A glimpse into everchanging music library by Andrius Židavonis LEU

I have always believed that music defines a personality and I constantly kept eye, or rather ear, to what people are listening. The style of music does tell a lot about a person – if someone is a melancholic, or a happy and an up-beat person, or party goer… you get the idea. And thus, I will invite you to a journey not to understand me more as a person, but rather to broaden your own musical library.

Gorillaz – drawn by animation, settled for music

Thus first in the line is actually a very well know band for its unique properties. It’s – Gorillaz. Gorillaz is the only ‘virtual band’ and it consists of 4 members – 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle – and every single one of them have their own personalities. In reality, Gorillaz has been created by two artists and I won’t be the one to spoil who they are, you will have to do it on your own! Gorillaz just released a new album called ‘Humanz’ just a couple of weeks ago, which I really do recommend you to listen to it.

Personally, Gorillaz really introduced me to a concept of music and created the foundation of music. At first I was actually more interested in their animation than the music (I was around 8 when I first saw them), but in time I grew fond the music they were playing.

The reason why I enjoy them now, is because their style of music cannot be defined in a single word. Every single of their album feels like a different journey through different styles of music bringing new stories about the band and extraordinary experience to the listener.

My personal favorite songs: Feel good inc., On Melancholy hill, Fire coming out of the monkey’s head.

Post rock – the modern or rather ‘rockier’ take on classical music

Jumping onto a rather peculiar style of music called post-rock and for an introduction, I believe that this song is very suitable. Instantaneously, as the name suggest, I feel the warm rays of sun bathing me. Song’s up-beat attitude create this easinesswhich immerses on the sunny summer days.Post-rock usually has no lyrics in them and as Claude Debussy said: Music would take over at the point at which words become powerless, with the one and only object of expressing that which nothing but music could express.”This realization struck me while listening to this style of music. Post-rock forces the imagination do the work. Through the marvelous combinations of sound we are sent all around the world. The only grasping idea what the song is really about is provided in the tittles of the songs and usually they are extremely weird or even funny.

My personal favorite bands: Dorena, Explosions in the sky, EF, Mogwai

Electronic music – in search of unknown

I never had a knack for electronic music, mainly – I couldn’t find a piece which I could enjoy. It’s not that I prejudicially dismissed any electronic music, I just couldn’t find the right one! And suddenly, completely out of nowhere I found ‘Baths’ and the new horizon has opened upon my eyes. I finally realized what I was looking for, it was something that no other unsynthesised instrument could achieve. This song, or rather, Baths in general, bring a lot of usual instruments, but they put little something extra and that extra is where the synthetic sound do the work. Not so long after, I embarked upon the wonders of Daft Punk. Frankly, their music is just screaming to be played at a disco party!.. which we already past several decades ago… Frankly, this type of electronic music really speaks volumes to me. It makes me dance and feel like there is a disco ball hanging above my head. It really takes me back to the times when my grandparents were still young.

Actually, they released an album several years ago, which was entirely dedicated to the disco genre, called ‘Random Access Memories’ to which I have danced my feet off.

And I really do recommend to watch the movie: Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’ in which there is no other sound than songs from Daft Punk’s album called ‘Discovery’.

My personal favorites: Flying Lotus, Thievery Corporation, Baths, Daft Punk.

The good old indie rock

Frankly, I could be rambling in this section for hours without end, but out of the all indie rock bands that I have ever listened to, Typhoon triumphs. The reason why do I consider them as the best is because they focus not just on the lyrics but on the music itself. I believe, that this band would be as good as it is even without the lyrics – they have two drummers on their band, that is something to take notice of! Not only that, but the lyrics of their songs are in such a harmony with the music and it creates such an outstanding result.

But the reason why I enjoy them so much, is the way the main singer and songwriter Kyle Morton, portray his stories and emotions. Almost every single one of the songs have this dark and quite deep connotation to it, but none of them actually feel to be that way. Rather, all of them have this certain grace and grandeur to it, which really tells a lot about their perception to life. Through life, no matter how hard it gets, always walk with a head held up high.

My personal favorites: Typhoon, The Killers, The xx, Alt – j, BRNS, Florence + the Machine and many many more…

This wraps up my review on at least a fraction of my music library. I hope that you find some of these songs/bands interesting, enjoyable and eye-opening as they were for me. With all honesty, all of the mentioned sub-sections were stages of my maturity. With age, my taste in music shifted and I searched for new kids on the block and I hope it will keep on evolving. As a side note, I do trace back to roots and listen to the old songs and take a ride the memory lane.




My All Time 3 Favourite Film Directors by Stanislovas Riška

Behind every great movie, there’s a person who controls everything – the pacing, choice of actors, their actions and basically… the whole film. They are known as directors, and today I would like to talk about my 3 personal favourite directors of all time.

Master of visual storytelling, Wes Anderson is an American film director and screenwriter whose films are known for his unique artistic sensibilities. The geometric concept, meticulous color schemes, quirky characters and dialogue, dead-pan comedy and camera movements are basic elements to help the audience recognize any Anderson film.

