12 décembre 2017


Victoria, Part 2, consignes complémentaires.

document 4.

Problématique = Victoria's heroism after her husband's death: myth or reality?

1) Introduce the pb by interpreting the question of the nation: "how will the queen bear it"?

2) Focus on "the only thing that interested Victoria was to memorialize her husband in perpetuity". How heroic is it for a queen to do that? (find contrasted answers)

3) Focus on "she did so with aplomb", she became a respected figure of enduring dignity and fortitude." What aspect(s) of her life do historians consider as heroism? If it is heroic, how many similar heroes are there in the world?

4) Focus on "she became the familiar figure of the matriarchal widow". According to that expression, what happened in British homes and in British people's minds?

5) Focus on "grandmamma of Europe". What impression does it give about Europeans? Was it a true illustration of reality? (find contrasted answers)

6) Focus on the last sentence of the document and say what it tells you about the power of myth-making.

document 5.

What other aspects of Victorian England are more easily forgotten by English people today?


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09 décembre 2017


Queen Victoria, part 1.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 until 1901; it means she reigned 64 years.
It is incredible at that time because the life expectancy was very short.
During her time as queen, Victoria expanded the British Empire.
In 1837, England had conquered only Canada and some small regions all around the world, that is to say, nothing really amazing. On the contrary in 1900, at the end of her reign,  they had colonies all over the world like India , Australia, South Africa, eastern Africa, India ... The British Empire covered 20% of the planet’s surface, it was “an empire on which the sun never sets” according to some writers.
In terms of demography, in 1900, the world's population was 1.7 (dire “one point seven”) billion inhabitants, 400 million of them were part of the British empire, which represents 25 % percent of the world, it’s the equivalent of China today
The English population was proud of themselves and of their queen. Victoria was and is a national hero because she gave the impulse of all this expansion. At the end of her reign, English people felt much more powerful and proud compared to the moment when they lost America in 1783. America became independent and for the British Empire it was a massive loss and a shameful humiliation.
Of course, the British domination was not just territorial and demographic; it was also economic and political.
The industrial revolution started from Britain before Victoria's reign but it spread under her reign. This Revolution gave power to England and it became well known thanks to all the industry and all the new discoveries. Britain was the “Workshop of the world" meaning that it was the number one nation in terms of manufacturing and exporting because, thanks to their colonies, they had raw materials “at home”. Every production came from Britain, for example 50% of the world’s steel and textile came from British factories. In terms of innovation, England was number one too, like in 1837 the mechanical computer or in 1841 the electric clock or in 1901, when the first transatlantic wireless signal was sent from England. It’s very interesting because computers and wireless signals are fundamental in modern communications. So England was taking a head start in terms of communication technologies, and they had Victoria’s energy and determination to thank for that (ils le devaient à Victoria).

Finally, when we think about London’s famous monuments we think about Big Ben or Tower Bridge, which were built during her reign. Clearly, it’s simple to understand why she was (and still is) a British hero.

Donia, with Alex, Mathilde and Rayan.

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27 novembre 2017


Queen Elizabeth I (Part 2, docs 3,4)

During this period of history England was a protestant nation whereas Spain was a catholic nation .
When Elizabeth I executed her cousin and rival the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, Philip I, Spain’s king was personally angered and decided to invade England to impose the catholic religion and to avenge Mary Queen of Scots. So in 1588 Spain attacked England but the Spanish Armada was forced to abandon the invasion: first because of the Spanish inexperience in bad weather (like storms, rough winds and rough sea) and secondly because of a better English strategy, they were well prepared not to mention that the Spanish Armada was a long way from home so supplies were limited so it must have been very difficult for them. 
Although we know that Spain lost because of objective reasons , English people created a myth around this war as we can see in the two coins of 1588 that we studied in class. We can see people who are praying god to help England , and a caption that reads “Man proposes ;God disposes”  so for them it means that god answered ‘yes‘ to their prayers so for them England’s victory was god’s choice . That’s how this English military victory was turned into a myth.
We also studied the Armada portrait where we can see Queen Elizabeth I in a position of power because she is holding a globe as if she controlled the entire world, especially the “new world” . This portrait is like a prophecy of the conquest of America by England in 1620.
Finally, we saw 4 recent books with a common title « The virgin Queen », the absence of husband and children in her life, a serious political problem at the time,  is represented like a symbol of purity, innocence and not like a problem so again, we have the creation of a myth : she is like the perfect queen , the representation of perfection. But in reality, as we said,  Queen Elizabeth I had her cousin Mary Queen of Scots beheaded in 1587 because she was a big rival for her crown and a danger for the Protestant nation and this execution was one of the reason of the Spanish attack .
In a way, Queen Elizabeth I started the war when she ordered the execution of Mary Queen of Scots , she is not as innocent as we can see on those books.

