|Opening the renovated|
|The current exhibit is|
dedicated to the 40th
anniversary of the
Children's Art School
|Art School director|
G. A. Samokhodkin
accepts congratulations on
behalf of the school.
The next day, in the Institute teacher's lounge, someone asked me how my Christmas went. I said, "Wonderful." And I meant it!
- These three months in Elektrostal have been an incredible gift. Without having all (or even half) of our funding in place, the Yearly Meeting let me take up the chance to spend fall with these incredible teachers and young people, and to enter the world of local artists and writers.
- During these months, I've learned so much about Russia and about the Russian language, but also (as so often happens in these placements) about the USA and the space it takes up in the world, and about myself.
- Living out of suitcases, in temporary quarters, often walking everywhere (taking each step with care on ice that gets buffed daily to an ever more slippery shine by foot traffic), cooking for one and eating more mindfully, protected from consumer temptations by a very tight budget--it feels as if I've been less sheltered, as if I'm somehow living on a more elemental level, rubbing up more closely against the fabric of life. Prayer too seems more elemental, bubbling away not far below the surface.
- Christmas is far from over! Today I was at the SPAR grocery store and heard some inane version of "Jingle Bells" bouncing out of the store's speakers, reminding me that the holiday season here extends past New Year's Day, even past Orthodox Christmas (January 7 ... for some not ending until "Old New Year" (January 13-14). Our family will celebrate Christmas on the New Year weekend, just after I arrive in the USA. So I did some of my Christmas shopping today, and will do more tomorrow.
One of my classes, Group 303, presented a video at the party to explain to the teachers why they're so often late to class. Watch the video to meet some of these super students and a perhaps strangely familiar teacher. You'll also see the inside of Room 12, where I spent most of today giving exams, as well as scenes from the Institute's foyer and the streets and traffic in downtown Elektrostal. (Also notice the scandalous lack of snow. Everyone is nostalgic for the "real winters" of the past.)
for a student with
friench and doitch.
|A great skit ends|
with New Year's
|another student skit||Students persuade teachers|
to join them on
Now I go back to the USA for phase two of Christmas 2007/08. I will do everything in my power so that Judy and I can be here together as soon as possible. This is one gift that I want to keep receiving.
Righteous links: Another entry for the Books I Want to Read Because of an Interesting Review dept.: Frank Schaeffer's Son of a Preacher Man. The years I worked in Christian bookstores were precisely the years of Francis Schaeffer's greatest popularity. I must have sold hundreds of his books. ~~~ Another nice example of the Internet providing access for the rest of us: Thanks to Rosalie Grafe for leading me to this amazing Web site for the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. "The Parker Library's holdings of Old English texts accounts for nearly a quarter of all extant manuscripts in Anglo-Saxon, including the earliest copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 890), the Old English Bede and King Alfred´s translation of Gregory the Great´s Pastoral Care. The Parker Library also contains key Anglo-Norman and Middle English texts ranging from the Ancrene Wisse and the Brut Chronicle to one of the finest copies of Chaucer´s Troilus and Criseyde. Other subjects represented in the collection are music, medieval travelogues and maps, bestiaries, royal ceremonies, historical chronicles and Bibles." ~~~ On postmodernism and the wisdom of the crowd: Travis Scholl and "transgressive irony at Radio City."
For dessert, the great James Cotton. I've already described what a pleasure it was to see James Cotton and his band this past summer at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Now, thanks to the YouTube time machine, here he is in 1979: