30 July, 2014

To the American Sports Month

Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the film The Natural (1984) with Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Clos starring.
The Natural is a 1984 film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and Robert Duvall. The film, like the book, recounts the experiences of Roy Hobbs, an individual with great "natural" baseball talent, spanning decades of Roy's success and his suffering.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close), and nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger). Many of the baseball scenes were filmed in Buffalo, New York's War Memorial Stadium, built in 1937 and demolished a few years after the film was produced. Buffalo's All-High Stadium stood in for Chicago's Wrigley Field in a key scene.

Plot: An unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.
Director: Barry Levinson
Writers: Bernard Malamud (novel), Roger Towne
Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Clos
Number of participants – 17.



26 July, 2014

The International Day of Friendship


Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the topic The International Day of Friendship. The United Nations (UN) observes this day since 2011 in order to promote the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures.
This year we focused our attention on the popular soviet term “The friendship of nations”. We tried to render the definition of this ideological principle into English and discussed the artifacts that symbolized this phenomenon in the Soviet times – the soviet order, one of the Moscow Universities, the “Nations’ Friendship” fountain at the Moscow Expo Center and “Nations’ Friendship” Arch in Kyiv. The tasks of describing these artifacts without preparation was very challenging, and only collective efforts of the group allowed us to work out acceptable descriptions.
 

The second part of the session was dedicated to a less complicated activity – we tried to describe and comment upon several editorial cartoons about the friendship between Russia and Ukraine. The group succeeded in explaining the symbolism of the cartoons in decent English. The bottom line of the discussion was – the reconciliation between the two nations will not happen soon.
The final part of the session was dedicated to the introductions of the new comers. The session caused heated debate and was quite educational for the younger generation.
Number of participants – 22 persons.




23 July, 2014

Wuthering Heights

«Wednesday Movie Club»
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the crime drama film Wuthering Heights (1992) with Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes, Janet McTeer starring.
The film was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: A man becomes obsessed with vengeance when his soul mate marries another man.
Director: Peter Kosminsky
Writers: Emily Brontë (novel), Anne Devlin
Number of participants – 16.


19 July, 2014

National Moon Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the National Moon Day in the USA.
National Moon Day is celebrated annually on July 20 and commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969. This event was reported by NASA as being «… the single greatest technological achievement of all time….»
The topic gave us the opportunity to introduce the group to numerous phrases and words with the noun “moon”. We read and translated the phrases and tried to find the Russian equivalents to them.
The next activity was the introduction of the group to the most popular American songs about the moon. The task was to watch the relevant video and try to understand the lyrics. The group was fascinated by the cult songs “Moon River” and “Take me to the Moon”. We tried to present to our American guest Mr. Josh popular Soviet and Ukrainian songs about the moon. Some club members managed quite well with the tricky task of rendering the song lyrics into English.
Mr. Josh presented his home town Charleston to the Club members and they shared their associations with this geographical name. The associations ranged from the name of the dance to the novel “Gone with the Wind”.
The session was educational and enjoyable.
Number of participants – 15 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please



16 July, 2014

About Schmidt

«Wednesday Movie Club»
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the film About Schmidt  (2002) with Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis starring.
The film was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.
Director: Alexander Payne
Writers: Louis Begley (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay),
Number of participants – 14 persons.


12 July, 2014

Ice-Cream Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to a very yummy topic – National Ice Cream Month celebration in the USA. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation's population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." The U.S. ice cream industry generates total revenues of $10 billion annually. About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation's dairy industry.
The group was introduced to the 60 year old American ice-cream brand Baskin-Robbins. The essence of the brand was illustrated with a funny advertising video. The BR brand is the only one so far that penetrated Ukrainian market. The group also watched and discussed the videos about the mass production of ice-cream and ice-cream cones. The group enriched the vocabulary with a lot of ice cream terms and was impressed by the engineering work behind the mass production of the popular treat.
This session had an influx of new-comers, among them was a surprise guest from Denmark – Mr. Oivind, a journalist from Copenhagen. He added some facts about ice-cream culture in his home country. The group was eager to answer Mr. Oivind’s questions about Ukraine and Dnipropetrovsk. After the session the Club’s Committee had some tea with delicious chocolates – a gift from our Danish guest.
Number of participants – 24 persons.



