Thursday, August 16, 2012


Tonight is my first night off since I started teaching Russian students. Three nights in a row was rough, especially since I didn't get much prep time for the second two. Sure, once you know what you're doing they say you can plan a 2.5 hour lesson in about 40 minutes or less, but when they check the lesson plans and make you rewrite them clearly so the supervisor can also read them while you're teaching, even for a 45 minute lesson it takes me perhaps 2.5 or more hours. Basically the reverse. But also we don't know where all the materials are in the library and with a new class each night (good to give us experience at each level: beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate ...) it's a little hard. That, and we have our own class all day, daily quizzes, and apparently a phonetics test tomorrow.

Speaking of phonetics, we had to learn this new language.

There are 44 main symbols used for most English as a Foreign Language classes. You can find them here, but this gives you more than we use. Unfortunately I can't give you the link to what we use because you have to sign into our website. The symbols we use are on the left.

The other trick with the language is it's not how I pronounce most of the things, but the Brits, so the phonetics for "father" doesn't have the "-er" symbol, but the "-uh" symbol; and "caught" and "court" are phonetically spelled the same.

I will say that I think I am much better prepared for the test tomorrow that I was for either Tuesday's or Wednesday's lessons. I also think that I am already much better prepared for next Monday that I was for either yesterday or two days ago.

Liza, the cat in my home-stay is apparently in heat and making the home situation, shall I say fun. I came home and opened the door to my room and Liza immediately followed me in and tried to mate with my computer cord lying on the floor. However, she is a pretty neat cat and is no longer scared of me. And quite tame I might add. There are two birds (a parakeet and a Russian canary, both in their own cages) also in the house and the parakeet is allowed to have the cage gate open and often walks around it's own cage, the table the cage is on, and sometimes around the canary's cage. Liza will be right next to the cage and the parakeet is within a paw's swipe, yet the bird is not afraid, nor does Liza ever try to go after it.

I'd like to try and share some of the beauty of the Moscow Metro life, but I'm sure that my words will be dismally amiss. Overall, the passengers generally read, listen to mp3 players, sleep, or stare off into space. Little is said, especially on a crowded train, although often even on fairly empty trains, some friends will speak, but most are still quiet. If someone says something to you, you can be sure it's some form of "please move/excuse me, I need to get to the door, this is my exit, etc." Many read whether standing or sitting, although from longtime residents and longtime Language Link employees, I've heard that reading used to be near universal whereas the mp3 players have really become the new way to pass the time (I would estimate about 60-70%). Some people will watch TV or movies on iPads or iPods.

As for the stations, they are beautiful. Most have some sort of extravagant decor, gilding, stained glass, marble, or polished granite. One of the two stops that is near Language Link that I use has a colorful mosaic of "Peace."

Oh, heck I decided to search for an image and found this. It has some nice pictures of many stops. Новослободская (Novoslobodskaya - which I can now pronounce btw - I couldn't when I first gave it a try), on the brown line, has the picture of МИР (Peace).

I live at Братиславская (Bratislavskaya - in case you want to look it up) and can take either the light green line to the brown circle line and exit at Novoslobodskaya or take it to the grey line at Трубная (Trubnaya) to Менделеевская (Mendeleevskaya). I think Trubnaya is one of the most beautiful, stops. It's simple with just a beige and dark forest green, both marble, but it's gorgeous. The green is mesmerizing. I have been taking that line more often lately just to exit at that station to transfer trains. One of these days I should take my camera out and take a pic, but I keep forgetting (and I don't want to look like that much of a tourist/am running to work). I also need to figure out how to put pictures into the blog, but alas, right now I'd rather update and continue with my work that I need to do.

Anyway, I should probably be off by now and study some more before tomorrow.

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