School, Travel, Work, and Cleaning but no Excuses

Blog, Peace Corps / Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Guys, I’m sorry, I’ve been busy. I really want to write every day but…no excuses. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Closing things up and focusing on work

I have had trouble figuring out why I’ve been so exhausted this semester. I get home from school and I have so little energy. When people ask what I do, I tell them I do nothing. I’d like to read or do something resembling productivity but I’m too beat. What I think it is is that my mind knows it’s these last few weeks and then I’m done, might as well go full force and then some. I’m at school most days (except Thursday which I made my day off) from 8:45 until 3:00ish. It might not seem like much, but most of that time is spent teaching or working with students in some form. I rarely have breaks in there and I’m completely okay with it.

Like I said, I know that this will end soon and I might as well use all the energy I’ve got while I can. I also know this is a coping mechanism my body/mind employs. I work as hard as I can to distract myself from something else on my mind, in this case going home. I used to get up in the middle of the night during college and go for a run because I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about the same thing. Running helped me clear my mind because I’d work hard and my mind would eventually focus on nothing but the run. I don’t want to think about saying goodbye so I’m physically and mentally wearing myself out to the point that I’m too tired to think about it.

Travelling to the West

For the past two years, I’ve wanted to head out West to visit a fellow PCV and good friend of mine, Andy. We’ve been in this since DC where we were assigned as roommates (and have decidedly been roommates at every mutual Peace Corps function since). We also have done some travelling together, and some failed travelling. He’s been out to my site a few times now, and I really wanted to see his place. The problem is, every time we tried to plan a trip, something came up or we weren’t free at the same time. Finally, I made it out to the Ivano Frankivsk region for my fall break. Granted, I had to buy my ticket the day of because I waited to find out exactly when my fall break would be so I didn’t miss school (and it changed like a week before), but I made it. I forgot my camera due to my last-minute packing.

For what it’s worth, I woke up one morning in his village and looked out the window to find a light blanket of snow on the ground. I let out of a stream of expletives and no no no. I wasn’t happy. But it was nice to see the village and interact with people who barely understood my Russian because it was Russian and not necessarily because it was Russian coming from my mouth. Everyone spoke Ukrainian out there and it was weird. His students asked me a few questions when we popped into his school during a break from lessons. They thought, and still think for some reason, that we are brothers. See photo. Also, they were quite afraid (and as Andy puts it, quite unable) to speak English with me.



I’ve been in application mode for a couple of months now. Only recently have I started hearing back from the different companies. Most of them are thanks, but no thanks. That’s fine by me, you need to be rejected a bit before the job offer you want comes along.

I even had an interview already. It didn’t go as planned. I assumed the job that was labeled “IT and Communications Associate” which required two writing samples as well as a cover letter and resume was a heavily communications oriented job that focused on technology related communications. Turns out it was an almost strictly web development job. What’s more, the interviewers pointed out that my application seemed awfully geared towards a writing position and they thought it was odd for me to apply to this position. Either way, I had an interview for the position and it didn’t go as planned. No harm done. As most people remind me, it’s good to have the bad interview under my belt.

I have an interview later today for a dream job of mine. I applied to the same company a few months back for a different position which, in retrospect, I realized I wasn’t qualified for. The position I applied for this time around wasn’t available then (and I had checked for a couple of weeks to see if it would be posted before I applied). I’ll let you know how the interview goes when I know more and it most likely won’t be today because, good or bad, I like to let things simmer for some time before I write about them. It allows me to get a better perspective on them.


Jeramie and I threw ourselves a going away party for our volunteer friends and younger Ukrainian friends. We had a massive pot luck at my place (where I made an opus of a taco casserole; remind me to write about this). Following the dinner, we pregamed the club and did some dancing.

My mom taught me well, if you know you’re going to have guests, clean. And clean I did. I scrubbed this apartment. I was partly motivated by the fact that I’ll be handing over the keys in a few weeks and it’s best to return something cleaner than you received it. A preëmptive attempt to clean it would help in the long run. I went as far as taking the smaller rugs outside and beating them out, as is common here. Before I put them back down, I swept and scrubbed the floors. After they were back down, I went to vacuum and quickly burned out the old Soviet vacuum cleaner, much to my dismay.

I decided, that since it’s the right thing to do and since my landlord/lady have been more than nice to me, I’d happily buy a replacement vacuum to leave with the apartment. I went with an LG, similar to the one I borrowed from Lyuda. It was glorious and more powerful than any vacuum I’ve used in this country. My apartment is cleaner than I’ve ever seen it. I’ll be sad to leave the vacuum behind but I’m happy to know that my upright is waiting for me back home.

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