it is used in the every-day life so it is quite obvious that it is used in the Web community as well. What strucks me is that all these guys have no difficulties in writing good long posts and in handling the language deftly (it took to me more than 10 years to reach that level, and I'm not even sure that I am as good as they are!) Maybe it' s because they studied it since they were children (e.g., in China and Southern Asia there are language courses for children of 3!); or it's because the society in which they live is much more sensitive to the needs of a multicultural population than in Italy (in Singapore you can find Chinese, Malaysians, Indonesians, Europeans and so on), thus supporting and promoting the knowledge of at least one common language (English, of course); or it's simply because we don't study it enough and always think "oh well, it's not me who is not comprehensible, it's the others who don't understand me!". That is, it's never our fault! I am currently following a pair of blogs and think that this is a good chance for improving my writing skills; ok, sometimes the language is not so accurate as it should be (some words are mispelled or the text lacks punctuation), but this is not important. All that matters is the content, that must be easy to understand and follow, and the language "evolution", that is the way in which a ESL speaker (English as a second language) makes progress in his/her use of the language, e.g., by introducing new words and constructions.
Well, about me, what can I do now to keep up the good work done so far? I've thought about watching movies, reading blogs and books in the original language's not enough I suppose! The idea to hold a personal blog is really exciting and I like it very much,even now that our teacher unleashed us and she doesn't expect that we fulfill our weekly tasks anymore. The ship has sailed, and I am on it:-)! What I'd like to do is to keep on writing on it, talking about my personal experiences (trivial or not) like my daily life, my university career (I am going to do a OMG loads of exams this month!), trips, journeys (if I ever have time to go on holiday!), and so on! Oh yes,and I am going deep in my obsession,of course.. d'you remember what it is? Don't worry, I'm going to refresh your minds very soon!
It's time to go, see you later for more updates

Monday, May 18

and now..I do it in my own way!

Hi all,how are you doing? We've come to the end of this second semester courses and of this great e-xperience and I don't know how I feel. Really,I should be happy now that this course has finished because I have no more deadlines to meet, no more tools that drive me crazy to discover and use and I'm much more free to do and write what I want (if ever I wanted!); indeed,I'm really sad and there's no reason why. Or so it seems. Actually, I enjoyed this course so much, I loved the way our teacher made us discover all the possibilities of the Web2.0. I owe her very much, for she taught me a lot of funny and useful things and she made me make friends with a big enemy: technology! I have to admit, I still have some troubles with it, but it's nothing compared to the beginning (do you remember what I wrote in my first posts?)
Well, let's put feelings aside, now it's time to be serious and to talk about what I'm going to do in the next months. Last week we talked about the Personal Learning Environment (PLE), that is the set of tools and devices each of us chooses to use in order to follow on his/her own learning. This is in brief what a PLE is (I give the summary of an article by Graham Atwell):

  • "a PLE is comprised of all the different tools we use in our everyday life for learning", for instance university courses, blogs, social softwares and networks and so on;
  • "it is not an application but a new approach to the use of new technologies for learning";
  • it provides "learners with their own spaces under their own control to develop and share ideas".

Nowadays learning is taking place in many more places and ways than in the past; it's not just simply a matter of sitting down and listening to somebody talking and then putting into practice what we've learned. Of course it requires a great commitment, but now we have the possibility to choose what to learn and how to do it! To cut a long story short, we can create an environment of our own, in which to discuss and to go further in our education. An environment is something that surrounds us and is usually made up of many things; it is also open to external influences and allows people to come and go where they want. A blog, for instance, is a good means for doing so: you set your argument, discuss it and then leave the door open to comments. During this course I appreciated this new (to me) way to learn and improve my knowledge, I think that being free to manage our work is a great chance for a personal growth! Talking about my PLE, I tried to draft a first version of my future learning plan (I used the Freemind software, a very nice free tool to create mindmaps, try it!): it consists mainly in going on with my blog, reading books and other people's blogs, going to summer course camps, chatting with friends from English speaking countries (by using Skype, of course!) and travelling travelling travelling a lot!!

