Friday, November 06, 2015




Once upon a time there lived a king and a queen who couldn`t have children. They were very sad about this.
They tried the waters of every country, made vows, they did everything they could but had no result.
“Oh dear I cannot think of anything else to do” said the queen crying.
“We have to keep trying” the king answered.
“I feel very disappointed of myself. I thought we were going to have children and build a family but we are just a simple couple”.
At last one day the queen found that her wishes were fulfilled and after some time she gave birth to a daughter.
“What´s her name?” The nurse asked, “She is a beautiful baby”
“Oh her name… I don´t know. I will think it at home with my husband.”
“I love my daughter! She will have a wonderful future”
They celebrated the christening with a grand ceremony and all the fairies were invited to be godmothers of the little princess. Each of the fairies was asked to bless the princess with a gift.
“We invite all the fairies to the celebration; every fairy must give a gift for the princess in the christening”
When the christening ceremony was over everybody returned to the king´s place where a big banquet was held.
At the moment that all were sitting down an old fairy entered, that fairy was not invited because no one had seen her for more than fifty years and everybody thought she was dead.
“You are very evil. I´m the oldest fairy and you did not invite me to the celebration”
The king gave the order to lay a place for her “Make a place for the old fairy, she´s going to eat with us” but the old fairy believed that she was intentionally slighted and she started to mutter threats between teeth.
One of the young fairies, guessing that some mischievous gift could be bestow upon the little princess, decided to hide behind a tapestry. Her intention was to be the last to speak, to have the possibility to undo any evil which the old fairy might do.
Presently the fairies began to bestow their gifts upon the princess. The youngest ordained that she should be the most beautiful person in the world.
The next that she should have the temper of an angel, the third that she should do everything with wonderful grace, the fourth that she should dance with perfection, the fifth that she should sing like a nightingale and the sixth that she should play every kind of music with the utmost skill.
It was now the turn of the aged fairy, shaking her head she declared that the princess should prick her hand with a spindle and die.
“I am here to give the princess my gift. The princess will be beautiful and a good person but when she turns 16 she will prick her hand with a spindle and she will die”
 A shadow covered the place and everybody´s eyes filled with tears.
But at that moment the young fairy stepped forth from behind the tapestry.
“Don´t worry your majesties” “Your daughter will not die, my power is not enough to undo the old fairy´s decree, the princess will prick her hand with a spindle but she will not die, she will fall into a profound sleep that will last a hundred years. At the end of that time a king´s son will come to wake her up”.
After that terrible decree the king ordered to forbid all persons under pain of death to use a spinning wheel or keep a spindle in the house.
“Landers of this kingdom I inform you that spinning wheels are forbidden. Nobody can use them or have one at home”
After fifteen or sixteen years the princess was running around the castle and found a little room at the top of a tower, where an old woman was spinning. This good woman did not know that it was forbidden to use spinning wheels.
"What are you doing, my good woman?" asked the princess.
"I am spinning, my pretty child” answered the lady.
“Oh, what fun” said the princess “how do you do it? Can I try it?”
At that moment the beautiful princess pricked her hand and fall down in a sleep.
The king remembered the fairy prophecy and he gave orders to place sleeping princess upon a bed made of gold and silver.
“My daughter fell in a course. I want my daughter to sleep in her room peacefully. Nobody must disturb her”
The young fairy heard about the princess’ accident and went to see her to the castle. She decided to touch everyone who was in the castle, except for the king and the queen, with her wand to make them sleep until the princess woke up so that she did not feel alone at that moment.
Then the king and the queen kissed their child and left the castle.
The king forbade everyone to get close to the castle where the princess was sleeping.
After a hundred years a young prince who was hunting in the wood saw in the distance some towers, his servants told him different stories about the castle but a peasant told him “your highness, more than fifty years ago my father told me that in that castle lies the most beautiful princess who would sleep until she receives the kiss of a prince”.
The prince felt curious and decided to take a step towards to the wood. In the distance he saw the castle and he entered. The place was silent and smelled like death. The prince realized that the people around were not dead but they were just asleep. He continued walking to the room where the princess was, and there he saw her, the most beautiful princess he has ever seen.
Trembling in his admiration he went on his knees beside her and kissed her. At that moment the princess woke up.
“Is it you my dear prince?” “You have been long in coming”
The prince declared that he loved her more than he loved himself.
At that moment the whole palace woke up and everyone went back to their activities.
The prince and the princess had supper together and the servants play music remarkably well. A little later when supper was over the chaplain married them in the castle chapel and after the ceremony they retired to rest.
As soon as morning came the prince returned to the city and told his father, the king, that he had been hunting in the forest and that he had spent the night at the house of a man who had offered him help.
His father believed him but his mother was not so easy to cheat, she noticed that he started to go hunting every day and that he always had an excuse to sleep out of his castle. She felt that he had some love affair.
Two years passed since the marriage and during that time they had two children. The first, a daughter, was called “Dawn” and the second, a boy, was called “Day” because he looked even more beautiful than her sister.
The queen told her son that he had to settle down. She wanted the prince to trust her but he did not dare to tell her his secret. Despite the affection that he had for his mother, he was afraid of her because she came of a race of ogres, and the king had only married her for her wealth.
It was whispered that she had ogrish instincts and that when little children were near her she had greatest difficulty to keep herself from pouncing on them.
At the end of two years the king died and the prince found himself on the throne. He then made public the announcement of his marriage and took his wife and sons to the castle.
Some time after that the king declared war on his neighbor, the emperor Cantalabutte. The king entrusted his wife and kids to his mother´s care. He expected to be away at the war for the entire summer.
As soon as the king left the queen mother sent her daughter in law and grandchildren to mansion in the forest. She did this to be able to gratify her horrible longings. A few days later she went there and in the evening she told the chief steward “tomorrow for my dinner I want to eat little Dawn.”
“Oh Madam” exclaimed the steward.
“This is my will” said the Queen in the tones of an ogre.
“You will serve her with piquant sauce” she added.
The poor man took his knife and went to Dawn´s bedroom. She was at that time four years old and when she came running with a smile to him and hug him he burst into tears and left the knife fall from his hands.
He went down to the yard behind the house and slaughtered a young lamb which he served to the Queen for dinner. The servant took little dawn to his wife and hide her in the quarters that they had below the yard.
Eight days later the Queen ordered the servant to prepare little Day for dinner.
“For my supper I will eat little Day”
The steward made no answer, he decides to trick her again. He took little Day with his wife and hid him. To the ogress the steward served a young goat which the Queen found delicious.
So far so good, but there came an evening when this evil Queen told her servant that she wanted to eat her daughter in law.
“I want to eat the queen with the same sauce that you served her children”
The poor steward started to think which animal he could serve this time to trick the ogress but nothing came to his mind. The man decided that if he wanted to save his life he had to kill the queen, and he went upstairs to her apartment. When the queen saw his intentions she said “Do it, please do it, then I will see my children my poor children that I loved so much.” Nobody had told her that the children were hidden and she thought that they were dead.
But the steward was overcome by compassion “No, no Madam” “You will not die but you will see your children again, in my quarters where I have hidden them.” “I will make the queen eat a young hind instead of you; I will trick her once more.”
The man took the princess to his quarters where she met her children.
After that he cooked a hind for the queen who felt very satisfied and planned to tell the king, on his return, that savage wolves had devoured his wife and kids.
One evening the queen mother was walking around the alleys of the mansion and she heard the little Day crying and Dawn talking at the same time. The ogress recognized the voices and discovered that she had been tricked.
The next morning she ordered to fill a big vat with snakes and serpents of every kind in order to put the queen, her children and the steward with his wife in it with their hands tied behind their backs.
The queen´s minions were about to through them into the vat when the king appeared.
The king demanded to know what this horrible spectacle meant. None dared tell him and at that moment the ogress threw herself into the vat and was devoured on the instant by the creatures.
The king was sorry, after all she was his mother, but he found consolation in his beautiful wife and children.
The end.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paolo Freire (1921-1997)

