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English E-Zine 2

17. 11. 2008

English E-ZINE

 

Issue II

 

Introduction

 

The second issue is based on the minicompositions written by students from groups A, B and C throughout the academic year 2007/ 2008.

The choice is based on the amount of creativity and level of English.

In order to achieve authenticity of PORG students' English, I corrected only the mistakes that I thought might cause misunderstaning.

If Issue II looks like a blog to you, let me assure you this is exactly what I intended to establish.

    Feel free to respond to opinions expressed in them, send your answers to rufer@porg.cz

As they say in online editions of newspapers

Have your say

Petr Rufer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ego

 

Are excentrics egocetrics?

Is the Ego Centre of their Matrix?

But what matters Matrix?

It matters much: Mind over Matter, 

Spirit over Mind, is it only Zen tricks?

Venture selfwards as if in venter?

Bend a spoon while in the Matrix?

Or rather turn the Ego out of Centre?

Be a poet, madman or inventor?

Else a celeb guru or a mentor?

Is the Inner in fact the Outer?

Does a poem mean to enter

The Ego show-off of the author?

Or is it pure Pleasure with which

He serves his Self, a stitch after stitch?

Well it’s not up to me and I can’t tell,

It’s only the product you judge that I sell.

You can say whatever you think

And wish and want, presume and please,

Just let me guess (and I will cease)

Your Ego shouts He needs a shrink!

Matouš Turek

 

 

Are Eccentrics Egocentric?

     First of all I must admit that this is not one of those simple true or false questions. To answer correctly, the precise definition of what “eccentric” and “egocentric” mean would have to be given. For instance, considering modern psychology, every single person is in a way egocentric. We only think about anything when it has some connection to us. We think of ourselves as half-gods and we think we live in a correct way as well. Is it not rather egocentric?

      If everyone was egocentric, then eccentrics would not be any special case. On the other hand, I do believe that bigger percentage of egocentrics is among eccentrics than in the rest of the population. For example if we look at politicians. Every single government official must naturally be eccentric. And from their arrogance it is visible that many of them are also egocentric. This obviously does not mean that all eccentrics actually are so-called egocentrics. 

Martin Dražan

     

 

 

Are eccentrics egocentric?

Eccentricity is sometimes thought to be a consequence of the possession of an ingenious mind which disallows the person to fit into the commonly accepted ‘normal’ lifestyle. Eccentrics don’t dress like freaks and do weird things just to attract the attention of others, but because they don’t care about what the others think. Eccentrics have no need to submit to the rules of the society and they do what they like no matter how crazy it is. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t care about anybody else than themselves, that they think they’re better than others or that their world is rotating around their massive ego. An eccentric could be a sympathetic person, who would be aware of other people’s opinions and problems, however, he himself would be able to free his mind of the everyday stress. I don’t think eccentricity automatically makes a person egocentric, i.e. selfish and self-entered, although it makes him different in terms of the perception and understanding of the world (in a rather positive way).

Tereza Ehrenbergerova

 

 

 

Are eccentrics egocentric?

 

Though not being able to provide a deep psychological view, I think that an eccentric must also be egocentric along the way. Even though this might run slightly athwart the etymology of the terms, as being eccentric would would rather mean to concentrate on others and disregard your own self, in opposition to carrying only for yourself as an egocentric.

In fact, eccentricity refers rather to behaviour which is aimed at attracting attention and astounding the others, which happens again for the sake of our selves. Therefore, eccentricity is nothing else but an attempt to strenghten ourselves or our image in front of the others, often derived from a lack of natural self-assuredness, for which we subconsciously suppose the exaggerated behaviour to make up.

Along with that, eccentric cannot rationally deduce that such conduct can barely create the desired image, except the astonishing impresion we make and which opens only restricted opportunities, as we thus point at our egocentrism.

Adam Pospíšil

 

Are eccentrics egocentric?

     Are eccentrics egocentric? To answer this question, I will first try to define (with a certain level of simplification) the term „eccentric“. An eccentric is someone who tends to act oddly or out of the ordinary in his/her everyday life, has unusual habits or priorities.

The next step is to divide eccentrics into two groups: those who act the way they do simply because of their nature or an event in their life that has strongly affected them, and those who just want to get other people‘s attention.

In the latter case it is easier to say that these people are indeed egocentric, as they mainly care about themselves being noticed.

In the former case, on the other hand, it is not that simple, since egocentrism might or might not be a part of the particular flavour of eccentric behaviour. Some people may become self-absorbed in their oddity, yet others can just have a few strange habits and otherwise be perfectly fine. However, I think I can say that eccentrics are generally more likely to be egocentric than "normal" people.   Oskar Maxa

 

Are eccentrics egocentric?

