Obama’s Inaugural Speech

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We were in class when the now President of America was giving his inaugural speech. I tried to connect to different televisions so we could watch live but it was impossible. I think it must have been the most demanded speech in the history of Internet. But here it is, available to us to watch only a few hours later. And with the transcript, as well.

Do you feel as optimistic and enthusiastic as the vast majority of the world? O do you feel apprehensive because he’s bound to disappoint us because politics is politics?

Watch the video (read the transcript if you think you need it) and tell us what are for you the most remarkable points in his speech.

If you want to check how well you understand the vocabulary in the speech, do this exercise prepared by my friend and colleague Reyes  and posted in Maribel’s blog (Team work is fabulous! Thanks to both)

‘The Candidate’: A picture of American political campaigns?

Posted by María Valdés

In the film “The Candidate” (1972), Robert Redford personified a new way of approaching a political campaign, which seems to predict  what the new USA president-elect Barak Obama managed to do in the recent 2008 elections.

As the NY Times film critic A.O. Scott says, the film reflects the “obsession with the internet of politics” and the “emergence of political consultants as a media celebrity”. This is a tendency  which seems to be present in the current state of politics not just in the USA.

However, the picture that reminded me of president-elect Obama was the scene when Robert Redford’s character has just won the election and is sitting in a room, with enthusiastic voters waiting for him to make an appearance. His political consultant is euphoric. But the senator-elect, looking far from happy, asks him: “What do we do now?”.

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Love and Marriage

I found this video by chance (how else, on the Internet?) and I agree so wholeheartedly with the presenter (Keith Olbermann) that I decided to post it here.

I’m not very sure if it’s going to start a debate. I think it should, considering the results of the Proposition 8.

In fact I’m not even sure you (my students, if anybody reads this it’s going to be you) are going to watch the whole video. Please, do. And when you do, tell us that you think.

As a listening exercise, I would like to challenge you with a double question: Why should the term marriage be redefined in the USA? / How and why has the word been redefined in the past?

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(You can read the transcript here.)

Sending up the economic crisis

Two British comedians sending up the current economic situation and the way the financial world handled it. It’s so good that you end up believing they are real and then you stop smiling!

If you don’t understand it very well you can always watch the subtitled version.

(This post was originally published in November, but since we are dealing with the topic of money in class, I thought it would be a good idea to have a second look at it. If you didn’t see it then, you can’t miss it now! It’s incredible!)