Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

I was able to get myself in gear and showed up on time for the training session at the American Pilot School where Tatjana was conducting a double session to account for the Eid holiday last week. Only nine teachers had showed up during what is called the fall break when students are sent home for nine days so teachers can catch up with paperwork regarding attendance and grades. The session was a lethargic one as the trainer would assign a task for the teachers to do in pairs or groups, but would give each teacher an individual handout so that everyone worked individually instead of as part of a team and she then retreated to her desk and computer to surf the Internet apparently. She’s still not using a timer or a watch to keep track of how long each task should last.

We all went to the resource center for a coffee break as the school’s cafeteria was closed for the break and we shared biscuits, bread and coffee while I answered a few questions from the teachers who finally had found their voices. Tatjana thought I was to be present for their presentation on ways to access the Internet sites offered by the State Department for continual professional development, but I told her I wasn’t sure about that and would check with Natalia over the weekend.

I then took the marshrutka to Lingua to get there on time for my meeting with Judson. Sophiat was there once again and learned today that she’ll be teaching the lower levels at Lingua with Adina being her mentor. The latter was occupying “my” computer again, and I had to ask her to vacate the space before 1:00pm. I got started on the mailing list, having finally figured out how to add the names from the one supplied by Forum, and when a quarter of an hour had gone by and Judson hadn’t shown up, I called him. He apologized profusely saying he thought he had sent me a message asking to postpone our meeting for another day, perhaps Monday and I agreed. I had not gotten such message from him.

Meanwhile, Ryan sent me message informing me he had finally being granted his visa and had an entry date of November 7 with a return date of the 12. I was simply elated for the temperature had dropped to 25 this morning and I could have used a pair of gloves. He still wants to travel to the lake region and thinks doing so after my presentation at the Forum gathering is perfectly doable.

Zarina had given me two Advil tablets for the terrible headache I was experiencing, but they did little to quell it. When I was done with the mailing list, I left Lingua hoping to be able to ride a somewhat empty minibus to my apartment and succeeded. I took a short nap and then made myself a cup of café con leche feeling much better thereafter.

I had contacted a couple of local women through the Couch Surfer’s website and one of them had replied after almost a month. I called Nazira and we agreed to meet tomorrow for a cup of coffee after my conversation class at Lingua.

Elvira called to say Natalia had instructed her to write up yet another grant by November 8 to obtain the required funding so she can travel with me to the southern portion of the country come spring. Since I’m completely booked for Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday is a holiday, we agreed to meet at my flat on Sunday morning to get it done.

For my dinner, I mixed the beshbarmak dish, overcooked noodles and horsemeat, with the spicy mushrooms and beef from the Chinese leftovers and then had enough for two separate meals. I definitely don’t like the flavor of the horsemeat and the texture of the noodles is certainly off putting. I have to concoct a veritable excuse for not accepting to eat this dish ever again.

I put together a survey for the teachers at the Slavic University so they can choose what type of topics they’d like to participate in for the next eight sessions and typed up a table listing all the PowerPoint presentations I’ve finished so far and those that are still a work in progress. Not bad for just a day’s worth of work. I rewarded myself by watching the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” based on a book by Fanny Flagg I had read years ago. I had certainly forgotten the gist of the novel, but the movie was suspenseful enough to keep me interested and the performance by Kathy Bates was superb.

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