The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

  1. Notice how the mirror in the first paragraph is set up as the frame for a kind of a portrait.
  2. The unnamed narrator attempts to construct a portrait of the Isabella Tyson that consists of her outer self and her inner self. The portrait is reflected in the objects inside and outside the house as they reflect in the mirror. Describe the images reflected in the mirror.
  3. What kind of contrast is there between the objects inside the house and outside the house, as they are reflected in the mirror?
  4. Describe how the narrator attempts to compose the portrait through the mood inside the room, through her own imagination, and through the presentation of Isabella in the mirror
  5. What are the known facts about Isabella’s outer self?
  6. What material objects inside and outside the house does the narrator use to imagine Isabella’s life?
  7. What are Isabella’s letters supposed to conceal, according to the narrator? What would one know if one could only read them?
  8. At the end of the story, according to the narrator, is it possible to know objectively one’s inner reality?
  9. In this story Woolf questions whether the inner self of an individual is finally knowable. What do you think is her conclusion? Provide support for your statement.
  10. What do you think is the role of the mirror in the story? How has the mirror been used as a metaphor in literature?
  11. Describe the characteristics of this story that resemble stream-of-consciousness narrative technique.



  1. The mirror in the first paragraph is set up as a frame for a kind of portrait as it reflects what the narrator can see about Isabella’s life. The mirror is big and luxurious, and in it you could see the reflection of Isabella’s house and garden. This image represents the aspect of Isabella’s outer life; what the narrator uses to inspire her imagination. However, this image hides who Isabella truly is.
  2. The mirror reflects part of Isabella’s house and her garden. This environment is fancy and portrays luxury, which reflects the image the narrator has about Isabella. It seems to belong to a successful, wealthy person.
  3. The contrast between the objects inside the house and outside the house shows the chaos in her mind. Inside the house, there are objects moving all the time portraying turmoil and mess. However, in the outside everything is still and quiet.
  4. The narrator composed the mood inside the house as harmonic, calm and happy. She describes Isabella as a person who is very successful and now lives surrounded by the consequences of her success. She seems happy and looks like she has lived a lot of adventur
  5. In the story, very little is known for a fact about Isabella’s outer self; the description in the story is based purely out of suppositions. The few facts that we know about her outer self are that she is quite wealthy and she lives alone.
  6. The material objects inside and outside the house does the narrator use to imagine Isabella’s life are, to begin with, the letters. The letters portray Isabella as a social, interesting and passionate woman. Moreover, the narrator saw grey-green dresses, shoes and ‘something sparkling at her throat’. This shows an Isabella who is superficial, materialistic and who cares too much about appearances.
  7. Isabella’s letters supposed to conceal, according to the narrator, that Isabella had known many people, that she had many friends and if one would read the letters one would find ‘appointments to meet, of upbridings for not having met, long letters of intimacy and affection, violent letters of jealousy and reproach, terrible final words of parting’. The narrator wanted the readers to understand how passionate and experienced Isabella’s life was.  
  8. It is possible to know objectively one’s inner reality. At the end of the story, Isabella has the possibility to meet her inner self by looking at a mirror. When she encountered her truly self she realized how she had no thoughts, no friends, no letters. How she was ‘old and angular’. She felt alone and miserable.
  9. In this story Woolf provides a contradiction between the inner and the outer self, how different they are and how people may never get to see the inner self of an individual. She reaches the conclusion that the inner self of a person is not knowable to other people, as she expresses with Isabella’s story. The narrator makes up an entire fake image about Isabella, as she sees her as a happy, successful person with a lot of friends and who has lived many adventures. However, in the end of the story, we can see how this outer image of Isabella collapses as the narrator expresses how all the mail she got,which she thought was from friends, lovers and admirers, were actually bills. Isabella’s true self is hidden from the world; nobody truly knows what she has done or if she is happy or not.
  10. The role of the mirror in the story is crucial. The mirror reflects inside herself, the mirror is able to see beyond the superficiality. Throughout the story, the narrator describes a mysterious Isabella, nobody knew anything about her other than the fact that she was a spinster. In the end of the story, the mirror reflects her inner self, it shows how empty she really was. ‘She stood naked in that pitiless light. And there was nothing’.
  11. Stream of consciousness is a narrative method that portrays the thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind. “The Lady in the Looking Glass” resembles this narrative technique as the narrator expresses her thoughts about Isabella all throughout the story. The story itself consists of the narrator’s thoughts and assumptions about Isabella, which she is expressing to the reader

Male reproductive system

Let´s start to study reproduction.

