31 August, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - A Place in the Sun

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA   “Wednesday Movie Club” session was dedicated to the topic “The 140th anniversary of the Americans novelist Theodore Dreiser”. 

The film "A Place in the Sun" was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

Number of the visitors – 15.

Previously filmed in 1931 under its original title, Theodore Dreiser's bulky but brilliant novel An American Tragedy was remade in 1951 by George Stevens as A Place in the Sun. Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a handsome and charming but basically aimless young man who goes to work in a factory run by a distant, wealthy relative. Feeling lonely one evening, he has a brief rendezvous with assembly-line worker Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), but he forgets all about her when he falls for dazzling socialite Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor). Alice can't forget about him, though: she is pregnant with his child. Just when George's personal and professional futures seem assured, Alice demands that he marry her or she'll expose him to his society friends. This predicament sets in motion a chain of events that will ultimately include George's arrest and numerous other tragedies, including a vicious cross-examination by a D.A. played by future Perry Mason Raymond Burr. A huge improvement over the 1931 An American Tragedy, directed by Josef von Sternberg, A Place in the Sun softens some of the rough edges of Dreiser's naturalism, most notably in the passages pertaining to George's and Angela's romance. Even those 1951 bobbysoxers who wouldn't have been caught dead poring through the Dreiser original were mesmerized by the loving, near-erotic full facial closeups of Clift and Taylor as they pledge eternal devotion. A Place in the Sun won six Oscars, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, although it lost Best Picture to An American in Paris. 
~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Schedule for September

A schedule of Dnipropetrovsk's Window on America center for September.

27 August, 2011

English Speaking club - Theodore Dreiser

Today English Speaking club was the 140 anniversary of the world renowned American novelist Theodore Dreiser.
The session turned out a great success! 

Our friends - native speakers from USA and UK -  helped to
 make this serious topic an amazing  success!

Today’s session turned out to be truly international.

Besides the traditional visit by USA Peace Corp.  and the British AISEC volunteers the centre was visited by the African students of Dnipropetrovsk universities.

The ESC session started with the introduction of the foreign guests and new comers. After that all the participants were given the opportunity to communicate in English. To break the ice the club members shared their opinions about the most memorable events of the week. The discussed events ranged from the Ukrainian Independence Day celebration and “Dnipro” FC game to bungee jumping over the Dnipro river.

The second part of the session was dedicated to the topic “The 140th anniversary of the Americans novelist Theodore Dreiser”. 

We have read and translated an article about the biography of the novelist. Not all present were familiar with his novels. So the plots of the most popular novels were introduced and illustrated by the relevant videos.

“Sister Carrie” novel was made into a movie “Carrie” (1952) starring Jennifer Jones and  Laurence Olivier.

In the Soviet Union a famous Latvian composer Raimond Pauls was inspired to create a musical with the same name. The video of the musical’s hit – Carrie’s song – was thoroughly enjoyed.

“An American Tragedy” is widely considered Dreiser's best novel and an important work of American naturalism. The novel was made into a movie “A Place in the Sun” starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. The clips from this movie raised the interest of the audience. A documentary about the Metropolitan Opera performance of “An American Tragedy” answered some questions as well.

The Trilogy of desire – “The Financier” (1912), “The Titan” (1914), and unfinished “The Stoic “(1947) – turned out to be well known by the club members with economics degrees. This work of fiction was highly recommended by the lecturers in the Ukrainian Universities. This fact was quite surprising for our foreign guests who did not know this author prior to the presentation.

Quite unexpectedly the literary topic was enjoyed by the club members. As we never disclosed the outcome of the plot in “An American Tragedy” we expect  a full house at the movie Club featuring “A Place in the Sun” .

The number of participants – 26 persons.

24 August, 2011

Independence Day in Ukraine

Statement by Secretary Clinton: Ukraine's National Day, 08.23.2011

August 23, 2011

Ukraine’s National Day 

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Ukraine as you celebrate the 20th anniversary of your independence this August 24.

Twenty years ago, Ukraine emerged from the shadow of the Soviet Union and charted a new path toward democracy and freedom. Over the last two decades, you have made democratic advances and important contributions to global peace and stability.

Supporting and sustaining democracy is never easy. It takes hard work and there are roadblocks along the way, but the people of Ukraine have made it clear that they are yearning for greater democratic systems and freedoms.

More than 200 years after the framers of our own Constitution wrote of our desire for a “more perfect union,” we are still working towards that goal and I urge you to continue to do the same.

The United States remains committed to helping Ukraine as a partner and friend as you look for ways to promote democratic institutions, encourage greater prosperity, and pursue European integration. Through our Strategic Partnership, we will continue to work together on a range of important issues that strengthen not only our government-to-government relations, but also the ties between our peoples.

Once again, congratulations on this important milestone and best wishes for a year of peace and prosperity. 

20 August, 2011

English Speaking club - POW-WOW

Today’s session turned out to be truly international.

