We had shredded carrots with mayonnaise for lunch. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds (0%).

Gorky Park is big and nice. And cold. On the way back, we went through the deepest metro station in Moscow, which is also the second-deepest in Russia and the fourth-deepest in the world, Park Pobedy. Some guy tried to pickpocket me, but because we’re smart cookies, (a) Nathan saw him and was able to grab his hand (I hope he broke his fingers), and (b) I didn’t have anything in my pockets, anyway.

The first part of class today was the same activities-based approach to teacher-training as the first day. The second half, however, we had a new teacher, Alla, who was a Fulbrighter from Russia to Po-Dunk, OK last year. She talked about differences between expectations in Russian and American schools, which was really informative. Her English was impeccable. For those of you that are curious, here’s a brief overview of the main ways that Russian student culture differs from American/Sewanee student culture:

-Professors and students are not friends
-No office hours
-Russian students like to feel like the teacher is in control
-You will have to be vigilant about cheating and plagiarism; your students will expect not only to do it, but for there not to be consequences
-Collectivism (a BFD in Russian culture, as would be expected) may work against you at times; for instance, if one student decides to leave class because you’re late, the other students will usually leave, too. Even if they want to stay, they’ll go because they don’t want their classmate to get in trouble.

Then we discussed ways to include technology and culture in lessons, how to inspire students to talk, and good topics for discussion. That, at least, was useful.

Sorry, nothing funny happened today. Cary Beth complains when my blog isn’t funny enough.

So it’s 1972, and an American visiting Moscow is explaining to a Russian why he loves his country. “We have free speech there. I can go out in the streets and criticize President Nixon whenever I want! The government can’t do anything about it!” The Russian grins and says, “But we have the same freedom! I can criticize Nixon anytime!”

A sign from the showers at Nathan’s hostel: “Be sure to close doors completely, or the cameras will shoot you naked!”

Another one, in the kitchen, warns residents that after 10 PM, there is to be no running, loud TV watching, singing of songs, or loud expression of emotion.

Конец/The End.

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