language

Time to celebrate

What are you doing next week on Thursday March 8th? It’s a big day all around the world, a national holiday in some places, it’s ‘International Women’s Day’. It’s marked with events and parties, rallies, demonstrations, conferences and all sorts of gatherings in countries as diverse as Argentina, Belgium and China. The event started 101 years ago and was in support of the Suffragettes who campaigned for equal rights for women.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have equal rights, and indeed can’t imagine what sort of person I would be if I had to mind my Ps and Qs and not do exactly what I wanted to when I wanted to. I am an equal to other people in the world and my daughter is equal, and I have some very feisty women to thank for securing those rights for me. But there are still millions of women around the world who don’t have this luxury; there are women who don’t have the chance for the same sort of free education as I benefitted from. We take a lot of things for granted don’t we? Well I do anyway. It’s important to remember and to celebrate what we have, and to thank the people who came before us, and make sure that our kids know about where they’ve come from and where they’re going to.

But International Women’s Day (IWD) is not all worthy thoughts and good deeds. Last year I was involved in the organisation of an IWD event at Mood Beach. About one hundred women gathered to spend the day together, learning and talking about subjects which ranged from health to business. It was an amazing, celebratory, revelatory day for many of us.

This year I’m involved in the event again, and this year it is moving to The Lindner Hotel in Bendinat, a bigger venue to cope with the anticipated larger audience. There will be speakers presenting on subjects as diverse as sex, business, personal development and the future of the world! For example, Marga Prohens is one of the youngest members of the Parliament in the Balearic Islands. She is passionate about promoting an entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people. Marga will talk about the systems in place which can help anyone who is in the process of realizing their dreams of setting up a business, as well as about particular aspects in local politics which affect women and their families. Elisabet Shatouris, an internationally acclaimed evolution biologist and futurist, Jamie Catto motivator, speaker, filmmaker but best known for being part of the band ‘Faithless’, will also talk along with other fascinating subjects.

There will be chances to meet new people, to get involved with charities, and to meet up with women’s groups from around the island. The event is being supported by Calvia Council and the Balearic Government, along with local businesses IFA Spectrum, FIX-it Mallorca and ACN. And there will be a market stall area for small businesses to sell their wares. The whole day including a buffet lunch is 49€ per person. (And it is per person, not per woman, as men are invited too of course!).  You can buy online and find out more about the day at www.internationalwomenmallorca.com

So, bring your mum, bring your daughter, bring your friends. It’s time.

 

By Vicki McLeod. Published on March 1st 2012 in Euro Weekly News www.familymattersmallorca.com

Passing the book

Family Matters by Vicki McLeod

When I was a little girl I loved to read. I read voraciously. I read anything I could lay my hands on. At the breakfast table I would read and then re-read the back of the cereal packets because I wasn’t supposed to read my book at the table. I was never seen without a book. I loved books about ponies and schoolgirls and adventures, about things that happened years ago, and things that may happen in the future. I was a book geek. I had every single Flambards book, plenty of Enid Blyton, all of the Narnia stories, along with lots of other classics and I would dive back into them time and again.

My books have been with me throughout my life. I did consider giving them to a charity shop about fifteen years ago. I gazed at them thinking ‘Why am I keeping these?’ And out of somewhere in the back of my mind came the answer ‘You’re keeping us for your daughter’. Ahh… well at the time I didn’t have a child or even particularly think I would ever have one, so this was a turn up for the books, but nevertheless I thought, okay then, I will hang on to you.

Now La Gidg is in her first year at our local primary school, and her reading in both Catalan and Castillano is coming along very nicely. But my husband and I had noticed that she wasn’t so keen to try to read in English at home, she was happy to have stories read to her but wasn’t so confident about reading to us. We’d tried encouraging her: putting on silly voices, trying out new books, bribery even . . . but nothing had really inspired her until she started to go to the Kip McGrath centre in Son Quint. They specialise in tutoring kids in English and maths and their methods have really helped Gidg to turn the corner from bookshy to bookworm (which makes her geeky mother very proud).

Gidg has been going every Saturday morning for an eighty minute session with teachers Julie Staley and Jay Hirons to get her on the right track with her reading in English. You’d think (well I thought anyway) that it would be pretty simple to get a kid to read in English, but it turns out when they’re also dealing with two other languages then possibly they don’t really want to bother. But the pronunciation of certain letters is entirely different so it is important to get off on the right foot. So with a great reward system (we’re now the proud owners of a completed star chart and some very swish new colouring pencils) the Kip method (including playing specially designed computer games, drawing and reading aloud) over the last ten weeks has worked like a charm. Last weekend without any prompting I found Gidg holed up in her bedroom pouring over a book (she’s into mermaids and animals) rather than watching the Evil Tiny Pops on the TV so that’s a 100% result as far as I am concerned.

So, after all these years, my childhood books will be getting their airing after all, I think it’s going to have been worth their wait.

You can find out more here: http://spain.kipmcgrath.com

Catalan

I’ve been trying to cobble together some people who wanted to speak about Catalan and its importance to the Mallorcan culture, but miserably failed to get much together…. I’ll keep trying on this one. But here is some information from Jackie Evans at Calvia Council about lessons.

Hi Vicki
I have just been down to the IMEB office here in the Town Hall . The catalan courses are run by the ESCUELA DE ADULTOS in Magalluf .

The information below has been taken from the calvia website www.calvia.com”www.calvia.com Click on the “Union Jack” for English and click on IMEB on the tool bar and you get the following text :

The School for Adults office is closed until the 1st September so I cant get any more info . I do know that is is subsidised by the “Conselleria de Edución ” and Calvia Town Hall ……its very reasonably priced.

School for Adults
www.calvia.com/web/plantilles/jstl/Calvia/img/gral/ptos.gif
This educational centre’s aim is to provide permanant education to adults of the municipality. Access is available to all citizens over 18 years of age.

Educational Offers:

Initial teaching to correct illiteracy and learning to read and write in the Spanish language.
Compulsory secondary education: classroom teaching and individualized.
Preparation for the exams for the access to the Univerisity and access to Professional Formation.
Languages: Catalan, English and German.
Specific Professional Formation : specialities of Assistant treatments Nurse and Commerce Manager.
Other services
a) Información desk, enrolment and preparation for the Catalan exams of the Balearic Islands Government.
b) Service and academic orientation information
c) Excursions and cultural outings.

Manager responsable for the service: Miguel Mas
Headmistress of the School for Adults (by agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture): Francisca Muńoz
Address: Camí de Sa Porrasa, 6, Magaluf
Telephone: 971.13.13.50
E-mail: ceacalvia@educacio.caib.es
Hours of attention to the public: Monday to Fridays from 9.30 a 13.30 h and from 16 a 19.30h. From 15 July to 31 August closed.