 Besides the traditional visit by Peace Corp. volunteers the WOA centre was visited by the British guests from the international students’ organization AIESEC. Our foreign guests once again confirmed how much they enjoy their stay in Dnipropetrovsk.

Due to the arrival of several new persons the ESC session started with the introduction of the foreign guests. The Ukrainian club members also briefly introduced themselves. After that all the participants were given the opportunity to communicate in English. The Ukrainian club members again asked questions about the Peace Corp. activities and the motivation of the USA volunteers. The British guests asked advice about the best tourist locations of Dnipropetrovsk region.

The second part of the session was dedicated to the topic “Pow-Wow – the traditional festival of Native Americans”.  We have read and translated an article about the structure and rituals of this ethnic event, watched several You Tube videos with the songs and dances of Native Americans. We also reviewed the list of 10 most famous Native Americans.

To activate the new knowledge the club members were offered a team competition. The task was - to make a list of the world car brands which used Indian names and words for their models. The competition ended in a draw, both teams remembers only 2 brands – Pontiac and Cherokee. The longer list of brands was offered when the competition was over.

One more competition was offered to the audience – to try and create an Indian middle name for oneself and explain how it describes one’s personality. The most successful tries were:

Hawk Eye –  for Vlad with weak sight)))

Fast Dear  –  for Pavel who has to move a lot at work

Dove of Peace – for Nastya who is a peacemaker in most situations

Sleeping Tigress – for Tamara born in the year of Tiger.

But the winners were our British guests who were witty with their names and personality descriptions:

Flying Goose – for Caroline “Swan”son who travels the world a lot

Big Foot –   for Lauren who is tall with large shoe size.

After the presentation we continued to discuss the phenomenon of “indigenous people” in Ukraine and provided our British guests with a lot of useful info about the city and the country.

The number of participants – 21 persons.

Look at more pictures here, please 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLNMEbzm4WM   Indians at UN   in Swiss


Planning and Organizing the Powwow:
            Powwow Committee members and Committee Chairs: Work on the powwow activities of 
Arts and Crafts, Contests, Feast/Concessions, Registration, Sales, etc.
            Powwow Princess:  Princess of prior year.
Sponsors: Businesses, organizations, and individuals providing financial and/or material
            Master of Ceremonies:  Entertains the participants, informs the spectators, and keeps the
powwow running smoothly.
Arena Director and Head Judges:  Organize the grand entries, select judges for the
contests, and generally direct the activities in the dance arena. 
            Security:  Helpful members of the community who see that lost children are found, provide
basic first aid if needed, and ensure the powwow is safe as well as drug and alcohol
free, and generally help out where needed.
Powwow Events:
A.        Blessing of the Grounds before the powwow begins

B.        Grand Entry flag ceremonies, prayers, blessings, and introduction of dignitaries and royalty
C.        Intertribal Dancing

D.        Drums (drum groups)

E.        Dance contests
            Major Categories of dances
                        Mens Traditional Dance
                        Mens Fancy Dance
                        Mens Grass Dance
                        Womens Traditional Dance
                        Womens Jingle Dance

                        Womens Fancy Shawl Dance
                        Tiny Tots

F.         Social Dances  (e.g. Round Dance)

G.        Honor Dances

H.        Exhibition Dances (e.g. Hoop Dance)

I.          Rituals Honor Dances, Giveaways, retrieving a fallen eagle feather

J.         Storytelling (at some powwows)

K.        Vendors/Concessions

Long-term programs (scholarships, fellowships)

Дайджест анонсів міжнародних програм

Long-term programs 

17 August, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - Election

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "Election" was presented to all who wish to improve their  language skills.
Election is a 1999 American comedy film adapted from a 1998 novel of the same title by Tom Perrotta. The plot revolves around a three-way election race in high school, and satirizes both suburban high school life and politics. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Golden Globe nomination for Witherspoon in the Best Actress category, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film in 1999.

13 August, 2011

English Speaking club - Humans of 21st c.

The Dnipropetrovsk English Speaking Club session was dedicated to the topic “Humans in the 21st century”.

We started the discussion congratulating one of our club members with the Left-handers’ Day which is celebrated on August, 13. An article explaining the phenomenon of left-handedness was read and discussed.

Roland, our left-handed friend, shared his childhood experiences and present day inconveniences. He does not suffer from the absence of left-handed household utensils and tools. His only regret is that left-handed guitars are much more expensive than normal musical instruments.

Having learned the medical side of left-handedness we all tested ourselves in several easy ways: interlocking the fingers, applauding, scratching the back, cupping ones’ ear, etc.  We have discovered that our body is less than total in its devotion to its favored side.  In 10 easy tests no one was 10 times right.

There is an opinion that left-handed people are more creative. But there is no scientific proof.

The theme of creativity in people has led us to the discussion of another phenomenon – unusually creative children being born in the 21st century.

These “Children of the New World” are called Indigo, crystal and rainbow children according to the color of their aura.

These kids seem to display attitudes, talents and gifts not seen before. The existing systems of health and education are becoming outdated as they do not allow for these gifts to be expressed.

