Westerlies

P1010560

Armenia: St. Hripsime Cathedral (628): site of virgin sacrifices

P1010576

Armenia: Echmiadzin

P1010622

Armenian is much older than you and me put together. That first letter is "a"

You can almost see the border with Turkey

Armenia: Barely visible Mt. Ararat. You can almost see the border with Turkey

After several requests for some pictures and words on my trip to Armenia and Georgia, I added it to my list of things to do before I leave for Calgary on Tuesday (no, I won’t be working in Calgary, but I have two weeks of training there).

After I left Tomsk to go to Ulan-Ude, and from there to two Buryat villages close to the border of Mongolia, where together with a team of volunteers led classes for the locals; participation turned out to be kids only. It was a learning experience for everyone all round, as these things usually are, and we were given the title of “brave volunteers” for us being the first-timers for this project, set up by a friend of mine in Moscow. So I’ll include some images from there to (NB I didn’t take the better ones).

Back to Ulan-Ude a bit earlier than planned, I then headed to Moscow by train, and slept, sweated (poor ventilation on those old Soviet trains, of course) and read Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward for fours days. My neighbour, an English teacher/translator at the Buryat Institute of Sciences, also kept me thinking. Keep in mind that this was an express train- still four days. Russia- her cloaks are infinite.

I would love to go back to Georgia, really really love to. I keep describing it to people as antiquity wrapped in abundance, which now sounds a little cliche to my ears, but there is great soul in Tbilisi, and the hospitality that you encounter when you venture into the countryside is overwhelming. In that sense, Armenia is on the same page, but Yerevan is not so charming, at least on first impression- too commercial and modern.

This blog is being taken to the beach- I’ll have too many priorities with my new job and I won’t be able to do even semi-regular updates, so bye bye. You can always contact me through the media

Noravank

Armenia: Noravank

P1010644

Armenia: inside Geghard temple- I had some connection with the divine here

P1010673

Georgia: what's that about "constitutional order"?

P1010737

Georgia: harvest

P1010747

harvest ii

monastery carevd into sandstone

Close to the Azeri border. Davit Gareja: monastery carved into sandstone

and a few dogs

Tbilisi is home to many cats...and a few dogs

P1010795

Topic of conversation is possibly "what's 4 down?"

Advertisements
Published in: on 09/08/2009 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Newspaper hats

Just as I feared, I have no time to keep this thing updated. Sorry to anyone who thought that I would be diligent. I am finishing my last week of teaching at the faculty and am starting to wrap up other commitments too.  I know I will miss the quaintness of Tomsk, but I am really  looking forward to being on the road, having been somewhat involuntarily cooped up by teaching. Probable destinations are: Ulan Ude, Lake Baikal, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, Yerevan and Tbilisi. I’ll be leaving around the 15th.

I passed the 3rd certificate exam! Молодец, Катя! I know, I know, it’s been a long time coming and progress has been slow, even painfully so at times, but now at least I have some sort of confirmation. An impractical (as I can’t yet see what use it will bring me)  green certificate recognized by the Russian Ministry of Education, atrophied English and a desire to never  teach English to university students again. Yet I feel accomplished.

This evening my excited 3rd year students and I will be giving a performance of “Farewell To Nova Scotia”… with newspaper sailor hats, good spirits and gusto.

xx

Published in: on 19/05/2009 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  

language arts

Rain pounded on the windows, thunder sent all the critters skittering under tables and chairs; such was a day to unearth some old promises to myself. One was to do more. Have I been doing more? Have I done enough to satisfy the insatiable perfectionist? I think so. I overcame that awkward period of not knowing if I wanted to continue making English appetizing and digestible, or um, teaching (conclusion: I don’t, at least for now) and my Russian has improved by ladder lengths. Learning any language means riding a roller coaster- you have some days where you can’t find the words in any language to express yourself- even stumbling over prepositions and  dull adjectives. Those are hopefully overcast by days where you insert words you don’t feel you know, but it turns out that your usage was correct, that intuition and unbeknownst aural retention are smiling on you. One of the unique things attached to learning a language is forgetting your own, and not just not remembering how to spell things. Forgetting elementary vocabulary- I’ve actually asked my students on a couple of occasions- I shouldn’t have to do that, but usually someone knows. It’s lost teacher mode under the guise of language practice- not the first time. Language adaption, attrition, asymmetry. And I call soccer football. Today, for example, I forgot, not in Russian, but in English, the word poaching. Nightmare.

