Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's London in 3426. The most advanced technology has almost taken all over the country and has replaced London’s natural environment completely.

The inhabitants are mass produced with special abilities to serve the state’s certain needs. Feelings, illness, conflicts, war, and unemployment has been abolished. In case of feeling depressed, there is the ‘happy drug’. People’s ability to think has been taken away as well. The inhabitants are divided into five categories, which represent their beauty, intelligence, and social status. The state uses technological means to condition the society in order to adapt the values of the state. Now, people are happy and free from pain.

John, an inhabitant, belongs to the highest category, where everyone is smart, good-looking, and has a well-respected profession. However, he feels different from all the others. He is uglier and, indeed, has the ability to think and feel. Therefore, he is an outsider since people consider him unusual.

Soon he figures out that the state abuses science, drugs and technology to create the perfect society. He goes to the World Controller and questions him about the value of life, arguing that humanity is more important than anything else. The World Controller says, ‘It is the only opportunity to keep the society stable and under control. We have to make sacrifices. No feelings, no conflicts. People who try to destroy or interfere the state get banished.'
As John is seen as a danger to the system, he gets exiled to an island with all the other individuals who tried to intervene in the social system.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Once upon a time, there was a girl, Jana, who just graduated from high school and decided to take a year off in the United States. She chose to stay in a homeshare for the next year. When she arrived in the homeshare, the people were welcoming her. However, she was wondering why there were only five people in the house because she was told that there would be around 10 people living with her. Then a girl explained that the rest are on a trip to Vegas, and that they would be back late at night. Jana got introduced to her roommate Mary Jane. She thought that she was really nice and that they would get along really well. Then, Mary Jane showed her the room they would live in together.

Since Jana was jet lagged, she went to bed very early. However, she woke up in the middle of the night and heard some strange noises coming from the living room. She thought that those must have been the other people just returning from Vegas. Then, Jana noticed that her roommate was gone. 'She probably went to the restroom', she thought. So, Jana didn't think much of it and back to bed.

The next morning Jana expected to meet the rest of the homeshare but there were no unfamiliar faces. There were still only the five that Jana already met the other night. She thought it was kind of strange that they didn't return yet since they had school in the morning as well. Mary Jane told her that they stayed longer in the Vegas since they liked it so much. For some reasons, Jana didn’t believe it.
In the afternoon, Jana returned home. There was no one at home. She was all by herself. So, Jana decided to start unpacking her suitcase. Accidentally, she opened the wrong closet. She opened Mary Jane's closet and found a knife and clothes all covered in blood. At first, she freaked out but then she thought that this must have been her Halloween costume from last week or something and that the knife and the blood was only fake. As she was touching the knife, she cut herself. Obliviously, the knife and the blood were real. Jana panicked. Shit! What is she doing with a knife? Where does all this blood come from? Did she murder someone? What if she is a murder and killed the five that are supposed to be back from Vegas by now? All those questions were running through Jana's mind. Jana didn't know what to do. She was so scared that she almost started to cry. Her heart was beating so fast and she could barely breathe. She closed the closet immediately and walked back and forth in her room. Confused and scared at the same time, she was thinking of what she should do. Telling the other people in the homeshare? Calling the police? No, what if we all get killed?! Jana imagined the worst. Instead of telling someone, Jana kept it for herself and decided to figure out what Mary Jane was up to.

Jana assumed that there was something going on and that is has something to do with Mary Jane. So, Jana decided to check the Internet to find some closure. She found an article, which said that once there lived a couple in this house, but the man killed her girlfriend and than committed suicide. The woman was possessed and tried to kill her boyfriend. Before she could kill him, he killed her. Desperate due to killing her love, the guy committed suicide. Since then, there were rumors that the house was hunted and there was a demon that possessed people. The article also mentioned that the only way to get out is to kill yourself or to drown the demon. She immediately thought that it was Mary Jane who was responsible for the missing people.

