Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Amanda - Review on a movie

O Palhaço

The movie O Palhaço has been on in the cinemas since October 28th but one million people have already watched it. This movie was written, directed and acted by Selton Mello, a wonderful artist.

The movie is a comic drama: it’s a story about a clown (interpreted by Selton Mello) in crisis. The clown – he is called Benjamim – isn’t convinced about his career and then he goes after this conviction experimenting other situations outside the circus. It’s a funny and sensible film at the same time because it’s made of hilarious situations that involve the troupe in and out the scene.

Before Benjamim goes to the big city (to seek his identity), he knows a girl, has dinner at Mayor’s house, is almost arrested and comes on the scene until a day he doesn’t act like he always did. This day is the fateful point for that to Benjamim leaves the circus and goes after his identity metaphorical and literally.

Benjamim gets his identity card and finds a job in the big city. He works during some days and concludes that his happiness is really in the circus, that he loves being a clown. Despite this existential crisis, the movie is light and it isn’t pedantic. The scenes are very beautiful and the actors act beautifully.

O Palhaço is a movie for people to smile and get emotional too. I liked it very much because it’s an amazing story. I started to see the life differently because the movie shows that simple things of life (like a smile) are very important too.

Carlos, André and Leandro - Chain Short Story

Title - Wills over Wheels

Stuart Reynolds was really worried that day. He couldn't stand another month unemployed. But these times have been hard for everybody, not just him. “There will be a thousand other people in this interview. Everybody wants this job. Any job. Damned crisis!”

One more time, the breakfast was very poor, just a cup of black coffee and two pieces of toast, but he barely noticed. He was reading the mortgage letter that had arrived the day before, while he was doing nothing, as usual. Sometimes, he found out in the last weeks, it was difficult to deal with time. People want more time to live, but there's a certain limit. After this limit, you start to face yourself, and you start to question the meaning of everything. This morning he dared to open it, after hours staring at it. “Even though I sell everything that I have, I'll be just postponing my eviction. Maybe for a month or two.”

Finally, the time to get out for the interview came. He went out, astonished by the fact that the idea of selling everything was not bothering him. After all, he wanted to start from the beginning again. A new life for a new man. That was his dream.

That job would be a new chance, another attempt to do his best and forget the mistakes that had put him in this situation. However, Stuart was very tired and a little hopeless. The last twenty interviews he had made were absolutely discouraging: lots of people, very few vacancies, a whole day lost and… nothing, not even a call. “Well, keep trying Stuart, if you stop the ship it will sink faster!” he said to himself.
When he got out the house, he noticed a strange man on the sidewalk. Despite the sun, he was wearing a black overcoat, and his fedora hat and the sunglasses didn’t let Stuart see his face. He was smoking a cigarette very quietly in front of a black car with very dark tainted windows As Stuart was getting close, the man said:
- Good morning, Mr. Reynolds!
- Good morning, Mr. … sorry, do we know each other?
- Maybe... I am an old friend of your father’s. We used to work together.
- Oh, really? What’s your name?
- Do you have a minute to talk?
- Sorry, your name is...?
- Ok. It’s simple. One question, one answer.
- Look, you don’t want to talk, me neither . I have an interview and can’t wait h...
- Mr. Reynolds, do you want some money?
- What?
- Don’t you get it? Money? Easy job, clean money?
- What the hell...? But, who are you, what money?
- No questions now! Just yes or no.
- I can’t wait anymore! Sorry, I must go!
- Ohh, go on! Try another one! You are a big hard head, Mr. Reynolds. We both know that this interview will fail, like the others! Come on, face it! You are in a hole, going down and down! And I saw your eviction letter Mr. Reynolds, I saw it... Your father would be very disappointed! Look at what you’ve done with his property!
Those words made Stuart stop walking, and many things start to come to his mind. “Who is this man? How does he know about my life? And my father?... Yes, I need money, but what kind of proposal is that? A man just came here and offers me a job?”
Despite this doubts and feelings, Stuart was very upset about his problems. If he waits one more month, his life will be in a situation that he couldn't even imagine to be. He wanted to try another way. “The man got to my weak point, I don’t know how to solve that...That’s enough! It shouldn’t be so hard”, Stuart thought.
- Yes or no, Mr. Reynolds?
-.... Yes, but what kind of job is that?
- Get into the car. My boss will explain to you.