Here it is my PLE mindmap, take a look at it and feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/remarks! My PLE mindmap.

Well, I think that's all for now!
Talk to you soon,bye!

Ps: Since I am not sure that you can see it, I uploaded a jpeg version of my mindmap..I know it's a bit out of focus, but it's the best I could do:-)!


Friday, May 8

Beware of spiderwebs!

Hi guys,have you ever thought about the risks you can run into while surfing the Web? Do you think networking is totally harmless? Well, read these lines and then let me know!
This week in class we talked about the critical websurfing and came up with a list of the most frequent (and feared) risks we can encounter while walking into the Web:
  • privacy violation and identity theft;
  • cloning (identities, credit cards);
  • copyright infringement (see my old post about this argument);
  • addiction;
The Web is a huge source of information, it receives and gives a great amount of generic information, news and updates..but not just these! It also contains personal data like addresses, pictures, pieces of work and so on. By googling your name, for instance, you can see that it is extremely easy for anyone to find out information about everyone and to keep track of it. In fact, every time we access the Web we leave subtle but precise information about ourselves, our tastes and our interests. Traces of our past activities are stored in the database of the computer we used (under the label chronology), giving hundreds of little clues about ourselves. Furthermore, the spread of social networks like Myspace and Facebook is boosting the circulation of personal information all over the Web so we need to be really careful in giving information about ourselves. The first thing we can do to avoid falling into the Web traps is to protect our pc with a strong antivirus software and to use quite a good deal of common sense when surfing the Web, that is, to avoid visiting those websites which are not 100% danger free. Then, since the majority of attacks takes place when we click on pop-ups or reply to spam mail and are re-directed to another webpage,it is advisable to use a good spam filter and check that the addresser is someone we know well. In the past I used many e-mail accounts ,for instance, with Yahoo mail and Hotmail, but I always had several problems with spam (one day it happened that I opened my mailbox and found more than 300 spam mail! I let you imagine how disappointed I was!). Now I'm using Gmail (Google mail) and I must say that it is really efficient, simple and safe from any spam attack, if only I had used it before!
Surfing the Web can prove to be dangerous and tricky sometimes,but it is funny and helpful as well. As a matter of fact it has become one of the most popular activities in modern society, as an hobby and even as a job! This means that people are not afraid to do it and are becoming more and more aware of the risks they can run into. In my opinion, we have never been given so many opportunities to discover the world and to enrich our knowledge as in this moment thanks to the 2.0 age, and we have to take advantage from it. The time is now, just need to mind the gap...and the trap!

Take care,see ya!



Thursday, April 30

Solutions ad hoc!

Hi everybody,
I began to write this post two days ago and this is what I wrote: “Have you got any idea where spring is hiding? I don't really know where the hell she's gone, hope she'll be back soon! Well, today's another cold rainy day, it seems like this ugly weather is never to end, how annoying and boring!!”. Maybe it’s because the rain listened to me and to my irritating complaints that now the sun is shining and it’s incredibly hot! Think I should complain more often if this is going to be the result, he he!! Well, the other side of the coin is that, if I’m no more bored and sleepy, now I can’t stay still for a minute, I feel so lively and I’ve got so many strengths that I’d never stop moving up and down, back and forth. I have to go to work in half an hour so it’s better I hurry up..

