Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете... Второй год, Урок 9 неделя 2.... Давайте послушаем... и Нооруз!


Вам линк на Давайте послушаем (here's the link for the listening exercise--on your хендаут!). 

Теперь... мы с вами будем работать за столами! (See there were TWO examples of the Instrumental case...). In Russian, in addition to its use after prepositions like за (at, behind) and с (with), you can use the Instrumental without a preposition to mean "using"... Например...

Иван пишет карандашом - Ivan writes with a pencil.
Я ем суп ложкой - I eat soup with a spoon.
Олег режет мясо ножом - Oleg cuts the meat with a knife.

Oh, чуть не забыл!
Привезли новые рубашки! За 10$ и ниже!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Russia Banned from the Olympics 

The Russian Federation was banned from the Olympics after the World Doping Agency uncovered doping among various athletes. It was claimed that government supported doping among their athletes. The federation is to supposed to meet numerous verifications before being considered for the reentry in competitions. According to European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen, there is not enough time for Russia to meet all the criteria before the summer games in Rio.  

Nooruz 2016

SPREES celebrates the transnational ecumencal vernal new year holiday, Nooruz... We do it Central Asian style, with plov (pilaf)... but the agrarian holiday has its roots in Zoroastrianism (predating Christianity and Islam by thousands of years)... Nooruz (Nowruz) means "new day," and it's celebrated widely, in countries as diverse as Persia, India, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Macedonia, Albania...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Russia's National Flower

Image result for russian national flower chamomile
Chamomile, a vivid, fragrant and fruity flower belongs to daisy family, is Russia's National Flower. This flower is found all over in Russia and different areas of the globe. Chamomile flower appears stunning with dazzling yellow colored core that is surrounded with long delicate white petals. The aroma is as gratifying as its appearance. You will truly adore to gift this wonderful flower to your dear ones. Most Of the people in Russia gift flowers as a sign of affection, admiration and gratitude.

Born in the USSR

Recently, the Stetson's Russian Club hosted a music night which showcased a variety of Russian songs, ranging from the Soviet Era to more contemporary tracks. The attached song, "Born in the USSR", is a personal favorite of mine. The song is a throwback to Soviet Russia and is the counterpart of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.". Singer Oleg Gazmanoz provides the main vocals of the song, showcasing a wide variety of his vocal talents. I hope that you all will find this catchy song as enjoyable as I did.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Unit 8 blog post Putin loves Trump

Donald Trump is a brave pro-Putin political maverick who would end U.S. foreign wars and perhaps lift sanctions on Moscow. Hillary Clinton, however, is a warmonger beholden to the military-industrial complex. Russian state TV, which hews closely to the Kremlin's world view, leaves little doubt about who Moscow supports in November's U.S. presidential election: "The Donald."Vladimir Putin's spokesman took brief exception this month to a Trump attack video which showed Putin laughing at the prospect of Clinton defending America. But officials and analysts say the Kremlin still sees Trump as the best candidate by a mile. Putin has hailed Trump as "very talented". The head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee said he'd be a worthy winner of the 2015 "man of the year" title in the United States. Some experts say Trump appeals to Moscow because Putin believes a Trump presidency would be isolationist and leave Russia with a free hand."The Kremlin can't believe it's luck," said Konstantin von Eggert, an independent Moscow-based political analyst who believes the Obama administration has not been forceful in countering Russia. "President Obama and (Secretary of State) John Kerry were a dream team for them, but now they have an even better option; someone who thinks that America should have nothing to do with the rest of the world." RT, the Kremlin's English-language TV channel formerly known as Russia Today, says it does not back any U.S. candidates. But it has described Trump as "idiosyncratic and raw," and suggested he represents the popular will of U.S. voters, which a sinister U.S. establishment is trying to subvert.

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is a very popular character in a lot of Russian fairy tales. She is usually described as an old, ugly witch who lives far from the rest of the world. One thing that makes her different from other witches in fairy tales is the fact that her house or wooden hut stands on a pair of giant chicken legs. Her character is a little complicated. She is not considered good but not evil either. Although, some stories say she eats little children, that sounds kind of evil to me. 
 Baba Yaga HutBaba Yaga - PathfinderWiki

Putin orders start of Russian military withdrawal from Syria

On the 14th of March, Putin ordered the start of the withdraw of their military forces in Syria. Russia claims that they have been able to help the Syrian Army to a point where negotiations for the peace talk process will be able to start now.

