Title: CES Gazette
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086424/00017
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Title: CES Gazette
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: University of Florida Center for European Studies
Publisher: University of Florida
Publication Date: Summer 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00086424
Volume ID: VID00017
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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BIG WIN



At National



MODEL EU



Competition

by Regina Topolinskaya
with comments by Corinne Tomasi

[Editor's note: For the first time, UF was represented at the 9th Annual
Model European Union Conference, organized by the University
ofPittsburgh that tookplace on February20-21,2009. We are very
pleased to announce that both UF students received Best Performance
Awards. Regina Topolinskaya, who played the role of Poland, won the
award in the large country category, while Corinne Tomasi (Ireland),
received it in the small country category. Congratulations to Regina
and Corinne!]

rom the moment we left Gainesville to our return, I had a
great time. We landed in snow-covered Pittsburgh Friday
afternoon (Corinne says, "The city of Pittsburgh was
beautiful (and cold), and the University of Pittsburgh campus
was in the center of the city in these striking, old buildings") and
delved straight into the nuances of EU legislation.


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First on the agenda was the Lisbon
Strategy. Each delegate at the tournament
was knowledgeable and professional,
sticking to their country's policies and the
rules of diplomacy. As Poland, I was able to
secure a Joint Research Center in Eastern
Europe after some last-minute bargaining
with France, who wanted me to support
putting the Union of the Mediterranean
next on the agenda for discussion. The
delegates also passed a number of
resolutions on expanding funding for
innovation while actually vetoing a well-
crafted proposal that unfortunately had
a small provision about changing CAP
funding, a contentious topic many countries
understandably did not want to address.
(Corinne says, "At times we were challenged
to think outside the box when other
delegates brought unexpected issues and
ideas to the table.")
The final topic discussed was
climate control. Each country brought
interesting ideas to the table, from
investing more funding in solar power to
France's suggestion that nuclear power
be developed in more EU member-
states. While we didn't have much time
to discuss the topic, we passed a number
of resolutions, including cutting carbon
emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (the
summit was simulating 2007) with a 15
percent cut for member-states who had
GDP per capital below the EU average.
Many of the newly admitted states were
understandably pretty happy about
this, and the other measures we passed



Outreach


brought us one step closer to saving the
environment, at least in our simulated
world. (Corinne says, "The ideas and
concepts we learn daily in a classroom
really take a new meaning when 27 diverse
countries come together and debate issues
as simple as vocational education and as
complexes bureaucratic reductions.")
After the debate on the Lisbon
Strategy was completed, Corinne and I
were able to visit the Cathedral of Learning.
The cathedral, built during the Great
Depression, featured numerous classrooms
on the ground floor decorated by country.
Wondering how anyone could concentrate
in the Russian classroom resembling an old
Siberian peasant home, we made our way
back to the conference.
I enjoyed every minute of the
conference and hope others will be able
to experience Model EU like I did. (Corinne
says, "After a whirlwind 48 hours, it ended
on a high note when Regina and I both won
top awards for our categories.") Two flights
and a cup of coffee later, we were back in
Gainesville with a wealth of new knowledge
as well as the two awards.
I'd like to thank Professor Kostadinova.
Not only did she fly, drive, and walk
everywhere with us, but she also helped
Corinne and I on policy and satthrough
hours upon hours of conference discussion.
Without her this would not have happened.
Also, thankyou to the CES for generously
providing Corinne and me with a stipend to
be able to attend the conference. I can't wait
to do this again at UF or on another campus.



WORKSHOP


CES Outreach Coordinator Gail Keeler attended a conference sponsored by the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill entitled "K-12 Outreach Best Practices Workshop." About
20 other universities were represented to share ideas and successes with international
educational programs in schools. Many of these ideas can be utilized to further enhance
outreach programming at CES.







Reflections on




LIFE ABROAD

by Christopher Cary
[editor's note: Chris Cary is in Poland on a Fulbright Scholarship]

I get asked all the time: What are you doing in Poland? Whatmade you want to go there? My
initial reaction is to give the stock answer: a description of my project, my activities. Friends
inevitably say: Ofallplaces-Poland? You are notPolish. They are right; I don't have a drop
of Slavic blood in me. They continue: And why on earth would anyone subject themselves to
learning the Polish language. Well, that really is a good question. So I say: The opportunity to be
a part of Jagiellonian University, the alma mater of Copernicus. And Krakow is a beautiful city...
the medieval atmosphere...a true jewel of central Europe! They say: Yeah, whatever, Ilookedat
yourfacebookpictures. But there are more bars and cafes in one market square than perhaps
than anywhere in the world! Better than downtown Gainesville? And so it goes.... Well, the truth
is a little more complicated, and a lot more nuanced. Here is what I should say:
It is really about the local culture: When I find the perfect pierogi restaurant, I think to
myself...l bet this is how Ewa's grandmother made them. Or the realization that someone
just spoke to me in conversational Polish and I understood everything perfectly, even if my
response was somewhat of a mess. And the traditions: In the Rakowicki Cemetery on All Saints
Day, I stroll in the midst of a million flowers and a hundred thousand small flames. On this
solemn Polish night an orange glow is visible for miles. I think about my family and wonder...