This week in class we did something different from the usual lessons in which our teacher explains us how to use new cool web tools and then learn to get in touch with them. Of course we did it, too, but this time we took an active part in it! The “dish of the day” was Google.doc and the amazing world of web file storage. Let’s begin from It is the easiest and most direct way to save your existing files or to create documents from scratch and then store them on web, sharing them, too, with your peers or with the people you like. This web2.0 application allows people to upload from any computer ( be it their own or not ) existing files including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. and to edit them anytime, from anywhere. By using you can also share in real-time your documents by inviting people to view them.All the changes will be saved and your docs will be stored securely online. And it's completely free! Isn't it nice? I've loved it since the very moment I got in touch with it! If you want to know more about Google.doc I suggest you to take a look at this website too.By clicking on the six pages you can take a "panoramic tour" of it, enjoy!
This was the theory,but as I told before, we did practice too! We were invited by our teacher to edit in APA style the references and in-text citations of a book on Telecollaboration 2.0. By using of course! It was quite a though, hard task,but useful indeed! It helped me to become a little more confident with web tools and the strange world of citation styles at least (or I hope so)!
During our first semester we used a Wiki application,that is, after login (we had a password), we could work on a webpage editing many pages and sharing our work with our peers. It was pretty similar to, but it was different for certain aspects! With Wiki you just need to have a password and then everybody will be able to see what you did or wrote; with people need to be invited before viewing what you are doing. Editing too is different: with Wiki one user can edit at a time while using people can do it simultaneously!This is a great advantage since you can see what you peers are doing as in a real-time collaboration, thus working together and helping each other, saving a lot of time as well!
Ok,time has gone and I have to go now.
I'll talk to you asap..

Bjork's video: Wanderlust

I've loved Bjork since I was a child, I think she's a great woman and a musical genius. Nobody gave so much character to techno and experimental world music like she did! I remember the first video I saw, it was the video of "Army of me" in the late 1995. In this video she drives an enormous truck across a big monotonous city, enters rooms full of dumb people, more similar to robots than to humans, goes to a gorilla dentist who pulls a diamond out of her mouth and runs away with that precious gemstone continually growing in her own arms..all this accompanied by techno music. I was a 12-year-old child and you can imagine how impressed I was when I run up against such a video, it was love at first sight! I run and bought her album immediately and since then I began to fall more and more in love with all her music. I chose to post one of the videos taken from her last album Volta, released in 2007. The song is Wanderlust,I love its melody and the sense of freedom it gives..the video is quite strange,looks like you have taken some acid:)! I like it, the video of course! Enjoy it!

Thursday, April 23

craving for video posting!!

Hi all!
I've just found a video on youtube that proves kittens do love apples and wanted to publish it on my blog!! Can you help me please? I don't remeber how to do it..I've tried many times but there's always something wrong with it!!
Thank u in advance!

Auto da fé

This is a short reflective post on Handout2.
I want it to be short because I realized that my posts are always incredibly long winded, so this time I'm trying to cut words off!!
And I want it to be reflective 'coz I believe that a little more of thinking about the readability of an article, be it taken from a paper, from a blog or from a website, can be good for improving our writing skills. I want to talk about what I learned reading the handout our professor gave us because I found it extremely useful and ispiring. Since in a few months we'll start to write our final thesis it would be nice to refresh our memory with a brief summary of the rules to follow in order to write a good and effective paper. A well-written text is thus a text which is well-structured, logical, cohesive, clear and coherent. These are the basic features of a successful text; although they are mainly aimed at simplifying our life, like all simple things they need to be carefully monitored and blended within a text.
Today I'll be focusing on the structure of a text. As the name itself says, it is the basis and the pillars of a set of ideas, from which depends the whole readability of a text. Text structure is made up of three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
  • When is a text well-structured? When the arguments are presented in a logical way, providing contextual or background information and giving enough details to be immediately understandable.

A text like this is said to have an "hourglass" shape since the information is broad and generalized at the beginning and at the end, while it narrows in the middle, as it focuses precisely on specific issues. This is typical of a deductive approach, where all the information is given little by little as the text unfolds. On the contrary, in an inductive approach all information is given at the beginning and the knowing process is reverse: we start from proofs and then go back up to solutions. In both the cases,but especially in the latter, we should avoid to use obscure or complicated words, trying on the contrary to give explanations.Surfin' up and down the Web I found a website which gives some useful tips on the subject. Although it is mainly concerned with web texts, I think it is worth dropping in! This is what it says (in brief!!):

  1. Explain abbreviations and acronyms the first time you use them (never let markup alone);
  2. Try to keep sentences short (I'm not alone!!);
  3. Avoid complicated words and symbolic language, use instead paraphrases and try to explain the subject with you own words;
  4. Always consider the audience to which you are addressing: use an appropriate vocabulary and register.

This is another useful website I suggest you to take a look at! Oh no, I'm crossing my imaginary line to stop!

About blogs. Well, I believe they should follow the 5 features of any readable text (see above). They are texts, aren't they? So their authors should try to be as much comprehensible as they can if they want that their messages are conveyed and understood by their audience. About my blog..looking back to my old posts I must admit that, besides being a bit too long, sometimes they lack structure too. I always have lots of things to say, my brain is continually churning out ideas but then I don't know how to arrange them on paper/screen! I'm going to dig out the old good "skeleton" (not that locked up in my closet!) and eventually learn how to use it!

Now, a special thank to: my blog peers for their moral and technical support. I sometimes feel like I wanna give up with posting, feel that my creativity has definitely exhausted, but then I read the comments they leave and immediately feel pretty more relieved. Thanks again for boosting my confidence!




Tuesday, April 21

Don't be sloppy, be stylish!

When writing an article, an essay or any other piece of academic writing, besides knowing what to talk about (that’s the most important thing obviously!), we should also pay attention to the style we’re using, that is, the way we put it down on paper. To choose a good style means to choose a proper, effective and attractive outfit for the fruit of our labor and this is a very important thing. Consider this: what about a perfectly flattering hot dress, which cost us an arm and a leg, matched with the wrong purse or, horror of horrors, spoiled by a pair of shoes taken by pot luck? What a disaster!! Well, that’s more or less what could happen if we choose the wrong style for our essay: we can write a lots of interesting things, argue exciting issues and then destroy all with our hands! Up to now we students have been much more concerned with the content rather than with the outline to use in our written production. Of course we are not totally unaware of academic writing styles, since we have already written our BA thesis and were supposed to do it in a formal, high-level style, but maybe we did it in an “unconscious” way, not following precise rules. In my experience I remember that I didn’t look out for any particular suggestions about how to write my thesis, just followed the indications the professor gave me. Sometimes it seemed so natural and spontaneous that I didn’t even notice I was falling into a conventional style, it just came without effort. Maybe years of academic reading and writing helped!
There are actually two styles which are commonly used internationally: the APA and the MLA styles.
The former stands for American Psychological Association, and is a style mainly used for citing writings on social science like Psychology, Economics, Medicine, Law and so on. The latter stands instead for Modern Language Association and is one of the preferred citing styles for research papers within the liberal arts and humanities.

APA and MLA styles are slightly different from each other, though they are used in more or less the same way. It just depends on the subject we are writing on.
If we are discussing scientific issues and we want to cite references within the document, we'd better use the APA style because its citing format allows to give detailed information in a briefer and more concise way than the MLA does. Anyway, these are the general outlines of both styles:
In APA formatted paper:
  • the first three words of the title and the page number are displayed in the top right corner of each page;

  • in the bibliography page the author's last name is spelled out followed by the initial(s) of the first name;

  • only the first word of the title is capitalized and in italics;

  • the abstract is required;

  • the source page at the end of the paper is called "References";

  • for in-text citations it is required that the author's last name, date of publication are put in parenthesis, E.g., (Apples, 2007);

This is what usually happens in the APA style. Now let's take a look at the MLA style.

In MLA formatted paper:

  • the author's name and page number run on the top, right corner of each page;

  • the author's first and last names are spelled out on the bibliography page;

  • all the major words of the title come in capital letters;

  • no abstract is required;

  • the bibliography information is collected in a section called " Works Cited";

  • when citing references the writer has to place the author's last name followed by the page number in parenthesis.

About in-text citation, the two styles are slightly different in formatting.

