Shakespeare slept here!

We speak English and so do YOU!


A challenge: Write a love letter!

The instructions were : Be imaginative! Be creative! Be nice!

Communicate your feelings! Think about a special friend, a family member, a pet, a colleague, a classmate,a teacher, a neighbor.... someone who has meant a lot to you or will in the future! Dare to let your feelings show.

Point out your "love letter" to us, and we'll give you a red sucker, a lollipop!

The first 10 people to identify the man by the UEM sign, will be given a lollipop too!

Come to the UEM LAB! Read the LOVE LETTERS! Maybe there is one for YOU!



pet: animal domestico

dare: atrévete

sucker/lollipop: caramelo con palo


Dec 23rd- 'Tis the night before the Night Before Christmas

UEM. 6:00 pm December 23rd, almost dark. The hallways are practically empty. It's late. Time to finish up the last tasks, the ones that get left to the very last moment. A few of you may be in your offices, but I doubt it. The parking lot looks pretty desolate.

Most of you are on your way "home" now. Drive carefully! Others are already there. Did you get all your Christmas shopping done? Is the menu planned and the refrigerator full? Are you home cooking or out with your friends or battling the crowds at the big shopping centers? I plan to take a walk with the dog, just the two of us. We'll get away from everyone and everything. A few minutes of peace and tranquility on a cold winter's night.

Wherever you are, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

P.S. And don't forget to practice your English!


'Tis/ It is 'Twas/ it was : es/era 'Twas the Night before Christmas"

hallways: pasillos
empty: vacios
tasks: tareas
get left: se dejan
doubt: dudar
parking lots: los parking
get X done: terminar
full: lleno
cooking: cocinando
battling the crowds: peleando con las masas
shopping centers/malls: centros comerciales
get away from: alejarse de
peace: paz
wherever: donde sea
P.S./ Post script: P.D. posdata


Santa Claus came to town

You may not have seen Santa at the UEM LAB today, but you probably heard him.

He was singing up a storm with about 25 helpers. "Oh, Christmas Tree" and "Little Drummer Boy" and "Jingle Bell Rock" could be heard in the cafeteria, in the hallways, in the upstairs lobby. People going to lunch or just walking by all had smiles on their faces. Everyone was having fun, and practicing their English!

You still have a chance to participate.

Christmas Carols: Sing with us in English.

Dec 14th, 15th,16th and 17th, 2010.
13:30-14:30 Basement Hall, Building A.

Singing up a storm: cantando y dándolo todo storm: tormenta
helpers: ayudantes
drummer: tamborilero
jingle bell: cascabel
hallways: pasillos
lobby: hall principal
smiles: sonrisas
having fun: divirtiéndose
have a chance: tener la oportunidad de
Christmas Carol: villancicos


The best cook at UEM,2010?------Las 2 Conchitas!

Our THANKSGIVING PIE TASTING FEAST is a multi-faceted event.

It's for charity: Many people donated homemade desserts and drinks, and many more paid a euro and tasted them. This year we're supporting the NGO: Amigos de los Mayores so all the money will go to them.

It's for fun: The whole university was invited to partake and many people from many departments came down to try the desserts.

It's educational: We gave everyone a paper about Thanksgiving and encouraged everyone to practice their English while they were choosing their desserts.

It's a contest: Who's the best cook at UEM? This year 252.70 Euros were collected, and 104 votes were tallied. And the winner is.........Excuse me, the WINNERS ARE:

1st Place:Conchita JARA MAROTO from UEM LAB and her daughter Conchita BLANCO JARA from Instituto Arquitecto Ventura Rodriguez in Boadilla del Monte with their MOTHER-DAUGHTER cake.

2nd Place: Raul DELGADO from TIC-Departamento de Tecnología, Información y Comunicación with his QUESADA PASIEGA.

3rd Place: Antonio GAROFALO, a medical student from Italy, with his Pingú Cake.

AND.....20 Honorable Mentions to all the rest of you for your culinary effort. Thank you all for making this event a success. Next year we expect more participants!



Thanksgiving: Día de acción de Gracias
Pie: tarta con relleno de frutas etc
Taste: probar, saborear
Feast: banquete
event: acontecimiento
dessert: postre
support: apoyar
partake: participar
to try: probar
encourage: animar
choose: elegir
tallied: (to tally) sumareffort:esfuerzo
success: éxito



The 4th Thursday of November is......Thanksgiving Day in the USA!
You know, turkey day, football games, big family get-togethers, a four-day weekend!
Those of us who are far from "home" decided years ago that we needed to celebrate this auspicious occasion, to show our children what it's all about. So we have our big family turkey dinners on Saturday when we're all free. You see, we have to work on Thursdays in Spain! In consolation, we hit upon the idea of having a THANKSGIVING PIE TASTING FEAST. Tonight everyone is cooking: traditional apple pies and pumpkin pies or whatever else takes our fancy. We've also spent a week encouraging our students, colleagues in other departments and UEM campus staff to get involved so there will be desserts from different regions in Spain and from other countries too.