Stuart felt a chill on his spine, but what else could he do? Whatever he started to think about, it always ends with a simple thought: “I need money”. His life could be in danger by accepting to enter that car with those men, but no one could guarantee he’d be safe if he refused the invitation

- What if I refu…

- You won’t refuse it Mr. Reynolds and we both know it!

- Ok, ok, I’m going with you. I don’t know who you are nor why you’re here but I guess I have no choice.

- Good, please enter the car now. You won’t regret it.

As soon as the engine starts, Stuart begins to ask questions but the mysterious man just ignores him until he feels bothered by one of the questions.

- Who is your boss?

- Ok Mr. Reynolds, I see you didn’t get it. I’ll answer you this one for once and then I hope you’ll just keep your mouth shut until we reach our destination. See this car? See these men? Are they talking to you?

Those words seemed nonsense for Stuart. Suddenly the man turns his head to one of his crew:

- Hey, you, say hi to Mr. Reynolds.

- Hi there Mr. Reynolds. We are glad that you have accepted…

- That’s enough, thanks. I think Mr. Reynolds had his question properly answered.

The car stopped after two hours. Stuart couldn’t recognize the place because he felt kinda dizzy. There were some guys dressed with jumpsuits as professional race drivers and doing some physical training. Some of them were wearing helmets and some weren’t. Stuart saw one of the guys falling on the ground and quickly recovering his pace to keep up with the others. They seemed determined to accomplish their tasks. He was taken inside an old warehouse. It was dark inside there and the mysterious man finally started talking:

- Lights on, guys.

The place could now be seen, but it was not very understandable for Stuart. He could see some forklifts painted like they were stock cars. None of them were like normal forklifts. They were completely overhauled. Inside the warehouse he could see a complete racetrack.

- Mr. Reynolds, we have been watching you and we know you have some skills we might find useful. You might never have heard about what the hell we are supposed to do here because it’s been kept as a secret for ages. You might’ve already heard about some “accidents” inside local supermarkets, but the press never releases the full story because we have some people inside working for us to prevent this from happening. What we run here is an illegal Forklift Racing League, the next step in motorsports.

- Are you mad? What I'm supposed to do here?

- Wait and see.

They walked through the pit lane, climbed two flights of stairs, and got into a room. There they found a bald old man sitting on an upholstered chair behind a hardwood table. Lots of racing souvenirs were scattered around the room.

- Nice to meet you, Mr. Reynolds. I've been waiting for you.

- I wonder if you are supposed to explain me what the hell is going on here.

- Of course I will.

The old man nodded to the man on Stuart's side, and the man left the room.

- My name is Joseph Battista, and now you're my employee.

- I don't think so! Those gorillas went to my house and...

- Did they put you in the car against your will?

- No, but I didn't know...

- There you reached your no return point.

The strength and the confidence in Battista's voice scared Stuart.

– Your father worked for me for twenty-five years. And I know his talent is running through your veins.

– This can't be true. Now I see! You got the wrong guy. My father was just a janitor!

– That is what you were supposed to know. But he was, in fact, the best racing driver I've ever known. With his talent, I ruled the underground racings for almost two decades. He was also my best friend... And now, after mourning for ten years, I feel I have to regain my throne.

– So I guess I'll drive one of those machines.

– That's it.

“My father, a racing driver? I can't believe it.”

He accepted the proposal without further questioning. After all, the whole situation was much more comfortable than he had speculated during the long trip to this place. “Speculating about this job during the trip made me think I had to do something harder. Kill a man. Deliver a package in a dangerous place. But this... this is gonna be a piece of cake. And it doesn't look like I'm able to escape from here. After all, I have no idea where I am. This desert is hot as hell... I guess we are in New Mexico”.

