For or against essay: Music – a way to escape, a chance to see by Aleksandra Zalewska from 2a grade.
I am a person who does not usually care about the surrounding world. I like observing, but most of the time I prefer to not interact. And thus I do not feel stressed out often. That is until something very, very important to me is happening in a short period of time – I tend to become the most nervous bean covered in a shaking blanket. At those times I basically shut myself in my room and play music as loud as it is acceptable for other human beings that I am sharing the grounds of Golkow with. The one thing I have learnt past these 14 years of my life is that music is one of the most important things to me. It has helped me a lot of times thus far.
In my opinion music is a way to escape reality. It had been scientifically proven that depending on the music genre a person is listening at a given moment, their mood changes. For example listening to indie will make you calm and happy, but melancholic.
Most of the songs I listen to are filled with metaphors, words written to give listeners faith and cheer them up. They let us mute the world for a few minutes. Not isolate from it, but create us the opportunity to observe our surroundings and see something different – something we probably wouldnt pay attention to on a daily basis.
Music is a way to flee, a chance to see. It shows us the paths we can follow. Carries the wisdom of many people who have been through so much. A teacher, a parent, a friend.
Story of the month by Anastazja Busz form 2a grade
The Sin of Consumerism
Of Mans first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe
With loss of Eden (…)
Paradise Lost, Book I (1 – 4)
The title of my essay suggests a strong presence of Christian themes within – as a matter of fact, the current state of human consumption somehow reminds me of the atmosphere surrounding the man’s first disobedience, as described by John Milton. It certainly is a state of not realizing the moral wrong – doing of the act, then supposedly followed by a sense of shame and a moral hangover. Humanity however seems not to share a moral judgement on a level as high as the level of morality found in its biblical ancestors. We got immersed in consumerism a long time ago and nowadays, are regressing even further into the plane of instinctive consumption and perpetual addiction to buying things.
Christian apologetics are renowned for its distinct stance on Mans nature – that the Mankind is ultimately good, and with the moral leadership of Church and God, can live wisely and redeem themselves, thus excluding them from the Original Sin. Such thesis is very difficult to defend in modern times, as man manifests himself as a creature vulnerable to propaganda and without any use for his trait of Free Will. But, in order to undertake criticism of any theories regarding (or could possibly be regarding) consumerism, we have to analyse the phenomenon itself firstly.
The roots of this stance (or a mindset) can be traced back to the social upheaval and economic change of 18th and 19th century, which in result led to the birth of the middle class – a large group of people (99% of the world with the addition of the working class) who achieved tertiary education, work as professionals in their fields (mainly intellectual – e.g. lawyers, doctors, politicians, journalists, academics) and are immersed in pop culture. This class is the main consumer nowadays, and first criticism of the phenomenon of consumerism (which is intricately linked with the middle class) appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, with the economic order itself emerging along with the rapid growth of post war corporate businesses, which led to dense abundance of products available and choices that can be made.
Stagirite stated, that multiple positive choices (for example – different tiles that can be bought) will always leave behind a feeling of void and lead to second guessing, as all the things that could be acquired (or chosen) by us may be a better choice. This particular sense of emptiness which resides within the concrete walls of shopping malls is a contemporary example of our conscience working in a bizarre way. Instead of grieving our possibly wrong choices, we should take a rational look at our modern condition and its madness. Many thinkers of the 19th century foresaw the rise of consumerism, and yet, many people choose to live as a herd, rather than a community of self-conscious individuals. Most of these people do indeed know how irrational and unnecessary their drive to acquire and store some items is, but yet, still, they do pretend, that everything is fine and our culture is now developing in good direction. German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche would probably call this kind of situation a manifestation of nihilism. For him, nihilism was the philosophy of acting like nothing happened while facing the very outcome of a great cultural disaster of modern times
(he spoke about the metaphorical death of God). The people of 19th century that Nietzsche captured in his works didn’t really feel the presence of God, but lived like their whole life relied on him. They’ve killed him.
Nowadays, we consider ourselves a society of conscious, morally supreme and rational beings, but we often ignore the evidence found in our action that clearly refutes this confidence. We truly are a race of unique thinkers, great artists and ingenious scientists, but what distinguishes a great inventor is the ability to estimate the dangers and possible profits of his invention and make the clever use of it, without being overly excited or even worse, addicted, to it. As a race, we surely fell into an addiction to a cultural way of dealing with our most primal instincts, which is consuming.
Jan Bąk IIIa
Imagine a voyage into the very heart of history, a true déjà vu of the human race. Step down from the skies onto the mild morning breeze, an overseas traveller as old as the world is. Radiant hot air gently touches your cheeks and finally, beautiful sight of lush florum et arborum rushes into your eyes. You gradually acclimatize your senses to a whole variety of imminent, small, yet perfect beauties hidden somewhere along the lines of perception. The place you find thyself in – its atmosphere, the aesthetics of negligible architecture you have observed while you scooped the vision around you into your memory – looks familiar. You hastily make a judgement – the place you find thyself in is what remained of deceased grandeur of an ancient city. The ruins of Troy lie beneath your feet – whole Illiad vociferates under thee.
