Monday, June 25, 2012

Some general tips for General Studies

Get familiar Assessment Objectives (AOs)*

AO1- Demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding applied to a range of issues, using skills from different disciplines
A02- Marshall evidence and draw conclusion, select, interpret, evaluate and integrate information, data, concepts and opinions
A03- Demonstrate understanding of different types of knowledge, appreciating their limitations.

* these apply for the Edexcel board

Essay Tips:

Deconstruct Title: 
Identify theme(s) and jot down exactly what is expected.

Break-down the questions aims:

To provide information? (Describe
Give reasons for particular events/occurrences? (Explain)
Examine the merits of different views. (Assess, Analyze, Evaluate)
Identify different points of views. (Consider/ Examine)
Create your own balanced argument (Justify)
Reach a conclusion (How far/To what extent)

Identify themes and concepts: quick definitions 
Select Evidence: apply+ interpret+anlayze i.e. explain how evidence helps answer question
Weigh pros and cons

Now the essay:

Set the scene. 
Explain what is understood from the title
Describe key terms

Main Body:
Contains the evidence and arguments. 
Ought to be relevant/balanced and well-organized
Evaluate/Weigh up the merits of the argument

A direct reference to question 

for essay tips:
Revision Express AS and A2 General Studies (A  Level Revise Guides)

photo credits: weheartit

Friday, June 1, 2012

The impact of the First World War

This post covers the time between 1914-1919.
The question being addressed:

The economic consequences of World War 1 on America..

I used a series of videos to help me get a better picture of the time period back then. 
There are 3 videos, which together make up one episode of a show (which I'm guessing) is called America's Time. 

Its not all that informative, but it helps you get a fairly clear picture of the war and it consequence on the people involved. 

These are some bullet points of the idea and events covered in each video

  • May 1915,Lusitania sets sail and is caught in a cross-fire between Germany and Britain
  • Assassination of the Archduke of Austria in Sarajevo
  • American economy in Boom with new technology, advanced transport system, immigrant labor force and huge corporations.
  • Cinema and cars rapidly gaining popularity in America.
  • America giving out loans and  war supplies to European countries involved in war.
  • Meanwhile, war is progressing from bad to worse.
  • War of Partition on the Western Front between France and Germany (trenches starting from the English Channel and ending near Switzerland!)
  • War got from worse to terrible, outcome looking bleak with the loss of millions of lives.
  • A War Industry erupted in America, maintaining its prosperity.
  • Humanity faced its first ever chemical warfare which had fatal consequence and scared the soldiers.
  • Russia on the home front is in a disastrous situation, they sent the Kaiser to exile and set up a Provisional Government, which fought the war despite the shortages and desperate situations. Enter Bolsheviks who sparked a communist takeover and pulled out of war! 
  • America was horrified by these turn of events.
  • Woodrow Wilson, President of America, tried his very best to retain their neutral stand and ensure peace until in April 1917 he joined the war in order to protect his interests- democracy and its wealth. 
  • The Americans went into war "badly armed, poorly trained and unprepared!"
  • War finally ended a year after the Americans came in 1918, November- an exhausted Germany surrendered. 
  • Treaty of Versailles in Paris June 1919
  • Democracy- Wilson symbolized peace at the conference as opposed to the Britons and French who wanted retribution. 
  • Finally, against most of Wilson's wished, they settled for a harsh treaty which crippled Germany and created resentment which later became a contributing factor in the next war!
  • War had shown the dark side of technology

So into an essay format...
To what extent did war affect the American economy?
1. Introduction: 
Decide to what extent. I would say large. 

Followed by a brief discussion about American prosperity before war- 
Main features of a prospering American economy
New technology and developments- Andrew Carnegie, J.P Morgan, Henry Ford, etc 
Immigration brought in more laborers to fill up the factories
Transport- a very advanced system which improved communication and movement of goods and services
Growth of corporation like Standard Oil, United States Oil Corporation etc, which reaped profits but at the same time got involved in unethical practices. 

