SUNY Oswego professor explores film industry in Moldova

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Lenuta Giukin of SUNY Oswego’s modern languages and literatures faculty won a five-month Fulbright Scholarship last fall to Moldova in Eastern Europe, where she taught and did research on the burgeoning film industry in the Romanian- and Russian-influenced nation.

As a representative of the William J. Fulbright Scholar Program — the United States’ flagship academic exchange effort — Giukin also organized a roundtable at the Moldova Institute of International Relations and participated in seminars and workshops sponsored by the U.S. State Department there and at two other Moldovan universities.

Giukin, who teaches courses in the French program at SUNY Oswego and was its coordinator from 2003 to 2011, is a native of western Romania’s Banat region. Yet her homeland — influenced by Germans, Slavs and others — is in many ways worlds apart from Maryland-sized Moldova, a 22-year-old nation between northeast Romania and southern Ukraine.

“I felt familiar being there, but at times I felt as a foreigner,” said Giukin, who has been in the United States for 26 years. “In a way, Eastern Europe today is not a familiar territory to me.”

Moldova, which includes most of a region known as Bessarabia, formerly was the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. The country gained independence in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has preliminarily agreed to associate with the European Union, causing friction with Russia.

The growing Moldovan film industry, increasingly successful in international film festivals, reflects the cultural push-pull. “Theirs is a transitional type of culture with an interesting cinema industry in both Romanian and Russian,” Giukin said.

Exchange of ideas

As a Fulbright Scholar in the capital of Chisinau, Giukin said she was able to interview a variety of filmmakers, producers and distributors. She attended two premieres, Igor Cobileanski’s “The Unsaved” and the documentary “Chisinau from Dawn to Dusk.”

Recently returned to the Oswego area, Giukin already has scheduled one conference presentation on the past and present state of Moldova’s cinema, at the Northeast Modern Languages Association’s conference in April, and is working on scheduling two others.

Giukin said her teaching in Chisinau — she was asked to deliver an American-style experience for her students at the Institute of International Relations — came as a culture shock to the 45 students who took “Gender and Genre in Cinema” in either English or French.

She talked of individuals’ rights and such topics as gay marriage, and showed and discussed 11 films, two of which some conservative Moldovan students found “too strong.”

“Most found (the course) useful,” Giukin said. “I explained that the role of academia is to promote a safe and open exchange of ideas.”

Giukin, who also taught a course on English for managers, said she received positive feedback on offering the cinema course in languages other than Romanian or Russian and incorporating critical thinking skills and a class website.

“One student who was also a professor said she felt free for once to speak French, because I was not stressing language mistakes, only communication,” Giukin said. “It was a great experience for me to work with students who were so interested in the topic.”

One of the challenges she and other higher-education faculty in Moldova face is the poverty of students, many of whom are from rural areas and have to work in order to continue their schooling in a nation known as Europe’s poorest.

“It is a challenge to find a way to help these students stay in school and find a way to focus on their studies rather than working so hard to survive,” Giukin said.

Hannibal concert celebrates ‘Music in Our Schools’ Month

The Hannibal Senior High Music Department will present a concert celebrating Music in Our Schools Month at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 in the high school’s Lockwood Auditorium.

The National Association for Music Education has announced this year’s theme “Music Makes Me…..!!!!,” a message emphasizing the important role that music education plays in our students’ lives.

The Senior High Jazz Band will open the program with three selections, including the upbeat mambo, Adelieland, from the film Happy Feet. Solos will be performed by Amanda Kimball, Elyssa Terry DeRycke, and  Zane Pointon.

Senior Choral Director Abel Searor will lead the chorus in a medley of music from the hit Broadway musical “Les Miserables.”

The audience will find it difficult not to hum along on tunes like “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Do You Hear the People Sing.”

Beginning with a Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach, the senior band under the direction of Shirley Terrinoni, will present selections inspired by great works of literature including Dante’s The Divine Comedy,  and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as well as a piece by the contemporary composer Frank Ticheli.

The Senior Band and Senior Chorus will combine to present the final offering of the night, “When You Believe,” from the 1998 animated classic “The Prince of Egypt.”

Admission is free.

Hannibal students taste-test foods

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Students in Robert Piascik’s health class at Hannibal High School recently were  given the opportunity to taste test possible menu items for the 2014-15 school year.