“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,”Putin said on Monday during a meeting with Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"In a short period of time Russia has created a small but very effective military group [in Syria]... the effective work of our military allowed the peace process to begin," Putin said, adding that with the assistance of the Russian Air Force "Syrian government troops and patriotic forces have changed the situation in the fight with international terrorism and have ceased the initiative."
Russia plans to keep their naval base in Tartus and the Khmeimim airbase in Latakia operational with military forces and will continue supporting the Syrian forces with airstrikes. Russian airstrikes & advising support have helped the Syrian government to be moved into a position where they are currently stable and not at risk of falling and can now begin negotiations with some rebel groups. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu © kremlin.ru

Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol is Ukranian dramatist that was wrote many of his works based on the Russian empire, to the point that some even call him a Russian author. He has written many great works including "The Overcoat", "Dead Souls", and the one I am reading,  "Evening on a farm near Near Dikanka". Many of his later works satires of the imperial Russian Government. The overcoat is arguably his most famous work, and it had a large impact on Russian literature. Fyodor Dostoevsky once   expressed this with his comment "We all come out of Gogol's Overcoat".

Knowledge Day


In Russia, knowledge day is the day that school year typically starts, and is normally on September 1st. Knowledge day originated within the USSR on June 15, 1984 by the order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. This day also marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. For many 1st graders, this day is a celebration as it is their first school day ever, and their first knowledge day. For them, there is a celebratory assembly and experience the tradition of the first bell, where an incoming 1st grade girl is lifted onto the shoulders of an 11th grade male student, and paraded around while ringing a bell to mark the beginning of the school year. In smaller villages or towns, students may dress up to go to school and arrive with flowers. Senior officials of the schools welcome the incoming students, and senior students write and perform poetry or songs. Older students are encouraged to assist the younger students, especially new students, to their classes and encourage them along the way. The older students may sometimes tell the younger students the saying "Азбука – наука, а ребятам бука" which translates to Alphabet is a science, but it's a boogeyman for children.


File:Bandy players.jpg

Bandy is a Russian sport nicknamed "Russian hockey" and "winter football." It is debated whether the Russians truly created it or if they merely adapted a European sport and turned that in to bandy. Bandy has an international governing body, is played similarly to ice hockey but with bandy sticks and balls that are more similar to those of field hockey. Men and women play and it seems that variants of the sport are linked back to 10th and 11th century monasteries. The name comes from the curved stick used being referred to as a "bandy." Bandy is the second most popular (by number of participants) winter sport in the world with ice hockey being the most.

Olga Zaitseva

Ольга Агексеевна Зайцева

Date of Birth: 16 May 1978

Place of Birth: Moscow

Height: 5' 7''

Sport: Biathlon

Olga Zeitseva is a former Russian biathlete who retired in 2015 although she didn't start any races in the 2014/15 season. She performed in four winter Olympic games (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). She won four Olympic medals; one silver medal in the mass start in 2010 and three medals in relay races: two gold in 2006 and 2010 and silver in 2014. She won the mass start world cup in 2005. She also won eight medals in the world championship: 3 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze. She became a coach for the Russian national team one year after she retired.

Hiking Trail in Russia

The Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track is a well-known hiking spot near Lake Baikal in south Russia.  The total distance of the trail is around 100 km (about 62 miles).  The trail is a difficult one since during one's time along the trail crossing 65 m wide rivers and climbing large boulders are not uncommon.  There are no bridges or ladders to overcome these obstacles either. As it gets extremely cold at night, hikers need the best equipment to protect themselves from the cold. Despite the difficulty of the trail, the sights are quite beautiful along the way!

This Day in Russian History...

So, I browsing around the internet, and I found this nifty little website (yes, I did just use 'nifty' in a sentence, no, I am not an eighty-year old woman) called Russipedia, which I think is essentially some odd Wikipedia-type website for all things Russian. Basically, don't actually take what they say as cut-and-dry without actual research, but it's certainly fun to browse!

Mikhail I of Russia
Anyways... I found out that today, March 24, is the day that sixteen-year old Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov assumed the throne of the Russian Empire in 1613, thereby beginning the Romanov dynasty. As many of you knew, the Romanov dynasty ended with Czar Nicholas II in 1917 when the Bolsheviks assumed power; however, I bet you didn't know that the dynasty lasted nearly three hundred years. Mikhail was essentially chosen to be czar by a council of nobles because he was related to the last czar of the Rurik dynasty, and connected to Ivan the Terrible.

Mikhail was reluctant to take the job at first, but after his patriotism was appealed to the boy went to Moscow, and was crowned. His reign was, for the most part, dominated by his parents, but overall he began the longest-running dynasty in the history of Russia.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Кавказская овчарка

Кавказская овчарка (Caucasian Ovcharka)
The Caucasian Shepherd or Caucasian Ovcharka is one of the most brutal Russian dog breeds (maybe not the puppy featured above). It is a large, even-tempered dog with powerful and muscular body, bear-look face, deeply set oval dark eyes, round-shaped cropped ears and low carried long tail. It has a thick and water resistant double coat in shades of gray, brindle, yellow, rust, red or white. The coat may be longer or shorter depending on the region the dog comes from.

