English in Liverpool – Thursday
Following the great day on Wednesday, Thursday’s class was also extremely interesting! A real generic English lesson! It started by introducing us to the Hemingway “six words” bet. Whether it was false or not, the story goes that the American writer won a bet because he could write a story in just six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. After we had discussed this short story, we read an essay about a journalistic venture that asked people to write their own story in six words. The results were fascinating. People will always surprise you!
In our text book there was a lot of material to discover about six word stories. We also enjoyed discussing them in a group, thanks also to the interactive whiteboard. So, we covered video, audio, essay, a writing exercise, a listening exercise and, of course, speaking… a very effective morning!
Reading English in Liverpool!
Since many many of the six word stories were about some kind of regret, we could review the use of conditional and subjunctive as well. Since it was a journalistic venture we had the opportunity to talk about reading, books and our personal favorite kind of reading. We discussed every kind of things that you can read, or that you do read on a daily basis without realising!
After our morning classes I met a couple of interesting guys in the common room. They had been coming in to get information about the free English classes that the school periodically offers to foreign locals living in Liverpool. We chatted a lot and even decided to go out for a coffee in the nice Rococo café. Remember that from the afternoon activity on Tuesday?
The afternoon is long for the students who attend just morning classes. It’s nice to have achieved so much in the morning but then also have an afternoon to explore the city. After a coffee, I enjoy a good walk in the city center. I was able to discover and enjoy places that, perhaps, I missed during the first day. One such please was the great Liverpool ONE shopping centre!
I arrived, again, at the Albert Dock and, in an enthusiastic way, I was able to visit the Liverpool Tate Gallery. You can see the galleries own exhibitions and also pieces that are loaned from the famous Tate Gallery of London. It was an amazing moment! I enjoyed every single part of it. The great thing was that I could admire some of the most famous works in the world for free and in a museum that was not too busy. I saw the “Venus of the rags” by Michelangelo Pistoletto, contemporary artist’s performances, a Warhol’s self-portrait, a Picasso, a Mondrian and many others!
In the room dedicated to Tate exhibitions there was one about the pictures of William Blake, an outstanding English poet that was also a great artist, engraver and printmaker.
All of this is evident when you look at his relief-etching, the books, paintings, pamphlets and poems he produced or just the incredible illustrations he created for his poems.
Between all of these inspirational sources there was also some of William Blake’s Breathtaking Drawings for Dante’s inspirational Divine Comedy. Completed in 1320, Dante’s work covers Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). Blake was, later on in his life, commissioned to use his modern artistic skills to rediscover this literary masterpiece for the modern English-speaking world.
Dante’s Divine Comedy, aligned perfectly with Blake’s typical recurring themes. Blake was a master at reconciling the sinister and the sublime in his art. His representation of Dante’s work, which was never published at first, has helped to establish Blake as one of the greatest creative geniuses in history!
It was definitely a privilege to see William Blake’s Inferno pictures. Pictures that he worked on until the very last days of his life. Really wonderful!
Central Library of Liverpool
After the museum, I crossed again the city centre, past the majestic St. George’s Hall until I reached the Central Library of Liverpool. Here students – both English and foreign – go to study or complete homework. I could easily see why! The library is fantastic. It has an imposing entrance, five floors and is characterized by a modern architecture. The feeling is almost out of this world, like a modern museum, it’s a transparent, very bright building. It has up-to-date and comfortable study places, with the best computers, all between the bookshelves, which are all perfectly kept.
However, this area is not very busy, because the most of the students prefer to stay in the older area. I went there and I felt soon the sensation of a decisive separation. An old-world wooden room with ancient chairs and tables, furnished with old carpet and tapestry. There are millions of old books, shielded in wonderful shelves. A huge atlas stands out, in a case, in an amazing room, showing the beauty of its illustrations and colours. The text on it all still perfectly readable.
The last surprise was right the study area of this ancient part of the library. A brightly circular room, with a big globe in the middle! It is surrounded by a circular mezzanine full of old books, available to all. It’s like being in an other era, maybe even in another dimension! You get the sense that it really is another world, but you still have the little luxuries of the modern time. Luxuries that are important for studying, such as plugs in every desk for your laptop, tablet or phone. It really is a surprising place!
An intensive cooking match
After returning home it was clear that we was close to the week-end. People were starting to prepare their souls for the weekend parties. We arranged a little cooking competition, Italy vs Spain, Pasta vs Tortillas, and we spent a really good time together.
I went to sleep very happy with this amazing experience. I really was living life to the fullest, full of joy, but also with a little bit of melancholy because I knew that the day after will be my last day in the school and in the accommodation. If I could I’d have liked to stay there for a much longer time!
Read my final post about studying in Liverpool here: My last day