why don't we do this?
It is about the history: My attic flat is high
above the outer rim of the Rynek. Here I work
on my project and when I want to take a
break, I walk down my street to a cafe. Wawel
Castle towers above the horizon, rising from
the banks of the Wista River. The hidden
chambers within the medieval edifice reveal
an illustrious legacy. Kazimierz the Great
rests here, and so does the legendary bard
Adam Mickiewicz. The castle overlooks the
same winding river where miles away and
years ago Russian troops watched from the
banks as a German regiment razed a city
into smoldering ash. Could it be? On my way
to dinner, I pause and stand beneath the
window where Pope John Paul II inspired a
nation and changed the course of history.
Weeks later, in the Gdansk shipyards, I help
the Poles celebrate twenty years of free
elections. A legendary German rock band
sings "Winds of Change" to a hundred
thousand clothed in red and white flags.
Images of Lech Watlsa and Solidarnoit
occupy the huge video screens. Shipyard
cranes dominate the illuminated coastal
horizon.
Perhaps the real reason is travel and
nature: I sojourn to Turkey on my own orient
express. With my thoughts floating on the
Bosphorous breeze...I am seeing the world.
After returning, as I walk the familiar streets
of the Rynek, I think, yes, this is becoming
a home to me. In the Tatry Mountains,
Poland's natural jewel and a source of
artistic inspiration for myriad Polish artists,
there is a latent spirituality that Kartowicz
and Szymanowski perceived...and so did
Kilar and Gorecki. Standing on a frozen
lake, drinking in a rustic pub in Zakopane,
listening to a Highlanderfolk band play,


hiking alone on a winding trail with a
breathtaking view...I perceive it too.
Maybe it is about the literature and arts:
In the National Gallery, I lookat the wildly
fantastic paintings of the insatiable Witkacy.
After a pilgrimage to Czqstochowa, I view
the miraculous Black Madonna. I then walk
down the street to a nondescript museum,
and plunge into the depths of Beksinski's
subconscious-a startling and sometimes
comic dream world. I see the brush strokes,
colors, details...the limitless imagination,
an exploration of darkened corridors of the
human mind. How terrifying it must be to
see clearly what is lurking just around the
corner! In Warsaw, I stand next to a pillar
in the Holy Cross Church-a pillar like all
the others, except that this one houses the
physical heart of Chopin, and the metaphoric
heart of the Polish people. In Krakow, I
listen to the youthful Dorota discuss Snow
White, Russian Red-and I begin to see how
it represents the disillusionment of a new
generation in a new world. In Alchemia,
the famous cafe in the formerJewish
Quarter, I listen tojazzand klezmer music. I
read Mitosz, Symborszka and Zagajewski. I
read Lem and Grabinski. There are endless
avenues to explore...and suddenly a year
does not seem like nearly enough time. Then
I relax. This is just a beginning.
But for me, it is really about Polish
music...and the need to geta glimpse into
the Slavic soul, because I feel that I must
understand one to understand the other.
Celebrating the 75th birthday with one of
the greatest musical geniuses of our time,
I watch as Krzysztof Penderecki conducts
his own music, breathing life into notes
on his score. I spend time with composer


Wojciech Widtakas he walks me through his Earthsumption
for symphony orchestra and organ. He reveals that it is really
a subtle homage to 9/11. So this is how he approaches his
art. So this is true education. And later, in the Filharmonia
after Mykietyn's Passion according to St. Markwith its quasi-
rock instrumentation, I realize that I am witnessing a new
generation of composers materialize before my eyes. The
crowd is on their feet, chanting "Pawet, Pawet, Pawet." I didn't
thinkthat Polish audiences would everdo that.
My odyssey began years ago when on a flight at 35,000
feet, I heard for the first time a recording of Dawn Upshaw
singing Henryk Gorecki's SymphonyofSorrowful Songs. Her
voice was soaring higher than our plane, and I wondered...
what is that radiant voice trying to express? The work has since
come to represent for many the collective hope and mourning
of a century past. It is a summation of sorts, and I wanted to
understand it more fully...to know it from the source. Sitting
in the Filharmonia weeks ago, the familiar work began to take
on a new significance-a universal meaning just beginning to
become local. But can I ever really understand what it means to
the Poles?
I am reminded of my solitary trip to the Majdanek
concentration camp. In the cold and leaden atmosphere-
oppressive still beyond all imaginings-I tried in vain to
comprehend the incomprehensible. On my way back, riding
on the train, I saw an elderly woman who looked to be in her
nineties. Our eyes metas she prepared to get off at her stop.
She paused, looked directly at me and half smiled. I couldn't
help but wonder...after nearly a century, how many things
those eyes must have seen.
What a privilege it is to open a door into another world...
what a pleasure it is to walkthrough it. Here I have the
opportunity to see how others live, absorb the contours of
another culture-to reflect, get away from my comfortable
life. Not evaluate. Just experience. How different we are. How
we are exactly the same. And in the process learn so much
about myself. Mutual understanding is the foundation of
the Fulbright mission, and for many people their time spent
abroad becomes the experience of a lifetime. This is the real
reason that I came to Poland...to have the experience of a
lifetime.
But people keep asking those questions: Whatis it that
youlike so much aboutPolish music? And I give them my stock
answer...but I thinkto myself of a famous old bluesman. When
asked about his music, he just smiled and said: Youcan't
describe itor talk about it...you have got to live it. And Son, ifyou
can't live it, you ain't never gonna understand.





