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Friday, August 31, 2012

English Club on Discrimination and Prejudice

Thursday, 30 August 
Topic: Discrimination and Prejudice 
Fun Fact of the Day: What is the largest city by area in the U.S.? Sitka, Alaska. “The four largest cities by area are in Alaska and the fifth largest is Jacksonville, FL. Surprisingly, Los Angeles comes in at No. 15 and New York City at No. 34” (http://todaytravel.com). 
Topic: 
1. What is discrimination and how is it related to prejudice? Have you ever been discriminated against? If so, why? Discrimination often is associated with people conceived as “outsiders” and “others.” How accepting do you think Ukraine is of foreigners, for example? Have you ever been discriminated against as a foreigner? 
2. What is ageism? Have you ever seen any examples of ageism? What stereotypes are associated with this prejudice? Are younger generations and older ones considered “better or worse” at certain activities and jobs than others? 
3. What is sexism? How is it related to stereotypical gender divisions? What do you think society considers “traditional” women and men’s roles? Do you see these divisions as sexist? What other social conceptions might be sexist? Do you think that expectations about work, manners, and clothes (such as high heels being “attractive” for women and men being the “breadwinners”) are sexist? 
4. What is homophobia? Do you know the term “hate crime”? Have you heard of hate crimes happening in the area? What do you think of certain laws potentially banning homosexuality or even TV shows being restricted because of its supposed content? Do you think this is a problem? 
5.What is the difference between racism and ethnic discrimination? How are they related? How do you think different races and ethnic groups are treated here? Where do you think the biggest racial and ethnic conflicts are currently occurring in the world? 
6.What other examples of discrimination can you think of? Do you think religious prejudice is a problem in our society? Do you think that discrimination against individuals with disabilities is a common problem? What are the groups most commonly discriminated against here and why do you think this attitude exists? 
7.Is there a way to end discrimination and prejudice? Do you think that if societies develop more open-minded attitudes or greater acceptance, they will head in the right direction to reduce conflict? How does discrimination affect all of us? What can we all do to make the world, or at least our own communities, a better and safer place? 
Schedule: 
Saturday, 01 September at 10:30
Thursday, 06 September at 5:30

Saturday, August 25, 2012

English Club on 'Travels in America and Abroad Experiences'

Topic: Travels in America and Abroad Experiences
Leader: Olya
Fact of the day: Grand Forks, ND is the 2nd coldest city in America, after Fairbanks, Alaska.
Presentation:
1. Global UGRAD Program
a. About the program
b. WA, DC orientation
2. Life as an American college student
i. University of North Dakota
ii. Classes and professors, academic system
iii. Organizations, Greek life, sports, facilities
b. Having an internship in the USA
c. Living in North Dakota (the coldest place in the country)
d. Being a part of a campus community; Making everlasting friends
e. Travelling
f. Being a youth ambassador of Ukraine in America
i. Representing Ukraine
ii. Volunteering
iii. Feast of Nations
Questions: 
1. Are you interested in going to America or another country to work or study abroad? Why or why not? What are the main positives and negatives of studying abroad or working in another country for an extended time? If you could choose anywhere in the world to pursue a career or further your education, where would you go and what would you do? 
2. Based on what you have learned in this presentation, how do you think college life differs between the U.S., Ukraine and other countries? How important do you think it is to have an active “on-campus” college life? Do you think it is a good idea to live in a dormitory? How can getting involved in various organizations at your school benefit you and the community? 
3. How important is traveling and making friends in connection with life as a student? How essential are these activities in forming career goals? Do you think personal travels or friends help inspire volunteerism? Are you involved in any volunteer work? What do you think is more important: study abroad, work abroad, or volunteer work? 
4. Would you consider yourself an “ambassador” of Ukraine? What have you accomplished that would give you this role? If you could start any project spreading awareness about Ukraine and its many interesting traditions and customs, what would you do and why? 
Schedule: Please put topic ideas in the Suggestion Box! 
Thursday, 30 August at 5:30
Saturday, 01 September TBA

