jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014

Malnutrition Avoidance through Food Sovereignty

Malnutrition Avoidance through Food Sovereignty
Gustavo Ascolano
Teacher Stella Maris Saubidet Oyhamburu
Language and Written Expression IV
Institute ISFD N° 41

The main determinant of malnutrition is the vulnerability of people which is mainly induced by poverty. It makes people unable to feed themselves and represents a key factor in the achievement of household food security. The small-scale agriculture must be recognized as the main source of income and livelihood for the poor in several developing countries, especially in the African continent where the eighty percent of poor people live in rural areas. This is where food sovereignty appears, as a policy that underlies the right of nations and their people to define their own food production system without depending on the global markets, pioneered first by the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina’ which is nowadays increasingly being adopted by food movement activists across the globe. In other words, this concept of food sovereignty by ‘La Via Campesina’ was defined as ‘the right of each nation to maintain and develop its own capacity to produce its basic foods in their own territory’. The essential is to enjoy the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, defining this way their own food and agriculture systems in order to avoid the chemical processes which make nutrition an impossible issue.   
The global commercial seed market has been growing highly concentrated over the last twenty years. Global production is now being dominated by a very few companies. Nowadays, the unique market leader is Monsanto Corporation. This company began its seed production in the 1980s, after becoming one of the biggest chemical producers in the U.S with its pesticide production for World War 2. They developed genetically modified soya, which tolerates Monsanto’s own herbicide Roundup. However, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) identified many broken regulations related to the hyper concentration of this company. This lack of diversity of companies leads only to the development of only a few varieties of seed, impeding new ones with scientific improvements which may result as a benefit for the human body.
Referring to the fertility of these seeds, manure produced by cattle, pigs and poultry is used as organic fertilizer over the world. The real problem comes together with the chemical fertilizers sold by the companies, which may go from the fields into water systems, and consequently generate damaging blooms of oxygen-depleting microorganisms that disrupt ecosystems and kill fish. In addition, this type of fertilizer is damaging not only the climate but also the eco-systems. On one hand, a small part of the nitrogen from this artificial product reaches the plants; the largest part contaminates soil and water. On the other hand, animals ingest nitrogen as proteins in their diet but utilize them very poorly and excrete much of the nitrogen. In the nitrous oxide form, it will be in the atmosphere but broken down very slowly which also highly damages the climate and the inhabitants in it.
Incidentally, the damage in the ecosystems may also bring pests which at the same time may ruin the farm and everything around it. As a result, agrochemical corporations had to create special chemicals to protect the seeds developing resistance to these pests.  The problem is that these companies neglect ecological methods or even force them out of the market. As a real consequence, millions of farmers and agricultural workers are poisoned by pesticides every year.  There are plenty of cases where the peasants find their crops destroyed by aerial spraying pesticide. Their chickens and other animals, especially horses, are frequently affected. In the case of people, they suffer from nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains, skin lesions, allergies and eye irritation. Hence this chemicals known as pesticides, not only may affect the human’s nutrition but also the community surrounded by it.
In my opinion, the dialogue with the old local farmers or the small-scale producers, whose crops are sold in export markets, would be an important beginning within the movement that food sovereignty has been dealing with. In order to broaden the scope of this type of food, farmers should be aware of all their interests and motivations regarding to their products to continue a stronger engagement in export markets, so that more ecological processes can be adopted over the entire world. People are already used to this induced diet, but do not know another way to deal with it. Through the awareness of food sovereignty around the globe, nutrition would have to improve without having to close or displace the international global markets. On the contrary, these companies should have the obligation of being in contact with small producers and solve not only the malnutrition problems, but also to avoid the pollution through their chemical products.

Works Cited

International Conference (2013). Food Sovereignty. A Critical Dialogue. Retrieved on October 28th, 2014 from: http://www.yale.edu/agrarianstudies/foodsovereignty/pprs/2_Burnett_Murphy_2013.pdf
Joensen, L. and Semino, S. (2005) Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya. Retrieved on October 28th, 2014 from: http://www.econexus.info/publication/argentina-case-study-impact-genetically-engineered-soya
Media and Democracy centre (2003) Monsanto. Retrieved on October 30th, 2014 from:  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Monsanto
Roman Alcalá, A. (2013) From Food Security to Food Sovereignty.  Retrieved on October 29th, 2014 from: http://www.grassrootsonline.org/news/articles/food-security-food-sovereignty
Unctad Secretariat (2006) The case of agricultural input industry. Retrieved on October 29th, 2014 from: http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/UNCTAD_CorpConcenAg%20(2005).pdf
World Development Movement (2007) what is food soveraingty? Retrieved on October 29th, 2014 from: http://www.wdm.org.uk/food-sovereignty

lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

Peaceful Beats of Music for Peace Vibration

Peaceful Beats of Music for Peace Vibration
Gustavo Ascolano
Teacher Stella Maris Saubidet Oyhamburu
Language and Written Expression IV
Institute ISFD N° 41

