Happy International Mother Language Day, everyone!
I almost missed it, but thanks to Language Log, I was informed of it with one point five hours to spare! I’m celebrating by writing this post in my own mother tongue, English.
...Yeah, English seems like a kind of lame language to celebrate. The UN says, “All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education...” I’m not sure I agree with that, unless either their idea of dissemination or their definition of a mother tongue is different from mine (under which every living natural language is someone’s mother tongue).
Anyhow, sorry I haven’t been posting very often. February has actually – despite its worldwide (or northern hemisphere-wide) crappy reputation – been fabulous here: above freezing, with clear, sunny skies and breezes that aren’t exactly warm yet, but nonetheless carry the promise of spring. But in spite of the great weather, I’ve still been in a February mood (that is to say, cranky and anxious for it to not be February, or for that matter March) and haven’t really felt like writing. I think it has to do with the beginning of the new semester, because my mood has been steadily improving throughout the month as I’ve gotten into the swing of things. But now I’m on an internet “diet,” trying to make the last 30 rubles on my internet card last ‘til the end of the month (curse you, leap year! and you, too, ever-falling value of the dollar!). So I can’t promise a glut of posts just yet.
On the bright side, the great weather has allowed me to move my exercise routine (if one can really call it that) outside, and I’ve been taking long daily walks in parts of central Taganrog that I’ve never seen before. I’ve discovered that the city beach is a mere 20 minutes from my apartment on foot; that there’s a museum I didn’t know existed 1.5 blocks from my apartment; and that there’s a whole network of mud roads with quaint little brick houses and stray dogs in all the yards just a few blocks from the town’s main streets! Charming. (Except the stray dogs. Not a fan of stray dogs.) Another way in which a Russian city of 275,000 people is not at all like an American city of 275,000 people. I’ll try taking some pictures so I can show you all soon!
Other good things have been happening, too – my students are doing well, I got into grad school, and I recently had my most successful semi-scripted American holiday party yet (for Valentine’s Day, naturally). This weekend is my half-birthday, which I’m really too old to get very excited about (maybe there’s something to be said for being halfway to age 47, but I’m not sure what it might be), but it’s also a three-day weekend, which you’re never too old to get excited about! Hooray!