 

Eccentrics are egocentrics. Maybe. Well at least mainly. But it of course depends on the level of eccentricity of the subject and his or her sanity. If they are narcistic ego freaks the matter is quite terribly clear, yet if they are eccentric eccentrics and thus greatly unusual even in the community of eccentrics they might be very altruistic and unselfish. There are also a large number of weirdoes who cannot be defined in the categories of egocentrism or altruism being absolutely of the bespoken scale.

 The problem here is generalization.  One of the few traits in which we human being still triumph over computers and robots is also the cause of why we can decide on such topics quite clearly. Yet we can’t get to the Truth through generalization, because you can almost always find specific cases in which there is a counter-example to the generalized statement.

     So, yes, eccentrics are egocentric. At least mainly.

Jakub Hampl

 

 


Are eccentrics egocentric?
  If we take a true eccentric, someone who is really "out of the centre" (of the society, out of the middle-of-the-road lifestyle), then the answer simply is no, an eccentric is never an egocentric. Unless the average "centric", a commoner, is an unselfish and selfless person. And that is unfortunately the kind of feature common people never burst with. Then we have this dilemma, whether an eccentric wants to feel special and do things in his very own way just because he wants to feel somehow unique, or because he is not willing to accommodate to the decadent ideas of his average fellowmen. Of course, he tries to protect his own ego from being poisoned with the loathsome ideas of his surroundings. But by protecting himself he necessarily must reject life of those, who are morally inferior. And one of their greatest vices is of course egocentricity, selfishness. Thus, true eccentric is never an egocentric.
Matěj Strnad

 

 

ARE ECCENTRIC PEOPLE EGOCENTRIC?

Every person has a right to express him/herself; to wear the type of clothes one prefers, have a hairdo of his/her own choice and gusto. This right should, of course, be applied to all human beings, with no restrictions to race, sex or religious motives lying within. But looking around us is sometimes a shock, since certain people tend to take this right and push it to the extreme. They want to look shocking just for the sake of the shock they induce in people around them.

These people want others to notice them in the street, they like it when strangers gaze at them, jaws dropped. And imagine the amount of “cool” they can evoke by being able to say: “Whut you starin’ at? ‘Aven’t seen a normal person?”

They know it will shock the surrounding people and armed with this knowledge can play “innocent” by pretending that it is completely normal; making the other person feel like an alien.

So, are they egocentric? Of course they are. They need all the interest others express. They need to be the center of attention, need to know that people are talking about them. They force their unnaturalness on others and expect them to accept it as “normal”, making them feel alienated, humiliated. And that seems egocentric enough.

Joachim Vesely

 

 

     Do we need classes?

I suppose that the main class division is closely connected with money. Personally I think that there have been social classes every time. But now as the society grows rich the differences among the classes are becoming more and more visible. Particularly in the Czech Republic we can clearly see the contrast between homeless people and rich people. Somewhere in between them is the so-called middle class which creates the majority in society. The question if we do need classes or not is not well asked. There have always been classes and they are here today and I think that it will not change in decades.

The question should be whether the classes is a good thing or a bad thing. The communist era in the Czech Republic tried to remove classes but it failed and since there is capitalism and democracy here, the gap between rich and poor is enlarging. Also, if we had no classes there would be no chance to differ from others and I do not think it would be good for people in the long term. So the answer to the question asked is YES, we do need classes, at least for now.

Jan Černý

 

Social classes in the Czech Republic

 

I think that social classes have always existed, exist and will never be dissolved, so it seems that we really do need them, because otherwise it wouldn't probably be kept for so many years and centuries. However, the difference is not as huge in the Czech Republic as it is for example in Britain. That is, I guess, because of communism which was here for many years and over which the Czech people haven't got yet. Generally, in my opinion,  the classes here are: the snobs, the rich people, the middle class, the poor people and the Romanies. (the Romanies are further divided into two groups – those who are assimilated and educated, and those who refuse to work). But I think that the rich people are still taken by the poor people as those who defrauded a bank, stole something or else cheated. And the rich people still look down on the poor ones and all Romanies, no matter how educated or rich they are. People still haven't learnt to respect others.

Kateřina Roubalová

 

Do we need class system?

I think that this question is actually very personal. We should ask whether we, personally, need such a system. Classes help certain people to foresee what they can expect from others. And their judgements often depend on the exterior and behavior of the “subject”. But somebody would call this a mere prejudice.