New standards for school lunches require foods be rich in whole grains. At present, at least one-half of the grains offered must be whole grain.

Currently, Hannibal meets this criterion by serving 90 percent whole grain foods. By July 2014, all grains must be whole grains.

Students sampled cheese calzones, stuffed crust pizza, Mexican pizza, stuffed breadsticks and pizza quesadillas.

Food Service Coordinator Debbie Richardson distributed a survey to students that asked whether or not they wanted these items to appear on next year’s menus.

Block 2 study hall students also participated.

In and Around Hannibal, March 8

Oops — when I make a mistake, I does it good!

I am very sorry for any confusion I might have caused with my column last week. Don’t know whether it’s me eyes or me mind (I’m losing a little of each), but somehow I pushed the wrong button on this fool computer and sent the column from the first of March LAST YEAR instead of this year.

I will try to not do that again.  Apology said and I hope accepted, I give you this week’s offering!

**********************

I hope you enjoyed the series on Hannibal schools before centralization. Have you drawn any conclusions?

Our forebears were anxious for their children to get an education…and getting a school in their area for their children was important. Can’t help thinking that that translated down to their children.

If for no other reason than school provided a place for them to see their friends and gave them something to do besides chores. Children must have led isolated lives with only siblings for company, compared to youngsters of today,

The parents were involved with the school doing what they could to make it a go, from providing land and building the school to providing firewood and boarding the teacher.

I imagine the teacher was not reluctant to pay a visit at a pupil’s home if he or she felt one was needed.

In the earliest days, schools were able to schedule classes as they felt needed as many of the students would be needed to work the farm.

You could say there was a lot more ‘local control’ and a lot fewer mandates and financial aid. Maybe they went to school only in the winter when they wouldn’t be needed on the farm. The teachers were freer to teach what they felt the students needed than they are today.

Many schools were used for church services – as the churches were used years later for schools when they were building schools or additions to them in later years.

These little schools produced some outstanding people, from lawyers and doctors and teachers to elected officials as well as shopkeepers and skilled artisans, farmers and homemakers.

Education goes in cycles and all things are made new again eventually. I spoke recently with a retired teacher who said they tried to overcome the ‘bigness’ of their school by a  cluster approach – Hannibal over the years has done similar things.

Isn’t it interesting that we wanted bigger to provide a better education for our children, expose them to the things that only a bigger school could provide and then we struggle to fine ways to give those big schools, the small school feeling — the feeling of belonging, being really cared about and of being held accountable.

Ah … If we only had the answers!

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The Senior Meals Program meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday for lunch at the Senior Center promptly at noon. The center opens at 10. For those who don’t know, the Center is located in the Library Building, across from the Firehouse on Oswego Street.

This week’s menu features:

Monday, March 10 — homemade soup and sandwich, crackers, juice, fruit cocktail

Wednesday — Goulash, vegetable, juice, pineapple tidbits

Friday — Crispy fish clipper, Monterey potatoes, vegetable blend, juice, peaches

Activities:

Monday — Wii bowling; come cheer them on!

Wednesday — Bingo after lunch

Friday — games

Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.

Can you believe spring sports begin today at Hannibal schools?

Bone Builders don’t take the winter off – they meet at the American Legion at 9:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones – stop in and check it out, or give Louise Kellogg a call.

The Elderberries will meet at noon Tuesday at the Senior Center for a covered dish luncheon. Please bring your own table service and a dish to pass.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) meets at Our Lady of the Rosary (Cayuga Street) at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The Hannibal Board of Education will meet at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 in  the high school board room.

The nominees for the Library’s Woman of the Year are: Donna Blake, Linda Ford,  Christine Bortel Learnord, Kim Heins, Carol Newvine, Linda Remig, Lenore Richards and Shelly Stanton.

Voting will be open at the library until March 15, and the reception for the winner will be 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 22.

The Hannibal Methodist Church serves a free lunch (donations for this ministry accepted) at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. Don’t eat alone, come on down and join the fun and fellowship. The church is one block west of the Village Square on Route 3.

Lenten Services of the Enoch Thomas Cluster of United Methodist Churches have begun. All services start at 5 p.m. and are on Sunday.

March 9 at Martville

March 16 at Little Utica

March 23 at Ira

March 30 at Hannibal Center

April 6 at Bowens Corners

On Sunday April 13, Palm Sunday, they will all be taking part in a Choir Festival at Hannibal.

