• Welcome, Comrades! (Some Blogging Advice)

    Posted on August 29th, 2014 leahw93 No comments

    Hello there – my name is Leah, and I am happy to say that I am a part of the Editorial Team for the course this semester.  I took this class in Fall 2013 and also took Soviet Culture in Fall 2012 (wow, that seems like a long time ago), so even though I have never taken Russian as a language or been to the country, I like to think I at least know something about this material 🙂

    I thought I would start out by giving you all some tips for blogging, because I know it’s a new concept for a lot of you – but I think it’s going to be a concept you grow to love!

    1. If you don’t know where to start some weeks, start with the textbook!  I really liked this book because unlike most of my other books (especially my Business ones…), it is relatively easy to understand, it’s well-organized, and the chapters aren’t excessively long (and let’s be honest, it’s much cheaper than most books we have to buy).  The book is a good place to get the historical facts, and then you can take one of those facts that interests you and expand on it for a post.  Like Dr. Nelson said, Wikipedia can also be a good source to start from.

    2. Don’t freak out about not having constant numeric grades.  I am a Type A, OCD, need-structure kind of person, and even I grew to enjoy this part about blogging/the course.  You end up getting to focus on simply learning and discussing, not on trying to muster that last two-tenths of a point to get you from a B+ to an A-.

    3. Take advantage of the technology and websites you have at your fingertips.  Include pictures, video clips, sounds, etc. in your posts.  It will make it more interesting for all of us to read – and gives you more to write about and expand on!  Eventually we will be using a site called Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, and this has tons of neat primary sources for you to look at and use.

    4. Cite.  I know it’s tedious, but it’s worth it in case you want to add your completed blog to a digital portfolio or submit for any contests.  It also makes it easier if we end up discussing your post in class, so we can link back to the original source, and it just makes you look more professional when any outside reader may come across your blog.

    5. Get ready and excited for a fun semester!  We get to watch movies, do some group discussion, hold class in an awesome room – and last year, we even had a party complete with Russian (low)alcoholic beverages on the last day!  This is not your typical class at Virginia Tech, and I think that’s a good thing.

    6. Lastly, feel free to look at my own blog from last year if you need any inspiration to get started.  I’m sure Robyn and Courtney will be glad to share theirs as well!

    As a photographer myself, I really enjoyed doing the Week 1 post on Prokudin-Gorskii.  I hope you all do too and I can’t wait to see what you guys have to say about his work!  I’m very much looking forward to a great semester with all of you, Dr. Nelson, and the rest of the Editorial Team.

    – Leah