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Last-minute Christmas Gifts

Christmas is almost here, and as always, it’s arrived much sooner than we thought it would. With tens of people to buy for and both time and budget running on low, it’s time for a Christmas miracle. Last minute gifts don’t have to be totally impersonal so try one of these unique gift ideas to show your family and friends you really care this Christmas.

Hand-made cookies

Who doesn’t love a baked treat during the holiday season?
When in doubt — bake. How about chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies or peanut butter blossoms? Finally, you can fill your cookies into pretty jars.

Cinema City Gift Card

It is a perfect gift for a picturegoer.
Purchase one of Cinema City gift card as a present and let your beloved decide what film they want to watch at Cinema City.

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Cocoa powder, powdered milk, and a few fun toppings like chocolate chips or some marshmallows are all you need for this easy hot cocoa gift idea.

A Babbel subscription to learn new languages

Whether they love to dabble in other languages or they’re looking
for a new hobby, Babbel is a considerate and immediately deliverable option. It includes options for 13 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Indonesian, and Turkish

Memory Board

Hit the flea market to search for a vintage enamelware tray. Its magnetic properties make it a perfect way to celebrate the cherished memories you share with a family member or best friend. Choose some fun magnets to attach photos and other mementos, such as old ticket stubs. Attach double-sided velcro to the back so your recipient can hang it on the wall.

Massage Voucher

Massages make amazing gifts. They are the perfect treat for busy people as they get an hour of peace and quiet and a nice lie down in a cosy room. Everyone craves for relax after stress of Christmas period and the new year

Personalized Video

Have their favourite celebrity deliver a personalized message, for example, through the Cameo app. If you’re gifting to someone who is obsessed with reality TV, loves a certain music artist, or is very into sports, a video message from the person they idolize is the ultimate gift. Once you figure out which celeb you want to deliver your message, you can purchase a video message from them and let them know who and what it’s for.

Natural body lotion

People love receiving home-made beauty products. The good part is, when you’re making your own body lotion you can make sure to use only 100% natural ingredients and you can decide exactly what you want to include. That is particularly good if you are making something for someone with very sensitive skin. For the easiest recipe you need the almond oil, coconut oil and shea or cocoa butter.

Gratitude Jar

This is a really beautiful gift to give someone, that works for any occasion.
Write a little notes of gratitude to the person receiving the gift from you.
Write from the heart about why they are so important to you — you could share something specific they did or a special memory. Put notes inside the jar and that’s it!

Audiobook Gift Subscription

Whether they’re already big on audiobooks or have yet to discover how great they are, a BookBeat or Storytel  subscription gives them credit to choose an audiobook or several to tide them over on long trips, commutes, or runs.

Time together

Sometimes, the nicest thing you can give someone is just a bit of time together. Whether it’s an excursion together, a massage, going out to eat, a weekend trip or cooking the person a very delicious meal. A voucher for time together, either just the two of you, or with the whole family is also
a great last-minute present idea.

Bibliography:

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/gift-ideas/g403/homemade-food-gift-ideas/

https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2019/10/hot-chocolate-in-jar-gift.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/christmas/christmas-gifts&ved=2ahUKEwi8wZaRrID8AhVGgosKHXASBh4QFnoECA0QAQ&usg=AOvVaw1WSj1YMO2EwX4o4Sdc8Pko

Written by Patrycja Stodółkiewicz from class 3a.


There are many Christmas traditions in the United States, including decorating homes and Christmas trees, sending holiday cards to friends and family, and attending religious services. Some people also enjoy baking cookies, singing carols, and exchanging gifts. One of the most well-known traditions is the visit from Santa Claus, who is said to come to homes on Christmas Eve to leave presents for children. But before he comes you have to write him a letter. Other popular traditions include watching holiday-themed movies, putting up holiday decorations, and attending Christmas parties.