In APA the rule is to follow the author-date method of in-text citation. As said before, the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, E.g., (Apples, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.In APA style proper nouns, authors' names and initials are always capitalized. If we're citing the title of a source within our paper we should capitalize all words that are four letters or more long: E.g., Crime and Punishment. This is not required with shorter words that are adverbs, verbs, nouns and adjectives. After a dash or colon a word should always be capitalized too: "Falling into pieces: The Confessions of an Apple- Eater".

In MLA style, referring to the works of others is mainly done by using parenthetical citations, that means, the writer puts the author's name and the page number(s) in parenthesis immediately after a quotation or the paraphrase of an idea, E.g., "Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed" (Blake 4). In the Works Cited page this in-text citation will look like this: Blake, William. Proverbs of Hell.Place of release or publication, year of publication.

The whole matter is quite difficult to explain, there are lots of things and arguments up for discussion that I think I'd better stop here..going further could turn to be really dangerous (and deadly boring!). Anyway, I believe that to know how to use this two styles properly means to know how to move without any fear in the tangled jungle of scientific writing, and thus to avoid falling into the silent traps of plagiarism. By using citation we can jump from our own text to that of somebody else's, being sure that we are not infringing any ipr (see the post below). Now, talking about the referencing style I chose for my BA thesis, I used mostly the APA style for in-text citations and referencing, but sometimes I didn't dislike to use MLA too. Summing up, I used both! But the result wasn't that terrible..maybe others didn't care about it..and neither did I, that's for sure!! Well, in my MA thesis I'm certainly going to pay much more attention to referencing style (after this blogostorming I can't just say "I didn't know it!") and I'm going to try to use at least one of them. Which one? Uhmmm, that's an hard question!I have to found a subject before, then I'll give you the answer;-)!

To be continued...



Thursday, April 16

Intellectual Property...Right?

Hi everybody,
how are you? Did you enjoy your Easter holidays? Hope you did! How much classes, nice weather and a lot of crazy friends around. I still have a life, that’s amazing! I thought I had lost it in the chaotic tangles of my academic/working life, but fortunately it didn’t happen..I’m still here! These days I had so much fun I almost forgot to update my blog..sorry, I hope you understand me:-)! It took me quite a lot to realize that holidays had already finished, time always goes on too fast! Well, let’s not think about it, better to go on! It will be hard to remember what exactly happened last week in class, but I’ll try my best to do it!
Last week we talked about
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and plagiarism.
The former is a set of laws created to protect the artistic and commercial inventions from the improper use of people, e.g. copying and modifying the original or using an image or logo to sell fake copies of something. In this way the intellectual property rights are sort of intellectual assurance people do to save their creations and to “repay” the big troubles and sacrifices they faced before making their discoveries.
The most common IPR people make use of are:

Nowadays, that of intellectual property has become a burning issue, especially now that the Internet era gives people much more freedom to find and exploit resources available on the Web. The Web is an amazing source of everything; there you can find articles, essays, music and movies, which can be protected by copyright or not. Usually, when authors decide to put their work on the Web they are well aware that they’re offering it to millions of people who are probably going to read and use it for their own purposes. This is a courtesy authors do us and we should be thankful to them! One way to show our gratitude towards them is to respect their intellectual work, for instance, by quoting the authors or linking to their work. Everybody ,and we students in particular, should keep in mind that using the fruit of someone else’s troubles in an improper way, as pretending it is ours, besides being immoral, is illegal too, though here in Italy this is not considered a crime. In other countries like the US and GB, people who infringe these rights can be sue for plagiarism and, if students, they can be expelled from school. It is really strange that a creative and inventive country like Italy, which in the past held the world record in patents, now seems to care so little about plagiarism..maybe it depends on our way of thinking, on education, but I’m not sure. I need to think more about it, feel this will prove to be an interesting issue!

Anyway, I think that sometimes a little “help” is good for everyone, but it has to be just a little sprinkling, not an entire source of ideas! One good alternative to property rights is to offer the work under a creative common license, as well explained in this webpage. Under a creative common license creators can directly choose which rights they reserve and which they waive, thus allowing people to use their work and share it as a public domain. That's very nice and , most importantly, it is absolutely free! I do love the way the CC changed the motto "all rights reserved" with "some rights reserved"; I believe it helped to develop a higher sense of responsibility and philanthropy.