In case of camera movements he is best known for his use of symmetry, which plays a big role in the most comic parts of his films. Film critic David Bordwell writes that symmetry can create a “static geometrical frame [that] can evoke a deadpan comic quality.” This is proven in Anderson’s work, where symmetrical goodness makes the film more interesting and, simultaneously, amusingly offbeat. When watching a Wes Anderson film, the viewer can clearly understand why this particular director serves as an inspiration to so many designers. Specifically, it’s most noticeable how much thought he puts into the color schemes, almost branding each film simply through the use of color, which also gives a feeling of a children’s story book. Most actors in Wes Anderson’s films are usually given lines that demand comedic dryness and emotional subtlety, which could very well go wrong if it wasn’t for the visual techniques that make the audience chuckle every time a character is at the center of the frame talking with no apparent sentiment at all.Anderson’s dialogue style varies from understated to matter-of-fact, delivering silly lines in an expressionless serious way and serious dialogue in an unsettling foolish way. Ridiculous situations are presented as normal occurrences, and at least one character in each film is completely obsessed with their current project, which is usually something creative.Anderson’s stylistic choices—being both loved and hated by many—have provoked much acclaim, discussions and even parodies, and he has become the recipient of in-depth scrutiny. But in my opinion he deserves none of that, for he is truly a master of his craft, for no director can make such aesthetically beautiful and quirky films as Wes Anderson. Some of the films that I recommend are: ‘’The Grand Budapest Hotel’’, ‘’Fantastic Mr Fox’’. You would also do yourself a service if you checked out his other films 😉

Would be an odd list of directors without mentioning ‘’the coolest director in the game’’ – Quentin Tarantino. When talking about directors like Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Nolan etc. Everyones screenplay style will merge at some point. But Tarantinos screenplay is very distinctive from others screenplays.

Tarantino has a definite style, there can be no question. One could say that his style is predominantly referential, derivative, and securely rooted in films of the 70s. Tarantino is more straightforward in his film making, paying direct tribute to the 60s and 70s directors (and genres) that formed and shaped him as a young director. He liberally uses music, slow-motion, and stylized dramatic action and the kind of movie violence found in the Dirty Harry films to tell the sordid tales of grungy and morally questionable characters. His dialogue is highly stylized and quite clever. Tarantino has the power to wow you with much more style than substance. Youll have a good ride, but you might be left hungry afterwards. In the last decade, Tarantino has begun to direct revisionist revenge dramas, set in past historical periods, but featuring characters who are still unmistakably Tarantino creations. This postmodern displacement allows traditionally victimized and oppressed cultures to exact revenge on their oppressors. The two films are Inglorious Bastards, which tells the tale of an elite Jewish squad of commandos who attempt to assassinate Hitler during World War II. Django Unchained tells the story of a wrathful slave who teams up with a German mercenary to kill as many slaveholders and masters as they can. Both are ultraviolet and quite stylized and amazing. I recommend films such as the previously mentioned “Inglorious Bastards“, “Django Unchained”, but I would also add both volumes of “Kill Bill”, “Pulp Fiction ” and “The Hateful 8”.

Finally I left my favourites for last, Ethan and Joel Coen. The Coen brothers have an unrivaled and penetrating style, that has undoubtedly been influenced by film noir, 1930s screwball comedy, avant-garde theater, 1950s TV Comedyand many more.

Their movies are vast landscapes of peculiarity, filled with odd and eccentric characters who dont belong anywhere else but in their surreal landscape, which has a vague feeling of dread. Dialogue is sparse, but so incredibly effective. Characters speak with their own distinct voices, not sexy witticisms made up by the director and screenwriter, as is the case with Tarantino. In a Tarantino film, you get the vague sense that every character has the voice of Tarantino himself, and all speak using a sort of smart and sarcastic, referential dialogue. Conversely, the Coen brothers dialogue is unquestionably motivated by the character and his/her personality. Coen films often involve a crazy sequence of events, predicated upon mistaken identity, duplicity, deception, greed, revenge, or just plain, good natured agreeability, which are expertly spiced up with great pacing. They never hurry perfection, but know how to methodically unravel a riddle, and let the audience come along with them for the ride. The locations are evocative, the accents pitch perfect, the costumes indicative of time and character, the music so deliciously underscoring the film. And think of the acting. People have won a handful of Oscars for this work.

These characters are so fastidiously drawn, you cant even tell theyre acting. Their actions and words are completely and utterly motivated by character.Some of the films I recommend are: ‘’Fargo’’, ‘’Burn After Reading’’, ‘’The Big Lebowski’’ (I recommend this especially to students ;)) and my personal favourite – ‘’Inside Llewin Davis’’. But I do have to warn you, that their work is a bit harder to get into, their films do require the viewers to think throughout the film or at least give it a few re-watches.

I Hope you learned a lot about my personal favourite directors and will enjoy the recommended films 😉

Questions:

What are some of your favourite film directors?

