the long silence + daily life

Dear World (but mostly grandparents),

I apologize for taking two weeks off. I didn’t mean to. It just kind of happened. That’s a bad excuse, but that’s the way it is.

What have I been up to?

A lot of things… some good things of long-term significance, other not-so-good maybe-necessary-maybe-not things that I forgot about as soon as I finished.

More specifically, I have three kinds of days, in general: busy days, empty days, and Sundays. Now I’ll give you a look at each of these days, in an average-sense (since I have no set schedule, and no two days are the same).

Busy Days (inspired by Tuesday)

  • 7am- wake up, eat granola and yogurt, read, pray, get ready for work but forget to do my hair
  • 8am- head out to the bus stop, where Vickie and I wait with great anticipation for the bus that will deliver us straight to the doorstep of the university. If/when this bus (the edinichka, as it’s called) doesn’t come, we take another which drops us off slightly further away. We live.
  • 8:30am- begin classes. Frighten the students by speaking more than 10 English words in a row.
  • 10am- break! Eat an apple.
  • 10:12am- arrive at second class two minutes late. But we’re with the professor, so that’s fine. Give some presentation and/or lead a grammar activity based on some song from some musical (if I planned it) or Bob Dylan (if Vickie planned it).
  • 11:40am- second break! Wish I’d saved the apple.
  • 12pm- go to third class if I’ve been invited… or just stick around the office, eat lunch (kotleta and mashed potatoes from the cafeteria), and plan for later classes.
  • 2:30pm- run like the wind to Rostok to be with my darling children.
  • 3pm- reconsider calling the children “darling.” More apt: “precocious” or “sprightly.”
  • 3:30pm- sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” for the fifteenth time in thirty minutes. Follow with “Simon Says,” or else face mutiny.
  • 3:50pm- run/take a taxi back to university to teach my class (my class!)
  • 4:15pm- begin my class. This is a group of intermediate-level students who were recommended as very motivated and/or above the level of their groupmates. We read short stories, play games, have conversation, and blitz through grammar (grammar!)
  • 5:45pm- follow mildly-to-severely icy sidestreets to my tutor’s house for my Russian lesson.
  • 6:05pm- try to speak Russian, fail.
  • 6:08pm- eat dinner instead of speaking.
  • 6:32pm- try to speak Russian, have marginal success.
  • 8:40pm- head home! If it’s warm (read: above 20F) walk; if not, or if my backpack is really heavy, take the bus.
  • 9:10pm- debrief in Vickie’s room.
  • 9:30pm- Skype with friends, read Anna Karenina, rub my thighs and regret singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” fifteen times in a row, plan for tomorrow’s classes, consider working on job applications, take a shower.
  • 12am- fall asleep and hope that tomorrow will be an empty day.

Empty Days (inspired by Wednesday)

  • 7am- wake up because the sun has already been up for two hours.
  • 7:20am- fall back asleep because I’m exhausted.
  • 9am- wake up again, eat granola and yogurt, read, pray, still don’t do my hair.
  • 10:15am- see what was happening in the world yesterday (i.e. check Facebook, email, etc.)
  • 10:30am- start lesson planning!
  • 11:30am- continue lesson planning!
  • 12:15pm- wonder why I’m still lesson planning!
  • 12:30pm- eat cheese-and-meat open faced sandwiches and a tomato.
  • 1pm- in theory: write a blog post, read Anna Karenina, or work on job applications. In reality: wash my dishes, wash my floor, or wash my socks. Or, if it’s sunny, wander aimlessly around the city.
  • 2pm- rehearsal for a musical I somehow am performing in.
  • 2:55pm- sneak a snack before Rostok.
  • 3pm- classes with the children.
  • 4pm- classes with the other children.
  • 5pm- classes with the non-children (i.e. university administrators & professors).
  • 6pm- eat dinner… leftovers if I have them, some combination of bread, apples, and peanut butter if I don’t.
  • 7pm- some gathering/study/something at church.
  • 9pm- drink tea with people, because 9pm is a great time for caffeine.
  • 10:30pm- arrive home, consider doing all the things I should have done at 1pm, decide instead to do more lesson planning.
  • 11pm- give up on lesson planning, wind down, sleep.

Sundays (inspired by Sunday)

  • 8am- wake up, eat granola and yogurt, read, pray, probably actually do my hair.
  • 9:30am- take the bus to church, because it’s morning.
  • 10am- church starts. I’m probably late.
  • 12:30pm- church ends. Get invited to stay for tea, accept if there will be food, decline if there will not, because I’m hungry.
  • 12:45pm- walk home from church, because it’s no longer morning.
  • 1:30pm- eat lunch, maybe even cook something. Otherwise just have more sandwiches.
  • 3pm- go for a walk, read, clean my room, blog.
  • 5pm- realize I have to leave for evening church in 30 minutes and should eat something. Most likely bread and tomatoes.
  • 5:40pm- walk to the other church building. Walk quickly because I was late leaving.
  • 6pm- service starts. This is the one where I translate for the student from Ghana.
  • 8pm- service ends. Go home usually pretty immediately, because bread and tomatoes aren’t really dinner, and I’m hungry (sense a pattern?).
  • 8:15pm- eat something real, probably something Vickie just cooked and is eating at the moment I arrive (unplanned, but wonderful).
  • 9pm- talk to my parents.
  • 10:30pm- read, maybe wash socks.
  • 11:30pm- go to bed.

So that’s my average daily life, with way more detail than is probably interesting. As you can see, it’s pretty full of good things, which is just how I like it 🙂 And this week Rostok was on holiday, which meant more aimless wandering around the city in the gorgeous weather we’ve been having (30s and sunny… that’s positive 30s), more real food, and more lesson planning 😀

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2 thoughts on “the long silence + daily life

  1. Wow Katie sounds like you stay very productive but also leave room for restoration and just enjoying the culture! Like your posts very much! Thanks, Aunt Tina

    Like

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