Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20, 2012

It was reassuring to see the contours of the Tian Shian Mountains in the early morning light as that indicated that the snow had come to an end at least for today. I spent all morning putting the finishing touches on the PowerPoint presentation on reading skills and gathering all the handouts needed to put on a demonstration of what a reading lesson should look like. I called Jyrdal and told her I’d be bringing the handouts with me to do the photocopying myself as her staff hasn’t managed to do it right yet.

Zarina emailed to say the landlady had spoken to the person in charge of disruptions in the building and that person had no idea where the noise was coming from. She promised to come by today to do something about it. I don’t particularly believe she’ll follow through on her promise.

The snow was thick and had been packed hard by the numerous cars and pedestrians roaming around. The sun did make a difference for it didn’t feel as cold as yesterday even though the temperatures were hovering around zero anyway. Marshrutkas continued to come by packed to the gills with riders, but I couldn’t afford to walk in this weather and just put up with the discomfort thankful that it was a relatively short ride to the university.

Baktagul, the resource center coordinator, led me to the place where a photocopier could be used and that entailed walking to another building when I had already removed my coat, hat and gloves. Another assistant helped me put together the handouts so they were printed doubled-sided and in the right quantity. Twelve teachers were present and I felt we had a good session discussing the difference between the traditional way of teaching reading as a solitary activity the student pursues in order to answer some questions at the end and the more interactive way where students pair up to discuss what they have read, answer questions about it and finally summarize their findings.

Walking out of the university on my way to board the marshrutka, I saw a group of soldiers removing the snow directly in front of the entrance and then another group of them near the Ala-Too Square involved in the same task. Wish I had someone to ask if this was a standard response to the risk associated with the icy conditions.

Stopped for juice and milk at the store across the street and tidied up the flat in the expectation that my landlady would show up to deal with the noise situation. Of course she didn’t, but I’m sure she’ll find time to show up this weekend to collect the rent. I’m so mad I could scream. 

I finally got around to watching the documentary "Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan" and was dismayed to find the reason behind it was "tradition", the way to affirm old customs and cement the Kyrgyz values and all of that hogwash used to justify barbaric actions that usually harm women and children the most.

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