Living organisms reproduce sexualy or asexualy. Therefore, we say that there are two types of reproduction.

  1. Act: Use information from the text book to build a comparison table between sexual and asexual reproduction.

Humans reproduce sexualy.

2.  Watch this video to learn about the MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM.

3. Act: Summarize the functions of each of the organs which are part of the male reproductive system. Take a look at THESE SLIDES !

Penis: This is the male organ used in sexual intercourse. It has three parts: the root, which attaches to the wall of the abdomen; the body, or shaft; and the glans, which is the cone-shaped part at the end of the penis. The glans, also called the head of the penis, is covered with a loose layer of skin called foreskin. The opening of the urethra is at the tip of the penis. The glans of the penis also contains a number of sensitive nerve endings. The penis delivers semen to the female during intercourse and has the urethra, which is used to transport semen and urine.

Testicles: these are oval organs that lie in the scrotum Men have two testes. The testes are responsible for making testosterone and for generating sperm.

Scrotum: This is the sac of skin that hangs behind and below the penis. It contains the testicles (also called testes), as well as many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum acts as a climate control system for the testes. For normal sperm development, the testes must be at a temperature slightly cooler than body temperature.

Urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body. It has the additional function of ejaculating semen when the man reaches orgasm.

Bulbourethral glands: pea-sized structures located on the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland. These glands produce a slippery fluid that serves to lubricate the urethra and to neutralize any acidity that may be present due to residual drops of urine in the urethra.

Prostate gland: The prostate gland is a structure that is located below the urinary bladder in front of the rectum. The prostate gland contributes additional fluid to the ejaculate. Prostate fluids also help to nourish the sperm. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate gland.

Epididymis: a long tube that rests on the backside of each testicle. It transports and stores sperm cells that are produced in the testes. It also is the job of the epididymis to bring the sperm to maturity, since the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization.

Seminal vesicles: pouches that attach to the vas deferens near the base of the bladder. The seminal vesicles produce a sugar-rich fluid (fructose) that provides sperm with a source of energy to help them move. The fluid of the seminal vesicles makes up most of the volume of a man’s ejaculatory fluid, or ejaculate.

Ejaculatory ducts: These are formed by the fusion of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles. The ejaculatory ducts empty into the urethra.

4. State the components and the function of semen.

Semen is a greyish white bodily fluid that is secreted by the gonads of male animals. It carries sperm or the spermatozoa and fructose and other enzymes that help the sperm to survive to facilitate successful fertilization.

The semen has:

  • fructose
  • ascorbic acid
  • zinc
  • cholesterol
  • protein
  • calcium
  • chlorine
  • blood group antigens
  • citric acid
  • DNA
  • Magnesium
  • vitamin B12
  • phosphorus
  • sodium
  • potassium
  • uric acid
  • lactic acid
  • nitrogen
  • other nutrients

Its function is to unite one half of the man’s DNA with one half of the woman’s, creating a complete set of DNA in the fertilized egg, which grows into a human fetus.

5. Make a large labelled drawing of a sperm cell and state how the structure is adapted to its function. (Do not add a picture).

Nervous system: neurones and synapse

All mammals have a CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and a PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. The CNS is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is made up of nerves and receptors.

The NEURONS are special cells which coordinate the messages travelling through the nervous system.

  1. ANATOMY OF A NEURON: Watch THIS video!

Act: State how the structure of a neuron is related to the function.

  • A neuron has three main functions: receive signals, integrate incoming signals and communicate signals to other neurons or muscles or glands. The  structure of a neuron is related to the functions since the first two neuronal functions generally take place in the dendrites. A single neuron may have a lot of dendrites, so it can communicate with thousands of other cells but only one axon which passes the nerve impulses on to other cells.
  • And a long axon to send nerve impulses accross long distances.


  1. TYPES OF NEURONS: Read “overview of neuron structure and function   from HERE
  • Act: Make a labelled drawing of each of the three types of neurons, motor, sensory and relay, and state their functions.

Sensory neurons: get information about what’s going on inside and outside of the body and bring that information into the CNS so it can be processed.  

