Summer commencement

Peace Corps / Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

School ended last Friday. Here’s some updates on my life.

Next week I will be visiting a friend for the week and helping her with her summer camp at her school. I’ve been telling students and teachers about this for a while. Today I received a text message from a teacher at school telling me I have to teach on Monday. It’s going to be difficult because I’ll be two hours away. Also, I thought school was over?

Recently I had a conversation with one of my Ukrainian friends. She is a teacher at one of the schools in town. She isn’t sure that she’ll be returning as a teacher next year. Apparently she would make more money if she collected a check from the unemployment center each week. Not only in America are teachers underpaid. Also, I think there is something seriously wrong with the picture if an unemployed person makes more money than an employed one.

I started the rewrite of my novel. I was only about 11,000 words into the first draft but I started it so long ago and left it for so long that I couldn’t get the voice back. I’m not 2,500 words into the current draft and still going strong. Tonight, after I finish my work, I’ll try and double or triple that. I drank a cup of coffee to keep me going (full disclosure, I drink coffee now but still with the condition that it tastes as little like coffee as possible).

In addition to finishing my novel this summer, I also plan to read a bunch. Thus far, I think I’ve read thirty books since I arrived in Ukraine. I have just under a hundred on my reading list to finish before I leave Ukraine next year. I want to take a bunch of them out this summer.

Funny story about me reading this summer. There’s a good chance that I could hole myself up in my apartment all summer and not enjoy being outside so I’ve taken it upon myself to do the bulk of my reading in the center of town sitting on a bench near the fountain. Today, I did just that. I was sitting there, minding my own business and reading when out of nowhere my bench had an occupancy of two. I didn’t mind because I didn’t need a whole bench, but I did notice that this girl walked across the path from her bench to join me. She proceeded to talk to me in Russian and I held my own for all of thirty seconds before she asked if I was Ukrainian. We had a conversation which lasted five or so minutes at which point she realized that flirting with an American who has trouble with the language isn’t worth her time. I went back to reading my book.

So, hopefully this summer I won’t be too busy and I’ll have some time to post every few days. I’ll tell you about the hardships of spending my days going to the river to swim and my nights hitting the club scene in Konotop (last night I was shown how close I live to one of the clubs, when the girls find out I’ll be dragged there I know).

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