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English Club Discussions - 2014

English Club
January 25, 2014
on “Being a Student”
with Olha P.

A quote of the Day: “I was a fantastic student until ten, and then my mind began to wander” /Grace Paley/ /http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/student.html#0GS5X3DgIRhaj3Vl.99/

Discussion: 

1. Have you ever been a student? What is the first idea coming on your mind when you’re asked about a student’s life?

2. “Once you become a student you should leave parents’ house?” Do you agree with the following statement? What’s your personal experience? Did you live with your parents? Did you prefer living in a hostel, renting an apartment to living with relatives? What’s better? Why? More than a quarter of students in Ukraine now stay at home while they study. It's economical, but is it a good choice? To parents: what's it like to have a student living at home?

3. Did you work while being a student? How many hours to work while being a full time college student? Do working students study worth than those who don’t work? Does a job help a student study or disturb and lead to some problems? What is your choice? Why?

4. What special events have happened in your student life (migration, going abroad, getting the first job and self earned money, a marriage, having children, etc.)? Do you agree that the period between 18 and 26 is the most critical in a life? Is it the time of self-determination?

5. What is the best age to be a student? What is your opinion about lifelong students? Would you like to be one of them? What are pros and cons of pursuing graduate or postgraduate study in your 40 or 50? What are positive attitudes and perceptions about learning at any age?

6. Did you have favorite academic subjects? Did you hate any of them? Why? What’s your attitude to a fact when professors have their so-called “favorites” among students? Have you ever been an eye-witness of it? Have you ever been one of them? How did you feel yourself? How to choose not to be offended by other students in this situation? 

Schedule: Thursday, January 30, 2014 – Michael Dixon “Music in Our Lives” + Music Competition


English Club
January 23, 2013
on ‘Human Laughing’
with Mykhailo G.
A Fact of the Day: Children are said to laugh a great deal more than adults: an average baby laughing 300-400 times a day compared to an average adult laughing only 15-20 times a day.

Introduction. What makes you laughing? Do you prefer to create humor to make funs? Is it true: 'Laugh and the whole world laughs with you'. 

Discussion: 

1. While dreaming, your body produces melatonin. What is a nature of laughter? Scientists have shown that parts of the limbic system are involved in laughter. When laughing, the brain also releases endorphins that can relieve some physical pain. Does laugh revitalize us during the day? 

2. Do you remember your greatest laughter? Why laughter is contagious / infectious / catching? Have you ever laughed at yourself or when being in negative circumstances? Are such factors as age, gender, education, language, and culture determinant as to whether a person will experience laughter in a given situation? Have you experienced laugh tracks when the laughter of one person itself provoked laughter from others as a positive feedback? 

3. Do you like to make a fun or enjoy somebody’s kidding, mocking, teasing or pranking? Do you enjoy when your friends tease you a lot? Do you feel like a second-class member of this social circle in this case? What’s your personal taboo and restriction connected with making a fun? Are the person's friends actually going too far, or do they just need a thicker skin and to loosen up a little? Do the person's friends have well-meaning intentions, or do they not actually respect him/her?

4. What activities help us stay in a good humor shape? What helps us better understand any humor? Is our sense of humor changed during our lifetime?

5. What character was the most funniest to you (Brown Noser, a Womeniser, a Skitch-chaser, a Liar, an Exaggerator, a Slacker, a Cry-baby, a Freaky, an «Aliens – seeker») 

6. If you decide to create your top list of 10 funnies things /images/ anecdotes/ commercials/ pet’s videos etc., what kind of collection will you create? Why? How do you explain the following saying «He laughs best who laughs last»? Would you like to draw your portrait, caricature or to make а friendly cartoon?

Schedule: January 25, 2014 – Olha P. – at 10.30 am

English Club
January 18, 2014
Leader: Ihor S.
Discussion: My Inner World: Self Discovery, Self Help, Personal Growth
“World peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it”/ Peace Pilgrim/

Discussion: 

1. Do you agree with the following statement “My Inner World is an interactive journey of self-discovery. It is synchronistic in nature and encourages exploration”. What do you do for your Self Discovery, Self Help, Personal Growth every day?

2. Have you ever felt that you can not reconcile with anyone under any circumstances, no matter how much you try? Is it easy to you to start friendship with anyone you like? Or, to get along so well with someone you've only just met that you wondered if you know of his/her lifetime?

