These two course proposals are excellent examples of what we’re looking for. Follow the links to see how the descriptions looked in their final form.
Decoding the Russian Alphabet
Description: I am an advanced Russian speaker and love sharing my enthusiasm for Russian language and culture. A lot of times people tell me they’d like to learn Russian, but are intimidated by the alphabet. To me the alphabet is nothing to be concerned about. Once you learn it, it becomes second nature. Not only that, you feel so cool when you can read signs in Cyrillic, or write your name (or hopefully go on to learn to speak!) So I’d like to help people take the first step by learning the alphabet
My course would be divided into several sections:
1. Brief history of the Cyrillic alphabet
2. Learning the letters (divided into groups, based on level of similarity to the Latin alphabet)
3. Learning to sound out words by using cognates
(I could also include handouts showing the other Cyrillic-based alphabets, like Ukrainian, and possibly provide suggested resources for how they can move on to begin studying the language.)
1. Most likely would be Cleveland Park Library, but I haven’t discussed it with them.
2. Chevy Chase Library could also be an option
3. I might also be able to hold it at Russkiy Mir (an organization that promotes Russian culture, or another DC library)
I am also open to any space you have available, if there are any.
Who For: The class is ideally for people who would like to learn to speak Russian. It would also be extremely useful for people who are planning a trip to Russia (or another country that uses the Cyrillic alphabet). Or anyone who is just curious about other languages/other cultures
Resources: I don’t think I would need anything, except for the opportunity to attend the teacher training, and hints/tips for how to have a successful class.
Urban Garden Bike Tour
From Detroit to Cleveland to Brooklyn, urban gardeners are transforming vacant spaces into productive community resources.
But how does DC stack up? This class will try to answer that question by visiting a handful of gardens in Northwest and/or Northeast. We will discuss a bit of DC’s history – how and where have people grown food here since the city’s inception – and look at the contemporary urban gardening movement from a land use and food security perspective.
The exact route of the bike tour is still under review but stops may include Common Good City Farm, Wangari Gardens, North Columbia Heights Green and The Farm at Walker Jones.
Students will need a bicycle, and will need to be reasonably comfortable riding in city traffic. Almost any sort of bike will do. Students will be responsible for their own safety and for obeying traffic controls. We will regroup frequently, and we won’t leave anyone behind. Bring snacks and water if you so desire.