Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

Slept fitfully once again whether as a result of the white wine or the disappointment at the lack of turnout for the book club meeting. I guess I’ll never learn to stop being so hopeful about initiating these kind of activities for which the people around me seem to have little or no interest even when outwardly they claim to do so. Rebecca emailed me claiming she hadn’t felt well the night before and had gone to the doctor and didn’t have my phone number in her new cell so as to call me and let me know. I believed neither assertion.

The scene outside was right out of a Christmas card with the entire city blanketed by a heavy snowfall that was still falling while the temperature continued to plummet. I bundled myself as best I could and went to my Russian class where Ainura and I discussed mostly food items for which she didn’t even have flashcards. She did say she went looking for them, but found none so I wondered how she did her Peace Corps language training in the absence of any visual aids.

Traffic was snarled with the heavy accumulation of snow on the ground and it took me forty minutes to get to Lingua. Zarina immediately came to ask me if I could be part of the committee selecting the candidates for pre-service training on Thursday morning and I informed her I had already agreed to meet with Laira at that same time. She implored me to try and change it for a later time as they desperately needed to have another person on the committee. I called Laira and she agreed to meet after eleven.

I worked on my presentation on teaching collocations until it was time to go to the Forum offices for yet another meeting regarding the book proposal. I was there exactly at 3:00, but no one was around and the office was locked. Willoughby came by a few minutes later and we chitchatted in the hallway until Elvira showed up and got the key to open the office. Nurkys, the Peace Corps education program coordinator, also came to the meeting to talk about how that organization had already done a lot of work on adapting textbooks to the local culture.

I have to admit that I simply detest attending meetings where people just ramble on and on about whatever pops into their head instead of having an agenda dictating exactly what is to be covered and having a time limit for such meeting. I still had a splitting headache and being in a small, cramped room just listening to people talk made me restless and sleepy. I started to yawn nonstop and my mind began to wonder as to how long it would before I could get a decent cup of coffee.

Willoughby had informed us that the embassy would be sending a template for this project next week, and I just blurted out the idea that we could postpone discussion of the topic until we saw the template and knew exactly what they wanted to know. She didn’t take kindly to my remark and instead replied they were discussing some very relevant matters. I begged to be excused from the meeting as I had already being there for one hour and it didn’t seem to be about to end anytime soon. Elvira looked pained by my request, but Gulnara understood.

The cup of coffee I had the minute I walked into my flat had the desired effect as my headache subsided a bit and then I was able to redo the presentation on speaking skills as I couldn’t find the last version I had prepared for the Russian Slavonic University. Snow continued to fall right up to the time I went to bed.

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