The war affected each of these factors to different extents. At first it integrated the above to make profits. But after the war it all came to a temporary halt.
2. Main body: 
New technology meant improved and efficient production lines. This was soon turned into war effort. The creation of a War Industry. It helped maintain prosperity by making money off selling war supplies. 
But the downside, the Americans were supplying loans to European nation to buy these war supplies from America. So in the long run, when Europeans runs out of loan money and the war had crippled them so they are slow to repay and America that has run short of money! (Do you get what I mean?) 

Immigration: This kept the labor force filled up with workers to provide for the war. 
But when war got over and soldier returned home, there was overcrowding= unemployment. Since the nation had made-do without them using immigrants, the native soldiers had no jobs to fill up! 

Transport- this was a helped keep the industries efficient.
But fell into decline when the end of war brought about a general decline. This appears to be least affected. 

Growth of Corporation- made them more powerful since they had controlled most of the important supplies of the nation such as electricity, oil and steel. 
But after the war, they was a decline in demand, so they went into slump as well. 

The war also meant the agriculture sector went into decline. They had stock pile of supply which people couldn't afford to buy. 
3. Conclusion:
All sectors and factors of earlier prosperity had been influenced to a considerable extent. The preparedness and isolationist policy of America prevented the economy from going under, unlike other European countries that had suffered worse.
America was able to reap profits from the war but with a price which was duly paid. The war had short -term economic consequences which the successive government could fix. 

So that was my attempt to put the impact of war 1914-1917 into an essay. This not only helps develop essay skill but also serves as good revision of this period.

Note: This is only a prologue to the chose topic, since the period of study is 1917-154. But its always good to have a background before we dived into the depths of the topic. 


Thursday, May 31, 2012

United Stated 1917-54: Boom, Bust and Recovery


This is my Unit 3 topic for Edexcel History. Its option code C2. 

So um..I basically self studied the entire syllabus. I used a variety of fairly reliable sources to device a plan to approach the topic. Since I was short on time and it was a crash course, I started with understanding what the examiners expect and how to answer the papers, its structure etc.
I am using this book as a textbook, mostly like a guide/timeline sort of thing. 

The back of this book, pages (167-174) has a really good revision checklist and a "How-to" address questions in the paper. I will briefly attempt to explain it here..

Its basically 
appropriate material from the sources and your own knowledge
Some pointers:
Evaluate source
Understand its perspective and assess the value of this perspective/interpretation of events
Contextualize the above with your own knowledge 
Argue your case using the above as evidence.

what you have selected in a manner that addresses the question in a as-direct-as-it-gets fashion
Some pointers:
Relevance, ensure all your points and observations are relevant to the question.
Make a plan
Structure- a logical and clear cut structure.  It is important and makes it easier to organize if you start by examining the premise of the question. 
For e.g. "To what extent was the slump and depression a product of government policies?"
In this question the premise is the government policy.


Introduction- Clearly outline your argument and how it will be developed.
Main body- series of paragraph, each making a point directly linking to the question. 
Conclusion- pulls your case together. So you give a summary of your argument and come to a reason judgement addressing the question. Returning to the example, you assess to 'what extent' and back it up with your argument and evidence! 


The Revision Checklist is text heavy. So instead I will give you the table of content, which is more or less the basic outline of the checklist.

1. The USA in the early 20th century
3. The years of prosperity- 1919-1929
4. Political and Social tension- 1919-1929
5. Controversy: The coming of the slump and depression-1929-1933
6. Controversy: The New Deal and its impact
7. Opposition to Roosevelt and the New Deal
8. The Second World War and its aftermath to 1954

Chapters 1-4 and 7 & 8 are likely to be Section A questions and both the controversy chapters would be Section B topics.


In your answer, challenge the question, make your case using evidence in the source while identifying both its strengths and weakness. 

I used the the Schemes of Work provided by the Edexcel website to outline my own (crash) course.

