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Farz_B (London, England)

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Getting the Buggers to Write
Getting the Buggers to Write
by Sue Cowley
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to inspire every teacher to get their students to effectively express themselves, 31 Aug. 2006
I have heard of the series written by the author, including the well-known title 'Getting the Buggers to Behave'. These books are in almost every trainee teacher's reading list, and it isn't difficult to see why.

Sue Cowley's clear, inspiring writing takes you into the practical setting that is the classroom and converts useful tips that can be used just when you need them. It does not tire readers down with inapplicable theory or hard to implement techniques. It is an inspiring read, full of creative ideas, and genuinely covers what beginning teachers (and indeed experienced teachers needing a boost) look for in getting their class motivated to write. Different areas are covered in separate sections, clearly, making it relatively easy to refer back when needed. Content ranges from giving students a reason to write to employing successful techniques to improve their writing, and from creating the right mood to write in and writing that is relevant to them, to giving effective feedback for improvement.

Definitely one for English teachers to use almost everyday, in classroom techniques, lesson plan ideas and at those tough essay times, including before exam revisions. Other non-English teachers will also benefit from the book when their students need to complete any written assignment at all.

Medea and Other Plays : Medea; Hecabe; Electra; Heracles (Penguin Classics)
Medea and Other Plays : Medea; Hecabe; Electra; Heracles (Penguin Classics)
by Euripides
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of tragedy, 22 April 2006
I had to read both Medea and Hecabe as part of background reading to some courses on Greek Mythology and Shakespeare during my degree. 'Medea' came as a surprise offshoot mythological tale to the aftermath of Jason (from the Argonauts) and Medea's union towards the end of Apollonius' 'Jason and the Golden Fleece'. The romantic, flowery love affair we see at the end of the tale turns out a sordid, tragic affair some 10 years later in Euripides' version after they're married with children. Betrayal, jealousy, self-doubt and eventual infanticide and suicide makes it one of the most horrific tales of human tragedy.

What makes Euripides so brilliant is his very human portrayal of the characters. You feel for them, you empathize with them, and you can anticipate their every emotional decision and thoughts of self-reflection. 'Hecabe', similarly deals with the immediate aftermath of the Trojan War and the death of the Trojans at the hands of the Achaens. Hecuba is the wife of Priam and mother of all the major Trojan warriors: Hector, Paris, Aeneus. She is grieving for the death of her husband and all her sons, except one and her daughter. She witness their deaths too, and her agony at the merciless hands of the Greeks (including Odysseus, whom we see here as very severe and inhumane, in contrast to his central heroic role in The Odyssey) make her suffering tragic beyond words. It was recently played in the West End by two productions in 2005.

I would suggest this book simply for the mastery of Euripides and his psychological dimension in human tragedy. Just because it is 'ancient' literature and a translation of the old Greek, does not in any way detract it from being so relevant and significant to the modern world. Raw human emotions, and you don't get that in today's literature much.

Motorola V3i O2 - Pay As You Go Mobile Phone
Motorola V3i O2 - Pay As You Go Mobile Phone

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best phone I've ever had, 21 April 2006
Awesome phone. First one I've had with a camera and full multi-media system, and a real good choice at that. The price is a bit far-fetching, but it is definitely worth every penny.

The sleek design, with its cool metallic colour and slim feel in one's hands, in itself speaks volumes about its worth. The features are standard, precise and flawless. The camera is a 1.3 Megapixel with clear resolution. Although a higher 2.0 Megapixel is available with the newer Motorola V3x, the sleek design and general user-friendliness isn't all there as in the v3i. Video capture, playback and storage are all great, with maximum record of up to the space available in the memory. The 246 MB memory card that comes with the phone allows for music, video and photo storage, that can also be inserted into a laptop device. There is also a USB cable that comes with the phone that allows you to connect it to any computer or laptop, just as any external drive would work. Through this way you are able to readily download songs from the iTunes playlist on the computer, or transfer large picture or video files from the memory card, saving space for future use.

Although I primarily bought the phone for the camera feature, I will have to say the sound/music quality is unparalleled. I was amazed by the crystal clear sounds with the iTunes playlist, and any recorded video shot, which also allows for a long length of playback time before recharging. (each day or even 2 days after)

Bluetooth enabled, internet, voice record and recognition, polyphonic ringtones, mms, games, usb connection to computer or laptop for software uploads (including iTunes)....makes it all worthwhile and standard of all the good features you can expect from a phone. I have had no problems with it. I just love the design - generous colour screen, and there's a tiny display screen at front when closed. Keypads are unlike the usual buttons... they're metallic and flat, making it smooth and easy to navigate.

