I read this today, and it really reminded me of 8:30 am classes:


Just replace the word "reading" with "lecture" every time you see it and you have me. One time I got cocky and planned for 6 people and only 3 came...put a serious kink in my game plans. My sentiments were also pretty similar to the author's the time that only 1 person came. He received a very individualized hour-long lecture on football (American! I refuse to start calling soccer "football". I don't care how logical it is!). Luckily I only average 1 8:30 class a week.

Today was a long, but good, day. I left the house at 8 am, and got home at about 9:45 pm. My first class had a strong turnout of 6 people (almost the whole class!), and we talked a fair amount about technology..particularly cell phones. I tried to subliminally (or blatantly) implant the message in their heads that cell phone addiction is bad, and that they shouldn't use them in class. I don't think that the idea took, but one can dream.

My second class was supposed to be about US history. It's a perfectly fine subject, but I'll admit that I was dreading it a little. I made this presentation last semester, and I've used it a fair amount of times since then, so I find that it gets a bit boring for me. Sometimes keeping people's attention for a span of 15,000 years can be a challenge. At least my masterful whiteboard illustrations seem to keep them perky most of the time. Back to the story:  the schedule said that it was in room 716, so I dutifully went to the room and waited around for a few minutes. However, no one was to be found. I suspected that something was amiss, so I decided to call the teacher. When her phone didn't work, the only thing left to do was roam the hallways and scout out the teacher's lounge. My initial hallway search failed to bring about any results, so that meant that she must be in the lounge. When I opened the door I was surprised to see all of the teachers gathered around a table filled with fruit, bread, sausage, cake, and candy. Before I could say a word I found myself seated at the table, fork and teacup in hand, facing a massive slice of cake (in reality it was 2 slices). This is a pretty common position to find oneself in when living in Russia. Whenever I made the mistake of talking too long between bites, I was immediately scolded and asked "Amanda! Why aren't you eating?!" The feast, it turns out, was in honor of students taking their finals. I've also become the hero of the department, since this week I got introduced to a middle-aged SINGLE American man who just moved to Tolyatti, and I've promised to bring him by the office.

Skipping ahead a few hours, two girls from Chat Hour invited me to go see a concert in honor of the university's 60th anniversary. They asked me last Monday, but in the span of a week I'd managed to completely forget about it, so it was a little bit of a surprise. Luckily I hadn't made any other plans though, so it wasn't a problem. It turned out to be pretty cool. It was a little long (3+ hours), and when I drank a bottle of water with lunch I hadn't had a concert in mind, so I was getting a little anxious toward the end, but luckily all emergency situations managed to be avoided. Russians are particularly fond of dancing and skits, so that was what the majority of the event was. My favorite involved a soccer team's ritual pre-game dance (based on the haka dance), but then with a reenactment of the Titanic bow scene to show their soft side (immediately followed by Jack putting Rose in a headlock to show that they're still manly). There was also a really amazing group of boys who did lots of crazy flips. Russians are incredibly athletic..it seems like even the non-athletic people still have 6-packs (girls included). This only applies to the younger generations though, once you pass middle age it's pretty much instant babushka/dedushka status. Kinda reminds me of this picture.

What followed that was a windy walk home. I suspect that a storm is coming, so it's nice to be back in my pjs out of the wind and dust.


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Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia