Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sara's Pictures

I was lazy and didn't take any pictures in Moscow (not helped by the fact that I forgot my camera.) Sara has some pictures up of the Kremlin in the snow and Molly promises to put up some pictures that she took on her blog soon as well. I've been pretty horrible about getting pictures up here recently. I'm glad I have friends to bail me out. On another note...READ NICOLE'S BLOG! She's been on a role for a while now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Kremlin, With a Side Order of Ballet

Yesterday was our first chance for some cultural enrichment in a while. We joined a group of Russians and boarded a bus full of people at 9:00 yesterday morning. The bus ride was about three hours and was pleasant enough except for the leader of the trip giving a year-by-year, blow-by-blow history of the Russian ballet. It was like a Russian museum tour, without the museum!

We got to Moscow had had enough time to hit up a fast food restaurant (there are none in Vladimir, so this was a novelty.) Joanna and Eric chose McDonalds; Molly, Nicole, and I chose Sabarro; and Sara chose to stand in line to try to see Lenin's waxy dead corpse before they closed the mausoleum at 1:00. She succeeded, so we were all very jealous, because Lenin is not something you find around every corner.

After that was a mad dash to get through Kremlin security and into the hideously, gloriously Soviet building that hosted the ballet. It was originally built to house Communist Party functions in the 1960s, but now serves different purposes. Plus, it's huge! We all had a good time with Esmerelda and the man with no pants who served no purpose to the plot other than to dance at the ball. After the ballet we piled back on the bus and headed for Vladimir and another day of work.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I've written a little bit before about how the winter had been unusually warm, sort of like an Indiana winter. Well, that is no more. The last couple of days have been bitterly cold. This comes with the upside that the sun is out for the first time in a long time.

This morning we went to the orphanage again, which was fun, if a bit stressful. Other than that, we have a usual week followed by a trip on Sunday to Moscow to go to the ballet. It should be fun to get some culture. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I realize that I haven't posted much lately. Things have been very busy for the last week and a half since we got back to classes. We had teachers from the city and region come to do professional development seminar on Monday and Tuesday. I'm not sure how much we actually teach them, but it is really great that we get to speak English with them. I'm starting to learn the character of each of my group a little bit. I also have to say that it is much easier to teach the material the second time around. There is not the sense of feeling your way forward. Part of it is experience and part of it is comfort: It will be interesting to see how things go from here on. I also have an individual student who comes a couple of times a week. He works in the sales department of a company and wants to improve his English to get a better job. In addition to all of this, I am keeping my fingers crossed about graduate schools. I hope to begin hearing answers in the next few weeks. Yikes!

The weather here has been unusually warm, still. There is a link on Jane's blog to a story from NPR about the Russian winter this year. They temperature hovers around freezing and we get a a little snow every now and then, but nothing like the record-breaking snow and cold that Russia experienced last year. This is much more like an average Indiana winter than I thought was possible here.

In all, things are pretty routine, which is comforting, but it would be nice to break out of the routine some. We are supposed to go to Moscow a week from Sunday to go to the ballet and we also have two short vacations coming up in late February and early March. I think those will be great chances to get out a little and have some fun!

Friday, January 12, 2007

First Week Done

The first week of class is over for me. I'm a little tired, but pretty happy with the way my classes are going so far. I have five of the same level, AI, which is one of the levels that I taught last semester. I think for the most part most of the groups are on about the same level, which makes my job a lot easier.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to Russia

So after a good long trip from Indy to Moscow via Chicago and Brussels, I'm back to Vladimir! The trip was not too bad actually. I think that the trans-Atlantic trip goes easier every time I do it. I actually got a decent night's sleep at a normal time of day last night. We have class today, which begins very soon. I'm glad that I got to spend the holidays with my family and friends, but I am also happy to get back to Russia. I will try to write more later in the week when I have time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Vacation

Vacation has been going very well. I have seen a few friends and some family, had some fun, and spent a lot of time with my parents. Before you say, "Why would you do that?" take a look at my sister's Smugmug gallery on the house project.

Picture Gallery

The house was built in 1910 and is about two blocks from my parents' house. They've been working on it for quite a while and are finally making some headway on putting things back together. The eventual goal is to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. This week has been drywalling in the downstairs: I with a cordless drill and a pocket-full of screws...scary,huh? I'm having a relaxing break, but I bet that Sunday and my flight back to Russia will come sooner than I think.