I know I'm disappointingly irregular with my post but stay tuned for more. lol 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pronouns in Spanish (Lesson#1)


So this is a quick lesson on pronouns in Spanish. Its quite tricky compared to English, because English is not as gender and noun specific Spanish. 
Basically pronouns serve as substitutes for a noun in a sentence or phrase (just like English). The noun that is replaces is referred to as the antecedent. 
So for example:
Cathy loves chocolate. She also loves tacos. 
In this case Cathy is the antecedent of "she". 


Its sort of weird that I am explaining Spanish pronoun concepts in English. It can cause complications, so I am going to switch to Spanish now. I will try to translate, but I am guessing your level is good enough to comprehend Spanish if your learning the pronoun concept. :) 

Hay 6 tipos de pronombres

  1. Personales
  2. Demonstrative
  3. Posesivo 
  4. Relativo
  5. Interogativo
  6. Indefinido


Hay 4 grupos de pronombres personales:

1. sujeto  
4 reflexivo


1. Sujeto

Normalmente no usamos en español, es solo para enfatir o dar claridad. 

                            Yo- I                                   nosotros/as- we (masculine feminine plural)
                          Tú- You                                   vosotros/as- you (masculine/feminine  plural)
Usted- You (formal)                ustedes- you (plural and formal)
él- him                               ellos- him (plural)
ella-her                              ellas- her (plural)

2. Objeto

Usamos los pronombres para que no es necesario que repita el objeto muchas veces. En vez decimos 'lo, la...etc' (como him, her, in english)

Hay dos tipos de 'objeto'

Objeto directo y objeto indirecto

Este es un pagína de web que tiene un superbuena presentacion de power points sobre objeto directo y indirecto
La presentacion incluye otras temas tambien, puedas ignorar si quieres. 

3. Disyuntivo 

Usamos después de los preposciones o enfatir. 

                               mí- me                              nosotros/as- we (masculine feminine plural)
                                   tí- you                              vosotros/as- you (masculine/feminine  plural)
      usted- You (formal)                  ustedes- you (plural and formal)
él- him                                          ellos- him (plural)
ella-her                                        ellas- her (plural)

por ejemplo:

Entré después de ella. 

* Cuando combinamos 'con':

con+ mi= conmigo          con+ ti= contigo

por ejemplo:

¿Va tu amigo contigo a Benidorm?

4. Reflexivo

estos son forman una parte de los verbos reflexivos y se refieren a los sujetos de la frase. 

me- me                               nos- us
te-   you                              os- you (plural)
se-   he/she (singular)      se- he/she (plural)

por ejemplo:

los verbos con reflexivo: 
levantarse, ducharse, lavarse, unirse...etc

Se levanta todos los días a la misma hora.


Stay tuned for more...
the other 5! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Amen Youtube!

She is brilliant and she makes SO much sense!!
From organizing to revising to what to do in a paper to what to take to an exam, for an exam, before and exam..Good stuff. 
Not like a how to, but a how to do better.
She talks like crazy load, but its totally worth it! 
(except the ear plugs!) lol

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Study Break: Mango Smoothie

Joseph Stalin.
1500 words later...
Brain overload. Need a break. Saw the mangoes on the table, while taking a stroll about my house. 

MANGO MILKSHAKE (which turned into) SMOOTHIE 
How did that happen?

2 mangoes+ half a cup of milk+ 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a blender. You can add sugar if it isn't sweet enough for you.
So I pulled out a glass,dolloped 2 more scoops of vanilla into it and poured the Mango Smoothie over it!


For best effect, use a straw to sip out the vanilla and smoothie together, and use a spoon to scoop out just smoothie in between the sipping! :D
Its perfect to beat the crazy heat, as well as a Stalin overload. Take it from me.


Photo credits: My own! 
♪Ska de la Tierra- Bebe

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Poetry with Carol, Ted and Sylvia


So I decided to do some extra reading for my Unit 3 Lit paper. It can earn you brownie points, in case you never thought of that. Also it gets you more prepared for the Unseen Poetry bit in Section A.