Inès , with Sanaé and Alessia

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22 novembre 2017


Elizabeth I, part 1.

Queen Elizabeth I reigned for 45 years, from 1558 to 1603. 

The Renaissance in England is called the "Elizabethan Age". So it means that Queen Elisabeth l (Dire “Elizabeth the first”) was very important, as if she was the origin and the creator of this movement: it gives the impression that if she wasn't, there would never be the Renaissance. But it is an exaggeration, a myth (in France, the Renaissance is not identified to François 1er (dire Fr. the first) even if he was crucial to develop the movement).

In the same way, Shakespeare's theatre is called the "Elizabethan theatre", as if Queen Elisabeth l was the author, the writer of the plays by Shakespeare and all his fellow writers. Of course it is not true, it's even more of a myth! Still as a comparison, Louis XIV (Louis the fourteenth) did not give his name to the theatre of Molière.

The reign of the Queen Elisabeth l is also called "The Golden Age" as if it was a period of perfection because gold is the perfect metal. But perfection is an illusion, and this period was far from perfect. For example, many people died of the Black Death in England. So the perfection of her reign is also a myth. 

Today, in the 21st century, there is a real cult of personality of the Queen, especially in England : she is an idol for England. To prove this, we studied five images from five recent films about her life and her reign. Five films over the past few years is a lot, not to mention that her role is always played by famous actresses. She is still at the center of interest. She left a profound mark in the history of England.

On the last image, from the film with Kate Blanchett, we can see the caption «Woman-Warrior-Queen".
It gives a triple message: she was an fighter, a politician ( a ruler ) and a woman. 
She played three roles, she was a triple heroine of England.

Priscillia, with Nina, Killian and Adam.

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21 novembre 2017


Documents pour travail 2 sur "Queens of England"


Rappel consigne:

Group 2.

Doc 3. Make a brief research on the defeat of the “Spanish Armada”: what did Spain want and why? Use the paintings to show how the weather conditions helped the English fleet. Show how the 1588 coins transform a military victory into something mythical. Briefly analyze the “Armada Portrait” of the Queen and show how it symbolizes her power as well as England’s.

Doc 4. Explain how some more intimate and personal aspects of life can help us understand she is a myth.

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14 novembre 2017


Début notion 2, "Myths & Heroes, Queens of England". Distribution du dossier complet (documents t consignes)

Début travail 1.

Docs et consignes pour travail 1:Queens1pdfdocx

Présentation par un groupe envisagée pour vendredi 17.

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10 novembre 2017



I'm moving to China for a better job

Unlike most job seekers, it took only weeks for 27 year-old Tina Sawaya to find a teaching job. The catch: the job is in Shangai. It’s a move she’s eager to make since she currently juggles a teaching job and waiting tables to make ends meet. In China, I’ll be making about $2,000(US), the cost of living is about $300 a month, they provide me with health insurance which is huge right now also. Sawaya started teaching two years ago, something she always wanted to do. She had been working as an investment manager but when the economy soured and her work load grew without more pay, she switched careers. Now she finds herself in a profession scaled back by budgets cuts in cities and states across the US. Years ago, when I started thinking about teaching abroad, it was equal to the US, it was like, OK, I’m doing well in the US and I can do the same thing in China, now, it’s a better opportunity to go abroad. And she’s not alone: the company that hired Tina, “English First”, reports a 3% increase in applications. A similar recruiter, “Reach to Teach”, says it’s seeing more applicants in positions for China, Taiwan and South Korea. It’s difficult to say just how many American are seeking work overseas since there are no hard numbers. Anecdotally, some recruiting firms report seeing an increase in executives and managers looking east, particularly towards China. 1.32.


