Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back to full-time work...

I certainly miscalculated my schedule today. I started an email to a friend saying exactly that. These days I feel needed to write an introspective kind of post. It has been a while I don't put words together in order to speak my mind. Today is probably the right time.

After meeting a new friend through the web, we have known each other for almost six months now, I figured that it is possible to construct a deep friendship by this cold medium. However, things can get a bit disturbed when mixed up feelings show up. My point is, I do consider this person a truly friend of mine although "internet" relationship seems too unreal.

Let me be more clear. I am an open-minded person, oh well, at least I try to be, and that estimulates in me to be a good listener. I listen, listen, and listen. Most of my online friends are books that I can read, scan, upload on the web, and print them out to read them all over again. I don't really mind about this. In fact, that inspires me to come up with characters when it comes to my fiction writings. Then you might think, "Man, she's exposing them in her texts!" I would say "no" to that. Normally, artists do not even use their real names on the cover of their books sometimes...

I wouldn't ever expose anyone. I wouldn't ever look down on anyone. I wouldn't ever judge any individual by his/her own words. Those are simple words. Above all, some stories may not even be true.


However, I consider myself a bit lucky to have encountered intense people, with lifestyles that are absolutly different from mine. That's actually amazing and fullfilling to me. Then, I am writing all this "shitty" post to let them know, if by any chance they end up reading it, that I care for them as I care for everybody who respects HUMAN NATURE.

Being back to the ground reality, I will soon be found overwhelmed and under stress because of all classes which will start this Monday. I will be hopefully blogging once a week. I don't truly believe that I have any frequent reader, however I must apologize for any possible delay.

If you're reading this post not knowing who I am, not having a dust of idea of what I do for a living, you may learn that I teach English to Brazilian kids and adults too. My husband and I own a language school (pbf) that it is located in one of the major cities of the south of Brazil. This place is called Caxias do Sul and the school is known as PBF - an acronym that means PINK AND BLUE and FREEDOM.

A new season has just started for schools, colleges, and universities in Brazil. Our students will be back to their classes in the morning, afternoon, evening... Tests, exercises, compositions, fun acitivities will be in my mind throughout the semester. Lucky me if I don't get sick. Lucky me if my new students are just great individuals as they all have been. I say a prayer for good times and not so hot days like the last few months. Drought and dry weather are emptying the local rivers and lakes of this region. I just feel sorry for the vinyards which cover the hills of this place so-called SERRAS GAÚCHAS!!!

Well, I deliberately escaped from the topic I first started writing about. Honestly, I didn't want to say much of it, just wanted to be straight to my point. That is normally hard to me, anyway. I know. Please, it's not that difficult to forgive me, coz I am this type of person who spends half of his/her precious time in a certain place known as the TWILIGHT ZONE - my friend, d'you know what I am talking about???

FRIENDS from all these parts of this planet: JAPAN (Yayoi, Yuitichiro, Naomi), MOROCCO (Nadia, Zak, Naima), USA (Melissa, Candy), FRANCE (Marceau, Alex, Guillaume), VENEZUELA (Luiza, Afonso), KOREA (Joon, Yup, Sanghee Lee),Taiwan (Shuping), THAILAND (Toyota, Joon), SWITZERLAND (Rolland, Cédric), MEXICO (Margarito, Fernando), HOLLAND (Hans), SAUDI ARABIA (Ahmed, Nasser, Faissal), URUGUAY (Ariel), ECUADOR (Eddy), PANAMA (Porfírio, Gallo), BOSNIA (Amir), BULGARIA (Antonia), CROATIA (Davor), RUSSIA (Regina), BARBADOS (Andrew), PHILIPPINES (Ben), VIETNAN (Phong), INDIA (Apuh), SPAIN (Javier, Manuel), CÓTE D'IVOIRE (Jean), SOUTH AFRICA (Jennifer), ARGENTINA (Marina), and BRAZIL (Wow, so many...) ->

You all had better know that I dearly care for all of you so much from the deep inside of my soul... And, don't take me too seriously when I cross the line or when I seem not to have enough patience with you. I do want and enjoy listening to your words of experience. I will definetely continue being all ears, just not as often as I used to during the last two months...