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ukrainian Volunteers at Our Center


Nadia Dekhtiariova as a Ukrainian Volunteer had her practice at our Сenter learning an office work before getting her position as a clerk secretary.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Climate Change on Our Planet... Let's Discuss Together

Topic: Climate Change
Fun Fact of the Day: "The grizzly bear is the official state animal of California. But no grizzly bears have been seen there since 1922" (www.theburningplatform.com).
Topic:
l. What is climate? How would you describe the climate in Ukraine? How does it differ across the country and throughout the seasons? How does climate affect food production and wildlife? What are the most fertile, hottest, coldest, wettest, and driest places you can think of, in Ukraine and worldwide?
2. What is "climate change"? How does climate and changes it its patterns affect our daily lives? Do you think that climate is drastically changing worldwide? If so, what evidence can you see to support this theory? What are the dangers of climate change?
3. What is "global warming"? What are "greenhouse gases"?Do you believe that global warming really exists? If so, what causes it? Is it a man-made phenomenon or is it natural? How has it changed our world?
4. Do you see evidence of global warming here in Vinnitsa? If you do, what examples can you provide? Have there been any major changes since your childhood, for example? How do you explain the extreme cold of last winter, which scientists called the "coldest in the region in 30 years"? Why might this have happened?
5. Have you heard of the "ozone hole"? Where is it primarily located? Do you know how this phenomenon formed? Is this related to global warming? Is it a man-made problem ora natural phenomenon? How is it affecting people across the globe? Do you think this problem will increase or eventually correct itself?
6. How do you think Ukraine and the world's climate will continue to change over the next 100 years? Based on current patterns, do you think climate change will accelerate or eventually decrease?What additional changes do you think people will have to make to deal with new climates?
Schedule: Please place your topic ideas in our Suggestion Box!
Thursday, 23 August at 5:30
Saturday, 25 August at 10:30

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Family Life... How do you think family life will transform in the next 100 years?

Fun Fact of the Day: "The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island. But Rhode Island has a significantly larger population than Alaska" (www.theburningplatform.com). 
Topic: 
1. How do you characterize relationships between children and parents in Ukraine? Do you think that social status or the number of children in a family, for example, alters relations between family members? How often do you see members of your extended family? How important are establishing even minor family ties here? How do you think this differs from other places abroad? 
2. What is more important in forming a person's character, family or peer (friend) influence? Does family ever pressure an individual to act a certain way with others, thereby negatively affecting relationships with friends? 
3. Do you think that discipline is important? If so, what kind of discipline do you think is best within a family? Do you believe that children truly are a product of their parents' beliefs and ideals, even subconsciously imitating their behavior, regardless of if it's negative or positive?
4. How do you solve conflicts within your family? How does it differ between separate family members? If you were in a fight with an extended family member, for example, how would you choose to solve this problem? How would this differ from a member of your nuclear family? An in-law? A sibling? 
5. Do you think that family ties need to be biological to be important? What do you think about adoption? Is there a difference between adopting children within your own country or from abroad? Would you ever consider adopting a child? What problems may arise from this practice? What dynamic might exist in a family with both biological and adopted children? 
6. How do you think family life will transform in the next 100 years? Do you think it will still be relatively the same dynamic? Do you believe practices like adoption will increase? Will more extended family choose to live together or will families further separate? What key changes do you think will happen within Ukraine and abroad? 
Schedule: Please place your topic ideas in our Suggestion Box! 
Saturday, 18 August at 10:30 
Thursday, 23 August at 5:30