The Tri-County Singers will perform their Easter Cantata at 2 p.m. Sunday March 30 at the Hannibal United Methodist Church.

ZUMBATHON to benefit Upstate NY chapter of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday March 26 at Hannibal Village Chapter. For more information call 564-5266 or 564-5479.

There are a number of families in the Hannibal area dealing with ALS. Even if you don’t Zumba, come out and support these families.

The Senior Council would like to remind you its rooms are available for groups and family rental when not being otherwise used. Give Rosemary a call for information and booking (564-5471.).

The Friends of the Hannibal Free Library will hold their Spring Book and Bake Sale Saturday and Sunday April 5 and 6. Starting now, anyone wishing to  donate books should drop them off at the library at the front desk anytime the library is open.

The Church World Service Truck will be making it’s way to Central NY to pick up school, baby, and hygiene kits and clean-up buckets on April 30.

If your church or group puts these together they can be delivered to CWS Regional headquarters at 200 A Gateway Park Drive, North Syracuse before April 30. Call Amy or Christopher at 458-8535 to make an appointment so you don’t find the office closed.

News flash – just heard they are in special need of school kits. Last year more than 57,000 school kits were provided for children in need in the U.S. and overseas including young survivors of flash floods in Garrett, Ky., the Black Forest Fires in Colorado and Superstorm Sandy in Jamaica, NY.

A school kit consists of 70-page spiral notebooks, blunt metal scissors, 12-inch rulers, hand held pencil sharpeners, large erasers, new pencils with erasers, box of 24 new crayons and a 12×14 tote bag with cloth handles.

If you would like to donate supplies for these kits, donatons are always appreciated.

I will be heading to Maryland March 18 to pack shipping boxes. If you have kits ready, I’ll be happy to take them. Give me a call or send me an e-mail.

Rita Hooper

706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

Phoenix Community Band to perform March 17

The Phoenix Community Band, in its 11th year and under the direction of Dave Frateschi, will present its annual Winter Concert at 7 p.m. March 17 in the John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium.

The band is reprising an arrangement of an English folk song, playing new arrangements of songs by Billy Joel, a classical excerpt and classic band pieces, as well as exciting new music.

One piece celebrates an epic battle in the ancient Middle East. Some familiar faces may be seen in a visual presentation with another piece.

There will also be some music specifically for the date, St. Patrick’s Day.

Anyone who is a new fan or a veteran follower of the band, wil be for a treat at this concert.

Please note that the snow date, should the concert have to be postponed due to weather, is the following evening, Tuesday, March 18. Should this occur, band officials will make every effort to have it posted on TV channels 3 and 5 as early as possible on Monday.

Generally, however, if school is open Monday, the concert will be on.

Admission is free, though donations are always welcome.

Dillon Middle presents citizenship awards

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Forty-seven students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School in the Phoenix Central School District were honored recently for being exemplary citizens.

Citizenship Awards recognize role model students who are dependable, responsible, courteous, thoughtful of both peers and adults, congenial, friendly, and who show school spirit and pride and respect for others and their belongings.

Students earning the distinction are nominated for the honor by Dillon Middle School faculty members and receive a certificate of distinction as well as a copy of the nomination letter.

Fifth-graders receiving Citizenship Awards are: Natalie Brown, Chloe Calkins, Tabitha Clark, Ethan Fox, Noah Gordon, Mattison Hess, Miranda LaRobardiere, Lily Roberts, and Thomas Uhl.

Sixth-grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Cade Bacon, Matthew Doane, Darren Fischel, Hailey Goudy, Cassadee Handville, Trish Harris, Madison Kalt, Alexandria Mills, Savanah Neupert, Jillian Ricard, Leah Schlachter, McKenna Squier, Sarah Thorn, and Teresa Uhl.

Seventh-grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Gabriella Allen, Ashley Carbonaro, Trevor Halstead, Megan Hess, Emilie Hilliard, Lawrence Karl, Raina Knapp, Cole LaPine, Wendy Li, Ashley Margrey, Ross McFarland, Alayna Merrill, and Joshua VanGorder.

Eighth-grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Samantha Doupe, Veronica Gates, Morgan Gravlin, Natalie Hart, Alexandra Hoag, Joe Lacey, Breanna Mitchell, Alex Sisera, Jerrett Williams, Jordan Williams, and Julianne Yates.