LOTSA LUV and WISH THE BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ALL

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Poetry by Pessoa

Meantime
by FERNANDO PESSOA

Far away, far away,
Far away from here...
There is no worry after joy
Or away from fear
Far away from here.
Her lips were not very red,
Not her hair quite gold.
Her hands played with rings.
She did not let me hold
Her hands playing with gold.
She is something past,
Far away from pain.
Joy can touch her not, nor hope
Enter her domain,
Neither love in vain.
Perhaps at some day beyond
Shadows and light
She will think of me and make
All me a delight All away from sight.

Understanding Greek Theater

I will post here a paper I wrote about GREEK TRAGEDIES AND COMEDIES to a college course called "WESTERN HUMANITIES I" at Saint Petersburg College.

"Greek plays or dramas (tragedy and comedy) were a single performance in theaters (arenas) at Athens, spoken and acted by costumed actors and in part sung by a chorus of dancers to the music of a piper. The theaters were mostly located in places called AGORA. In this research paper, we are going to discuss the main elements of the Greek tragedy and comedy and its universality/contribution in arts and scholars of all times.

Theater as we know it in the West today was invented in Ancient Greece, in classical Athens more specifically. The zenith of the Greek Theater coincides with the great moment of its democracy and military power in the fifth century BC. After defeating the Persians in 460 BC approximately, the Greeks developed senses of competitiveness and rivalry.

In 534 BC, the Athenian tyrant Pisistratus founded the festival of the City Dionysia (or also called The Great Dionysia), one of the most popular events, whose main purpose was the presentation of plays and dithyrambs as a sacred competition. Competitive athletic sports and games were also Greek inventions at that time. The play-festivals served as a device for defining Athenian civic identity, which meant exploring, questioning and confirming what it was to be a citizen of a democracy.

The culture of Athens during the Classic period may be viewed as a “performance culture”.
In the Dionysia and Lenea festivals there was competition both between the plays or rather groups of plays. Comedies as well as tragedies were performed publicly in local theaters. The Greek plays of the fifth century (BC) were very directly part of a rite, acts of worship offered to a mysterious power. The Greek god Dionysus was this power. He was evoked and even animals were sacrificed to his worship. In Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of wild and uncontrolled ecstasy. He is too considered more specifically the God of wine. Perfection was the goal of classical Greek art.

Tragedy also reached its great moment in Greece. It was originated from Epic and Lyric poetry, dominant literary forms of artistic expressions from the late archaic age. With the rising of the democratic spirit and changes in the polis, epics were transferred to the stages, featuring the Greek tragic theater.

“The tragedies were primarily based on the legends of royal families – usually the dynasties of Thebes, Sparta and Argos – dating from the Age of Heroes of which Homer sang in his epics. Since the audience already knew these stories, their interest focused on the playwright’s treatment of a familiar tale, his ideas about its moral significance, and how his language shaped those ideas (Matthews, p. 62).”

The main plots in Greek tragedies constitute a grandiose set of variations on a relatively few legendary and formal themes that is not casually or occasionally intertextual, but always and inherently so. “The word tragedy in Greek means “goat song,” and this word may refer to a prehistoric religious ceremony in which competing male choruses sang and danced, while intoxicated, in homage, to the god of wine; the victory prize may been a sacrificial goat (Matthews, p.61).”

The essence of the tragedy was in telling stories about divine and/or humankind weaknesses, pains, sorrows, failures, and also acts of heroism. The conflicts in tragedies were mostly a consequence of fate. The Greek Tragedy passed through four distinct forms such as: the Thespian lyrical (the primary form which introduced the use of masks, with only one actor,) the early Aeschylean with two actors (also called the Old Tragedy,) the Sophoclean with three actors (also called the Middle Tragedy,) and the late-Euripidean drama (also called the New Tragedy).

Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripedes are the best-known Greek tragedy play authors, explaining why the classical periods were named after them. Each of them wrote over ninety tragedies (although only few survived) and won several festivals in Athens.

Aeschylus (525–456 BC) was born at Eleusius, near Athens. He fought for Athens in the great Persian Wars. His first victory as a tragic dramatist was gained in 485 BC. He won twelve times more. He elaborated over ninety plays, his masterpiece, the Oresteia, is the only trilogy that has survived. In his drama, “Aeschylus confronts and resolves the opposition between several seemingly irreconcilable polarities – Olympian and chthonian gods, divine and human justice, religious cult and civic ritual, and fate and free will (Matthews, p. 63).”

Sophocles (496-406 BC) was born at Colonus Hippius. He wrote 123 plays, of which only seven survived, all written after his victory over Aeschylus in a dramatic contest in 468 BC: Ajax, Electra, Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Sophocles inaugurated the Old Tragedy adding one more actor in scene. He sees not the simplicity but the complexity of life. The Sophoclean hero, because he is complex, not single-minded, must be seen from more than one point of view, so it is important the role of one more actor on stage.

Euripides (480-406 BC) was born in Athens. He abandoned painting for literature. He wrote about 80 dramas, of which 19 survived. Some of his masterpieces are Alcestis, Medea, Orestes, and Electra. His works became more popular in Athens after his death. The Euripidean tragedy got more involved by the Peloponnesian war and by the Sophist philosophy. He introduced what it is called the New Tragedy, a more intuitive work. His plays are reflections about human experiences, traditional mythology, and human consciousness. Macbeth of Shakespeare has a strong influence from Medea.

Drama was not necessarily an original feature of the festivals at which it was performed. Comedies were performed in the Dionisya Festival just as the tragedies were. Tragedy had first place, occupying the theater for three days, on each of which were performed three tragedies and followed by a satyr-play (presenting indecent behavior and strong language) or a comedy.

Aristophanes is a very important name of the classic Greek Comedy Theater. In his works, he attacked the Athenian system of law, ridiculed politicians of that time, and caricaturized the intellectual and ordinary men. Aristophanes helped creating what it was called later ‘the old comedy’. This term means comedy produced in Athens during the fifth century BC. Eupolis, Cratinus and Aristophanes are its main exponents, but had no doubt that Aristophanes was the greatest of the three. Here is the beginning of one of his great plays: “Lysistrata:”




“[A street in Athens before daylight]
LYSISTRATA – If anyone had asked them to a festival of Aphrodite or of Bacchus or of Pan, you couldn’t get through Athens for the tambourines, but now there’s not one solitary woman here. Except my next-door neighbor. Here she’s coming out. Hello, Kalonike.

ALONIKE – Hello, Lysistrata. What are you so upset about? Don’t scowl so, clear. You’re less attractive when you knit your brows and glare.

LYSISTRATA – I know, Kalonike, but I am smoldering with indignation at the way we women act. Men think we are so gifted for all sort of crime that we will stop at nothing –

KALONIKE – Well, we are, by Zeus!”


In Old Comedy, plays had a strong element of criticism, even though free speech had its limitations in Athens. In Lysistrata, Aristophanes points out the absurdity of the prolonged Peloponnesian war. “In the play, Lysistrata, an Athenian matron, persuades the women of Athens and Sparta to withhold sex from their husbands until they sign a peace treaty (Matthews, p65).”

How important is the Greek tragedy for later Western literature and thought? The production of plays such as Medea or Oedipus the King is made until recent times. The intellectual and aesthetic contributions of these works are infinite. Greek tragedies influenced not only plays (Shakespeare and Goethe) and operas, but also thinkers as varied as Freud, Sartre and Nietzche. A book on Greek tragedy may be a work of historical documentation or of literary criticism, although the relationship between anthropology and the Classics (tragedies), for instance, has brought more than that. The studies in tragedies have explained the idea of ritual and of, so called by anthropologists, “magic thoughts”. The critical understanding of Greek tragedy is extremely flexible. It is possible to explore them politically, historically, in psychoanalysis, in linguistics, in philology and so forth.

