Writing An Essay

An essay, according to Oxford Dictionary, is a short piece of writing on a particular subject. In a way, everyone can write an Essay. The only thing they need to do is contemplating and pouring their thought on a piece of writing.

Regardless of the formal essay structure, you are required to make a piece of writing in response to the article below:

The article derived from http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/blogger/2006/07/10/does-technology-change-culture-or-culture-change-technology/

Does technology change culture or culture change technology?

Does technology change culture or culture change technology?

Tim Finin, 1:00pm 10 July 2006

 I attended the CRA’s Snowbird Conference last month. The most interesting talk was a keynote from Genevieve Bell (also see here) who is an anthropologist who works at Intel Research. One of her messages was that while we tend to think that technology changes culture, it’s more often the other way around. Cultures are very robust and change slowly. It’s typical for a new technology to be adapted within a culture and used to support existing patterns of behavior.

For example, she said that mobile phone manufacturers have developed popular phones for Muslim users that support their religious practices by (1) reminding them when it is time to pray, (2) orienting them towards Mecca and (3) disabling incoming calls for 20 minutes. She gave many other examples from Africa and Asia that showed how new technology is being used in ways that fit into the existing cultures.

I found the message reassuring. It’s easy to get worked up into a state of anxiety about what our modern world is doing to our societies. Human cultures are apparently more resilient than we naively assume.

So, what do you think about the topic? Write down your idea in response of the article above within 150-200 words  and post it on comment space below. Don’t forget to attach your full name and student number. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday, 4 pm. The post will be considered as one meeting attendance. Thank you.


Have you ever?

“Have you fixed my laptop?”

The question above indicates that the person wants to know whether a particular action happened in an unspesific time before now. The kind of tense which is used in that question is Present Perfect. Pay attention to the examples below.

I have fixed your laptop. (S+has/have+Past participle)

I haven’t checked your e-mail. (S+has/have+not+ Past Participle)

Have you heard about Steve Jobbs? (Has/have + S + Past Participle)

Note that in Present Perfect Tense, specific time expression, such as ‘yesterday’, ‘last night’, cannot be used. Only unspesific time expression can be used in Present Perfect Tense, like ‘ever’, ‘never’, ‘once’, ‘many times’, ‘several times’, ‘before’, ‘so far’, ‘already’, ‘yet’, etc.

When somebody says, “I have done my project,” it indicates that the person did the activity in unspesific time in the past. The person doesn’t emphasize the time when he/she did the activity, but more about finishing the activity.

A. Now, to check your understanding, work on this exercise. Re-write the sentence into the correct form of Present Perfect Tense

Example: Mary (not/have) any chance to show her project to her friends.

Answer: Mary hasn’t had any chance to show her project to her friends.

1. I (never/use) any PC tablet before.

2.  We (not/finish) our plan yet.

3. Rudy (download) 400 movies so far.

4. Axel and Dion (ever/sell) their software to some big companies.

5. (you/ever/have) some trouble with your computer?

6. Some people (never/try) to communicate using the internet.

7. (you/ever/publish) some articles using Blogs?

8. Unfortunately, the investigators (not/find) any clue on who hacked the government official website.

9. (your mother/ever/visit) your website?

10. Where (you/be) all this time?

Now that you already understand about Present Perfect Tense, let’s try to compare between Present Perfect and Simple Past. Just to refresh your memory, Simple Past is a tense used in expressing an activity happened in a spesific time in the past.

In other way, Simple Past can use spesific time expression, while Present Perfect cannot.

I have fixed your laptop. (Present Perfect)

I fixed your laptop last night (Simple Past)

Now do the exercise below to check your understanding

B.  Rewrite the sentence using Present Perfect OR Simple Past

1. I (create) 25 video games already.

2. She (watch) the movie 23 times.

3. (you/go) to the match last night?

4. I (ever/try) to play Pool on Facebook.

5. The police (manage) to arrest the cyber criminal last wednesday.

6. Have (you/be) to Silicon Valley?

The exercise is to be submitted on a piece of paper during the meeting today, May 30th 2013. The assignment submitted will be considered as one meeting attendance.

