Monday, November 21, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 21.11.16


Enjoyment: More than 80% of Spaniards say their preferred way of achieving this is in bars. Or, putting it the way it was: I prefer to spend my free time in a bar. Resulting, says the survey, in an average annual spend on booze of €709. Or €1.94 a day. Cheapskates, then.

Education: I think I've worked out that the governing PP party proposed replacing the existing university entrance exam (the Selectividad) with a new exam called the Reválida. But they've now scrapped this idea. They might also have wanted to get rid of preguntas test - multiple choice questions. Or put them in. I'm not sure. Academic now.

Fuel Prices: Spain has the 5th highest electricity prices in the EU, after Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Italy. For gas, Spain ranks even higher, at 3rd after Sweden and Portugal. Maybe this is why the solar industry was undermined by the removal of subsidies and the imposition of a 'sun tax'. Profitably vested interests.


The PSOE Party: This left-of-centre party has put itself on the rack and the Presidenta of Andalucía (Susana Díaz) is pitching to be the person who grasps the poisoned chalice from the stand-in leader who replaced the one who was defenestrated by her. In this she's supported by ex-president Felipe González. The one with all the relatives employed in the Andalucian agency I mentioned yesterday. It seems that both he and Tony Blair are keen to get back into politics in their respective countries. God forbid.


President Juncker: He has a fine collection of what look like silk ties. I know this because I've been searching for the foto I say yesterday in which the thin part of his tie is very short. I was going to say that a man who can't do his tie properly shouldn't be a president of anything. But I can't now.

Italian Banks: Another worrying survey from Don Quijones.


The Wine Harvest: This year's was one of the best but whether this will mean a reduction in (retail) prices remains an open question. These don't always mirror bulk grape prices. White wine represents 84% of Galicia's output, of which much the major part is the albarino grape.

Suicides: Sadly, Galicia suffers 10% of the national number, despite having a population which is only 6% of the total. I have no explanation for this. I doubt it's the (regularly misrepresented) cooler, wetter weather.


Tax Evasion: The Hacienda's inspectors are hitting bars, discos and restaurants in a concerted campaign against VAT  and income taxfraud. This can only mean that prices will go up.

Not Just Wild Boars: In nearby Moraña and Cuntis, wolves are said to be attacking sheep in broad daylight. What puzzles me is that the dead animals were not eaten. I thought it was only foxes who killed just for pleasure. And domestic dogs.



My New Dashcam: I installed this yesterday and, within just a few minutes, I'd captured a guy taking a selfie of himself while negotiating a narrow bridge with one hand. I'd love to show you a clip but I've yet to learn how to cut the video down to a size I can upoad here.


Sierra said...

Be careful what your dashcam records - 69kph through a 60kph speed limit area - and a suspicious black car with the window open hiding in the bushes - I'm checking the postbox with trepidation!

(P.S. note the typical Galician midday mists)

Maria said...

No one knows what the reválida/selectivo exam will contain until the final version is approved on November 30th. Which means the teachers are actually having to teach the normal material rather than exclusively what the students will encounter on the exam. In my opinion, these exams are outdated and not a good indicator of how well the student will do once in college. They should be tested instead to determine their level of thinking ability in language and logic, for which a good, solid education is necessary, not just a year of coaching. They'll need to make good use of both to be able to learn five subjects within three months of class once they're in college.

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks for that clarification, Maria.

Colin Davies said...

But my 'college' do you mean the university? And why 3 months?

Maria said...

Yes, I do mean university. And more or less three months is what each semester lasts. From September to mid-December, then all of January is set aside for exams. Again, from February to the end of April the next semester, with exams in all of May. June is set aside for any recuperation exams. And then on to the next year. How any student can consider himself educated once he leaves university, I have no idea, since they really can only skim over material. It's no wonder more people are looking into masters and being scared off by the price. Others, especially those who study more technical matters, keep repeating classes from one semester to the other because they keep failing the exams. I know of one who is onto his eighth year in engineering of a four-year course.

Colin Davies said...

. . .all of January is set aside for exams. . . . . .exams in all of May. June is set aside for any recuperation exams.

Truly astonishing.

When I first came here, the Law faculty in Santiago waas criticised in La Voz for only passing 20% of the students. The Dean wrote to say it was hard to do more when 80% didn't turn up for the classes.

He also pointed out that - for a 4 year course - the average duration was 11 years. And that they had a student who was into his 27th year.

I couldn't really believe it back then . . .

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