Saturday, August 11, 2012

English Club with Mila on Space

Fun Fact of the Day: "Apollo 11 was the spaceflight which landed the first humans Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the Moon on July 20, 1969" (http://en.wikipedia.org). 
Topic: Space  
l.What is astronomy? Do you consider this an important field of study? How does astronomy affect us in our daily lives?What do we really know about outer space? Do you think that humans have a clear conception of what lies in space or have we barely begun to understand what's outside our own planet? 
2. How do we "use" space? For example, some people think it's a good location for dumping trash and hazardous waste. How could this practice help or hurt us? Is it best to stay out of space or to further explore it and maybe use some of its resources? 
3. What do you think about further space exploration, such as the current NASA mission on Mars? What do you think scientists will find there? How will this be of interest to people on Earth? Do you support expensive space exploration pursuits, or do you think that this money is better spent elsewhere? 
4. Do you believe in the existence of other life forms, i.e. "aliens"? Why do you think there are so many "conspiracy theories" (stories) about aliens? Do you think that they are based on evidence of their existence or are they more of an entertaining or even scary idea? Have you heard stories of UFO sightings? If so, do you believe they are real? 
5. Do you think there is another planet like Earth, in this galaxy or another? If so, what do you imagine it's like? If another planet that sustains life were found during your lifetime, would you like to travel there if possible? 
6. Have you heard of the "Nibiru cataclysm" or "Planet X"? Some individuals believe that it will collide with Earth during the 21st century. Do you think this is possible? Can space exploration prevent potentially catastrophic events from happening on Earth?
Schedule: Please remember our Suggestion Box! 
Thursday, 16 August at 5:30- let me know if you want to lead! Saturday, 18 August at 10:30

Thursday, August 9, 2012

English Club with Mila on 'Emotions and Confidence'

Topic: Emotions and Confidence 
Fun Fact of the Day: “Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the great explorers of the Northwest, gave President Thomas Jefferson two bear cubs. Jefferson kept his new pets on the South Lawn of the White House” (www.thirdage.com). 
Topic: 
1. What are “emotions”? Are they different from “feelings”? How do emotions and feelings affect us in various aspects of life, such as at work, in school, at home, with friends, etc.? Do you tend to follow your emotions when making decisions? 
2. How doother people change and alter our emotions? Do particular environments affect our emotions, in either a positive or negative way? How can outside factors dictate how we feel? 
3. Is it good or bad to be “emotional”? Do you think that emotions help us in life or hurt us? Is it possible to be “too emotional”? If so, how do you think a person becomes too emotional? Is it a constant state or a transient characteristic? 
4. Do you think that life would be easier without emotions? Instead of being emotional, could being “emotionless” help us in our professions and relationships? Are there certain societies or groups of people that refrain from expressing their emotions, especially in public? Are there groups that are too open with their emotions? 
5. How are emotions related to “confidence”? What is confidence? Do you consider yourself a confident person? How do confident individuals express themselves? Do they openly express their emotions and feelings? 
6. Is confidence a good or bad characteristic? How can one become overly confident, leading toward egoism? As an egoist, are you in tune with your emotions? Are overly confident individuals more emotional or emotionless? 
Schedule: Please place all your topic ideas in the Suggestion Box! 
Saturday, 11 August at 10:30 
Thursday, 16 August at 5:30

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

International Youth Day


International Youth Day: A Call to Global Action - Updated
Thursday, August 9, 2012
08:30 EDT (12:30 UTC)
Audio-only line: 202-659-2781, Conference ID: 5004#
Description: In celebration of International Youth Day, join an online discussion with the U.S. Secretary of State’s new Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues, Zeenat Rahman. Ms. Rahman will discuss the importance of U.S. engagement with youth, youth as drivers of innovation, and opportunities for furthering partnerships with youth, before taking questions from Alumni of U.S. Government exchange programs. Daniella Foster, Director of Public-Private Partnerships in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will moderate the conversation. Tune in and share your views on how youth can build a better world!
Format: This will be an interactive video webcast with an audio-only option in English. Please click on the URL above to participate. Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #GlobalYouth. For past and current members of U.S. exchange programs, also use the hashtag #StateAlumni.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

