Posts tagged National Library

More Moodle and J-Stor

Today I went through a checklist of assignments and reading activities with my Professional Development students.  I showed them where to upload their assignments on Moodle and also helped register them with J-Stor. I have given them a lot of hometasks and they are going to be busy in the computer lab tomorrow. They are aware that all assignments are due this Friday.  In the last week each student has made some progress in starting a blog with wordpress.com, getting more familiar with Moodle and now tomorrow, if they have time, they will learn about J-Stor.

The reason I want them to be familiar with J-Stor is that they will have to go back to their own research projects and find academic journal articles either from Ebscohost or from Oxford Journals.  They are finding out about how to read these kind of journals.  It takes time to read the material and sort out what the issues are to form a good thesis statement for their final paper. I’m hoping they are so passionate about their project that they won’t even care how much time they spend reading.

I feel like we are running out of weeks fast before the end of the semester. So late did we get our computer labs.  No complaints here, we had a good chance to visit the American embassy twice and Eagilik, Books and Coffee once.  I want to take one more field trip to American Corner at the National Library. We shall see if THAT happens.  It started to get cold so there was more than a nip in the air.  It was down right cold. In fact, Ken came in after about five minutes out this morning to put his long underwear on and put his liner back in his trench coat.  Duly warned, I put on extra layers as well.

So, soon I will be learning more from my students and their respective projects.  Note the names of the blogs on the link next to this, on the right column.  Okay, gotta hit the sack, I’m tired.

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Proposed architectural plan in Astana for National Library

See what you think of these plans for a new national library in Astana, Kazakhstan.  I’m not sure where this will be located.  Maybe closer to the new university, it has to be in the new part of town.  I ask future readers in this library, will you be able to concentrate on reading in an environment like this?  I think it is more of an architectural wonder, another one in Astana.

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Events in Astana (Part III)

I don’t know what the winged horses or the star on the top of the monument mean as you take the roundabout close to the airport, south of Astana.  Oh well, lots of things I don’t know or understand in this new city.  Next Wednesday, May 26th I’ll give a talk to the Astana International ladies group which meets monthly at the Radisson hotel.  About a year ago I had three of my former university students share with the Almaty international women’s club about their Kazakh grandparents.  I blogged about it and have photos to show of these special young women. Since I live in Astana now I only have their powerpoints to show, but I know it would be much more meaningful if the actual girls could tell about their grandparents themselves. They have emotional stories to tell, such as Aray’s great, great grandfather was the well-known Abay, Laura’s grandfather survived Siberia for 15 years and Aida’s grandmother survived 10 years at the labor camp for USSR women, ALHIR which is only about 10 miles outside of Astana.  So, it will be fun to share the information I have gained from my former Kazakh students with other expat ladies who may not have heard any of these stories before.

Today I want to go to the national museum (looks like a bullet) that is next to the National library, if it’s open.  I also want Ken and I to adventure over to the Independence Hall that has all the blueprints for the rest of the city of Astana spreading south towards the airport. I saw from the vantage point from the top of the Pyramid how there are still small homes and dachas that are beyond the Music Conservatory and Independence Hall.  That will eventually be developed into high rise apartments and probably more office buildings.  But for now I just want to imagine what it will look like close to the new university of Astana, looking at the blueprints and miniature model of the city will help.

Yes, if you want to do something in Astana while the weather is warm, you have to initiate it.  I would love to go to Boravoy which I’ve heard is a beautiful, hilly place with a lake. Many people from flat Astana like to go to Boravoy the 3 hours by car away for retreats.  In Almaty, you didn’t have to go too far to get away from the city, but Astana is fairly isolated and far from anything scenic.

Look at the photo I took on the top tier of the Pyramid, it looks like an eerie simulation of real life but it is of real people who were part of our ladies group tour. However, the larger than life doves are painted into the glass.  Seeing these doves reminded me of an artwork with an overhanging cage or net and trapped 15 doves at the ALZHIR museum. That was meant to depict the 15 republics of the USSR where many of the wives of the Enemies of the People were punished. All the symbolism, all the parallels are hard to keep track of in this new city of Astana that yearns to be significant to the rest of the country as its new capitol.

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Photos from “Cool Runnings” and Ken’s Birthday Party

Our movie audience at the National Library continues to expand.  Last night we had over 50 people watching “Cool Runnings” and there were at least nine of us Americans to discuss this comedy with each little cluster of Kazakh students gathered together.  This gave more students a chance to practice their English speaking skills after watching a very funny movie for just one and a half hours.  Granted the auditorium was very warm (I think the heat wasn’t turned off yet) but everyone stayed on to discuss.  Very gratifying for the birthday boy after Ken was presented a present by the American Corners gal and we all sang happy birthday to him.  I was actually surprised that most everyone in attendance knew how to sing “happy birthday.”

The American friends I had invited to celebrate cake afterwards, came over to our two room flat. We were able to comfortably fit ten people in our living room.  They amazingly all ate my five layer cake that looked like a disaster because of the icing problem, but it tasted particularly good with vanilla ice cream.  Since I had such shallow cake pans, I had made a chocolate cake (3 layers) and then a carrot cake (2 layers).  I have two more carrot cakes in the freezer that I’ll pull out tomorrow night for a reprise of more birthday good wishes for Ken.  I wonder if there will be any more birthdays to celebrate before we get to May!!!

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