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The Academy News

 Check out The Academy News online: /langacad.Go to “Student Information” and then click on “The Academy News.”

 The USC Film School offers free movies. See p. 3 for more details.

 What is a ukulele? Jingyi shares her love of this instrument on p. 4. INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Program


Notices Cemetery


Viewing Watch Movies 3 for Free Diving into


Mexican Food Chinese


Festivals Skid Row in


Los Angeles The Face of Ramadan



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Santa Monica for Fun and Leisure By YUMENG (VALERIA)WEI AND MINGXU (MATT) SUN ___________________

Friday afternoon on July 26, 2013, students of Language Academy headed for Santa Monica. We all felt excited about going to Los Angeles’ most famous beach to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and the shooting sea breeze. Not to mention after a month’s intensive courses and hard work, the girls finally had the chance to go shopping—a great way to relieve pressure. Santa Monica Beach & Pier

Students enjoyed the beach and had many stores to choose from in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica has 5.6 km of pristine sand beach and enjoys on average 340 days of

sunshine a year. On that day, I bet everyone who was there knew the feeling of simply sticking your feet in the warm

sand. “Nothing beats it!” said Patrick Shi. Swimming, sunbath ing, playing beach volleyball, See Santa Monica on p. 2

U PC O MING A C TIVITI ES Hawaiian Luau Party and Group Closing Ceremony Friday, August 9, 2013 at 9:00AM at the Picture ($5) Friday, August 2, 2013 at 12:00PM Today we will be having a Hawaiian luau in our very own JEF Courtyard. Become a hula or Tahitian dance master, compete with your Language Academy friends in the hula hoop and limbo contests, enjoy Hawaiian performances, and feast on some delicious Hawaiian food! We will take a group picture after lunch.

Radisson Grand Ballroom

Come celebrate the end of Summer B session with the USC Language Academy! The closing ceremony is a chance for you to be recognized for all of your hard work this semester. Students will receive grade reports and certificates of completion. Breakfast will be provided. We hope to see you there!



Reminder for Continuing Students All students who are continuing their studies to Fall 2013 semester must pay their tuition and service fees by Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Our online payment system will not be available until mid-September. Please see Pamela in JEF 201 to pay your fees. If you are a Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) sponsored student, please make sure the void date on your financial guarantee letter states December 13th or later. Language Academy needs a copy of this letter, so please email Pam your most recent financial guarantee letter by August 7th. Be a PAL-Peer Academy Leader for Fall 2013 Orientation Tuesday, September 10 - Friday, September 13, 2013

Former and current students are welcome to join us during Fall Orientation to help out Language Academy as PALs. You'll get to help new students get to testing, answer questions, eat lunch with them, and help them with email, USCard and many other things. Email Silvia at if you are interested in helping during Orientation for Fall 2013!

Santa Monica continued from p. 1 surfing and biking, the list of pleasures around the Santa Monica beach can go on and on. Especially sunbathing, no place is better than Santa Monica for soaking up the California sun. You could see lots of people basking and relaxing in the sunshine everywhere on the beach. The Santa Monica Pier is a place beloved by film producers. Some students recognized the Pier from the movie Forrest Gump, it is where Gump ended his across-the-country run. In fact, there is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant on the pier inspired by the plot of Forrest Gump, owned by the company that produced the film. 3rd Street Promenade While the men lingered around the beach, most of the women went directly

price. The women were thrilled to try out the latest design of the season, and most of them ended up with bags in their hands. “Every time I tried to walk out of the store, I found something that dragged me back, and I couldn’t help trying them on� said Jingyi Wang with a big smile on her face. Another attraction on the 3rd Street Promenade was the talented street artists. From animation dance to mimic art, their performances contained every genre you could think of and they were excellent at what they were doing. Pedestrians stopped to watch and applaud for them, and sometimes they even joined the performance. Altogether they made the street lively.. Students took advantage of many sales. The only regret of the Santa Monica trip was that we only had limited time to explore everything and we wish we could to the famous Santa Monica 3rd Street rd Promenade for shopping. 3 Street offers have stayed longer. But at the same time it gave us a reason to revisit this amazing a wide range of selections from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton to mass brands place, an ideal destination for fun and leilike Forever 21. Its diversity allows stu- sure. dents to find trendy items at a reasonable



