Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First semester reflection

Success can not be achieved from one day to another, but you can improve every day to get closer to it. That was my main goal in this last semester, and it is working pretty well so far. If it is working, there is no need to strategy changes, so I will stick to what I am already doing and try to keep improving.

In the end of my freshman year I realized that in order for me to get where I always wanted to get, I would have to improve a lot and do much more than what I was doing. I knew what I needed to do, so I did it. I started to really study and spend less hours doing other things that were not relate to school. That made me improve my time management skills and also helped me a lot in actually learning things, and not just memorize them for the tests. However, the main point was not what I started to do better, but what I was thinking and what was motivating me to do better.

I started to established smaller goals that were easy to get, and that would help me reaching my main goals. I realized that was easier to think about an everyday goal, than on a semester goal, since that the main goal would only be reach if I worked hard every day. I saw that I could not take a step bigger than what my legs can support, meaning that I was not able to push my grades all at once to A’s, but I could do it step by step. This is what really made a difference on my learning process.

By just thinking differently, I was able to improve a lot from last year, and I will stick to my plan. If I keep with the same goals that are motivating me right now and if I keep focusing my energy on reaching them, I believe that soon I will start to see even more results to my effort. I am already seeing some improvement in my learning process, but I also know that I have to improve even more to get where I want. The better way to do so is by keep thinking and acting the same way. It is all about how you face what is given to you. School for me is like a step towards my bigger goals in live. By thinking that way, I am having a better time trying to improve than before.

The point is that high school years are not the end of the world if you choose to take is easy. Not meaning that I do not care about it, because this four years are very important, but the way that I face it makes it easier. I believe everyone can achieve their goals if they are focused, if they are motivated, and if they see that what is done today will make a difference in the future. It does not matter if you do not do many things every day, but if you at list do something towards your goal, you will be closer to it every day that passes. This is what I am doing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Since ancient times, there is conflict between the Israeli and the Palestinian people in the Middle East in which thousands of people die every year fighting for territory and for their own beliefs. Life is a precious thing even there where death is constant, and the conflict is a problem that needs to be solved so no more lives are lost. One way to solve the issue is by establishing a communication between the divergent ideas, and this is what B.Z. Goldberg, the director of the movie Promises tried to do by putting Israeli and Palestinian kids face to face.

The documentary shows the reality of seven kids that live only twenty minutes from each other in Jerusalem, but even leaving so close they have completely different lives. From those kids, B.Z. Goldberg managed to arrange a meeting with four of them in which they played, talked and were exposed to the other culture. The kids that met were Yarko and Daniel, two Israeli boys that live in West Jerusalem and are secular Jews, and Faraj and Sanabel who live in a refugee camp in the West Bank, both are Palestinian.

There were also some kids that did not got in contact with the other culture and it was clear after all to see the difference that a simple meeting makes in the ideology of a person. Sholomo, a Jewish rabbi, Moishe and Mahmoud, both Palestinians, did not participated in the meeting and all of them stuck to their old positions about the issue, stating that Jerusalem was their land. Those three kids wanted the conflicts to stop, but they did not gave a peaceful way to do so. They just wanted the other people to leave and did not talked about any agreement nor peaceful solution to end conflicts.

Differently from the kids that did not met, Yarko, Faraj, Daniel and Sanabel had opened their minds to a different point of view towards the issue. They were able to see that the same problems that they were facing with war was also part of the lives of the people from the other side as well. They saw that the Palestinian and the Israeli cultures were similar to each other and that in end they played the same games, eat the same food, and lived in the same way. They saw that there was no need for a conflict to happen since that they could come into an agreement and live peacefully accepting the religion and the costumes of the other people.

The point showed by Promises is that communication does influence people relations. Those that talk and open their minds to other points of view and opinions have more intelligence and come with better solution to solve problems, especially the ones between people. Communication was key to change such rooted ideology in the kids from the documentary, and it proved that the issue in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict could be solved in a peaceful and simple way. Instead of wasting time preparing attacks and killing innocent people, both the cultures should come together and listen to each other, just listen and came into an agreement.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Racism and Tolerance

As everyone knows, racism is one of the biggest problems that we have faced in our history and it is also a current issue in our society. In the past, segregation took an important role in some countries history, such as the case in South Africa with the apartheid. Racism also leads to ethnic conflicts among our worlds history. But, the most important questions about it are about where racism comes from, and what takes to someone to changes his position of racism to a position of tolerance?

A grate way to find those answers is by analyzing the movie American History X, directed by Tony Kaye. In his movie, what really get the spectators attention is the process of changing that the main character Derek, played by Edward Norton, passes through during the movie. It is easily seen in the movie that the racism that Derek had, came from the hate that he developed along his live driven by his father’s death. Another point that made Derek develop his racist ideas was the lack of contact that he had during his life. Bellow there is the trailler of the movie.

After some events in the movie, Derek starts to develop his tolerance with people from different races and get rid of his neo-Nazi skinheads’ concept of life. The major event that happened was the contact that he was forced to have with a colored man in prison. With this contact made, he saw that the only difference between then was the color of their skin, therefore there was no reason for hate to exist since that they were equal.

As seen in the movie, racism came from hate and hate comes from the lack of contact and knowledge. In other words, the way to stop racism and start a culture of tolerance, is by giving properly education and knowledge to people and also put then in contact with different cultures, races, social strata, and costumes. By facing the similarities that everyone has is that people really understand that we are not that different from each other.