Staying or Moving on From a Bad Job Situation

There are times when people end up in situations where it’s a bad job, it’s a bad environment and you don’t know whether or not you should stay in it or you should move on to something else. The first thing I recommend is that you do a bit of analysis to try to objectify what’s going on and I like to use the old Ben Franklyn “cost and benefits” list and so what you do is maybe create two sheets, on one sheet you have two columns, it’s “staying in this job” and you’ve got all the good reasons for staying and the bad reasons for staying. And then on the other sheet, you have “move to something else”, and you’re listing the pros and the cons of moving on to a different job. That gives you an idea, an opportunity to look at the thing from a broader and a more objective perspective. The truth to the matter is that almost all of us we work in jobs where we don’t enjoy everything that we do, I mean I own my business, I’m in charge, and I don’t enjoy everything that I have to do in my job. So by building this list of the pros and the cons for the job that I’m in, it helps me to focus on what to be grateful for, to consciously think about the wonderful parts of the work that I do and it keeps me from being tripped up and preoccupied about those little things that might irritate me along the way. So you do that if you’re talking about a bad situation because there’s a legal question, because your reputation is going to be tainted in some way, and you’re convinced that this is going to be a bad mark on your career, then it probably is time for you to start looking for new opportunities. And don’t worry too much about that, you know the average person coming out of college today is going to have seven completely different careers during their working life span.

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07 novembre 2017


Here's How to Decide If It's Time to Change Jobs

Changing jobs can lead to a lot of good things. Better pay, better title, better location, but changing jobs too frequently can cause you to appear disloyal, and not worth the time and money to hire and train. So, what’s the right balance, how frequently should you change jobs and when is the best time to do it? First thing to consider here is your personal life. You can’t ever change jobs without looking at the bigger picture. What’s going on at home? Do you have big changes going on that you’ll need to attend to? It’s imperative to make sure the timing is right on the home front before you make any decisions. Next, consider emotional and relational factors. What are your relationships like at work, do you agree with the company’s direction, the company’s values, how important are these factors to you? These choices are all highly personal and you’ll need to decide for yourself how significant they are to you. Once you have evaluated all the personal elements that will factor into a change, now you can start to think more in terms of strategy, beginning with tenure. How long have you held your current position? Have you been there long enough, or too long? It typically takes about three years to master your specific job, and after that point, learning tends to slow, so after around three years, you should consider either moving up or moving on. But bear in mind, that’s just a guideline, not a rule. Do you still feel like you’re learning in your role or do you feel like you’ve learnt most of what you can and would get more out of tackling something new? 1.30.

Let’s say three years does sound right to you; your personal life can handle a change, you’re reaching the end of the 3rd year and you feel like you’ve really mastered the job. Now it’s time to think about the length of your previous positions. How will the position you are leaving now affect your resume? If you have a history of holding jobs for a year, a year and a half, it may be better to hang on a little longer, on focus on an internal promotion rather than a complete change. Even though three years is typically a long enough commitment to avoid job hopper status, it may be more beneficial to show that you’ve stayed with the company a little longer than that. Another factor to look into is how a change would affect your benefits and finances. What happens with your health care? Your family’s health care? 401 k? Can you time your job changes strategically to get the most out of these? For some benefits might not seem like a top concern but it’s important to make sure you understand your plans and aren’t going to jeopardize your entire family’s health care unnecessarily. Ultimately the decision is up to you, there is no perfect resume and every situation is a little different so you have to use your best judgment and don’t quit your job until you’ve secured a better offer unless of course you have a very very good reason, I know that’s obvious but now you can’t say that I didn’t warn you! I’m cat Miller, and this is Dice TV.