_________________________ One of the good ways to practice your English is to watch movies. It helps to improve your listening skills and increase your vocabulary, especially by learning the idioms and expressions that Americans use in their daily lives. Also watching movies is a pleasant way to spend time with friends. I’m a very curious person, therefore I like extraordinary activities. Since I live in Los Angeles I have been looking for interesting places to visit and activities to do. One of my recent discoveries is to watch the movie in the cemetery. Exactly, cemetery is the place where people are buried after they die. Cemetery Screening is a beloved Hollywood activity for people who like to follow every new cultural trend. It is especially popular during the summer time. “Cinespia” is the or-

ganization that sets the outside screening around Los Angeles. The most favorite place is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where you can watch classic films like “Cabaret” or “La Dolce Vita.” Besides, this cemetery is famous because it is the final place for a lot of movie stars and celebrities. When watching The Hollywood Forever Cemetery has open –air movie screenings in summer. the movies in a cemeFacebook, you should try to watch open tery, people are prepared: they bring blanks and pillows, bottles of wine and air screening in the cemetery. You can find all information about picnic baskets. The price is not that expensive and actually cheaper than tickets, calendar of the screening movtickets in the Regal Theater. ies and directions of how to get there on So, if you are looking for somethe website thing extraordinary that could help you to gain more “likes” on Instagram or

Watch a Movie for Free! By XI (SILVIA) KANG

Are you still considering what to do in your spare time without a car? Are you worrying about spending too much money on watching movies? If the answers are yes, then you should know that as an USC student you have the option to watch movie for free on campus. This activity is conducted by USC School of Cinematic Arts. Every week there are four movies available for students to choose from. It is very convenient to make a reservation. First, go to the Website of USC School of Cinematic Arts and then search for “Events”. The names and descriptions of the movies

can watch the trailer before making a choice. Once you have made up your mind, you just need to click on the “Make Reservations” button and fill out a form with your information. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address automatically. USC ID or a hardcopy of confirmation email is required for entering the theatre. You will never regret going there. Sometimes you even have a chance to for the following two weeks talk to the director after watching the film. will be presented on that “I have made reservawebsite. If you are interested tions for the movie ‘The in any of them, click on the Spectacular Now’ and title of the movie, you can find more information about ‘Lovelace’. It is a great way it, such as the director of the for us to enrich our extracurricular activities,” said Linfilm as well as the prizes it gyuan Meng, a Chinese stuwas awarded before. You

dent said. “I first knew about this activity from the microblog, and I found it very attractive to me.” Although it is not hard at all to make a reservation, due to the fact of limited seating, it is advisable to check the website frequently and reserve a movie in advance. Turn on your computer, grasp the opportunity and watch movie for free. Tips: Website: events/index.cfm Theatre Address: The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007 See the list of upcoming movies at the Ray Stark Family Theater on p. 8




Diving into Mexican Food By SCARLETT CHEN ____________________

If taco, enchilada and burrito sound like a foreign language, this probably means that you have not really gotten to know Mexican food. Mexican cuisine is one of the worldwide famous cuisines, which was influenced by European ingredients, especially from Spain. During the colonial era, the Spanish tried to impose their ways of cooking into making Mexican food. This results in the diverse flavors in Mexican food nowadays. The taco is one of the traditional Mexican dishes, which has a roundshaped wrap and is folded with vari-

ous fillings. The wrap is either made of corn or wheat and is called tortilla. The fillings usually combines one kind of meat, vegetables and cheese. People can choose from beef, pork, chicken, seafood or they can go vegetarian style. Similar to the taco, the enchilada is also a type of wrap. But the wrap is made from corn. That also explains why it is always good to eat enchilada when it is freshly served because the longer it stays, the less crispy the corn wrap will be. The fillings usually include shrimp, fish, meat, cheese, beans and vegetables. Another main dish of Mexican food is the burrito. Unlike tacos and enchiladas, burritos are fully wrapped with rice, refried beans, meats, lettuce, cheese and sauces. There are a variety of sauces that people can choose from, such as

avocado-based sauce guacamole, tomato sauce and corn sauce. People also put sour cream with their burritos to add more flavor. Because of the large Hispanic population in California, there are several good Mexican restaurants within walking distance to USC. For example, Chichen Itza Restaurant on 3655 S Grand Ave; La Taquiza No. 2 on 3009 S Figueroa Street and Mercado La Paloma on 3655 South Grand Ave. If you are looking for something fast, Chipotle is also a good place to check out. Similar to MacDonald’s, Chipotle is a Mexican fast-food franchise. The nearest Chipotle is on 3748 S Figueroa Street. If you still have questions on how to order Mexican food, you can always ask your waiter. They will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Love at First Sight with Ukulele By JINGYI WANG ____________________

