I´m 22 years old. I was born in Argentina in March 28th of 1986 and three years later my family and I moved to Venezuela because of my father's work. I lived in Maracay, Aragua all my life but since I entered USB I have been living in Caracas in a dorm near the University. That separation helped me become free and work for myself.
I have been a Mechanical Engineer student since 2004. I chose this area of study because it fits my personality and interests. I'm not planning to participate in an international exchange program right now but maybe in the future I may decide to work outside Venezuela maybe in EUROPE. I'm also planning to do a long internship perhaps in Procter and Gamble or Schlumberger. That's something that I would decide in the nearest future.
Besides that one of my favorites hobbies is to play and watch soccer games ( well I'm a huge sports fan). I'm a big fan of River Plate and Argentina National team (remember I was born in Argentina) also a big fan of Barcelona F.C in the Spanish League.
About my English knowledge I have never been to an English academy and I only took the basic courses in the University. Because of that I want to improve my writing skills and I think that this course is a great opportunity to do so. It's also going to help me if I want to work in a multinational company.

2. About plagiarism:

I just read about plagiarism and I realize that we all (without exception I think, maybe I’m wrong) have commited that “crime”. It could be because we didn´t know that we most quote every phrase or idea that it´s not our if we are going to use it in our text. Another reason could be that we forgot where do acquire that kind of knowlegde. Maybe we though that if we change some words or modify some phrases we don´t have to quote the main idea. Maybe we did quote a source but we didn´t do it correctly and that should be another thing, but still could be consider plagiarism.
Another issue is why we do commit plagiarism?, maybe we didn’t have enough time to finish that final paper, maybe we have so many thing to do that we left that homework for last and we “need” to copy, some people think that because everyone else it’s doing it we could and that’s WRONG. A lot of excuses can be said but that never will be consider a reason at all.
We also need to know that it doesn’t matter how much text we copy or how much do we change it, the main point it’s the same. We must quote the source, we have to give some credits to the people who wrote those words. Maybe if we copy an exam we will have some academic punishment but if we commit some plagiarism and earn some money or benefits with it, in some countries and laws, we could pay a large amount of money or even go to jail.
So the best thing that we should do it’s to quote the source if we NEED to extract some information of an author and if we don´t want to have some problems with the law (tearchers, judges or even society)

3. Me as a writer...and reader

First of all, the main area of learning where I think that I have more difficulties in English is without any doubt writing. With the basic courses in the USB I have learned how to comprehend a text, how to extract important information and how to highlight the important things of a text. With movies, games and TV I have learned how to talk and express myself, not perfectly, but well enough. But I have never been to an English academy, and I have never practiced my writing.
On the other hand, I like to write in Spanish, I like to express my ideas in paper, and I think that writing is the only thing about us that it's going to last for the future. I also think that writing is a fundamental part of our life; we have to write for almost everything.
About my writing's habit I don't have any particular "ritual" or unusual pre-writing activities. First I serve a large glass of water or juice, then I eat something sweet (fruit, chocolate, etc) and put myself in front of my computer (I don't like to draft in longhand, I prefer the good and old keyboard) and start writing. It's hard for me to do it fast or in one sitting because I usually get distracted a lot. But when it has to be done, I do it quickly.
Well, I think that's it with the writing part. About reading, I read a lot in the internet, mainly about sports and daily news but once in a while I read a book, usually a good novel that somebody has recommended to me. Maybe the Da Vinci code of Dan Brown is one of my favorites or maybe something by Sydney Sheldon. As I said, I'm not a huge reading fan.
Last but no least, I dedided to take this course because I think this is a great opportunity to learn and improve my writing. My expectations are high and I hope that at the end of the course my writing will have improved a lot. I think it's very possible.

4. Me as a learner... and teacher

First of all, I considered myself an excellent learner until I came to the USB. In primary and secondary school my experience was great and really joyful. I didn´t have to apply myself very much to get good grades and I had plenty of time to do so many things. I liked all the logical subjects such as math, physics and chemistry. Then I came to the USB and that changed everything. First the demands of study were extremely high, the teachers were very demanding and I had to study very hard to have the same grades that I had in my secondary school. Then I realized that the study program which I entered in the University wasn’t the perfect one for me. That of course, affected me and I had to transfer to another area. However that helped me to grow up as a learner. I have discovered than I study better alone, it helps me to focus on the things that have to be done. But I frequently study with my buddies and classmates. That depends on the subjects and sometimes of the teachers and their evaluation plan.
On the other hand, when I took the Multiple Intelligences test I found what I suspected, I´m a logical-interpersonal-visual/Spatial-kinaesthetic kind of guy (ha, ha). This is not the first time that I thought about myself as a learner, but it was the first time that I’m aware of my strategies when I study different subjects like math, physics or languages.
A different point of view is me as a teacher.
I don´t particularly like to explain things to younger persons but once in a while I have to do it. It´s a good exercise to put ourselves in other’s shoes and try to be understood, but I have never thought about becoming a T.A. I think that teaching is a very rewarding activity but I don´t feel that it is for me, mainly because I don’t have all the patience that is required to do that.
I always say that teachers, doctors and researchers should be the ones with the biggest paychecks.