UF |UNIVERSITY of
UFIFLORIDA
The Center for European Studies
3324 Turlington Hall
PO Box 117342
Gainesville FL 32611-7342
www.ces.ufl.edu


CES Receives Turkish Studies Grant
The Turkish Studies Program within the CES led by faculty member Dr. Sinan Ciddi, has been
awarded two grants from the Institute of Turkish Studies. The first grant will support a four-
part multidisciplinary speakers series program on "Turkey and the West" in 2009-2010 and the
second will fund the purchase of new library resources related to Turkish Studies. In addition,
the US Fulbright Commission has awarded a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant to the
Turkish Studies program for 2009-2010. One speaker has already been scheduled for March 24,
Ayhan Kaya, from Bilgi University in Turkey.
These initiatives will serve to significantly strengthen the development of the Turkish
Studies program and support future grant initiatives within CES. For more information on the
Turkish Studies program please visit the website www.ces.ufl.edu/turkish/.
As always, the CES thanks the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Research and
Graduate Program, and the Office of the Provost for their continued support.


Fall of the Wall Collaborative Events
Do you remember November 1989, when the Berlin Wall was symbolically and literally
destroyed, heralding the beginning of the end of communism? The CES will partner with the
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Artto present programs that will address, in a very broad way, those
tumultuous times. Some of the planned events include: "Project Europa: Imagining the (Im)
possible" exhibition atthe Harn, a speaker series, a cinema series of avant-garde European films,
co-sponsored with the Film and Media Studies Program, a symposium,"Artand Democracy", a
website for the program, a teacher workshop for Alachua County public school teachers, and
contests and projects with the School Board of Alachua County.
German Studies and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures are
organizing events such as a symposium and a public speaking contest. See more on
www.clas.ufl.edu/events/wall/.


Upcoming Events
September 9, CES Lecture Series: From the Iron Curtain to the EU: 20 Years after 1989, Hungary:
Twenty Years after the Regime-Change, Five Years after EU Accession, Istvan Hegedis, Central
European University
October 13, CES Lecture Series: From the Iron Curtain to the EU: 20 Years after 1989, Changes
in Landscapes and University Life in the ex-DDR since the Wende, Cesar Caviedes, Geography
Department, UF
November 19, CES Lecture Series: From the Iron Curtain to the EU: 20 Years after 1989, Title TBA,
Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan
September 14, Lecture Series: Faithful Narratives: The Challenge of Religion in History, Religion
and Gender in Enlightenment England: The Problem ofAgency, Phyllis Mack, Rutgers University,
Co-sponsored with the Department of History
September 15, Teacher Workshop: World Heritage Sites, Produced with the Asian Studies
Program, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Center for African Studies
September 30, Teacher Workshop: Migration and Global Perspective, part of the Engaging
Migration in Europe Project


E31^^B _Nvki::e, --' ----
Student assistants Jessi Axe and Eddy Grodin talked to a
summer camp group at the Florida Museum of Natural
History about "Europe: Its History, Geography, and
Languages."


Graduate Student

Brownbag Series
Graduate students in any discipline, whose research focuses
on Europe, are encouraged to submit a 150-word proposal of
their research project and its relevance to European studies, via
e-mail to Petia Kostadinova (petiak@ces.ufl.edu) or hard copy
to: CES Speakers Committee, Re: Graduate Student Brownbag
Series, 3324 Turlington Hall, PO Box 117342, Gainesville FL
32611-7342. Students whose proposals are selected will be
invited to present their research at the weekly brownbag
series. There is no deadline for submissions.


Recent Events
CES Director Amie Kreppel spoke to two local business
groups-Kiwanis Club of the University City and Downtown
Rotary Club. Her topic was Historyof the Title VI National
Resource Center (NRC) Program and the Universityof Florida
Center for European Studies. This outreach to businesses is an
important part of our mission as a federally funded NRC.

-thCoe




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