Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rus-lish and polychromatic michelin kids

Working to prevent another 2.5 month lapse.

So I have to say while I like my job, I like teaching, I like all my students (which is fortunate), and I like learning Russian, I am not a fan of the swing shift. I want to be able to get up early in the morning work throughout the day and then relax in the evening. However, I tend to wake up around midday, work through the evening, and stay up late at night almost to time that I'd prefer to wake up, not finally fall asleep. I know some people are good at waking up early, doing things throughout the day and then working swing shift and going to bed immediately upon coming home. I really need to learn to do that because that is not how I naturally am. I also loved canvassing for Citizens Campaign for the Environment in 2007-8, but I suffered the same thing at that point of staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning and waking up between 10 and noon.

I need to learn to break this pattern, and it almost got me in trouble this past Thursday. My individual student, Sergei, is off in DC and so I picked up another individual for the month of November. Her name is Guzel and she's doing an intensive course for one month, 6 days a week at 4 academic hours (3 astronomical hours - 1 acad. hr = 45 minutes) a day and there are 4 teachers splitting the time with her. I teach her on Tuesday and Thursday from 11am-2pm. My Russian lesson is from 2.15 - 5.15 and then I have my 7.20 - 9.40 class. Well Thursday I woke up at 11am and I had to walk Karma. Oi.  I immediately called the office and told them I'd be there at noon. When I apologized they said it was fine, every teacher has a day or two like that. Guzel was able to do noon - 3pm, and fortunately my Russian teacher was flexible and could do 3.15 - 6.15, although if she couldn't I would have just lost an hour of my lesson. This left little time for lesson planning for my evening class, but we were able to make it work.

On other notes, Ella is quite the entertaining cat. She not only sleeps in the wardrobe, but she has a spot near the window where she hides behind the curtain and curls into a ball, sometimes she sleeps nearby on top of the laptop case that I don't use because I don't take the computer anywhere, and last night we found her on the floor by kitchen radiator. Many Russian cats have beds or towels on top of the radiators, so we put a towel up there and showed her how to get to it, but so far she hasn't chosen that as one of her many sleep spots. She is doing quite well and is much healthier than a few months ago. She's back to her normal self and has been playful with Daria's headphone cord and even has her hour of insanity in the evening where she meows and then runs full speed up and down the hall from one room to another with no apparent purpose: an activity she used to do in Berkeley from the bedroom to the living room on most nights. All good signs. And Daria's grandparents spoil both Karma and Ella with meat and treats and Karma gets sausages. Daria's grandma even went out and bought about 8 containers of Ella's prescription pate when we were only buying 2-3 at a time.

Karma had her first indoor bath yesterday. We hadn't given her one since the summer house, and in Berkeley we always did it outside. She was traumatized by having to be in the tub and since I had to lift her in and out, she was a little mistrustful of me for the next hour or so, even after I gave her treats. Alas, she smells like a clean dog right now. The other major difference with Karma, is that we can no longer give her a quick bathroom break. Sometimes in Berkeley I'd just take her out, maybe even in my pajamas if it was early in the morning or late at night for a 3 minute break. Here we always have to get dressed and take her for a legit walk. Sometimes that sucks when you're not ready to be dressed. Oh well.

And as winter is coming, I must say I love how Russians dress their kids for the cool weather. Our neighborhood has quite a few kindergartens, детский сад (detskiy sad - pronounced sod) in the singular, and so I see a bunch of kids when I walk to work. They are in puffy coats and winter pants of the type I normally see for 3-5 year olds at a ski hill, or maybe when the kids run out and play in the snow. But the kids here wear the suits against the cold, not just for snow activity. We could say they look like polychromatic Michelin Men, but in a terribly cute way. It always puts a smile on my face to see all the kids out running around in big puffy clothes.

And to wrap up this post, yesterday I went to gather some of Daria's surveys that she had given to a family friend to take to work to distribute and collect. The woman knows English and she and I had a brief conversation of Rus-lish or Eng-ian, however you want to call it. It was nice to practice with someone new though. I also went to a pirogi cafe and was able to order and on the way home I stopped to pick up Daria a shawarma, a certain type of Arabic sandwich. My ordering skills put to use again.

Anyway, all is well, and for tonight's game against Northwestern, Let's Go Blue!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the vision of "polychromatic Michelin Men". What a great description! Also glad you are practicing your Russian or Rus-lish and getting more comfortable with it.