Monthly Archives: February 2012
Hello everyone! I have so much to catch you up on, I’m doing this in four parts over the next couple of days.
Part 1 is about my trip to Moscow from January 18 – 22. This will be relatively brief, because most of it was Fulbright ETA training, but I’ll tell you about that and some of the other stuff I did.
The training mostly consisted of people presenting on aspects of their lives in Russia, teaching, or their research project if they were a full grant recipient. There were some really interesting projects, such as the research being done on rural development and the use of public green space in Moscow. There was also a presentation on the recent elections and the upcoming presidential elections (the political scientist in me rejoiced). That was one of the most interesting ones for me. The presenter was a Fulbright scholar and a professor of political science and she investigated the electoral patterns by the voters and voting patterns of members of the Duma by political party.
The last day was concentrated on ETA training, which gave some really helpful tips now that we know what we’re dealing with. We learned about some games that we could play even with university students, such as the Coffee Pot game. (One person chooses a verb and doesn’t tell the rest of the group. The others then have to guess what the verb is by asking yes or no questions replacing the unknown verb with the phrase coffee pot: “Are you coffee potting right now?” “How often do you coffee pot?” etc.)
Outside of presentations and training, we did do some sightseeing. I managed to meet a friend I have been communicating with online for four or five years but had never met in person. She’s a university student there in Moscow. We went out for dinner with some of the other ETAs and saw Red Square (including the Kremlin and St. Basil’s).
We went to two huge bookstores. I was looking for Pride and Prejudice (my favorite novel) in Russian. I bought that and several other books in Russian. Bookstores in Russia (well, in Moscow at least) are not like other bookstores. They’re HUGE, first of all, consisting of several stories and they often have more than just books. Many sold souvenirs and school supplies and even food. None of it was very cheap. (Welcome to Moscow, one of the most expensive cities in the world!)
I was quite happy to see my fellow ETAs again. I was glad I got to spend more time with some of them. We had a great time, I think.
While I was in Moscow, I was told that the day I left, Krasnoyarsk temperatures hit -40 (F). It was warmer when I returned. But since then, temperatures have been generally hovering between -30 and -35 (F). That will be covered more in Part 4, when I talk about my day yesterday.
I must go, but please be well and take care, moyi druz’ya!