Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ucitelka: Tatranka and Folkloric Dances

Almanac: Henry James on beauty in art

“I dare say, to concluded, that whenever, in quest, as I have noted, of the amusing, I have invoked the horrific, I have invoked it, in such air as that of ‘The Turn of the ... read more

Lawyers for an Oxford graduate who is suing the university over his “disappointing” exam grades nearly two decades ago told a London court Tuesday that he missed out on going to law school in the U.S. because of his results.

Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg (Poland)
Greg’s autobiographical novel tells of growing up in a small Polish village in the 1970s and ‘80s, a time of cultural and historical importance seen through a child’s eyes as the Soviet Union began to splinter.

In light of “A Day without Immigrants,” Electric Literature came up with a list of ten immigrants who have had a significant impact in American literature.

“Poetry, like bread, is for everyone”: A Conversation with Seth Michelson

Rediscover the Khvoshchinskaya sisters, three women writers from 19th-century Russia whose voices were oppressed but are now being heard.

Short works of nonfiction are in style. The Millions highlights notable volumes including recent and forthcoming works by Valeria Luiselli, Edwidge Danticat, Han Kang, and more

If we didn’t write poetry after the Holocaust it would be as if Hitler had won, or that the Nazis were right.” Neustadt laureate Adam Zagajewski discussed the art and trauma of the Holocaust and the idea of blurred homelands during a conversation on European culture held at the BBVA Foundation

Gitka Imrichova, who was sacked as a teacher for going to church, and Marta Chamilova, who was also pushed out for going to church, knew all about the latitudional spying  and some teachers who were like Maria Drazdechova so humanly depicted in the Slovak movie "Teacher - Ucitelka" / Rotten chacters as the movie shows continue to operate under all kinds of isms ...  The abuses of Communism are seen through the prism of the classroom.

The film is based on something that happened to author Petr Jarchovsky in high school in Prague during the 1970s. Madam Drazdechova has been made more attractive than she really was, the writer says, but most of the details are correct. The setting has moved to Slovakia for production reasons but it hardly matters, because the story is not simply about the abuses of Communism, though some will only see that. It could be set in a school in Broken Hill and still work, because it's about the human tendency to exploit advantage.  That can happen anywhere, although part of the attraction here is to see how it happened in this place and at this time. 

Mrs Drazdechova doesn't seem especially malevolent. Brisk, pleasant, womanly and exuberantly coiffed, thanks to the free perms she gets from the hairdressing mother of one of her students, she could be any high-school teacher with a pile of marking under one arm and her lunch under the other.
It is 1983: the fall of the Berlin Wall is still six years away. Maria Drazdechova is also chair of the Communist Party at the school, but she doesn't threaten anyone with the fact. Not as long as parents keep fronting up to fix her fridge or drive her to her country cottage.

Tatranka Dances

 Tatranka Folkloric Group Subor Tribute to Marta Chamilova

As my folkloric teacher, Marta Chamillova, used to say "... if  you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself." And as young Jan Palach observed from his deathbed..."In history there are times when action has to be taken."

You know of the disease in Central Europe called dancing disease ... 
There also exists a dancing happiness of the soul. Its most dangerous
aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be
careful. As soon as you notice the slightest sign of happiness, the
moment you become aware of the gain of a certain naughtiness, of
enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You should realize that your
soul rejoys if you start practicing folklore steps on the way to
school. Chamillova's Tatranka

Jarne Hri

How Dance Addresses A Culture Of Suffering 

“In countries where people suffer and have a rough life, they dance as a necessity instead of as an option. When you have this kind of history, this very hard background, you don’t practice art for the same reasons. It’s not a luxury; you need it, to heal yourself. I know people in Algeria who say: ‘I had to dance, or I would die.’” … [Read More]

Today is the first day of Advent.


The leaves are fallen, but the sky is clear
(Though winter’s scheduling an arctic flight).
The rumor is a rendezvous draws near.

Some say a telling sign will soon appear,
Though evidence this may be so is slight:
The leaves are fallen, but the sky is clear.

Pale skeptics may be perfectly sincere
To postulate no ground for hope, despite
The rumor that a rendezvous draws near.

More enterprising souls may shed a tear
And, looking up, behold a striking light:
The leaves are fallen, but the sky is clear.

The king, his courtiers, and priests, all fear
Arrival of a challenge to their might:
The rumor is a rendezvous draws near.

The wise in search of something all can cheer
May not rely on ordinary sight:
The leaves are fallen, but the sky is clear.

Within a common place may rest one dear
To all who yearn to see the world made right.
The leaves are fallen, but the sky is clear.
The rumor is a rendezvous draws near.

Crossing Borders by Cynthia Haven | Poetry Foundation

Arnold Schoenberg’s Musical Response to FDR

  What kind of American was Arnold Schoenberg? In Los Angeles, a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany, he adopted English as his primary language. He watched The Lone Ranger on TV. For his children, ... read more

The Socratic method is much maligned these days.  (tAXpROF) I do not personally use it when teaching Tax.   I use a problem method where I lecture on a topic then assign homework problems to the students which we then go over in the next class period.  

But I do use the Socratic method of teaching when I teach my first year students Civil Procedure.  I confess I am not great at it, but I think that, properly used, it really helps students learn how law is both determinate and indeterminate at the same time.   It's not determinate when you are trying to predict the legal outcome (is the deduction allowable or no?  does the court have personal jurisdiction over the defendant or no?).  But it becomes determinate once the legal authority rules!  That was the point of my post the other week about the power of fact-finding.  

Here's a nice opinion piece in the Washington Post about how Socrates would not make it as a teacher in today's high schools.