I intended to buy a violin string for my younger cousin, but upon stepping into the music instrument store, I was instantly magnetized by a “toy”. It was a pear-like instrument, almost identical to guitar, but with a much smaller size. Reaching closer, I found that, unlike the six-stringed guitar, it only had four strings. “You are today’s 25th customer showing interest to Ukulele,” he said. I was too absorbed in staring at the baby guitar that I didn’t realize the store manager had already been standing behind me for a while. The manager handed it

to me. It fitted perfectly in my arms. “Ukulele,” I murmured its name, like calling a nickname of a newborn baby. It had a wooden body but weighted no more than 4 lb. While I plucked the strings, the ukulele gave out a light and bright sound. Suddenly, I felt the urge to bring it home. But the colors and styles were too limited in the store, so I dashed home, totally forgetting about my cousin’s violin string. After a thorough survey, I found out that the ukulele is a Hawaiian instrument. It has four sizes, among which “the soprano” is the smallest, original and standard one. It is only 53cm long---

The ukulele is a stringed instrument native to Hawai’i. It has four strings, unlike the guitar, which has six. The smaller version is most popular.

perfectly matches girls. Most importantly, it is easy to play even for new learners. Without a second thought, I booked a dark brown one online. Having taught myself for several days, I can play

the lullaby “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” now. I’m still working on more songs. The ukulele has become my good friend which injects beauty and fun to my life.


Colorful Ethnic Festivals in China By WEIWEK (VIVIAN) YU AND DAOJUN (LEO) WU


China , the world’s second largest country by land area with diversified landscape, has 56 distinct ethnic groups. The culture of the 56 ethnic groups is diversified from costume and language to social conventions. Because of those featured ethnic groups, China is considered one of the most ideal places for traveling and anthropology research. We would like to introduce two amazing ethnic festivals to show you different aspects of China. Having settled in the North China’s Inner Mongolia, the Mongolian Minority are the descendants of Genghis Khan, one of the greatest monarchs in world history, who established the Mongol Empire, crossing both Asia and Europe. They have always been considered a valiant nationality on horseback for centuries. Their traditional celebration, the Naadam Grassland Festival, is the premier summer event. The word "naadam" means “entertainment” in the Mongol language, and for Mongolian people the entertainment is all about wrestling, archery and horse racing. Mongolian traditional wrestling is an untimed competition. Wrestlers lose if they touch the ground with any part of their body. Winners of different levels are named different titles, and if someone wins the final championship for two times, he is called the Titan. Mongolian archery is unique for having hundreds of targets on a huge wall rather than only one. The winners of the contest are granted the title of “national marksman/woman.” The most eye-catching game is the horse racing. Unlike Western horse racing which is made up of short sprints, Mongolian horse racing as featured in Naadam is a cross-country event, with races 15–30 km long. In order to relieve the burden of the

Above: Mongolian horse-racing in Naadam; Right: The Chinese Lantern Festival held in Guizhou Province

horses, the contestants simply wear gorgeous hacking outfits and colorful ribbons without saddles or boost, displaying their extraordinary prowess. Both the winning contestants and the horses will be awarded. Besides the three amazing games, Festival activities include traditional folk songs and dancing, as well as fabulous exhibitions. The fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese Calendar is the Lantern Festival. For Tujia ethnic group, living in the mountain areas of Guizhou province, they annually select the bravest male adults in their village to hold a traditional dragon lantern carnival to celebrate the Lantern Festival. Those selected males are required to perform dragon dance through incessant flames of firecrackers set off by the residents. Some people would argue that this carnival is too barbarous and it might cause serious injury to performers. However, for the local people, they believe that these intrepid performers are their warriors leading them to overcome difficulties, and they are blessed by the ancestors and God. So they never get hurt by the firecrackers.

In fact, the two festivals are only the tip of the iceberg, just as we mentioned at the beginning, China has 56 distinct ethnic groups and most of them own their unique cultures which would greatly broaden your horizon once you get to know them. If you want to experience the colorful ethnic cultures, we cordially invite and welcome you to China.