The deserted marble walkways, recently unearthed by an overambitious Homer devotee who happened to be an archeologist too, send a few shivers down your spine. Funny how the very bottom of the giant trash bin of history appeals the most to us – you think to thyself. Did Achilles really have his last stand on the fields you now contemplate? The languor of all the history greatest battlefields after their destined battles have taken place suddenly hits you in an epiphany, on the most memorable tragedyfield of all the tragedyfields out there. The Bravest meets his fate just to avenge his fallen friend in a sudden act of heroism, and not-so heroic aftermath. And so, you silently listen to the whispers of the wind, which probably existed long before the events you just thought about. This is the way all moments end, not with a bang, but with a whimper. The spirit carries on long after the subjects die.
Had they really existed at all? Questions like that hunt our kind, and still, the fluid aspects of our being mostly tend to slip through our reveries. You walk a few steps onwards, walking out, through the city gates. You take a quick look around – not a single living soul here, as your observation holds. Sea breeze begins to strengthen up, although the solemn plume of sun rays is still high up in the sky – in fact, the density of it marching waves of photons has risen and the clouds were shooed away, as probably were many Troia citizens on the day of its defeat. Not a faint thing, as they went on to create the largest empire of the antique times (or so the Romans said – but, as a matter of fact, history is what we make it, and they surely wanted to be perceived as the sons of Hector, slain so boldly by the unfair Achilles). You turn around to look once more at wretched remains of Troy, this time you are deeply disgusted by its meager appearance. No wonder Homer was blind – you think to yourself, striking an ironic tone, yet, a while later you reflect – the lack of sight allowed him to see the “objective reality” without any disruption coming from our gnosis. Yet all throughout, he only repeated what he heard from the others, didn’t he?
You silently turn your gaze away from the ruins, now conquered by trees. You begin a small journey towards the shore of Aegean Sea, the real manifestation of power in this place. Nor Menelaos, nor the sacred oracle or the highest king could match with it. Its raging storms and lifeloving waves are the utmost element of all beings – its absence would be the highest form of its presence, although, fortunately, the world has not seen the horror of its scarcity. Nor the dialectic of things, nor the love of God sets the stars in motion – ‘tis the perpetual almightiness which is the Unmoved Mover, theologically speaking. Inherence of this unknown rule is seen in all our history, Achilles fighting the Troyans, Napoleon succumbing at Waterloo, IRA fighting for Home Rule, Hitler passing into void – they were the Almightiness. Upon realizing this fact, you reach the shoreline and stand there, burrowing your feet in rocky sands. The breeze blows you in the face with the power of all the world violence. And it seems so primeaval, so whimsy, yet mandatory. Like a newborn dog fighting off its brothers in a struggle for survival, like a serpent chasing his prey, like an eagle, ready to break a neck, just to survive and blindly live his life to his very death, with a broken neck.
You walk along the shoreline, withstanding the assaults of yelling winds and the humid sea. Primal chunks of stone look up at you and the fiery radiance of the Sun strikes you with unaltered heat. You walk away into eternity along Aegean shoreline.
My name is Bug and this is my story!
It was a beautiful night. I was coming back home from work when it started. As I was walking I heard a strange noise. It was like someone scratching on blackboard. I started to look for the source of that noise and I saw it. It was small and really cute but a little strange. It looked like a kitty with wings and big smart eyes. I come closer and it jumped on me. I felt like something bite in my neck. Then I lost consciousness.
In the next day woke up in hospital. I felt stronger and prettier. I was trying to stand up but it was too much for me. My neck hurt like someone burnt it. I spent three days in hospital. When I came back home it started to happen strange things. I slipped on stones. When I was angry my eyes started to be pink and I wanted to eat ants.
I decided to go to my father. He is a specialist of people who was attacked by cats with wings. He told me that this is my call. He told me I must learn how to use my force to serve in dustman team! He told me I must care about tidying streets of our town. He gave me a costume with a cat with wings on pink background. Then I understood this is my destiny. I felt like a god!
„How and why do you learn foreign language?”
It’s middle of the summer. I’m sitting in my room, with headphones on my ears, watching a film. Japanese animation in style called Manga in front of my eyes. I see some „letters”. I don’t know what they mean, I can’t even read them. Then, subtle thought appears in my mind. „Why not?”
A few days later, I was in Empik. I saw a shelf, full of languages. Italian, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Swedish, Chinese, Portuguese. Japanese. „Japanese doesn’t bite”, dictionary, CDs and more.
I opened the book. Most people I know would freeze at this step. Not me, though. I don’t know why, but I like learning all this stuff. When my mom saw this, she thought I was crazy. She still seems surprised that I don’t give up.
Japanese isn’t hard because of grammar (actually, it looks pretty simple), but the writing. They don’t have alphbet. They use three collections of signs, called Kana. Two of them are very similar – each speech sound has it’s own sign. First one, Hiragana, is used for most of the Japenese words. Second, Katakana, is used for words borrowed from another languages, usually English (that’s because you can make more combinations with Katakana, to make borrowed word sound more like the original one). The third one is called Kanji. It’s made of over 60,000 signs, and they look identically like those used in Chinese, but the’re not read in the same way. Almost 2,000 of Kanji signs are in everyday use. And here’s the best thing – one sentence can be made of all three types.
„I am Polish” (orig. „I Polish am”)
I focused on writing right now. I know both Hiragana and Katakana and 29 Kanji, but i have to practise often, cause it’s easy to forget.
Learning new language is like opening a new window on the world. I heard about a language where past is future and vice versa. People who speak it say „future is unknown, it’s behind our back. But history, the past is something we can see, so it’s in front of us.” When they want to say „I’ll go home”, they say „I was going (or I went) home.”
I think it’s amazing experience, when one day you just wake up, and can think in another language. It’s like completely new point of view.
„Green more than a color”
„Green more than a color”, this is the motto of present Comenius Project. What does it mean for us, normal students? Do we really understand what we participate in?
When I heard this motto in the first time, immediately I started to think nature and our planet – Earth. I think the one of main aims of Comenius is to rise our awareness about condition of our environment. This project is going to teach us how to care about the trees and everything that surrounds us.
The second meaning of this motto, which came to my mind which seems not to be so popular is that the green is a color of friendship. It is not a secret that Comenius is to strengthen ties between countries which take part in it. I know that many young people who met during Comenius trips still keep in touch – what makes me happy.
My next association is a little bit more philosophical than the previous ones. Green means something fresh, young ect. This is a special program for students. So if green is a color of youth maybe that means that we are a HOPE (next meaning of this color) of our world. Maybe one day we will realize what we owe to Comenius. Some of us will became very important people, like Mr. President or Prime Minister and they will be able to say that Comenius was their beginning. Thanks to this project we will try to create the world without wars and conflicts.
To sum up, I think that the motto of this year Comenius has lots of meanings. Dear reader, if you have time, try to think about this project provides you, because it can give you some profits in your future adult life.
STORY ‚Noise in the Garden’
When Paul heard a noise in the garden, he got u to look out of the window. He saw nothing but a few trees, the normal look of his garden. He had just sat down when the noise came back. This time it came like from below the floor! Paul jumped up and ran to the kitchen, to his mobile phone.
Paul’s parents were at a party and the boy was alone in the house. The noise grew in power and moved to the bath. Paul’s hands started to scatter. He looked at the phone. The battery was empty! Paul took a kitchen knife.
The boy walked slowly to the cellar doors. Suddenly the noise stopped! Before going to the cellar, Paul took a small lamp. Now, he opened the black, wooden doors and switched the lamp on. Light fell on the old boxes, a few cartons and old things of Pauls family. He walked carefully downstairs and listened. He moved to a big box-mountain. In the middle of the cellar was a big pillar. It hold the whole house. Paul was near the pillar when the noise started again! It was louder and louder! Paul hid behind the pillar – it was the right moment for it. The wall nest to the pillar crushed and fell apart. From the dust a pair of men walked out.
- Where the hell are we?! – asked one of them. – Is the central bank?! – He was really nervous. Paul, thanks to his black t-shirt and jeans kept unseen behind the pillar.
- I don’t understand… – said one of the wall crushers. – We were digging in the right place…
- Give me the map! – ordered the other man. While the not-wanted guests were studying the paper, Paul walked softly (and slowly) to the stairs. He was already near the box mountain. Just a few steps and he’d be in the living room and he could reach the alarm. Last year Paul’s family installed an alarm system due to the growing crime. Now it was the good moment to use it. Paul reached the alarm and pressed the button…
‚We’ve been Robbed’
When Paul heard a noise in the garden, he got up to look out of the window. It was cold and he was shivering in his pyjama. He waited a long time staring out of the window when suddenly he saw a little movement near a bush. He panicked. He started to scream and jump on the floor.
His whole family woke up. Paul told them that he saw a burglar in the garden so his dad and older brother took their coats and went out. Paul waited on his bed, imagining the worst situations – his dad and brother kidnapped by the burglar or even killed.
Finally he heard footsteps on their stairs and laughter. Pauls’ dad and brother stepped into the room and started rolling on the floor laughing. “It was a rabbit you chicken!” – cried his brother. “Better watch out or it will hug you to death” – laughed dad. “A rabbit?” – sighed Paul. He went to sleep feeling like a total moron. He was half – asleep when he heard something else. It was coming from the garden. “Oh no!” – thought Paul – “I won’t fool myself again.” And, despite of the noise he fell asleep. In the morning he woke up by a sudden scream of his mum – “We were robbed!”