22 February 2006

madmen and heroes

I just wanted to share this quote with you:

"This (Russia) is the country of madmen and heroes. They cannot miss a chance to get into trouble."
--Vladimir Zhirinovsky

21 February 2006

no groundhogs here

We celebrated (well, we noted the arrival of and watched with interest the events surrounding) Groundhog's Day this month. Most of my students had never heard of such a "holiday"--much less the groundhog itself. (It's the only holiday named for an animal.) It seems the Christian celebration of Candlemas the the traditions surrounding it in Germany and England (hedgehog in England) have been abandoned by all but those crazy Americans. With bated breath we watched the skies on 2 February. It started cloudy and we were glad! (We had learned to appreciate clouds and the warmth they trap during our SUNNY cold snap in January.) Then, the sun broke through. We knew the grounhog would tell us we were doomed to six more weeks of winter.

Happily, the lack of groundhogs in Russia seems to have rendered this prediction null and void! I wanted to share with you the excitement and joy that's filling our classroom as we feel spring approach. The birds have returned and are singing away. The days are SO much longer! The sun is up 'till 6 p.m. And, it's much warmer, much gentler weather. Yesterday morning it was 0 C for the first time this year. And, by the end of the day, the mercury had crossed into the positive zone. My second graders kept asking, "PLUS 8? It's PLUS 8? Not minus? PLUS?!!?!" Today we broke into positive numbers and recorded a whopping 2 C. We were thrilled to see our weather graph rise into positive numbers. We're all enjoying the coming of spring. Of course, we know it's not here yet. It's still snowing. But we can FEEL it coming. Everyone is busier and happier--on the streets, in the shops, at school...

I hope this has let you share in the joy we're feeling as our world prepares to melt. Spring IS coming. We know it. We feel it. We believe it--even in the midst of another gentle snowfall.

04 February 2006

no news is...no news

I am not cut out for blogging.

To me, blogging seems to be a rather self-indulgent act. I don't read many blogs, but the few I have read seem more intent on self-expression than on communication. I don't have a burning need to share myself with the world. In fact, I quite prefer having a bit of control over who knows what. (Big surprise there.) Blogging doesn't seem like communication because it's all one-way. Oh, sure, there is the possibility of comment, question, input...but in actuality, it happens rarely.

Besides, life here is just LIFE. As I live it, I forget what it is that is novel about life here. I eat, I sleep, I teach, I watch tv. I clean the litter box. It got very cold (come on--it's RUSSIA) and now it's not as cold...not much novel or blog-worthy there.

I am an actor. There is no getting away from that. I would never WANT to get away from that. An actor needs an audience. Without one, a play is just lines learnt in the bathtub. And blogging feels to me like that endless bubble bath of line-learning...with the water growing tepid.

I'll try to turn the hot water tap with my left toe and infuse this blog with new froth. If you want it out of the bathtub and onto the stage, let me know you're out there! If not, I'll gracefully bow out.