As the starting point of his theory, Freire choses the thesis " that humans are subjects in and with the world". According to him, consciousness is determined by the socio-economic and political context, and also by cultural conditioning through one's upbringing, education and religion. In other words, it is an interchange between economical and cultural structures.
In addition to that, he distinguishes the level of critical consciousness, which involves making connections with the socio-economic contradictions in society. That means looking at reality and recognizing such contradictions as a real fact.
The culture of silence is one of the most important concepts in Freire's theory. He explains that the oppressors overwhelm the oppressed with their values and norms, which effectively silences people. Therefore, in this scenario, critical consciousness must be developed in schools by educators who dare face these long term situations and make learners be aware of their own values and rights.
On the contrary, some thinkers state that Freire's ideas are utopical, and cannot apply to the present state of things. Social classes are strongly set, making the idea of equality almost impossible to occur. Nevertheless, it is our duty as teachers to educate people for freedom and responsibility to change the world towards fair opportunities.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Maria Montessori was the first woman physician in Italy. She worked very hard to achieve her goals. She started teaching children in 1907. Although the conditions were not the best, she found an alternative way to traditional teaching.
While working with her children, she realized that they learned using their senses, so she started to develop games and tools that allowed children to learn subjects like maths and language by using different materials.

Maria Montessori was a great educator and an incredible human being who believed in the human race and never gave up fighting the injustices of life. Having a sad and complicated life, she devoted herself to education.
Maria Montessori is a model to follow. The respect and admiration to other human beings, especially to children, is one of the things that surprised me the most. She is certainly one of those people who made a great impact on me.