Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to Russia

I found the weekly schedules we were given in Russia. Ok, it appears I'm missing the first three weeks of schedules, but since I'm moving backwards, I'll worry about that when I get there.

July 18th-July 23rd (Monday-Sat)

We had classes all week, even on Friday, which we normally don't have (it's because we're leaving on a cruise on Sat.) I don't remember if I've already told you, but when we first got to Russia, they made us take placement tests, and I tested so low, I ended up being the only person in my group. Which is probably why my Russian improved so much.

Since not too much happened this week, I'll give you a breakdown of my day to day schedule.

Every morning: get up at 7:00p. Since we don't have hot water (it went off the week before, I'll explain it then), I take a cat bath with water Nina has boiled. Dress. Eat breakfast. Usually yogurt (real yogurt) and kasha (oatmeal). Sometimes we also had fruit, sandwiches and curds (like cottage cheese, except way smaller). And of course, tea. Grab my stuff, and leave the flat at 8:15a. The metro station is practically right outside the apartment building. Ride three stops to Dinamo. Count the stray dogs sleeping in the courtyard when I exit (usually 4 or 5). Walk through park and watch the little kiosks open up. Count the dogs in the park (usually 3 or 4). Walk through the road construction site (amazing). Take the perihod (not the correct spelling: just an underground walkway) to the other side of the 10 lane street. Walk past various buildings to the university. Usually, I'm the first person there (and I mean the first, even among our professors). Classes start at 9:00am.

Monday: 9:00am, geography. The professor is young, and everyone wants to know why he pays so much attention to me in class. This is the only class I have with other students.
10:00am: literature. The literature teacher likes me because I actually know the history of the country and many of the writers.
12:00: lunch: students eat in the cafeteria of the university. Usually, the food is pretty good and pretty cheap.
1:00: conversation. I like this class and I learn how to talk alot in it.
3:00: head up to the computer lab and hope it's open and working.
And then I usually go home, do several hours of homework and eat.

Tues: Same schedule until 10:00am
10:00am: Video. One of the my favorite classes. We watched Russian movies. He had printed out the entire dialogue of the movie in Russian and we would go over it.
12:00: lunch.
1:00: Grammar and lexicon. One of my favorite classes. I really loved this professor.
3:00: weekly meetings with our RD.
3:30: check the computer lab.
Then, go home.

Wed. same until 10:00a
10:00a: Conversation
12:00: lunch
1:00: Phonetics: this class was taught by the head of the department. We usually didn't actually do any phonetics, but ended up talking about politics and/or women in society, how it was different between Russia and America.
3:00: check computer lab, go home.
This Wed, I was supposed to meet with one of Elena's English students (Elena teaches English on the side). She had SMS'd (text message) me where to meet. So I went, and waited and waited. Turns out, she had not typed it very well into English (which is weird because metro maps are shown in Russian and English), and so I went to the wrong metro stop. I was very tired that day and didn't feel very good, so I went home, even after we figured out what had happened.

Thurs. Same schedule until 10:00a
10:00: grammar and lexicon.
12:00: lunch.
1:00: media. This professor had a very dry sense of humor, which because of the language difference, I had a hard time picking up. He also tended to be very traditional when it came to male/female roles. At first I really didn't like him, but after I figured out his sense of humor, we actually had a really good time.
2:00: phonetics.
3:00: computer lab.
3:30: Pancho Villa for 2 for 1 margaritas and nachos. This place was great. The nachos were delicious. It became a Thursday habit.
6:00: went home and did homework.

Friday: we had Monday's schedule because of the cruise. Went home after classes and tried to finish up all my homework and pack.

So, that was this week. Not very exciting. The other's will be better.

I just remembered something about the cruise. There was a talent show, and we had to participate in it. This one girl in our group, who thought she was amazingly talented sang a Russian song. It was so bad that the Russians in the audience were laughing at her while she sang. Then, she had written words about our cruise to the tune of "American Pie" and the rest of us had to get up and sing with her. It was pretty bad. The really awful part, she thinks she's a really good singer, and she's taking voice lessons. Wish you could have been there to have seen it.



Queen of Ass said...

I have NEVER EVER been on a cruise in my WHOLE LIFE! Let alone one while traveling in Russia!

minnie said...

sounds like a lot of work. but also like you had a blast. glad you made it back in one piece!