Milestones (I mean, it’s been over two months…)

November 6, 2011

Well the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: today, Moscow just got COLD. I mean bitter, -8° C cold (that’s 17.6° Fahrenheit for you still in non-metric countries). We’d been told in classes at Middlebury that Russians can pick out foreigners in Moscow if they aren’t wearing hats – and boy, was I the stupid foreigner without a hat today! In Vermont, I’ve always been able to get away without hats, since so much travel time is spent in the car and not on freezing cold city streets, but that has now ended. However, thanks to four years of ski races, I know how to battle the cold, and will now be prepared.

I have finished reading the first book (a little over half of the whole text) of Master and Margarita in Russian. For those of you who are a bit disappointed that it’s been a little over 2 months and I’ve only gotten through 200 pages, I’ll also share that I’m also through more than half of Jane Austen’s Emma in Russian. (Hey, it’s light and better than watching TV, and I have to admit I know the story incredibly well and it’s therefore easier to understand). And then there’s the fact that I’m still taking classes and have normal academic reading… Anyway, my goal is to finish both Master and Margarita and Emma by Christmas. Then it’s on to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Solzhenitsyn) and Anna Karenina (for the umpteenth time, but this time in Russian!).

After a bit of a break from reading the news online (I’ve been going with the TV news in the mornings here), I today returned to my beloved BBC Russian Service. I found it was much easier to get through entire articles without looking up any words, and also that I was able to much more quickly read reasonably complex articles on political and economic subjects. (Today was focused on Greece and the Euro crisis.) This was exciting, since my main goals for Russian progress this year are centered around being able read, hear, and talk about politics and current events at the level (or somewhere near the level) that I can in English. Signs of improvement are encouraging, especially since progress here is much less visible than at summer school in Middlebury.

I also scored the winning goal in our first soccer game on Friday, which ended 3-2 – this is particularly milestone-worthy if you’ve heard my diatribes about my very vocal Soviet-style coach. I had a really hard time with him until I decided to take none of the yelling personally, and to just focus on understanding the main thought of the advice he so loudly imparts.

Until I’ve bought a new, and badly-needed, winter hat,



2 Responses to “Milestones (I mean, it’s been over two months…)”

  1. sarahinthegoldencircle said

    I’m pretty sure this is just more evidence that Hillary’s actually superwoman in disguise. The streets of Moscow will be that much safer this year….

  2. nateinsiberia said


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