At night Jana pretended to be asleep. Around midnight, she heard her roommate walking out of the room. Then, she heard those strange noises and screams again but this time coming out of the garden. Jana got up and discreetly walking through the dark living room into the kitchen. Observing from the kitchen's window into the garden, Jana saw some shadows. In the shadows, she saw someone holding a girl and threatening her with a knife. The shadows seemed to be Mary Jane and Jennie, another girl from the homeshare. Jennie was screaming and begging her not to kill her. Jennie's fear could be heard in her voice. Then, Jana saw the shadow of Mary Jane stabbing the girl. 
Jana freaked out. She wanted to scream but was scared to be seen. She pushed her hands against the mouth forcing herself not to make a sound. She was too afraid to be the next victim. She didn't know what to do. Should she return to her room and pretend that nothing happened at all? Hoping that everything was just a dream? Then suddenly the shadows disappeared. Jana was scared to death and her heart of beating so fast. The only thing she wanted to do was to get out of the house. As she turned around, her roommate was standing right in front of her asking what she was doing so late.
Jana's heart was beating like a ticking time bomb. She was so afraid. She saw Jennie's pajamas covered in blood and immediately knew that her assumptions were true.

Jana fear was written in her face. Now she knew that Mary Jane was possessed and she is going to be the next victim. Bravely looking at Mary Jane, Jana saw her turning into a scary beast. Mary Jane's innocent face turned into a monster face. Her beautiful blue eyes became bright white. Mary Jane came closer and closer. Jana screamed so loud and managed to run away. She ran down the street hoping that she will be heard. She was desperately screaming for help but no one heard her. Mary Jana was following her. Her voice was so creepy, saying, "Come here. You can't escape. I will get you anyway.". Jana was so frightened that she started to cry. She run further down the street screaming for help but no one heard her. Jana didn't know what to do. She was in panic and had the fear of dying. Mary Jane with her creepy voice was still following her. "Stop screaming. No one will hear you!", the creepy voice said. Jana didn't know what to do or how to get rid of her. But then, she remembered how to kill a demon - you have to drown her! So, Jana was running to the closest lake around. She ran into the cold water, screaming and crying. Mary Jane followed her into the water. Her face was so scary and Jana was so afraid. Then, Jana attacked her and tried to drown her. She kept Mary Jane's head under water but she was too strong. Jana tried to keep her under water with all her strength but it didn't work. Mary Jane was too strong. So, she got up and hold Jana’s head under water until she stopped moving.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

11/07/13 Outsourcing

Most companies start as a small business and do most of the work themselves by taking on the responsibility for marketing, sales, technology, and other components of the business. When the business grows, it becomes more difficult for them to handle all of these tasks. At this point, companies likely decide to hire someone from another company to do some of their tasks for them in order to focus on the core business. This process is called outsourcing: It's the practice of transferring any task, operation, job or process that could be performed by employees within the company to a third party.

Outsourcing has become a major trend over the past decade. There are many reasons why companies decide to outsource. For instance, globalization results in many companies competing in marketplaces making it difficult for them to retain a successful competitor. Therefore, many companies decide to outsource parts of their company in order to maintain competitive. Additionally, it is an easy method for corporations to maximize their profit due to lower labor costs. Since labor remains one of the biggest costs of the company, they have to pay an average wage and provide some health benefits. However, outsourcing a part of the business can reduce labor costs significantly since it gives companies the flexibility to employ workers when it is required. Apart from the financial benefits, more and more companies, small and large, turn to outsourcing as a way to grow since they can expand and gain access to resources that are not available integrally. New market areas can also play a role in the decision of outsourcing, for example, by taking the point of production or service delivery closer to their end users.
In contrast, there are several reasons why companies should not outsource parts of their business. Firstly, outsourcing means dependence on other companies. The financial well-being of the company is tied to the outsourcing company which can have a negative effect on the company. In case the outsourcing company goes bankrupt, they would leave the company with a huge problem. Additionally, outsourcing has many hidden costs, which can lead to spending more money instead of saving it if terms and conditions are not clearly defined. Furthermore, outsourcing leads to unemployment in their home country since they can find lower paid workers who do the work for them. Moreover, outsourcing provider may work with other customers as well and consequently might not give full time and attention to a single company. This may result in delays and imprecisions in the work output. Besides that, not understanding the culture of the outsourcing company and the location where the company outsources can cause communication problems and lower productivity.

A recent development among top global companies in Europe and America is to outsource costumer support like call center services to developing countries in Asia, especially to India. The reason why companies settle down call center in India is due to the fact that India has a wide variety of advantages that other countries do not offer. As the largest English speaking population outside of US, India offers an excellent education system providing more than a million high quality English speaking graduates every year. Additionally, the Indian government has actively supported the call center services industry by allowing duty free imports of capital goods and tax exemptions. Moreover, it has invested billions of dollars for infrastructure development in transport, communication systems, and broadband computing which shows that Indian call center companies are highly adaptive to global trends. Apart from that, the costs of employing, providing offices, training the worker, and paying taxes can be quite high in their home country, whereas an outsourced call center in a country like India can save up to 60 %. Furthermore, outsourcing call centers help companies not only to improve the profit but also to concentrate on core businesses and to become more productive.