Jerry’s Journal, March 8

If you read my last journal you know that Peter Palmer was born with one arm, has a driver’s license but loves to walk (especially across the Lower Bridge on his way downtown), is a devout Catholic and once entered a monastery, is retired from the Oswego County Social Service Department after 32 years, is Fulton’s historian — can reel off facts about our hometown in the blink of an eye — and has lived in the same house on Worth Street his entire life.

“Did you know that Worth Street was the first street in Fulton to be paved?” Peter inquired of me during our interview.

It was because Mayor Foster lived on Worth Street.

“What was Mayor Foster’s first name?” I asked.

So, Peter looked it up and to our surprise, we discovered there were in fact two mayors with the last name of Foster. (I do not know if they were brothers; it’s something to further investigate.)

James Foster lived at 94 Worth St. and was mayor from 1902-04; while John M. Foster at 88 Worth St. was mayor 1906-08. That’s where Foster Park got its name.

“It once was an Indian burial ground,” Peter said. “You can still see a couple of the mounds.”

Oh, yes, Foster Park. …. I reminisced a bit and told Peter that my Dad had worked for the Best Ice Cream Co. on West First Street when I was a small child. … My Mom used to walk me down the steep stairs that went straight down into the park. … . I wonder if they’re still there?

Peter said John Foster had a daughter named Geraldine (that’s my proper name, too, a beautiful name if there ever was one, so my mother thought), and according to a 1948 city directory, Ms. Foster worked in our city library, in the children’s section.

She eventually sold their home on Worth Street and bought a house at 218 S. Fourth St. where she once entertained Eleanor Roosevelt at a tea.

Folk art painter Norman Rockwell also is said to have visited Geraldine Foster and stayed at her family’s camp on the river just north of the city. While in our area, Rockwell painted a picture of four boys on a toboggan.

One of those boys was Joe Crahan, who became a well known policeman around town.

Peter’s grandfather, Seymour Palmer, purchased the house on Worth Street a hundred years ago for his wife, Blanche, who did not like living in the country.

The house already had electricity, and his grandfather installed bathroom plumbing, but really didn’t like using it. He preferred the outhouse, Peter said. (He didn’t want bad smells in their home!)

The outhouse is gone now, as is the barn out back, Peter said. Their then next door neighbor, Coach Willard “Andy” Anderson, helped take them down and helped build the “new” garage that replaced them.

The Palmer home hasn’t changed too much over the years, Peter chuckled. He said he even has his grandmother’s “stuffed” canary.

And there are ghosts…you can hear their footsteps… and a neighbor thought she saw Peter’s dad sitting in the dinning room, while someone else thought they saw his grandfather sitting in his chair.

Both men had died in the house, but not at the same time, and both went peacefully.

I thank Peter for his time and stories and I guarantee they’ll be more from and about him in future columns.

Well, dear Readers, it’s been a long, hard winter and though I could have and should have done a lot more than looking out the window and longing for warm weather, it hasn’t been a total waste of time, (where does the time go? It’s March already!)

I’ve finally gotten all seven years of Jerry’s Journals — clippings from the Fulton Patriot and the Valley News — into two crammed notebooks, have completed a photo album from Ed’s 80th birthday last summer, and have organized into a less chaotic mess all the memorabilia my faithful readers and contributors have given me to use in my columns.

Now I can more easily find what I need when I need it!

Getting to the pile of stuff on my desk, however, I was horrified and embarrassed to find a long-forgotten letter from former Fultonian Walt Carrington who wrote two pages of “gist for Jerry’s Journal.”

His subject matter was “Transportation,” which I found most interesting and will share with you next time. Until then, I sincerely hope Walt will forgive me for the oversight.

Meanwhile, ponder this: Longing for the” Good Old Days” isn’t something new. The following excerpts are from a booklet of poems, “As I Remember,” written by Fred Kenyon Jones of Fulton, and dated 1934.

“They made twin beds in case he snores; They made machines to do the chores; They moved the pulley works out of town; They finally burned the round house down.

“They took the eel-pot out of the river; They charge you 50 cents for liver; They slowed up serge and started silk; They even stopped making Nestlé’s milk.”

“T’was fun to walk three miles to school; And help hitch-up old Jennie mule; ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was a glorious treat; Or putting a tack on a teacher’s seat.

“Remember the days of the huskin’ bee? Yokes of oxen you no more see; But, there’s one thing you moss-back know; We had fun — 30 years ago!”