Do you think directors perform the most important work in film-making?




Fashion Japan. By LEU students

Traditional Japanese Clothing
Modern Japanese Fashion




Rock, My Favorite Music Genre. By Simona Rapalaitė, LEU student

A music genre is a category that defines the piece of music. A well known fact is that there are a lot of music genres and that even now, new forms of music are invented. In this world pop music is the most popular genre that is why it has a lot of influence to our generation. I want to talk about another genre of music which changed a lot of people too and keeps us inspired till this day. I will talk about my favorite type of music – rock. Firstly, I have to mention that Rock music originated in the 1950s in the United States of America and was mostly known as “Rock and Roll”. “Rock and Roll” was made famous by the music king himself Elvis Presley. There is a lot of debate on who inspired this genre to appear but, all in all, it has its roots in 1940s’ and 1950s’ and was heavily influenced by blues, rhythm and blues and country music.

The main part of rock music is the guitar. To be specific it is an electric 6 string guitar which is easily heard in a rock song. Of course there are other instruments like drums and a 4 string electric bass guitar. In the 1960s when the original rock was starting to get famous these were the only instruments that were present in this type of genre. Nowadays there are digital electric devices that accompany a rock song or/and other instruments sometimes are present which do not look like they would fit in this context. For example, a famous Finnish band Apocalyptica uses cello as their main instrument in metal songs, which is a rock sub genre.

Talking about sub genres of rock it is clear that there are a lot of them. 1960s is sometimes referred as the “golden time” of sub genres for rock. Blues rock, folk rock, country rock, raga rock, and jazz-rock were some of the hybrids that emerged at that time. Also, these sub genres contributed to the development of psychedelic rock and the psychedelic scene. There is a need to mention that new genres that emerged from this scene includedprogressive rock, which extended the artistic elements;glam rock, which highlighted showmanship and visual style; and heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power, and speed. Then at 1970s punk rock emerged, which wanted to break the rules of all of these sub genres and at 1980s it made alternative rock, new wave and post-punk appear. For me 1990s is my favourite decade of music. At that time some genres introduced them selves to rock like Brit pop, indie rock, pop punk, rap rock and rap metal and some of the new types of music appeared like grunge, garage rock and etc.

The context of in this type of music changed through the decade. A rock song usually has a verse-chorus form in which love is in the center but through the years it has made some political or social problems to be heard. Also it is great that rock music is beginning to be credited for its lyrical side. This year Bob Dylan a famous American songwriter, singer, artist and writer was given a Nobel Prize in Literature for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.

All in all, rock is a great genre that keeps us inspired, motivated or sometimes even sad. It is a great joy that I and people of the world can experience it and hear it. Rock is diverse and interesting that is why i like it.




Movie recommendation: “My 3 favourite films”. By Stanislovas Riška LEU

Movie recommendation: “My 3 favourite films”.

Download (PDF, Unknown)




7 fun ways to spend a rainy day by Agnė/LEU student

RAINY SUMMER?

IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD

7 fun ways to spend a rainy day

COOKING

You can make yourself happy very easy when you are upset and bored because of rain. You just have to go to the kitchen and make some tasty food, because we all know that good food is the basis of true happiness.

 Films

Almost everyone likes to watch television, but every person has a different taste in movies. So, the best decision would be to invite your best friends to your house and have a film evening.

   POETRY

Rain is great for you if you are a poet. Look at the rain outside, dark vision of the outside world.. Then listen how drops of the rain are falling on the roof..It is a great relaxation for those who can sit down with a pen and paper and write amazing poems.

Photography

People usually do not value wonderful and picturesque nature..But if you have a decent camera (these days, your phone could be a camera!) a rainy day is ideal time to enjoy nature and get some beautiful pictures!

BATH

What can be better if you can fix up a bubble bath and to lie cozy in the bath. You can be sure that it is going to be actually exciting!

Books

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. –Oscar Wilde books improve our life and give us knowledge. Rainy days are great to read books in the genre of romance or drama.

  BOARD GAMES

Everyone should play more board games because it is very funny not only for children. You can play games like “Monopoly “with your friends and even family. Board games improve relations and could be an exercise for the mind.

Enjoy rainy days!

Agnė 🙂

 




How is Life in Elektrėnai??? by Evita

Elektrenai is one of the newest towns of Lithuania. Having been established during the Soviet times as the living space for workers of the nearby power plant. Many years ago the territory was covered by remote lakes and fields. But today we have a huge water gathering lagoon, which was created in order to cool down the Elektrenai Power Plant. The city is located between two largest cities – Vilnius and Kaunas, so can be a nice vacation place or even living place. A great thing is that water is several degrees warmer, so you can discover water activities down there (ignoring the fact that this heating damages whole ecosystem). The public beach by lagoon is quite spacious and great for camping, “grilling”, sunbathing. People coming here tend to be educated, that is why the beach is very neat (no water rats or sunflower eaters as can be met by the famous lake of ŠILAS). Clean beach of Lagoon

Nature protection workers do not prohibit to drive water motorcycles, yachts or speed boats. From an early spring you can meet hundreds of kite boarders and kite surfers. The lagoon can be used for water activities such as wakeboarding .Not that much extreme is riding of sup board. Alike traditional surfing where the rider is sitting until the wave comes; stand up boarders maintain an upright stance on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. It is not costly and especially great for girls as it helps to keep your body in tip top shape and clear your mind.

