Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lecture and discussion: "American Media and Community-Building"

Julie de Sherbinin is in Moscow as a guest of Moscow State University's department of journalism. She'll be back in Elektrostal on Thursday to talk to us about the role of media--especially newspapers--in building community and supporting community values in the USA. All students welcome!

from Colby College Web site:

Julie W. de Sherbinin
Office: Lovejoy 444
Phone: 207-859-4442
Email: jwdesher@colby.edu

Professor of Russian

Julie W. de Sherbinin received degrees in Russian from Amherst College (B.A.), Yale University (M.A.), and Cornell University (Ph.D.).  She teaches Russian language and literature, as well as English language courses on Chekhov and the anglophone short story, and human rights in world literature.  She has written on Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Blok and female madness in Russian letters.  She is the co-founder of the North American Chekhov Society. Her book Chekhov and Russian Religious Culture (Northwestern UP) came out in 1997; she is co-editor with Michael C. Finke of Chekhov the Immigrant: Translating a Cultural Icon (Slavica, 2007), a volume of proceedings that issues from a National Endowment for the Humanities symposium on Chekhov held at Colby College.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Joliet Bound" and "What Good Can Drinkin' Do?"

This week I used two songs. I started out with Janis Joplin's "What Good Can Drinkin' Do?", as performed by Carolyn Wonderland--but it turned out that the words were harder to distinguish in the classroom than I'd thought. That's why I switched to Rory Block's interpretation of the classic "Joliet Bound."

So: Here's a video of "Joliet Bound" and the audio track and lyrics, followed by "What Good Can Drinkin' Do?"--video and audio track and lyrics.

"Joliet Bound"--I couldn't find a video of Rory Block (although many video clips of her performing other songs are available on YouTube). However, these guys are pretty good!

Audio: Rory Block's version...

Прослушать Rory Block Joliet Bound бесплатно на Простоплеер

Joliet Bound, Kansas Joe McCoy and Lizzie Douglas (Memphis Minnie)
This song has been recorded by many artists; these words are transcribed from Rory Block's version on Gone Woman Blues: Country Blues Collection.

Police comin’ with a ball and chain (2x)
Accusing me of murder, [I] never harmed no man

Well some got six months, some got one solid year (2x)
Now me and my buddy got a lifetime here

Well, lawyer pleaded, clerk he wrote it down (2x)
If I pass your sentence, must be Joliet bound

Well you can cook my supper, let me go to bed (2x)
I’ve been drinking white lightning, [it] has gone to my head

You gon' [are going to] quit me baby, it's the first thing you wanna do (2x)
Someday you gon' want me, hey but I won’t want you

Well, police shoot the gun, pain all in my side (2x)
"If you run from me, must be bound to die"

When they had my trial, you could not be found (2x)
Now I done got all messed up, and I’m Joliet bound

Here, Carolyn Wonderland is appearing at the legendary Antone's in Austin, Texas.

Audio: Carolyn Wonderland's version from her album Peace Meal:

Прослушать What Good Can Drinkin' Do? бесплатно на Простоплеер

What Good Can Drinkin’ Do? Janis Joplin
(transcribed from Carolyn Wonderland's track)

What good can drinkin' do, what good can drinkin' do
Oh, when I drink all night and the next day I still feel blue.

There's a glass on the table, they say it's gonna ease my pain (2x)
Oh, but I drink down the bottle, and the next day I still feel the same.

So I say, bring me whiskey, bring me bourbon, bring me gin. (2x)
I don't worry about the flavor, as long as it changes the shape I'm in. (Yeah, straighten it out!)

I start drinking Friday, I start drinking Friday night. (2x)
But then I woke up on Sunday, ain't nothin' here that'll feel all right. (No, not a thing in sight.)

I said, bring me whiskey, bourbon, bring me gin. (2x)
I say, I don't worry about the flavor, well, it changes the shape I'm in, that I'm in, I'm in, I'm in...

[My man he left me, child, he left me here.
Yeah, my good man left me, went away and left me here.
Lord, I'm feelin' lowdown, just give me another glass of beer.]

What good can drinkin' do, what good can drinkin' do ?
Well, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Homework for 200-level classes: "No zoos..."

This week's homework (for next week) is an essay. In class, to help prepare for writing the essay, we'll consider some of the arguments, both in favor of and against this statement: "Animals should never be kept in zoos. They belong in their natural environments."

This week I'm not actually requesting a word limit. For my class you can write less than 200 words or more than 250.

For other instructions, click on the thumbnail.

Exercise adapted from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.