It was still 4:30 AM when Stuart fell from his bed due to the noisy sound that kicked his dreams away. “A gong? What the hell!” thought Stuart. He was still dizzy when a young freckled boy busted in his room and threw some clothes on him:

- “C’mon your lazy bitc… O-H M-Y G-O-D!!! It’s true! He is here! I told them it was him! Mommy, momm…” And suddenly he ran away.

Stuart took the clothes out from his face and got dressed quickly. When he looked on the mirror, he was using an old blue janitor suit. On its back, it was written “JAN” and the number 77.

- This was yours father’s suit. We used to call him “Jan” and he added “Jan, the man who jams with all the girls”. So he was known before he “jammed” with the right chick… And that’s how you join this story and your father turned into a helluva driver. It’s incredible what true love can do…

- You mean my mother? You know her too?

- Sure! She was one of our cheerleaders! But don’t worry, she was not a “slut”, her only passion was dance, your father and you. She quit our company when you were born. But your father had all of this running inside his veins and he couldn’t quit in time…

- I see… I suppose he died because some sort of accident.

- No! He died from a hot-dog he saved for later!

- !?

Mr. Battista started crying.

- Poor guy… I told him I’d make a fresh one after the race, but…

- You killed my father by giving him a rotten hot-dog?

Mr. Battista started crying harder.

- It was not his fault! He was crazy for hot-dogs and he couldn’t stand any food waste… He asked my wife to make him a hot-dog because he was hungry… But she was sick and it took her longer to finish. The race was about to start and he didn’t have time to eat and asked me to keep it for later. It was a long race and the heat was very intense, the hot-dog couldn’t survive. I told him I’d make a fresh one myself but he took it from my bag saying “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” and put it on his mouth. After he finished, he said it was the best he had ever tried and started a speech about how we need to avoid food waste… but then he…

Stuart felt bad for Mr. Battista. Surely he had proven to be not a bad guy. All that talk about his father had grown more courage on him to accept the fate that he was the chosen one.

Mr. Battista took Stuart to the pit lane… A lot of drivers were getting inside the forklifts, but none of them were moving to the racetrack.

- Ok Mr. Battista… I’m so excited to test my skills.

- Test? We don’t have time for this, It’s the last race on the season and we need you to win so we’ll be the champions once again.

- No kidding!

- There’s the 1 minute flag… You better race it like your father… good luck son!

Mr. Battista ran away to the pit lane with the rest of the crew and Stuart grabbed the wheel for the first time… He was still surprised by the fact that 2 hours before he was sleeping and now he is driving forklifts illegally.


The red lights turned on… and then the green and Stuart smashed his foot on the gas pedal like he knew what he was doing. He was starting on the last place and there were 25 other racers. The hoar of the engines were so loud that they couldn’t notice a distant sound that was approaching… It was like some kind of “police siren”

Stuart couldn’t ever imagine that one day he would be in a forklift race. And his dad had covered this for his whole life..“How come?” - he thought. But there was no time to think and wonder about the past. He must win and he doesn’t know exactly what would happen if he didn’t..

The first laps were a true revelation for Stuart. He felt it wasn’t so difficult and it seemed he got the perfect timing for changing gears, brake and accelerate without losing the speed, what gave him a good position, leaving many opponents behind. Course, he used to drive his old car very well some years ago, but he’d never tried something like that. He felt that he really knew how to do it.

The track wasn’t a simple one, with many obstacles - boxes, tires and some shelves left on the way, like a real warehouse. Several racers crashed into those obstacles, which caused many accidents and a huge damage to their forklifts. Stuart became a bit scared when realized his life could be in danger . But these accidents allowed him to gain good positions in a few laps.

During the race, that distant sound became louder, but the racers still couldn’t hear because of the noise of their cars. Unfortunately, it was the police siren that had just arrived. Inside the warehouse a red flashing light was turned on meaning that the race would finish in a very short time due to the cops outside. But Stuart didn’t know this security protocol and continue doing his best. “It should be nothing, keep going!” – he thought.

