Friday, September 28, 2012

And that's the way the cookie crumbles

Some of this will sound very similar to whining, but I swear I'm not.  I'm actually quite content despite any annoyances, and for that I'd like to thank the Honeymoon Phase of Culture Shock (as some historians might say).  Or maybe it's because what I wrote in my last post about the impending not quite right.  In fact, it was almost 70F out today and I barely needed a jacket (I wore one for the babushki. Remember that word?). 

If you think far back enough, you'll remember that I have two days off: Friday and Sunday.  Well cancel out that memory and replace it with a new one; one of me being at work for 12 hours today because I had 2 classes and a special event to co-lead.  I was told yesterday that I would take over the Friday session of an advanced adult group until the end of October...which meets at 9am.  I know I'm a baby, and waking up at 7 isn't even that bad, but it sure felt bad.  It didn't feel any better when I was literally the only person at work until 11am (facilities crew not included.  Those guys are troopers).  Even more fun was at 910am when none of my students were there...just kidding, I was told to be in the wrong room and both my students and I were waiting for each other in separate places.  The nice thing about advanced, though, is that you get to have cool conversations! We talked about green building/city planning, and I showed them videos by the United Way (still fond of my old internship) and the George Carlin skit about turning golf courses into housing for the poor.  I don't think they quite understood his humor, but that's just not something I can help. 

After my advanced adults, I had a few hours before teaching my new individual student.  She's a young woman with nearly flawless English and a decent TOEFL score who now wants to take the Cambridge Proficiency Exam (CPE for those in the know).  She's preparing for this exam at EF while also taking classes at Moscow State Uni. because she dreams of leaving her life as a secretary to become either a translator or a teacher.  Go big or go home! She didn't have the book yet and I had no idea of how to even approach teaching this, but we spent the 1.5 hrs talking about her goals and learning about one another and how to best conduct this course...I'm a little worried that I won't be able to answer all of her questions, but I think this will be a really rewarding experience (and seriously build up my teaching arsenal). 

Once classes were over, Nicole and I led a seminar/group type event called Life Club that EF offers for free every month or so to its students as extra English practice.  This one was called "Meet the Natives," so we introduced ourselves, talked a little about FL/CT, and did some activities.  The main event was splitting the 15 people into 5 committees and having them come up with ideas to share with us.  The committees were: What to do in Moscow, what not to do in Moscow, what to see, where to go, and what to eat.  Then we had them make brochures, which we will keep forever and ever.  They are adorable beyond belief, and I'll have some pictures up soon. 

After all of this, I metro-ed (yes its a verb now) home and made a bunch of good decisions.  And by good I mean ill-advised.  The first was to do groceries even though it was POURING out.  The second was to do groceries at the farther store because it is slightly the end, they had almost exactly the same products, minus these rolls with cream cheese...worth it.  When I started home, it was of course raining even harder, because that's how these things tend to go.  So I scuttled (which is about as good as a woman in a dress who's been wearing 4inch heels for over 12 hrs can do) down the long, dark, tree-and-bulding lined path home, while shoving a roll in my mouth (so hungry) and stepping in unavoidable, ankle-deep puddles filled with either dirt and leaves or sewage.  Let's go with leaves if only for the sake of my sanity.  I eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel (there is literally a light at the end next to the large produce tent and modestly sized movie theater) and got to Belomorskaya (my street!),  where the puddles were so deep that cars had trouble driving.  Soggy, muddy, and tired, I finally got to my apartment, where a man opened the door for me as I struggled (failed) to find my keys. 

You might also be interested to know that we have Starbucks, and that Starbucks has pumpkin lattes! It was so delicious and perfect that I'm not even upset about paying $6 for one. I know this has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I didn't want to forget to mention it.  I'm really excited for gingerbread latte season.  Anyway, I ate junkfood instead of dinner and I have classes starting at 10am tomorrow, so I will leave you here as I go get ready for bed.  Hopefully this super long post makes up for the super short post last time. Good night, all!


  1. Hey, working woman. I want a pumpkin latte when I get to Moscow. Can you bring one to my hotel room, please!

  2. I'll deliver to your hotel room if you pay for both of ours