Mike in Finland

keskiviikko 18. tammikuuta 2017

Discussion topic for Sampola class on Tuesday 11 April


Talking about the past



1.    Where were you born?
       Do you still live there?
       If not, when did you move away?
       Where did you move to?
       Do members of your family still live in the place where you were born?
       Describe the home and surroundings as well as you can remember.
       Do you ever visit the village or town where you were born?
       Where would you say your home is?
       Do you feel a strong connection to the land, village, or house where
       you were born?
       Where would you say your roots are?

2.    How much do you know about your forefathers?
       Did they live for many generations in the same place?
       How did they make their living?
       Tell me something about your family tree.
       Do you think it is important to feel a connection with the past?
       Is it important to feel a connection with a place?
       Has modern life made any changes to these feelings?

3.    What is your earliest memory?
       What sort of things do you remember from your early childhood?
       ................. from your teens?
       What memories do you have of your schooldays?
       What memories do you have of childhood holidays?
       When was the first time you travelled abroad?
       Where did you go?  What memories do you have of the trip?

4.    When did you move away from home (= your parents’ home)?
       Did you move far?      Where to?
       What was your own first home like?
       Why did you decide to get your own place?

5.    When did you learn to drive?
       What was the first type of car you drove?
       What was the first car you owned?
       How have the roads and driving changed since you began driving?

5.    What are the most important experiences that you have had?
       What experiences have influenced your personality or attitudes?
       How have you developed as a person since leaving school/college?
       ..............skills/values/interests/understanding
       What about in recent years?
       How have your attitudes/feelings/personality changed?

6.    What inventions or developments from the past have most influenced                     
       our lives today?
       What events in history have had a lasting effect?
       If you had a time machine and could change events in the past, what
       events would you change?
       How would modern life be different as a result of that change?
       If you could travel back in time, which period would you most like to
       have live in?


sunnuntai 25. joulukuuta 2016

All my books


All my publications so far with Ward Wood Publishing. There are two novels: The Finn's Tale and Arthur's Eventful Weekend, and two poetry collections: Midas Touch and Falstaff's Gut. The publisher's website (www.wardwoodpublishing.co.uk) has a brief description of each book and there are some excerpts on the pages in the right-hand bar of this blog.



They're all available in book form and on Kindle, from the publisher's website, Amazon, The Book Depository and other online booksellers.

maanantai 5. joulukuuta 2016

New work from students at Tampere University



I've just added more new work from students on this autumn's Creative Writing in English course at Tampere University on the public blog at:

http://writersatuta.blogspot.fi

New pieces include prose fiction, poetry and a new category: narrative essays, of which one example has been posted this autumn. There may still be one or two more new pieces appearing.


tiistai 6. syyskuuta 2016

Sampola discussion topic for Tuesday 29 November


This is our topic for Tuesday 29 November.


Proverbs 

1. Think of half a dozen (6) Finnish proverbs. Try to find very common ones and some that are less well known, or even obscure.
Translate your proverbs word-for-word into English.
Now work out how you would explain the meaning in English. Make some notes so you remember your explanations in next week’s class.

2. Do you think your example proverbs contain useful wisdom?
Do you often use proverbs in ordinary conversations?
Have you used proverbs as a way of teaching your own children certain ideas or ways of thinking?
Why have proverbs become popular, i.e. what is the attraction of a proverb?
Do you think that proverbs have become over-used, i.e. are they now clichés?
Do you groan inside if someone quotes a proverb to you?

3. Do you know the origins of your example proverbs?
Are all proverbs old?
Do you know any modern proverbs?
Do they apply to modern life?
Do you agree that proverbs go beyond one person and time period?

4. What’s the difference between a proverb and a quotation?
Which would you be most likely to use?   Why?
Think of 2 or 3 examples of effective quotations.

5. Can you work out the meaning of the following English proverbs?
* It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
* Everything happens for a reason.
* There are plenty of fish in the sea.
* Two wrongs don’t make a right.
* The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
* No man is an island.
* Too many cooks spoil the broth.
* You can’t win them all.
* Time is money.
* There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
* There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
* God helps those who help themselves.
* Many hands make light work.
* The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.

6. Which of the above English proverbs would be appropriate in the following situations?
* Your young son or daughter has just lost a sports competition.
* A colleague tells you they plan to get revenge for their neighbor making a lot of noise last night.
* A friend is feeling depressed because they are going through a difficult period.
* A friend who applied for a job, didn’t get it. The job was given to the boss’s nephew.
* Your colleague tells you that they got very bad service at a restaurant yesterday.
* You are in a work team where all the members have different ideas about how to do the job.



torstai 11. elokuuta 2016

Pekka Kuusisto's Proms encore


Finnish violinist, Pekka Kuusisto, introduces Proms audience to a Finnish folk song and gets them to sing along in Finnish.


My darling is beautiful / She has blue eyes / but unfortunately they look in different directions.
bbc.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04470vv?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_proms&ns_source=facebook&ns_linkname=radio_and_music


torstai 21. tammikuuta 2016

Sampola discussion topic for Tuesday 12 April

This is the discussion topic for our next class on 12 April.


That’s good to know

All of the following questions relate to stories that have appeared on the BBC News website, although none of them concern main news events. Most are of what is known as ‘human interest’ stories and most are very short, though there may be more information behind them. For next week’s class you should first identify which stories/questions sound interesting to you. Then check out the details of as many as you want and be ready to present the information you have found. If you want to investigate any stories further, you can, and you may wish to collect details from other websites. Try googling some key words or names.

In the class, each person in your group will first tell what they have learnt about their stories and the team can discuss them. If there is time left, use your smart phones to find out about other stories that you haven’t already discussed.



1.         What is The Four Candles sketch and why is it in the news?

2.         Who are (or were) the Fearless Motorbirds?

3.         What happened to three golden cars in London?

4.         How were ancient Vikings traced to the S. W. tip of Newfoundland?

5.         How did children in Surrey help police to find two suspected burglars?

6.         Why did a British passenger pose for a photo with the hijacker of the Egyptian Air plane last week?

7.         Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are the famous founders of Apple, but there was a third founder. Who? And why did he drop out of the company?

8.         Why are Finnish football clubs angry with their own Football Association?

9.         How could you get a photograph of heaven?

10.       What are the pros and cons of camel racing and could it come to Europe?

11.       How does Rowan Atkinson succeed in the role of French detective, Maigret? (You will have to go off the BBC site for this, but there is a link.)

12.       Why is Eddie the Eagle back in the news and is he pleased about it?

13.       How are self-identity and internet use connected?

14.       How could laser beams protect us from aliens and why might it be necessary?


15.       Why was the Accident and Emergency (A & E) department at a Middlesborough hospital so busy over Easter?

16.       Are teeth whitening treatments, and kits for home use, a good idea?

17.       Why is a farmer in Surrey demolishing a ‘Tudor castle’ even though he doesn’t want to?

18.       What happened when Elvis met Nixon?

19.       What is Blockchain tech? How can it make it easier to buy a house, a bottle of wine or play the lottery?

20.       Should you order your whisky ‘on the rocks’?


21.       Why are babies all over the world sleeping in cardboard boxes?