Wake-boarding in the evening time. During the winter months, when the lagoon is covered by ice, you can skate, play ice-hockey or ice fish there.

8Yrs old boy Jokubas wakeboarding

As I have mentioned before the city is quite “young”, not many cultural monuments can be visited here. One of them is a great modern architecture church. It has an interesting rectangular arch with 7 crosses, symbolizing 7th century of Christianity in Lt.

The rally competition series “Baltic Rally Trophy” is going to start this year. It will determine the fastest rally drivers of the Baltic States and Finland. Last year it was possible to park your car or quadrocycle nearby the track so the view was distinct and dynamic, the speed could be “felt” easily. A very attractive place is Elektrenai Ice Palace arena, which welcomes everyone all year round. Although it is a bit too cold inside, if you compare it with Vilnius Akropolis skate rink. We even had an ice- hockey championship of youth held here this year. Unfortunately, the ice is being melt during summer time until August. Then the rink is used for various activities (for instance dart competitions). Elektrenai town itself is very clean, grass is being cut constantly. There are many paths for bicycles and skates, ramps for skaters are quite modern there. There is a nice avenue that you can come around slowly and admire the scenery of almost boundless lagoon and reservation. While walking you can visit a small bakery nearby that makes delicious and fresh pastries. My favourite one is English ring – shaped roll or hot small kibins.

Extra ordinary thing is Capitals Golf Club. The court is in a very good condition and very playable. No need to wait on court. Great service and hospitality. Children can be left here for summer camps and learn to play golf. It is costly, however. A friend of mine even took place at the competition of golf starters. An American magazine rounded the club as the best new international project of 2008 in the whole world!!! (Except the USA)

The city has an enormous theme park – a soviet heritage. It was supposed to be a grand theme park activity center with various carousels and even Americanroller-coaster!!! But today we have a very sad view – abandoned and rusted place, showing the face of Soviet Union. From the feminine side, I would like to point out that there are a few nice beauty salons. One is on the first floor of the modern 12th floor building. You can have manicure or haircut done for you, yet the queues are enormous, so the service is not that advantageous.

Strange thing is that you cannot find a place, where somebody can wash your car (I wonder how people do that? maybe they wash their cars in the lagoon? :)) There are also nice markets where you can buy fresh vegetables, meat etc.

To summarize, Elektrenai is a nice, clean and quite place. If you feel you have had enough of that calmness you can come back to Vilnius or Kaunas as it is aprox. 50 km from these cities.

 

 




Coffee Culture by Viktorija Taraškevič

Have you ever heard that, like most great discoveries, coffee’s magical powers were first realized through the majesty of ”crazy goats”? According to a legend, Ethiopian shepherds first got acquainted with the profound caffeinating effects of coffee when they noticed their goats started ”dancing” after eating coffee berries. Either it is true or not, it is proven that it only takes ten minutes to start feeling the energizing effects of caffeine after you take a sip of this drink.

Coffee is an essential element for most of bleary-eyed people to start a morning, as it is very common weapon to fight constant fatigue which is a natural result of the fast life pace and busy routine.  Nowadays it became extremely frequent, for instance, to grab a cup of this comforting treat in the nearest cafe to renew your energy while rushing to do your daily duties.  

This delicious drink  is so well-liked worldwide,  that in Britain it keeps up with the popularity of traditional tea – the traditional English drink. According to statistics, 70 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK each day. ”We have moved from a nation of tea drinkers and occasional instant coffee drinkers to a nation of coffee lovers and even coffee geeks,” says Jeffrey Young, the chairman of the Allegra Foundation food organisation behind UK Coffee Week, which runs from 11 to 17 April.  

The company first marked the occasion in 2011 in order to raise money for clean water and sanitation in coffee-growing communities around the world, which are often in developing countries. In the past 15 years, chain stores including ”Costa” and ”Caffe Nero” have occupied every nook and cranny of the high street, introducing the British with the drink and making them eager to explore more flavors.

Drinking coffee was not only quite recently regarded as an exotic and theatrical new drink, but also seen as a way to emulate the cosmopolitan New York lifestyles showcased in hugely popular sitcoms like ”Friends” or ”Seinfeld”.

Nonetheless, experts agree that Britain now has one of the most vibrant coffee cultures in the world, which was showcased by the 2010 World Barista Championships held in London.

Coffee is now enjoyed in the home too – a third of people have some form of coffee machine in their kitchen which is easily filled with the beans bought online. However it is prepared, it is made with an attention to detail to ensure consistency, starting with fresh quality beans.