English Club on Role Models

Fun Fact of the Day: "The Four Comers region is the only point at which 4 states come together." Can anyone name these states? Answer: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah (http://johnb0127.hubpages.com).
Topic:
1. What is a "role model"? How do role models affect our lives? Is there a specific person, or maybe a group of people, that you admire and try to follow their example? Do you think you need to know the person individually for them to be a true role model? Can family or friends serve as good role models? Can famous individuals?
2. Do you think that it is important to have role models? What personality traits must a . person have to be an "ideal" role model? Does age or social status matter? How could role models change over time? Do you think there could ever be a truly ideal person?
3. Do you consider yourself to be a role model for others? What characteristics do you possess that would make you a good example for others? What traits have you tried to change in yourself based on another person's example? Who do you think you inspire?
4. Can a person be the opposite of a role model, someone that you do not admire and try not to be like? How might somebody's mistakes or drawbacks inspire you to take action and be successful in another way? Have you changed anything about yourself to avoid having characteristics of someone you dislike?
5. How important are role models in forming collective and group goals? Do you think that it is equally important to follow the guidance of a role model rather than to create your own path in life? How important is individuality in striving for your goals and aspirations?
6.What goals do you have for the future? Are they related to ideals you may have formed for your life? Were these goals formed individually or from a role model? How will you go about achieving your biggest goals? Can you ever really rely on others for help or should you strive to fulfill your goals on your own?
Schedule: Don't forget about our Suggestion Box!
Thursday, 09 August at 5:30- let me know if you would like to lead! Saturday, 11 August at 10:30

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This Day at Our Center: iPad for playing games and singing new songs...

Roman Levinchuk enjoys his being at the Center 'cause of playing. We have a replenishment. His lovely giraffe gave a birth to a baby camelopard. Games could be useful when teaching how to care about others. 

English Club on "Modern Art"

Topic: Art
 Fun Fact of the Day: Although he initially studied in London, American artist Gilbert Stuart painted the “portrait of George Washington [that] became the model for the head of the dollar bill” (www.funtrivia.com).
 “Painting is a blind man’s profession.  He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.” – Pablo Picasso
 “It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.” – Albert Camus
 Topic:
 1. What is art?  What do you think of when you hear the word “art”?  What are some of your favorite works of art?  Who are some of your favorite and least favorite artists and why?
 2. Does art imply a certain skill or mastery, or simply a desire to express your feelings and emotions?  How is it different from crafts and sciences?  Do you personally practice an art or craft?  What do you consider the most important arts and crafts?
 3. What is the role of creativity in art?Can we judge a piece or art or an artist’s creativity?  How can art differ between generations and cultures?  Is there a specific “art of Ukraine”?
4. Can different art forms be beautiful, disgusting, or boring etc. at the same time?  What characteristics can different works of art or even unrelated things (such as a person, a house, a symphony, a fragrance, and a mathematical proof) have in common that make them beautiful?  Is all art beautiful in its own way? 
 5. What is the value of art nowadays?  Do you prefer to buy modern high-tech goods or pieces of art?  Would you like to have a masterpiece at your house?  Do you think that art can lead to happiness?
 6. Do you like to visit museums?  Which museums have you visited that are truly memorable?  Do you dream of visiting a certain museum or seeing a specific piece of art one day?  Where is the best place to go in Vinnitsa and in Ukraine?
Schedule: Don’t forget about our Suggestion Box!
Saturday, 04 August at 10:30
Thursday, 09 August at 5:30

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Woody Guthrie!

New songs by the American folk legend keep turning up, a century after his birth.
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land." Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedyand Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour." Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.
Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie died from complications of Huntington's disease, a progressive genetic neurological disorder. During his later years, in spite of his illness, Guthrie served as a figurehead in thefolk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan.
Woody Guthrie was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997.