Another of the most frequently outsourced business tasks is manufacturing. For many similar reasons as the Indian call center services, European and American manufacturing companies move their production out of their country to China to save a significant amount of money. China is more beneficial when it comes to manufacturing over other Asian countries. One reason is the experience and education the country has in delivering products that reach the standards that are required by both western legislation and consumers. Additionally, Chinese labor is cheaper even though they provide the same quality. Moreover, there are fewer regulations regarding labor conditions, use and disposal of materials, which encourage companies to settle down their productions factories in China.

In conclusion, outsourcing is an arrangement in which work is done by people from outside a company, usually by a company that is specialized in that type of work. It can have a positive but also a negative impact on companies and society.
One the one side, outsourcing can have beneficial impact on the company regarding money- and time saving. It can be really effective to hire experts in some areas of the company and work close with them; especially small businesses can benefit from this since it gives them access to more knowledge and the opportunity to grow. Moreover, settling down companies in foreign countries helps to build up other countries' economies, such as China's and India's, and make the global economy more stable, balanced and powerful. It offers job opportunities and a higher living standard in developing countries. Apart from that, our society can also profit from outsourcing. It gives us the access to a wide range of high quality products at low prices.
However, there is another side to the issue of outsourcing that needs to be considered. Not all people benefit from outsourcing. Outsourcing can have negative impact on society such as unemployment in western countries caused by the availability of cheaper labor in Asia. Local workers are forced to find new jobs, which can lead to the fact that they need to move to another community to find one. The reason why our society gets so many high quality products at low prices is caused by the abuses of foreign employers by not providing humane working conditions. Outsourced work may be performed in sweatshop by children, or in bad working conditions. Additionally, time zones and languages between the companies can be different, which makes it difficult to work effectively since messages can be misleading. Moreover, outsourcing has many hidden costs, which can end up in spending more money instead of saving it.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Part 1 Listing:
- Organization: Save the Children
- population served: Children; mostly in devolving countries
- main focus: better education, health care, economic chances; provides emergency aid in natural disasters, wars and other conflicts
- in 120 countries all around the world
- ways to help: programs, campaigns, promote children's lives, provide relief, help to support children in developing countries, promote policy changes in order to gain more rights for the young people
- current project: Humanitarian work in Syria, Every One Campaign
- future hopes/goals: Reducing child deaths rate by 2015, safer and brighter future for children

Part 2 Writing:

Every 4.5 seconds a child somewhere in the world dies caused by hunger and preventable diseases. They do not get the chance to make it to their 5th birthday. Additionally, millions of children either do not get the opportunity for education or they drop out of school before their 3rd grade. Those are a few of many challenges the world has to face. However, this shouldn’t be this way. Every child deserves the chance of a healthy start, education, and a brighter future.
The worldwide active, non-governmental organization 'the Save the children fund', commonly known as Save the Children, is devoted to save those children’s lives. Established in United Kingdom in 1919 to help and feed children who suffered from hunger crisis after the First World War, Save the Children wants to attain the right to survival, protection, development and participation for every single child. They strongly abide by their motto "We save children's lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential". In order to accomplish their mission, Save the Children promotes children's lives, provides relief, and helps to support children in developing countries. Furthermore, they promote policy changes in order to gain more rights for the young people. The organization's main focus lies on a better education, health care, and economic chances. Moreover, Save the Children provides emergency aid in natural disasters, wars and other conflicts. Till this day, Save the Children is spread in 120 countries all around the world with the goal to improve children's lives. In order to do so, they create programs and campaigns to support them. 

Since Save the Children constantly tries to make a better living condition for children, they have several projects and campaigns at the same time. However, one of the their current projects is the humanitarian work in Syria. More than three millions children suffer from Syria’s conflict, leaving them homeless, injured and without food. It lacks of the essential of life: Food, water and health care. Save the Children tries to give the children and their families the basics to survive as far as possible by providing them with accommodations, food, and support. Moreover, it has been recently confirmed that there is an outbreak of the highly contagious disease “polio“ in Syria, which is spread through dirty water. It attacks the body and in worst cases can be deadly. Save the children warns from turning into an epidemic threatening children across the Middle East region. Additionally, thousands of Syrians flee the country daily and increase the risk of the spreading the virus throughout the region. Therefore, they demand to stop the war, so they can get access to the country to provide widespread vaccinations. Save the Children has already vaccinated 21,000 children against polio in Syria but they want to increase the number.