Plato and Aristotle developed extensive thoughts concerning tragedies. In Aristotle’s work called Poetics, he affirms that the essential thing in tragedy was not the characters but the events, the fable, the mythos, and the action compounded from it. For him the preeminent example, which he repeatedly cites as model tragedy, was Sophocle’s Oedipus, in which the action, the “destiny”, takes precedence over character. This is why the Greek drama perpetuates in History. The capacity of becoming modern lies in its actions. According to Aristotle, tragedy plays are eternal for conceiving and portraying man in his universal conflicts such as: surviving, death, human justice, humiliation, sexuality, power, free will, weakness, fears, and so on. It consists in the simple idea that it is no accident that the Greek tragedy survived as creative stimulus in the drama of later eras.

Bibliography

1. KITTO, H. D. F., “Greek Tragedy.” Barnes and Noble Inc., 1968.

2. MATTHEWS, T. Roy and PLATT, F. Dewitt, “The Western Humanities.” Michigan State University, 2000.

3. ARISTOPHANES, “Lysistrata.” Chandler Publishing Company, 1961.

4. RIDGEWAY, William, “The Origin of Tragedy.” Benjamin Blom Inc., 1966.

5. HAMBURGER, Kate, “From Sophocles to Sartre.” Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1969.

6. “Greek Tragedy.” Cambridge University Press, 1997

7. LATTIMORE, Richmond, “Story Patterns in Greek Tragedy.”

The University of Michigan Press, 1964.

8. SANDBACH, F. H., “The Comic Theater of Greece and Rome.” Norton and Company Inc., 1977.

9. ARISTOTELES, “Poeticas.” Editora Siciliano, 1985.

10. AYLEN, Leo, “The Greek Theater.” London and Toronto Associated Presses, 1985.

Friday, February 11, 2005

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MONTH

While reading an excellent novel named "The Color of Water" by James McBride, I felt needed to write about what this month represents to all African-Americans. I don't even know exactly where my roots come from. Every time someone asks my heritage, the only thing I can say is "I AM LATINA." For those who have eventually read my other post already know that I had spent 5 years in the USA (1998-2002). There, I had the unique chance to learn so much about their civil rights heroes, names such as: MALCOM X, PAUL ROBESON, JACKIE ROBINSON, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, THE BLACK PANTHERS. They were exquisite minds of the 50's who made the difference for the African-American people. The fact that touched me the most is the one known as The Montgomery Bus Boycott. I will paste here a summarized text about this brave black woman - ROSA PARKS - also a very important character for the 50's. To me, as being LATINA (once part of the USA minorities), I do believe I needed to mention this so interesting moment in the western history and especially in this month - FEBRUARY - when African-Americans celebrate proudly their heritage and origins.

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

On the 1st of December 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African-American seamstress, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not standing and letting a white bus rider take her seat.

It was an "established rule" in the American south (at that time) that African-American riders had to sit at the back of the bus. African-American riders were also expected to surrender their seat to a white bus rider if it was needed.

When asked to move to let a white bus rider be seated Mrs. Parks refused. She did not argue and she did not move. The police were called and Mrs. Parks was arrested
Mrs. Parks was not the first African-American to be arrested for this "crime." But she was the first to be arrested who was well know in the Montgomery African-American community. She was once the secretary to the president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. He and other African-American community leaders felt a protest of some kind was needed. A meeting was called and an overflowing crowd came to the church to hear his words. Dr. King told the crowd that the only way they could fight back would be to boycott the bus company.

On the morning of Dec. 5, the African-American residents of the city refused to use the buses. Most walked, those few with cars arranged rides for friends and strangers, some even rode mules. Only a very small number of African-Americans rode the bus that day.

Dr. King and the other African-American community leaders held another meeting to organize future action. They named their organization the Montgomery Improvement Association and elected Dr. King as its president.