On the other hand, some people believe that exterior actually doesn’t mean anything and we only need classes to simplify our lives a bit just by putting people around us into a few categories.

But what do these two opinions have in common is that class system doesn’t exist on its own. It’s just something which forms by years of “tradition” (and that’s why it doesn’t exist here – 40 years of communism have erased all kinds of social classes). Class system also has deep historical background – aristocracy and vassals etc. But in modern democratic countries there is no need for dividing society so strictly. It’s people who create the system, not the system itself.

Matěj Klíma

 

Do we need classes in the Czech Republic?

 

Firstly, we have to ask what these classes actually are. Basically it is a system of dividing the heterogeneous population into groups whose members have something in common. There are many factors that affect the principals of dividing such as: social and cultural background, religion, occupation, wealth, age etc.

Capitalism naturally brings the social segregation and it is not a matter of choice, whether we want classes or not. As a result, in post-communist countries the class system is not as developed as in the Western Europe. Of course, we can analyse the advantages and disadvantages: For instance, classes help people to confirm their position in the society and thus define their identity. On the other hand, it causes the prejudice against people within one class just because of certain attributes they are said to have.

So we do not need classes in the Czech Republic, However, they will gradually develop.

Jindra Traugott

 


Do we need classes?

 

We have already spent quite a lot of time discussing this topic during our lessons, and I believe that everything importatn has been said, so I’ll just try to summarize my opinions on this subject. I strongly believe that in our society there is really no need for strictly defined classes. In 18 years of capitalism our country has been through, people have spread across the whole social spectrum, but no strict borderlines between classes emerged. Of course, rich people are more interested in relationships with other rich people, but there is no strict set of signs that defines "rich" class. Social separation is also only beginning, but this trend will grow larger, mostly because of new housing projects, "ghettos for the rich", such as "Central parg Prague". These enclosed "towns within towns" have everything a modern person will need, often its own shopping areas, wellness centres, parks and even small squares, but the entrance is forbidden for anybody without invitation. So in my opinion, it is developers, who "import" western-style class system to our country.

Please don’t take my conclusions so seriously.. = )

 

Honza Hrubeš

 

Do we need classes in the Czech Republic?

            First of all, let me tell you that since I worked in Czech parliament as a journalist, I am no longer as right-wing as I used to be. When I saw expensive cars of deputies, when I saw prices in the parliament canteen, when I saw arrogant and big-headed government led by Mr. Topolanek I realised that both ODS and ČSSD do not care about the lower part of them.

            Do we need classes? The capitalist system needs them. As long as there is bureaucratic, corrupted and careless government, people will be sorted into classes. There will be classes as long as the richest people will be preferred and poor people hated.

            Yes, I agree – it is not as bad as in the United Kingdom here. But still I am sure that The Velvet revolution from late 80s hasn’t ended yet. Revolution is still going on and will end on the day, when everybody can see the classes, created by the capitalist system.

            I am looking forward to it.

Radek Hlaváček

 

 

Do we need classes in the Czech Republic?

 

  I think we need the term “classes” to define the certain groups of people more than we need the classes. But on the other hand, it depends what type of class system we mean. Sorting people into classes by their knowledge and how many degrees they have is an entirely different thing then sorting them by their monthly income and by how much money they generally have.

  I think it is important to know if the people want to be sorted out in classes in the first place. I think they wouldn’t want to be, at least in the Czech Republic. Plus the classes are quite relative when we compare the cities and the towns.

But now back to the question. The sorting into classes begun when the mankind started to overproduce the goods they were making. So I guess we do need them, because we are still in overproduction.

Claire Klingenberg

 

Does Money Talk?     

When we think whether money talks, I usually understand it as the power of money in the illegal way. In this way money definitely talks. When someone has money there is no problem with bribery or corruption, so it’s the money that says who has the power and who loses.

 This question is much more interesting when we mean it in the legal way. In this way money shouldn’t be so important, because, as we hear everywhere, we live in fair time where all the people have the same chance and their success depends just on their aspiration.

But I think that the truth is different. The problem isn’t that the world is unfair but that everything costs money (even education which is probably the most important and powerful thing in this time) and not everybody can take the liberty to buy such things as the house or the education are for example.

So the money always talks and even in a fair world it says who has the power, who is safe and who has to earn more.

Magdalena Hlaváčková

 

 

Does Money Talk?