3. How often do you notice and mark individual differences in a behavior? Do you judge people for these mismatches with you? How to avoid judgement? Do you know any tips or rules that you practically use? Have you ever been judged by someone for nothing? Why? Sometimes behaviors cause thoughts and sometimes thoughts cause behavior. Can anyone’s ‘judgement message’ ruin your inner calm? How often do you react on judgement? 

4. How often do you think about laziness /sloth, ineptitude, idleness/? How to overcome laziness? Is it often considered to be a sign of weakness or shirking? Does a lazy monster threaten to invade your motivation while doing important activities? Do you think that all problems you have are a cause of your idleness?

5. We've all been in the circumstances where we're having a conversation (or argument) with someone and they're convinced you're wrong about something, even though you know you're right. Whether it's a trivial fact, or a serious issue, how do you react to the accusation? What is right choice? Is it always necessary to change someone's mind? When you both think you're right, is it two egos clashing?

6. Are you well organized? Do you follow a time management? What is your attitude to morning exercises? How much time do you spend on communication with people on Facebook? What do you do to occupy yourself with anything? What hobbies do you have? How much time do you spend for your relatives / beloved/ a spouse / children / yourself? 

Schedule: Thursday, 23 January at 5.30 pm – Mykhailo G.

English Club 
January 16, 2014
on “Patriotism. Motherland”
Leader: Helen Ch.
Patriotic Quotations:
 I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. ~Abraham Lincoln
· A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. ~George William Curtis

Discussion:

1. What is ‘patriotism’ for you? What is the difference between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’? Do you agree with Samuel Johnson’s statement “Patriotism is the last refuge for scoundrels”?

2. What is your attitude to the Ukrainian language? Should we have only one state language in Ukraine? 

3. What is ‘Cosmopolitanism’? What’s a relationship between ‘Patriotism’ and ‘Cosmopolitanism’? What is a definition of ‘globalization’? What is your attitude to this process of international integration? Does this interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture have positive or negative results on any nation? What is your definition of a ‘multicultural society’? What are the benefits of a multicultural society? “Multicultural societies create more problems than benefits.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

4. What is your attitude to ‘emigration’? Do you know the difference between words “emigrant” and “immigrant”?

5. Can we compare the attitude to your family with the attitude to your homeland (motherland)? Has your attitude to notions ‘patriotism’ and ‘motherland’ been changed during your lifetime? Has attitude to such notions as ‘patriotism’ and ‘motherland’ been changed in our society during the last time? 

6. Can anyone become a patriot of a foreign country? Could anyone be a patriot of a country without its citizenship, even not living in it?


Schedule: January 18, 2014 – Ihor S. – at 10.30 am

English Club
December 26, 2013
What is Freedom? A Discussion
Leader: Nadiia H.
According to Dictionary.com, 'freedom is “the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint”

Discussion

1. The word “freedom” is often problematic - what exactly does it mean? Is “freedom” equal to “independence”? What does freedom mean from a philosophical and a theological viewpoint? Do philosophical, judicial, political, economic, and social meanings of a definition “freedom” are the same ones in which freedom displays itself? What is a moral aspect of freedom?

2. Could each nation be ranked in the world as “free,” “partly free,” or “not free”? Can you name any country to be categorized as “free,” receiving the highest rankings in both the categories of political rights and civil rights? What country is the perfect model of freedom? Do social conventions inhibit or promote the political rights and civil liberties that exist in a society?

3. What does freedom mean to you? Is it a process rather than an end-goal? Have you ever fought for your rights to feel yourself free? How do you bring the philosophical concepts of freedom into daily life? Do you allow people to express freedom in their behavior not judging them for some actions? How do you understand the meaning of an “individual freedom”? How do you expect to find your own freedom?

4. Are women really free in a modern society? How do traditions influence on women in Slavonic countries and Arabic ones? What do all women/men share when it comes to the word “freedom?” How do these concepts of freedom play out in everyday life? 

5. Can people be free in their families? How could freedom be restricted? How can children get independence from their parents, a school, a geographical location, etc.? Do they have a right to choose their friends? Does a child-free position give you a kind of ‘extra freedom’? 

6. “Freedom is never given; it is won.” ( A. Philip Randolph). Do you agree with these words? Why? Why not? Does money give you an extra choice, more freedom and goods? What do you do to feel free? Do you think that we can ever really be free? 


Schedule: Saturday – December 28, 2013 – 10.30 am – Maryna B.
                Thursday – January 2, 2014 – at 5.30 pm – Dima S.

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