31 July, 2013

Everything is illuminated

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The film Everything is illuminated (2005) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: In the story, an American boy returns to Ukraine to discover his roots and to solve a family mystery. The mystery involves the village of "Trachimbord" (Trochenbrod, Ukraine).

"Strichka", FLEX

The "Strichka" - marathon, organized by Alumni of the Future Leaders Exchange program, is taking place in 30 cities of Ukraine. Its main idea is to raise a patriotic feeling of Ukrainians as it is a very important factor of considering the one a part of community, nation.
Along with patriotic theme we have watched a movie that had national's feeling main line.
"Everything is illuminated" is 2005 film about Ukraine. In the story, an American boy returns to Ukraine to discover his roots and to solve a family mystery. The mystery involves the village of "Trachimbord" (Trochenbrod, Ukraine).

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27 July, 2013

The International Friendship Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the topic of Friendship. The International Day of Friendship is a United Nations day that promotes the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures.  The International Day of Friendship is annually held on July 30 to celebrate friendships worldwide.
We started with reading an article by Anne P. Copeland (Ph. d.) “Friendship in the US: Too Much Too Soon, Then Not Enough “. This article explained many things about the phenomenon of Friendship in the USA.  And gave some tips how to make friends in USA.
The cult American series “Friends” was introduced to those who never heard about it. This American sitcom was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, with often humorous dialogue. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. It won many awards and was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards. The series was an instant hit from its debut. Many critics now regard it as one of the finest shows in television history.
We have watched the episode "The One with the Prom Video" which in 1997 was ranked No. 100 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time, but it was lost on the majority of the group.
Other activities included: translation of the Russian proverbs about friendship into English and explaining them to our PCV friend;   making a classification of friendships’ types; discussing the modern trends in corporate team-building.
The session was funny and educational for all participants.
Number of participants - 17.

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24 July, 2013

In America

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
The film In America was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
In America is a 2002 drama film directed by Jim Sheridan. The semi-autobiographical screenplay by Sheridan and his daughters Naomi and Kirsten focuses on an immigrant Irish family's struggle to start a new life in New York City, as seen through the eyes of the elder daughter.
The film was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay for the Sheridans, Best Actress for Samantha Morton and Best Supporting Actor for Djimon Hounsou.

20 July, 2013

World Population Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club started with a small talk about the celebration very important to our city and region. Professional holiday of the Metallurgy and Mining Industry workers is very popular in our city and region as thousands of people are employed in these two industries. We have discussed in English the publication in the local newspaper about the numerous corporations and educational institutions that represent Metallurgy and Mining in
Dnipropetrovsk oblast. A traditional event in the city on Metallurgists’ Day is a free open air concert with popular Ukrainian or Russian headliners.
The photo display about “Work and Travel USA” summer student exchange program was presented to the club members. They had to guess what opportunities for work were given to the program participant and where. The beautiful photos of the Great Falls on the Missouri river impressed everyone. The photos allowed enriching the vocabulary with new words and expressions.
The official topic of the session was World Population Day. The focus of the discussion was on the modern trends in migration of the population. 

We were lucky to have surprise visitors - a Ukrainian family whose members migrated to Canada and Israel. Our guests told us about their experience as migrants. The Club members answered questions on push and pull factors of global migration. It turned out that the majority of the Club members are patriots of Ukraine and do not plan to immigrate.
The session was educational and enjoyable.
Number of participants- 15
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17 July, 2013


“Wednesday Movie Club” - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: A meek and alienated little boy finds a stranded extraterrestrial. He has to find the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Stars: Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote

15 July, 2013

Photo Display about WORK@TRAVEL experience

WOA Dnipropetrovsk presented a new photo display about WORK@TRAVEL USA summer student exchange program. The participant of this exchange program Svetlana Luchitskaya shared her photos taken in the USA.
Svetlana was based in Great Falls (Montana). Her photos give us the idea about the work experience in the US hospitality industry. The program provides the opportunity to have exiting leisure time.
The wonderful nature of Montana was presented in Svetlana's photos.

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13 July, 2013

World UFO Day

Today’s session at the GABFEST speaking club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) started with the introduction of the newcomers to our American friend, PCV Andrew Bader. Mr. Bader made a presentation about his project in Ukraine and introduced his home state Massachusetts.
The conversation with the American guest touched upon popular summer topic- travel. The club members who returned from vacations shared their impressions. The members who still plan to travel shared their plans. Mr. Andy appreciated the conversation as he learned some new facts about travel options in Dnipropetrovsk region.
The official topic of the session was WORLD UFO Day.