Well, I think that's all for now

Talk to you soon, just need to gather my thoughts!



Thursday, April 9

Kitty Do Loves Apples :-D


Wednesday, April 8

Fishing around for good ideas

Well guys,
the sun went down and I managed to solve the problems with my laptop eventually. I spent the whole afternoon surfing the Web looking for a decent topic, but everytime I found an interesting one I discovered that I needed to suscribe (that is, to pay) to read the full text, or that my browser wasn't able to open a pdf file online (why did you decide to stop working today, you unfaithful creature!!). It wasn't my lucky day, and that's for sure! Anyway at 10 pm I run through one article that immediately caught my attention, maybe for the simple reason that I was too tired to go on more with my search! Being honest, I was supposed to find an article dealing with my final thesis research, but having no idea I decided to fish out the first big fish that was swimming in the Websea beneath!
The first criterion I adopted mainly deals with tools. First I tried to search with but wasn't satisfied at all with my results- almost all the articles required to be purchased, what a nonsense! So I tried the simple google search but I was getting lost among thousands of articles. At the end, just before I decided to give up, I remembered to take a look at one more source too, and ..that's all,I got it and immediately bookmarked it never to get it lost!!
The article I chose is taken from
DOAJ- the directory of open access journals- and its title is: "Malaysian Learners and their perceptions towards online english language courses".If you want to take a look at it, this is the website (you have to click on full text to see it).This article aroused my interest mainly because I wanted to compare the feelings and perceptions of Malaysian ESL students (but they could have been students from any other part of the world) to my personal experience as an ESL student. Moreover, in our first e-tivity we were asked by our teacher to find out a blog we thought could be interesting, and I chose the blog of a young girl from Kuala Lumpur. So, I was twice as interested in reading that article!
It was not easy to find a good article: the Web is full of traps and if we don't pay enough attention, we're very likely to confuse good things with rubbish. Fortunately we just have to keep in mind the simple rules about Web searching and the evaluation criteria for a reliable research article we listed in class last week!
By reading the abstract, which is the summary of the whole article usually put at the beginning of the entire text, the reader can do an initial critical skimming. This proves to be really effective in saving time and patience because,if the argument is not interesting or lacks creativity,it is possible to leave it and try to find a better one!
More in depht with my critical surface-analysis,the questions I had to ask myself were:

  • Who is the researcher?
    In my case there are two researchers who carried out the research study: Pramela Krish, a senior lecturer with the School of Language Studies and Linguistics at the university Kebangsaan (Malaysia), and Bee Eng Wong, who is an associate professor at the Department of English Language at the university Putra (Malaysia). This information was put at the end of the article together with a picture of them, their e-mail address and their phone numbers. This is a good and effective way to gain the reader's trust, since they put "their faces" in what they did and show that are willing to be contacted for possible further information.

  • What do you think was their theoretical framework? About the theoretical framework, I googled a bit to search for other publications by these authors and discovered that they had already published other articles about (more or less) the same topic, all collected in the Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education.
  • What was the goal of the research? The goal of the research is indicated in the abstract: "The findings with regard to the perceptions of the learners brought more new perspectives which could be incorporated or taken into considerationfor an online language learning programme."
  • Was it large or small scale? It was small scale research involving about 250 students (Malays, Indians, Chinese, other groups) from various faculties in the age group of 21 to 23 years.
  • Was it short or long term? It was necessarily short term because the research focused on specific points.

