Thursday, July 29, 2010

A view of Barcelona in the 1930's

It was five years since I had been in Barcelona. In 1932, the revolution had already been in progress two years. Yet the changes to be observed in the externals of its life were few. The native bootblack who had shined my shoes as I stepped off the train then had expressed it succinctly: "The revolution? The king is gone, yes, but otherwise what is changed? Nada, nada."

Albert Weisbord was a Jewish American activist who visited Catalonia a number of times and wrote about the class struggle in particular.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sisters are doing it

Girls earn better grades and have less tendency to repeat courses. Women are the majority in Spanish universities…and they dedicate more time to make studying a priority.

A report by Gloria López (AmecoPress) on work by the Institute of Women in the Asturias region.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More languages in Spain?

Muslims in the Spanish autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast are now calling for official recognition of Darija (Moroccan Arabic) and Tamazight, the language of the Berber people.

Their biggest supporters should be those Catalan people who already have their language as a major part of public life here. (I am proud that my son learns Catalan as his major language at school.)

I have heard Berber spoken before and was struck by its’ murmuring vowel sounds and cadences full of long S’s.

Making sure that smaller languages thrive across the planet is just as important as maintaining the rich biodiversity of living creatures.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My latest article from this month's "Catalonia Today"

Post Power-Point Trauma Syndrome

Have you ever sat through and silently suffered during a PowerPoint presentation?

Most likely, you have more than a few times. Together with ten other teachers, I have been asked (or is it told?) to do a PowerPoint presentation about my History elective subject for secondary level students at the international school where I teach, near Barcelona.

I will not do it.

Read more: Link here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is "the Spanish mind" contradictory?

A survey of Spanish social attitudes shows a mixture of liberal and conservative outlooks…

More than 60% of Spaniards between 15 and 64 years of age are in partial or complete favour of euthanasia, but only 21% view suicide as permissible, a study titled Social values and drugs presented in Madrid yesterday, shows.

Of 1,200 people surveyed for the report, carried out by anti-drug organizations alongside Caja Madrid’s social foundation, 54% agreed that there should be total freedom to abort a pregnancy, but only 44% said that same-sex relationships should be permitted.

Just 46% of those polled said they were against the death penalty for serious crimes, a significant increase since 2001.

[Raquel Seco in El Pais.]