Christmas traditions in Great Britain are similar to those in the United States, with some notable differences. In Britain, it is common for families to decorate their homes with Christmas trees, lights, and holly. Many people also attend church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and exchange gifts on December 25th. Mince pies and Christmas pudding are popular festive foods, and the British royal family traditionally broadcasts a special message on television on Christmas Day. Children in Britain may also leave out a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Christmas traditions in Australia are similar to those in other English-speaking countries, but they are also influenced by the country’s unique cultural and geographic characteristics. Many Australians celebrate Christmas by spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts, and enjoying a special meal together. In addition, since Christmas falls in the middle of the Australian summer, many people also enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming and barbecuing. Some other popular Christmas traditions in Australia include singing carols, decorating Christmas trees, and attending church services. Since Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, many native plants, such as eucalyptus trees and holly, are not traditionally associated with Christmas, so Australian families may use other native plants such as gum leaves and native flowers in their holiday decorations.

To sum up, there are some differences in Christmas traditions between English-speaking countries in terms of exchanging gifts, or the way people spend time reflecting their different cultural and geographic characteristics. Overall, however, there are many common traditions shared by English-speaking countries at Christmas time, including the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the decoration of homes with Christmas trees and lights, and sending cards to loved ones.

Sources:

https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ukhttps://www.communicateschool.co.uk/2021/12/15-christmas-traditions-in-great-britain-today/https://www.bbcamerica.com/blogs/10-british-christmas-traditions-including-some-delicious-festive-food–1015605https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/usahttps://guidebook.isango.com/traditional-celebrate-christmas-america/https://www.ef.com/wwen/blog/efacademyblog/top-10-holiday-traditions-in-the-us/https://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/7-aussie-christmas-traditions-love/https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/australiahttps://www.griffithre.com/2016/12/7-aussie-christmas-traditions-we-all-love/https://sightseeingtoursaustralia.com.au/tips-articles/7-australian-christmas-traditions-that-we-love/

Printerest

Prepared by Olga Dyner from class 3a, edited by MS M.Kossak -Wąchała.


Prince William opens up about his own mental health struggles to encourage others to the same, in his documentary – ,,Football, Prince William and our mental health’’. The film synopsis reads: “Spurred on by the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in this country, he wants to use football as a way to get men talking and to break the taboo that surrounds mental health. As a real fan of the sport, William has seen the way men express their feelings at football games. Now he wants to help men show the same passion and openness away from the game.”

In a preview clip William says: “As far as grief goes, and I’ve heard this from sadly too many families who’ve been bereaved by suicide, it is one of the rawest forms of grief because you’re left with so many unanswered questions: Could I have done more? Should I have done more? Why did they do it?”

The film follows William as he meets players and fans from grassroots to the elite of the game and openly discusses their mental health challenges. The most interesting and erudite example is Joe Hart, who after a storming run at Manchester City began to suffer from bouts of increasingly bad mental health, in part because the team had never prepared its players for when the going gets tough.

This documentary is  based around structured, sometimes artificial, conversations. But these conversations all produce small insights into where even the most self-aware men need to step back and reconsider their language of pain. At the end of the documentary, the coronavirus seeps in to this narrative: football is on hold, the campaign is too, but the prince holds a sort of Zoom therapy seminar with the ambassadors and central figures in the documentary. Their living rooms tell the stories of men from wildly different walks of life with almost Brechtian symbolism, but they’re all united by a desire to get back to the community structures that gave them an outlet for opening up.

Sources:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/11730173/prince-william-football-mental-health-what-time/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jkbr

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/football-prince-william-and-our-mental-health

Written by Iga Cierpisz from class 3a.


On 15th November, the students of class 3a group 1, some representatives from 4k as well
as 4b participated in the meeting with Miss Oksana Jensen as a part of the project “Meet
America”
. It allows adolescents to interact with an American diplomat from American Embassy or Consulate.
The event took place on Zoom as usual, so we were prepared and without any reversals
could join the class from our devices.


Oksana Jensen – The Consul of the US State Department introduced us, by presentation, to
some facts about her and her life in the USA. Due to the fact that she wasn’t a native
American, we could see the perspective of someone who was born in a different culture. She
raised an issue of the differences between foregin and civil service as well as making a living
out of being a diplomat. Discussing the last topic she also included personal qualities that
determine a competent consul. Despite a near deadline she managed to answer as many of
our questions as possible. Not only did the questions touch the profession itself but also
personal experiences connected with the land of opportunities.