Here I stop myself, I need to read it more carefully to answer further questions. I think this article fulfills all the requirements to be good article, since it is clear, well structured and written by reliable persons. I don't know about you, but I think this was a nice experience,maybe a little demanding in terms of time and attention,but I feel this exercise helped me a lot in developing my "searching skills". Well, I'm ready for my academic research study..or at least now I know the simplest way to work it out;-)!
See you all,


Sunday, April 5

The Sea of Strangers

How many times have we said to someone, or thought to say, "hey man, who are you?", especially when discussing issues of certain importance? To be "somebody" means to be a person who is held in high esteem by others and who has something important to say or to do in the world. While looking for information on the Web, as well as in everyday-life, it's always better to ask ourselves this question to avoid trusting someone who is not very reliable and thus ending up with loads of useless rubbish.
This week in class we talked about the way in which we usually surf the Web when searching for information, e. g. for an academic research study. The Web is an amazing source of information where people can take an active part by using tools like the Creative Commons (e.g. the big family of the Wikis) or by creating personal environments like blogs or websites. There we can find lots docs and links to what we are looking for and some of these even seem to be very attractive but..are they all reliable? We made a list of the parameters a document should match to be considered a good source of information. First of all its author should be someone qualified to write that article like a scientist, an academic or a student supported by a professor. It should provide enough references in order to allow people to go and leaf through other sources like books or on-line documents- when writing an academic research study students usually start from infos available on the Web and little by little narrow down the field to the old good dusty books. Then we'd better pay attention to the date it was created, since too old an article can prove to be not very useful (the world changes so fast that even today is tomorrow's yesterday!). The list could go on and on since there are loads of criteria to take into consideration and soooo many kinds of topics floating on the Websea, but luckily here they come some nice tools that help us out with our doc hunting! Google Blogs, Google Books and Google Scholar are invaluable allies in fishing out and skimming what we need! They are similar to the most famous Google search but take the searching one step further. The first Google focuses on blogs: just have to type a keyword ("language learning" or anything else) and you'll discover what people are saying on that subject! The second one again works just like web search helping you to find books and giving a preview or even showing the entire text (if out of copyright)..what a nice idea! The last one searches for scholarly literature and helps to identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.
Well guys, I think that our teacher was right on target again!
About me, what can I say? Now I have no more excuses for not beginning to work on my thesis (yes, it's high time I began writing on it!). I have all the tools I may need, I'm home and dry you'd say..well, can you tell me now where I could find a good idea for my thesis too:-)?


Friday, April 3

Obsessions #1

Well, I think that now you all know about my insane fool love for the fruit of sin...yeah, I really have a thing about it, I can't do help it, it's not my fault:-/...damn!
I don't remember (or I prefer to forget) where it comes from...I believe it's a bit my mother's fault..when I was a child she was continually giving me apple paps and juice saying that the little gorgeous fruit was good for me - I would really shoot the one who said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away!! Anyway, things were not so bad in the past, I just had to close my eyes and swallow- simple stuff! Then one day I accidentally run into the source of all this big lovely mess..and I stop here, no need too go further.
What a curse,a long-lasting curse,I wanna free myself from it right now (shouldn't I?)!
Anyway, apples, if bad for my health, are certainly good for my learning! I want to show how this word is used in idiomatic english expressions and what meaning it has..have fun!

  • "How do you like them apples"? = what do you think about it? It is an AM english idiom expressing bemusement. For more infos click there.
  • "She's apples!" = everything is all right (okey dokey,hi hi!!) It's used in colloquial Australian . I love this one, though she's not apples for me ('specially when thinking about apples!!). Need more infos? Drop in here!

  • "Everything is in apple-pie order" = everything is tidy and well-ordered. Apple-pie,yummy!

Now look at these entries, they're rather different in meaning (I told you, apples are weird!)

  • apple sauce = "it's all talk",nonsense, rubbish.

  • apple polisher = toady.

There are other expressions in which "apple" is used, e.g. when something is "as American as apple-pie",meaning that it's typically American, or when someone is "the apple of sb's eye", meaning that she/he is very important to s.o.

Well, now I it's my turn! Since one of the purposes of this e-xperience is to become more creative, I want to give birth to a new expression, a way of being: apple-junkie. I'm an apple-junkie, do you know what I mean;-)?



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