‘Latte art is a bonus as it makes a beautifully presented cup of coffee and shows the care that has gone into making your coffee – but the taste is most important. <…> You can only ruin a good coffee,” argues Graeme Crawford, the managing director of “Papercup” in Glasgow, adding that a great coffee has a “balance of acidity, sweetness, mouth feel and aftertaste.”




My Stomach Is Full And My Wallet Is Too By Mažena Germanovič

It’s that time again! Time to settle in for the semester and really hit the books… But don’t let food take the back burner. You need to keep yourself nourished and full ofenergy to make it through those classes, study sessions, and probably a part-time job too. I know it’s easier to just stop and grab some fast food, or how when you’re totally stressed nothing sounds better than take-out pizza, but I promise you, a home cooked meal will take you much further. So, I decided to write down my favorite recipe for college students to help those who are still working through those difficult years. What makes a recipe good for students? It needs to be easy, filling, totally tasty, good as leftovers, or a good way to squeeze in some vegetables. “One pot sausage and mushroom pasta” is a perfect example of a simple and budget friendly dish for college students. It’s so nice to just cook everything in one pot and have less to wash, especially when you don’t have a dishwasher, like me. Not to mention they’re super quick and cooking the pasta in the sauce/broth just adds so much flavor.

Let’s start from ingredients. You’ll need:

  •  2 Tbsp of olive oil
  •  2-3 Italian sausages or whatever sausages you have in your fridge
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  •  1 small onion
  •  1 pack of mushrooms
  •  1 can of crushed tomatoes
  •  a dash of salt and pepper
  •  1 tsp of dried basil (optional)
  •  1 tsp of dried oregano (optional)
  •  4 cups of vegetable broth
  •  parmesan (depends on how much
  • you like cheese)
  •  handful of fresh parsley (optional)

Let the cooking begin! First, you add the olive oil and sausages to a large pot and cook over medium heat until they are browned on the outside and firm enough to slice into rounds. Remove the sausage from the pot with tongs, slice into rounds, then return them to the pot and cook for a few minutes more, or until fully browned. While the sausage is cooking, (slice or mince ?) the garlic and (slice or dice ?) the onion (depending on how big you want your pieces). Slice the mushrooms too. Once the sausages are browned, add the crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Then add the vegetable broth and pasta, then stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and
bring it to a rapid boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, give it a stir, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low. Let the pot simmer on low for 15 minutes. Stir it every five minutes or so while it’s simmering. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. If it is not, turn the heat up slightly. After 15 minutes of simmering, the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed. If there is still too much liquid, let it simmer without a lid for a couple more minutes. Stir in the parmesan and top with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. If you want to make it a little more special, you can try adding in some other fun ingredients like: black olives, spinach, roasted red peppers, or a splash of cream to turn it into a creamy red sauce. The sky’s the limit, so have fun!




Special Agent TeA(cher) – Educational adventures in Heidelberg

“It’s not about education – it’s about the adventure!”

  „I have never been on a plane before” – said TeA to himself. However, the take of did not seem to scare him! In fact he found himself very excited! He was on his way to a top secret destination – Heidelberg Theodor-Heuss-Realschule – one of the most prestigious schools in Heidelberg. He was specifically chosen for this mission by his authority at the LEUS (the name of the organization is classified*).

IMG_0362

His first stop before changing transport (to shake off anyone that might try to follow) was Mannheim. Not much surprised him there, for it was not the first time he had visited Germany, and this city seemed just like any other. Heidelberg was a different story altogether.


The high hills surrounding the city vexed him, calling like only the best kind of adventures do.


IMG_0016

The old town was full of wonders ready to be discovered. The school was full of knowledge and experiences so eagerly awaited. The very first day he made a promise to himself – to climb one of the high hills of Heidelberg. But his mission always came first for agent TeA. He spent 10 days studying the schools life, learning the schedule, observing lessons. He found out that German kids are mostly learning the same stuff as Lithuanians. They have math, and English, and even home economics (you know, the one you cook and make the table all proper).

IMG_0324

The infiltration was so successful that agent TeA even made a project with the students of Theodor-Heuss-Realschule about the power of tolerance, and got invited to see the city with the students. Having earned their trust he also started to see that his new friends are working a lot more than the students of Lithuania. The lessons start at 7.45 am. and end around 3 pm. For agent TeA that was a long time and his concentration was beginning to waver. Only the thought, of how important the mission was, kept him going.

IMG_0221

  The lessons and went on, as they usually do, one following the other. Agent TeA observed different methods and approaches used by the teachers in their lessons partly wandering how high the hill opposite to the beautiful castle of Heidelberg was. He met with students and teachers of the University of Heidelberg and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have spent at least a little time in Lithuania. With some he even managed to speak about the adventure he had been planning from the moment he had set foot in Heidelberg. One student, Michael, gave some very useful information and within the very first two days the adventure was planned! But before TeA could set off on his epic journey, a very special event had to be held. He and his five, highly trained, special op’s agents met and had the honor to present their country on the day of the Reclamation of Independence, March the 11th. The students were very interested to learn about Lithuania, many thought about visiting this newly discovered land during their summer vacation.