From our list she chose the following questions:
● What was the biggest cultural shock when you came to America?- Kasia Gawron 3a
● Do you enjoy any typical American sport? – Kamil Będkowski 3a
● Where do Americans go on vacation most often? – Olga Dyner 3a
● What is it like going to high school in America (Is it like in the movies? Is it hard to
“survive”?) – Maja Bolesławska 3a
● If you had the chance to change one thing in the United States to make citizens’ lives
easier, what would that be? – Hela Kołaczyk 3a
● Do you think that international students find it hard to adapt in US universities? Is
teachers’ approach different towards them? – Julia Toborek 4b
● Do you feel like America is a diverse country? – Hania Fijałkowska 4k


After the meeting we welcomed the next guest which was Ms Janina Galas – the
representative of the consulate. She expanded the topic of her engaging post then featured
a few noteworthy projects that enable students to fulfill their dreams, see the true America
with their own eyes and overcome communication difficulties. These programs are: Flex,
Camp America and Summer Work Travel,
We’re all grateful to our teacher – Professor Marzena Kossak-Wąchała who intended the
whole meeting and gave us a chance to “Meet America” from the inside. We’re looking
forward to such amazing opportunities to expand our cultural knowledge and break
the language barrier.

Source: https://pl.usembassy.gov

Written by Katarzyna Gawron and Ola Janus from class 3a. Edited by Ms Marzena Kossak.


The 2022 FIFA World Cup is underway, and some of the best footballers on the planet spend four weeks competing for soccer’s ultimate prize.

However, this World Cup is ripe with controversy, largely due to its host country, Qatar, a Persian Gulf nation roughly 15 times smaller than Cżęstochowa that is holding the once-every-four-years soccer tournament for the first time. And the concerns over human-rights abuses in Qatar — such as allegations the country has exploited migrant workers — as well as the environmental impact of the tournament and the last-minute ban on alcohol, have all been overshadowing the event.

The bid

Qatar had no prior history in the World Cup prior to winning the bid in 2010. Its hot desert climate and brutal summers have never made it an ideal destination for such a grand event. Further, many soccer fans questioned how the small Middle-Eastern country won the bid during former FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s reign.There were allegations of corruption, vote-swapping, and links to trade deals at the highest levels of government. Qatar was cleared of corruption by FIFA, but as recently as 2020, US prosecutors accused three former senior FIFA officials of receiving bribes for voting in favor of Qatar.

The treatment of workers

85% of Qatar’s population of 3 million are foreign workers, and rights groups have been documenting abuses and harsh conditions.Roughly30000 people from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines have been building seven new stadiums from scratch, as well as 100 new hotels and roads in the country.Qatar’s labour laws known as the ‘kafala system’ allow businesses or business owners in Qatar to take workers’ passports and stop them leaving the country.Human Rights organizations such as Amnesty International say that as a result, since 2010, hundreds of thousands of these workers have faced human rights abuses and exploitation in difficult working conditions with little pay. the Guardian newspaper claims that figures show more than 6,000 workers have actually died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid 12 years ago.The Qatar government said that the total is misleading, and that between 2014 and 2020, there were 37 deaths among workers at World Cup stadium construction sites, and only three were “work-related”.

Adidas, AB InBev, Coca-Cola and McDonalds responded to the issue with statements, expressing support for migrant reforms

and compensation for workers in Qatar. However, all have remained as sponsors to the tournament

Climate concerns

Qatar and FIFA pledged that they would deliver the world’s first “fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup tournament”. Though the tournament is projected to emit a total of 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide according to FIFA , they said 95% of those emissions will come from air travel, and are classified as “indirect emissions”. However, climate researchers have cast doubt on the credibility of Qatar’s claim of a “carbon-neutral” tournament, arguing that the Gulf nation has underestimated the event’s true emission output and climate impact. Critics further point out that Qatar is utilizing purchasing carbon credits, a questionable practice, in order to claim it’s meeting sustainability goals.

The cost

If you add up the total costs, taking into account not only the cost of building new stadiums and renovating existing ones, but also all the money spent on infrastructure, this year’s World Cup in Qatar is by far the most expensive of all time – Qatar is estimated to have spent as much as $220 billion in the dozen years, more than 15 times what Russia spent for the 2018 event.

Should You still watch the World Cup 2022? I gravitate not to boycott matches of your favorite athletes but to shift the conversation to the underlying issues of the World Cup in Qatar. Talk about how the international tournament is made possible by millions of exploited migrant workers and how there is the possibility of corruption involved to make the World Cup happen. Now that the tournament is held in Qatar, so many more people are aware of the situation which would make change quicker.

