The nicest part about getting back to my room was that my subletter, Ira, had washed all of the linens so that I didn't have to do it. The day after arriving in Moscow, I had to go into EF for training and then the rest of the week for oral placement testing (OPT), demo lessons, and more training. It was a rough week, as I was still jetlagged for all of it. Classes officially started on September 3rd this year, and I have some comments about year two of teaching.
This year has already been going a lot more smoothly than the last in terms of the classroom, and this is even with my new class of 4 year olds. It was really nice to walk into a classroom of familiar faces, and even nicer when they were happy to see me as well and said they'd been waiting all summer to practice their English with me. Even with classes completely filled with new faces, I still felt much more at ease because I know exactly how the courses work, what the exam schedules are, and generally how to be at the head of the classroom.
Work aside, it's also really nice to be back in Moscow. My Russian was a train wreck when I first returned (still better than September 2012, but...not good) but has already returned to its previous level, I'm already settled in with my apartment, I already have friends, and now I get to focus on seeing the people I love and discovering new things about the city. People have asked me how I feel about Russia after going back to America, and while I loved being home, I also really enjoy being here. A lot of stuff doesn't make sense to anyone (example: I went to the shop for apple juice. A 2 liter box of the same brand with the same expiration date was cheaper than a 1 liter box. Just because), but that's part of its charm in my opinion. So, I'm going to keep on keeping on with my Russian adventure and continue my semi-regular updates in the meantime.