 

10 July, 2014

Book donation


Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine received a donation of authentic English language books from the active Gabfest club member Artem. We are grateful to Artem and his family for this gift.
We hope it will provide new opportunities to the WOA's patrons. The advanced learners will enjoy the reading of best-selling books. The beginners will be able to find solutions to their grammar problems in old bi-lingual grammar textbooks.
Artem's family donated a load of Russian books to the Cross-booking project at the Library's Fiction department. We hope that Cross-booking fans will be happy with the new reading.

American Theme in Ukrainian Stitch Art

Dnipropetrovsk WOA staff (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was invited to the opening of an art event – the annual exhibition of embroidered pictures at an expo hall “Diorama”.
Embroidery is a popular hobby of Ukrainian ladies and the Ukrainian theme was very audible at this year’s exposition. Apart from traditional ethnic embroidery we were impressed by cross stitch and bead stitch articles.
The most striking were the pictures with 3D – effect produced by the silk ribbon stitching.
The WOA staff was pleasantly surprised to come across embroidered pictures that utilized American motifs in them!!!
We hope you will enjoy them as much as we did!




09 July, 2014

Art gives hope

«Wednesday Movie Club» – Art gives hope
to those who are in love  –  love is able to overcome all  obstacles and adversities of life.
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, offered screening of the second part of the popular classical movie «Pride & Prejudice» (1995).  The discussion of   Jane Austin’s novel  was more interesting this Wednesday  due to the fact  that our American guest from South Carolina, Mr. Josh,  took part in it.
 

We invite all interested in classical English literature to borrow the novel that served as a base for the movie. We have several copies of the book! 



08 July, 2014

FLEX volunteers

Today Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, was visited by a group of Ukrainian students who have just returned from the USA. 2 girls and a boy are the graduates of the FLEX exchange program. On return from the USA they were invited by Dasha Gerasimova (the regional FLEX representative in Dnipropetrovsk city) to meet the WOA Center.
Together with the WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko the new-comers planned and discussed the objectives of cooperation with the FLEX graduates. The most important project that awaits FLEX volunteers is the popular American TEEN Club.




Our promotional efforts

Thanks to the US Embassy grant Dnipropetrovsk WOA has received a new load of colorful promotional flyers, brochures, gift bags. They will help us to reach hundreds of new visitors and potential patrons for our Movie Club, Gabfest Club and Teen Club.

05 July, 2014

Practicing Interpreting Skills

A surprise guest at a Gabfest session Mr. Josh was similarly surprised with a welcoming atmosphere at the Club.
At a session dedicated to the US Independence Day a life American citizen became a guest of honour.
After the session the Gabfest Club’s Committee offered a Welcome Tea to the new American member. The activists started to introduce the important notions and objects – popular treats for tea in Ukraine, typical topics, etc.
After the tea the American guest was offered a tour of the historic city quarter

The club members had an opportunity to interpret numerous historic facts about their home city.



«Picture US»

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the celebration of the Independence Day in the USA.
It started with the introductions of the new comers and an American guest Mr. Josh.
The symbols of the independence (the Statue of Liberty, the flag, the bald eagle, fireworks, White House, etc.) were enumerated and described.
The group was introduced to the image display “Picture US” and was asked to describe and discuss relevant pictures. The quotes about American independence were read and translated.
 

We were proud to tell the American guest a true story about a Club member’s success in studying English. An active GABFEST club member Yulia, a school girl from a village school 30 km from Dnipropetrovsk, surprised the whole Dnipropetrovsk oblast with her graduation tests’ results. Yulia was the only one in oblast who scored 200 points out of 200 at her test in English as a foreign language. Similarly high scores (199 and 197,5)  Yulia received in biology and chemistry. We are happy for Yulia and are proud that our speaking club somehow contributed to her success.
The session was enjoyed by all participants.
Number of participants – 15.

Have a look at more pictures, please