Posted: November 18th, 2021
Choose one of the two topics below for your primary post. Your primary post is due by Wednesday 11:55 PM ET, and your two required replies by Sunday, 11:55 PM ET.
Topic 1. The Russian and European Realms in the News
For this forum, find a recent news article (within the past 12 months) that describes the latest developments in a conflict, issue, or other major event in the Russian or European realm. Provide a brief summary of the conflict/issue/event that your article describes, and your own analysis of how this issue might affect the realm, and might be resolved. Be sure that the topic of the news article has some connection with the geographical issues and concepts we’ve been discussing, and be sure to highlight these connections in your discussion.
Remember that your article summary must be in your own words to avoid plagiarism.
Topic 2. A Clash of Cultures or Just a Misunderstanding
For this forum topic, you will be using the geographic perspective to analyze an experience that Professor Loretta Lemay, one of the geography professors at APUS, had in Russia during 1995. The experience is summarized by her below:
Another professor and I traveled extensively in Russia about 20 years ago, taking students with us to participate in field school exercise. One event that you might find interesting occurred while we spent a few days in Moscow on our way home. When we informed the cooks of our group’s intention to forgo the evening meal at our hotel the next evening (which we had previously paid for) and eat at a Pizza restaurant instead, the ladies were most upset and told us that we could not do this. They insisted that we must eat our meal in the hotel. (Or, at least that’s what we think we told them and what we think they told us. We had pressed some young man into service as an interpreter when he stopped to chat with us and practice his English.)
In a minor rebellion, the other faculty member and I left our hotel the next evening (our students following behind) and enjoyed our pizza dinner. However, when we went down to the hotel dining room the next morning, we found that our breakfast was the dinner from the night before. (We had been considerate enough to in from our hosts at noon time the previous day that we would not be in the hotel for the evening meal, so what was their problem?)
Why were they served dinner for their breakfast? Was this a clash of cultures or just a misunderstanding, or might something else have influenced the event? Can you figure out some of the contributing factors: Try to consider everything that might have impacted the staff’s decision. Use the geographic perspective. What environmental, physical, cultural, historical, socioeconomic and political factors contributed to the dinner for breakfast episode? Share your own cross-cultural mishaps, misunderstandings, and machinations.
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