But since the photos are on my phone, it will have to wait until I have the cord. 

Today was the kind of day where something in the air (factory residue, perhaps?) causes everyone to have trouble keeping it together. If I were George, I would blame it on a solar storm. But I’m not, and I won’t. 

Barely made it to class on time (in Russia, this means ~5 minutes late) because it takes so much longer to prepare materials here than I’m used to. Upon arriving in the classroom, I discovered a major flaw in my lesson plan: I had planned for a class of at least 10 people (ideally more like 20), and there were, in fact, 3. It was, how to say, interesting.

The second class was talking about job searching with the second-year English majors; I focused on interviews. I totally forgot that Varvara had asked to sit in, and since my mental state (nor that of my students’) had not improved, I was very unhappy when she slipped into the room and sat down to watch. Afterwards, however, she said that it was “absolutely perfect”, refusing to give any negative feedback. I don’t know how much of this was her actually being impressed, and how much was her actually just being Russian. 

I looked outside when class got out and realized that it was gloriously sunny, so I decided to walk somewhere for lunch. While I was standing in line to order, the guy in front of me was yelling on his phone; I considered getting out of there just in case he turned out to be a crazyface. But the love of schwarma (i.e. I knew no other restaurants in that area) kept me there. He heard my accent (boo hiss), and we wound up having a lovely conversation while we waited for our food. I was less pleased when he started telling every person in line, “She’s an American!” but I think his intentions were not bad. 

Afterwards, I went in search of the textbook I need for my Russian Philology class, Russian Language and the Culture of Speech. While I was there, I picked up a 6th-grade language arts reader, which is more on my level. Varvara laughed when she saw it. 😦

Met Sasha (there are 2 Sashas now, not counting those among my students) and the editor of the school newspaper for an interview, which went OK thanks to Sasha’s translation prowess. 

Varvara and I wound up hanging out for over an hour today, which was nice. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, so this was the first time since I got here that I’ve had a long conversation with someone. I’ve decided we’re friends. I bounced off my ideas of a book club and a Regional English Convention, both of which she sounded very excited about, and she complained about a certain student who feels a sense of entitlement, much to the chagrin of the department and the detriment of her own education. It turns out Varvara is a vegetarian and loves to cook, so she told me (FINALLY) where to get good spices in this town (I have to take the trolley across the river, but it will be worth it not to be cooking with nasty prepared mixes). You can’t understand how exciting this is until you try to sustain yourself and a certain Very Hungry Boyfriend for 2 weeks with almost no seasonings but dill, pepper, and sour cream.

The best student in each class is called the monitor, and it’s their job to take role, restore order, and set up anything the teacher needs for the lesson (if, for instance, I want to show a video, I’ve been instructed to call the monitor, who will ensure that the equipment is all set up when I get there). The monitor of the IT department just came to invite me to their class next week. And now I have to go home, because Nathan invited the Katjas over and baked apple pie. Is this what it’s like to have a social life?

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