The Forklift Racing League is considered an illegal one because it involves lots of dirty money. The big megastore companies sponsor this kind of motorsport as a dispute for monopoly concessions in some regions of the USA. Furthermore, several millionaires make their bets and the race becomes a kind of gamble game. The police are always searching where this racing happens, as an attempt to get the leaders, but they never get them.

Mr. Battista was ready to run away with his fellows while the police was trying to unlock the warehouse’s big door. It wasn’t the first time that the police discovered the place and it wouldn’t be the last. The alert for the cops modify the racer’s behavior: some became more aggressive, others, unfocused . They must win and escape from the cops .

Finally, in the final lap, the police got into the warehouse and with their cars started to pursue the racers. Stuart was in the second position and only noticed something strange when he saw the first position racer giving up and running outside the track. When Stuart was very close to the end, he saw the police waiting for him.

- Yeah, fellow! You’re the winner. Now leave this vehicle and put your hands up!

- But, what have I done?? I was just driving!

- Shut up and freeze! – they said pointing their guns at Stuart

- Ok ok!

Then, Stuart was arrested and had no choice but to explain the facts. At this time, he was thinking: “Ok, I have no money, no job and I’m in jail! Very well, that’s my prize”. But he wasn’t feeling frustrated. That day he discovered his father’s history, and discovered himself. “I would do this again, if I get out of here one day”. While he was thinking about this special day, he fell asleep.

By the morning, he woke up with a voice saying:

- Mr. Reynolds!! Get up Mr. Reynolds! Do you want to live here? You are free! Go away!

- What?

- Yes, someone has paid your fine.

- But who?

- We don’t know. We just receive the money.

-----Three weeks later…

“6:00pm, it’s time to go home! Another workday complete“, Stuart thought. Since he got a small job in a local supermarket his life became a little bit steady. His financial problem hasn’t been solved yet, but it’s better than nothing. Without this money, he would be lost. The only problem that still upset him was his mortgage.

On the way home, Stuart remembered the experience with the forklifts. He really loved the felling of speed and danger. “I would try again, I swear! If it was a legal one, I would…”

Near the corner of his house, he felt a car was following him. He looked back, but that raining night and the shadows of the trees didn’t allow him to identify the car. When he turned the corner, a man with a black overcoat and a big umbrella seemed to be waiting for him.

- Mr. Reynolds!

- Who are you?

- We really like your job.

- What job?

- C’mom, don’t be stupid ! You know…

- Wait, are you talking about…

- Yeah…the League! And…sorry for the cops, it rarely happens. Lucky day yours!

- Course, I’m on a roll… And you said ‘easy money’, but I am still waiting for this money…

- Sorry, we had to pay a big police bribe for your freedom.

- Ok, what can I do …?

- Whatever. Now we have a proposal.

- Another?

- Yeah, five thousand at the beginning, and more each race you run. Mr. Reynolds, do you want to join our team?


Next day, Stuart arrived late at his job. He said to his boss that he got sick because of the raining night before and couldn’t sleep the whole night. But there was a strong smell of gasoline in his clothes that he couldn’t explain…

Fabiana - My favorite room

The room in my house where I cook and eat is my kitchen. Perhaps the kitchen is the most important room in many houses, but in my house, the most important room is my bedroom, because it’s the place where I spend most of my time doing daily activities.

My favorite things are there: computer, books, TV, CD player, wardrobe with my purple clothes. I love purple, it’s a beautiful color! I have many purple things, like my curtain, the sheets and pillows of my bed, my wall and my chair. It’s fantastic! I have so many happy memories of times I spend here: When my friends visit me, we watch movies and TV series, play cards and use the computer to see funny videos.

Sometimes my best friend sleeps and we make a mess in my bedroom: eat chocolate, drink juice, talk about our boyfriends and we gossip about everything. It’s fun! I have studied a lot here, I spend hours sitting at my desk, reading and writing about subjects of university. My room is the most comfortable place in my house. I love to sleep in my bed and rest. Undoubtedly, some of the happiest times of my life have been spent in my bedroom.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flavia - The future

What does the future hold for me?

Hello everyone!

