Big lesson -Consumerism

Consumerism

Consumerism is now not only an economical, psychological or sociological issue. It is now an environmental situation. Consumerism as people already know it, has some processes involved. At the beginning, they think they need something, so they decide to go and buy it. However, it is well known that most of the people around the world do not know what to do with the good when they are not going to used them any more. This is one if the reasons, this situation is an environmental issue. Because at the end of the day, people are accumulating waste of things that are not environmentally friendly. The reason I decided to choose this topic is because I like to buy thing when sometime I do not need them. I felt that working in this topic would give the opportunity to explore more about the issues around consumerism. I thought that when I knew the facts, it would make me reflect and change in some way my mind. However, I did not need read anything at the beginning, I was so impressed with the pictures, messages, logos and all the images I could see.

When I knew about the assignment I felt terrified. I had not done before something like that. But, One I saw the pictures, I felt enough inspired and motivated to do something and communicate a massage which touch people. To begin I selected lot of images which impressed me. Then I try to organize the way I wanted to see the video. For me, was clear since the beginning: I wanted to follow a process. So I designed my video in that way. For me, was easy learned how to make a video with images and how to add music to it. I think that one of the most difficult think was think in the proper sound for the video, because in my case, the video needed three different sounds to emphasis the specific message of the pictures. But then, that as well was easy, because I realized the kind of music I felt was appropriate for each part. For me was important to show the different stages of the consumerism. It was not about to exaggerate, It is the reality, all of us are in a moment when we cannot wait any more and we have to react now. So, I wanted to demonstrate people that when they buy goods something could be happening behind the extraction, production or distribution line, and then how all our waste is contaminating the water, sea, our cities and forest. However, I feel that is significantly important give the responsibility to people. It is true, that most of the contamination of the planet is because of the companies, but our irresponsible behaviour, demanding cheap and unnecessary good and then generating amount of waste is making thing worst. People should know that we have alternatives: We can recycle and separate the waste, reuse goods and create new ones, refuse or say No to bad behaviour which are not environmental friendly and of course rethink the way we are making decisions.

This learning process was really practical and deep. I think that the best way to encourage people to do or change something is involving them. I felt involved in this assignment, it was like a project for me. I want people to understand the consequences of consumerism and find their own way to do things better. I think I used many important details to capture the attention of the people, such as images, not many text and powerful music. Also, this is a useful exercise to learn a good way to manage the time, because the huge message should be delivered in 59 seconds. At the end of doing my video, this was sent to friends that do not know about my assignment, so they could do critical comments about them. Actually, they thought it was a real viral, some of them found the video interesting, of course I tried to make improvements when people make some suggestion, and now I feel proud of the result.

I have to say that this assignment taught me more that I thought. It was not only the way to learn how to use Movie Maker. It was my way to communicate my feeling and thoughts about a real situation. This was related to the coming season: Christmas. Black Friday or Boxing Day, are making people feel that they need take advantage of these discounts and the offers. So, I am thinking to share the video with people. Now I can see clearly how consumerism play with our minds and make us selfish. I have to say, that know I think twice before to buy something, because I ask if I really need that I want to buy and if this product will bring me any benefit. I think this is becoming a critical issue for me. We are being consumed of the idea of having everything someone offer to us. The current economic system are exploiting the resources and polluting them, to supply the needs others create for us. We are becoming so demanding and this has social, environmental and economic effects. But the worst part is that we are being neglected with this issues, we should be aware of the consequences in a long term control and take care more about our behaviour. My video wants to show the reality, but at the same time, show alternatives and solution to avoid a real crisis in the future.

International Dinner v3

International Dinner (v3)

Romanian Night!

 

Let’s continue with this amazing tradition. But this time, Friday was the day to try a new food, to listen new music and dance!!

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I have to say that everything was so delicious. We ate too much that day, but we were happy! At the beginning we drank  a nice shot of an strong drink

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Then we ate a soup with vegetables. This was perfect because the weather here is getting colder and colder every day. I have to say that this soup remembered me to my hometown, because my father use to make a delicious vegetable soup in the cold day to get warm.

 

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The next dish was polenta, eggs, cheese and pork.Until that day I didn’t know what polenta was, so I’m going to explain: It is a porridge made out yellow maize flour. It is soft and perfect to mix with different kind of food.

But then, we started the party!! As we were in our Rumanian Night,
we should learn some proper thing about the culture, so two of us were
very brave and danced a traditional Romanian dance for couples…and
because we only had one boy…we just did it between women. This was
so funny. Also, two of our friends made braids for us, they are very talented.

