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Philological Festival Events for High School Students

On March 10, 2024, a Modern Languages Festival was held at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities (STOU). This is the second year that the Department of Admissions has organized this event to introduce applicants to the degree programs, professors, and study spaces for students of modern languages at STOU.

Thanks to such meetings, it is possible to show that the Humanities are interesting, beautiful and bright. “Every time, it is intriguing for us to see what kind of program we will have at the Festival. Our languages programs are so diverse and interesting that we could devote a whole festival to each of them. But together with the respective directors of studies, we choose only one teacher who gives a mini-lecture or master class on his or her subject. In this way, in one day, an applicant can get acquainted with the world of ancient languages, with the peculiarities of pronunciation in modern European languages, and, of course, with his or her own native Russian. Thanks to this format, each applicant can feel like a student of several STOU degrees at once,” commented head of admissions Efrosiniia Gnevsheva.

Course of the Event

At the registration, the guests were given everything they needed: the program for the day and STOU-branded pens and letterhead, and then they were escorted to the fourth floor co-working space.

After common prayer, Efrosiniia Gnevsheva, head of the admissions campaign, told the applicants about the content of the Bachelor’s degree programs in languages, as well as how students implement the skills and knowledge they have gained in academic, scientific and international projects. Then the festival participants were invited to head off to master classes on ancient and modern languages.

Masterclass on Nomadic Words. Rus and the East

The master class was conducted by M. I. Zerikli, a teacher of Arabic from the degree program on Ancient Languages of the Christian East. Many Arabisms, such as shuba, macrame, shcherbet, or sirop, acquired new semantic hues after the teacher and attendees traced how these words found their way into Russian.

Masterclass on How to Read Poetry in English Beautifully? The ‘The Arrow and the Song’ by Henry Longfellow

The class was given by Dr. Lev Pisarev, director of studies for the English Studies degree course. The guests practiced a lot and worked on their pronunciation, while Dr. Psarev gently guided them and gave unexpected advice and told them at the end about how his programme of studies is structured.

Quest Lecture on Family Secrets of Romance Languages

The quest lecture was conducted by Dr. Maria Desiatova, director of the degree course in Romance Languages. Applicants for university admissions compared how the simple words “sun”, “friend”, and “good” look like in different languages – French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian – and together answered questions about this mysterious language family: “How many children are in the family? And who is the father?”

Masterclass in Reading Ancient Greek and Latin Texts

The master class was conducted by Elena Nikolaevna Anashkina, a Classics [ru] graduate. The listeners compared the particularities of the syntax of and relation among Ancient Greek, Latin and the Slavic languages. “It was interesting to follow the ancient Greek text of prayers familiar from childhood, to understand unfamiliar words due to the similarity of Russian and Greek letters”, said Anastasia, a school-leaver and one of the guests of the Philological Festival.

After the master classes, guests were treated to the “national cuisines of the peoples of the world”, with canapés, bruschetta, sandwiches and cheese plates, pies, croissants with jam, and oriental sweets.

Everyone then went to a general lecture on “Love Stories in Russian Literature: Christian Origins of Russian and Western Culture”. The lecture was given by Dr. Marina Valerevna Pakholkina, an instructor in the Russian Language and Literature [ru] degree program. The listeners recalled and analyzed “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”, Eugene Onegin, The Captain’s Daughter, Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Madame Bovary and other works illustrating different understandings of love. Dr. Pakholkina also gave tips for successful passing the Russian school leavers’ exam in literature.

The guests were satisfied with the Festival and lingered for a long time, asking many questions about studying at STOU.

Here is what Anastasia wrote: “I would like to thank all the people who work hard to make such events possible. Thank you very much, may you be healthy and preserved by God! You have opened to us the warm atmosphere of the university; may you have warmth and quiet joy in your souls.”

Many thanks to Anastasia for helping with the reporting on this story.