Peaceful Beats of Music for Peace Vibration
Music may possibly be a clear example which shows the characteristics that a unified nation should have in order to prevail in life. One of the several definitions about it leads directly to ‘the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity’ (as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary). This idea was first introduced to the world through Daniel’s creation of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra composed of young musicians from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, and Spain. It was founded to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians but for the first time, playing Classical Music altogether for the peaceful and fair resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Incidentally, the beats of any kind of music would serve as a real tool for everyone in order to promote peace and social unity avoiding violence and feelings of anger around the world.
In the midst of a territory war between Palestinians and Israelis, the world-famous Argentine/Israeli music conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has been working for many years with his classical music contributions by calling for negotiation, empathy and compassion between the two states, but music did not succeed and war still is not over among these societies. His most courageous attempt to assemble the unity of different cultures was surprisingly related to classical music and the peaceful effect of it over young people. He feels proud of the fact that the conflict between Palestine and Israel did not prevent any member of the orchestra from engaging in this gesture of understanding and peace. 
As regards the act of playing and listening to music, Barenboim believes that these activities can provide the individual with the aesthetics of the sound and the experience of collaboration and labor illustrations of key human qualities of mutual dependence, emotional maturity, and community. He relates the procedures of music to those of life. However, the difference with him comes in the degree to which he is not considering his students’ particular situations at home, at the moment they have to explain to their parents that they are seeking for peace through the act of playing music. Most of them have relatives on both sides, the sides that are killing each other. As a matter of fact this turns into a difficult and hard moment for them when they even have to rehearse with their own instruments at home or simply separate music from life.
 In addition, music taken as a symbol of social unity, could gather together hundreds of Palestinians, many of them schoolchildren, who attended the first classical music performance in the coastal territory. Although the Israeli government has previously blocked attempts by Barenboim to perform in Gaza, and Israeli law bans citizens from entering the territory, he secretly organized this concert by entering via Egypt with twenty five musicians. ‘This is a unique gesture from the whole of Europe for you, Gaza’. (Barenboim, 2014). This Jewish musician defies Zionists establishment, by daring to organize such an event also counting with the fact of holding dual citizenship previously awarded by the Palestinian government. He said he believed his rare new status could serve a model for peace between the two peoples’ culture and interest about music.
In spite of the fact of being dead, his dream of ‘Giving peace a chance’ (Lennon, 1969)through a composition of  beats, is still being held by some people in the world as Daniel Barenboim; Hence the music will always be there to unify minds, feelings and an extremely important sense of community around ourselves. Mr. Barenboim is constantly trying to enhance his prospects of finding a new road towards peace through merely the music. Alternatively the music directors of the entire world should take into consideration the use of Daniel’s project to spread peace widely across the entire world. Consequently, the peaceful beats of music will be the starting point to propagate kind feelings and avoid the violence in our souls.    

Works Cited
Brown, J. February 5, 2013. Playing With the Enemy: Orchestra Brings Together Israelis and Arabs. Retrieved on September 29th, 2014 from: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment-jan-june13-music_02-05/
Graham, S. December 18th, 2009.  Daniel Barenboim: Everything is connected.  Retrieved on September 29th, 2014 from: http://www.musicalcriticism.com/books/barenboim-1209.shtml
Jews for Justice in the Middle East. Berkeley, CA, 2001. The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict. Retrieved on September 30th, 2014 from: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html
Lemke-Matwey, C. May 10th, 2011. 60 years: Daniel Barenboim on Israel
Mazelis, F. July 29th, 2014. Internationally renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim speaks out in sympathy with the Palestinians. Retrieved on September 29th, 2014 from: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/29/bare-j29.html
Said, M.  March 17th, 2010. Barenboim-Said Foundation does not promote normalization.


viernes, 12 de septiembre de 2014

Speaking in the Light of Writing

Speaking in the light of writing from Gus Tavo

Metacognitive Analysis
      The fact of making a presentation aimed to my partners was a really frightening idea. Once my group got together to think about a certain way of catching my mates’ attention, we quickly realized that we should have met some time further back in time to really finish it without problems. The video made things more interesting, in my opinion, to avoid delivering a monotonous class, or just built up with speeches which the audience would have to make the effort of assembling the five pieces of information. This idea made us refer to the video from various sides and topics which really caught our attention and work to make each individual presentation to improve through this academic content. Gaining an ordered process in the class, I think it made possible to gradually lose fear while delivering such an important class in our career.  