My completion of the third certificate of the state exam in Russian will give me some peace. I can’t help but feel like I’ve got myself into a bit of a pinch with all this time spent doing what feels to me, in my current limited perspective, like little. Back to my grammar exercises. And reading Hemon. 

xx,

Kate

p.s.: And a note about the weather. That rain was real, the first of its kind, and it left some greyness lingering around. It doesn’t feel like spring now, just like an absence of proper weather.

Published in: on 02/05/2009 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pushkin

Riding home on the tram tonight after work, I noticed something diligently engraved in the metal window frame. Upon closer examination, I found that it was none other than that of A.S. Pushkin (Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, Russia’s literary deity). This touched me more than anything else has this month. It was so tenderly done, in such delicate, careful handwriting. The national love affair continues…

I spent this weekend at an English camp for teenagers, talked about Canada, sneezed a million times,teaching them “bless you” (I don’t think politeness should ever be overlooked) and enjoyed the fun. I pretended not to speak Russian, so the participants had extra motivation to speak English, but almost gave myself away a number of times- it was a challenge, playing dumb. On Sunday there was a little finale with a talent show and then the song “Katyusha” performed by the other teacher and me and then a few words in Russian. Jaws dropped. I quite like it that people are impressionable…I think it is a quality that we should never lose. I know my impressionability went out the window long ago…can you bring back qualities?  

And! I have on loan a disk of Radio Nanny- it’s all the mysteries of Russian grammar spelled (sometimes sung) out clearly for children who sit at home during the day.  My ears are filled with lessons on tautology, silent consonants, verbal prefixes, the period, and some other gems. And I was also so kindly loaned a large volume: Russian Grammar In Illustrations. But no time.

So good night.

xx

P.S: My Polish lessons are going swimmingly (I am trying my darndest to keep that adverb around, along with the verb “to darn”. Just for fun, with a barrage of nostalgic feelings for a past that I never had sulking in the background)- I have met the case endings, and am in the sloggy process of memorizing them. And have re-found my favourite tongue-twister (W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie i Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie: Beetles buzz in reeds in Szczebrzeszyn, and because of it, the town is famous). On the other hand, I have to keep canceling my Korean lessons.

Published in: on 31/03/2009 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Scandal in the Profkom

A little note about what I’ve been hearing from my students re: the election. Beyond students who live in dorms being pressured into voting, I also heard about students being paid (700 rubles, about $25 cad) if everyone in their class voted for Nikolaichuk, the United Russia candidate. Also, maybe even more shockingly, the head of the student union (profkom) pressured students into voting for Nikolaichuk, and one student overheard someone saying it was a personal victory for him when that candidate won. There was supposed to be a recount, and those same students who were rounded up to vote for the preferred candidate were obliged to go and protest it. I don’t know if the recount will go through. Even if it does, I don’t think a lot of people will trust its accuracy. One of my students, a quite clever one I should say, has chosen to remain optimistic about things. I admire her, as she is one of the few people I have met in Russia who is neither unawed or disheartened by politics. She is also the youngest. The old rhetoric, “politics doesn’t affect me” is quite strong here, and at least some part of people’s attitudes towards politics has trickled down from previous generations.  

One of the teachers who I worked with at a private school quit recently. Also a bit scandalous, but I can’t divulge. English schools are incredibly competitive + the number of private ones in Tomsk can be counted on one hand = some heartache for entrepreneurs (but I will always be employed). I am still enjoying teaching, somehow, despite the slight peregruzka (overload, overwork). My students are gems. 