Money can talk in many different languages. But here is an example of a little chat with your salary. Let’s say you are not quiet, content with your job but the money you are getting is worth staying and doing something you are a bit interested in but you wouldn’t choose (if you had the choice). Then you get an interesting offer. You could get a job you always wanted to do. It would be perfect with one little disadvanatge. The salary you’d get is lower than the current one. Honestly, would you go for it? If yes, money doesn’t talk to you at all. Or it whispers into your ear but you do not hear it. But if you stick with your current job it talks to you loudly and you can understand its language perfectly. There’s nothing wrong with hearing money’s voice. In listening to it. But if it is the only language you can speak than it might be a problem...

Alžběta Glancová

Does Money Talk? If So, What Does It Say?

            Of course only a little child would say that a piece of paper or metal can express own thoughts in the way that people do. But here “talk” does not mean only making a sound in some language.

            There are not many people on Earth who would not change their mind because of money. Sometimes it is enough to offer a hundred Crowns, sometimes it makes millions, but mostly it depends on how rich people are and how much the amount of money means for the people. We make promises that can be easily forgotten when there is something more interesting offered. Why keep promises when we can buy a new house or a car just by acting against one of them?

            Still there are cases where money promising luxury or food for simple surviving can shout and scream and people remain neglecting it. There are mothers who would never sell their children, husbands who would not betray their wives, friends who keep promises in any case or people with strong morals.

            So even though money talks in the way that it persuades people to make things they normally would not consider as good ones not all people let themselves be disturbed.

Klara Hutkova

 

 

 

Does Money talk?

 

In  public it is a rather frequent topic. Does money talk? Does money mean power? Yes!! I consider money to be the most powerful weapon on earth. Imagine what you would do for infinite amount of money. And then realise that there are many other people, who would do even worst and harder things in order to get it. Having a lot of money in this world means you can do whatever you want. You can obtain and achieve everything. Even love. Many people would say that money has no connection to love, but I say it has at least to a certain extent. It is always easier to fall in love with someone well-dressed, someone, who is able to earn money. Money is, in my humble opinion, the real master of this world. I am not saying if it is right or wrong. It is up to you to decide.

Honza Hospodka

 

 

Does money talk?

It doesn’t matter what we think or what we are trying to do with money but the truth is that we all need money and it has the large influence on our lives. We couldn’t buy anything to eat without money and we wouldn’t even get a salary. It is an instrument how to get the things we need. It was through the change earlier: someone wanted something to eat and someone else wanted something to wear up, they changed it and they were satisfied. But it was often very complicated to find someone who wanted something we had. So money should make it less complicated and I think that it has perfectly fulfilled its purpose. On the other hand, it also causes a lot of enviousness and hatered among other people.

So it talks. It talks a lot. It can show other people how successful we are or how much luck we have. But it talks always just the way we want to. When we don’t want other people to see how much money we have, we don’t have to show it to them. It always depends on the personal character. I really don’t think that money is a root of evil. It depends only on us how we use it and how we speak with its help.

Aneta Antonie Černá

 

Perfectionists be hanged?

 

Considering the literal meaning of this question, I strictly say no, since I'm generally against punishing people (let alone by death) for their personality traits. There are of course exceptions, like people who throw other people out of skyscrapers' windows just for fun etc.

Taking into account the broader sense of the title, I will start with an apology for the possible bias of the following words, which arises from the fact that I consider myself a perfectionist – at least in some aspects.

It is without doubt that some of the typical perfectionist qualities are annoying in essence, speaking for example of the urge to focus on small irrelevant details at the expense of the whole, which of course decreases productivity, and is, I'm afraid, a feature of mine as well. Perfectionists also often suffer from low self-esteem because they are unable to live up to their own high expectations.

On the other hand, perfectionism often leads to great achievements, whether in science, sports or arts. A perfectionist's work, if it actually gets finished after the long, painful process of its development, is also exceptionally reliable.

Conclusion: Perfectionism, as almost everything, has its pros and cons, so let's focus on the former and condone the latter, thus pushing the world one step closer to being a happy place.

Oskar Maxa

 

 

Perfect pictures

 

Do you like typos on a winter day, leaning

Back into cushions in your cozy bed, reading

Your favourite and beloved book of prose, freezing

Cold and chill outside?

 

I hate them myself, this hate I must stress,

For they give me shivers and they give me stress.

 

Do you like poets on the Internet, breezing

Through airy vocab in unforeseen ways, seeking

Out metaphors fervent and powerful, failing

Still the metre chosen?

 

How do I despise those! No mercy reserved,

A glance of contempt is too well deserved.

 

Do you like delays on a jampacked street, mailing

The public transport head in wrathful thought, dreaming

Of teleportation to get you through, coming

Late as usual?

 

I can't stand them a moment long, nor endure,

My time is precious, and so is yours, for sure.

