Friday, July 11, 2008

Week One

First off, allow me to complain. The music videos they're showing in McDonald's today are really crappy. I may not be able to dance, but that's why I don't try to dance on TV, and I expect the same courtesy from fellow invalids. Just gross. I'm going to bring my headphones from now on, because then it's easier to ignore.

Anyway, it's Friday, and my brain is tired. Three hours of grammar a day isn't too tiring, but five days of three hours of grammar a day is.

Granted, I only learned something partially new one day this week. The rest of the time it was pretty much practicing things I already knew and minor vocabulary building.

Our teacher, Pani Oldakowska, is really nice and easy-going--lets us leave the door open so air moves through the room, lets us share chocolate covered plums if someone happened to buy a lot, and so on. She also speaks very clearly and very correctly.

I'll admit, though, that I've been a little bored, as basically everything is review. My very soul is divided on this issue, because on one hand it's most welcome when school is easy, but this course cost enough that I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth. (By the way, I tried to translate the phrase "get one's money's worth" and was met with an utterly blank stare. Perhaps I'll learn enough humility here to get my money's worth...)

Anyway, in my moderate boredom, I've practiced the organ for two hours both today and yesterday. I'm close to having the new piece I brought down, so Professor Whipple is sharing some of his music with me. The organ I've been practicing on is on the tenth floor of the building, and the windows look out across Lublin, so it's a far cry from practicing in the bowels of the HFAC, and I like it.

I've also made some friends at the vegetarian table, because I'm effectually a vegetarian in this pork-addicted country. There's a girl each from Australia, Slovenia and Croatia, then a Jewish man (also an effectual vegetarian) from Canada and another David from America. Today I tried sitting at the meat eating table, because of fish on Friday, and I missed the vegetarians, so I'll be back tonight.

It's kind of interesting how the various food prohibitions interact. Daniel, my Jewish friend, has his laws to follow, I can't drink the ubiquitous tea and coffee, and the Catholics keep me healthy on Friday. It's so much more exciting than BYU.

Speaking of Daniel, I'm going over to his room tonight when he lights his Sabbath candles. Another opportunity I'd never get at BYU.

I'm also being reminded daily of some of the quirks inherent in Polish nationality, like the unabashed staring (and for no other reason than my apparent American look). My favorite, however, is when someone walking in front of you stops and turns around and acts like they're looking at something just long enough to let you walk by, then they continue behind you. The English-speaking people must maliciously follow them everywhere, or else someone needs to keep an eye on us. I have no idea why they do it, but I find it hilarious.

Wow, these sucky music videos sure drain you. It's worse than grammar. Anyway, I can't come up with any more coherent things to write, so I'm done. Happy weekend.

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