…and of course I failed to mention the Clinton-Lavrov thing, but it was a nice little laugh. I still think perestroika might have been a better choice. 

xx

Published in: on 17/03/2009 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

And the sun is still shining

The sun woke me up this morning, glaring so kindly through my window. There has been a return of the cold. I relapsed into my winter coat, but only in the morning, when I had to go into the faculty to sort out some things with my employment status. I won’t go into details, as it is sufficient to say that Russian bureaucracy is quite a labyrinth, and when dealing with foreigners, more so. Best avoided if possible, which is what some employers do. Regarding salary, there are three categories: black: off the books; grey: a portion on, some off; and white (I’m not sure about this last appellation), completely taxed and accounted for. I don’t know about percentages…

The second round of elections for the mayor of Tomsk took place yesterday, and I heard a lot of moans today about the results at work. In the initial round, March 1st, the Kremlin-preferred candidate, Nikolai Nikolaichuk (Edinaya Rossiya (United Russia) received 40% of the vote, with Alexandr Deev, (Spravedlivaya Rossiya: Fair Russia), collecting more support than expected. There were some hopes that he would win. He wasn’t a favourite of the authorities, though. During a telephone survey on a popular news show, his phone was cut off, due to the fact that he had received more calls (10,000 to 3,000) than Nikolaichuk. Voting by students who live in dorms was monitored. Many people say it was not a fair election, these were just all the examples I have time for. Maybe some who didn’t say so were scared to. Just some comments from work. I am not one to mess about in politics.

The margin was close, about 4%. Almost all other cities in Russia have elected a candidate from United Russia, with some inevitable stories of “electoral inaccuracies” or whatever they’re called in cities where United Russia wasn’t a favourite (Smolensk, Tver). The communist party, Fair Russia  and some other parties saw much better representation than at the fed elections. I’ve heard a few comments from some women at work that the former mayor (Alexandr Makarov), despite being corrupt, did a lot for the city and that snow was always removed from the streets. That man is currently behind bars. One colleague said “They’re (politicians) all corrupt, at least he did something. The streets were always cleaned of snow”. Dissatisfaction runs deep; I’ve heard a lot of comments in that realm. Is a little corruption forgivable if  the individual is active, productive and helps to build society? Tomsk is charming, the plentiful trams and buses run until 11, and there are lots of community events and facilities. No, all the same, don’t steal the bread from people’s pockets. 

My adventures in work are never-ending. The world is ever-shrinking. Clever people think about this when they want to market and sell their service/product abroad. What would it mean for your beloved cheese spread to fail because of a name like Queasy? This sort of question keeps me employed. Recently I spent 20 minutes thoughtfully listening to some names for some telephone dispatcher system. I do feel a bit accomplished after such work, knowing that I rescued the company from using a name with a negative prefix that sounded like “deceased” (it was actually the staff favourite) and something that included “VD”; if it can be avoided, it probably should. Vid would have been ok, but they didn’t take to it too quickly. 

As the snow begins to melt, bit by bit, my season of ungraceful cross-country skiing comes to a close. I have only managed to go twice, shame on me, but am planning to go spend some time walking in the woods next weekend. I am lazy, but I will continue to overuse the semi-colon. My punctuation has not improved. I. apologize. And I. Can’t spell. I like to say that I suffer from spelling geo-schizophrenia, as I see British and American variants too often. Which one do we use? “s” or “z”. 

On another note, I have finally started to look at Russian verb prefixes in depth, something I should have done ages ago. My initial sense is that they go to the same depth as phrasal verbs in English, but are hopefully easier to memorize. I am, of course, comparing my plight to that of my students, the poor little ones! What a mess: to run up (a hill, a bill); to fall through (the floor, plans), to clear up (weather, clarify). There are over 2600 phrasal verbs in English, and we usually have another, more formal verb to use instead. I only shakily know in Russian that prefixes do not carry the same informality/formality. Maybe someone can tell me? I have found tons (which I noticed you spell tonnes, Meg) of interesting articles in the process of trying to demystify them. 

Enjoy the melt! I have to find sunglasses.

xx

 

Published in: on 16/03/2009 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Three cheers for the team

I’d like to say a little something about compound nouns with the root “work”. Teamwork, homework and workload. I kept messing up the word teamwork in Russian for a while, but I think now it has stuck, along with the words pereutomit’sia (to tire oneself out), proguly (absenteeism) and vyruchit’  (to help, rescue, redeem). I now have 20 hours of teaching a week, which is more than I want, but I started to say “no” a bit too late.  

My relationship with homework has been experiencing ups and downs from the beginning. If I assign homework, typically, half the class does it. I’ve been told this is good. But it could just have been that my interlocutor was being generous.

     [A note about that word, interlocutor. In English it sounds ungainly, maybe because we almost never use it. And in French, it seems, the same is true, although it sounds nicer. “The person who I was talking to (with whom I was talking)”…. Latin is more precise. So is Russian. Sobesednik, with the stress on the penultimate syllable, is all too handy. S or so as a prefix means with and beseda is conversation. Nik is a personal suffix which denotes the actor. Refusnik, sputnik, kolkhoznik, etc]

   I think the main problem was that I was too laissez-faire from the beginning, telling students who hadn’t done their homework that it was ok, I knew they were busy, blah blah blah. I remember a certain Russian professor at university who shall remain nameless who always gave us a second chance to hand in our homework next class. Nightmare. Of course it is too late, but now I tell them they are missing out on a chance to improve their English and try to look disappointed/upset. Students are accustomed to lots of teacher support, verging on coddling, and an attitude of “we’re all in this together”. There’s also the horrendous or merciful system of “academic debt”, where students who haven’t passed an exam have multiple chances to write it again, and until they receive a satisfactory mark, are considered “debtors”. A student can be in “debt” until before they graduate, and then re-write that gnawing statistics exam they failed in 2nd year. Back in the January break, when I was teaching an intensive English class for faculty staff members, the only students who could be seen at the faculty were dvoishniki (D students, or “twos”. The grading system here is on a scale of one to five, and two is the lowest mark you can get, as far as I know. I’ve never hear of anyone getting a one.), there suffering the pains of having gone clubbing the night before an exam. 

One of my students recently told me about he was planning to emigrate to the US (brain drain is an ongoing problem), and how he admired Americans’ “self-determination”. The self-made individual, he said, wasn’t a strong phenomenon in Russia (I should have mentioned all the quick-thinking opportunists in the 90s who profited from the de-regulations, chaos and instability, but this wasn’t really his point). He quoted a survey that had asked people if they believed in the “self-made individual” and in Russia, the figure of those who agreed was quite low. Like 8%. Info from surveys can be manipulated and numbers, although they speak for themselves, you can’t always believe what they say. The explanation for this can be found, of course, in Russia’s communist past, where teamwork instead of competition was encouraged. 

All the plants in our house have wilted to various degrees. I watered them yesterday, but one is definitely not going to pull through. I might buy a ficus to replace it, but my first ficus is also on its way out. What have I done? I can say, though, that my roommates benefited from the actions of my hands- I gave the little ones spring haircuts today.  

Today is not only the day of shearing, but also the end of Maslenitsa. I learned how to make bliny yesterday, in good time to welcome the sun and spring. Bliny are meant to be consumed in large quantities during the week as they are a symbol of the sun, round, glorious and golden, and also serve the purpose of sustaining your belly through Post when no meat, foul or even fish (depending on you adherence) is eaten. Most people I asked at work don’t follow these regulations, but I remember one of my roommates in Moscow did and made the most opulent mushroom soup. I have buckwheat and lots of it in mind for this week.

I bought myself some classy red folders today, which I hope will assist me in the task of organizing. My main concern is that May will come tomorrow, when I still haven’t yet done anything. I start a Polish-English exchange this week, on Wednesday, something I have had my eye on for a while. I am precariously piling this on top of the Korean-English one I have on Sunday evenings…I am slowly making progress with the alphabet. And Russian? It is in the ocean, of course, the main current. It is slowly warming, engulfing me in its pulsating push. I can’t neglect it. 

Happy spring xx

Published in: on 01/03/2009 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man-on-the-street interviews

What about this term? How do non-gender neutral appellations make you feel? Should it be person-on-the-street, or maybe even citizen-on-the-street, considering the social bent these interviews sometimes have? 

Monday was Men’s Day (yes, the indirect counterpart to March 8th, Women’s Day), and I had to work on a dull translation on luminescent paint. I did spend a bit of time musing on all the various uses for glow-in-the-dark paint, and the holiday at hand, of course, and came to the following conclusions: luminescent paint would be great fun for playing lawn sports at night, and this holiday (Fatherland Defender Day, formerly Red Army Day) is, perhaps in part, meant to inspire patriotic feelings in service-aged men in case there is ever a call to arms.

Our apartment played host to a largeish party on Saturday, and I skipped out on the cleaning with a promised visit to a banya.  We actually  didn’t end up steaming, just drinking tea. And Russian has a noun for tea-drinking, but not coffee-, vodka- or anything else, as tea-drinking is an irreplaceable  social element and the country would fall apart at the seams if it wasn’t for this omnipotent warmer of souls and hands.