IMG_0146

After this very fun, and interactive presentation, agent TeA set out to meet his challenge – the very high hill of Heidelberg. Three times he stopped thinking that maybe this hill is stronger than him, maybe he should turn back. While resting he thought about the students he had met, and what they had learned together. Having gained strength from these happy thoughts he soldered on. An hour it took him to reach the very top. There he found the ruins of a monastery and a watchtower. Having taken a bundle of beautiful pictures he began his descent down the hill. It took another hour. Funny enough he was even more energetic upon returning!

IMG_0175

All in all, it was not the beautiful old town or fantastic new friends that caught the eye of agent TeA. It were the students he had met, and lessons he had seen and the hill he had claimed by his strength alone.

Would you like to know what was agent TeA’s mission in Heidelberg? I bet you would – it’s classified**.

*- just kidding, it’s not; it’s Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences.
** – just kidding, it’s not – he was there to do exactly what he did 😉




The pasta, the siesta, the pedagogy by Ieva Dabrilaitė

Erasmus exchange program is popular all over Europe and it gives students the opportunity to study abroad. I mean, what could be more challenging and adventurous than studying in a completely different country for some months?  Well, I can tell you from my own experience – Erasmus is a thing which you will never forget.

Firstly, last spring me and my group mate from Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences decided that we want to use all the opportunities given from our university and Erasmus was one of them. It took us some time to choose from a quite long list where to go; finally, we chose the University of Turin, which is located in Northern Italy. Maybe you have heard Turin as a capital of chocolate or that it hosts one of the best football teams in the world – Torino Juventus. Honestly, before coming to Turin we did not know what to expect and our knowledge about Turin was based on information found on the Internet!

12788320_1152811928076425_1825502626_o

We found many differences in Lithuanian and Italian lifestyles. For example, Italians do not get irritated if someone is late. Maybe that is because everyone is often late and it is just the way they live. Also, their eating habits differ.  No need to say that Italy is famous for its cuisine. We can see, usually, Italians portrayed as pasta eating people who drink wine in movies occasionally. Well, this is true. Italians have plenty of ways to cook pasta and they can eat it everyday day. As our university didn’t have a canteen, all the students were bringing their food containers which were usually filled with pasta. Eating in halls or sometimes even in audiences is an absolutely normal thing and we got used to that too!

12769613_1152812104743074_1203850593_n

Lectures are one more thing I would like to share my opinion about. The thing I liked the most and tried to convey in my teaching practice is the way teacher communicates with students. He never interrupts and diversity of opinions is considered as a good thing in classrooms. Teacher is not the one who shares knowledge, but the one who gives an opportunity for students to talk. I appreciated a lot that criticism was not used at all and it was replaced with some kind of advice. Erasmus gave me a chance to study the Italian language and learn its basics, which helped a lot to communicate while living there. However, sign language was often used to buy groceries or express that I really liked that cup of Cappuccino!

12810275_1152811931409758_817501742_o

Talking from my own experience, me and my friend chose to spend more money on traveling and it was a decision I will never regret. Getting lost in small towns, laughing at missing a train (but not laughing so much when you need to spend a night in the railway station!), visiting museums, and meeting locals are just some random memories out of thousands. We managed to visit the capital of fashion Milan, were astonished of  the beauty of Renaissance birthplace Florence, and walked under popular arks of Bologna. Not only did we explore some little Italian towns as Aosta or Ivrea, but also had a great trip to Monaco and Cannes, France.  Adventures, adventures everywhere!

No need to say that Erasmus is a program which allows you to feel some kind of freedom. When I say freedom, I do not mean making spontaneous reckless decisions but more like feeling that you can travel the world and feel like living another life. You have the freedom to travel, to meet new people, to gain different knowledge, and to pursue your dreams.

12790224_1152811924743092_2109187529_o

I would suggest every pupil who is keen on challenging himself in their lives to take this opportunity. I guarantee discoveries and adventures you will never forget. As it is said, once Erasmus, always Erasmus!




The introduction of China by Gang Yue

As it is well known to us all, China is one of four ancient and civilizational countries in the world. In fact, it has a longer history than we have ever known. Because of this, many ancient architectures and all sorts of historical books are often found in different places in China. In China, it is easier for you to find a person than you can in any countries. That is, China has the largest population on the Earth, which, however, also puts great burden on our country.

There are fifty-six peoples (nations) in our country. We get along well with each other and often disasters can draw us closer together. Besides, Chinese food is very famous for its good taste and nutrition. Many people in other countries are fond of it and try their best to cook it. Every year plenty of foreigners from different countries come to China to have a sightseeing. Here you can look around lots of places of interest.

I really hope our country will become more and more flourishing and people will live a happier and happier life. I am a Chinese man and I am proud of being born in China.

