Friday, August 27, 2010

Departmental party

Here's some of what's been happening:
  • Tonight was the night of the big departmental party at the graduate director's house (which is in the other faculty neighborhood). It was a huge to-do, with all the faculty and spouses and kids invited, plus the graduate students and their spouses and kids. The kids all frolicked on the lawn and stairs, I got to talk to the middle school science teacher at the kids' school (the new building is scheduled to be done by April, apparently), my former neighbor who recently got bitten by a non-venomous snake (she stepped on it in the dark), and many, many others. So tired! I wouldn't mind my husband being the graduate director some day (the position is a bit of a hot potato, although it comes with a nice stipend), but I can't even conceive what it's like to run a dinner party for 100 or so people even once a year.
  • C was up and dressed by 7:17 AM again today and got SpongeBob again. Good for her.
  • Ever since the new tent came, the kids have been playing "camping" just about every day.
  • Today, I did some major work on our living room. I went through the shelves and drawers of the built-in desk, which mostly belongs to the kids. Later, I went through the other two built-in bookcases in the living room, which is where we have some VHS tapes, some audiobooks, and my Russian language, history and literature books. My last Russian tutor got too busy to work with me about four years ago back in Washington DC, and ever since then my Russian books have been staring reproachfully at me, unread. What with living in non-big city Texas and being budget conscious, I haven't had a Russian tutor since then. However, two things have happened recently: 1) there's a likely prospect that I'm going to ask to be my tutor 2) I have an income stream from my babysitting, which while small, is very close to what I need to cover the tutoring. I sifted through the Russian books, keeping whatever seemed interesting, good for reference, or a classic (as you can well imagine, those last two requirements don't really narrow things down). I flipped through almost everything and I'm going to give away mostly my Russian pulp detective stories and the more cliched 2nd tier 19th and early 20th century poets.
  • Working with the Russian books was surprisingly good for my self-esteem. When I was flipping through the books this afternoon, I found myself thinking, "I understand this. Not everybody does." I don't know where I'm going with this, but for the moment, I think I'll try to start working with a tutor for a couple of months and then make contact with the Russian professors on campus and a guy who is in charge of a big Soviet-era archive. I'm pretty confident that I can get up to speed on my Russian pretty fast. My computer skills, which have eroded quite a bit over the past 10 years, are quite a different story.

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