Saturday, April 30, 2011

вчера, сегодня, завтра - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

вчера (vchera) - Yesterday

I devoted an entire lesson to teaching North American slang (and a bit of British - had to teach "chav," after all, it's too great a word!) to my advanced teens. Ok, so part of me was cringing as I taught the inane phrase, "What are you sayin'?" (it makes no sense! Why do people insist on using this as a greeting?) but I do think that learning the slangy, colloquial language is oftentimes just as important as learning the proper, grammatically-correct forms.

And seriously, the English in Mind textbook ACTUALLY expected me to teach a lesson on biogerontology. Because the most exciting thing for teenagers to study in a foreign language is the biological processes of aging, right? What's that? You just fell asleep? Yeah. Imagine having to sit through an ENTIRE 90 minute lesson on such a stimulating subject. Hell, imagine having to TEACH that! So I threw the textbook out the window (not literally) and focused on the things that are actually important. You know. Like what exactly IS a gold-digger, after all?

Luckily, no one was too bummed about missing out on the aging process, and the lesson was a success. We ended with them teaching me some Russkiy mat (swear words), which is basically a language unto itself. I've heard before that in comparison to other languages, English swearing is extremely boring and and dull. I don't really swear in the first place (I still remember accidentally letting the word "crap!" slip out of my mouth one time when I was twelve, and being convinced that I was going to Hell for saying such an awful word! - Yes, I was a melodramatic child), but it was interesting to see just how colourful and VERBOSE Russian swearing can be!

It was a fun lesson especially for a class that can be challenging for me at times. There are twelve students (classes aren't supposed to be any larger than eight) and they are all sixteen and seventeen years old - getting to be that age where they think they're too cool for school and all that. It can be difficult for me to maintain control in the classroom, as well as to keep them interested and engaged in English. I received a compliment at the end of the lesson though that meant a lot to me - one of the students, Masha, said to me, "Our lessons are getting a lot more interesting lately! I finally feel like I'm actually learning!" and a few other students nodded in agreement. Since October, I had been focusing on following the textbook, which, as you can see in my biogerontology example, isn't really "down" with what teens are interested in. I've been trying to branch out a bit and focus more on speaking with some grammar reinforcement, and it looks like my experiment is working so far!

Ok, that's enough about teaching! After work, I hurried home to watch the Russian coverage of the Royal Wedding on First Channel. Luckily my ghetto TV managed to work (with the odd adjustment of the antennae every now and then!):

Pretty awesome, huh?

сегодня (sevodnya) - Today

Today I went out to the shops, bought a bunch of different breakfast-type foods (yogurt, muesli, some kind of indeterminate cream cheese-like spread...there WAS some Philly cream cheese but it was outrageously expensive so I stuck to the Russian version) and then stopped at some local street vendors to buy spinach, beets, and strawberries - yum!

I've just spent the last four hours cleaning the kitchen and bathroom in my flat, and now I'm taking a break while I wait for Natasha to finish work and drop off her vacuum cleaner for me to borrow. Why am I in full-out spring cleaning mode? Because...

завтра (zaftra) - Tomorrow

Tomorrow my parents arrive!! I am so, so excited - I'm planning on causing quite the scene at Domodedovo tomorrow when I see them! It's been eight months since I hugged them good-bye at Pearson Airport, and I can't wait to show them around Moscow, the crazy, beautiful, frustrating, glorious city that's become my home. We're also headed to St. Petersburg for four days so be on the lookout for some blog posts about that!

Hope everyone had/is having/will have a great yesterday/today/tomorrow - thanks for dropping by and paka :)


  1. wait a minute... who says "what are you sayin'" as a greeting?! i have NEVER heard that!

  2. Really? It must be a Canadian thing then...ugh EVERY GUY starts a conversation that way!!

  3. I woder are "chav" and "чувак" related somehow? Meaning is almost the same.

  4. *cough* I have never started a conversation with that, Katie. Perhaps those kind of guys who say it think they're a bit more 'ghetto' or whatever than I am or I am just not hip with the newfangled lingo.

  5. zack, you misspelled newfoundland.

    and, yeah, that's some stupid canadian slang. not relevant at all.

  6. Ok ok, I will edit my comment...guys who THINK they are super cool and "gangsta" will start a conversation with "what you sayin'?" Zack is simply too educated and verbose and knows better :)

    Teknomad that's interesting about chubak and chav! They even have that same ring to them that makes it so fun to say :)