martes, 19 de agosto de 2014

An honorable path to comfort women’s death

Gustavo Ascolano  
Teacher Stella Maris Saubidet Oyhamburu
Language and Written Expression IV                        
Institute ISFD N° 41  

An honorable path to comfort women’s death
It is estimated that between one and two hundred thousand female sex slaves were forced to deliver sexual services to Japanese soldiers, both before and during World War II. These women were known as comfort women and the Japanese Imperial Conference composed of the emperor, approved their use by Japanese soldiers at that time. These women not only lost their dignity and their honor in life but also were left forgotten by the military forces and the Japanese government. In order to ameliorate comfort women’s human rights, it is significant on one hand that they were provided with a salary and with the facilities, for the rest of the comfort women who are still alive, to live the last part of their lives in a comfortable way; and on the other hand, they are still hurt, and they know they deserve an apology which could maybe heal or increase their personal honor.
As the war advanced, Japan felt the necessity of military sexual slaves and invented the comfort system stations for the need of different purposes. Firstly, protecting the local women
from the danger of rape by its soldiers was seen as the main cause. Secondly, the idea referred to the preservation of the troops’ health by preventing the infection of venereal disease through rape in the streets. Thirdly, these stations were thought as places where soldiers could gain the fighting strength, stirring up the soldiers’ morale, relieving combat stress and providing leisure. Finally, these places were merely thought to improve or preserve the soldiers’ lives, but not the women’s. Although about 100,000 women were recruited and transported to the battlefields, less than 30% of those women survived. Many of them were killed in the battle. Others died because they could not endure the deteriorated conditions of the comfort stations, committed suicide because they felt shame, or were killed while attempting to escape.
Despite the young girls who lived in the worst conditions at those comfort stations had a shorter life, the rest of these women who are still alive nowadays, still think they should have died there at the battlefields, avoiding the suffering of the years that were still coming. When these girls went to these comfort stations for the first time, an officer usually told them their task and the rules of the station. Each girl had a designated room supplied with a thin mattress and separated from the lobby by a thin curtain. Following this, the officer broke them in for their following months of service by raping them. This trauma alone resulted in many suicides and severe mental illnesses. On the other hand, some of the women who went through that same situation but kept themselves alive nowadays are living together with only nine from the fifty nine known survivors in the House of Sharing in Gyunggi-do, South Korea since 1998. This house was founded in June 1992 through funds raised by Buddhist organizations and various socio-civic groups in order to give each resident her own room, her own space, furnished with a fridge, a bookshelf and a phone. However, in spite of the simple facilities in the house, which will not assure them a peaceful path for the end of their lives, they finally can feel they are finally taken into consideration and sheltered at the same time.
In addition, those comfort women who survived after the war was over, could not return home easily. Many women quit the idea of returning to their home with a feeling of shame and remained in a foreign land, staying there for the rest of their days. In many cases, those who returned home were suffering from injuries and went through life miserably, unable to forget past cruelties. Many suffered from physical disabilities and venereal disease, and were unable to bear children. Others could not marry, and those who did eventually marry often had to conceal their past, unable to tell others of the pain they felt in their hearts. The women have lived for more than half a century after the war suffering practically as much as they did during the several years they spent in military comfort stations, where their honor was already lost.
The former comfort women have been sufficiently ignored for over 70 years. Neither the national courts nor the international forums relieve them from the severe infringement on their human rights and their prestige in life. They still suffer and have died desolately, while their wish is only the one of recovering the honor that the military forces had taken from them at those times.  Finally, thanks to the persistent efforts, one District Court in Japan held in favor of the former comfort women, and one Congressman in the United States introduced a resolution to enact a statute that demand the Japanese government to take legal and moral responsibility. In the near future, it is expected that the Japanese government will apologize sincerely, compensate the former comfort women for the severe violations on their human rights, prosecute the perpetrators who were charged with the military comfort stations system at that time, and through this acts, possibly enable the feeling of honor in these women’s hearts once again.