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…we are doing a good decision going to this international nights!!..next one: Brazil!!

International Dinner v2

International Dinner (v2)

Vietnamese Night!

 

 

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As the last week, this one, we try Vietnamese cuisine.

I have to say, that was my fist time eating this kind of food, but I found it really delicious. And, apart for some specific vegetables, the rest of the food is easy to find.

 

 

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The start of the night was peanuts, but, we had to eat them with chopsticks, it was really funny. Some of us didn’t know how to use them.

One the dishes we ate was pork with sweet and sour sauce. The other, was omelette with onion. Then salad and hot meat soup with tomatoes, and the end salad rolls.

 

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Everything was so nice! We share the food sitting on the floor. I felt that moment so comfortable, because it was like being with my friends of a lifetime.

 

I really like these nights. It’s a perfect time to share different experiences, beliefs and ways to live in the rest of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Dinner

International Dinner

British Nigth!

As you can image, my course is full of amazing people. The most wonderful about all of us is our different backgrounds and cultures. This is why, we can share, discuss, learn and understand other ways of think and live. So, taking account, all these positive things, we decided share the most delicious part of our cultures with the rest of our classmates, and we created ‘ The International Wednesday’.

My classmates and me are from different parts of the world, and some of them far from each other, so we find this activity as a big chance to learn and try different dishes. It is, also, a good way of interaction and know better each other.

Our first night was hosted by English people. What kind of food do you think our friends would cook for us? If you are thinking in Fish & Chips, I have to say, definitely NO!

When all of us arrived at the house of our host, we was fascinated. Everything was prepared to make us feel so in a British environment while we were eating. I am going to tell you what we ate:

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Pimm’s is a gin-based liquor made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices and spices. Mix Lemonade and Pimm’s, stir and add a slice of lemon and a few mint leaves.
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Delicious crackers with cream cheese and a slices of smoked scottish salmon.
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This is a traditional British recipe for a classic dish of minced beef with vegetables that’s placed in a dish, covered with gravy and topped with mashed potatoes before being baked.
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Strawberries with cream!! This is the sweetest and more delicate way to finish our British night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so happy after that day. Now, I know more dishes and all are delicious!

But, don’t worry…wait for more…our next country is……..Vietnam!

Embassador Challenge

Ambassador Challenge

Aston University Student Switch Off

Student Switch Off is a campaign to encourage student who lives in residences at Universities to be part of energy-saving and recycling competition.

The hall that saves the most energy and recycles the best wins an End of Year Party and we give out lots of Ben and Jerry’s in the photo competitions! and kitchens that are using their recycling facilities properly will get chocolate.

Energy saving and recycling tips are;

– Switch off lights and appliances
– Put a lid on your pan when you cook (saves up to 90% of the energy needed and lots of time to and it cooks quicker)
– Don’t overfill your kettle, just what you need
– Take out from the fridge all the food you need at the same time

You can join the group on Facebook and be part of this amazing competition…and WIN WIN WIN!!!

For more information, visit:

http://www.studentswitchoff.org
www.studentswitchoff.org/save-energy
https://www.facebook.com/ssoaston

 

Living Birmingham!

Living Birmingham!

 

IMG_0029Almost one month ago I am living in this great city. I have to say that it is very different to London, and of course my home town. But, even though it is different, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. I have found really nice things, places and people in this city. I am really happy to be here. It is a beautiful and quiet city. It’s not only because Aston is based here. But their places are amazing.

 

 

 

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I already mentioned Aston before, because it was the first place which receives me. It’s a central University, so is very close to the city centre, so you can have a nice walk.

 

 

 

 

 

I have seen the beautiful architecture like the Library of Birmingham. However, I found The Canal the most astonishing place. I don’t have word to describe it. But, I can say that this place make me feel peace and free like the wind and water! and even in the crowd in the night…The lights and all people there make it seems like a romantic and the perfect place to share and spend the whole time.

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 Enjoy this amazing city!

Cardiff (Caerdydd)

Cardiff (Caerdydd)

As you know, staying in the UK means travel around all its countries, not just in England. So this time, I decided to go to Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

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Cardiff is a beautiful city, so it is a significant tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales. But, a really interesting thing about this place is that the people there speak mainly two languages: English and Welsh. Welsh is a member of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales. So, Can you imagine the signs on the streets written in Welsh? For me that is really amazing!

