King Lear

English

The Christmas holiday is finally here, and I have the next two weeks off. The last days at school have been very busy, as I have been working on “King Lear”, a famous play by William Shakespeare.

2000px-Tudor_Crown_(Heraldry).svg (1)The play is extremely difficult to read because Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) wrote this in “Old English” which is a language that is no longer in use. On top of the already difficult language, every character in the play has a unique way of speaking. For example, “the fool” and “Tom the madman” always speak only in riddles, so whatever they say can have several different meanings. Our English teacher helped us to understand the most difficult parts of the text, so that we weren’t completely lost.

But now that we’re finally done with the book, after countless hours of highlighting important lines, summarizing chapters and discussing the meaning and the quotes in class, I’m actually a bit sad but also relieved.

stockfresh_1412216_3d-angel-and-devil_sizexs_d47e60So what does “King Lear” tell us? How a simple action, a small mistake can have terrible consequences. It also teaches us that we should try to make rational and logical decisions and not be guided by our own flaws of character. Without revealing too much about the story, just remember that the main character in the play becomes the victim of his own ambitions, driven by decisions that are not based on rational thought. But I would really like to encourage you to either read the book yourself or see one of the many plays. It’s a good story and also you’ll be able to show off in front of your friends by reciting “King Lear” quotes!

shakespeare-blog-cartoonHaving finally finished the book is both a blessing and a curse. We had to write a five page essay about the play. Now you also know why there have not been so many posts in the last couple of days. As usual, I first had to write the essay on my computer and run it through the spell-checker, so as to avoid any typos. Unfortunately, the essay has to be written by hand so I had to copy everything back to paper in my best handwriting (not the world-war II style, I’m used to). It took forever, but now it’s done and to quote “King Lear”: “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.”

Last weekend, I went bowling. The timing was slightly inconvenient because I had my essay I was working on but this was a mandatory EF event. I had some trouble finding the bowling centre, and I arrived 15 minutes late. As you know, being late is not common for a Swiss person. Swiss people like to eat chocolate and cheese for breakfast, they only drink milk from their own cow and they are never ever late. Staying in Ireland has changed me, I’m becoming more Irish!

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I won the game against the other EF exchange students and the main prize was the last piece of delicious pizza. It was great fun and we also talked about the next EF excursion in February, which will take us across the border to Belfast and the famous “Titanic Museum”. I’m already looking forward to that!

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Gulliver’s Travels

English

ee661831b246a5cfb838a05ae301375247007371549721cd86ae76d99598b623Today is a good day! Do you know why? Because as I was checking my school diary, I noticed that I have a holiday coming up. This is called the “mid-term break” and I’m looking forward to it. There is also a disadvantage to this because every teacher wants to introduce a final test before the end of the term. So it’s going to be a busy week for me but after Friday I have a full week off.

On Saturday, me and a couple of friends will be going to the cinema to watch a movie called “Annabelle”. It’s a horror movie about a supernatural doll with evil powers.  I’m not including a link to the trailer because I know that many of my blog readers are young children (including my younger brothers back home) and the movie is rated ’18 only’.

philosophy-vs-religionThe religion classes here are quite different from the ones in Switzerland. In Switerland we actually learn stuff about the different religions like Bhuddism, Hinduism, Islam etc. Here we just talk about gender roles, society and similar topics. Why do they call this ‘Religion class’? So far we have never even talked about religion.

Today is the 21st of October. I have been here for two months already. EF told us that we would experience homesickness, especially around Christmas. They gave us tips on how to cope, what to do etc. But so far I haven’t really missed home. Of course, I do miss my family but it’s not as bad as EF told us it could be.

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…it could be!

334194Remember when I told you, that our school is too poor to afford a sports hall? Today I found out that there’s another school right next to us. It is a primary school and they do have a sports hall. Apparently they have more money than we do.  When it’s very cold we are now sometimes allowed to use this hall and today was one of those days. I have not been to this sports hall before, I have only seen it from the outside. So I’m full of expectations. Will they have the latest and greatest equipment? How many minutes will it take to run from one end of the hall to the other? As we enter the hall, I’m disappointed. It’s incredibly small. In just seven tiny steps I can reach the other end. It’s for primary school kids, they have tiny hands and feet – I guess it makes sense for them. This reminds me of the story of “Gulliver’s travels”. For us “giants” there is not enough space even to play football. So we play dodgeball instead. Basically, this means that you have to try and hit your fellow students with a ball. I’m quite good at dodging the ball and my friends are annoyed as they fail to hit me even once.

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Stay tuned for more information about the game, it’s rules and highlights in tomorrow’s post.

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