Posts Tagged ‘high culture’

1st semester: were told our grammar was "dirty." 2nd semester, were offered the "Clean Grammar" text.

In grammar class, we are learning about how using passive voice and impersonal expressions is a good thing. In the Russian language, you are supposed to put the blame on an invisible, mystical (neuter gendered) something. The Star Wars “Force,” if you will. (And no, it’s not God, for God is male in the Russian language).

For example: don’t say, “I’m cold,” but rather, “[Mystical neuter something] is cold to me.” Likewise, not “I didn’t finish my homework,” but “[Mystical neuter something] didn’t let it get done for me to finish the homework.”

(Get more facts–there’s no pun in that–about Russian grammar from a colleague in Yaroslavl on her blog. Otherwise, my life story (of sorts) is continued below.)

This was supposed to be the week that we got settled in to our firmed-up schedules and caught up on work. (But this assumption was wrong. More proof that when you “A S S (of) U (&) M E” in Russia, you just get it handed back to you.) (more…)

Finals, papers, exit testing. . . it follows us student folk anywhere and everywhere.

I had this unfortunate revelation at the beginning of the week as I drew up a calendar for myself with the rest of the semester planned out in black and white (with some red exclamation points). Mild depression sets in.

This week, I’m tackling issues of development in hydropower-rich areas and the related political, economic, and environmental pros and cons. Namely, on Friday I am (supposedly) participating in the “Economic conference” of the MezhFak, giving a 10 minute presentation based on my microecon paper on the Irkutsk provice electro-energy market. But I might back out, if I can think of a good excuse. Then next Tuesday, I am presenting and handing in my Baikal studies paper, which is tentatively going to compare the Angara and Colorado River cascades. Fun, but work.

Starting next weekend, I’ll gather my last energies of what have been about 6 months of non-stop language learning to prepare for Middlebury semester exit-testing on Friday the 18th: grammar/syntax, listening, speaking, reading, writing. Boom.

But that’s not it. Then it’s on to studying for finals in my actual classes (grammar, speech, Baikal studies), writing final essays (literature), and making last good impressions on profs (econ) to get that lucky number 5 (the Russian “A”).

But amidst the stress, I’ve found that it seems to magically disappear if I simply procrastinate, so I’ve made sure to get my daily dose this week:

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