Thursday, June 10, 2010

First days of school

It is unbelievable that already nearly two weeks have passed of us being in St. Petersburg. While I have gotten used to the occasional drunk on the main shopping street, the Nevski boulevard, as well as the unfathomable Russian frown which is to maintain until you have a good reason to smile, our classes are still somewhat challenging. It's great to learn so much Russian vocab and grammar in just a couple of days, but it's really hard too, especially the part of 'memorize this page-long text with 50 new grammar rules until tomorrow and I'll ask you detailed questions about it!' We are doing an ok job so far, I believe. Well, I don't really have to make assumptions; the Russian teachers are some of the most direct I have ever met. After each round of questions, there comes a round of evaluation, reaching from "Student X has done his/her homework properly, but has troubles expressing it in actual Russian" to "Student Y doesn't understand or know anything at all". In pretty much these words. It's an extremely good motivational tool though; cuz the first time I was told that I made "many, many mistakes in my essay; a lot more than other students", I started working. For realz. You just don't want to be the student that "never understands everything". Believe me. Not with that Russian frown waiting for you.

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