5. The culture of Venezuela:

The culture of Venezuela is very rich and it´s a mixture of three main culture: European, African and the original American Indians. The indigenous influence is found mostly in the typical food of the country (the famous arepas). The national dish is called pabellon criollo and it consists of shredded beef, rice, black beans, cheese and fried plantain. The national Venezuelan dance is the joropo, which is associated with the Llanos region and, like the Gaita, it is a rhythm accompanied with four-string guitars called cuatro, also with maracas and harps. Venezuela has a strong folk and popular culture. Many regions have well-known symbolic Icons which personify their cultural roots. The andino is one on them, which is the hardy mountain folk; the llanero, the cowboy of the Llanos and the maracucho, an energetic person of the Maracaibo area. Venezuelans are also famous in South America for their easy-going nature and fun-loving spirit.

6. My digital experience:

I just read the article of digital natives and digital immigrants of Marc Prensky and I think this reflect the biggest problems that teachers and students are having today.
First of all, I consider myself a digital native because I grew up with technology since I was 8, maybe 10 years old . At that time the computers were starting to become part of our daily lives. I remember when my father din´t let me to be near to the first computer that we had. Now he won´t touch the new computer if I don´t explain to him what new program I recently installed or how to use it. He noticed that we -digital natives- learn things about technology faster and better than him – digital inmigrant-. That’s because we born with video games, computers and television. That’s the thing that we do all day in every single day .
Since I was in primary school I started using the computer to write a simple howework. Then in secondary school I started to search on the internet instead of searching in the library. And now in the university I already had two online courses. This is the future, this is the thing that teachers must do to learn to make it knowledge could be acquired for today’s students. This is the time where the transition is happening. And dispite it’s very difficult to teachers to learn how teach us now, I think it’s impossible that we(the students) learn the old way to study.
Right now we have hardware, software, internet access, web pages, online newspapers, portals, blogs, social networks and still many things to come. We can meet peoples in Australia and send a letter in one second to China or maybe buy something from Rusia and we could have it in less than a day in our house. This is the time where I think that teachers and students could create a new learning system. The technology is waiting for us but is not going to wait for us much longer.

7. My own blog:


8. The best day:

I’m going to talk about the best/worst day of my life. It´s hard to believe that something could make you so happy in one moment and in the next, you realize that is not what you have been expected.
I think that day for me was on September 1st of 2005, that was the moment that I got my first car. It was a `83 Chevrolet century. After doing a very hard work convincing my parents that I need a car to be in Caracas, they give me the old precious jewelry of the house. It was a car that my dad loved. I don´t know why but my dad loved to drive it, even thought we have more cars (newest cars) my dad always preferred “the oldie”. It was a broken heart situation for him to give me that car. But, what’s done is done and in that time I feel that I was in heaven. It was so perfect at that moment, I could go to the university in less than ten minutes, and if I want to go out with my girlfriend I could do it. In that time I had to walk to the bus stop then wait in the bus line for half an hour and after that maybe five or six subway stations and finally one taxi (yes, my girlfriend’s house is very far away). I remember that I thought “I will never have to go out 2 hours early to go to one place to another”, It was sooooo perfect but…..about a month later, my dream fell apart. It was the moment where my car said “it’s enough, I’m old and I’m going to break down every single day” and It was exactly like that. First, the air conditioner stop working, then I had tons of problems with the distributor, engine, alternator, brackets, gear box, etc. My car stops working in three different shopping mall of the city. It was a mayor problem to pay for all that replacements and to go so many different mechanical workshops. When my car stopped 5 minutes after I placed on the street it was “the straw that broke the camel's back”, and was the moment that I said “It’s enough”.
I had to do something and I started to look for a new car and to “cut a long story short”… after tons of thing I was ready to do it. I bought a 05’ VW GOL.
I think the moment when I sold the century and I bought the GOL was for sure the greatest day ever. First, I could buy a good car for myself and the main thing is that the century (I think the name came from the years that my father used that car) had a new owner….
Now I think that today it could be the best day of your life, but tomorrow... you don’t know, so enjoy this moment.

9. Procrastination:

When I saw the content of week 6 in the Wiki, first I thought, “oh, I will check it tomorrow” then time passed and I decided to do once and for all this assignment. I was more than identified with it. I always do this kind of thing, maybe –or surely- because I leave everything until the last minute.
When the end of the trimester is approaching, I convert myself in procrastinator. I put more emphasis on certain areas of study that are more important to me and leave for last the not-so important ones.
Especially in final exams, when I had “in theory” more than 3 or 4 weeks to study, I always found myself studying at 1 am of the quiz day. I don´t know why this always happens to me as I said before. In this case I think it's just laziness or maybe just lack of motivation. Or maybe in that moment I thought that something could be done so easily that I don’t have to worry about it and that was wrong. Another thing that I thought was that I work better under pressure and that’s another lie that I told to myself. I think this is very frequent in students because it’s hard to us to see the end of the tunnel, to see that everything that we study now at the end will be worth it.
I had never heard about fear of success or that procrastination could have some health issues and that part of the “Psychology Today” article was very interesting and worrying for me. From now on, I will start setting goals that I could do in a short time. Then I will start thinking in mid-term goals and when I finish those, more than a 99% of the path is done. The rest will be much easier. These articles opened my eyes about this subject and I will definitely do something about it, TODAY.