 

The interesting thing with the Welsh language is that this has been spoken continuously in Wales throughout recorded history but by 1911 it had become a minority language. While this decline continued over the following decades, the language did not die out!! and now it has enjoyed a strong revival in recent years and has an equal status with English in the public sector in Wales. The teaching of Welsh is now compulsory in all schools in Wales up to the age of 16, and this has had a major effect in stabilising and reversing the decline of the language. So, the Welsh language is the oldest language in Europe.

All these facts make me think how important are our traditions, culture and our inheritance, but, the most important is our role in our own countries to preserve and conserve that things that make us unique!

 

Around England

Around England

One of the best things of being here in the UK is travelling. I want to share with you my experience in two particular places: Manchester and Liverpool. These cities are very well known around the world and obviously I had to go there. Both Manchester and Liverpool are close to Birmingham, almost 2 hours.

These are the things that I really enjoy when I was there!

Manchester:

Manchester is well known for being a city of sport, specially football. For that reason, as a mandatory visit there, you must go to Manchester United stadium, this team based in Old Trafford, plays in the Premier League. The stadium is call ‘The theatre of dreams’. Do you know that Old Trafford is the second-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley Stadium?. But if you don’t find interesting these facts, you must know that the best thing of Manchester United is one of their football players: Radamel Falcao, The tiger. He is one of the best in the whole world and he is Colombian, so all Colombians are very proud of him.

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Liverpool:

Manchester and Liverpool are known for their football, but Liverpool has another story to tell. Liverpool is internationally known for music and is recognised by Guinness World Records as the World Capital City of Pop. Liverpool is most famous as the birthplace of The Beatles, so the first stop has to be the Beatles Story in the Albert Dock. The Beatles Exhibition follows John, Paul, George and Ringo from their early beginnings to global Beatlemania.

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I really recommend these places to visit during this time in the UK, you just can’t miss the opportunity to be part of the most unique and amazing places around the world.

Enjoy and make you best of your time in the UK!

Welcome to Aston!!!

Welcome to Aston!!!

Finally, I’m here. This is my first week in Aston University and I feel so happy and expectant. I even changed my look in order to begin my new life in Birmingham.

You can’t believe all my journey to come here. I left London at 7.30am on Saturday, in the middle of the rain with my luggage. Of course, as you can imagine I had a lot of thing to bring with me (How many things can you collect in one year!!?). So, my boyfriend had to come with me because I couldn’t bring all my things by myself. But I had to say good bye to London and come to Birmingham to start my dream to study my master. Even that day was raining in Birmingham when we arrived, but I was excited to see my new accommodation and transform that simple room in my new home!

This week, we have many activities to attend, both social and ‘academic’ are very interesting. Maybe people will think that the academic ones are boring but, I really have to say that it’s not like that. I have been so impressed how enjoyable can be these activities. Of course, we have the opportunity to have tours around the city and the campus, parties every night, and others…but take a look, and you will agree with me. If making origami in a Leadership session is to boring for you…you are in the wrong place!

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We still have a week before starting our courses, and we already have work to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, I am Lina

Hi, my name is Lina. I studied Industrial Engineering in Colombia and I am specialized in Process and Quality Management. When I decided to come to the UK to improve my English, I thought that was the most important Lina Astonthing I had made. But this year, something really amazing happened. I realised that in the UK I could study the course that I have dreamed all my life. When I knew Aston University, I knew there would be my place.

 

Aston University/Banco Santander Scholarship gave me the opportunity to start my dream. I can not describe what I felt when I received the positive notification about my scholarship. For me is an honour. For me it was unbelievable to be part of such a prestigious University. But then I realized that now I could be part of something big and important. I am satisfied, I feel fortunate and proud of start my Master in Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Aston University.

 

I am from Bogotá, Colombia in South America. I am interested in films and I like go to the theatre. I love sunny days to walk and eat an ice cream. I find fascinating know new places and thing: landscapes, buildings, museums, monuments. I really love travelling. That is the reason why I am here. For me it is thrilling to be in another country that allows me to learn about new cultures, places and people. I hope to be a motivating person, full of projects to fulfill and enjoying my life.

 

In the future, I would like to help people to achieve their goals, companies to be successful and societies to achieve sustainable environments. For that reason I chose to study MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Aston University is known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce, and this could help me to get a huge benefit to my career and it will broaden my horizons. I am sure the University has the tools for me to learn and expand my knowledge.

Now I am really pleased to show other how is my life in Birmingham, In Aston University!