The strength and dedication of this dog has made it a popular working, police and guard dog throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union states. They call it Caucasian Shepherd in Europe and Caucasian Mountain Dog in America. In the West it is also known as the Russian Bear Dog. In Russia its usual name is Caucasian Ovcharka which means means sheepdog in Russian.The Caucasian Ovcharka was used for centuries to guard flocks, kill wolves, hunt bears and protect properties against trespassers and thieves. 

Read more: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/caucasianowtcharka.htm

Flag facts!

So the Russian flags has no official symbolism but some people have put meanings to it. They believe white stands for generosity, blue for loyalty, and red for courage. In 1696 if became the official flag of the Tsardom of Russia. It was there until the formation of the USSR and was reintroduced in 1991 after the fall of the USSR. Russia also celebrates national flag day on August 22 which was established in 1994.

What's a country without a national anthem?


The above link is for video that plays Russia's national anthem. This video also includes transliteration and English subtitles so that you may choose to sing along in either Russian or English.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Сегодня в линг-кабинете. Урок 9 неделя 1. Здоровье!

Ну, как вы чувствуeте себя?

Listen to разговор 2. Write down the correct order (numbers next to pictures) of the events that you hear in Ed’s tragic tale to Katya… What happened to the schmuck? Что случилось этому мудаку? When you’re done, listen again, this time following along in the text and writing out the missing words (on the back of this worksheet!)

За столами... We're going to work on the conjunction чтобы, which lets you have one subject in the first clause and a different subject in the second clause. "They asked us to bring him a cake!"
Grammatical context:"They asked, that we bring him a cake." See how there's one subject in the first clause (they) and another (we) in the second? They are imposing their will on us! That's classic subjunctive territory (subjunctive means something like "impelling, bending"). In Russian, there's no subjunctive mood, rather Russian uses the conjunction чтобы to link Subject 1 and Subject 2; the verb in the second, subordinate clause is always in the past. Easy peasy. Прост как гвоздь! 
Они попросили, чтобы мы ему принесли торт! 

Packing for Study Abroad

Okay... anyone who knows me knows that I am an obsessive planner. I have been thinking a lot about my upcoming trip to St. Petersburg and what exactly I should bring with me for three months of study abroad. My gut tells me to bring EVERYTHING, but alas, the 50 lb baggage weight limit and my inability to lug my whole wardrobe through an airport solo remind me to be a bit more conservative. There are hundreds of websites detailing everything from what to bring, what not to bring, to how to pack it. Below are some links I found useful and a list of some things I am likely to bring with me.



My List:

Hard soled, winterized boots (cuz ya know... Russia)

Dark jeans (Wet/Dirty/Snowy St. Petersburg streets will stain your cute acid wash pants)

Nice sweaters (In my experience, Europeans are a tad more formal in their attire than us.)

A LONG jacket (Must cover past your hips to keep you effectively warm)

A hat (Russians will think you're crazy if you don't wear one)

Long Underwear (Doubles as pajamas!)

Slippers (You don't want to track the slush into your dorm room)

Vitamin D Supplements (the dreary weather takes a lot out of you if you're used to the Florida sun!)

Adapter Plugs 

A change of clothes IN YOUR CARRY ON (Airports often lose bags... luck favors the prepared)

An open mind 

Russian Tea

Russian tea-drinking tradition first began in 1638 when the Russian Tsar Michael Fedorovich received a tea-set as a gift from Altyun-Khan, then the ruler of Mongolia. Russian tea is served following meals and in the afternoon. Guests are often invited to a cup of tea, served along with cookies, sandwiches, candies, and cakes. Making tea the classical way by boiling it in a pot on the stove is still much preferred in Russia, even with the advent of modern tea bags. Russian families usually have their own porcelain tea-pots of various sizes and decorations, with the most plain ones being used for everyday tea-drinking and the most decorative being used for festive occasions. Here is a recipe for a modern-day and "Americanized" Russian tea created for the winter holidays:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Bring water, cinnamon stick and cloves to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and whole spices.

In a small saucepan, heat orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and nutmeg. Warm until the sugar dissolves.

Add the juice mixture to the tea. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Reheat and serve.

One More Thing To Make Barrett Sad About Russia

So Russian motorcycle sports are struggling to gain popularity. This article explains, but I don’t think it is that hard to imagine. For starters, racers in Russia don’t get paid. They either find sponsors, or pay for things themselves. This is massively expensive. Compare this to the nearly idolized positions of racers in places like Italy for instance, and you’ll understand the struggle.
The riding season is also highly short in Russia, so it’s hard to get a following. Apparently, motorcycles are also atrociously expensive. Hard winters and all that. Imports. Blah blah, sadness.
And finally, why race MotoGP, the most exciting races in the world when you could instead subject yourself to ice racing, something motorcycles should never do.
I just don’t understand…
Check the link. http://rbth.com/sport/2014/07/28/russian_motorcycle_sports_struggle_to_attract_fans_and_financing_38533.html