I thank Tom Trepasso for loaning me the booklet from which I took the passages. It was written the year I was born. It’s hard to recall or even imagine all the things that have changed since then, and it makes a person wonder what the next 80 years will bring!.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share.

Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up. I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Hodgepodge, March 8

Tales of winters past

The older generations have always told stories of winters of their younger days to their children and grandchildren.

You know — the ones that start out, “Back when I was a kid in the winter time …”

It was likely that I had heard tales about my grandparents coping with big storms, about their trips through the deep snow to the hen house to gather eggs, and the sleigh rides of their younger days.

I do know that my grandparents both grew up on farms in the days when horses and one’s legs were the main sources of transportation.

I grew up in Syracuse and I had no difficulty thinking about the snowy winters of my youth. Winters when the snow was often up too high to get the back door open; many winters when the usually wide street in front of our house was narrowed down to a path that the cars with their tire chains didn’t dare to travel on.

It seems there was no shortage of snowy excitement from my younger days — adventures which should have kept my own children amazed by the stories of their father’s winter time activities.

Oh, my generation and I — we had our moments, OK? — but there was one problem when it came to bragging to my children about the winter time adventures of my youth.

Only one BIG problem — my kids were growing up in Fulton’s winter weather and nothing I could say about growing up in Syracuse would impress them. I’m afraid that they would have been bored from the beginning.

In Fulton the snow- banks were higher, and the houses were literally buried in snow from October to April; sometimes traces still lingered in May. It took a lot to impress them when snow stories were being told.

 

Dad’s snow tunnel

Wait a minute – I had it. When asked about my own adventures in the snow, I would cleverly switch the scene back a few years.

“Did I ever tell you about the time Grandpa (my father) was a kid?  Well, this one day there was so much snow between his house and his friend’s house across the street that they had to dig a tunnel from one to the other – and I got some pictures somewhere to prove it.”  Wow!

Well, that seemed to do it. They were impressed, and I am still searching for that picture.

 

Take a walk

I have always tried to do some walking as often as I could, just for the sake of walking and some exercise.

For years, my wife and I enjoyed frequent neighborhood walks in decent weather. Now that I am home more during the day, I try to take regular neighborhood jaunts. I find that my walks are half as long and twice as tiring these days.

When I lived in Fulton, walking was a daily ritual. We had a couple of set patterns for our walks.

As it is a common routine in Fulton to “walk the bridges,” we did that at least half of the time.

On other occasions, since we lived on the east side, we would take the “east side trek” from our house near East Side Park, up to Nestles, and then follow a rectangular course until we were close to where we started, and return home.

(I don’t live in Fulton now, but if I did I wonder how I could manage to shorten the distance between those bridges.)

If you are a walker and follow the same route every day at approximately the same time, walking can become a social event as you will meet up with at least some of the same people every day.

If you have walked for recreation for several years you will discover that you have participated in a variety of styles — moving along briskly; slowing down so your walking partner could keep up; moving slow enough to enjoy the passing scenery, and finally, “plodding along” (and slowing your walking partner down).

In your early walking days, the toot of a horn from a passing vehicle probably was a greeting from an acquaintance; now, the same thing could be considered more of a “get-out-of-the-way” blast.

And finally, a bit of wisdom from an unknown source: “Walking is a wonderful exercise that is sure to prolong your life, unless you try to cross the street.”

A question left over from last month:

Why is February the shortest month?

Well, here’s an explanation.  Back in Julius Caesar’s days, the months alternated: 31 days, 30 days, 31 days, etc., for a total of 366 days.

Julius decided he wanted a month named after him. He took the seventh month, named it July, shoved the other months down a notch with the last month dropping off the end.

That month had 30 days.  Julius thought his month should be one of the longest so he took a day from February and added it to July, giving July 31 days and February 29 days.

When Augustus came along, he wanted a month of his own. He couldn’t be ahead of Julius so he took the next month and named it August.

Like Julius, he shoved the other months down and another one dropped off the end. That month had 31 days. Augustus wouldn’t be outdone by Julius so he took another day out of poor February and added it to August.

February then had 28 days. We lost 31 and gained 30, for a new total of 365 days.

No, I haven’t been carrying all this information around with me since fifth grade; I found most of it on “Askville by Amazon.”

 

… Roy Hodge  

Your hometown. Your news.