1. A little about me

Well I'm Gabriel Benito Lopez Artiles (yes yes I HATE my second name, but it's from my dad) people used to call me Gabo. I was born June 6 1989 so I'm 18 years old. I live with my family and my pets, I have 2 dogs, 2 cats and one monkey (by the way the monkey is very ugly, his name is Bongo). People that know me say that I have a zoo at home but I love my animals. I like to spend my free time in the computer and with my friends. I really love video games, I've played a lot of them, specially MMORPGs, I'm a big fan of Counter Strike! I'm studying Mathematics right now but what I really want is to transfer to Computer Engineering. I'm

insterested in A.I. but I think working with persons like prof. Carolina Chang have made me change my mind a little, also I know that A.I. doesn't have a future in Venezuela. Right now I'm confused between writing a thesis or doing an intership. I have time to think about it, this is my second year so there's a lot of time left to make a decision.

I want to graduate from the USB then I think I want to move to USA or Canada even Spain (maybe more Canada because there are more opportunities) and then complete a Ph D. The USB made a huge change in my life. Before it I hated to read and write a lot! But now I'm improving that. I really expect to improve my writing in English and I'm very excited with all of this because it's the first time that I work with wikis and blogs and all of this. Ah by the way this term it's almost online, haha, this subject also math will be online so it's gonna be interesting.

2. Plagiarism

I read about plagiarism from the website http://bellevuecollege.edu/writinglab/Plagiarism.html. that page was very useful for me because it taught me a lot about plagiarim and how to avoid it. I thought that the concept that I read in that page wasn't clear enough for me so I looked for another one in the web and I found one much better.

"Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement." [

After reading the article I acknowledge that I plagiarized a lot when I was in High School but it was because I didn't know anything about plagiarism and how to avoid it. I think that the best way to be legal, I mean, not to commit plagiarism is using quotes when you are not the author of something, always giving credit to authors and trying to use your own ideas and not stealing other's ideas and being very careful with paraphrasing, becouse many times we think that we are paraphrasing but we really plagerizing.

Once a grammar language teacher told me: "Be carful with plagiarism, if I find you doing that you can be sure that I'm going
to denounce you for it and you probably will be expelled from the USB!!!!" So after that lovely message, I tried not to plagerized anymore.

3. Me as writer and reader

First at all I like to admit that I don't like to write neither in Spanish nor in English. In the school we had groups for almost everything, that means that we needed some writer for the test but cause when I write something in paper is almost understable so my partners had
always to write everything, but when I came to the USB the groups times is over so I have to write all my texts. I like to read newspaper, magazines and some articles, but I don't like to read novels or books because I'm a person that get's bored very fast, but I prefer reading than writing. Actually writing is gaining importance in my life because I know it's a very useful way to express myself. The main objetive of this course to me is to improve my writing skills also increase my vocabulary.

I don't have a particular process to prepare myself for writing. I used to write almost everywhere, but honestly I hate to write when I'm in the USB's bus or when I'm standing up. I can't read if there's noise around me, I mean if I listen something I can't focus in my reading and forget everything that I've read, so I need to find a very quite place to sit and read. As I said, I don't like to write but for this course I would like to write about
science and texts where we have to use scientific vocabulary. I prefer to write in the keyboard because when I write something in longhand it's very difficult for others to understand my text. Well I'm very bad writing so I never get the final version at the first try, so I try to check my text several times, everytime that I read my text I find an error and have to fix it. I used to re-read my writing silently.

Finally I hope that this course help me to improve my writing skills, but honestly I took this course becouse I needed the credits, but this in specific becouse I know that my writing it's very bad.

4. Learning with the brain in Mind

After watching the slideshow I learned a lot about the brain and some tips that I will use. My friends and I always discuss about studying individually or in groups; but I think that studying in groups is better than studying alone because if you are not sure about something maybe a partner is sure and can help you. This slideshow showed me that I am right, of course I know that this doesn't work for everybody, because some people learn more individually than in groups. "Too much, too fast, won't last" I'll keep that in mind because sometimes we try to study a lot in a short period of time and when we are in the test, we can't remember anything!! Because we supersaturate our mind with too much info. and like it says in the slideshow "our brain isn't a computer" so it can't store all that in one shot.