We watched the You tube videos explaining the concepts of human race evolution and the hypothesis of the extraterrestrial origin of the new humans.

The hypothesis about Indigo kids, their extraordinary abilities and mission was criticized by several club members.  The rest of the club members seemed to be puzzled by this phenomenon.

The attempt to find an Indigo child among the club members resulted in the unanimous granting of this title to the club member K. G. 
K. G. keeps surprising the fellow club members with the combination of unusual poetic gift and extraordinary social inability.

Your God is punishment and morals
Is manifesto of the slaves.
You're coward sheep avoiding quarrels
With that who promised you to have

The rest among infernal fire
For those who’re praying in off key.
How can you love your hangman, liar,
And how that monster can love thee?

Night before 06/09/2011


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHyRMP5-Bq8&NR=1      human abilities  in future
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZwyiy90X2I   ABC segment on indigo kids

10 August, 2011

American traces in Odessa

Tamara and Svitlana arrived to explore American traces in Odessa (10-11 August, 2011).
They sent warm greetings to De Ribas at the beginning of the famous Deribasovskaya mall!
Odessa's heritage  "Londonskaya" hotel with Grand stairs.
The "Londonskaya"hotel has a Celebrities' museum.
American celebrity who stayed at the "Londonskaya" hotel - a famous ballet dancer Isidora Duncan.
"Bristol" hotel in Pushkinskaya street. "Bristol"'s famous guest - American writer Mark Twain stayed in Odessa in 1867.
Than he described his trip to Odessa and Crimea.
An American actor Ken  Richters played M.Twain in a new movie filmed in Odessa.
In 1928 steamship "Pestel" brought to Odessa Theodor Dreiser - a famous American writer.
Theodor Dreiser  also stayed in "Bristol" hotel.
In 1978 the US  "red millionaire" with Odessa roots -  Armand Hammer- was  a celebrity guest at  "Bristol" hotel.
We saw a magnificent Odessa Philharmonic Hall. Born from American parents Hobart Earl is the  conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.
We saw a Hawaiian girl on Odessa streets. :)))

NATO naval exercise  "Sea Breeze" coordinated the activities of Ukrainian and international forces in Odessa region.
USS "Monterey" crew was in Odessa. USS 'Monterrey" officers' band performed  in Odessa's Central park.
We had time for a coffee-break the American style :))

06 August, 2011

‘Celebration of B. Obama’s 50th anniversary Hawaiian style”

Today the American Corner had guests from Novomoskovsk , a town  40 km away from Dnipropetrovsk. Our guests were   Joanne Luongo - a community Peace Corp volunteer - and her assistant Julia Kolesnikova.  Joanne plans to start the English Speaking Club in Novomoskovsk in September 2011. Svitlana Usenko, Tamara Gavryliuk  and Joanne exchanged  some ideas about possible ways of collaboration: student visits, field trips, Power Point presentations, books  sharing  etc.
The English Speaking Club session started with the introduction of the guests from Novomoskovsk and Joanne’s brief presentation on her home state.
Today’s topic was "Celebration of B. Obama’s 50th anniversary Hawaiian style”.
To start with it was decided to have an on-line quiz about Barak Obama.  To compensate for the incorrect quiz answers we have read and translated a brief outline of his biography. This was followed by a Youtube videos about the President’s birthdays party in Chicago. The club members commented on what was seen.
The birthplace of the US President inspired us to talk about Hawaii.
After the videos on the tourist attractions of Hawaii we have answered the Hawaii trivia fun quiz. The score was not very high, but the correct answers educated us a lot about the history of this state.
In the 60th of the last century the American pop idol E. Presley   contributed to the global popularity of Hawaii by filming three movies there. We watched some colorful scenes from.
 “Paradise, Hawaiian Style”, a 1966 music comedy film starring Elvis Presley. 
 To support the musical theme the club member Vlad Shelest performed a couple of romantic songs with guitar accompaniment .
The guests, Joanne and Patrick, answered numerous questions asked by the Club members.
The number of participants – 24 persons.

The meeting “Celebration of B. Obama’s 50th anniversary Hawaiian style” was fun with a lot to be missed for those absent!

Have a look at more pictures, please 

Useful links, we chose it:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laDBokx-K0I&feature=fvwrel   Hawaii travel intro Lonely Planet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVq37rPu4jU   rocj ahula baby by Elvis fm Blue Hawaii

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Yx-5l8d-g  hula Little Brown gal hula dance

03 August, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - Magnum, p.i.

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "Magnum, p.i." was presented to all who wish to improve their  language skills.
"Magnum, p.i." based on Hawaii.

01 August, 2011

Book Display: Hawaii

Welcome to Hawaiian style month!
We invite you to see the Book display "Hawaii", to watch a movie "Magnum, p.i" about Hawaii and to join the Hawaiian party on August 6th.

A schedule for August

A schedule of Dnipropetrovsk's Window on America center for August - Hawaiian Style Month