 

Do you like clockwork on a sudden halt, humming

The pips in stead of the chime?

 

—pip, pip, pip, pip, peeep—

 

Do you like poems being

broken

into dis-

-order mayhem hailstorm putsch

-cord cacoPHONY
-harmony
?

Well well well well, I do not fancy any of these things either, m'dears!

But it is fun, don't you think, having them in order that we may, and are in fact obliged to, criticise them.

Or is there any wrong or false inscribed in what is conveyed to you? Please do say so, it will be taken into consideration, without a moment of doubt.

 

Oh what a shame not a single piece of information can be gathered from you on the delicate topic of your stance to this very puzzling or else cunningly procured and, even before that, of course, chosen question. What a terrible pity! Oh what a terrible, terrible pity!

 

Bloody hell! In perfection, we seek imperfection,

And vice versa.

 

So hang me, or let me unhinged, unhanged, poetry will not stand and fall upon the resolution whether I am to be hanged or not, nor upon the ultimate question of perfectionism, but upon a completely different and even less interesting issue (it could be as well called “the ultimate question”) to be solved by, unluckily enough, not any other generation but our generation.

It's always like that, no matter what ways you take, it waits on all ways.

 

And even if it were the question of perfection, I may have been hanged by then, pictures of Putin may be hung in all public edifices, offices and orifices, and even then, photorealism can't win the race on the one, nor can George Walker Bush on the other extreme of the spectrum of attained perfection.

 

Do you like poems?

Matouš Turek 

 

Stanley Kubrick to be hanged?

   Perfection is surely a certain base artists (or people in general) try to achieve while bearing in mind that nothing can´t be never perfect enough (not even my English). My favourite film director Stanley Kubrick suits as perfect example of a perfectionist. He was originally a newspaper photographer, which provided him with enormous technological and professional knowledge on the field of cinematography. He made use of them in all of his movies, already his early works (Paths of Glory, Killing etc.) are well known for being visually exceptional.
   Kubrick´s desire for perfection could have been seen also in the way he approached his film crew, often showing his disappointment with the technical aspects of their work. He was the one who knew the best which lenses should be used or how the set should be lit. When watching his movies (in fact any of them) even for the fourth or fifth time you tend to get the feeling, that he knew what to say, as well as how to say it. That is something really unique, Kubrick was one of the few filmmakers, who were really aware of the technical side of things. Due to his perfectionism he was a perfect artist, as well as a perfect craftsman.

Matěj Strnad

 

Perfectionists be hanged?

Well, frankly stated, no. I do not wish to be hanged myself, so why

should I pass such judgement upon others? Of course, this statement

doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I am, actually,

a perfectionist. I would have answered so had you asked me about

hanging any other type of person. Sincerely...

    Being a perfectionist sucks anyhow, so hanging one would actually

be helping him out, and that, if I understand you well, is not your

intention. Look, when you want everything to be perfect, where can

you get to? Let me tell you: nowhere. Because, for whatever reason,

nothing is ever perfect in this world. That means a perfectionist works

and works and works...and works overtime, so the final product he

presents to others is as perfect as can be. The one big problem? Even if

he is completely satisfied, the thing is only perfect in HIS OWN eyes.

Ouch, right?

   So please be kind to your perfectionist friends. Show them you

respect the amount of effort they put into things when they really

mean them. And mainly, smile at them when they tell you how stupid

and imperfect your own work is, when they come and point out all your mistakes and

shortcomings. All in all, isn't it for your own good? Don't you wan't a perfect life?

Thought so...

Joachim Vesely

 

Identity theft – just an excuse?

 

It is sometimes said that identity theft, a term one would scarcely have understood several decades ago, ranks among the most dangerous threats existing as one of the peculiar features of modern society. It appears to me that what provides an important and essential image of today´s state of society is not only the phenomenon itself, but probably even more the fact that it was given a name and is often the topic of different attempts to describe the pros and cons of our ´crazy´ world in an at least a little bit philosophical way.

Of course, it is disgusting to watch celebrities being deprived of their privacy in a deterring manner, and we can complain about video cameras which often supervise us in public places. However, the question whether we let somebody influence or steal our identity or not somewhat differs from these issues. First of all, when asked about their identity and its prezent self-assuredness, many of us would probably start thinking about what their identity actually looks like, if they believe to have one. And when we finally perceive an image of our own identity, we should find out that the only one on whom the strenght of it depends is ourselves because we should decide, and we often do not, to what extent we surrender to the pressure of society, the media etc., about which we complain. And it is only ourselves who can steal not only others´ identity, but most of all that of our own.

Adam Pospíšil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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