Follow me on Twitter: @bruno_vieira97, and check informations about me. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

MAP Tests

         On January of this year, the Garfield High School at Seattle and its teachers got the attention of America when they refused to apply a MAP standardized test to the students. The argument used to support that decision was that the high school teachers at Garfield were not against the evaluation of their students, but they do believe that the students’ progress must be analyzed by the content taught in class. The suggestions were also interesting, since that the teachers at Garfield High School were proposing the replacement of the standardized test for another types of evaluation.
         In my view, Garfield teachers are doing the right thing in asking for changes in the evaluation of their students. MAP tests emerged in a very different context in terms of education, and, since that time, things have changed significantly. The educational system did not follow those changes. The focus was always on making good workers and teaching then about how to survive in the industrialized world.
         The point is that every student has their own period of the day when they are more productive, has their favorite environment to learn and also every student learn in different ways and time then another. What the educational system is doing for a long time is to forget the differences and standardize the way that children learn by making patterns that must be follow by schools, students and teachers. In order to be able to get a good score in the MAP tests, the schools have to standardize the way of teaching, which means also the way that the students learn.
         Hopefully, the event on Garfield High School, will lead to changes in the educational system. Maybe in the future, the schools will not be seen as a boring place where every single children must go, but as a learning environment where every student would be able to choose when, where and what they want to learn. That way, teachers would just have to guide the kids to the right direction and send them to the best resources to learn. That way differences would be respected.
Garfield High School

         The link bellow has a few more information about the boycott at Garfield High School:
         - Under Pressure

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Re-election of President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama was re-elected in the elections that took place in November 6th. He got 332 votes out of a total of 538 against 206 votes that Romney got. In his first speech after the results, Obama sad about the need to reduce the deficit, reform the tax code, pass the immigration reform and reduce the dependence of foreign oil in the country. He also commented that the best is steel coming.

I agree with the re-elected president. He did a good job in his last four years in the white house and now he has the opportunity to continue with this job. He won the elections in the United States and he also had the preference of most of the world. What is good, because the majority of the world’s population was satisfied with the results of the elections in the U.S.

Personally, I also felt happy with the re-election of the president Obama. The things were good in the last four years and there was no need for change in my opinion. I also thought that Mitt Romney wasn’t as prepared as Obama to assume the presidency of the U.S. By the videos showed in class and by the discussions that we had, I saw that the voters that Romney had weren’t enough informed and couldn’t built a strong position.

I think that the voters reflect the candidate that they are choosing. The majority of the population that voted for Obama had a reason and a strong opinion in his favor. It means that the Barry made clear in his campaign what were his plans and what he want for his country. In the other hand, the majorities of the voters that Romney got were low information voters and didn’t have a strong argument to support their decisions. If they couldn’t explain the decision that they made, it is clear for me that the candidate that they choose also didn’t know how to explain why he could make a difference in his country.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Time Management Goals

        In this period I tried to keep with the way that I was used to organize my home works and my studies. There were good suggestions about how to organize time, but when I change the way I do things, sometimes I get lost. What I usually do is annotate everything that I have to do in a place that I will remember. I just put there the deadline of the home work and what is it about. If it isa project or a very long home work I put the deadline a few days before, just to be sure that I won’t forget it.

        I usually don’t forget to do my home works because I take special care of my notes and I always try to check it out to see if everything is good and on time. I don’t have a lot of time to study and do my home works, but I try to use all of these time as well as I can. I always prioritize the things that I have to do by the date that I have to turn it in, so I don’t waste time doing things that are due for next month or next week. When I have to do a lot of things for the same day I try to begin with the most difficult home works because as I get more tired the work gets easier.

        One of the things that I should pay more attention is when I have a lot of home works for the same day. I usually do my homework the day before its deadline and when I have a lot of things for the same day I spend more time than I should doing it.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Future: expectations, fears and goals
I started to thought more about my future and what I want to be as a professional some years ago. A lot of ideas came up and I started to look for what I really like and what I really want to work with, not thinking just about money.
 My biggest dream is to become a soccer player and that is the reason why I am in ISC now. My goal is to get a scholarship in the United States as an athlete and try to follow my dream there. For me to try something here in Brazil is too difficult and I would have to stop studding to follow a thing that I will not have certain of a result in the future. Besides this I am too old for get in the base of a team here in Brazil. Unfortunately there are also a lot of unfair things involving soccer and young players here, a lot of people try to get advantage of the dream to become a soccer player that almost all the Brazilian boys have. They explore this dream to make money on it.
 In the United States I would have more chances to play professional soccer due to the fact that sport is growing there, also the competition to be a soccer player isn’t as high as in Brazil. Another point that is very important is that I wouldn’t have to stop my studies and, if I cannot become soccer player, I will have opportunities to try something else in my career. 
Here is a video of Pelé playing in NY Cosmos, he is a good exemple of what I want to be.
But it is just a dream; I would love if everything that I planned for my life came true one day, but if not I will try something different like sports marketing or something related to skateboarding that is another thing that I would love to work with. I have already thought about open a store to sell skate accessories and work with designing of products too.
Doesn’t matter if I will achieve my dream or if I will work with another thing, first of all I will have to apply for a college and on it I think that being an aware academic leader will help me very much. My goal is to be a soccer player and in the sport is very important to be a leader in the team. Usually the players that are leaders in the team gain prominence and have more chances. Not just in the sport but also in the classes and in the school being a good leader counts a lot for a college.