(Monday 26th September 2011 written same day)
I don’t know when this is going to reach the blog. The internet at home isn’t working at present. I’ve tried restarting the router, and I don’t want to mess with anything more than that. The network diagnostics show that the router says it is connected to the internet, but every website I try to connect to times out. I will probably copy the text files of the blog entries onto a flashdrive and load them at the school. Pictures will have to wait.
Today started with mist. I wore an anorak for the walk to school. It was just a little chilly. I didn’t think to look at what any of the buildings said the temperature was. I still feel a little groggy with the cold. The leaves are falling from the trees and everywhere you can see people sweeping them up and stuffing them into sacks and other containers.
The work at school today started with conversation. A review of what I did at the weekend. Unfortunately, the “cold” meant that wasn’t as much as I had wanted, but there were still some things to talk about, like going to the shop and buying food. Apparently my choice of provisions counts as “healthy”. I think there was rather too much dairy, but I think that just shows differences in attitude in different countries. I definitely think the Russian diet contains less meat than I am used to, and that is probably a good thing.
After the conversation, we moved on to the homework. My insight with the “cases” was pretty much correct. I am beginning to understand how to use the crib-sheet I’ve been given to work out what ending to use when a noun should be in a particular case. I’m making lots of mistakes but I’ve moved beyond randomly changing the ending of the word and hoping it is appropriate.
The new work today is more about variations on a theme of cleaning. I suppose when teaching a language it is easiest to have themes for different sections, and there are probably deeper objectives to choosing particular words which are not obvious to me, but sometimes it seems like the text-book authors have an obsession with something, in this case – cleaning. Today I had verbs for “washing” (the laundry), “washing” (vegetables, or the car) and finally “cleaning” (with a brush). This last one includes the sense of cleaning your shoes (with a brush), cleaning your teeth (also with a brush) but also (to my mind strangely), peeling or removing the skin from fruit or vegetables. Seems odd, but there you go.
More homework to do, most of which I did in the afternoon.
I had thought about taking a weekend trip to Tomsk. I think I’ve abandoned that idea. I like the idea of Tomsk, but the trip involves 3+ hours on a bus each way, it requires a night in a hotel and it will take up the whole weekend. It also works out a little expensive. I think I would rather save the money and save the effort. On the plus side, the school have suggested a trip on the river on Saturday. That is a nice alternative. If the weather is reasonable (and the forecast says it should be), then that will be something to look forward to.
I’ve tried running some diagnostics on the internet connection. Just tried “ping”. As I thought, I’ve got a good connection to the router, but the router isn’t talking to the internet, even though it says that is is. It seems highly unlikely that all the sites I’ve tried are equally broken.
It’s 21:00 and my landlady has just arrived with the shopping. Goodness me she has a long day. And this is after the (looked like it was unplanned) trip to Tomsk which took up all of the weekend.
It’s after 23:00 and supper was excellent! Sasiski (Frankfurter sausages) with rice, and sour cream and tovorak and the inevetable black tea plus… I’ve just drunk something and I’m not at all sure what it was. My landlady said it will be good for my cough. It consisted of milk which had been boiled with nuts in it. The “nuts” are about the size and shape of maize kernels but dark red-brown. I looked at the pot were it was prepared, and there’s a cedar pine cone as well. The whole concoction tasted a little bitter. I’m feeling sleepy, but the internet’s back, so I’m going to do the posting and then go to sleep.