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Issue #004 -- Week 26/05/14-01/06/14
June 02, 2014

Greetings and general information

This is the fourth of our e-zine and I hope you find it useful, both immediately - as a reading exercise and in the future, by applying what you learn from our classes in your private life.

Welcome to our new subscribers from the SIP Centre. I hope you all receive this newsletter in good order and I also hope that it can improve your Dragon Boat holiday, by sharing your perfect steaks with your families.

You and your friends can subscribe individually through the form on If anybody mentions to you that they are interested in receiving it, please tell them this - many thanks. Also, they can read the previous issues on

Another week full of events flew by and brought us two memorable events – the children’s day and the Dragon Boat Festival I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the year, I must admit…

I’m going to travel during this break, so I shall make an effort to send you this e-zine a bit earlier. You’ll be able to take some extra time in preparing that surprise for your family.

That is that; now let’s recap what we did last week during our English Corner classes.

Monday 05/26 – Happiness Revisited

We spoke about the system that helps us get and stay in control of our positive feelings, called ‘flow’. It’s a thinking system whereby you consciously choose your goal and focus your intentions on it. You would do this in order to amplify the feeling of achievement, which is exactly what makes the experience so good that you may end up even forgetting about anything else around you.

This is called the ‘optimal experience’ and you may have seen it in children, when they get so engaged in playing, that they can’t even hear their mum calling them in for dinner. I’m sure you had experiences like this in your life and I hope you’ll have them again and again. By being conscious about how this can be achieved willingly and by experiencing it a few times, you’ll be able to apply the ‘flow’ system to various situations, both at work and in your personal life, both in happy situations as well as in those uncomfortable ones, which you’d rather avoid like plague.

There is a book called ‘Flow’ by Mihaly Czikszentmihaly, which explains this system in great detail, giving examples of people who are using it in all those aspects of life I’ve mentioned. I can add this book to our folder in the English Corner Room - I do this on my computer.

Monday 05/26 – Business Writing

We had the session on writing in the evening, when we looked at memos as another example of documents used for distributing information in a company. This class was a practical one and we did exercises from a couple of textbooks from Web, called ‘Intelligent Business’.

Due to copyright reasons, I cannot put these materials on the website. However, I am considering writing a page about memos as a priority. You will soon find it here:

Wednesday 05/28 - A Millionaire’s Secret

This was a social club based on a listening exercise. We had one of Alvin Hall’s classes at the Dream School founded by Jamie Oliver in London. You have both the film and the transcript on the computer in the English Corner Room by now, so copy it and listen to it at home, if you missed the class. You could also find it on YouTube, if you can access it.

What transpired from this exercise was that the millionaire’s secret is a simple one after all: it’s self-discipline. It doesn’t matter how much money you make; what matters is how much money you keep! One student asked the question during the class whether or not this is the purpose of life – to become a millionaire. Well, the answer is no. However, for those people who do wish for this, it’s important that they have the self-discipline and diligence to accompany their skills in acquiring their fortunes.

Thursday 05/29 - How to Cook the Perfect Steak

This was another listening exercise and the setup was again the Dream School founded by Jamie Oliver. It was Jamie Oliver himself, a famous chef in London, who taught the same group of students the secrets of cooking a truly delicious, succulent steak. It turned out that, again… with a little diligence, we could have the perfect steak in less than 6 minutes, during which we don’t even have to do much! Would you believe it?

He talks a lot, so you’ll find the transcript a bit long. Even so, here it is, for your information:

Saturday 05/31 - Good News / Bad News

This was another session of word games: this time we had a competition between two teams with the purpose of finding a good piece of news to accompany the bad news presented by the opposing team.

Each student had to write a piece of good news on a piece of paper and a piece of bad news on another. Then we read them one by one to the opposing team and we timed the seconds it took for that team to come up with a matching piece of news. For example if the first news was “I bought a pair of lovely sunglasses yesterday.” [good news], the matching news had to be bad, for example “But I broke today, sadly!”

We carried on like this for a while and I was quite impressed how quickly you could flash the matching sentences.

After that we played a game of Bingo with birth dates. The reason for this was for us to improve our writing and reading dates in English. We had just about sufficient time to get one bingo board complete, and I think we all got the general idea of the correct date format in English: saying the date first, followed by the month and then by the year, e.g. saying ‘the tenth of May 1978’, and writing ‘10 May 1978’ or ‘10/05/1978’. Another way of reading a date is ‘May the tenth, 1978’, and writing it like ‘May 10, 1978’.

This is it, folks!

Let me put end to this newsletter here, but not before I get to mention a thing that came to my attention recently. When I put the films we used this week on the computer in the English Corner yesterday, I discovered that the complete folder with the contents of past social clubs, learning materials and interesting films and documentaries I built for you on that computer… has disappeared!!

I don’t know when this happened and how, but we can’t rebuild it, unless you volunteer to return some of the materials you copied from it, for everybody else to enjoy as well. I can’t replace them because… as you may know, my external hard drive with all my teaching materials and lots of other interesting stuff was taken from me in March. I’m still not over the loss. So, my friends, please – let’s build another folder with those books, films and PPTs in the near future.

I count on you for this – many thanks. OK, have a good week ahead, everybody!

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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