 




Tips for Traveling Abroad by Dovilė Stanislovaitytė

Traveling abroad is a very fun and exciting experience, but if you want your trip to be without any problems, you have to prepare and plan ahead.

The first thing you can do months before your trip is to book your flight and research the place that you want to visit. The second step is to make sure that your passport is valid and if it is not you have to make it. But do not wait until the last minute, because it takes some time to make it. The third step is very important and it is medication. Before your trip you have to ask your doctor about any vaccinations you may need and take them. If you take any medications pack enough (plus some extra) to cover your entire trip. Before packing check the weather to get a good idea of what to pack. Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost. Talking about technology try to find places that offer free WI-Fi and turn off your phone’s data feature to make sure you won’t be charged extra while using your phone over seas. It would be a good idea to download apps that could help you while you travel, like Skype or Viber which let you talk with people around the world for free, Trip lingo will help you to learn important phrases in foreign languages, Safety Map Worldwide and Emergency help to ensure you stay safe, because with it you can monitor crime levels while traveling. Also buy converters and adapters so that you can use your electronics if it is necessary. And last but not least is money. Tell your bank that you are abroad so that your card doesn’t get cancelled and make sure that your credit card will work in the country that you are traveling to. It would be a good idea to take out some cash in the currency of the place you are traveling to, in case you need money right away when you arrive.
These are the main things that you have to do before your trip abroad so it would not get ruined.

Do you like traveling? What are the places that took your breath away?;))




Weird Christmas traditions by Laura Stulginskaitė

Caganer (‘Crapper’)

Christmas is celebrated all around the world and every country has its unique traditions. Some of them are very sweet, but others will make you ask yourself: ‘Why?’. Here are some of the weirdest Christmas traditions from around the globe.

Japan. KFC feast
Thanks to a lack of turkeys and smart marketing, a KFC bucket with fried chicken is the main dish at Christmas in many Japanese homes.

Spain, Catalonia. Caganer (‘Crapper’)
Statuettes of well-known people defecating are a Christmas tradition in Catalonia, dating back to the 18th century. The figures symbolize fertilization, hope and prosperity for the coming year. Statuettes can be of regular people or famous celebrities and politicians.

Krampus

Iceland. The Yule Cat
One famous Icelandic Christmas character is the Yule Cat who eats children who haven’t worked hard enough. So, if you have finished all your work before Christmas you are safe. The Yule cat only looks for the lazy ones in old clothes.

Austria. Krampus
Krampus, the terrifying companion of St. Nicholas and one of Austria’s unique Advent traditions. He looks to punish children who have misbehaved this year.

Befana

Norway. Hide the brooms
In the past, people believed witches came out on Christmas Eve to look for brooms to ride on so they hid them. Today Norwegian women still hide all brooms in their house before going to bed on Christmas Eve.

Italy: The good witch
In Italy, instead of Santa Claus, children are waiting for Befana – a kindly witch that hands out presents at Christmas.




Make your home smell like Christmas By Ineta Januševskaja ir Viltė Baronaitė LEU

Christmas‘ trees in every store, sparkling decorations, the excitement, presents, ribbons… YES! It is obvious that Christmas is just around the corner!! We tend to stress a lot during this exciting period of time. “Do not know what to buy for sister or brother“ , “do not know how to surprise parents or neighbors“. Honestly, every one of us has felt this way more or less. Just to help you out we would like to give you some ideas about Christmas decorations and gifts so you would not let the stress to take over your Christmas spirit. 😯

Elegant Christmas tree. Would you like to have an elegant designer Christmas tree this year but do not know how to get aprofessional look? There are many tips and tricks interior designers use to get a magazine quality decorated Christmas tree.

Christmas table decoration ideas. Since it is the most wonderful time of the year, don’t you want your home to reflect some holiday cheer? Winter is creeping up on us and before we know it, the holiday season is going to be in full swing. All you really have to do is follow an even red, white and green color distribution to establish a holiday feel.

Room decorations. Christmas is traditionally a family holiday and many people prefer to decorate their rooms. It does not matter if it teenagers room, living room or just parents room. Simple decorations can change a whole room and make it even more festive!

Outdoor decorations. When you are finished with the inside decorations you are OFFICIALLY…. Wait a second.. What about the outside? You can not forget to decorate it! Outdoor Christmas decorations will help you create a memorable open- air experience and greet your guests in festive style.

DIY (do it yourself) gifts. Well, now you are officially ready for Christmas!! The only thing that is left for you is… PRESENTS. We are all used to spending lots of money to make our relatives and friends happy. But is it really all just about the money? Christmas is about appreciation, love, understanding and giving,BUT it does not have to be materialistic. Presents can be easily made of simple things you already have at home. Take a look at these examples.

So, now you can say that you are a true Christmas expert. You have learnt about the inside and outside decorations of the house, moreover, inexpensive presents that can be done without any stress and in no time. Enjoy your festive holiday and MERRY CHRISTMAS!