Motor neurons: get information from other neurons and convey commands to your muscles, organs and glands.

Relay neurons:  carry messages from one part of the CNS to another.



  • Act: Post a short video explaining synapse.
  • Act: Describe in your own words how nerve impulses are transmitted from neurone to neurone.


  • The video shows us that most of the communication between the neurons occurs in a structure called Synapse. There is a neuron called “Presynaptic Neuron” (where the signals are initiated) On the other hand,  the other neurone (the one who receives the message) is named “Postsynaptic Neuron”. The video also explains that the two neurons are separated by the synaptic cleft. Chemical signals are present in the Presynaptic Neuron and packed into vesicles. When that neuron receives an electrical signal, it gets excited and leads the vesicles release their contents into the synaptic cleft. One they are  in the synaptic cleft, the receptors interact with the neurotransmitters and is able to catch the information. Because of this the neurotransmitter molecules are cleaned away from the synaptic cleft.


  • The transmission of a nerve impulse along a neuron from one end to the other occurs as a result of electrical changes across the membrane of the neuron. The membrane of an unstimulated neuron is polarized.

Virtual period: sex hormones and puberty

Sex hormones are responsible of the most dramatic changes that occur in the body. They control puberty, egg and sperm production, pregnancy, birth and lactation.

  1. Read the information about Puberty HERE.
  2. State the female and male hormones which are responsible for the development of the secondary sexual characteristics
  3. Build a comparison table between the changes that occur in male and female after puberty.
  4. Search in the internet and summarize the site of production and effects of the following sex hormones:

– FSH, LH, oestrogen, progesterone, oxytocine, Hcg, prolactine and testosterone.

5. The chart shows the ages at which the changes associated with puberty take place in boys and girls. Answer questions a, b, c, d and e.

(a) What is the most common age at which boys undergo the changes of puberty?

(b) If a girl had not started menstruation by the age of 15, would this be cause for concern?

(c) Which two features of puberty show the greatest range in the times at which they  occur.


(d) Is it unusual for a girl of 9 years to start her menstrual periods?

(e) On average, is it boys or girls who first show the onset of puberty?


2. The female hormones responsible for the development of the secondary sexual characteristics are; oestrogen and progesterone. This hormones make women breast grow, public hair grow and develop wide hips. The male hormone responsible for the development of the secondary sexual characteristics is testosterone. These hormones are stimulated by Luteinising Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) . This hormone makes the men body hair grow, the voice break and the muscles growth increase.



  • FSH: It is produced by the pituitary gland and it:
    • Causes an egg to mature in an ovary.
    • Stimulates the ovaries to release the hormone oestrogen.
  • LH: It causes the mature egg to be released from the ovary.
  • Oestrogen: It is secreted by the ovaries and it:
    • Stops FSH being produced – so that only one egg matures in a cycle.
    • Stimulates the pituitary gland to release the hormone LH.
  • Progesterone: It is secreted by ovaries. It maintains the lining of the uterus during the middle part of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
  • Oxytocin: It is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland. This important hormone plays a crucial role in the childbirth process and also helps with male reproduction.
  • HCG: It is a hormone produced by the placenta after implantation. Human chorionic gonadotropin interacts with the LHCG receptor of the ovary and promotes the maintenance of the corpus luteum during the beginning of pregnancy.
  • Prolactin: It is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, named because of its role in lactation. It also has other wide-ranging functions in the body, from acting on the reproductive system to influencing behaviour and regulating the immune system.
  • Testosterone: It is a hormone that is responsible for many of the physical characteristics specific to adult males. It plays a key role in reproduction and the maintenance of bone and muscle strength.


a. The most common age is when they are 12.

b. No, the avarage age is between 12 and 13 years old. But it is normal.

c. The first menstrual period and the growth on breast and hair.

d. No, it is normal, but not very common.

e. Girls are usually developed first.

Pupil reflex


In pairs, add a video which shows the pupil reflex in your eyes.

Using your reflex actions´knowledge , sketch the sequence of the pupil reflex. State the stimulus, receptors, coordinator, effector, effect, response and all the neurones involved.

Stimulus —> receptors —> coordinator —> effector —> effect

Bright light —> cones —> brain —> muscles of the iris —> effect (circular muscles contract, radial muscles relax) —> response pupil constricts

Dim light —> nods —> brain —> muscles of the iris —> effect (circular muscles contract, radial muscles relax) —> response —> pupil dilates

What is the importance of this reflex?

The importance of the pupil reflex is controling the amount of light to prevent the retina from gettting damaged.

Booklet act: COMPLETE questions 1 b and c on page 9.

Biology Virtual period: adrenaline ADH

* Raises blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to change glycogen into glucose
* Causes fatty tissue to release fat into the blood
* Increases the heart rate
* Increases blood flow to the muscles
* Reduces blood flow to the skin and the intestines
* Widens the bronchioles
* Dilates the pupils

It can be
– Under stress
– Under pressure
– In response of a vigorous sudden action

2. Flow chart:
When there is too little water in the body:
– Hypothalamus
– Pituitary
– Kidneys
– Urine becomes less in volume and more concentrated.

When there is too much water in the body.
– Hypothalamus
– Pituitary  (production of ADH will stop)
– kidneys will not save  much water
– Urine becomes dilute and of greater volume
– Level of water in the blood then begins to fall towards the ideal level.


El lenguaje es el arma mas poderosa

‘El lenguaje es el arma más poderosa’


Cuando hablamos de lenguaje, nos referimos a el sistema a través del cual el hombre o los animales comunican sus ideas y sentimientos, ya sea a través del habla, la escritura u otros signos convencionales, pudiendo utilizar todos los sentidos para comunicar.

El lenguaje fue usado para la comunicación a través de los años, resolvió conflictos y evitó guerras. Además, permitió que los humanos se comuniquen y nos permitió darle nombre a objetos y sentimientos. Por otro lado, lastimó a mucha gente.


En mi opinión, el lenguaje trajo más beneficios que deterioros. Desde mi perspectiva, la comunicación simplifico la vida de los hombres a lo largo de los años, resolvió conflictos y le brindó paz al mundo. También le debemos al lenguaje, todos los avances tecnológicos y de la sociedad.


El lenguaje tiene muchas ventajas. Para empezar, puede ser expresado tanto en forma escrita como oral. Al hacerlo escrito podemos leer los hechos ocurridos a lo largo del paso de los años. Esto nos sirve para no volver a cometer los mismos errores que se cometieron en el pasado y para recordar las situaciones buenas y malas que fueron formando la cultura, la forma de ser, y la historia de nuestro país. Así, gracias a la historia podemos evolucionar.

Al hacerlo oral, podemos solucionar conflictos y acordar tratados. Hasta guerras se pueden solucionar de esta manera. Por ejemplo, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas se creó para recomponer el orden global tras los efectos negativos de dos guerras mundiales. El objetivo no era otro que evitar que los conflictos armados y las guerras se repitieran en cualquier punto del planeta y, de esta forma, garantizar un mínimo de equilibrio.

Además, el lenguaje te ayuda a expresarte. Gracias a esto, los humanos pueden contar sus ideas. Por ejemplo, Nelson mandela es un gran modelo a seguir sobre expresar lo que pensas y defender eso. En 1948 llegaron al gobierno de Sudáfrica  un grupo de nacionalistas radicales que trajeron tras de sí un régimen de segregación racial en la que se impuso la supremacía del hombre blanco. Mandela, lejos de sucumbir al absolutismo racista del gobierno, organizó una rebelión de desobediencia civil no violenta desde el seno del CNA.


Por otro lado, el lenguaje puede causar un efecto negativo en la gente. Esto es, bajo mi punto de vista,  el bullying. El bullying demuestra que las palabras son un arma de doble filo, las palabras pueden herir como un cuchillo en la espalda. Los agresores por lo normal utilizan amenazas para lograr cosas por medio de la intimidación o manipulación de las víctimas. El bullying psicológico es más difícil de detectar debido a que la forma de violencia no deja daños físicos y se lleva a cabo en formas discretas. Por esta razón, es aún más peligroso. Mucha gente sufre de esto y en algunos casos puede llegar hasta el suicidio.


En conclusión, el lenguaje tiene un rol crucial en este mundo. Puede determinar cómo terminan las cosas, para bien o para mal. Cada uno responsable de lo que dice y lo que expresa, esta en las personas fijarse si con esas palabras van a dañar o luchar por algo que ellos creen que va a beneficiar al mundo.