Speed Reading Techniques

For decades, reading has become one of the most popular leisure time activities. Somehow, there are times when a reader are required to comprehend a reading material in a very short amount of time. Therefore, the quick-reading techniques should be applied in that case.

The quick-reading techniques that a reader can apply in such condition are Skimming and Scanning. The technique will help the reader to reach the goal of reading, i.e understanding the main idea and specific information of the text.

Skimming is a method of rapidly moving the eyes over the text in order to get only the main idea of the text and the general idea related to the context of the reading material.

The steps:

1.       Read the title (if there’s any)

2.       Read the introduction of the paragraph

3.       Read the first paragraph completely

4.       If there are some subheadings read and relate each subheadings

5.       Read the first sentence of the remaining paragraphs

6.       Pay more attention to the text and look for some clues that answer WH-questions and find some unusual words

7.       Read the final paragraph completely.

Scanning is a method of rapidly covers the whole material in order to locate specific pieces of information.

The steps:

1.       While reading, keep in your mind all the time about the specific information you’re trying to find

2.       When you find some words related to the information you’re trying to find then take some time to read carefully the whole sentence and check whether it’s the appropriate piece.

   source: Anne Arundel Community College

sdTo get more understanding on the quick-reading techniques, do the exercise below. Read and answer the questions by following the steps explained previously


Read the following text:

TThe Finns may be more diligent about preparing their kids for the future than most nationalities. But they do seem to do it with unusual degree of conviction about what´ s going to be important-one big reason they buy their teenagers mobile phones and foot the monthly bills about 40 dollars. A study by the Information Society Research Center at the University of  Tampere  (sponsored by wireless operator Sonera, Nokia and Tekes, the   government agency that promotes technology and doles out development capital) concludes that parents see a mobile phone as a “ key  to the information society”.

   Keeping tabs on the little rascals may be just a supplementary benefit-and maybe not even a benefit, if Heidi, a 15 year-old in Leena   Nordman` s English class, is to be believed. “My mom` s always calling me, “   she says, rolling her eyes.

   When Norman a Physical Education teacher tells her students that they` re allowed to get their phones out one spring day, they all proudly do so. Some of the boys immediately start playing games built into the small, colorful devices. And Heidi and a few kids are eager to tell other people about their obsession. First of all, the thing is not a phone.

It’s a kannykka ( a little hand), a luuri ( a transmitter) and sometimes a kapula ( a stick).

Or just a Nokia.

      Most of these fairly well-off kids have computers at home, and enjoy visiting chat houses. But like other Finnish teens, they really get a charge of the relatively cumbersome e-mail capability available on their phones. There´ s a 161 character limit, the inconvenience of a telephone keypad- and the thrill of gossiping, flirting or just bombarding each other with smiley faces, all for less than the cost of a voice call.

 Eija-liisa Kasesniemi, who ran the Information Society Research Center study, says the kids have their own vocabulary here, too. Is mobile-text-messaging just for kids? Phone

Company Radiolinja might have thought so when it debuted a service shortly before Christmas one year.

     But when half of Helsinki realized that last-minute electronic cards are more convenient than paper ones-and crashed the network-Radiolinja understood that it had something bigger on its hands.

Source: Newsweek, May 1999


I- True or false ? Support your answer by quoting from the text.

a) Finnish parents consider that a mobile phone is a superfluous object.

b) They don` t mind paying the extra costs these objects represent.

c) Sometimes teachers allow students to use their mobiles in class.

d) Teenagers never use their devices for sending e-messages

e) This kind of communication is causing a transformation of the normal language of communication


II- Explain.

a) whyFinnish parents consider it is important for their children to have a mobile phone.

b) why sometimes teenager would rather not have them.

c) what students do when they are allowed to use their mobiles in class.

d) what they use their e-mail for.

e) what kind of language they use when they send their messages through e-mail.

Do the exercise on a piece of paper. The worksheets are to be submitted on Thursday, May 16th 2013 in our Bahasa Inggris class. The work submitted is counted as 1 meeting.