Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We often make assumptions about others. How could that be harmful?

By Valentina García (The World in English elective)

Making assumptions is something that we do on a daily basis because that is how our society and our life works. When you meet someone for the first time, when you see people fighting with each other, when you see someone cry or when you start to think about reasons why people are the way they are. In all of those scenarios we are making assumptions because we really do not know how the other person is feeling, or why are the acting or behaving that way, but we intend to give an explanation with whatever thoughts or ideas we have about that person.

The important thing about assumptions is that you do not stick to them because in that case, you will not be able to see how people really are. Sometimes we “marry” ourselves with that assumption or that single story, like Chimamanda Adichie explained on her Ted Talk of The Danger of a Single Story, and doing that is completely harmful because you are not only limiting yourself to discover new thing but also, you are identifying that person with just that version of yours that might or might not be true. In most of the cases, that single story is not the whole story of a person and we, as intelligent, reasonable and good human beings, should give ourselves the opportunity to get to know their whole story in order to have a most accurate opinion or point of view about a situation in particular.

So, how we stop making assumptions? Dr Marcia Sirota, a doctor who specializes in health and wellness, says that all we have to do is pause as we’re jumping to our conclusions and ask ourselves, “How do I know this?” If the answer to that question is anything other than “I learned it through observing the evidence or through obtaining factual information,” then we’re at risk of making an incorrect assumption. In that case we need to stop and do our “own fact-checking” before deciding that we know something, so we cannot be blind with some story that might not be true.

There are some basic questions we should ask ourselves, or some tips, as you want to take them:
- Stay open minded and put all your efforts in understanding the real story of other person.
- Try to find out as much as you can if you have some doubts or questions because if you do not ask, you will never know.
- And the most important one, try to learn new thing as much as you can because that is what keeps our lives going.

Led Zeppelin: one of the most important bands in history

By David Villalobos

“If the sun refused to shine I would still be loving you,” Led Zeppelin rain or shine is still on of the most iconic bands in rock music. They produced some of the most delightful lyrics of their genre, and brought to life a new sounds by mixing different genres. They composed songs of great length, filled with deep meaning, Jimmy Page, along with his fellow band members, John Bonham, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones founded the identity of the ‘magnificent rock band.’

I like being direct when I argue something, “cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.” Led Zeppelin is more than just a rock band: it had feelings. The band wisely took inspiration from the origins of rock and blues and mixed them with new sounds in order to make rock more progressive and fresh. Led Zeppelin combined roughly four different genres, folk, blues, hard rock and metal to make the sound that made them different in the music industry. 

It was mixing of sounds and genres that made Led Zeppelin so original, at the time when many other bands were famous and considered ‘the best,’ but nobody was doing what Zeppelin was doing. With his ability to reach extremely high notes and effortlessly create beautiful falls, Robert Plans was able to bring a special sound and quality to Zeppelin’s lyrics. Plant’s ability to tell a story in which every word, every noise that came out of his mouth was a story worth telling makes Led Zeppelin one of the legendary rock bands of all time.

 “There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west and my spirit is cryin’ for leaving”
These lyrics, from the song Stairway to Heaven are an example of the poetry and literary sophistication which not only gave Zeppelin fans, fame and fortune, but also gave them a a place in modern music that will never be forgotten.

Led Zeppelin is a band that revolutionised music forever. It introduced a new sounds and way of performing that is seen to this day, and will most likely be seen for many years to come. Their originality, creativity and innovation make them one of the most important bands in music history.

Pets as Therapy

By Danny Montañez (level 4 English)

The main objective of the contact among people and the animals is improving the emotional quality of the human being and at the same time,  increase the self-confidence in them, when the people have a pet, at the beginnig is right but it has lost the motivation when the pet becomes adult. Increasing the homeless animals  around our city, but some people do not know that they are used like a therapy have a dog reduced the heart attack, have a cat reduced the stress and anxiety,  more of them are used for the treatments of depressives or people with little interaction with others.

The main animals for human treatments are:
1. Dogs.
2. Cats.
3. Horses.
4. Dolphins.

The main word for this therapy is known as zooterapia where we can consider that people, especially children have more benefits because they perform activities, and games where they learn and change negative attitudes such as aggression, nervousness, anxiety. It strengthens communication, increases confidence and reduces fears.

