Sunday, February 21, 2010

picture post 21 february

new pictures into the album-- sorry they're not as captions, but someday they'll all be magically aligned... :)

- the same night as my presentation on active citizenship, there was a ball- of course!
- you should be so lucky to have your parents send you such an exciting package
- yes it’s here, at the new Adrenaline City entertainment center!
- the result of something magical
- like overnight freezing fog
- haircut with Oksana
- visitors
- inscription on the back of a gift painting, and two of three homemade cakes
- nightlights
- recertification institute meets the sky
- out for breakfast with Anna, including boiled eggs on pillows of spinach and fresh juice and buckwheat bread
- and cocoa and caramel apple croissants!
- more visitors
- more homemade goodies- doughnuts, apple cake, and cookies
- again with the snow

post 21 february

Yesterday I went second-hand shopping in the old bazaar, made bagels, had a coffee-cola float, and did three buckets of laundry. Yes!

Today it snowed again! Okay!

Things have been going pretty well in general. I’ve been busier since the start of the new semester, hence the drop-off in posts. So, some stuff about school, then film club, English club, family, and the future, plus whatever else needs to be addede. Sorry, didn’t mean to go all organizational on you there- just for my benefit. :)

Right now, at the university, I’m teaching two groups of masters’ students in each of two different departments: English Philology and Applied Linguistics. I’m also working with two other groups of fifth-year specialists’ students, one class of which is now Creative Writing once a week. :) I’m in and out of other classes, as well, including a class of fourth year students who are talking about music, and basically anywhere else I’m wanted, if I’m available! In the 11th week of the semester—- it’s a little complicated to look at on a chart, actually—-I’ll start Political Linguistics lectures and then seminars. How exciting! Each of my current classes meets only once a week, so I haven’t been with them too long yet, but I’m enjoying getting to know them and having the chance to talk about a variety of interesting subjects—as always, one of the benefits of teaching a language! Getting to know my students allows them to ask me interesting questions, too, like, “Lots of tourists visit New York City, but where is best place to visit to really see America?” and “Would you like to stay in Ukraine forever?” and “Who are your parents?”

I’ve also started working at the Teacher Recertification Institute. It’s not my primary assignment, but if I’m able to work it into my schedule, it’s fine. Right now, I’m teaching the current group of teachers about aspects of the writing process, and having them write along the way. Hooray! Their general feedback has been positive in general, which is nice, although I definitely giggled a little at the response note that said, “Thank you for such an unusual experience!”

Film club continues to meet on Sunday afternoons, and we’ve moved on from Jaws to Election to My Fair Lady to Born on the Fourth of July. Next week it’s Matilda. Variety is the spice of life. :)

English club has met twice so far in the new semester. The first meeting included two PCVs and two participants—at least we didn’t outnumber them! The second included myself and sixteen participants! The subject was fashion, including a really cool video made by one of the girls who chose the topic the previous week. Next week’s discussion topic is love. Did I mention that there was only one guy at each meeting so far? And that each week it was a different guy? Maybe I should suggest that we choose something a little more, perhaps, balanced for next week? :)

Family! I’ve gotten phone calls, emails, and a letter, and have had two weekends of family visits! It’s tough to say exactly who everyone is, in terms of their exact relationship to me, but I’ve generally decided that anyone who is roughly my age or younger is my cousin and that anyone older must be my aunt or uncle. With that philosophy in place, I can tell you that I’ve met sisters Mariana and Anya, my cousins, and their husbands Ihor and Stepan, as well as cousin Ivanna, Uncle Bohdan, cousin Natalia, and Aunt Hanna. They all made the trip to Lutsk from Komarno by car, and it took them roughly four hours because of the bad weather. I’ve delayed my trip to Komarno until the weather clears, but they’re all very, very inviting! It’s exciting to meet with them, to cook for them, to receive amazingly generous gifts from them, and to do my best to communicate with them! Cousin Ivanna is an English teacher at a primary school, and Stepan studied some English when he was in school, but it’s mostly Ukrainian. Luckily, my vocabulary skills allow me to discuss food and the weather, as well as to point to pictures and to identify friends and family members!

The future! It might involve presenting at a TESOL Conference in April in Rivne, a city in the next oblast [state] over, as well as writing a grant for an organizing a possible summer leadership camp on the apparently quite beautiful Svityaz Lake, and helping out at a superhero-themed camp with a focus on human rights being run by PCV friends of mine in Crimea.

Other things…
- I’ve started my Ukrainian tutoring! That is to say, I’m still tutoring three Ukrainians in English, but now one Ukrainian is tutoring me in Ukrainian. Thanks, Vika!
- I got my ears pierced!
- I’ve received two packages! With wonderful things inside! I have shared the joy of brown sugar!
- I’ve made cookies and bagels successfully in my somewhat-hard-to-figure-out oven!
- I went thrift-shopping in the second hand section of the old bazaar [the one near the castle, if you were wondering :)].
- I am gradually approaching the end of the history translation revision project! I said I was done last week, but then I was informed that there were two more sections left.
- I got my hair cut, and the hairdresser parted it on the other side! Imagine!
- Yes, I think the east coast of the US did have more snow than we had during that snowfestmageddonpocalypse, so yes, I was suitably impressed. There’s a lot of melting going on here, and not a lot of draining [where would it all go?!], but it’s hard to say that means spring is on the way. I actually tried to make such a claim yesterday, but then it snowed hard this morning. Fine.
- Speaking of which, there’s a weather-forecasting groundhog in Kharkiv, and now in Lviv, too!
- I have not seen Avatar or any new movies recently, but I did watch Koyaanisqatsi. Have you seen it? Discuss.
- Lent is going on, and for some, this means no meat, no eggs, and no dairy at all. Wow. I thought that just giving up candy was hard enough.
- Both rounds of the Ukrainian presidential elections have come and gone, fraud has been charged, the appeal has been dropped, and lots of people have lots to say about the topic.
- At first, I didn’t even know the Olympics were going on. I’m not sure if no one talks about them here at all, or just no one talks about them around me. I remember Oksana Bauil! Even if I don’t remember how to spell her name! :)
- My summer is not full! Want to visit? :)

Of course I’m thinking of everyone at home— it’s hard spending Valentine’s Day apart, not being able to celebrate my sister’s birthday with her, and anxiously awaiting the birth of my best friend’s son. I’m trying to have some good adventures to share with you, though, and I’d love to hear from you and to answer any questions you might have!

Like if you want to send me mail, for example, I’m happy to send you my address. For example. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


uploaded a few video bits of the YMCA holiday shenenza [my word, not theirs]--
here and here and here and here! :)