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29 octobre 2017


Part 6

The end of the article tries to explain some limits to the mobility of workers. Indeed, some of them are confronted with the difficulty to find relatively cheap housing, or an apartment with a moderate rent, especially if they receive public help for their rent. More generally, social help is something we want to keep and is not something we want to give up.
Other than social questions, there are cultural factors: a Sicilian shall not feel at ease in the North of Italy or there can exist a problem of language in one country. It’s the case of Belgium. There are French-speaking people and Flemish-speaking people. That’s why a French-speaking person will find it hard to move to the north.
In the last paragraph, in the conclusion, the journalist explains the paradox of Europe: Europeans today are not mobile whereas Europeans of yesterday discovered and built North and South America.


The text evokes welfare benefits; I would like to speak about the system which exists today in France. (MINI INTRO)
Their purpose is to reduce disparities between the individuals, and to help those who haves social difficulties as much as possible.
There are various types of welfare benefits; I will just explain the main ones. First, family allowances are given when you have at least 2 children, you receive an economic assistance for helping the expenses intended for the children (for example food, school or sport supplies).
Secondly, there is unemployment assistance. As we saw it, it’s reserved for jobless people to help them to live until they find another job.
Thirdly, there is sick leave and maternity leave. These helps are intended for the sick people or the pregnant women who can’t go to work, they are still paid and it helps them to cover their health expenses. In France, it’s called social security.
Fourthly, you can receive public help to pay your rent when your job is not enough to afford (avoir les moyens de payer) everything. It affects the lowest categories, in theory.

So we see that social help is really indispensable but sometimes, the problem is that because all of these helps, some people are not able to move on as they are used to being helped, they don’t work because they have enough money. Sometimes they have more money than workers! Another thing is that they will not be autonomous as they are always dependent. Consequently, they will never be capable of finding their own way or making their own choices.
Welfare benefits can be an obstacle to job mobility as some people don’t want to leave their comfort.

Nicolas, with Omar, Tiffany & Paloma

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22 octobre 2017



The text gives us examples of regional differences concerning unemployment. First, there is the difference between the two parts of Germany: the Eastern and the Western parts. The differences concerning unemployment between the Eastern and the Western part of Germany can be explained by the consequence of the Cold War : the eastern part was communist so there was no private property or initiative, subsequently the economy was less dynamic than the western side.
Secondly, there is a difference between the North and the South of Belgium. The differences can be explained by the localization of the country : the North is close to Netherlands and Germany whereas the South is near France and because Germany and Netherlands are richer than France, the North is more developed so there are more jobs. Thirdly, we can see the same differences between the North and the South of Spain - we can suppose that it is due to the countless shops, the attractiveness of Barcelona and a very active tourism sector so that (de sorte que) the biggest economic activity of the country is made there -
and finally in France there are disparities between the region of Paris (more dynamic) whereas in the north and in the south the unemployment is high.
The unemployed Europeans don’t want to move where the jobs are. On the one hand, there are a lot of job offers and on the other hand, people don’t move. There is a work deficit especially in manual jobs. At the same time, there is a lot of undeclared work in this sector. In France manual jobs are not very popular, they are not favored by the school system yet they are very well paid. Only a few people accept to take this kind of jobs because they are very hard.


 I would also like to say a word or two about the causes and consequences of undeclared work / illegal work. Concerning the causes, you can have more possibilities to find a job if you are not professional, it is cheaper and there are no taxes so it is beneficial for the worker and the client. But on the other side there are the consequences : there is no tax revenue for the country so there is less money for public services, thereby the economy can’t grow, there is also the question of social justice : if your job is undeclared and you cumulate it with unemployment benefits, it is unfair.

Nina, with Priscillia, Adam & Killian

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