My name is Flávia and I'm 31 years old. Next year I'll finish my master degree in Atmospheric Science and at the moment I don't know if I will keep studying, which means, trying a Ph.D. What does the future hold for me? Well, I know and at the same time I don't know. Perhaps it seems a little confusing, so I'd like to share my idea about this with you.

I believe there are something we can choose and other ones we can't choose. We can choose what to study, what to wear, our career and other things, this is under our control. But there are things that aren't within our control and we don't know how it'll be, it is our fate.

I chose to be a physicist and at the moment I'm specializing in Atmospheric Science, and I want to understand about nature, how it behaves and so on. I hope to work in this and to be an excellent professional and well recognized. However, at the moment I don't know where and when I'll get this, but I hope it's a great place to work.

I also hope to make some money working, because I want to rebuild my house, buy furniture and appliances, this is because I'll get married soon. I also would like to support my family with all its needs, to care for abandoned animals, and... I have many, many plans for the future, so summarizing, in the future, I hope to be successful in my career, to be healthy to do all my plans and to be able to enjoy life with my family.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Junior - Pros and Cons

Having a university degree

Most of the young people have the wish to enter College. However, they don't know what the world will expect of them with or without university degree.

First of all, having a university degree is much more than having a well-paid job or being intellectual. You must want to change everyday your little world, use what you learned for this. Many kinds of Graduate Student Oath refer “...execute the job with honesty and dignity, respecting your professional code and justice...”. By the way, this is the most important beyond gaining status or being recognized by people.

University life has many disadvantages, mainly it comes to liability, because there your parents don't help you anymore. In college, it seems that universe conspires against you. Having a social life is very improbable, professors ask a lot of homework, projects and tests, you have to manage your free time (if possible).

One huge advantage is that you can live several types of experiences. Try the ability of time management, meeting different people, learning new things etc. Another interesting point is that the student won't have a limit. It's possible to succeed in an academic career as grad student. Despite all bad things above mentioned, in my opinion, having a university degree is wonderful because by being somebody much better, you could live a bit better and build a bit better world.

In conclusion, to get a university degree is to try to improve as human being both intellectually and personally. We have to understand that entering a place where thoughts are wherever you lookis an opportunity for changing your thinking and making the difference in whatever you do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Patricia - Pros and Cons

Having a university degree: pros and cons.

One of the most important questions after high school is: “Should I go to college?” The answer depends on many different factors, but in most cases the answer is: “Yes, I need to go to college”.

Nowadays there are many jobs that require a college degree, especially in the medical and engineering fields. Certainly having a degree is important, but just having a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a good job. In fact, there are many graduated people who are unemployed.

In my opinion, having a college degree is important because more options are opened up to you in the job market. You will have a better chance to make money and, in addition, college helps to create a well-rounded person with better social and academic skills.

Some of the cons I can mention are that the college fee is very expensive, you also don’t have the chance to earn money right after coming out of high school, you are constantly exposed to a highly competitive atmosphere, you are always exposed to high stress, you are not able to eat correctly and you don't get too much sleep.

Finally, when deciding if college education is required or not, the student must weigh up all the pros and cons as well as other more personal reasons. Going to the university allows a student not only to become an expert in the chosen field, but also to become a conscious and political citizen, a person who really thinks and acts ethically.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flavia - Complaint letter

Dear Virgulino, good morning!

First I would like to thank all the help, and communicate you that I arrived from Brazil today and I'm anxious to begin my study here in Australia.

However, I would like to inform you also that the house you rented me isn't in the conditions that we had agreed. There are problems in every room of the house. Well, I'll start detailing the problem on the bathroom: there isn't a shower, there is only a pipe through which the water comes.Also, there isn't a toilet seat, there is only a hole in the ground. In the bedroom, there isn't furniture and there is such a little bed. I won't talk about the living room, where is the living room? It doesn't exist! Now I'll speak of the kitchen: like the bedroom, there isn't furniture, there aren't forks and dishes.

As you can see, it is difficult to live here this way. How can we solve this?, because I already paid for being here, but not in these conditions.

Well, I’m waiting for your position about my problem (or your problem).

Thank you!