a big beautiful mess

Posts tagged teaching

The P-word

The P-word

After reading 23 rough drafts from my second year students and finding just one that is [apparently] completely plagiarism-free, I decided to make the last half of today’s American Studies class about what I euphemistically called “academic culture” in the U.S. I’ve been struggling to get my head around the culture of casual plagiarism here, […]

Rescue!

Rescue!

I went to the emergency response headquarters of Arkhangelsk today! The call center workers are studying English in order to be able to respond to foreigners, and they got in contact with the English department at the university, to see if there were a native speaker who could help them out — that’s me! Today […]

Story Map

Story Map

I love maps. I don’t really understand them, and I’m not actually that good at using them, but I think they’re beautiful. They tell a story about how we think about our world, how we want it to look, where we see ourselves in connection with the rest of the world. This week’s topic for […]

In search of a key

In search of a key

The key situation at SAFU is pretty absurd. All classrooms and offices stay locked all the time, until someone needs to use the room and gets the key. The default location for all keys is a little office at the entrance to the building called the vakhta, which Multitran translates as “watch” or “reception desk,” […]

So much I never knew about Groundhog Day!

So much I never knew about Groundhog Day!

I couldn’t pass up on the chance to share this bizarre American tradition in my night class today. My Pennsylvania spirit came out full force. And what fodder I got from the Groundhog Day website! I had no idea it was so thorough, so whimsical, so made of awesome. I only had one student, but […]