siberian pen pal

(blogger edition)

in novosibirsk
long underwear will keep me
toasty and serene

2011.09.20 ~ n+10months

check out my other blog, weekly response, in which i respond to president obama's weekly video address

lecture series concerning: american politics and history

Leo Brown
twitter @leoebrown
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these words are my own. they do not represent the views of the united states department of state or the fulbright program.

A full day of class today (beginning at 11:50). Now it is time to cook some onions, spinach, chicken, black pepper, olive oil, buckwheat.

My schedule now feels much more manageable now that I know the students. Pretty much across the board, they are engaged, respectful, and active. A bit shy at times.

I spent a good chunk of today’s class time exploring my own agenda and discussing the prospect of environmental activism. Serendipitously, that is the assigned topic for the next few weeks, so I am vigorously picking their brains. That’s a figure of speech I taught today: to pick a brain.

For the most part, they have an answer as to why every hopeful idea will not work. They told me of many failed projects, their sense of national apathy, and frustration with a corrupt government and police force. No point in imposing large fines for littering, this will just give the police an opening to take bribes.

In spite of their gloomy outlook, my students were happy to entertain a naive American and a vision of a cleaner, safer world. So far, nine of them have signed up for my proposed club, in which we will educate ourselves, discuss, and act.


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