There are several reasons why this day has found it’s way into the world. One of the first and foremost reasons is to raise awareness about the existence of UFO’s and with that intelligent beings from outer space. Also this day is used to encourage governments to declassify their knowledge about sightings throughout the history. Many governments are believed to have gained exclusive information about UFO’s through their military departments.   We have answered a list of questions about the UFO’s and extraterrestrials.  The E.T. movie was presented to the club members interested in this topic.
The most challenging task at the session was to translate Ukrainian jokes from the PERETS magazine editorial cartoon about UFOs. The big cartoon “They arrived again” by A. Vasylenko was divided into 4 parts. Four teams were formed to translate the jokes. All teams managed to explain their jokes and make Andrew laugh at their part of the big cartoon. 
To draw the line to the conversation we checked the Dnipropetrovsk UFOlogy site with photos and the typology table of ET creatures.
The session was enjoyed by all the participants.
Number of participants – 26.

10 July, 2013

Grumpy Old Men

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk  Grumpy Old Men (1993)  was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: A lifelong feud between two neighbors since childhood, only gets worse when a new female neighbor moves across the street.
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Mark Steven Johnson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret

06 July, 2013

International Jokes Day

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) started with the arrival of a big group of the newcomers. So we started the session with the introduction ceremony. The newcomers were welcomed by the regular club members. The foreign guests represented Nigeria and Algeria; they are post-graduate students in the local Universities.
At the beginning of the session we presented the books of the Window on America Centre that illustrate the importance of the American Independence Day celebrated on July, 04.
The topic of the session was “International Jokes Day” celebrated on July, 1. To start the conversation we answered a number of questions about the nature and typology of jokes. The tricky questions were about understanding of jokes in foreign language or in a foreign culture.
Our foreign guests admitted that they do not understand Ukrainian jokes. We decided to help them to understand it and started with very simple examples of “kindergarten” jokes. But even these simple jokes needed a lot of explanation. The next stage was introducing of the cult Ukrainian satirical magazine “PERETS” to the foreigners. The task was to explain the editorial cartoons   to the foreigners, and some of them even to the young generations of Ukrainians. We all agreed that a lot of joke is lost in translation.
As learners of English we tried to see the difference between the American and British jokes. We watched the You tube video with Robin Williams’s  standing comedy about the arms bearing right in the USA. Only one person was laughing – a guest from Nigeria, for the rest of the group it was very difficult to understand the text, but some people managed to guess the keywords . For the illustration of the British jokes we have chosen the video “Mr. Bean in the Library”. Everybody was laughing at the stupidity of the character, but not all people were able to comment the video in good English. The self study is still a priority for all club members who wish to improve their language skills.
Number of participants – 25  persons.

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04 July, 2013

Independence Day picnic

This year the Gabfest Club Committee decided to have an indoors Independence Day picnic due extremely hot weather outside.
The picnic participants remembered to dress in American National colors- red, white and blue.  The highlight of this year’s menu was a dish called Berliner – a jelly-filled doughnut.
The phenomenon of Berliner in the American culture was presented to the group. In 1963 in West Berlin President John F. Kennedy used a German phrase in his speech while standing before the Berlin Wall. It would be great, his wordsmiths thought, for him to declare himself a symbolic citizen of Berlin. Hence he sad in German: ”Ich bin ein Berliner“. What they did not know, but could easily have

found out, was that such citizens never refer to themselves as 'Berliners.' They reserve that term for a favorite confection often munched at breakfast. So, while they understood and appreciated the sentiments behind the President's impassioned declaration, the residents tittered among themselves when he exclaimed, literally, "I am a jelly-filled doughnut."
While eating doughnuts with “Americano” coffee (and other refreshments) we watched the videos of Presidents’ Kennedy and Obama speeches in Berlin – 50 years apart. The Committee members shared their opinions about the changes that have taken place in the American society within these years.

We all enjoyed the Independence Day 2013, but we look forward to a real picnic next year!

03 July, 2013

Born on the Fourth of July

“Wednesday Movie Club” at the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk 
On the eve of the Independence Day the movie Born on the Fourth of July (1989)  was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.
Director: Oliver Stone
Writers: Ron Kovic (book), Oliver Stone (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava