My Fairy Tale Come True
By Tetyana Lohvynenko
Nearly half a year has past since the WACRA conference in Lund, Sweden. The impressions it made on me are deep and strong, pleasant and bright and I cannot resist sharing them with everybody I know.
This was my first WACRA conference. When I heard about it and that I could apply to take part in it, my first reaction was very skeptical-realistic: 'This is impossible. This can't be real, because it is impossible'. Why, because it is taking place in a different world, it is too expensive for my University and for me. But still, I made up my mind to apply anyway and try!
And to my great surprise and joy I received funding from WACRA® and from Lund University and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and or maybe the Swedish Institute? I don't know exactly.
What I am describing next still seems like a fairy tale to me. A trip from Lviv, Ukraine to Lund, Sweden. The first meeting at the Sparta Hotel with fantastic Amelia Klein. This intelligent woman who radiates kindness, energy, cheerfulness, frankness, understanding, keen humor and a great and sincere desire to help and support. And then I met Joan Moyer - my dear supporter, cheerleader and adviser, a very kind, attentive and charming woman.
The first conference day was impressive, a large number of participants from many countries and continents. Representatives from different educational systems and original scientific schools. The unique opportunity to exchange experiences, make personal contacts with scientists from other countries, become acquainted with modern technologies and methods of teaching, adding to my own knowledge base and receiving new scientific information - that is WACRA for me!
The working part of the conference was very meaningful for me. Many subjects, themes, reports which were interdisciplinary and poly-cultural. It is impossible to mention all the interesting reports and discussions. But I have to mention the Opening Session presentation made by Jonas Birgerson 'Present and Future of the Internet', 'Step by Step Higher Educational Initiatives' made by Dr. Amelia Klein and Dr. Joan Moyer, 'Sustained Content, Psychology for English Language Learners' by Dr. Lucia Buttaro. The discussion on 'Gender Issues in Organizations' during one of the Plenary Sessions was very interesting also.
All the presentations I attended during the conference enriched my knowledge of teaching methods in other countries. I am now using much of the material and ideas from the conference in my work with students at Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University.
And of course, the cultural part of the conference is unforgettable. The meeting with Rector Boel Flodgren, President of Lund University, the cabaret style entertainment at Scandic Star Lund Hotel, the Copenhagen-Tivoli tour and the Swedish Mid-Summer-Night Celebration - all this will remain in my memory forever.
But the most valuable aspect were the people: new acquaintances, the opportunity to communicate, to exchange thoughts and experiences, or just to sing and enjoy companionship with new friends as at the Mid-Summer-Night Celebration!
I want to take this opportunity to thank all participants of the WACRA Conference in Lund for the sincere and kind atmosphere which was created by everybody. I want to express my personal gratitude to all members of the Organizing Committee: Dr. Hans Klein, Dr. Amelia Klein, Dr. Lars Bengtsson, Dr. Stefan Sweningsson, Dr. Dan Kärreman and Dr. Joan Moyer. I wish all WACRA members and participants in future conferences continued creative cooperation and success!
Tetyana Lohvynenko is Professor at the Drohobych Ivan Franko