Posts tagged FLEX

I wonder if KIMEP still plays Am. football

I came across some photos I took back ten years ago in Almaty, Kazakhstan and these were of KIMEP football players versus another team from nearby. Not sure who they were representing. I wonder if they are still playing American football or if the equipment and jerseys are stored away with lack of interest or funding.

Ken w KZ flag

Peter is the player who lived in the U.S. and came back with the drive and energy to put a team together with like minded players. Granted some of them were probably soccer players who just put on the jerseys and pads but it was a game to witness.  Peter is holding the trophy representing KIMEP after their win.

KIMEP football

I had a notebook along with me to take notes or do something but it ended up being used by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  I do remember the game went longer than what you’d expect because I’m not sure a stop watch was being used.  One of the refs, an American who has passed on, was probably in charge of calling out penalties.

Bruce Taylor and showing downs

Cheerleaders even showed up with their cute outfits and they had adopted cheers they had learned from what they remembered in the U.S. Many of the girls had been on the FLEX program and somehow had clothes and pompoms to make it more believable.

football cheerleaders

When the game was all done, finally, then the two teams got together for a group picture. You would never see that in the U.S. but in Kazakhstan where the teams are so rare with knowing how to play American football, there was a camaraderie with the players.  Even those who had been injured and taken off the field were in the picture afterwards.

both teams together

I was supporting the blue and white team, but the maroon and white team probably had better equipment and jerseys. I remember that some of the defense and offence had to switch off their jersey every time they went on and off the field.

other football team

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“So you think you can WRITE” and my student’s accolade

The above title is a twist on the American t.v. series “So you think you can dance.” A kind of taunting challenge to those people who think they CAN dance.  I will have a four part series related to the subject of writing, something close to my heart as a writing teacher.  It’s always nice to get e-mails from my former students who I taught freshmen composition to.  An e-mail message I got from a Ukrainian student yesterday was a real picker-upper for me!  She CAN write!!!

I first met L.P. in 2006 in Kyiv, Ukraine and she was one of the “Fabulous Five” who had been on the FLEX program in the U.S. Such an exchange program is well worth the American tax payer’s money as it brings talented students from all over the world to U.S. high schools for their last year of study.  Needless to say, it is highly competitive among students in the former Soviet Union to go to the U.S. and L.P. was one of the “lucky” ones. We admitted four other former FLEX students to our freshmen class that year, making for a very dynamic mix with the other Ukrainian students whose English skills were not as high as the Fabulous Five. Now my former student is a newly minted graduate at a westernized university in Kyiv where Ken and I used to work at.  This is what L.P. wrote (I did not change any of her wording except the names of people and places):

Dear Mrs. K: Writing to you again is such a pleasure right now! I do hope you remember me. I was your English Composition student in WIUU about three-four years ago. That was your last year in Ukraine if I am not mistaken.

I have recently graduated. Now I am a Bachelor of Business Administartion and International Management. All these are nice and serious words, aren’t they? You know, four years of living and studying in Kiev, in our university, changed my values and views so much. I do not believe in words anymore. I do believe in actions.

Such a memorable event as a graduation ceremony made me thinking a lot about those four years I spent in the walls of our university, about people I met there, about things I was given. I understood that I do not believe in my diploma with high honors. I only do believe in what I have succeeded to learn and take from what was given to me either materially or spiritually.

Writing is a skill I learned from you. You are the one who has succeeded to awake in me extreme love for writing.  Sometimes writing is my only way out. That is what I want to thank you for, Mrs. K. Many thanks for those energy you invested in working with us, in working with me.

I have heard many things about your new academic achievements! My congratulations! How your life is going on? I do hope you and your husband are doing fine:) Tell him big hello from me))

I enclosed the picture of me in academic cap and with diploma) You might not recognize me as i do wear glasses often) It is me anyway) It would be nice to see some of your pictures also))

So, I would appreciate a lot if you find some time to answer me. … And staying in touch would be a great idea)))

Looking forward for your response)

Sincerely yours,
Lucky Penguin

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