Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today I read the rest of The Chosen. It was very powerful and I took Sunshine to class and bought ice cream for the babies and sat and read. It was so nice-- where I was sitting, the sun was beating down on me in the car but it wasn't overly bright. I felt like I was sitting under a sunlamp.

I cleaned up the babies and after Sunshine got done with class, I dropped her off with Boom-Boom and took the younger two to a pre-school for an interview. The assistant's name was Chuckie. She seemed nice but spoke down to the kids. I know that some have special needs, but she is 35 and trying to talk like a four year old. That creeped me out when I was little and I didn't trust adults who did that and I don't trust it now. The name Chuckie really got in my nerves as well. I got home and told them that we couldn't do it at this time. Note to teachers everywhere: do not make your name be the name of a horror flick character.

Time flies fast in Russian. I love my teacher. She is so cute. We have Russian names and American names and then we have diminutives of each. I felt like I was in War & Peace. Our teacher got tired. She felt so tired to she motioned for me to "get up and be the teacher." I had to explain that she had just explained, then each person in class took a turn being the teacher while she yawned and blinked her eyes. This is so nice-- in one of my social work classes, we played Let's Pretend (If I were a counselor or a client and I drew this out of a hat, here's how I'd act!.) In Russian we are actually doing something. I also like hearing my classmates speak because I can hear my own mistakes in their vocalizations. A language is not something that you can learn on your own. I wonder if us leaving certain phonemes off the ends of words is as jarring to her ears as it is to mine once I detect it even in another language. (It's forgivable because we are new speakers, but it can still be eye-bulging-ly annoying.) What gets to me is knowing that as an adult language learner, I will never quite get the language as well as I would have at the age of 12 when I wanted to learn but they just didn't have it in school.

We learned something interesting as well. She said that teachers in Russia cannot leave their grade books out because the students will help each other by adjusting the grades. She said that it's cultural-- Russians help each other. I wanted to ask some questions over that but she perhaps sensed a bunch of questions that might not end well and changed the subject. Are Americans too much individualists? To us it is cheating, to them it's cultural. No doubt their helping of each other has made them survivors through a hellish history-- but I do not understand it.

We were reading and something that is quite trivial-- a name-- kept being repeated and I didn't see how it could be read like that. I asked her how she got that name out of what we had read over and over and she said that I was correct. It was just a couple of letters, but I felt like I was getting it. I was quite happy with myself.

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