I arrived home to a spotless kitchen. And a fixed toilet. Although it is broken yet again.

Spring is in the air in Tomsk, undeniably. Today is a mild -15 and sunny. I welcome from the bottom of my heart the longer days and the additional birds that have joined the morning choir outside my window. This week is “pancake week” before Great Post (Lent) begins. Today’s crepe, or blin (it is more like a crepe than a pancake) will be…chicken, maybe apple. I would like to try the two together, but I will get strange looks from the ladies at the bliny kiosk, who have already told me more than once now, “we can give you whatever you want”.

Enjoy, and fill your mouth and heart with what pleases you.

Published in: on 25/02/2009 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Novosibirsk. Perhaps the safest place to hide.

I was in Novosibirsk this past weekend, a city large enough (1 mln.) to bustle and hustle, but it does so calmly. It would be a stretch to say it is spectacular, as most of the architecture is plain and grey and goes on for blocks (typically Soviet) but it has a stunning opera house. One other treasure is the state gallery, which has a large collection by Nikolai Roerich (http://www.roerich.org/), and neighbours a small museum dedicated to the Russian artist himself, owned by the Novosibirsk Roerich Society. The museum only has reproductions but has managed to keep and share the peaceful soul of the artist with visitors. I went skiing (does everyone use plastic skis now?) on Saturday with my host and a friend and only fell twice. Memorable. I didn’t sleep on the short bus ride home (in Siberia it seems “short” distances covered are measured in hours, which in this case amounted to five, and “long” ones- days) and felt very welcomed by dear cozy Tomsk, despite the -25. 

Most of all over the weekend, I was reminded of how mangled my Russian is. And, on that note, how distorted my English is. I speak to students more than to anyone else in English, and find that my mother tongue is changing. Devolving, simplifying, un-adorning itself. Maybe my English was never beautiful to begin with, but now it is ruinous. Or just simpler. My students are forgiving. 

In terms of my Russian though, I don’t mind, because I think it is improving. The Russian I speak and hear at home is infected or inflected, as you wish, with gestures, uhs, ahs and ums, and sound affects. It is our self-imposed lingua franca (I live with two French speakers who inevitably lapse into French now and then) and does not normally fail in functionality, but falls far from doing justice to Russian’s ampleness. Great and mighty. This is how the language is usually described by Russians. What would you say about English? I don’t think I’d use that second word. Maybe accurate? Precise? But in relation to what? We are very precise regarding time with all our verb tenses and aspects. We are obsessed with accomplishments, both future and past. I hope to have spent 60 hours preparing for the TORFL (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language, locally known as TRKI…tricky, I say) by the time this semester ends. (eg) Sometimes I feel we are lacking some basic distinctions, like differentiating between ignorance that is a product of plain naive not knowing, never having learnt or been taught; or that which is a result of not wanting to, intentionally not being open to new info. Some people obstinately categorize Russian as being a “rude” language (or make the even bigger mistake of saying Russians are rude) because it lacks some of the ultra-politesse of English, such as “Would/could you (be so kind as to) pass me a pen, please?” Russian is more direct, preferring the command form (like other Slavic languages). “Pass me a pen (please).”  La politesse is done with tone. I’ll go more into detail soon, as this subject deserves more attention than I’ve got time for now. I’m compiling a list of English words in Russian, which I hope to publish soon. Some of them may surprise you, like “yes!”, which is used mostly by young boys to convey satisfaction at having won something or beaten someone.

I head back to the faculty on Tuesday, back to being confronted with students’ enthusiasm and their lack of homework discipline and now a possible overloaded schedule. I now have a three day weekend, though, which is amazing! I miss my cat. 

xx

Published in: on 15/02/2009 at 10:31 pm  Comments (1)  