As the boycott continued the white community fought back with terrorism and harassment. The car-pool drivers were arrested for picking up hitchhikers. African-Americans waiting on street corners for a ride were arrested for loitering.
On January 30, 1956 Dr. King's home was bombed. His wife and their baby daughter escaped without injury. When Dr. King arrived home he found an angry mob waiting. Dr. King told the crowd to go home.

"We must learn to meet hate with love" he said.

The boycott continued for over a year. It eventually took the United States Supreme Court to end the boycott. On November 13, 1956 the Court declared that Alabama's state and local laws requiring segregation on buses were illegal. On December 20th federal injunctions were served on the city and bus company officials forcing them to follow the Supreme Court's ruling. The following morning, December 21, 1956, Dr. King and Rev. Glen Smiley, a white minister, shared the front seat of a public bus. The boycott had lasted 381 days. The boycott was a success.

FROM: http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0214631/

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Nine Inch Nails

I've never thought that I would add a song* into my blog. Don't know about you, but I can only listen to it when I navigate on Explorer browser. Any other browser isn't running the song I've chosen. Can't explain exactly why I chose "THE PERFECT DRUG", however NIN is one of my favorite bands. I don't really have a list of my all-time favorite musicians, even though I have added some of them in my blog profile. I am not into music mostly, so I am the type of person who sticks with a CD of any band and like listening to it countless times a day. That's not the case of this song frankly speaking. The words in that music are tantalizing, that is probably the reason I've decided to have a connection between my words and theirs (NIN). Finally, if anyone can explain to me why I am not able to listen to this song in other browsers, please contact me or post any comment - I'd really appreciate if you could do that!


"The Perfect Drug"
by NINE INCH NAILS

I got my head but my head is unraveling
cant keep control can't keep track of where it's traveling
I got my heart but my heart's no good
you're the only one that's understood

I come along but I don't know where you're taking me
I shouldn't go but you're wrenching dragging shaking me
turn off the sun pull the stars from the sky
the more I give to you the more I die

and I want you

you are the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug

you make me hard when i'm all soft inside
I see the truth when i'm all stupid-eyed
the arrow goes straight through my heart
without you everything just falls apart

my blood just wants to say hello to you
my fear is warm to get inside of you
my soul is so afraid to realize
how every little bit is left of me

take me with you
without you everything just falls apart
it's not as much fun to pick up the pieces


*Note - After having several problems with other browsers and poor quality at the music reproduction, I've decided to remove it either temporarily or permanently.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

MY COMPLETE PROFILE

WRITING

ABOUT MY

SUPERFICIAL

ME...


ABOUT ME: PROFILES AREN'T GREAT TO DEFINE WHAT A PERSON IS OR ISN'T. ANYWAY, THEY ARE AT LEAST AN ORGANIZED MATERIAL TO POINT OUT WHAT IT MIGHT MATTER FOR THAT PERSON. I CARE FOR KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, MY SISTERS, TEACHING, WRITING, READING, INTERNET, FOOD, DRINKING, MOVIES, CLOSE FRIENDS AND CONVERTING ACCOMPLISHMENTS PLUS DISAPPOINTMENTS INTO WORDS IN FREAKO POEMS.

MORE ABOUT ME: I TRY TO BE IN A GOOD MOOD ALL THE TIME BUT SOMETIMES I FAIL. I PROCRASTINATE DOING WHATEVER I HAVE TO. I DON'T USUALLY REMEMBER PEOPLE'S BIRTHDAY THEREFORE I GET REALLY EMBARRASSED WHEN THEY REMEMBER MINE. I LOVE MY ENTIRE FAMILY ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE TRADITIONALLY LIVE APART. I PRODUCE BETTER WHEN I'M ALONE, I GET THE BEST IDEAS WHEN I'M SURROUNDED. I DON'T LIKE ARGUMENTS AND MISSUNDERSTANDINGS. I DISLIKE THE SILENCE ALTHOUGH I DON'T LISTEN TO MUSIC VERY OFTEN. I DREAM OF HAVING A PUBLISHED NOVEL.FINALLY, I HAVE ALREADY HAD MOST OF MY GOALS TURNED INTO REAL PROJECTS, AND I AM ONLY 28 - THAT'S SOMETHING I AM PROUD OF.

