Category: Society & Culture

The host of this podcast is affectionately referred to by students and colleagues as Dr. J. In this podcast, Dr. J interviews fascinating experts from various disciplines—politicians, artists, professionals from the field of medicine, law, business and more—as well as language educators and many amazing students from all over the world.

The podcast includes episodes in English, French, Spanish, German, and Hungarian.

Tune in and enjoy fun and thought-provoking discussions about culture, identity, and language, and how these affect all areas of work and life.

November 20, 2021

Football - as in soccer

The sport known in the US as soccer and referred to everywhere else in the world as football has an amazing culturally unifying effect on both the players and the spectators. In this episode I talk to Peter Vermes, the Manager, Director and Head Coach of Sporting KC. Peter is a former professional soccer player and member of the US national soccer team (1988 - 1997). He went to the Olympics with the US national team in 1988 and played in the World Cup in 1990. He is, as of 2020, the longest tenured head coach in Major League Soccer. Peter and I talk about how soccer can transcend borders, about the significance of language and culture to national and club soccer, as well as about how success in soccer requires universal leadership and team-building strategies.    

October 11, 2021

Life With Coach Pop

My guest in this episode is István Steve Javorek, my father, who was the National Olympic Weightlifting Coach to Romania and later to South Korea, before becoming a renowned strength and conditioning coach in the United States. He speaks to me very candidly about his life and about his exciting career coaching Olympians and incredible performance athletes around the world.

September 24, 2021

My Family’s Immigration

My guest in this episode is my mom. Unlike my famous and highly extroverted father, my mother has always preferred to remain behind the scenes. Nevertheless, she is a fascinating, strong woman, and I really wanted to have her voice heard as well. In this episode, my mom speaks about life in Transylvania, my father’s defection, our ultimate move to the US, and about how my family laid down new roots in the Kansas City area.

August 15, 2021

Luna’s Little Animals Say I Love You

The 11-year-old young writer and artist, Luna Lupien (aka my older daughter), joins me to talk about her book, "Luna's Little Animals Say I Love You." From explaining how the book grew out of the Covid-19 lockdowns, to discussing how and why she decided to draw animals that could send a message of love around the world, Luna speaks quite maturely about her very first book.   

August 2, 2021

Kardjáték és az ötszörös országos vívóbajnok, Habala Péter

Vendégem ebben az epizódban Habala Péter, ötszörös román nemzeti bajnok a vívásban, és az amerikai chicagói Red Star Fencing Club alapítója. Péter a vívóteremben nőtt fel; édesanyja és édesapja mindketten vívóbajnokok és elismert edzők. Péter édesapja az én vívóedzőm is volt Romániában. Nagyszerűen elbeszélgettünk a vívásról, arról, hogy mi kell ahhoz, hogy bajnokká váljon valaki, valamint a Péter személyes élettörténetéről és vívó karrierjéről.

August 2, 2021

Swordplay with 5-time national fencing champion Peter Habala

My guest in this episode is Peter Habala, a 5-time Romanian national champion in fencing, and the founder of the Red Star Fencing Club in Chicago, USA. Peter grew up in fencing rooms; both his mother and father are fencing champions and renown coaches. In fact, Peter’s father was also my fencing coach back in Romania. Peter and I speak about this amazing sport called fencing, about what it takes to become a champion, and about Peter’s personal life story and fencing career.   

July 31, 2021

Une famille française

Dedicated to Mamie, this episode is about what it means to be French, as seen through the example of the Garnier family. I speak with Jean-Luc Garnier about his very large and very international family. We discuss why and how he still feels completely French, and what aspects of the French way of life he sees critically. This episode is completely in French, with a brief introduction and final summary in English. 

July 28, 2021

Time for Another Road Trip - Cancer Road Trip and Bump in the Road

Pat Wetzel is a cancer survivor and the host of the award-winning podcasts, “Cancer Road Trip” and “Bump in the Road.” She joined me to speak about her international upbringing and her initial career in finance, as well as about dealing with her illness and embracing the exciting new phase in her life through podcasting.

June 14, 2021

Minority Groups and Their Integration – As Seen Through the Eyes of a Hungarian Born in Slovakia

László Barsi is a Hungarian IT specialist originally from the former Czechoslovakia. He was 11 years old at the fall of the iron curtain and witnessed first-hand the development of a new Slovakia. László gives us an intimate view into life in the former Communist Block and the cultural and political issues people faced. We spoke about the difficulties László encountered as a Hungarian minority in Slovakia, about his immigration to Hungary and the continued struggle for acceptance, about his work experience in Germany, and about the world of IT as seen through a range of cultural lenses. 

June 14, 2021

Az IT-világ egy Szlovákiai Magyar szemszögéből

Barsi László magyar informatikus, eredetileg a volt Csehszlovákiából származik. Kellemesen elbeszélgettünk a László magyarországi bevándorlásáról és az evvel kötött nehézségekről, valamint az ö széleskörű munkatapasztalatáról és az informatika világ különböző kulturális vonatkozásairól.