The best benefits that our pets can provide scientifically proven are:
Greater Empathy, have a focus on what goes on around, Improve relationships with others, to accept others, to entertain, socialize, receive stimuli to the brain and enjoying physiological benefits.
If you have a cat or dog you will have a trustful friend, because they thank the pet food, your love, your cares, and tolerance, they pay those things with full loyalty.

This therapy allows us to strengthen the parts of our body like our arms, legs, exercise our memories, and above all we are going to feel companionship of a pleasant life partner, because it will always accompany you in every moment of your life. Being with our pets lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, increases sense of humor, reduces anxiety levels and diseases. It also avoids coronary affections and is very good for children in the early stages. It has been proven that just having a cat in a house enhances the health of people, relaxes them and removes depression. A cat serves to recover people in stroke cases, reduces anxiety in extensive treatments such as chemotherapy, prevents depression, makes people feel busy, allows children with hearing or speech problems.

Every day we see how there are more animals in this world, where we can take advantage of them to provide a home, love, because like us, they also need to take advantage of every resource that life has given us.

In conclusion, the animals besides being a companionship are those parts of our life that help us to improve our life. In this part is where we must take care of each one of them, because we see in the street many homeless dogs and cats, which we can provide food, a home, and so provide us with a mutual help to improve life and thus help people who you need it.

Music while studying: Good or bad?

By Stephania Apolinar (The World in English elective)

Nowadays people are very into music, especially since we have better technology and opportunities to access to all genres and singers. But when it comes to studying, there is a discussion of doing it with or without music. Some people say that is better to listen to music that you don’t like in order to be concentrated; others say that if you’re studying, you need to be 100% focused and music could interrupt concentration or make the learning tedious. While few insure that music is indifferent, and it doesn’t interrupt the learning process. So, in who should we believe?

An expert from Stanford University says that music with lyrics affects our memory when we are reading or writing.  However, the effects could be positive if we are doing mathematics because the brain needs to be more active to solve problems, and that could be a good point if you’re not that good in math or similar subjects. Besides, other studies say that background music is good for children between the ages of 10 to 12, as long as it is relaxing and calm because if the music is exciting or aggressive, it could cause bad behavior and bad academic performance.

As students, is very common not to find a quiet place to study or to read, so we see ourselves forced to put on headphones and listen to music, so we can aisle a little the noise, this is a good alternative, it is better to have music than a noisy environment. The answer to our question is not that hard, it depends on your skills, your personality, your capacity for concentration and the kind of subject or reading you’re doing.

Finally, I’ll give you some tips, in case that you like to study listening to music, first, change the kind of the music depending on the subject, if you need to be more active it will be better to listen to music that makes you want to move. Second, create a playlist with mute music, that will help you to concentrate and you won't sing or distract with the lyrics. And last but not least, is good to control the volume, in order to hear your own thoughts.

The Seven Sūtras of the Dīgha Nikāya

By: Gabriela Montiel Fuentes (undergraduate FIGRI student, the World in English elective)

Bogota can be considered as a stressful city even for those who were born here, the daily living is full of conflicts between citizens, both on public transport and in the streets, and there is not a single corner of the city that does not suffer from the evil of the intolerance and despair. Thinking about this I bought a book about Nirvana which speaks of the Buddhist peace and how to achieve the way of absolute peace even in the midst of daily conflict life of a city like this, here is what I learned about Buddhism and the importance of being in a superior essence.

Throughout his teaching Buddha developed varying degrees of meditation, which becomes the ideal way to achieve Nirvana, also understood as a State of lighting that gives the liberation of earthly and worldly ties that oppress man in the duality of body and soul. The stages that the man must be overcome if it wants to achieve this higher State of consciousness are, firstly, small moral discipline, i.e. overcome by the man of violence to their peers and other creatures that inhabit the world. Secondly, the median discipline morality, which consists of overcoming the frivolities and superficial distractions offered by the world like the drink, gambling, and other worldly pleasures. Finally, the great moral discipline which means that man must be beyond all banal religious superstition (Dragonetti & Tola, 2010).

The first stage of meditation is the detachment to the banalities of earthly as superstition, pain, disease, frivolity, war and violence. Then in the second phase of meditation man reaches the full unification of the mind through concentration to continue to the third stage of meditation which involves the disappearance of joy, understood as an attachment or conditioning, which allows man to live "indifferent, attentive and self-conscious". Finally, the man can reach the fourth phase of the meditation, i.e. the mind pure, accompanied by the abandonment of the happiness and suffering, which has reached completely intuitive knowledge that gives you access to nirvana.

