Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pasta in Silicone

Sapevo gia’ prima di venire negli Stati Uniti che il cibo non e’ sanissimo qui. Anche se, si, a me piace il fast food, quelli che mi conoscono lo sanno. Ma e’ diverso. Perche’ per me i fast food (il sinonimo del “cibo non sano ma e’ che mi piace lo stesso”) sono la Pizza (della Pizza Hut o della Domino’s), l’Hamburger, il Panino farcitissimo… ma qui quasi tutti i piatti (anche quelli che io ritengo sani) sono fast food. Per dirvi, pure la pasta e’ fast food. Un giorno mi hanno dato una ciotola di pasta come “campioncino”. E una notte che mi era venuta fame l’ho voluto provare, ma non l’avessi mai provata!!!

Sulla ciotola diceva che la pasta e’ al formaggio ma quando ho aperto la scatolina, c’erano un po’ di pasta asciutta, ma strana, e una bustina di polvere. All’inizio non capivo come che quel polvere avrebbe potuto diventare la salsa perche’ era molto asciutto.. Poi diceva che bisognava mettere un po’ di acqua nella ciotola e cuocerla in micro-onde per 3 minuti, poi si aggiungeva il polvere arancione .. Appena tolto la scatolina dalle micro-onde la pasta era diventata un po’ di piu’ come pasta che conosciamo noi (ma era strana lo stesso) e quando ho aggiunto il polvere arancione, grazie all’acqua rimasta nella scatolina, il polvere si e’ trasformato in un liquido cremoso ma sapeva proprio di plastica e la pasta era troppo morbida e sembrava di esser fatta in silicone. Cioe’ praticamente faceva schifo..

La cosa brutta e’ che qui i mercati sono pieni di queste cose da preparare in 3 minuti in micro-onde e la gente li compra e li mangia. La mia coinquilina ha un sacco di queste cose e dice anche a me di mangiarli. Secondo me fanno proprio male alla salute. Fino ad ora ho provato solo questa pasta in silicone che non la provero’ mai piu’, ma ho comprato una ciotola di Noodle che devo ancora provare (lo so non imparo mai la lezione), spero che non sia come la pasta in silicone.. Vi aggiornero’ sulla mia esperienza di Noodle piu’ avanti 😉

Eccovi le foto della pasta in silicone:

Balloon

I always go to Starbucks, take some bold coffee and study or surf on internet. Since the weather is still warm I prefer studying outside. These are the photos I have taken while I was studying.. I might want to go up in a hot air balloon and to be thousands of feet high above the ground ( I have to think about that 😛 )

 

 

 

Mizzou Family Weekend

This weekend is Family Weekend at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Families come and see the campus and their children. It is really different from Turkey and Italy where the families are not that involved in the university life of their children. Here in the US it is like a tradition. The families come and bring gifts to their children, then go and eat something and visit the campus. University of Missouri-Columbia is one of the biggest universities in the Midwest so there are a lot of parents who are graduated from the University of Missouri for this reason you can see a lot parents wearing Mizzou Mom or Mizzou Dad t-shirts. Today at 6 pm there is a football match so some families are already tailgating with their children and with their friends whose children study here, too. It is such a different for me seeing a lot of families around. Actually in Italy and Turkey, especially in Turkey the families are usually involved in their children’s life in an exaggerated way but, strangely, not in this case..

Ti piace ‘louttei’?

Qualche giorno fa, stavo pranzando in mensa con un mio amico inglese e stavamo chiaccherando (mentre leggete questa storia, tenete in presente il suo accento per favore),

lui mi chiede: “Do you like louttei?”

io: “Sorry?”

lui: “Do you like louttei?”

io: “What is louttei?”

Poi lui mi cerca di spiegare che e’ un drink e che si beve con il caffe’ e alla fine melo fa vedere su Google. Alla fine scopro che era “il latte”, io mi sento stupidissima e capisco quanto puo’ essere condizionato il cervello umano (o solo il mio cervello hahah :P) da non poter capire una parola se viene pronunciata in una maniera diversa..

Obama’s Jobs Bill Speech

Obama gave a speech about the Jobs bill on September, 8th which had a lot of repercussions.  I did not watch it live but the day after the Professors talked about this speech and made some comments about it. Then I watched it on Youtube and I am really impressed of his speech. The Jobs bill seems really interesting. The bill aims to create new jobs and decrease taxes. Obama says that with this Jobs Bill, in the USA the rebuilding will restart again, the schools will be strengthen as buildings and new teachers will be hired. The point that I find really incentivizing is, if small businesses  hire new employees or  raise the salary of their current employees, they will get a tax cut. I think this could be really simulative for the American Economy. In the USA the majority of people like this bill. Even the Republicans told that they are going to think about on this bill (of course this does not mean that they will pass it.) I share with you a survey made by George Washington University which I found on Center for American Progress. According to this survey 51% of the American People would be agree with the Jobs bill..

Obama gives an example of the tax cut: “If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that’s an $80,000 tax cut. And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012.”

Paul Krugman, the famous American economist, writes on New York Times: “I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.”

After saying that I find really interesting this bill, I would like to share with you the language style and image that Obama uses during this speech. I have not watch a lot of Obama Speeches. I am not able to do confrontations between his former speeches but what I saw in this speech is, he is really determined while he is speaking about the Jobs Bill. He repeats a lot of time, in fact too much times words like “Pass this Bill, right now.” Maybe because he thinks that people can get used to the idea of the Jobs Bill if he keeps repeating.

One of interesting parts from the speech is: “… But the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don’t care about politics.  They have real-life concerns.  Many have spent months looking for work.  Others are doing their best just to scrape by — giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college.