10. First Impressions:

It was very interesting to see how the man and woman on the video thought, at the beginning, that they were going to be robbed by the man who was running. Later, they realized, that he went to save them from the blocks that were falling down. That’s a very good form to start this text. The world of first impressions.
I already know that first impressions really count, but I never thought that those thoughts would be so difficult to erase from our memory.
When we see a man or a woman we always make a first impression about him/her. Maybe we thought that because they were well dressed they probably lived well. Or maybe if we see a beautiful woman walking, we are going to think that she is also a very kind and nice person. Those thoughts could be wrong. “We always made judgments about attractiveness, likeability, trustworthiness, competence and aggressiveness of people after looking at their faces for 100 milliseconds” say the psychologists at Princeton University, in the US. The hard thing to do is to forget about that and change the opinion that we already have.
Knowing this, I would make special emphasis in how to look or maybe how to dress, in places where nobody knows me or maybe in a place that I will be for the very first time. It seems very difficult to change the first impressions that somebody had about you, so we have to be very careful in job interviews, student’s conferences or maybe the first speech that, we, as a president of a country-let’s call it Venezuela- make in an International interview.

11. The First essay:

I decided to give several hours of my life to improve the community where I live. The thing that I think needs more attention is the leisure time that the younger people have in my community. I decided to create a soccer team and play the role of coach of the community team.

After I saw many children in the community doing absolutely nothing in the afternoon, I thought that I had to do something for them. After a lot of research with their families and friends, I knew that they needed some sort of physical exercise in their lives. Then I asked to those children which sport they liked to practice. All of them agreed that soccer was the sport that they needed.

Soccer is a sport that develops physical and mental skills. You need to practice a lot to be a good soccer player. Soccer is a sport that requires team work and the mutual understanding of a group. The children could start a nice friendship with their teammates and with the community too. The rest of the community is also going to be identified with them and would support the team and all the children who are involved.

Considering the reasons given, I think that coaching and building a soccer team is the greatest way that I could make a contribution, not only to the children but the rest of the community where I live.

12. The second essay.

There are times when you need to make a critical choice. A very important decision is when an opportunity comes to your door. You could decide to go abroad to better opportunities or to stay at your homeland and do your best. I think that if you could really decide this, you have to stay at your homeland.

One of the reason to stay, and I think is the most important, is without any doubt the family. The family is the one that gives you comfort, is in there for you no matter what. You always can count with all of them. That’s a very important part of your life and you need to be close to all of them. On a different country you probably won’t have all that kind of support.

Another reason could be friends. Those are the guys and girls that are there for you since primary school or maybe earlier. You share with them all kinds of situations since you were born. When your family can’t help you, you have lots of friends to be with. When you arrive to a foreign country is almost impossible to find friends like those.

The third reason could be the adaptation. When you move abroad to a new country there is a lot of tradition that you don’t have. And you need to learn all of the customs of a country to live in their community. That’s something that you don’t have to do in your homeland because you already know all of them.

If I could really decide if I could move abroad or stay at home, I will definite decide for the last one. A person has to look for every opportunity that the country could give him instead of looking in a different country without his family, friends or customs that he already has is his homeland.

Accordding to the evaluation about essays I think that I got a 4.8 maybe?

13. The third essay

Sometimes we need to improve our English somehow. An EFL writing course is a good way to learn how to write properly on a very methodical way. This particulary course (ID5128) has helped me a lot. I improved my skills as a writer, reader and as a future professional.

An EFL course is important if you want to start writing in a more formal way. In this EFL course I have learned the tips and advices on good writing. For example you need to be focus on writing. Then you have to do some drafts, and then correct all the mistakes that you had. After that you need to correct grammar problems and for last you need to re-read your final paper to improve it.

Also, this EFL course has taught to me to put myself in others shoes. For example I saw myself as writer and as reader. Thanks to that I corrected the mistakes that I made when I start writing a paper. Then I had to write something about me as a learner and as teacher. With that I realized that teaching is a very rewarding activity but is not for everyone. It’s really hard to teach somebody something.

Finally, this course also helped me in my life. When we had our KWC exchange, I learned a lot about other country. Japanese people have different traditions and customs but at the end they are almost exactly like us. No matter how distance we are from each other, we somehow are similarly to them. And that opened my eyes.

In this course, I improved my skills as a writer, reader and learner. This course is going to help me as a future professional. But the most important part is that this course helped me to see widely and to be open mind. It helped me a lot on be aware of this things, not only from my writing but my life also.

Accordding to the evaluation about essays I think that I got a 4.6