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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

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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!

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 but...it'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
Bye!
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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:-)!

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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!


Anna



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