 Works Cited
 Williams,L. Comfort women: South Korea's survivors of Japanese brothels. Retrieved on August 18th, 2014 from: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22680705#story_continues_2
Japanese Comfort Women. StudyMode.com. Retrieved on August 18th, 2014 from: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Japanese-Comfort-Women-1151698.html
BACKGROUND OF ‘COMFORT WOMEN’ ISSUE. Yomiuri Newspaper, Tokyo, Japan
Filed under: IANFU 'comfort women',Japan,Korea 01/04/2007
Comfort station originated in govt-regulated ‘civilian prostitution’. Retrieved on August 18th, 2014 from:
Hicks, G. The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War. Retrieved on August 18th, 2014 from http://www.amazon.es/The-Comfort-Women-Enforced-Prostitution/dp/0393316947
Yoshiaka, Y. Sex slaves for the Emperor: the 'Comfort Women' Retrieved on August 18th, 2014 from http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/facts-12.html

sábado, 12 de julio de 2014

What Is “Academic” Writing?

Gustavo Ascolano
Language and Written Expression IV
Teacher Saubidet Stella
Institute ISFD N°41

What Is “Academic” Writing?

Introduction: The Academic Writing Task

The objective of this summary is an introduction to students to step into the world of academic writing. First time dealing with the academic writing situation, a useful guide for decoding college writing assignments, a recognition of the different types and their characteristics.

The Academic Writing Situation

The lack of sense of the writing situation has been seen as the most prominent barrier in amateur writers. In order to trespass this barrier, may be necessary to state the difference between speaking and writing.
In a spoken communication, people may also apply body language to be understood whereas in written communication the audience is separated by place and time, and this absent context must be created by the writer by using punctuation and word choice. The development of sense in the writer’s mind has to be definitely accomplished. Moreover, there are several topics which compose the writing situation to be taken into account in order to aim a successful writing: Audience, context, message, purpose, and the documents or genres used.
Knowledge research and complex text reading

The research process will have to be taken focusing its direction on a good research project, being able to order and clarify the o sources used in the text. In addition, a close reading of these sources will allow the writer to separate his opinion from the real fact.

Writing assignments decoding facts

There is a different term for academic writing in college which was first used by Lee Ann Carroll who is a professor at Pepperdine University. The process of writing these ‘literacy tasks’ is based upon the analysis of several readings. Presenting an argument where a claim is made and supported with good reasons with appropriate evidence.

Academic writing as an argument and an analysis

An argument refers to an accurate and supported viewpoint. Its purpose aims to the audience consideration and approval or disapproval of the writer’s perspective. At the same time an Academic writing may also refer to the result an analysis. This process isolates the subject in order to be studied more closely. The writer’s task is to show an interpretation of how these parts fit together giving as a result a claim or a thesis, which has to be explained defending this personal  argument.

Critical essay format and characteristics

1-      The argument ‘makes a point and supports it’. (Irvin, 2010, p. 15)
2-      The claim or thesis is debatable and open to interpretation.
3-      Most common organization; A) Introduction, B) Body and C) conclusion.
4-      Enough support is required to be convincing with the text through proper quotation of the sources used.
5-      The uses of MLA or APA documentation rules are necessary to clarify the sources and the real format of the text.  Together with grammatical cohesion and coherence in order to avoid grammatical problems within the text.
6-      Transition sentences are needed for a clearer movement from a main topic to the next one.


A proper approach to the writing task and how the writer deals with the understanding of what he is doing and writing about will definitely cause success in the academic writing. In addition, the right orientation steps confine the initial path to success in academic writing.   


Irvin, Lennie L. What is Academic Writing?. Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. Volume 1. Ed. Charles Lowe, Pavel Zemliansky. Parlor Press. 2010. Print.

lunes, 9 de junio de 2014

Portfolio ENTRY #4

Failing among students
In order to figure out why students fail, there are four main causes to be analysed. Firstly, depression is one of the most common causes of school difficulties. People with depression have continuing negative thoughts about themselves and the future, and they may experience changes in their ability to concentrate and make decisions. Secondly, students also may bring their problems at home to school with them. If a student's family is experiencing violence, unemployment,  or alcohol use by a family member, or any other upsetting experience, it may be difficult to concentrate on schoolwork. Thirdly,  anxiety is a feeling of excessive worry about a possible danger or an uncomfortable situation that is intense enough to interfere with a person's ability to concentrate and focus. Lastly, the fourth cause is related to the learning disabilities, which refers to conditions that interfere with gaining specific academic skills, such as reading or writing. Although these are not the only causes that lead to students’ failure, the study is based on the most common reasons.  

