Friday, February 22, 2008

"Моя Семья" (Katya's Family Project for School)

As I wrote earlier this week, Katya just completed a project about her family for school. Every child in her class was asked to create a poster and give a short talk about his or her family, highlighting anything or anyone of particular historical interest. The goals of the project were threefold: to help the children get to know one another better; to help the child learn more about his or her family (that sure happened for us as we learned that our ancestors had been both Patriots and Loyalists!); to have the child and parents work together on the project (the children were expected to tell the parents what to write and each child presented the project with a parent). The whole unit will culminate with a big class party on March 7th for all the children and their families. Each family will present an activity or food that is unique to them; we're going to teach the kids to play Cranium Hullabaloo (I'll probably make a Russian version).

Since Katya is the only foreigner in her class, her presentation was of particular interest to her teachers and classmates. They asked so many questions and were fascinated! We knew that they were particularly intrigued that America is made up of immigrants; what a contrast to Russia! Immigrants are looked down upon here and face much discrimination; we wanted to show how having varied ethnic backgrounds is a source of national pride in America.


"America is a country of immigrants! Everyone has ancestors from different countries. I love my homeland!"

Katya knew that her friends had seen movies such as Pocahontas and cowboy movies; she wanted to show how her history was reflected in those time periods, too. I'm glad she did that--it really grabbed the children's attention! (One mom called last night to say how her daughter came home from school so excited by Katya's project that she talked about it all evening!)

While we certainly simplified things quite a bit, her poster *is* true. FDR wasn't my grandpa's first cousin, but they were related--and the word "cousin" is used very loosely in Russian. I must say that Katya was tickled pink to share that tidbit!

Here's a slide show of the images included in the poster; beneath you'll find her project in both Russian and English. The English translation is a bit awkward; we did it originally in Russian and then had Chris's secretary type it and make some corrections. Had we created the project in English to begin with, we would have used different phrasing.





Мой дедушка – мамин отец живет на Северо-западе Америки. Его предки эмигрировали в Америку из Швеции в конце 19-го века. Они проехали через всю страну в крытом вагоне и стали фермерами. Мой дедушка осуществил «Американскую мечту» - он закончил аспирантуру и стал инженером-атомщиком.

My grandfather, my mom's dad, lives in the American Northwest. His ancestors immigrated to America from Sweden at the end of the 19th century. They traveled across the country in a covered wagon and became farmers. My grandpa realized the "American Dream;" he completed graduate school and became a nuclear engineer.

Мне очень интересно изучать историю Американских индейцев, которые первыми поселились и до сих пор живут в его штате.

I'm very interested in studying the history of the Native Americans who first settled--and still live in--the state where he lives.

Родители моего отца живут в Колорадо – штат на западе с потрясающими и большими горами. Его предки эмигрировали в 18-м веке из Великобритании и Ирландии. Они участвовали в войне за независимость (когда Америка стала самост
оятельной, отделившись от Великобритании), с обоих сторон против друг друга. Его предки тоже решили «открыть запад» и устроили себе новую жизнь, став фермерами на «диком западе». Один родственник был настоящим ковбоем! Как мамин отец, они тоже осуществили «Американскую мечту» - каждое поколение успевает больше, чем предыдущее. Бабушка профессиональный музыкант. Дедушка – первый в его семье закончил аспирантуру и стал хирургом-ортопедом. Интересно, что дедушка год работал врачом на территории Американских индейцев.


My father's parents live in Colorado, a western state with breathtaking large mountains. His ancestors emigrated in the 18th century from Great Britain and Ireland. They fought on both sides, against each other, during the Revolutionary War (when America became independent, separate from Great Britain). His ancestors also decided to settle the West, building themselves new lives as farmers in the "Wild West." One relative was a real cowboy! Like my mother's father, they also realized the "American Dream"-- that each generation will achieve more success than the previous one. Grandma is a professional musician. Grandpa was the first in his family to complete graduate school and he became an orthopedic surgeon. It's interesting that my grandpa worked for a year on a Native American reservation.

Бабушка была первой скрипкой оркестра. Интересно, что дедушке предлагали контракт как профессиональному певцу оперы. Как и они, я тоже очень люблю музыку.

Grandma was the first violin in an orchestra. It's interesting that my grandpa was offered a contract as a professional opera singer. Like them, I also really love music.

Я очень люблю ходить в горы, когда приезжаю к ним в гости.

I love to hike in the mountains when I visit them.

Президент Франклин Делано Рузвельт был 32-м президентом Америки и двоюродным братом моего прадедушки со стороны матери. Фамилия моей бабушки Делано. Он был великим человеком и я им очень горжусь! Вместе с лидерами Советского Союза и Великобритании он победил немцев во Второй Мировой Войне.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd President of America and a cousin of my great grandfather on my mother's side. My grandma's last name is Delano. He was a great man and I'm very proud of him! Together with the leaders of the Soviet Union and Great Britain, he beat the Germans in the Second World War.

Моя бабушка очень красиво шьет. На Новый Год она нам с сестрой шила два платья в стиле 17-ого века. Я хочу так хорошо работать со своими руками как она и Мама! У нее такса как сосиска!

My grandmother sews very beautifully. For Christmas she sewed two 17th century-style dresses for me and my sister. I want to be as handy as she and Mom are! She has a dachshund like a sausage!

Мои предки со стороны Делано помогли открыть Америку; они приплыли на «Мейфлауэр» из Великобритании в 1630-м году. Половина тех пассажиров погибла в пути; жизнь была очень сложной. Они праздновали День Благодарения – праздник, который до сих пор является очень важным для всех Американцев. Предки с маминой стороны тоже приплыли в Америку в начале 20-го века из Германии и Нидерландов. В Нью-Йорке их встретила Статуя Свободы. Они искали лучшую жизнь – они верили, что улицы в Америке вымощены золотом. Прапрадедушка работал фотографом и художником. Оттуда моя и мамина страсть к искусству и фотографии? Их внуки и пра-внуки--вклучая моя мама--осуществили их мечту, окончили аспирантуру в престижних университетах и стали профессиональними.

