Arhive pe etichete: toefl preparation

We are pumpkins, big and round, Big and round, big and round…

“We are pumpkins, big and round,
Big and round, big and round.
We are pumpkins, big and round,
Seated on the ground.

We are string beans green and fine…..growing on a vine.
We are onions round and white….we make soup taste right.
We are carrots, orange and long…help us sing the song.”
How do you think, what’s this? No, it’s not neither a preparation for a concert, nor a school musical, it’s just a family evening.

“Mum, let’s sing again! We are pumpkins, big and round,
Big and round, big and round…”

Now  let’s see what was really happening in that family. Mother and her child were cooking, so, nothing special, just some amazing moments spent with the family, enjoying cooking, communicating and building a strong relationship between parents and children.
I guess nothing of these would happen if they decided to eat almost every time at food stands or restaurants. Yes, these colorful and convivial restaurants, with a strong marketing theory behind them and a lot of glitter spread over, with tasty and unhealthy meals, all this stuff seems so open and friendly to all customers, but our mission is to be not tricked by appearances. In fact, what can be better than teaching yours daughter how to cut a cucumber, while preparing the dinner?

On the first place is the atmosphere, than magic atmosphere, when the smell of a toasted chicken spreads all over the kitchen and mum is calling you for the dinner, or when your father decides to prepare the breakfast for the entire family in a Sunday morning, or when the children bake their first cake for their parents. Where is the magic? The magic is in every piece of this food, because you know somebody did it for you, because he or she loves you, not because you pay him 20 dollars for that.

Second, will you put some unhealthy ingredients in the lunch you prepare for your  family? I don’t think so. More than that, I’m sure you will try to make the food as healthier as possible, because, after all, it’s for somebody you love. Ok, except if you are the stepmother from Snow White and the Seven Dwarf.

As a third argument, I’ll state that preparing and eating food at home makes the relationships in the family better. Family discussions,  jokes, maybe watching TV after the dinner or playing rock, scissors, sticker to see who will wash the dishes, all these maybe unimportant activities for humanity, but so crucial in a family life, all of them will make your family be more stronger.

So, as a conclusion, I want to ask you to take your family members right now and go cook the dinner, or the lunch, or the breakfast, or whatever you want, just be with your family, make them happy, and don’t  forget to google some tasty recipes. Good appetite!


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The hurrying snail

“Hurry, hurry”, said the snail and had slipped from one side of the bench to another one. The explanation? The snail had an important appointment. Why? Ok, but it’s the XXI century, everybody is in a hurry, everybody is either a businessman or a business-lady, and our snail wants to be at the same level as the rest of the world. You might think that my next statement will sound like this: we should live life at a slower pace. No way, my dears! We should run, hurry, do this, do that, die of exhaustion and smile!

First, how many lives you’ve got? Don’t forget that you are not a cat, and you can’t spend 6 from 7 lives watching TV or playing computer games, and only 1 life being happy. You could state that watching TV is the highest level of happiness, but you will be totally wrong. Happiness is about running, falling and feeling the pain. Happiness is about having things done, going to different places and feeling the life.

Second, hurrying means that you don’t manage to do some things, which means that you have a lot of things to do, which means you a multilateral developed person, which means you are smart, which means you are happy. So, if you hurry, you a happy, right?

And the third argument sounds like this: if you live your life at a slower pace, you could be worried that it passes near you. Why? Because it really could pass near you! Living slower means doing less, maybe more profound, but less. And here it’s not fashion, here less is not better, in life less is less, without many discussions.

So, what could I add now? Put on your boots and run! While running you may fall down, or take off. But you will know that your life didn’t pass near you, and you will be happy person, definitely a happy person.

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Put on your helmet and don’t dare to give up

Do you know that during his life, Van Gogh sold only one of his paintings? Or that Jack London’s first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted? Did you know that when the  Beatles were just starting out, a recording company told them that they don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out? More than that, Steve Spielberg were rejected for three times from the University of Theater, Film and Television from California, while Oprah Winfrey had been fired from her job as a television reporter because she was „unfit for TV.” So, what do you think, what’s the main similarity between these so different people? Maybe, their life quotation, to never give up?