I will try to eat more nuts, yogurts, carbohydrates and fish (if i can buy it, of course, because now it's too expensive!!) and try to drink a lot of water. I will try to sleep a little more,
I think that the cause of my stress is lack of sleep.

5. Me as learner and teacher

My primary and secondary schools were very joyful. I remember that I spent all the day playing, I didn't need to study much to get a good grade. Of course I wasn't the best of my class but I could live with that. When I was in the secondary, my mother and grandmother got cancer. It was very hard for me because they were my support and I was a boy and I couldn't figure what was going on but at the end the doctors could save my mother and it was a great impulse in my studies as well as in my life. I loved my classmates, I think that I went to class everyday because I really enjoyed spending time with them. There were some teachers that helped me when I was very sad (because of my mother and grandmother), I'm going to be thankful to them all my life .

USB forced me to change my study habits, now I have to study a lot to get even less grades than I got in my secondary. At the beginning it was very frustrating but I have to do it and that's the only way to study in the USB. I've never asked DIDE for help but I admit that I've been very close to doing it; but in these moments I speak with my father and that solves my doubts and calms me down a lot. I think that I study better in groups but in the USB it's too hard to do it because almost all terms we're changing our classmates. When I was in Math III I had a professor named H. Navarro and I think that I understood him 100% and I think that it was because the class wasn't 100% class at all, we was joking at the same time that we were in class.

When I took the Multiple Intelligences test I got what I was expecting, that my intelligence is strong in logical and intrapersonal. Something that was interesting is that I have less than 5 points in musical smart although I like to listen to music but honestly I can't recognize the instruments in a song or things like that. I don't have any strategies when I'm going to study, I just sit with my material and books and "let the party begin". The slideshow made me re-consider that I should eat better, sleep more and try to study in a place with a lot of light.
Honestly I don't like to explain something to others, mainly because I don't have enough patience. Seldom I explain math or physics to my little sister but I reconize that it's very difficult to me. I consider that to become a teacher you must want it, because it is very dificult and you need a lot of things to do, for example you can't have stage fright, you need to have plenty of knowledge of the subject that you will explain, you have to prepare the material and of course be full of patience and ready for almost every kind of question. I admit that I can't be a teacher , it's just very dificult to me.

6. Sports in Venezuela

In Venezuela many people play many sports. Baseball is the main sport in Venezuela and the country has produced known world players like Luis Aparicio, Johan Santana, Osmar Vizquel, Andres Galarraga, and others. Basketball is another popular sport in Venezuela, and all towns and cities have their own teams. Football is also found to be gaining popularity in the country. A lot of Venezuelans enjoy horseback riding. Venezuela’s geography also offers excellent opportunities to develop extreme sports such as the Wind Surfing, Hiking, Trekking, Kite Surfing, Rock Climbing, Paragliding and others.

7. Digital Native vs Digital Immigrant

The PC plays an important role in my life. I spend a lot of time in the computer, I use it almost for everything and almost everyday. I do a lot of things with the PC: I read the newspaper, chat with other people, study, play games, interact with other people, listen to music and many other things.

I don't know how to use a lot of tools that the pc has, because I really use it for basic needs, for example: to write an essay, do homework, search information in the web, etc. I'm always connected to the MSN but honestly I don't chat frequently, but I like to read my contact's nicknames. It's interesting to see everything that you can find in the nicknames!

I like also to view a lot of websites, you can find a lot of useful information, and of course I like to watch videos in YouTube. I found that very useful, it taught me how to dance and I can even watch some TV's shows that I couldn't see. Several times I use my computer to get myself relaxed playing games, or listening to music. I like to play games in my PC, as I said before I like Counter Strike a lot, but I can play almost every kind of game in the web!

After reading digital native information, I consider myself as an Digital Native. I'm always thinking about technology and how we can use it to improve our lifestyle, in that way I'm very comfortable with actual technology, and I'm very excited with all new technology that is coming in the future. Sometimes I wonder... how will our lifestyle be in the next 40-50 years? That's going to be interesting.