You should be a classical music lover! by Evelina Bankauskaitė

Nowadays an appreciation and love for classical music is almost lost. Not many people in our generation like such type of music. They prefer other genres. Young people often see it as a very old-fashioned, boring thing. Sometimes they even hate it. There is no doubt that such kind of attitude is extremely wrong and I can prove that. So find some classical tune to listen right now and keep on reading!

Various scientific studies show that listening to classical music has some pretty interesting effects on our mind and body. First of all, listening to classical music can improve our mood and lower stress. It has the same physiological effect of a massage.

Classical music causes positive chemical reactions in our brain that help with symptoms of stress and depression. Also, it helps to ease emotional pain, lowers blood pressure.
Another advantage of classical music – it can improve our sleep quality. According to scientists instrumental sounds, such as harp, piano and orchestra, help us to relax, fall asleep. In fact, it is very appropriate for meditation.
It is said that classical music can boost brainpower. Many researchers have discovered that students pass their tests way better when listening to such kind of music. It is known as the “Mozart Effect.” Those who listen to music take less time to complete tests, get more answers right overall, and gradually improve their IQ.

Who would not want that? 😉

In conclusion, these points show that classical music is very good for us. We underestimate it for no reason. Next time when you have to study put on the piece of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” particularly “Spring”, a piece of Mozart‘s or Debussy‘s. And if you are not able to feel the benefits of that – at least you will look smart and fancy!




Why basketball is the best sport? by Edvinas Matonis

In Lithuania basketball is like a second religion. Everybody from young to old plays it or played it. So I want to talk why basketball is the best sport.

It keeps you fit

5Basketball is great for toning your legs, and arms, shoulders and back muscles also get a workout thanks to the dribbling and passing the ball to the other teammate. Basketball also helps develop good hand-eye coordination.

The fitter you are, the better you’ll play, so doing some form of cross-training helps to elevate your game to the next level and aids in avoiding injury. Swimming, jogging and strength training helps to maintain the best shape for a game of basketball.3

It teaches how to maintain your focus
The game involves a lot of focus. You need to think of the move you’re making, what you’re going to do next, what the other players on your team are up to, and consider where the opponents are and what they’re doing. 4

You can practise individually
The beauty of basketball is that it’s possible to spend a lot of time on your own improving your skills. So long as you’ve got a ball, you can practise ball handling/dribbling and shooting.

It’s social
Team sports are the best way to boost your sociability.In a sport like this, playing as part of a team helps develop a range of social skills and it helps you make a lot of new friends. Because all the players in a basketball team are even, anyone can score winning buzzer beater.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Edvinas Matonis




So you want to buy your first car?? tips by Frederikas Pocius

First Car
So you recently passed the driving exam and you decided that it’s time to get a car. Owning your own car has quite a few benefits: you can go around cities much quicker than public transport, you don’t need to wait at bus stops, for some people it’s just a way to wind down, and in general it gives you much more freedom, but there are quite a few aspects that you might not expect to encounter when getting your first car.

Since most teenagers and young adults aren’t exactly rich, buying a second-hand car is the only option and there are quite a few things you need to look out for. Try to study what usual flaws the car you want has or bring someone who has expertise on cars and try to look for these flaws when inspecting the car, finding flaws can lead to a big discount or you might dodge a car that has a huge problem. 23

During the test drive, don’t be worried of pushing the car, rev the engine hard, try to listen to the engine and try to hear if it makes unusual sounds, also make sure the car isn’t overheating, while not driving in traffic let go of the steering-wheel to see if the car goes straight, if the car swerves left or right it might have chassis problems.

A thorough inspection will leave you with no surprises if you decide to buy the car. If you are searching for cars online, try to look for any details, the angle of the pictures, it might sometimes end up that the seller is trying to hide a big scratch or rust. All in all, buying a car is quite a difficult process and it’s a long lasting decision that you will need to live with for quite a while, so buying the right car is very important.

Frederikas Pocius




Benefits of Gaming by Armantas Stankevičius

poster-of-need-for-speedVideo games are often portrayed as antisocial, violent, and as an addictive waste of time that encourages obesity, but what if that is not true and there are ways to prove this belief wrong?uncharted-3 For example, according to a test conducted by scientists from the University of Rochester, people who play action games make accurate decisions 25% faster, which is a great trait to have as a surgeon or a soldier. Furthermore, according to a study published in the journal “Nature”, driving games improved memory, focus and multitasking abilities in older adults. Also, A recent Oxford University psychological study of 5,000 kids found that the ones who played video games for moderate amounts of time — dead spaceless than an hour a day — were more “well adjusted” and got along with peers better than kids who played no games. Last but not least, The negative effects of screens at night aside, video games give people more control over their dreams and decrease nightmares, according to a psychological research out of Grant MacEwan University in Canada. All in all, if video games are not played excessively they have many benefits and are an awesome way to improve one’s self.

Armantas Stankevičius

® https://thevoice.space/ All rights reserved by V.K. & A.K.© 2017