Furthermore, the organization made dramatic progress in the past ten years by reducing child deaths, getting more children into school, and pulling millions out of poverty. They reduced the number of child deaths from 12 million a year to 7.6 million a year. However, this is not enough. There are still too many children who die from preventable diseases, even though low-tech and inexpensive solutions exist to save them. Therefore, Save the children launched the Every One campaign in 2009 to address every single citizen in the world to help to prevent millions of young children worldwide from dying. It is their biggest global campaign ever aiming to reduce the child mortality rate by two-thirds and to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 by 2015.

In conclusion, Save the Children is an internationally active organization to save children’s lives and give them a better future. They work in many different areas to ensure children’s safety. In order to accomplish their goals, they use programs and campaigns to fight for children’s rights. Save the Children’s work and dedication has shown some remarks in saving children’s lives and giving them the opportunity to live. They made a drastic positive change in the last few years by reducing the number of child deaths by almost fifty percent, and they aim to achieve more by 2015.
In my opinion, Save the Children put a lot of effort in saving children’s lives and giving them the chance of education, health care, and safety. It is really inspiring to see how much progress and change has already been made in the recent years and how much still will come. The organization’s ambition to achieve more by 2015 is really remarkable. They seem to devote themselves to their duties in saving children’s lives. Since investing in children means to invest in the future, children should be protected at all times. Serving children for more than 90 years now, I believe that the future of this charity organization as well as the future of the children will be bright and succe

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/24/13 Creation of the beloved chocolate bar

Once upon a time, Choco the Chocolate was tired of living in the supermarket. He saw all the people passing by laughing and having fun. He knew that there was a completely different world outside that he wanted to discover. He was hoping for weeks that someone would take him home and that he would get to see a world besides the supermarket but it never happened. So one day, the adventurous and curious Choco decided to leave the candy section of the supermarket and go on an adventure on his own. However, he didn't want to go alone. He wanted someone with him and thought immediately of that one special person. So on his way out, he passed by the milk section where he saw her, Mimi the milk. 

Choco was in love with Mimi for a long time but he never dared to ask her out on a date. They knew each other since kids and secretly Mimi liked him back. However, when it came to this girl, Choco was really shy. Choco was so nervous but he wanted her to come with him on the journey so badly. He saw his long awaited chance to ask her out on a date. So, he put himself together and walked towards her. He took all his courage and asked Mimi the milk if she would like to go on an adventure with him. Mimi was kind of surprised and speechless. She was wondering what he meant by adventure. Choco replied that he wanted to travel the world and get away from the captivity that they were in. He told Mimi that there is a completely different world outside waiting for them to discover. Mimi was overwhelmed by the idea of traveling the world since it was always her dream. So, Mimi agreed and soon they left the supermarket together. 

They ran out of the supermarket to the airport where they took the first flight to Paris. When they arrived in Paris, Choco took her on a date. He put a lot of effort in to make it an unforgettable day. So, he took her out for dinner on the top of the Eiffel tower. Mimi was speechless. She didn’t know what to say. She thought it was just perfect. Since then, they travelled all around the world. Years later Mimi and Choco got married and were deeply in love. Soon the first child was born. The child had chocolate on the outside and milk on the inside. The beloved chocolate bar was created. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10/22/13 Introduction

First of all, I would like to introduce myself to you.

I'm Irina Chan, 19 years old, from Germany. I've been attending EF in Santa Barbara for almost seven weeks now. English is really important not only for my future goals but also for my studies since I am going to study International Management and half of my studies are covered in English. Therefore, I want to improve my English as much as possible. So, the following aspects tell you which certain areas I would like to enhance during my stay here at EF.

While studying here at EF, I want to improve my speaking skills as well as my writing skills. I want to learn to express myself better in writing and speaking. Additionally, I want to extent my vocabulary in order to add variety to my writings.

The language skill that I am most proud of is probably my understanding/listening skills. Mostly, I watch TV shows and movies in English and I can almost understand everything.

What I noticed during my time here at EF is that I have some difficulties comprehending texts and articles on academic topics sometimes. Therefore, I think that my reading comprehension needs the most improvement.

My goal is to study at a foreign university and therefore a good knowledge of the language is required. Furthermore, I aim to work in an international company and deal with international customers. Thus, it is really important to be able to speak and express myself in English as fluently as possible.