8. My Blog


9. My future

My life is already planed. Since I was a kid my fathers guide me to keep my future in my mind no matter what. In my childhood I was thinking about becoming electronic engineering like my father but I had time to think a lot about it and I saw that I don´t like that career at all, so I started to think in my skills and likes and after a long period of time finally I decided to study computer engineering.

After finishing secondary school I joined in the Simon Bolivar University, unfortanly I did not join directly in computer engineering but I had an opportunity, joining in another career and then make a program transfer. In my life’s plan in the next 5 years, I should be a computer engineer and working hard in a company and maybe if there’s the opportunity maybe I could create my own company. I think that I should move to another country immediately after I graduated from the Simon Bolivar University, for example if today I have to move I will move to USA, Canada or Spain (in that order) but I have to see how will be the opportunities in that countries in 5 years from now.

My life style is changing, my likes are changing, and I see myself changed, there is a huge different from 2 years ago, and I know that I’ll be very different in 5 years. Probably I will like more quiet things, maybe I won’t like to travel and party all weekends, things that actually enjoy but maybe in a couple of years I won’t.

I want to have a stable relationship with a woman, and maybe when I will be 26 or 27 years old get married, that part of my life is not as clear as the rest but I think around that ages. Of course nothing of that is sure at all it depends of many things. And I would like to have a family; I want to have 2 kids: one boy and one girl.

In summary, I hope that I can be able to graduate from the SBU, and I wish that I could meet “my life’s woman” and could make all other things that I’ve planned to do with my life. Of course I know that it is very difficult and the things not always results exactly as we want, there could be a little different but I think that we should have at least a goal to research, that help us to find our north when we’re lost in our life and don’t know what to do.

10. Procrastination

Procrastination consist in have something to do and do another thing, using any excuse to justify that. After reading about procrastinationI found that I'm a procrastinator from long time ago, honestly I don't know the real causes of that problem, I just know that I always find another thing to do that I consider better to do. For example: To write this article I've spend about more than 2 weeks! Yes I know that it is a lot of time but always that I started reading something and them start writing immediately found another thing to do: friend's calling for me to go out, play video games, go to gym, study math, and so on. So I never finish this, I think I'll feel so proud of me when I'm done with week 6 assignment.

There are two kind of procrastination: anxious and reward. Anxious procrastination consist in "the anxiety of something having to be turned in eats so much as the person's mind for whatever reason, the person will seek to displace the anxiety by other means" (extracted from
here) . And the other kind is reward procrastination, where the procrastinator thinks that he or she could do some specific task so easily that he or she let that for later. I find my self as a mixed procrastinator class, because sometimes I'm like anxious procrastination and sometimes like reward procrastinator.
I am terrible organizing my time, that could be one of the causes but I think is because I'm too lazy and I just prefer to do something easier. The best way that I've found to fight against this problem is disconnecting from the world, and just sit down and do as fast as possible, and trying to don't stop because in that "break" that we say that is just 5 min I know that I will find 3000 things to do.

Finally, I'll going to try to be less procrsatinator, trying to focus more in my targets. I think that I will try to use other techniques to fight against this problem and see if that works.

11. First impression

People just need few seconds to build a first impression of somebody, that impression could be a good one or a really bad impression. The first impression is very important when you’re trying to build a relationship with other people. For example: when a person goes to a job interview, the person should be very well dressed, speak clearly to generate a good first impression and maybe could apply for the job. In the other hand, if that person goes to the interview with very old jeans, t-shirt, etc. he probably won’t get the job because he will cause a bad first impression.

First impression is very difficult to change, so we should make an effort and try to get a good first impression when we meet someone. Sometimes our first impression is wrong, and it takes time to change it but it could be possible.
In conclusion, to have a good relationship with other people we should try being well dressed, have personal hygiene, to make that other people get a good first impression about us, but always being ourselves, and not trying to pretend to be someone that we aren’t because at the end we will feel uncomfortable with us and that is not the point.

