Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A busy day that ended with me on a concert hall stage

I was on the go from early this morning.

First I went to see the morning news broadcast of the regional television station. Several of the fifth-year students I teach work there, and one is the morning anchor. I interviewed them and will post a piece they help me produce tomorrow or Friday. I also had a chance to meet the station's web staff, who will be in the professional training session on Saturday.

Afterwards I had lunch with my translator Katja at my new favorite restaurant, a Ukrainian place that does a buffet lunch in an upscale shopping mall near the university. There's not a single thing there that I can identify by name-- I love it!

In class today we talked about citizen journalism and its current impact on American media and possible future impact in Russia. The students were all understandably skeptical. After all, freedom of speech is a relatively new concept here, so the idea that normal people could publish their own news sites (and that this might actually be valuable!) was pretty far out there for them. I love the fact, though, that they're open for anything. They really want to learn and the lectures have been well-attended.

Ok, now for the rock-star-Lauren part. Dmitri arranged for us to attend a concert that he described as "a men's choir singing religious songs." I have to admit that I was dragging by the time he picked me, but I was also intrigued. I was picturing a somber event in a small venue, like chamber music with medieval chants.

Well, not exactly. The group was the Turetsky Choir from Moscow and they were basically a rollicking Jewish-a capella-operatic-pop-humor-dance-irreverent troupe that did everything from a tongue-in-cheek rendition of "Back in USSR" to Mozart's "Lacrimosa" without batting an eye. Crazy! It's the most fun I've ever had at a concert where I didn't understand a word.

And to top it off, they invited people onto the stage to dance "Mambo No. 5." Since it was the closest I'm going to get to a salsa, I joined in. Photos tomorrow, I promise.


Natalya said...

Lauren, I want to apologise once more I haven't visited your lecture today. Well, I was going to meet with a journalist of a local newspaper and we needed to talk about an article before sending it for printing. As I was told by Katya (the girl with a long hair) we won't meet tomorrow at the morning, so we can meet at any time which will be suitable for you to edit the video about PTR.
Now I'm making myself familiar with a QuickTime Pro and it seems to be a very simple piece of software. And it is very user-friendly, too.

Mindy McAdams said...

Hi, Lauren! I finally had some free time to catch up with your blog! It's great! I like the pictures especially.

g & g said...

HI Lauren...sounds like a great time. Those ballet lessons finally paid off! G xoxo

also the acting done at LSMSA and GPGC.
the other g

g & g said...

I clicked on the turetsky choir. Could you translate or do we need a russian/english dictionary? I remember needing a German English dictionary a few years ago when we got a letter from the german consulate.

the other g

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren, my name is Russlan and I was forwarded to your blog by one of the girls from a TV station you mentioned. To read about Vlad through the eyes of the foreigner is always a thrill - thank you so much! I work for the local radiostation, and your blog got me thinking about our own web-page - what if we convert the damn thing into a blog like yours to add more dynamics to it - slideshows and all.

Have to think more about it.