Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tuesday Evening Russian

Two weeks ago I began my Russian class at the M√ľnchener Volkshochschule. A Volkshochschule is something like community center meets community college where anyone can enroll in classes of all sorts from cooking to yoga and adventure sports to  languages.  Especially in big cities, the selection of classes is extremely extensive.  And the best part - the price! These centers are non-profit organizations partially funded by the German government, so the courses are very affordable and available to the ''Volk'' (people).

To be honest, I left my first class a little skeptical.  There were only 5 of us in attendance and I was not only the only non-German participant, but also clearly the youngest by at least 30 years.  Three of the other four participants had been learning Russian with this teacher basically since the beginning, so I was feeling a little out of the loop.  All in all though, I was happy to be back to speaking, reading, and writing Russian, so I decided to give week number 2 a try.

And boy was I glad I did!  Everything was off to a better start before class even began, as I sat in the Hauptbahnhof  Starbucks drinking my coffee and finished up the reading assignment for Tuesday evening's class.  Arriving early (as opposed to the first week when I found myself rushing into class just past 7:30) I greeted my classmates who were also all there early and was pleasantly surprised when a girl who looked to be about my age walked in! It turns out that she is from Tajikistan, but not from a Russian-speaking family, so she wants to improve her Russian abilities.  There was also a man of about 35 or so who joined us this week, so our class is starting to get some more character and diversity.

And did I mention our teacher?? She's great!!! It has been my experience that middle-aged Russian women teaching their language to foreigners are some of the friendliest, quirkiest, funniest, most interesting people I have ever met (and I've had my fair share of Russian teachers in my life)- Their students love them, while somewhere deep down always being the tiniest bit afraid of them, hence the assigned homework is always completed for the next class haha.

And like any proper Russian, she has a cat who is equally as quirky.  This week she shared with us with true disappointment that Thomas has stopped cleaning his nose as he used to.  She explained that she showed him his dirty nose in the mirror and gave him a stern talking to, but she has still been having to clean his nose for him lately.  Hopefully poor Thomas gets his act back together soon ;)

In any case, I'm glad that I made the decision to sign up for this class.  It breaks up my week with something other than work, studying, housework, or the gym and I love love LOVE getting back to speaking Russian.  Maybe I'll get have to sign up for the Ukrainian class next semester too :)


  1. I love that you are getting back into studying Russian, Chels. Of course, you are already fluent but it has got to be all kinds of fun for you to be studying, speaking and writing Russian more frequently. Love you, my little Yankee Doodle Ruski! :-)