We expect record numbers on Thursday, November 25th, 13:30-15:30 in Building A.
Homemade desserts at a bargain price! YOU can try 4 desserts for 1 Euro. At that price you can even treat your friends! The money goes to charity. After all, this IS THANKSGIVING. All your donations will go to the NGO: Amigos de los Mayores in 2010-2011.

Hope to see you at the function...... Wendy


turkey: pavo
get-togethers: reuniones
hit upon: se nos ocurrió
pie: tarta (con relleno)
feast: banquete
pumpkin: calabaza
takes our fancy: se nos ocurre, nos apetece
encouraging: animando
get involved: involucrarse
desserts: postres
bargain price: precio de ganga
treat your friends: invitar a los amigos
function: evento, acontecimiento


Giant Pumpkins !

Have you seen the giant pumpkins in "Capricho" Park in Madrid?

Ilene Smalac just sent in this photo. Some of those pumpkins look almost as big as ours!

Come to the UEM LAB to see this year's pumpkin crop!

The winners will be announced on Thursday, October 28th at 4:00.



pumpkin: calabaza
crop: cosecha


Welcome 2010

Welcome 2010.
On the 30th of September, the 1st and 4th of October several WELCOME 2010 stands were set up on the UEM campus. Those of you who talked to the people at the stands were given presents along with pamphlets about the activities on campus.

The "Healthy Campus" stand had barrels of apples. Maybe you took one, and possibly another in a different building. That's great. That's what they were there for. Remember it's better to eat fruit than junk food between classes. If you're a smoker you must have joined the crowd just outside the gates. NO SMOKING at UEM. If you were really lucky and came by at the right moment, you might have received a "Healthy Campus" t-shirt or a laptop case.

The "Internships and Job Placement" stand gave away little notebooks with pens attached. They want to be sure that you get to do an internship before you graduate.

At the "Sports" stand you got band wrists with zipper compartments so you can take money with you when you are out jogging. They might have told you all about the UEM teams and the activities at the Sports Center. You know that there are great work-out rooms. And classes! Try FUNKY, SPINNING, YOGA and don't miss doing laps at your own pace in the swimming pool.

Maybe you went to a casting for the Drama Club, or signed up for some of the other "Extra-Curricular Activities" on campus. Can you sing or play an instrument? Join the TUNA!. Did you get one of the yellow bags from that stand?

And what about "Volunteering and Solidarity and Recycling "? Stop thinking only of yourself and help others. You can work with an NGO here in Madrid, or go off to another country where YOU can really make a difference by helping people help themselves. Did you get the cloth bag with a big yellow flower on it?

And there was an "International" stand for the foreign students who have come here and for those of you who want to go abroad. Did you get their give-away? I'm going to use mine the next time I travel. It will hold my tickets, my passport, my money, my credit cards....everything! Now that's a really useful give-away for a university that is encouraging everyone to travel!

Did you talk to the people at the "Library" stand? If you did, you got a pencil, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. You also found out about the library and how the people there can help you with your research.

You may even have talked to me or one of my colleagues from the "UEM LAB". If so you got an "I SPEAK ENGLISH" sticker and if you participated in our instant interviews with that cute little plastic microphone, you also got a beautiful book bag which says "I SPEAK ENGLISH!" Do you?

During WELCOME 2010 we talked to hundreds of you. We hope you enjoyed our little conversations and our little gifts. Have a great year!


P. S. "Welcome 2010" is a bit of a misnomer. We aren't welcoming in 2010 as we did on January 1st, 2010 by saying, "Happy New Year!" No, this isn't the beginning of the calendar year or the fiscal year. No, no, no. And most of the UEM students started classes in September so we wouldn't say WELCOME to them, though we could say WELCOME BACK! The last few days--"Welcome 2010"--was meant for YOU. It was a special WELCOME for the incoming students, the Freshmen, the First Year Students, the new Graduate Students, the Professional Course Students, the Exchange Students, the new professors and staff. We are welcoming in the new ACADEMIC year.
Hope to see you around campus! Wendy


Stands: puestos
set up: montar, organizar
junk food: comida basura
join the crowd:reunirte al grupo
gates: puertas del jardin,rejas, puerta de embarque
were lucky: tenía suerte
laptop case: funda para un ordenador portatil (lap:regazo / top:encima)
internships: prácticas en empresas,
give away: regalar
wrist bands: muñequera
zipper: cremallera
jogging: running slowly
team: equipo
workout: sala de ejercicios
do laps: hacer largos
at your own pace: a tu propio paso
sign up for: register for, apuntarse para
bag: bolsa
go abroad: irse al extranjero
useful: útil
encourage: animar
found out about: enterarse de
research: investigación
sticker: pegatina
cute: mono, guapo
gifts: presents, regalos


Wow! Look at that pumpkin!

The GIANT PUMPKIN contest at UEM is in its 5th year ! Some of our staff and students are discovering, to their great surprise, that they have excellent farming skills. Their pumpkin plants are growing, producing flowers and little pumpkins...or big ones. Some have not been so lucky. Some have funny stories to tell.