He is aware of the importance of his speech but at the same time seems like he wants to speak the language of common people. He maybe tries to be a little bit “populist”.

He uses a lot of words to call the national spirit. He repeats a couple of times that America is a superpower and should be on top. He reminds some historical events like Civil War and says that America has been always strong. He quotes Lincoln. I think he quotes a Republican President to have some consensus from the Republicans in the Congress. He repeats couple of times that the Republicans also would vote for this Bill because it is right to do right now. He says that they would vote this bill without thinking about the past and future debates that they are going to have. I think he uses a very pragmatic style and not ideological one cause he wants the congressmen/congresswomen to leave their ideologies for a while and do something concrete for the nation.

Obama, while explaining the Jobs Bill, mentions some little stories or little recalls like: Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports?  What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges?  Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill.  Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance? In this paragraph but in many others too he uses an Episodic Framing to create an emotional impression on the audience. The rhetorical questions that he uses help a lot for this emotional tone.

I think he speaks efficiently, he got the emotional impression on people but one of the things that I didn’t like that while he was talking about the competitions between the USA and the other countries, he seemed to me a little bit jealous and he uses a disparaging tone. What do you think about these parts of his speech? Do you feel like me?

 “Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower.  And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?  At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?  “

“That’s the kind of action we need.  Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama and Colombia and South Korea -– while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with the three proud words:  “Made in America.”  That’s what we need to get done.”

I think the other countries have the right to develop their countries too. Of course every country wants to become the top country but it is not that good that a President says a phrase like: “And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? “

Towards to the end, even before he was really determined, he says that he doesn’t pretend that this plan solve all the problems. I think with this phrase he wanted to seem more realistic and not like all other the politicians who say that they are going to have the impossible.

I think, in general,  it is a good speech for the content and aimed to effect with his language style the Congress and the public opinion, even there is some populism and episodic framing..

TRAVEL NOTES, CHAPTER 2: FROM WASHINGTON DC TO COLUMBIA, MISSOURI

Overseas, I really like this word.. It reminds me the smell and the sound of the sea and it reminds me how far away I am from Istanbul and Bologna. It is a different sensation of freedom..

My overseas adventure started on August 14th actually. I went from DC to Kansas City and then to Columbia where my university is. The first day that I came to campus I had a really good impression. The campus seemed me like a holiday resort. The outdoor swimming pool, green areas, a lot of dining halls which offer unlimited food, the student center which seems like a mall were the components of this holiday resort for me (but now,after the classes started, I have to say that it is not a holiday resort at all cause I don’t have even time to go to the gym or to the swimming pool in these days).  So, I arrived to MU (Mizzou, the nickname of the University of Missouri-Columbia) Emily (advisor for the international students) welcomed me and then April (a volunteer for the international students’ welcome organization) showed me my dorm.

My dorm is really good, it is close to everywhere; the gym and the swimming pools (we have 3 of them) are just 2 minute walk. I can wake up only 15 mins before my classes. The other good thing is, there are a lot of international students in the dorm. I know more international student then the americans. I had the same situation in Italy,too. I used to know more international students and people from other parts of Italy then from Bologna.

Going back to my first day in Columbia, the International Center which had organized all the documents for our arrival from very beginning , organized also our first week in Columbia. I have to say that they are really really good at organization. They took all of the international students to Shakespeare’s Pizza where I met my new friends. We had unlimited pizza and soda for free. (I lived in Italy 5 years so I can say that pizza and pasta in the US are not the best but Shakespeare’s Pizza is acceptable).

After the meeting I made a little tour of the down town with two new friends and then returned back to dorm. I was really tired but very excited for the future days which were waiting for me!!

Travel Notes, Chapter 1: From Istanbul to Washington DC

On August 9th, wow it is exactly one month, I flew from Istanbul to Washington Dc where my mother’s cousins live. This was the second time that I was leaving home. (the first time was in 2006 when I went to Bologna for the university). Since this was the second time it was much easier for me, of course I have been sad when I left my family but then I didn’t think so much while I have been so sad the first time that I left. My flight lasted 11 hours 35 mins but it was not bad at all. I slept for most it so I didn’t even realize how 11 hours and 35 min passed. When I arrived to Dulles International Airport everything was so similar, they were announcing even in Italian so I didn’t feel strange. After that I passed the passport control and went out. I saw my mother’s cousin (actually I have not seen him for a long time so we had to call each other on phone to recognize) and he brought me to their home. While we were going to Virginia I was looking from the window of the car and try not to miss nothing.

It was still weird because I didn’t feel myself as a stranger. I mean, yes everything which I was surrounded by was different, but I felt myself as I already know this place. I don’t know if it is because I have watched a lot American TV shows and films..While I was looking around I immediately noticed that everything is big in this country, buildings, cars, roads… When we arrived to the neighborhood where my mother’s cousins live I felt myself like in the films cause they have this big house (they call it White House :P) in an almost forest where you can see even the deers!!

I have spent there almost a week and it was awesome. They brought me to really good restaurants, to the mall, to huge markets where they sell huge products. For example do you want to buy some Coffee-mate? Ok cool, you have to buy 2.5kg of it while in Europe I haven’t seen them more then 250g. Thanks to trips like this I could see the daily life.

By the way I was talking about Washington DC, that city is really incredible. It is beautifuuuuul. It is so organized, it is chic, safety, there are a lot of stores and museums!! When you walk around you feel really good. I saw the White House but you see it from very far away. I really loved the 6th-14th Streets and the China Town. You can ask information everywhere and people are so kind, too. I was looking at the map an old lady saw me and asked me if she could help me. It was really nice of her. The metro line is really good too but I think it is better to walk in DC and see around, the streets are pretty plain so it is easy to walk around. I think I would live in Washington DC!!!