The Hidden L.A.: Skid Row By FITSUM FANTA

____________________ Early last Saturday morning I found myself at a hidden ‘gem’ of L.A– Skid Row. Many tourist, newcomers and even people born and raised in Los Angeles have no idea that there is a whole city inside of Los Angeles that contrasts their glittery perception of L.A life. Skid Row – a neighborhood located in downtown L.A is “home” to an estimated 5,000 people of the homeless population according to L.A Almanac. And while there are some that have ignored the reality – young adults in the group like Faith, Hope, Love Project spend every other Saturday morning bringing breakfast, coffee, and a little encouragement to the most vulnerable spirits. Faith, Hope, Love Project started through a family who wanted to serve and decided to do that by serving breakfast to the homeless on

Distributing food to the homeless on Saturday morning

Skid Row. Now, five years later it has become a nonprofit that prepares meals on Friday night and serves breakfast on Saturday with 15-20 volunteers. Now they also have three barbers who volunteer to cut people’s hair for free. One volunteer barber reflected on his motivation to serve, “Just because they are homeless doesn’t mean they don’t need to feel and look good

Hair cutting on Skid Row

about themselves…many of them are trying to get jobs and can’t afford to get their hair cut anyway.” Using their own clippers charged in their vehicle chargers, the barber’s set up chairs in the middle of the street and serve a line of men and women looking for a haircut and encouragement. Most of the homeless have set-up tents, cardboard boxes, and other temporary housing, but are required to leave during the day according to L.A regulations of public spaces. There are 10 plus social service organizations, including the well know The Mission – a place with over 500 beds, hospital services, and programs to help the homeless people. It is not the smell, the despair, the homeless, or the line as long as a block waiting for food and services that moves you on Skid Row – it is the willingness of 20-25 year-old students to wake up

at 6 am and serve breakfast, and cut hair, and just talk to their fellow man. “You come here to inspire or give back and you realize you’re getting a lot more from them,” one volunteer shared me, and I noticed others agreeing with his sentiment too just from their passion. I also met another man who had lived in L.A for 29 years and had never ventured to see where and who lives on the Skid Row. “Just because you don’t see it – doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist I guess” was his whispering reaction with a nodding head. And now that I’ve seen and can appreciate not only what I have, but what I can give back. You can no longer say you do not know about Skid Row –your new L.A community.



The Beautiful Face of Hunger By FAISAL ALMUTAIRI

________________________________ After a long day of work , everyone expects to eat lunch. What would happen if you missed lunch? That kind of hunger will give you a desperate feeling. What if you missed lunch and breakfast, and you never ate and drank until sunset ? That experience is what "Ramadan" gives you. So , what is "Ramadan" and why do Muslims fast in this month? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar because the Islamic calendar depends on the moon. In this particular month Muslims begin fasting when the moon tells them "Ramadan" is on, and it ends when the moon tells them as well . So , the question is .. how and where do we see it ? Sure it's not about looking at the sky out the window trying to find it. This issue take place in people's mind, so they go out of

A Brief Story Beyond

Gone with the Wind By SHANGYI (CYNTHIA) CHENG


As a representative of the American Civil War story, Gone with the Wind describes the changes in life and psychology on Southern plantations. How the characters have been created is greatly associated with the author’s own personal background. The premier feminist ideology exercised a great influence on Mitchell Margaret, the author of the novel. In her family, her mother advocated gender equality as a suffragette (a woman in support of extending the right to vote, especially for women). Mitchell attended Smith College, which was the leader in women’s higher education and aimed to cultivate female elites. As the main female character, Scarlett O’Hara demonstrates outstanding bravery and shrewdness even better than men. In the times when the two gen-

the city in the field as a group looking for the moon. Usually if this group sees the moon perfectly, they announce it in the court. Then from there the court will announce it to the whole country to depend on that officially . As a result , Muslims start fasting from sun rises till sunset. By fasting I mean they can't drink , eat or use any physical needs unless they can't handle fasting because they are weak, sick, or traveling. In those cases, they don't have to fast if they can’t. Fasting is a practice to the soul and keeps in mind what poor people feel. What makes it even better is facing what we are afraid of and it reminds us that at any time it's possible to lose what you have every day . However , Ramadan always has its special nights . A lot of Muslim families act different in this month. All the family gather around at a specific time in a big dining room waiting for the call