First Essay

I live in Bello Monte, there is a big problem: the garbage. The garbage is a problem that affects my community and the company that should recollect the garbage is not doing their job so I have decided to recollected garbage from part of my time to improve the community where I live. In this essay, I will name some reasons of my decision of recollecting garbage.

The garbage always brings a lot of diseases to the people who live around it. My neighbours have been infected with some diseases related to garbage, such as dengue, toxoplasmosis, typhoid and others. These kinds of diseases some times are deadly, and this is a problem that could be solved with a little help from the community.

Other problem that is related with the garbage is that in our community the value of houses has decreased considerably because of garbage. Houses looks horrible, the children can not play in the street; there are always unpleasant odours and people are starting to move to other places.

The garbage takes up important spaces in the street, for example there is not place to park the car, or walk in the sidewalk. That represents a terrible problem from our community.

In resume, the garbage is a problem that affects everybody that lives in Bello Monte, so I decided to recollect the garbage; of course I need more help because I can’t with all but if there is more people interested in help me and my project, I'm sure that our community will be much better.

Second Essay

Moving to a foreign country looking for better oportunities:

If I could decide between living in my country or going abroad, I would prefer to move to another country looking for better oportunities. After thinking about it a lot, I got a decision, after finishing my studies I will move to Canada. There are more oportunities and I really like the idea of moving away from Venezuela. I think that if we stay at home our entire lives, we will not improve our economic situation, have a variety of jobs and learn about another culture.

I have known friends that after leaving Venezuela, they have improved their lives, for example: Edward Corona, he moved to Spain; at the beginnig he always told me that he wanted to come back to Venezuela but after some time, he changed his mind and he got a good economic situation. Now he is trying to convince me to move to Spain.

In another country maybe we could work in the area that we want to work, for example: I want to work with robots and Artificial Intelligence but in Venezuela it does not have a future, so I can not do it. But if I move to the United States of America, maybe I could do it because robots and A.I. are much better there.

If we move to another country, we could know from other cultures and test new things.A new place always represent new adventures, and amazing challenges. If we know more from other cultures we could appreciate more our culture and we can mix it and have a really rich culture.

Finally, considering the reasons given, I think that moving to another place represents a good strategy to build a better future and get a better lifestyle. If one person stays in the same place all his life, he won't enjoy it, and he will always have the same question: How would my life be if I live in another country?.

My Second Essay score:

Well after checking my essay I saw that I got a big problem with the paragraph #1 so I had to change it. I think that at the begining I got around a 2.5 or maybe 3.2

My final Essay:

At the beginning I took this course because I needed more credits to register this term, I thought that this course should be "easy" and I just have to write a few things. Nevertheless this course has made big changes in my life, for example: it is this first time that I work with wikipages, and blogs, this is also my first online-curse and I've learned about writing in English and I have improved my writing.

To work with wikipage and blogs was a big challenge for me, because before this course I did not like to write. I have to admit that at the first week of this course I was a complete chaos, I was very disorderly and I did not find time to complete the activities. But after week two I got better organized and I could complete all my activities almost in time.

Before this course I thought that online-curses were a lost of time; nevertheless I think that I have learned a lot from this one. I believe if this course could have more hours in a classroom could be much better.

I have to admit that my writing in English was a complete disaster. I made a lot of mistakes and I did not know about structures, I was customary to write just how ideas come to my mind. Now I'm more aware about certain mistakes that are very common in my texts, for example: Now I write "I" with capitals, try to use an introduction, body and conclusions in my texts, run-on-sentences, etc. I feel that I really have improved my writing.
In conclusion, after writing every week during twelve weeks I feel that my English has reached a better level. This course helped me a lot, I'm satisfied with this course, because I could register this term and also could improve my writing.

Comments about my final Essay:
I have found some mistakes. For example: "be able to register this term" (I was missing that), or "This is the first time that I work with..." or "online course" (without "-"), and others. But I know that if I continue practicing I could improve my writing even more!.

Final Essay Grade: Topic: 1
Examples and Details: 1
Syntax: 0.8
Word Choise: 0.8

In total I think that I got 4.8