Sarah in the Golden Circle: Then and Now

December 16, 2011

As soon as I finished my last exam for fall semester, I actually went into a slight shock. Wait–I just got here. I’m still getting oriented with the city, aren’t I? I’m still making friends! What do you mean I’m going to be gone until February? No! Wait, wait! Take me back!

Still, finishing the first half has made me realize how incredibly productive this semester really was. Hey, I have a lot to be proud of right now! To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here are some then-and-now’s to show you how things have changed for me since September 1st:

  •  Then: I shuddered at the idea of writing more than two pages in Russian.
    Now: I have completed a 36 page sociological study comparing Russian and American students’ concepts of what it means to be a woman, and a 30 page political science research paper on the status of Russia’s democracy today (that one will be published in a Russian journal soon!). Yes, they were in Russian.
  • Then: I was lost and lonely.
    Now: I’ve got Superman on speed dial (thanks, Rusmat!). Plus, people regularly ask me for directions–and I can give them. Score!
  • Then: I did ballroom dancing.
    Now: I do belly dancing–it’s really popular here, and my teacher is a sweetheart! She even taped a video of the dance routine so that I could keep up with the class over break. A secret: I love being the studio’s American pet. Shh don’t tell.
  • Then: When I made phone calls, people would put me on hold until they could find a translator.
    Now: They understand me! And I understand them! I know that’s the idea of studying abroad, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
  • Then: When talking with Galya, I did a lot of smiling and nodding. I did not do a whole lot of understanding.
    Now: When talking with Galya… well, I can actually understand and talk to her!

To my professors, new friends, and accumulating adopted babushkas: Thank you for making this semester spectacular. A place is nothing without its people, and the people I’ve met here in Yaroslavl have been some of the most sincere, caring people that I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Once again: БОЛЬШОЕ СПАСИБО!

This means I'm Russian now, right?

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One Response to “Sarah in the Golden Circle: Then and Now”

  1. Debbie said

    Great blog again, Sarah. You must be part Russian as you seem to cope with the cold so well.

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