Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The pace has been set for this semester and let me tell you it is fast and furious!  Something tells me that this semester is about to fly on by, but oh no no I just can't think about that now.  It will just send me into an anxiety attack and bring burning tears to the corners of my eyes. None of that now!

Last Friday Megan and I headed over to Public School 114 for some quality time with the kiddos.  There was lots of chatting and a few Valentine's Day themed activities, but most importantly photos, photos, photos! I mean, real live Americans were there! I still laugh at the excitement of the kiddos to take pictures with foreigners. It's not like we're from mars and we're certainly not anything but a couple of normal girls.  Oh well!

Friday night we found ourselves at the boys' apartment and before we knew it 2 AM found us.  Unfortunately, however, the ever curious lock on the outer door to our apartment decided these wee hours of the morning would be a good time to refuse to cooperate.  Many a frustrating minute with a lock that just wouldn't budge later, our landlord was getting that ohsolovely call.  Within a few minutes landlady's son showed up accompanied by a friend, his dog Santa, and a screwdriver. After some prying and pulling, and kicking, he got the door open and we could finally get ourselves to bed.

Considering Friday night's shenanigans, Saturday morning I found myself up and at 'em considerably early.  After a trip to the water truck, I ate gretchka in front of some dubbed Chip and Dale cartoons and did some lesson planning for Monday.  When the Max was finally able to pry himself from his nice warm bed we headed to the children's clinic for another day of painting.  Sunday after church I headed over to the painting again and we more or less finished up the mural.  I'm already looking forward to the next one!

And then Monday, another week was upon us! Week two of our full class schedule! I taught my kiddos Monday morning, who were all some variation of sick and tired, despite the common, "I stayed at home and slept" answer to my "What did you do this weekend?" prompt.  I had to stiffle my giggles when, in an attempt to step out to the restroom for a moment, Sasha raised his hand and without hesitating asked, "Can I go make out?".  "May I go out?", I corrected him as I realized that I was the only one who had caught the humor in that question.  Ten minutes into the second lesson(in the room with the constantly squawking bird) confusion unfolded and some of my favorite 9th graders were ushered out, replaced by a groups whose heads my prepared lesson was definitely way over.  So I just stretched out the fun, interactive parts of the lesson I knew the boys in the class would be into and tried to keep the confusion to a minimum.  It was overall not too shabby.  After university classes I was supposed to meet up with a former professor, but was feeling like death and needed to get home as soon as possible.  Thankfully some rest and some medicine turned the day around and my evening was both fun and productive.

Tuesday meant busy day, take two.  The day which failed miserably last week had a chance to redeem itself.  And redeem it certainly did. Yes, it had it's less than perfect points, but overall, I'll mark it down as a success.  I woke up bright and early as to not be late for my 8 AM lecture, only to find out that it will actually be an 8:30 lecture.  More sleep for me on Tuesdays to come! It was my first class with all Ukrainian students, so sitting there waiting for the beginning of lecture I worked myself into all sorts of nervousness.  And then the professor came in and it was rapid fire lecture.  The students talking among themselves and the professor's apparent lack of concern about this was a bit distracting, but I rapidly jotted down everything I could catch.  Did I understand every single word? No.  But I didn't want to cry at the end of lecture.  No sooner had the professor said the last word than had he booked it out the door, so I didn't even have a chance to ask about class materials or anything.  So I turned to the girls behind me and nervously blubbered something about course materials.  They were friendly and kind in a genuine sort of way and without question  were quickly taking care of me and insuring that I got the material I needed.  And, of course, we were vk friends by the evening. One girl asked me if I was from Poland and I think she might have been a little surprised to hear that my hometown was just a tad further away.  But really, what sweethearts! They made my first lecture so much less scary.

Snowy Tuesday morning at Karazina

After two lessons in the comfort of my American friends bubble, my fourth and last lesson of the day was a smaller seminar class, again with other Ukrainian students.  The professor decided to lead a discussion on the history of terrorism and I somehow found myself courageously speaking up, answering his questions, and voicing my opinion, despite the obviously quizzical looks that headed my direction as their Ukrainian ears caught onto my accent.  That's okay, I'll take funny looks over being afraid to speak any day :) After class I talked to the professor a bit and it turns out he spent a little time in Pennsylvania.  From what I gathered we're expected to start working on an essay of sorts, but he said I shouldn't worry about that quite yet.  He asked me about my political interests and promised to bring me some reading material next time we have seminar.  Definitely feeling positive about that class too!

To finish up my Tuesday was a nice meeting with a professor from last semester and the long awaited return home. Plans are made with several different friends for the rest of the week and now only a bit of homework awaits me.

Hope everyone's weeks are also off to satisfying starts!


  1. Wow, you've got a lot going on this semester! Good for you for speaking up in class in a foreign language : ) That rocks!

    By the way, what does the tiny striped elephant in your mural signify? With the words Carapol? I see that little logo next to lots of murals here. Is it a paint company?

  2. Yep! They're amazing!!! They donate all the paints for the projects and then we just paint our little hearts out!