For Buddha, any man can meet with these four stages of meditation and can achieve divinity, which is not unique to the gods, but they can be allowed to man through the discipline and the release of all physical and mental conditioning. Likewise, it is essential to stress the importance within the doctrine of the control of the senses, of the abandonment of obstacles, of satisfaction, mental and extraordinary powers; ear knowledge divine, of the thoughts of others, past existences, divine eye and the destruction of impurities (Dragonetti & Tola, 2010).

This current encourages the cultivation of virtues, focusing on discipline, knowledge, and benevolence; focusing on the individual in order to find the liberation of desire, through detachment and progressive meditation towards abstraction. Buddhist ethics is basically based on the principles of no damage and moderation, i.e. not repress or not cling to anything. Practitioners of Buddhism should, thus, determine its act through the evaluation of if a fact or if any action could have a harmful or detrimental consequence to oneself or to others, i.e., they should avoid all actions likely to cause suffering or remorse because of the effort. Buddhist ethics is based, then, in five precepts: not to take anyone's life, not take what not belongs to me, not having a harmful sexual behavior, not telling lies and not consume intoxicants (Dragonetti & Tola, 2010).

At first glance, Buddhism seems difficult to practice, but I realized that it is only about live harmoniously with myself and those around me without doing harm to anyone, and I think that it is something we all can do. Buddhism goes beyond simple yoga poses and nor is to believe in gods, is simply a lifestyle choice Pacific and healthy. I recommend to all the inhabitants of this city, learn about Buddha and nirvana because I believe that it is indeed useful to learn how to respect others.

Pregnancy and Drugs

By Lorena Correa (7th Semester Social Communication student, level 4 English)

Using drugs during pregnancy can cause serious problems for the baby, as they can be born with abnormalities or die before birth. In addition, this can cause damage to the baby in its formation in the uterus and its growth can cause addiction.

However, women should not be judged to be using toxic substances and may cause harm to themselves and their babies. Therefore, the mother should have a healthy gestation process, and avoid the use of drugs in pregnancy.

The damage that the baby can have through each toxic substance is severe, because at birth it appears to be healthy. Each substance produces a different reaction to the baby. The most common drugs babies are exposed to are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, tobacco, and crack.

The consequences that babies have after their mothers consume toxic substances while they are pregnant, when the baby is exposed to marijuana or cocaine, the contraindications that occur are lack of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, this causes the child to be born with learning disabilities and attention disorders. Also, when they are born, they tend to be much smaller and lighter in weight and size than a healthy baby would be.

Other consequences that exist, is that with heroin the little ones develop the addiction since they are in the belly. These babies have withdrawal, irritability, tremors, abnormal movements, and poor self-control.

If we talk about the most common and legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, it can be said that the harms recorded in babies range from severe mental retardation, lack of concentration, delayed speech, hearing or seeing problems. It also decreases fetal respiratory movements, alters heart rate, and poses an increased risk of premature birth and miscarriage.

Link: English

By Alejandro Diaz Naranjo (The World in English elective)

Language is what set us apart from other living beings, allowing us to share information, knowledge and many other things. More than 7.000 languages are spoken in the world, it means that there are almost 7.000 cultures that have something to share (Tendencias Portafolio, 2013). As Wade Davis, and anthropologist at Harvard University, said: “There is other ways of living, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in earth” (Davis, 2003), and every single culture is important to the earth because it gives the humanity the opportunity to learn and expand the knowledge.

Therefore, how we can communicate with other cultures and learn from them?

With many languages in the world, English has become the most learned language, the importance of English has been growing exponentially, more and more universities have adopted English as their second language, they give classes in English and motivate their students to do writing and research in English. Hence the importance of English, because it has become the link between cultures and knowledge. 

Let is imagine that everyone speaks a different language, how difficult would be the communication and the development? It would be difficult. Mark Pagel gives a good example saying that the European Union use a permanent staff of 2.500 employees just to translate the 24 official languages (Pagel, 2011). English has become the link between cultures, the importance of share knowledge is bigger than ever, and the Internet allows us to learn, communicate and share almost with every corner in the world.

In conclusion, the need to standardize a language for everybody is growing every single day. As well as the metric system or the sixty system to measure time, the humanity needs one language to communicate, as Pagel said, it is our destiny, and I personally believe that (Pagel, 2011). One language is our destiny without making disappear other languages.