Troy Swanson

English as a Second Language Research Guide

Laura and Delphine have worked to update the English as a Second Language Research Guide. This guide is meant to assist those who are learning to speak, write and read English. The first section, Materials in the MVCC Library, directs the learner to materials here at the college. Many of these materials are cassettes or videocassettes and may be checked out of the library. The second section, Websites (language practice, games, grammar, pronunciation, etc.), has links to some interesting Web sites for individual learning opportunities.

Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States

Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States
This report outlines concerns with the U.S. guestworker program for unskilled laborers (called the H-2 program), such as “Holding the ‘Deportation Card'” (imbalance of power between employer and worker), wage and hour abuses, contract violations, and denial of medical benefits for on-the-job injuries. Provides recommendations for improving the guestworker program, which the report finds is “inherently abusive and should not be expanded in the name of immigration reform.” From the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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Chicago Matters: Beyond Borders

Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Radio present this year’s Chicago Matters, Beyond Borders, which explores “how immigrant integration is actually working in the region ? at the official and the everyday level, and reveal the conflicts and connections happening within the process.”

Visit the Chicago Matters Web site and click on the interactive calendar to be taken to pages where you can listen to the audio from the radio programs.

The 5 unanswered questions about 9/11

The 5 unanswered questions about 9/11 : what the 9/11 Commission report failed to tell us by James Ridgeway

This new addition to the library collection is sure to raise some eyebrows and controversy. It considers the following five questions:
Why couldn’t we stop an attack from the skies?
Why didn’t the government protect us?
Why didn’t we know what was coming?
Did U.S. “allies” help make the attacks possible?
Why couldn’t the 9/11 Commission get to the truth?

From the BookList Review: Ridgeway, Washington correspondent for the Village Voice, finds no hidden plot behind the 9/11 terrorist attack. Instead, he cites the open secret of a general and long-standing tendency to put American corporate interest ahead of the interest of citizens.

Kurt Vonnegut Never Asked to Be Born in the First Place

The great American novelist Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. Vonnegut was known for his satirical prose and counterculture points of view. His books were often subjects of censorship and controversy. He is a voice who will be greatly missed. One of the things that he reminded us in his books was that none of us asked to be born in the first place.

Here’s a recent article by Vonnegut about the nature of education Your Guess Is as Good as Mine.

Here are a list of resources about Vonnegut:
Novelist Vonnegut Remembered for His Black Humor from NPR
Vonnegut Expressed Skeptical, Critical Nature with Humor from NPR
Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007 from Time Magazine
Vonnegut’s Personal Homepage

Items from the MVCC Library’s Collection
Author: Vonnegut, Kurt (books written BY Vonnegut)
Subject: Vonnegut, Kurt (book written ABOUT Vonnegut)

The thing that Vonnegut would probably like all of us to say about his life was that he tried.

Presidential Campaign Ads

While the 2008 presidential elections are gearing up, I thought it might be useful to share some sources I’ve come across relating to campaign ads in presidential races.

I started thinking about this when I heard this NPR piece Exploring the History of Presidential Ads, which talks about the exhibit “The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2004.” This online exhibit has clips from presidential campaign ads starting in 1952. They will be making the 2008 advertisements available at some point in the future.

If you are interested in this topic you may want to take a look at the resources in the library’s collection listed under the following headings:
* presidential candidates
* elections
* Campaign funds
* Political campaigns

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