Sources:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_FIFA_World_Cup

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vice.com/amp/en/article/bvm3gq/why-qatar-world-cup-2022-is-controversial

Article written by Patrycja Stodółkiewicz from class 3a.


On Friday, September 15 all students from first grades went to an integartion rally to a lovely place in Kamyk. At 9 a.m. all students were already there. At first they got some free time, so they could hang around or just spend some time together and get to know each other better. After about an hour the show time started. Each class had to present themselves to the audience with a performance about their profile. Then the jury came up and picked the best one. As a reward, students from class 1G together with their form teacher could taste delicious ice cream for free! After lunch and a dessert, the DJs played music and the disco started. Despite the cold weather, students got on the dance floor and had a great time. The whole trip ended at about 1 p.m. and everyone got back to Częstochowa.

news prepared by Antonina Zdzierek from class 1 B, edited by Ms J. Wołkowicka


On Thursday, June 9th, five students from class 2A (group 1) and 4 students from class 3k (group 1) along with an English teacher, Proffesor Marzena Kossak-Wąchała, took part in a lecture entitled

„President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II”.

The lecture was given by Peter M. Robinson – an American author, research fellow, television host and former speechwriter for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and President Ronald Reagan. He completed his studies at Oxford and after Oxford, Robinson applied for a position at the White House. He was transferred to President Reagan’s staff as a special assistant and speechwriter, where he wrote the famed 1987 “ Tear down this wall” address. The speech, delivered by Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on 12 June 1987, contained a memorable sentence: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Mr Robinson is currently the host of Uncommon Knowledge, an interview show by Stanford’s Hoover Insitution in California. He is also a research fellow at this Institution as well as a co-founder of the Ricochet website.  

The exposition was organized by The WSB University as part of the Fund for Support of Science co-financed by the Górnośląsko-Zagłebiowską Metropolia and started at 3p.m on Zoom platform.

Not only was it a great English lesson for us but also a solid dose of knowledge from history. The lecture revolved around the end of Cold War and three particular figures who played indispensable roles: Ronald Reagan, Minister Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. We hear a great deal  from historians these days  that history is a matter of large and personal forces and individuals can only play small or insignificant roles. Peter Robinson, however, presented his view on it and talked through this one moment in history when things could not have happened as they happened and when they happened without these three remarkable individuals. The Pope helped ordinary Poles and East Europeans banish their fear of Soviet Communism, convincing them that liberation was possible. The Prime Minister  Margaret Thatcher restored her country’s failing economy by reviving the “vigorous virtues” of the British people. The American president rebuilt America’s military power, its national morale, and its pre – eminence as leader of the free world. Together they brought down an evil empire and changed the world for the better.

The lecture was fortified with some videos of discussed characters’ speeches what made the lecture even more compelling. At the end of the meeting participants had a chance to put a question to Peter Robinson, which one of our students did! We were really glad  and grateful that we could listen to  this lecture and learn a lot of interesting facts. We are looking forward to the next one….

Source:

Wikipedia, photos from WSB

Written by Patrycja Stodółkiewicz from class 2a, edited by Ms M.Kossak-Wąchała


Many celebrities were seen during the Platinum Jubilee. Some of them were even taking a big part in the celebrations. An enormous number of 150 people named as national treasures were put in different decker buses and each bus was a representation of a certain decade of the last 70 years. The photo is showing Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell who were leading the 90’s bus.


During the Jubilee Pageant Queen Elizabeth II was not seen in person. However, a hologram of the Queen was put in a golden carriage. This part of the parade was accompanied by military units. While the Queen wasn’t present in the pageant, she showed up in a quick video from the palace. In the video, she was seen having tea with Paddington, a British bear famous thanks to the book and movie series with the same name. They were talking about their shared love for marmalade sandwiches.


The Queen was present at the Trooping the Colour parade but it was her grandson, the youngest child of Kate and William – Louis who stole the show. He was misbehaving, as a child on such occasions often does and there are quite a lot of photos where an audience can see him making silly faces and gestures.


