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IAN MC EWAN, MOTHER TONGUE

ian mcewan

Idon't write like my mother, but for many years I spoke like her, and her particular, timorous relationship with language has shaped my own. There are people who move confidently within their own horizons of speech; whether it is Cockney, Estuary, RP or Valley Girl, they stride with the unselfconscious ease of a landowner on his own turf. My mother was never like that. She never owned the language she spoke. Her displacement within the intricacies of English class, and the uncertainty that went with it, taught her to regard language as something that might go off in her face, like a letter bomb. A word bomb. I've inherited her wariness, or more accurately, I learned it as a child. I used to think I would have to spend a lifetime shaking it off. Now I know that's impossible, and unnecessary, and that you have to work with what you've got.

To keep reading, go to: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/oct/13/fiction.highereducation

Hollie McNish: Mathematics

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He says
“those god damn Pakistanis and their goddamn corner shops
Built a shop on every corner took our British workers jobs
He says those Goddamn Chinese and their goddamn china shops
I tell him they’re from Vietnam but he doesn’t give a toss
I ask him what was there before that damn Japan mans shop
He stares at me and dreams a scene of British workers jobs
Of full time full employment before the Goddamn boats all came
Where everybody went to work full time every day
A British Business stood their first he claims before the Irish came
Now British people lost their jobs and bloody Turkish are there to blame
I ask him how he knows that fact he says because it’s true
I ask him how he knows the fact he says he read it in the news
Everytime a Somalian comes here they take a job from us
The mathematics one for one, from us to them it just adds up
He bites his cake and sips is brew and says again he knows the spot
The Goddamn Carribeans came and now good folk here don’t have jobs
I ask him what was there before the goddamn Persian curtain shop
I show him architectures plans of empty goddamn plots of land
I show him the historic maps
A bit of sand, a barren land
There was no goddamn shop before those Pakistanis came and planned
Man
I’m sick of crappy mathematics
Cos I love a bit of sums
I spent three years into economics
And I geek out over calculus
And when I meet these paper claims
That one of every new that came
Takes away ones daily wage
I desperately want to scream
“Your maths is stuck in primary”
Cos one who comes here also spends
And one who comes here also lends
And some who comes here also tend
To set up work which employs them
And all your balance sheets and trends
Work with numbers not with men
And all your goddamn heated talk
Ignores the trade the Polish brought
Ignores the men they gave work to
Not plumbing jobs but further too
Ignores the ones they buy stock from
Accountants, builders, on and on
And I know it’s nice to have someone
To blame our lack of jobs upon
But immigrations not as plain
Despite the sums inside your brain
As one for one, as him or you
As if he goes, they’ll employ you
Cos sometimes one that comes makes two
And sometimes one can add three more
And sometimes two times two is much much more
Than four
And most times immigrants bring more
Than minuses.

San Telmo Walking Tour

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Nuestra próxima caminata por San Telmo, en inglés. Sábado 9 de septiembre a las 15.30hs.

feria san telmo 3

WHEN?: Saturday 9th September at 3.30pm. British punctuality is a must

WHERE?: we will meet 3.30pm at the monument of the First Foundation of Buenos Aires at Parque Lezama and then walk down Defensa St, where wealthy porteño families settled before the plague and the late 19th century economic boom.

On this walk we will visit Ezeiza home, which as many of the houses abandoned after the plague, was filled with working class immigrants, one family per room (one of the largest tenement houses -conventillos- at the time). At a time it housed 33 families.

Plaza Dorrego,San Pedro Gonzalez Telmo church, home of Esteban de Luca, San Telmo Public Market, Sec. of Agriculture, School of Engineering, Hymn/ Ode to Labour Monument, El Viejo Almacén, Casa Mínima, ( the narrowest house, given by his former owner to a freed slave) are some of the highlights on this tour.

COST: $250 per person.

A chill out drink after our walk is always a good option for those who can stay on. We will pick out the most convenient bar after the tour. We need your confirmation asap for a better organisation.

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Ciudad de Buenos Aires · Aráoz 1660
Barrio de Palermo

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