I feel good! (But I didn’t always know that I would!) My teaching schedule is finally stable and in order. I teach four “two-hour” (1.5 hr) classes at the university: one for each level – first years, third years, fourth years, and fifth years (I don’t know what mischief and debauchery occurs during this conspicuously missing second year). Then I have an hour-long lesson that I share with the head of the department – English for high-school students – on Mondays. Then I have my dear, dear extracurricular clubs and classes: “two hours” of Norwegian on Monday and Wednesday, two hours of conversation club on Tuesdays, “two hours” of English for complete beginners on Thursdays, and two hours of film and discussion on Fridays. Norwegian is so wildly popular that students were cutting their regular classes to come (haha, what?!) and I had to change the time so that they would resume their normal schedule (!). I’ve already accumulated a group of regulars, the ones who come to all my classes and events. I love this enthusiasm! It is nourishing, satisfying, and an incredible incentive to not be lazy and prepare good lesson plans for my students who are so ready to learn. The difference between the attendance at my classes and the attendance at my clubs is a dazzling example of living psychology on parade: Mark Twain, through Tom Sawyer, declared that “…work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” My clubs are “not work,” therefore my attendance is regularly 15-25 people who all arrive early, crowding out the hallways and making an awesomely conspicuous scene. My classes, however, are “work;” today, I had four students in one class and eight in another, and yesterday a handful of students walked in twenty minutes late, completely unperturbed. I suppose it’s all in the labeling.
I take two classes, which start on Monday: History of Yugra (the region I’m in) and Art of Siberian artists. There are no Russian-for-foreigners classes, because there are not enough foreigners, so I will be taking some private tutoring lessons along side these two “two hour” classes. Busy, yes, but interestingly, I felt more stressed out due to the uncertainty of the previous period than I do now with a lot more working hours.