James Bond also made an appearance at the Queen’s Jubilee. At the “Party at the Palace” taking place on Saturday, actor Daniel Craig was shown paying tribute to the Queen. The next day, during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant some of the cars from James Bond movies were displayed.


Member of the iconic band Queen, Brian May also had his share of Platinum Jubilee surprises. He entered the stage during the Jubilee concert with a big figure showing Queen Victoria by his side.


At the Platinum Party at the Palace spectators were surprised when 400 drones lit up the sky showing some of the things associated with Her Majesty. Some of the light work showed number 70, a cup of tea with a teakettle, and my personal favourite – a corgi.

news written by Maja Suchecka from 3B, edited by Ms J. Wołkowicka


On Thursday in London, the annual Trooping the Color parade was held. It was attended by 1,500 soldiers, 400 members of military orchestras, and 250 horses. The participants of the march departed from Buckingham Palace, walked through the representative avenue The Mall, and the parade square where the military inspection was held, and then returned to Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II watched the parade from the palace balcony.

The culmination of the ceremony was the flight of several dozen Royal Air Force planes and helicopters over London.  Typhoon fighter squad made “70” in the sky.  Members of the British royal family, eighteen to be exact,  watched the show from the balcony of the palace. Although the greatest enthusiasm of those gathered in front of Buckingham Palace was caused by the appearance of Elizabeth II.  four-year-old Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Princess Kate also drew a lot of attention. During the flight of the planes, the boy covered his ears with his hands several times, and look quite unpleased.

Definitely, It was Louis’ hijinx which unequivocally stole the show! He stuck his tongue out, had his hand over his mother’s mouth and it looked like she was telling him to behave. Then he yawned dramatically, looking like a tiny thunderclowd he sat on his Grandpa Charles’ lap.

All of Britain waited for the royal family to appear on the balcony. It hasn’t happened since 2019, which is why it caused great excitement from the audience. Unfortunately, Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, and the queen’s son, Prince Andrew, did not appear among the royal family. Although young couple attended the jubilee itself.

On Thursday evening in front of Buckingham Palace and 2,000 other places across the UK and its overseas territories, many light signals are planned to be lit creating a chain to symbolize unity.

Sources:

https://tvn24.pl/swiat/platynowy-jubileusz-elzbiety-ii-ksiaze-louis-zaslanial-sobie-uszy-dlonmi-w-trakcie-przelotu-samolotow-5735799

Article written by Hanna Fijałkowska from class 3k, edited by Ms Kossak-Wąchała


On Saturday, members of the royal family appeared at the Epsom Downs racetrack, where they watched the 243rd edition of the famous Derby horse race.  Later In the evening the “Platinium Party at The Palace” took place, it was a musical moment to celebrate an extraordinary jubilee. Tens of thousands of Brits and tourists from all over the world gathered in front of Buckingham Palace.

Due to the fact that Elizabeth II was not present at the event, the full attention was focused on Prince Charles and the younger generation of royals. The event was attended by many members of the royal family, led by the heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Princess Camilla, as well as Prince William and Princess Kate and the children who had stolen the entire show. However, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan weren’t there. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship with some members of the Royal Family remains “very, very frosty” despite snaps of them interacting with royals at the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Harry and Meghan returned to the UK for the celebrations on June 1, but as non-working royals, the couple were excluded from making a public balcony appearance with the likes of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

During the concert, Prince Charles paid tribute to the queen.  The heir to the throne addressed her from the stage with the word “mommy”. The whole speech was moving and the crowd absolutely adored it.

At the beginning of the concert, we got a dose of British humor – Elizabeth II received a cup of tea at the palace with Paddington Bear!  Soon after, Queen + Adam Lambert entered the stage and amused the audience with “We Will Rock You”. They were accompanied by drummers from the Royal Marines with snare drums.

Alicia Keys astonished the audience after she sang “Empire State of Mind”, which tells about New York. Before the song, however, she mentioned that the British capital always reminds her of New York.  Later, she likely noticed the audience’s confusion and changed New York to London in the text.

Next, the taped performance of “Your Song” played by Elton John in one of the rooms of Windsor Castle was broadcast, and at the end of the song, a huge corgi dog made by floating drones appeared above the palace!

Sources:

BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61691432

Article written by Hanna Fijałkowska from class 3k, edited by Ms Kossak-Wąchała.