....recommend every bit. I love this phone!

Persuasion (Penguin Classics)
Persuasion (Penguin Classics)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more resigned, mature Austen writing, 13 Mar. 2006
This was the last of Austen's novels that I read, and accordingly, one of the last that Austen herself wrote, at a time when she was ill and resigned to bed months before her death. It was published posthumously, together with Northanger Abbey, an early novel that she wrote.

Reflecting this corresponding state in herself somehow, the book carries a tone of gravity and experienced maturity that Anne Elliot, the heroine, portrays with a love that is only reconciled many years after its initial formation and breakup. At 28, she is definitely the oldest of Austen's heroines, and thus we see a more constrained, yet delicate relationship between her and Frank Wentworth.

True to say, I enjoyed this book, as all other Austen's novels. One can readily notice the difference in tone and character from her earlier, more popular novels so do not be disheartened if it is not the usual sprightly plot or the young, gregarious heroine.

Gandhi: 'Hind Swaraj' and Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in Modern Politics)
Gandhi: 'Hind Swaraj' and Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in Modern Politics)
by Mohandas Gandhi
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of one of the greatest leaders of all time, 13 Mar. 2006
Before having read his Autobiography (The Story of My Experiments with Truth), this was Gandhi's first seminal work I read, and which introduced me to the large part of his thoughts, philosophies and (political or otherwise) ideals. In retrospect, I find this body of work far more insightful into his passionionate ideals and matters that were close to his heart.
Indeed, having written the major part of this original book (in Gujarati) on a sea voyage from South Africa, he himself claims it may be a sweep of passion which he hopes would not detract the reader from a more clearer perspective of his views. However, this very passion and soul that is echoed throughout the work is what stands out and inspires in the reader the values and ideals Gandhi stood for.
He describes in different chapters his various values, such as Ahimsa and Satyagraha (resisting authority or injustice through means of non-violence) and the necessity of putting truth into action, achieved through means of uncompromising support for truth in not only one's words but in its expression in one's life itself. 'Hind Swaraj', the title itself, refers to the self-rule of India, which he speaks to some length, and the ways in which India might gain that for herself. To this end, he criticises greatly the education of western civilisation that ignores the divine or moral. He disapproves of western education to the extent that he believes India's progression lies in its total removal from the present education system. He also criticises technology (such as railways and machinery) and urges man's move back to working hard manually, 'utilizing one's own hands', for such tasks as agriculture. This physical labour he says allows for growth and a genuine appreciation for work one does.
Though at times he grows too idealistic, and carried away without appreciating the genuine technological advances or education system in India which have helped in its progress and indeed shaped his own outlook in life, his spirit of urging for the personal responsibility that India has to take for her own plight is suggested throughout the book. Politically, he discusses the equality of all Indians, in particular all Hindus and Muslims, as he seeks to express a brotherhood of all as an answer to the kind of conflicts that have torn the country.
This work of his gets a '5 star' for not only his clarity and simplicity of writing, but more for the genuine appreciation of all that this man has stood for, such as his undeniable belief in truth and its gracious benefits, all of which are immensely relevant to and a lesson for our own day.

Jason and the Golden Fleece (The Argonautica) (Oxford World's Classics)
Jason and the Golden Fleece (The Argonautica) (Oxford World's Classics)
by Apollonius of Rhodes
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shorter, sweeter and varied in theme, 11 Mar. 2006
Having seen the Jason London movie many years earlier, his face stuck in my mind as the hero for most part of reading this book. This beats the classical mythology canon in Apollonius' shorter, less convoluted and more modern plot, being written some 700 years after Homer. Although the actual mythological plotline is a much older tale than the story of Troy.
I enjoyed this story immensely, and wrote my final essay on the book. It reads much like an adventure/travel story among the hero and his friends, on a voyage to locate/redeem the Golden Fleece. They travel through the Mediterranean and ancient parts of Greece, Europe and Africa, emerging from obstacles and dangers, including the famous crashing rocks. Not withstanding the story's ancience and style of writing, it could easily be adapted to a modern movie setting, or children's flick like 'The Treasure Planet'.
The fourth and final chapter, with the entrance of Medea and her falling for Jason is a classical love story of its times. Read Euripides' 'Medea' to get the more gory, alternative ending to this mythological (happier) tale when Medea and Jason get married, some 10 years down the line.

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