Friday, December 3, 2010

BRRR… It’s cold in here! And...Russian Rhetoric

This week began with and spend most of its days in the negatives. And I don’t mean -1 or -2 but rather -13 and -15 Fahrenheit, not Celsius people. So I made sure I was bundled up with two scarves, my gloves and my hat that has fur lining in the inside which kept my ears and face pretty warm, thanks to my brother for the Christmas gift last year!
Snow Fall in Yaroslavl, Russia. There's usually a path here.

Luckily I also live about 7 minutes of a walk away from the university so all I have to do is quickly walk until I’m in the building, no buses, no trams, no waiting. Yesterday’s classes were canceled due to the cold and the amount of students getting sick or getting there. I myself had a sore throat for the most part this week and luckily its clearing up now after constantly taking medicine. And to jump from the topics of cold to my Russian class, today was pretty warm (warm being like 4 degrees) when I left the house and so the walk to the Philology building of the university which is about 15-20 minutes away wasn’t too bad. 

My Russian Rhetoric class which I kind of jumped into without looking has turned out to be a great class. The students do their homework, participate in class and have been friendly to me which I can’t ask for anything more. The girl who speaks as quickly as the wind is becoming easier to understand and I find myself laughing along with the students as they joke with the professor or amongst themselves. The last past two classes have been debates, the first which was my side of the classroom, which I was a part of was whether or not Russians are tolerant people (I was placed on the ‘yes’ side) and today’s debate was whether or not Russia should legalize the use of a medical drug (Эвтаназия /euthanasia) which is given to patients who want to die. I asked a question during our debate to the other team last week, and even though I choked a bit on the grammar trying to get my question out I was proud that I contributed to the discussion.

Today as we waited for the other side of the classroom to prepare the girl who speaks like the wind, Ксения (Ksenia) apparently Xenia in English, who’s really nice to me asked how to say in English the word for пряник (pryanik) which sounded like panic to me but ended up being gingerbread. One of the other girls asked me which language I thought was pretty (I guess between Russian and English) and told her that Spanish was prettier to me. One of the guys who sits in my row shakes my hand when we get there and leave, which here is done only among guys, and it’s a gesture of hi and bye, which I appreciate. So I’m feeling more and more like one of the students which is bitter sweet since the semester ends in December so I won’t be having class with them anymore.
I have a paper on the history of Rhetoric for this class, a short 5-minute monologue about whatever topic I choose, a quiz where we analyze a text and finally a written exam part which seems like a lot now seeing it written out here, especially now that December is here. I’m hoping all these things don’t overwhelm me and I’m kind of afraid because I don’t know if I’ll get a dumbed down Russian version of the test and quiz cause if not, it’s going to be… interesting, to say the least when I take the exam. Things have been going pretty well so far but Christmas is really just around the corner and I know that’s when I’ll miss the home the most. 

Wow! All caught up on blog posts! Ура!! (Ura) The Russian version of Hurray!

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