Posts tagged photo contest

My KZ Students – Photo Contest Prize Winners

Last Sunday I displayed at the AIWC Charity Bazaar the 22 entries that qualified as the finalists for the Photo Contest that I sponsored amongst my 100 students of this semester.  I got some really good entries and was glad to have two judges who had the tough job of deciding on the winners.  The following photos were chosen of three top photographers: Roza Sviridenko, a law student from my masters class, (Stained Glass Window and “Secret Treasurer” in Paris). Daniyar Belkhojayev, from my academic writing class (Zerenda Lake and Almaty Mtns).  Finally Yuliya An, from my academic listening classes (Daydreaming and Trailer Going Nowhere, Greece).  My students travel!!!

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GREAT TRUTHS (Part II)

A continuation of yesterday’s blog entry…What I don’t understand is that I’m being flattered by some of my Kazakh teaching colleagues to give talks which will ultimately help them look good in front of their Kazakh students. Yet at the same time some of these same flatterers will run to my boss and say that I’m not teaching according to the syllabus or something else they deem wrong. Words, words, words!!! Other things that have been said against me have trickled back to me. I must rise above the fray.

Yes, I’m being complimented left and right about how I can lead seminars and workshops for my Kazakh colleagues so these same teachers can passively sit back and take it in while I actively put the talks together.  All the while trying to grade the rough draft papers that are supposed to hit my desk within this week and returned to my <100 students by the end of next week.  (My numbers in my five classes have dwindled somewhat dramatically since I gave out some dismal midterm grades several weeks ago.  I have an average of 16-17 showing up in each class that used to have 20 or more.)

Here is my schedule of speaking engagements and topics that I will deliver before the end of the semester:

Nov. 4, Today – AIWC (Almaty International Women’s Club)– “Violence against Women” with my MBA student from last semester presenting on what she found in our library’s electronic databases.

Nov. 11 Next Wed. – will lead 35 potential MATESOL students in a Computer Lab in a hands-on workshop “How to use electronic databases successfully” (Ebscohost, ProQuest, J-Stor)

Nov. 19 – talk to my Kazakh colleagues about the research I’ve done with my ESL, EFL and American students in the last 15-20 years regarding learning styles, multiple intelligence and temperament sorter inventories.

Nov. 24 – talk to these same Kazakh colleagues about the differences between student centered and teacher-centered paradigms

Dec. 1 – willing to talk to my writing teacher colleagues about student-centered learning and assessment.

But somewhere in all this, what is left of our fall semester, I am supposed to also help with Professional Development and explain to my Kazakh peers about the Internet sources I use, such as Thesis Statement Builder, Citation Builder, Ted.com, etc.  I’m not sure where that will fit into my already packed schedule. I want to have these teachers go to the computer lab to learn this for themselves and USE it.  I would rather teach them how to fish rather than give them the fish.

I didn’t mention that I am in the middle of assembling the 50+ wonderful and beautiful photos I got from my <100 students for a Photo contest that I’m sponsoring.  We (I have four judges lined up) will present the winners at the AIWC Charity Bazaar at Miras School on Nov. 22.  I also didn’t mention that I am in charge of the Book Stall at this bazaar where we hope to sell 1,000s of books, DVDs, CDs and other things at this event on Sunday to help raise money for orphans and pensioners. [BTW, for those who live in Almaty, I’m still taking donations of books, etc. to be sold at this special Sunday event.]

I guess all that I do is for charity and is volunteer work if you tabulate the extra hours that I put in as a teacher at my “westernized” university.  Others know that I am doing front line battle with plagiarist students and also with lazy, unmotivated teacher colleagues who have job security while I don’t.  Other foreigners and some of my teaching colleagues help me do battle in this great land of Kazakhstan. Yes, I’m flattered that I am so needed, yet this reverse flattery of not being wanted reminds me of what Ezekiel encountered:

“…do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.” 2:6

Yes, I am needed but NOT wanted. I have no contract to teach next semester.  Like I said, I have no job security, NONE!!!

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Photography Lecture: Photo Contest is ON!

ElisaIn the process of trying to find someone to lecture my 40 Listening and Notetaking students, I was able to secure  at least 4-5 photo judges for the upcoming Photo Contest, due date October 23.  Thankfully Elisa consented to talk to my students on tips of how to take good, prizewinner photos.  She has had a passion for photography since she was 10 years old.  We looked at photos that my Ukrainian students had entered in a contest several years ago.  Elisa gave critiques on how they could have appeared better with cropping or moving up to the subject.  She explained the Rule of Thirds on the blackboard.  She also showed a variety of her own still life, macro, people, landscape and animal shots. 

I also had my listening students vote on which top three photos they liked out of 33 landscape.  The winners had been chosen by the judge in Ukraine, also Elisa agreed with one of them.  Finally, the third one was that of mountains in Switzerland.  That photo had not placed in Ukraine but because Kazakhstan is ringed with mountains to the south, especially here in Almaty, that was the other popular choice among my 40 students.  Here they are, they were bubbling with questions for Elisa and I think enthused about the Photo Contest.  ELN studentsELN ss II

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Kazakhstan’s “Kodak Moments” of Kids

I entered these five photos of kids in some airline photo contests as an amateur because that is what I am.  We shall see if anything happens with these shots some time after October.  I also entered the following with Northwest Airlines having to do with the reality of our summertime in NW MN.  Since there are virtually NO flies or mosquitoes, the barn swallows are having a tough time getting their grub.  I suspect the following photo shows their daily convention in the early morning discussing how to find other food to eat besides bugs.  The birds are NOT starving or dying but surviving while we enjoy the bug-free summer outdoors!

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