Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 4 – July 1st, 2008

In which academics occur.

First day of class, woof. I feel like a bit of a jerk, but I seem to be the only person who enjoyed it. I feel ok with where I was placed (at least so far), and my brain didn’t melt too much after a while. The last time I was such a no-English class, it was French, and I honestly think I understand Russian a whole lot better.

It seems like basically, we’re all really under prepared. I know Drew is a great school and all that, but we have really been wishing that we’d been worked harder. We know very little vocabulary, nothing about the motion verbs (which are hugely complicated in Russian, and totally necessary when living here!), and have very little practice speaking. I think one of the problems was that we’ve had so many teachers that they keep teaching us the same things repeatedly. But anyway, I think I’m going to like my class (I hope!), and am a little disappointed that we only have three weeks instead of four (they need a full week to process our transcripts, and apparently don’t know how to use a fax machine). Probably I’m a big dork, but I’m really excited about all the learning.

After finally finding a map, some maps, a map that includes the part of Vasilievsky island we live on! We went to Nevsky Prospekt today – walked along the Neva from the University, and across the bridge into the square with the big column that Alexander put up to brag about beating Napoleon. It’s all really neat, and so many of the buildings are just gorgeous. Unfortunately, they’re surrounded by modern things, which I had sort of forgotten about with all the historical movies and old literature I’ve been learning from. So there are buses and taxis and stop signs and power lines in most of my pictures – alas.

On Nevsky mostly we just wandered. There’s a hats and furs store we want to go into later perhaps to get gifties, but it looks like that store from Pretty Woman, and we were feeling a little sweaty and disoriented. We decided we’ll get dressed up when we go. Then we went to the Dom Knigi (house of books!), where I had a notebook accident that only cost me about $5. Exchange rates are awesome, except that without the internet I have no way to check how many dollars (not rubles) I have in my account.

Came back to the dorm, collapsed and had lunch, and came back here to collapse some more. We spent a good amount of time chatting, and then went back to studying, sort of. Also, being silly and looking up silly words. Everyone else had a whole bunch of homework, and I just had to look over the papers I got. So I spent a lot of time being preoccupied with something outside in the Gulf of Finland (out the boys window) that looked like a flipped boat, or a whale, or a kayak, or one of those Jesus bugs that floats on water, but...huge. So I took a picture of it to find out what it was, but when I zoom in it just looks like it might be the Loch Ness monster. Probably, when I have internets, I will post a picture!

In other news, I took a real shower today. It was real in that the water was hot, it came out of the showerhead, and there was a little bit of water pressure. It was amazing. Of course, it is a little weird to have to be paranoid about not getting any water in my mouth. And the tradeoff was that I wanted to shower last night, and couldn’t get water to come out - hot or cold. I did have enough to wash my face and my feet, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Tried calling everyone again a little while ago, but no answers. Hopefully I’ll be able to try calling Chris in the morning, or if I wake up in the middle of the night. I hope everyone’s good. It’s a little scary to not even be able to get news from home. I know I’m too dependant on the internet, but I’d like to be able to at least read that aliens haven’t invaded.

Off to study, and sleep sometime. Hopefully soon. Sweet dreams, all of you people who can’t actually read this. Unless you’re hacking my internetless computer, in which case

Привет, и очень приятно. Говорите по-английски? Потому что если нет, вам скучно...

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