Así es el arte, riesgo y obsesión. Así he aceptado vivir mi vida, así estoy comprometida con el futuro y por eso quiero dormirme soñando que voy andando y andando haciendo un mundo mejor.
Fanny Mickey 

Welcome to the second issue of Top Grade Journal. This time our enterprise navigates the ocean of thematic journals as a result of a shared dream. This issue is entitled “Female lips: an open secret” thanks to our readers’ active participation when looking for a relevant theme that guided the call for papers. The Top Grade Editorial Board is glad to present the outcomes of a collective initiative in which the female lips -metaphorically and literally speaking- were the key element to reflect upon women’s roles in society.


In this vein, this group of teachers and students of the BA in English Language Teaching is highly pleased to lead a journal that keeps on track in becoming an amplifier of the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas students’ voices in order to continue the heritage of important female personalities. It is our pleasure to open these pages to socio-political discussions and artistic expressions as a means to honor the effort of figures such as Rosa Parks, Rigoberta Menchú, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Emilia Ferreiro, Frida Kahlo, Gabriela Mistral, Alejandra Pizarnik, Totó “La Momposina”, Leonor González, Gabriela Samper, María Montessori, Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Marie Curie, Edith Piaf, among others that have led changes in different areas that go from arts, education, politics to sciences, which shed light on the world’s current build-up. Consequently, they are responsible for writing an alternative story of the reality we live and (re)construct day by day, even if the opposite is claimed.


Along with the women above, who devoted their lives to nurture a modern thinking that has contributed to their females voices and driven by determination in a hierarchical system they have cleverly moved through, the warm wisdom of our ancient generations of mothers and grandmothers represents as well that fair balance between tenderness and sternness, sincerity and reserve of the peasant, indigenous and African-Colombian woman who expresses herself by using the magic and the real that are fruit of the nature and tradition that surround them. For the sample of a button, let us remember Garcia Marquez’s great inspiration: his wise maternal grandmother, and nowadays women like Lindantonella Solano, an indigenous poet from the Wayuu town, who conveys the pain of her people and a poetry woven with tradition. All those Poets and black writers, whose part in the homage to women’s narrative is also found in the book Antología de Mujeres Poetas Afrocolombianas, also show what the compilers call us to understand and acknowledge: the voice of femininity linked to Colombian territory.


 “Morenita soy señora,
no reniego mi color,
entre rosas y azucenas
la morenita es mejor”.
by Maria Emma Chaparro
Peasant lady from Boyacá, Colombia


It is not a secret that women have been crowded out from important discussions on social, political and ethical issues. Throughout history the world has been a witness of the hard fight for their rights and their combative spirit, these facts being the cause of fairer living conditions for them. However, their struggle has not finished yet since the social structure and production models continue privileging a dominant social class in which they remain in the shadows.


This is evidenced in Colombian politics when you stop to analyze the occasions a woman has won an upper elective office, for instance. Likewise, this situation is noticeable when you look at news around family violence and rape, in which women are the main target. Not to mention the abusive treatment women have got from the labor market, religion, advertising, and academia, among others. Regarding this latter it is worth saying that women’s voices are still ignored or lodged on the background despite of the fact that the world of scholars has attempted to adopt and promote a new mind-set. Given these circumstances, an endeavor to make women’s voices be heard and their legacy be acknowledged is crystallized in these pages.


This issue contains seventeen texts displayed through the sections The Dilettante’s Bookshelf, The Magnifying Glass and On the Go. The Dilettante’s Bookshelf section groups eleven literary creations. In turn, The Magnifying Glass section includes two short- research articles. Finally, the On the Go section gathers four texts that reflect
UDFJC students’ insights around. It is compulsory to mention that the texts published are written by female authors or inspired on women.

The Dilettantes Bookshelf (TDB) in this issue brings to you texts whose wor

ds represent nostalgia and feminine beauty that fades into self- destruction; some others in the form of poetry present sensations and a rhetoric of the body. Another text focuses on the woman who empowers her mind and faces uncontrollable consequences as a result of her desire.


You will also find narratives that reveal the stereotype of woman perfection and female sensuality; the scathing sarcasm of a young girl student towards romantic love and men as a contrast to the attachment expressed by a woman and her brushstrokes of romance inspired by physical and spiritual dimensions of love that are drawn in her canvas.


Later on, an ode to the woman, her imperfections and her being reflected in the perfection of nature, and finally, you will find the translation of a poem that reflects a mother-daughter relationship altogether with the feminine identity through the memories, and the eternal
love that links a grandmother and granddaughter, all of these are some sneak peeks for our readers to get ready for TDB in its second edition.


In the investigative section we find two texts. The first one briefly illustrates the discourse analysis that has been documented based on the youth population of Bogotá. You will also find a work of academic reflection that aims to analyze issues such as childhood, woman, gender, state and family.


In On the Go, you will discover the views of our authors regarding the cinematographic work of the Colombian Gabriela Samper and the renowned American director and screenwriter Sofía Coppola. Later, you will be acquainted with the uncanny feeling that provokes terror and duality. Last but not least, this issue is closed with the narration of a social- work unrivalled experience for “invisible people” led by a courageous woman teacher of our Licenciatura program.


Thank you for your support and trust reflected in the broad participation of you in our call. It is a pleasure to have each one of your texts here today that make this number what it is now. Thanks to all those women who inspire us every day, teachers, students, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, colleagues, girlfriends, acquaintances, etc. See you at the second opening!

Alber Josué Forero &
Paula Londoño Martínez