Now, the main questions is: why should I be stubborn, with so-called “unreal” dreams and have a bit of craziness? And the answer is already coming: because I want to succeed.

First, never be sorry for yourself. Let the others love you, worry about you, because your duty is to be ruthless toward you. Yes, it can sound very inappropriate, but let’s think logically. What would happen if you always mourn yourself? You will always look for someone’s shoulder to cry on, while the others will look for a place to hide, when you will appear on the horizon. More than that, if you always give up, you can eventually end starving to death, or living in a box from someone’s TV set, someone who didn’t give up when you did it.

Second, forget the adage that what is yours will wait for you. It’s a bad quotation, a very, very bad quotation. Sincerely speaking, all the stuff about destiny, wizards and mermaids is from my point of view, tales for children. It’s not fate who changes your life, there are your decisions, it’s not a wizard, it’s a man who tricks you, and it’s not a mermaid tail, it’s an illusion, or a processed photo, or tailor’s masterpiece. There are not the others which were more advantaged, it’s you who gave up.

And the last point: a someone gives up because another someone said him that he’s bad at doing something, right? Isn’t it a total nonsense? Who is the second someone? Nobody! And why should nobody tangle you from becoming somebody?

Nothing is more powerful than a man’s will, neither the walls, nor someone’s opinion. You just have to know how to handle your immense power of will, when to wear a helmet and when to rest a little. As a final point, I would ask you to put on your helmet, and keep hitting the wall! Never forget that your dreams worth your effort and need some bruises!

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Are you a plant or a bird?

Some people spend their entire lives in one place. Others move a number

of times throughout their lives, looking for a better job, house, community,

or even climate. Which do you prefer: staying in one place or moving in

search of another place? Use reasons and specific examples to support

your opinion.

Plant – any of various organisms of the kingdom Plantae characteristically producing embryos, containing chloroplasts, having cellulose cell walls, and lacking the power of locomotion. Yes! Lacking the power of locomotion! Does this world collocation remind you about something? Something like… people who spend their entire lives in one place?! Because I do, I do see the marvelous similarities between plants and this kind of people-with-roots. And it doesn’t matter are you a beautiful rose or an amazing Gingko Biloba tree, because nothing compares to birds: yes, these fully free and without borders creature, with charming colorful wings, small claws and black blinking with life eyes. Neither your enchanting perfume with or without exotic flavors, nor your flowers, with millions of petals of let’s say turquoise color, nothing, my dear plant, nothing compares to what a bird can see in its’ life, beginning with the landscape of the sea in the morning, and ending with some Himalayan mountains, with its’ down hills and up hills of an unprecedented greenery. So, would you still prefer to be a plant, my dear earthling?

First, never forget that our entire life is a journey, and we must keep travelling no matter what happens to us, and no, the walk from ones’ cage side to another is not called “travelling”. That’s why we should escape. In fact, the purpose of our life is to look for our happiness, to pack our rucksack, to put on our boots, to say good bye to our mums and go, move on, discover ourselves. You may say that lying in bed all day long is safer, you get no scars, bruises, no stings or bites. But our life is not about lying in bed, is not about surviving, it’s all about living, in the fullest meaning of this word. Life is like a mountain: nobody forbids you to build a small hut at the lap of the mountain, but just imagine what can you encounter while striking to touch the top of it!

Second, what are you living for? For being happy, don’t you? So, why should someone stay in a bad place? Only for having the possibility to complain “I’m unhappy, I don’t like my job, my wife is ugly, my dog smells bad”? Man, you have one brain and two feet, use them! Never be lazy to make a change in your life, it’s never too late, it’s never senseless. Try to live your life in such a way that you will not regret it before dying.