Working Women

Even though women have increasingly become more involved in the workforce of every nation in the last fifty years, women have always worked in one way or another.  In previous centuries, working class women had no choice but to work in order to help support their families. They used to carry out home-based jobs such as sewing, laundry and cooking to sell on the streets. Many women were also employed in factories or as domestic service for richer families. This was in addition to their unpaid job at home which included cooking, cleaning and child care. Similarly, 21st century women perform a wide variety of paid work for others, which in most cases is crucial to sustain the family; and also perform the same unpaid domestic chores. Throughout history, women have received lower wages than men for the same job. In spite of gender equality movements, sex discrimination is still usual; not only in the payment women receive but in the activities they are “welcomed” to participate.  All in all, women have historically played an important role in the development of economy.

 Failing among students
In order to understand why students fail there are some important causes to be analyzed. Firstly, depression is the most common cause of school difficulties. People with depression have continuing negative thoughts about themselves and their future, and they may experience changes in their ability to concentrate and make decisions during a class. Secondly, students’ problems at home may also be an obstacle at school. If a student's family is experiencing violence, unemployment, or alcohol use by a family member, it may be difficult to concentrate on schoolwork. Lastly, the third important cause is related to the learning disabilities, which refers to conditions that interfere with gaining specific academic skills, such as reading or writing. Although these are not the only causes that lead to students’ failure, the study is based on the most common reasons. 
Metacognitive Analysis
Once again I realized that the topic sentence is the most important point to be taken into account when writing a paragraph. After receiving the feedback provided by my teacher, I could see that the relation between the topic sentence and the rest of the paragraph was not clear enough. I had to restate it, and differentiate between causes of students’ failure and its main results. In consequence, the conclusion sentence ended up by not being related to the topic sentence, so I had also to restate it aiming to a better conclusion of the paragraph.        . 

domingo, 4 de mayo de 2014

What is a well-written paragraph like?

  • Paragraphs’ structure varies according to the culture.
  • North american writing style determines very structured paragraphs.
  • Formula of a well-written paragraph:
    • Opening/ Topic sentence or Thesis statement
      • Very general sentence.
      • Interesting topic + writer’s opinion about it.
      • Catch reader’s attention.
      • Details excluded.
    • Body
      • Provide supportive arguments for the topic in a specific order.
      • 2 ways of ordering arguments/details:
        • Order of importance.
        • Chronological order.
      • Provide lots of solid, concrete details that explain why the topic is important for the overall idea of the essay.
      • Provide reasons that explain why what is being written supports the main idea.
      • Provide examples that help the reader to understand the point; real examples if possible.
    • Closing sentence
      • Restate topic sentence.
      • Add something more so as to keep audience thinking.
      • Leave some kind of bridge to the next paragraph. If this is not possible, make clear that the idea is finished and start a new paragraph with some bridge to the previous one.
  • Academic writing has certain rules to follow:
    • When beginning a paragraph, indent or skip a line; never both.
    • Develop only one central idea in each paragraph.
    • The paragraph can have any length, as long as the writer sticks to the one-central-topic.
    • Keep the flow by the use of Bridges, i.e. establish a connection that links one sentence to the following one.
    • Avoid repetition, but repeat key terms whenever they are needed.

Academic Writing: An effective assignment
  • Different types of assignments depending on the subject:
    • Essays.
    • Reports.
    • Presentations.
    • Reflective pieces.
    • Book summaries.
    • Annotated bibliography.
    • Other forms of writing.
  • Each assignment has different requirements.
  • Tips for an effective assignment:
    • Understand clearly the assignments’ requirements/criteria.
    • Notice the key direction words.
    • Read the corresponding module handbooks.
    • Check learning outcomes.
    • Interpret and answer the question.
    • Stick to the set question.
  • Features common to all good academic writings:
    • Show a range of views or arguments,even those the writer disagrees with.
    • Remain objective, showing things from all sides.
    • Make a plan before writing, having the title in front.
    • Write in chunks.
    • Re-read and edit the writing; check whether clarity is needed.
    • Go through several drafts before being satisfied with the final product.
    • Proofread.
  • Assignment structure:
    • Respect fond and lay-out.
    • Link sentences and paragraphs logically.
    • Write using formal language with correct grammar punctuation and spelling.
    • Use several theories and examples to create a topic discussion.
    • Provide correct references according to the chosen style.

Works Cited
Parts of a paragraph - English academic writing introduction. English video lessons. Retrieved on 3
Writing skills: The paragraph. English video lessons. Retrieved on 3 May 2014. Retrieved from
Introduction to Academic Writing. Edge Hill University. Retrieved on 3 May 2014. Retrieved from

Ascolano, Gustavo
Laguarta, Brenda

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