My ancestors on the Delano side helped to discover America; they sailed over on the Mayflower from Great Britain in 1630. Half of the passengers died along the way; life was very hard. They celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday which is still very important for all Americans. Ancestors on my mother's side also sailed to America at the beginning of the 20th Century from Germany and the Netherlands. They were greeted in New York by the Statue of Liberty. They were looking for a better life; they believed that streets in America were paved with gold. My great-great grandfather worked as a photographer and artist. Is that where my and my mother's love of art and photography comes from? Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including my mother, realized their dreams by completing graduate school in prestigious universities and by becoming professionals.

Я люблю изучать историю своих предков и своей страны, играя с историческими куклами и, читая историческую литературу.

I love to study the history of my ancestors and my country by playing with historical dolls and by reading historical literature.

Сейчас моя американская семья не живет в Америке! Мы переехали сюда, когда мне было почти четыре года и я не знала ни слова по-русски. Мой отец международный юрист. Моя мама преподает французский, испанский и английский языки в русской школе. Моей сестре Наталье пять лет. Она пойдет в нашу школу в следующем году. Для нашей семьи очень важны иностранные языки. Мы также очень любим книги. Я обожаю читать. Нам весело вместе. Я люблю свою семью!

My American family doesn't live in America now! We moved here when I was almost four-years-old and I didn't know a word of Russian. My father is an international lawyer. My mom teaches French, Spanish and English in a Russian school. My sister, Natalia, is five-years-old. She will be in our school next year. Foreign languages are very important in our family. We also really love books. I'm crazy about reading. We have fun together. I love my family!

Мы с Наташей очень любим играть со своими кошками – Саша и Ася, им семь месяцев.

Natasha and I love to play with our kittens, Sasha and Asya. They're seven-months-old.

On a separate note, making that poster with Katya was the first time I'd used my scrapbooking tools in A-G-E-S! I MISS IT!!!! One of these days I have to dive back in and get caught up...

5 comments:

Tina in CT said...

What a fantastic presentation! I can see all the hours of work that went into it and why the Katya's classmates were so intrigued by it. Hers was the really different one and I'm sure hearing about the wild west must have peaked an interest in the kids. The connection (even though it's very distant) between FDR and Stalin must have surprised the teacher and children. I look forward to seeing the actual poster on my next visit. Seeing the slide show of it was the next best thing though. Good work Katya (and mom).

garnet said...

Hi,

I've been wanting to drop by and say hi for quite some time. I discovered your blog via Rachael's and was attracted for the same reason as I was to hers -- an interest in Russia.

I particularly loved your post on the Russian superstitions. I met my husband when I was working in Romania and so many of these are the same. The first time he brought me flowers he kept apologizing profusely because one had been broken. I couldn't figure out why he was telling me -- if he hadn't said anything I'd never have known. Well, he was telling me because there was now an even number of flowers.

The descriptions of how people act about the cold -- and the use of ice -- were my all-time favorites. These are so true. I'm thankful I never really had my kids there in the winter time as they'd be horrified at how under-dressed they are. When my in-laws come to visit it's such a challenge to get the car temperature right. I've been in a room one summer when it was so hot that the paint was melting off the chairs yet they wouldn't open a second window because it would create a draft -- and of course then they'd all get deadly sick from a cold. You never sit on the ground in any month with an "r" in it -- their "r" months are the same as ours -- because it is too cold then and you'll get deadly sick. And on and on and on.

And the TP in the trashcans -- basically all the students in the school where I worked tossed it there rather than into the toilet. If there was no trashcan, well, you can imagine where it went. It got to the point I avoided using their bathrooms even when I was living in the same building with them.

I'm also very impressed with your daughter's AG doll collection. I'm living out my frustrated childhood fantasy -- and I was pretty old when they first started coming out -- through my daughter. She likes them, but doesn't really play with them the way your girls do. It was encouraging for me to read your daughter's story of reading as my daughter can read, but doesn't seem to enjoy it yet and I can't relate to that.

This is turning into a book but I can't avoid telling Katya what a great, amazing project she's created. Wow, she's seven, is she? That's my daughter's age and I can't imagine her working with me to do anything like that -- though I wish she would. I love history and particularly my family history -- and wish she'd catch the bug but no luck so far.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your world with us through your blog. It's always so fascinating to learn about another part of the world and it makes me hope that someday my plans to visit Russia will actually materialize.

Oh, almost forgot. I love, love, love the name Natalia. If my son had been a girl that would have been her name -- thought I'm not sure my husband was convinced to go with it as a first name. My in-laws would have been horrified as it is so Russian -- they already think it's bad enough that my daughter is Larissa which, in their minds, is Russian -- though I know several Romanian Larisa's and one of them is even a relative of theirs. Since my little boy was not a girl I've had to settle for one of our AG dolls being called Natalia.

Katya is a fairly new name to me but it's very pretty as well.

Tina in CT said...

For Garnet,

I just read the comment that you left on my daughter's blog and I wanted to read your blog but it's blocked.

Moscowmom's mother

garnet said...

For Tina,

Hmm. Not sure why it should be blocked. It's a blogspot address just like this one -- topazandturquoise.blogspot.com

Hope that works! You can also try clicking through from Rachael's blog - she had a link to it a little bit ago -- under Garnet.

Ok, end of hogging the comments here!

Muddy said...

Great Project. She did a wonderful job.