And third… there were once an adage, that later became my life-motto: it’s better to regret what you’ve done, than to regret what you didn’t do. So, take some more kilograms of courage and move! Why should you be afraid of changing? Changing is great, changing is the key straight to the happiness!

So, forget about mummy’s cakes and the cozy sofa. Forget about your bad smelling dog and try to climb the mountain. Nobody said it will be easy, but I promise it will worth it, because, in fact, what can be better than a successful life? A life where you are not afraid to move, to change, to make experiments and win? Cut you roots right now and fly.

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Face-to-face communication: what for?

“My mum said I have to socialize, so, I made an account on Facebook.” It may sound  like a pretty inoffensive joke, but it reflects 100% todays’ reality. Or, another example: “ Why I have to go out? There are people outside.” The conclusion? In the XXI century, we, human beings, have become so selfish, proud, spoiled, vainglorious, every time in a hurry after trifles, that even we don’t want to communicate face-to-face  with us. Why? Because after a monitor it is easier to have a mask, to build a fictive image, to paint over all our defects beautiful butterflies and spread some glitter over our poor and small souls.

So, still why face-to-face communication is the best one? Only because we see the partners’ real face and get so scared that we decide never to speak to people again? Like in a well-known quotation: the better I get to know people, the more I want to be a friend of animals.

First, face-to-face communication involves some skills, such as good manners and intelligence. When you chat, you can take your time to think what to response, when you are in a park or restaurant with somebody, you cannot google some slick adages or ask your friend how to act. Imagine, it involves the activity of your brain! And it’s hard, it’s very hard…More than that, you should know a little of body language, you should look well, not in that sweatshirt that you have for over 5 years and you never get out of it, you should know how to smile, when to smile. It seems to be impossible, right?

The second reason why this “impossible” face-to-face communication is better than the others is because you show that you real care about that person. Image it’s your birthday and you got 5 messages with congratulations, but still fell alone and world-forgotten. Why? Because nobody came to give you a hug, a real, not virtual through skype hug, nobody kissed you on your cheek (ok, except those two messages that contained a kissing smile).

And the last reason, and I guess, the most important one: people, think that you have the amazing possibility to talk face-to-face to somebody you like. To see his or her smile, to discuss about things you see in the surroundings, not only about some images found in the internet, to walk on the streets holding him or her, feeling the warn of somebody’s arm, to straighten a lock of somebody’s hair, or to feel the fragrance of his or her perfume.

Think that there people that don’t have this possibility, think that they would do anything for some minutes of being together, without tones of cables and monitors, and satellites between them. Think about yourself. Why should you private yourself from the best a human being can have in his live? The possibility to be near somebody.

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What does the Earth think about us?

Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion?

“The universe. All the planets are spinning around the sun. The Earth meets the Mars, and they begin to talk.

-So, Earth, how are you?

-I’m quite fine, even if I’m sick. I have homo sapiens.

-Don’t worry, it will pass. I also had.”

This is a quite inoffensive, small joke, but which has a very deep meaning. Are we really such a nuisance? Does our activity harm the Earth? Many people would definitely answer with a big “YES”. But I’m not one of them, so, I’ll deny this statement, and assert that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. Of course, if I was an animal, or plant, or even the Earth, I would state that people are parasites, and they harm everything they touch. But I’m a human being, and for me, it is normal to say that our activity is benefic for the planet.

Can you imagine your life without some human inventions, such as electricity or high technologies? I guess no, and this is the first reason why human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. Because only due to it, human’s life becomes better and better each year, and because people are living longer and in constantly improving conditions, only thanks to their own activity. If not our activity, the Stone Age would be stretched till nowadays.

The second reason why we don’t harm the Earth is because this planet by default passes through some levels, and it is not our contributions. Here, I refer to the global warming, a very popular topic of discussions in our days. It was scientifically proved that once in some millions of years, the Earth becomes either warmer, or colder, and it has no link to the human activity. So, everything that people do, don’t harm this planet, and the damages that we can see nowadays, even without us would had happened.