The annals of our kitchen

Now that we have a somewhat reliable internet connection, let me tell you a little story, with some glory towards the end.  One of the reasons for me moving in with my current roommates was so that I had a proper kitchen at my disposal. The dormitory’s kitchen was despiriting and twice I cooked in the near dark. I should give credit to some of the key members of our kitchen’s cabinet, starting with smetana, for helping make my life on Usova Street tastier. Smetana is often mistranslated as sour cream. Sour cream has some multi-syllabic ingredients, like mono and digycerides, corn starch and sodium tripolyphosphate, giving it a kind of glutinous and heavy texture and thickish, tangy taste. I don’t adore sour cream, but I will admit it can be tasty. Smetana (which is from the verb сметать smetat’: to sweep together; i.e.: the cream that rises to the top is collected) is made of two ingredients: cream and what I think translates as natural milk culture. It is lightish, unpronouncably creamy and is available in gradated fat percentages. My favourite is 25%, but I save it for special days. This is smetana. You can eat it for breakfast (some people do), but I prefer kefir.Smetana goes in soup, on draniki (like latkes), and cannot spoil many other dishes. Kefir is breakfast and supper, and all the snacks in between.

I know you can buy kefir in a lot of places, but it is not wide-spread and not always available plain. Plain is best. I have been madly craving kefir lately, no idea why, and have been drinking mass amounts of it. I was told today that it makes one thin (I have my doubts, all that yeast and bacteria?) and all Russian models drink it. This did not make me want to drink it more, but it did make this fermented dairy beverage more hot (L. Casei!! BB12!!). Moving on…I won’t go into detail with tvorog (it’s slightly similar to the hard-to-find quark, not to be confused with squeaky cheese), only to say it is key in the making of syrok. The “ek”, “ok”, “echka”, ochka”, etc suffixes that are inseparable from Russian nouns are diminutive endings (stay posted for an explanation of my Russian language affection-affliction). “Syr” is cheese. I have started many an unsuspecting innocent’s dependence on syrok; it is devilishly dreamy and sweet, and has fillings like varenye (jam, I suppose), sguschёnka (to come), and is sometimes coated in white chocolate. It is neatly packaged and comes in what I like to think are child-sized servings. To finish in the dairy aisle, sweetened condensed milk (sguschёnka, the diminutive of sguschёnnoe moloko) is eaten by the spoonful, like its much healthier neighbour honey. Smart people put it in coffee. Its packaging which, I think, hasn’t changed in decades (duo-tone blue and white) makes children flock to the filled-up shelves in the grocery store. 

Dairy is rich, and kefir, syrok and smetana do not begin to cover all the richness of the Russian dairy cornucopia, but as you may know, I am not a big fan of bovine dairy (I miss my weekly litre of saanen goodness from Ran-Cher acres) and so will now stop the madness. 

Fish. Fish is good for your brain. I make soup from something called “sea tongue” (solea nasuta), which never spoke, but swam in the Black sea (I’ve yet to do this). I always buy it from the same lady at the market; I wonder if she eats it herself. It is darn cheap, and comes in massive filets without eyes or fins. I don’t mind eyes, fins, scales, or anything of the sort, but when you purchase your fish-shaped icicle and bring it home to thaw on the radiator or in the sink, your hands will be glad that you saved them from that cold labour.  

Potatoes. There once was a blanket that, after it had served to cover the laps and feet of some grandmothers and was wearing a bit thin, served to cover buckets of potatoes at the market. This is very endearing to see; dear russets and modest whites tenderly kept from the harsh bite of Siberian frost. Potatoes are never superfluous. There is a Russian saying “you can’t spoil kasha with oil”, but I always say this about potatoes. 

I’ve been looking into learning styles recently, hopefully for the benefit of my students, and have learned some clever tricks, like how to incorporate movement into an ESL class for adults and how to diversify debates. I have also come to adore improv in the classroom. Laughter only helps!

I also now know, thanks to some digressive reading, that I tend to see thoughts and ideas in images (not words) and can’t always express myself well in speech (Elochka Liudoedochka and I have something in common, ого!), needing time to create cohesive ideas. At a recent conference put on by the US Embassy’s English Language Office,  I heard that people, on average, retain 5% of the information from just listening to a lecture, but  90% if they teach others. I’m hoping to use this to my advantage, take a break from classes, and get students to teach themselves. Ha ha ha. The vegetables of Grammar make a bitter stew when the cook doesn’t respect the power of his ingredients. This week before the semester starts is dedicated to, among other things, amassing teaching materials and doing some much-needed writing. And darning of socks. When will the word darning be obsolete? I feel it is on its way out.

xx

Published in: on 09/02/2009 at 8:52 pm  Leave a Comment