Yes, apparently my nervousness on forgetting part of the answer to Shakespeare’s source material for The Winter’s Tale, wasn’t that pressing. So I can happily report at least one A for the semester. Here are the posters (with the lines I liked) mentioned in an earlier posting that I tried to upload as a downloadable PDF. But, after all, who in the world would want them?
Still up: tomorrow at 2:15 is my oral final in East European History, where I need to spend ten minutes talking about one of the following eight questions (determined by the shake of a dice):
1. On what grounds can one argue that Czechoslovakia was “unique” or “different” from other Central and Southeastern European states in the 20th century?
2. The year 1989 was coined annus mirabilis, as it witnessed the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe. However, the story of these endgames varies from one country to another. How can we explain these various endgames? What trends are unique to one or only a few countries?
3. What important trends can you identify regarding East European migrants to Western Europe and the Americas from the late 19th century to the 1990s?
4. What is Tara Zahra’s book The Great Departure about? Please introduce two examples from her book, and explain how they complicate common/mainstream views on migration?
5. How different was Tito’s Yugoslavia from other socialist states?
6. What characterized the nationality question in Austro-Hungary at the beginning of the 20th century, and then in the interwar era in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia?
7. Please explain what Václav Havel (by the way, let me just interject here, this guy was super cool. TMS) argued in his essay The Power of the Powerless. Your answer should also discuss the context in which he wrote this piece, the Helsinki Conference, and the movement known as Charter 77.
8. Please explain the context in which the trade union Solidarity was established. What significance did Solidarity have for Poland specifically, and for Cold War Europe in general?
My plan is, rather than answer the question, demand an immediate meeting with Joan Gabel, President of the University, and ask her why she is allowing gambling on university grounds! A shake of the dice? Please! I believe I have some my former college day protest posters that I’m going to bring with me: POWER TO THE PEOPLE!, STOP THE WAR, DON’T TRUST ANYONE OVER 30! Actually, one of them doesn’t make any sense and I’ll leave it at home, STOP THE WAR.
Finally, Saturday morning, I have my Anthropology final, from 8 to 10AM. I think I’m ready. One of my favorite rock bands is Talking Heads (Tanzania, please note) and I’m bringing them with me for luck.
After that, it’s over to the Minneapolis Club for the Santa Brunch with my nephew and his family, and a time to give thanks for this wonderful return to school.
That is it for now. More later.