Here's Ofelia Giquel from the Advertising and Communications Department with her giant pumpkin at the beginning of September. And it's still growing!

Ofelia in her pumpkin patch

Chrisa Sampanes from Extracurricular Activities (Extensión Universitaria) reports that her vine has taken on a life of its own. It has overtaken the entrance to her house making her feel a bit like "Jack in the Bean Stalk." Her neighbors told her that her pumpkin vines caused quite a stir in the neighborhood while she was on vacation. Chrisa is very disappointed that with all these vines, no pumpkin has appeared. She even had to cut back her vines so she could get into her house! The vine is still alive so Chrisa hasn't lost hope that one day a pumpkin will appear.

Raquel Pereda from Quality Control says that one of her pumpkins is at least 30 kilos and still growing.

And the rest of you who planted pumpkin seeds? I expect a lot of contestants for the GIANT & MINATURE PUMPKIN CONTEST at the end of October.



skills: habilidades
growing: crecer
lucky: tener suerte
funny stories to tell : historias chistosas para contar.
Jack in the Bean Stalk: Juan y las habichuelas mágicas
vine: viña
overtaken: se ha hecho dueño de, tomar posessión
stalk: tronco, tallo
cause quite a stir: causar un revuelo
neighborhood: barrio
disappointed :disillusionado
cut back: recortar
get into: entrar en , entrar en con dificultad
alive: vivo
hope: esperanza


A new school year

Remember the first day of school when you were a child? You had your new clothes, your new books, your notebooks and pens and maybe a new backpack! You couldn't wait to see all your school friends again, but you were very reluctant to give up the freedom of summer vacation.

Well, things haven't changed that much. Your mom probably doesn't take your "First Day of School" photo any more. You´re the one who grabs your cell phone to show pictures to all your friends and take their pictures on the first day back.

It IS incredibly hard to come back. That summer break was much too short and oh so very long ago. And you have all the challenges of a new academic year.

Well, we have to be thankful for one thing. We don't start back to school until September, and the first year students won't appear till October.

In many parts of the US school starts about the 20th of August. They've got to be kidding! What happened to a nice long, warm summer vacation?

Spain is good. Spain believes in down time--and that happens in August. August, the month in which most of the country just closes down and everyone heads for the beach or the mountains or back to the "pueblo" or travels abroad. You need to get something again or come back in September. You have a medical problem. Try to hold off until September. You want a loan.. You've finally found the perfect house but you'll have a mortgage. Sorry, come back in September.What? But I need it NOW!

Well, it's now September. Everything starts up again. And here we are looking forward to the 2010-2011 academic year. Welcome back. And now the eternal question: Did you do your homework?

I'm sure you spent a lot of your summer practicing your English. Good for you! You're making an effort. You're preparing for the future. You're getting ready for the international job market.

Hope to see you or hear from you soon.



Give up: dejar atrás, despedirnos de, soltar, rendir,
Freedom: libertad
grab: coger, agarrar
back: de vuelta
hard: duro, difícil
break: descanso, tiempo libre
challenges: desafíos
thankful: agradecido
appear: aparecer
till / until: hasta
They've got to be kidding: Tienen que estar bromeando
What happened?: ¿Qué pasó?
down time: tiempo ocioso/de relax
close down: se cierra/ se echa el cierre
heads for: irse zumbando para / dirigirse a
travel abroad: viajar al extrajero
get something done: que te hagan algo /hacer algo
hold off: esperar, aguantar hasta
come back: volver
a loan: un préstamo
mortgage: hipoteca
sorry: lo siento, lamento
look forward to: esperar con ganas
get ready for: prepararse para


Do you have a "green thumb"? Giant pumpkins from...

Can you take a seed and make it grow?

"Giant pumpkins--from little pumpkin seeds grow!"

Have you ever heard the expression: 'Mighty oaks from little acorns grow'? -Geoffrey Chaucer-1374

Over 150 members of the UEM community planted pumpkin seeds this spring. Some have been very successful. Others have not. When someone is a good gardener we say that he has a "green thumb". Gardening, like everything else in life, is a learning experience.

Some of our participants have watched their seeds grow into little plants, and some of those plants now have flowers and little pumpkins. How exciting!

Antonio Huete, who works for Dima at the UEM, definitely has "a green thumb". Look at the size of those leaves! And this little plant was once a miniature pumpkin seed. I'm still hoping for a flower....and some beautiful miniature pumpkin.

UEM Farmers! Remember to water and fertilize your plants ! Impress your friends and neighbors!

And don't forget about the GIANT & Miniature PUMPKIN CONTEST. It's the last week of October, just in time for Halloween.


green thumb: pulgar verde/ tener mano para las plantas
pumpkin: calabaza
seed: semilla
grow: crecer
mighty: big and strong
oak: roble
acorn: bellota

spring: primavera
successful: tener éxito
gardener: jardinero
everything else: todo lo demás
take care of: cuidar

Have a happy summer! And take care of your plants!


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We LIVE & WORK at the UEM. And we do it in English!


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