(A'dan) to start eating. A lot of Muslims consider that Ramadan is a special event. In this month a lot of changes happen in Muslim society such as the food and lifestyle. Beside that , a lot of TV'stations start to provide special broadcasting with a different style of programs . Finally, Ramadan has always been such a big event for all Muslims in the world . Even though it is hard to keep ourselves away from food, we can't ignore that feeling of happiness when we start to eat at the evening. It's enjoyable when we share the feeling of hunger and when we gather around and start eating at the same time. Sharing is the first thing we learn in this month . So , we are happy to invite our non-Muslims friends to try fasting one day , and add it to new-experience list. It's sure worth it : ) .

an American epic. Despite its popularity among critics and readers, the academy displayed an indifferent or even negative review of it. There were mainly two reasons. First of all, the nostalgia for dated Southern traditions indicated in the novel was against the prevailing attitudes in America that Southern slavery had to be abolished. Some scholars held the view that the book demonstrates a racist and paternalistic treatment towards AfricanAmerican slaves while idealizing Southern plantations. The writer put more emphasis on the destruction brought to the South by the war instead of its rightfulness. Secondly, Scarlett O’Hara in the novel was depicted as a complicated and ders are not treated equally, Gone with rebellious woman: strong, zealous and the Wind was regarded as a novel with brave and yet with selfishness and cruearly feminist consciousness. elty. She is no ideal lady like Jane in Jane Gone with the Wind has been transEyre or Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. lated into 27 foreign languages, breaking Some major critics argued that the domithe sales records with 50,000 copies in a nation of female characters affected the day and 1.5 million in a year after its first novel’s academic values. publication, and the book was praised as


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USC Language Academy Rossier School of Education Phone: 213-740-0080 Fax: 213-740-0088 Web: Check out The Academy News online at to “Student Information” and then click on “The Academy News.”

The Academy News is a weekly newsletter produced by students in the Journalism Elective of the USC Language Academy. All students in the Language Academy Program are encouraged to send news stories and photos to Sonja Lovelace at

All students who are continuing their studies to Fall 2013 semester must pay their tuition and service fees by Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Our online payment system will not be available until mid-September. Please see Pamela in JEF 201 to pay your fees. If you are a Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) sponsored student, please make sure the void date on your financial guarantee letter states December 13th or later. Language Academy needs a copy of this letter. Please email Pam your most recent financial guarantee letter by August 7th.

THE ACADEMY NEWS STAFF Editor: Valeria Wei Assistant Editor: Leo Wu Reporters: Faisal Almutairi, Zhiqi (Scarlett) Chen, Shangyi Cheng, Fitsum Fanta, Yuan Feng, Xi (Silvia) Feng, Ranran Li, Zijun (Mike) Lu, Peiyang Shi, Zhaka Shulenbayeva, Mingxu Sun, Lun (Allen) Tian, Jingyi Wang, Yumeng (Valeria) Wei, Daojun (Leo) Wu, Meiyi Yu, Weiwei (Vivian) Yu, Yerkanat Zaitov, Assyl Zhakupov, Yating (Evelyn) Zhao

Campus Events and Weekly Pics Movies for Free From p. 4 See these movies on campus. Go to the USC ‘Events’ website and reserve your ticket. Upcoming Events: PRINCE AVALANCHE: July 29, 2013, 7:00 P.M. SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY: July 30, 2013, 7:00 P.M. THE SPECTACULAR NOW: July 31, 2013, 6:00 P.M. TERRAFERMA: August 1, 2013, 7:00 P.M. SHORT TERM 12: August 5, 2013, 7:00 P.M. CIRCLE THE WAGEN: August 6, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

LOVELACE: August 7, 2013, 7:00 P.M. 2 GUNS: August 8, 2013, 7:00 P.M. AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS: August 12, 2013, 7:00 P.M. AUSTENLAND: August 13, 2013, 7:00 P.M. THE PATIENCE STONE: August 14, 2013, 7:00 P.M. Go to the Arts and Events Calendar for details at calendar/32/

Students feel the breeze in Santa Monica


The Academy News - August 2, 2013  

In this issue: The Diverse Sights and Tastes of LA, Ramadan Experiences, Festivals in China, & more!