NAME: LAILA CHRIS

MARITAL STATUS: MARRIED, NO CHILDREN

D. O. B.: JANUARY 29TH

BORN IN: BRAZIL, STATE OF SÃO PAULO

OCCUPATION: FULL-TIME ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGUE TEACHER

PASSIONS: *WRITING/ *Teaching English to kids and teenagers/ *Learning new words in English, Deutsch, Français, Español, and Português!/ *Meeting fun old friends / *Monty Python's Flying Circus / *Sleeping until late / *Having Bolla wine and bites of camembert cheese topped with roasted red bell pepper /

BOOKS: Torah/ Qur'an/ Tira-Teimas de Português, by J. Milton Gonçalves/ A Questão Judaica, by Jean Paul Sartre / The Battle for God, by Karen Armstrong / The Arab Predicament / A Questão Alemã, Vamireh Chacon / The Future of an Illusion & The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud /

MUSIC: Polka, Indie Rock, and Quarashi (a kick-ass Icelandic BAND)

MOVIES: CECIL B. DEMENTED / AMARCORD / ED GEIN / ROPE / MEMENTO / FARGO / 8 1/2 / BICHO DE SETE CABEÇAS/ THE BIRTH OF A NATION / DONNIE DARKO / THE PAWNSHOP / DER HIMMEL ÜBER BERLIN /

HATE: SUMMER TIME AND ANY SORT OF WARM WEATHER, RACISM, LACK OF INTEREST IN THE WORLD AND IN PEOPLE, DISRESPECT, DRIVING, MANICURING MY NAILS, IGNORANCE, WAKING UP EARLY, LOOKING DOWN ON PEOPLE, OTHERS TELLING ME WHAT I HAVE TO DO, INSECT BITES, PHYSICHAL PAIN, BRAGGING AND VOMITING.

NAMES THAT HAVE INFLUENCED ME: J. M. GONÇALVES; FERNANDO PESSOA; GARCIA LORCA; LUIZA VALENZUELA; MAIAKOVYSKI; TOLSTOY; UMBERTO ECO; FRIDA KAHLO; FAULKNER; EDGAR A. POE; CHARLES SPENCER CHAPLIN; CLARICE LISPECTOR; ALLIGHIERI; FREUD; EDNA PURVIANCE; MARIO PRATA; ISAAC EPSTEIN; DAVID BOWIE; ALAIN TOURAINE; KUBRICK; NIETZCHE; JUDY DENCH; POLANSKI; HEMINGWAY; BEAUVOIR; SHAKESPEARE; JOHN CLEESE; PIERCE; BARTHES; SAUSSURE; DRUMMOND; SUSAN SONTAG; MARLON BRANDON; SAMUEL BECKETT; OSCAR WILDE; FRITZ LANG; NOAM CHOMSKY; GOYA; MUNCH; MIRO; BURROUGHS; BORTOLOTTO; MAGRITTE; KANDINSKY; NERUDA; POLLACK; DALI; CHICO SCIENCE & NAÇÃO ZUMBI/

Thursday, February 3, 2005

My listening skills...

Untittled so far...

Fuck all the arguments for and against it
but I won’t give up seeking my inner self
my deeper beliefs
my own true personality
Love to relish the small domestic
details of life: obvious chores and
even sharing nightdreams
I like close-up shots of others' stories
I love observing beings out there
I care for helping and listening
However I don't recklessly do those
I don't randomly give out my attention to
those who can't add in me something intense,
emotional, fullfiling, and dazzling
I may say that I choose carefully
I handpick the ones who deserve my time
My time is only mine and not yours
So, don't mess with it
Because I don't.


Wording Tuesday

scaf·fold·ing ˈskafəldiNG/ noun a temporary structure on the outside of a building, made usually of wooden planks and metal poles, used b...