Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Riding bikes!

This Autumn we've borrowed some friends' child's seat for a bicycle.  We've really had a great time taking family trips cycling up through the near-by forrest.

Our building manager (Babushka Galina) was at first quite surprised to see our set-up.  Quickly, though, she warmed to the idea, cooing and calming "Marika" (what she calls Anna for some reason - it's now been much too long to correct her on the name,) into an explosion of smiles, enthusiastically wishing us "happy trails!" as we peddled off.

Here's a clip of Daddy and Anna cruising along at top speed:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

School's Back in Session

September 1st.
Rain or shine.
Tuesday or Sunday.
School's back in session.

This year, September 1st fell on a Saturday which was no deterrent for the "Day of Knowledge" (first day of school) festivities.  Students of all ages gathered for their parades and assemblies, complete with bell ringing by a chosen first class girl atop the shoulders of a last class boy.

We ventured to the Pedagogical University where we'll be spending a lot of our time this semester.  Although student-age people crowded the university grounds and buildings, it was difficult to ascertain if much (or anything) was going on at all.

We learned that the university community does not take the month of September too seriously.  Professors and students alike try to set up their schedules for the semester, without actually attending classes or even going to the university.  "It's the season of discounted fares to Egypt and Turkey, so teachers like to take their vacations in September," one student told us.  She then went on to describe an incident when a teacher had forgotten to tell students she'd be out of town.  The students filled the classroom each day, ready to begin classwork, with no teacher present or colleague even aware of their coworker's absence, for nearly two weeks before giving up.  Then, when the teacher returned, she messaged her students that classes would begin the following Monday.  Students returned to class, ready to begin, but still no teacher showed up to teach them!  Apparently, the teacher had mixed up the days of her schedule.  Four days later, this teacher finally organized and prepared, promptly began the semester.  Can we say tenure dispute? 

September 1st, and we are off and running.  We just don't quite no where yet or how to get there...