Day 4: Russian Lessons

I have two Russian lessons a week, each presumably an hour, but we usually run over.  Mondays are tough because I usually don't feel prepared.  The last lesson ia usually Friday, and it seems like the distance between Monday and Friday is far longer than the distance between Friday and Monday.

These days, lessons start at 7 and end pretty close after 8.  Lilya, my teacher, has video classes with Army Special Forces guys from 9 to 4 five days a week.  She's frustrated with them, but actually, I cannot imagine studying Russian for 6 hours a day (they have a 1-hour break at 1:00, or 13:00 if you're a Special Forces person.  One hour pretty much cooks my brain.

Each lesson I get a Russian tongue-twister and a proverb to practice and, supposedly, memorize.  This morning was a disaster.  All my well-memorized sayings dribbled out my brain and were not there on command.  I felt pretty foolish.  I have enormous respect for Lilya.  She has been a fabulous teacher, encourager, coach, and friend, and I hate to let her down bt being a lump.

When she's not teaching all day, lessons start at 8, and I usually don't leave until about 10:30.  We always have a lot to talk about, between our families, my adoped family in Ukraine, goings-on in Russia, Ukraine, and here.  From Siberia, she has the outsider's perspective on the US that's always so interesting, and she keeps up with what's happening in Russia, and always has interesting points of view.  I don't have a lot of folks nearby with whom I can have conversations at that level - she's smarter than I am, with a much better memory, so I always have to keep alert.  

Russian lessons are a highlight of the week.

Feb. 8, 2016