The last reason is a very logical one. Since people live on the Earth, and there is no other place to live for them, why should they damage it? It means implicitly that our every activity has the main goal to improve the environment and to make this planet a better place to live. We have no reasons to act against it or to try to destroy it. It is known that people are very egoistic beings, so everything they do is for the sake of their own life, or the life of their children. It means that every man and woman on this planet tries to make the Earth a better place to live, if not for the other, for them and their children.

So, in order to convince you about the truthfulness of my statement, I’ll ask you a question: you try to make the Earth a better place to live, don’t you? Even by doing small activities, such as throwing the garbage or cleaning the house? I guess I know what your answer will be, and it means you agree with me.

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Pets- good or bad?

Many people have a close relationship with their pets. These people

treat their birds, cats, or other animals as members of their family. In

your opinion, are such relationships good?

“We are five members in the family: my mum, daddy, me, my sister, and Sheila, our puppy. I like to play with the dog all day long, and I sleep with her in my bed, and do my homework, and eat at the table next to her, and, generally speaking, the puppy is always near me. Even my sister is not, or my parents, but I enjoy more the time spent with Sheila, because it’s so much fun, and she is so soft, and has a red, wet, tongue, and she is my best friend ever.”

So, this is a quite common situation in many families, and, my question is: do you consider it to be a normal one? Of course, you could state a lot of pro-arguments, saying that it is very good when a child have a pet-friend, because it develops its sense of responsibility and makes him happier. Moreover, this situation is valid not only for children, but for the adults too. Imagine an unmarried woman, who lives with her cat and having no friends, or an old man, having a close relation with his bird. Of course, all these situations seem to be very sentimental ones, that imply a true friendship, and understanding, and this magic link between a human being and an animal, and colorful rainbows, and flower throughout, and love, and care, and fairies, but, in fact, it is not like this. Pets and people should remain only pets and people, and nothing more. Now, even if I risk that you could accuse me of an overdose of realism mixed up with criticism, next, I’ll state my reasons.

First, pets, beside their cute and fluffy appearances , are a bag of diseases, a very big one. Beginning with tuberculosis and ending with rabies, there are hundreds and hundreds of diseases that we can take from our lovely animals. Like in my previous example, children are more exposed to it, because they are more likely to kiss and hug pets, sleep in one bed with them and eat together. It doesn’t mean that people should not have pets at home, but having some elemental hygienic rules is more than necessary. Now, the main problem is that while I have a very close relationship with my pet, it will be very hard for me to respect them.

Second, people should be friends with people. Why? Because human being, as animals, live in groups, and they need the support from the other members of the same group. Are you sure that a golden fish understands you as well as a human friend could do? Or maybe an hamster is able to give you some pieces of advice regarding your personal life? Remember, that even if you love you dog or cat, and you enjoy your time with them, playing with the ball or taking care of them, at one point, nothing will compare with a good talk at a coffee with a friend, or even acquaintance. If you have to choose between spending the time with your brother and sister, or staying with a pet, please, choose the first one, because pets are pets, but we are people.

And the last reason, the third, is that people should not get attached very much to their pets because they die, and usually, before their owner. And then, follows a deep depression, and bad feelings, and it is not very good. Just imagine that you have a parrot, and he dies, and you lived with him for 12 years. How would you feel? Now, think that instead of those days spent at home, with your pet, you could go outside, and meet new people, and make friends. For children is even more wors. I remember from my own life experience a situation like this. I was 6 or 7 years old, and I had a fish, a colorful and beautiful fish, and I loved it very much, and spent hours in the front of the aquarium, and…one day, he died. Believe me, it wasn’t the best experience of mine. I was very upset, and for a week I didn’t want to speak to anyone. All these negative feelings could be avoided, if not my close relationship with that fish.

So, as a conclusion, I would like to emphasize that it is good to have pets, because of the amazing moments together, but the important aspect is not to become too attached to it, because such relations aren’t benefic. Look around, there are so many people who expect you to observe them, and become friends!

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