So I started with
Carol Ann Duffy, because I got and "Education for Leisure" in my preparatory paper

is Carol Ann Duffy
56 years old
was born on 23rd Decremented, 1955
is a modern/contemporary poet
writes about contemporary issues, such as
"Social Inequality
Gender Oppression
Construction of self."
was appointed Britain Poet laureate in May 2009.
admired by Ted Hughes.
You can go here for more (in detail) on her.


Which lead me to do some reading on Ted Hughes, I analysed his "Fox Thought"

is Ted Hughes
was born on 17th August, 1930
died at 68 of a heart problem during a colon operation!
was married to Slyvia Plath,
whom he divorced later, because 
was having an affair with Assia Wevill.
After the death of Slyvia and Assia,
married a nurse, 
named Carol Orchard (a nurse).
had 3 kids, out which 2 are dead.
one is a poet- Fried Hughes- and a painter.
has a real name- Edward "Ted" James Hughes.
was appointed Poet laureate in 1984.
wrote a lot of poems, rooted in nature- mostly with animal characterizations.


His wife piqued my interest, I haven't read her works yet.

is Sylvia Plath.
was born on October 27th, 1932
wrote the Bell Jar.
wrote plays and poems as well.
was suicidal and depressed.
stuck her head in an oven and died at the age of 30. 
was married to Ted Hughes.
became the first poet to win the Pulitzer prize, in 1982, for her book of poems.
lent her name to a form of illness associated with poets- Sylvia Plath effect.
I found this web page dedicated to her called 
Loving Sylvia Plath
they made a movie on her called Sylvia.

Sylvia: The Movie
in response to which Freida (her daughter) wrote in 2003, in Tatler

My Mother
"Now they want to make a film
For anyone lacking the ability
To imagine the body, head in oven,
Orphaning children

 [...] they think
I should give them my mother's words
To fill the mouth of their monster,
Their Sylvia Suicide Doll "

             ♪Dog Days are Over- Florence and the Machine

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stalking Penelope Cruz for homework


Soo I did some more Spanish today. Actually some Lit coursework as well. The entire morning I spent doing coursework, got grumpy it was afternoon. To get my mind off being grumpy I watched a Spanish movie; which is part of my "syllabus". (Notice how I don't waste time. Haha)
My Unit 4, A Level Spanish paper has a research based essay in Section C. You can choose from 5 options in advance what essay topic you want to do.Its like coursework except you present you final in a time paper.

I chose Literature and Arts. I didn't think about the implications in terms of language when I did that. Hehe..I was just excited about doing a novel or a film. I chose Como agua para chocolate, but after reading it for my diploma course, I decided not too! It is a very hard to read novel because of all it Mexican terms, it complicates the whole thing a 100 times more. Sooo I chose a movie by Pedro Almodóvar called

The movie features the infamous and super pretty actress Penelope Cruz, her sister Lola Dueñas, Yohanna Cobo as her daughter, Carmen Maura as her mother and Blanca Portillo as 
neighbour in her village home. 


I am too tired and lazy to do a review right now. So I am putting a brief post together. Maybe I shall add to it later. The movie is very colorful and the directing is amazing! The movie has suggestive If you get it that is. Otherwise its a everyone who speaks Spanish or can download get a version with subtitles. If you do, and you like colors and interesting story then you totally must.
It got people at home and in school, who don't speak Spanish, hooked!
So its a you-should-definitely  watch it.
If you, just like me are watching this for your A level exam paper.
Here is a very VERY VERY useful link for you. Its a guide designed for A level students to use for studying for the paper. Its a series of pretty worksheets made by a Uni professor.

An interesting webpage.Be warned you need Flash Player 7 to actually access the cooler site. 

The movie has a beautiful Flamenco sound Penelope Cruz lip syncs too! :D
Its beautiful, according to some brisk Googling the singer is Estrella Morente.

P.S. Have you noticed how extremely pretty and hot Penelope a.k.a Raimunda is in the movie!
Her wardrobe= bright colors and floral prints

Her footwear= pretty jute high platforms

Make up= so pretty, her eyes and pink lips! <3
Her hair-do= <3
Her jewelery= Gold and the same throughout!

♪ You know which song I'm humming..