31 March 2007


(one and a half)

So we're one and a half years in. That means less than 8 months to go.

In so many ways it seems like much longer. And on the other hand it's really flown by.

This past week my students debated whether or not women should work (as you read in Larry's post, below). There were some interesting opinions, and many interesting arguments. They did a great job with the argument part, though the "supporting your opinion with facts or statistics" is still a tough one. Also, I specifically warned against generalizing "all people..." or "everyone," but it happened a lot anyway. Hey, I can't undo a lifetime of generalizing in a few months.

But I'm trying. =)

29 March 2007

women and work (?)

I sat in on one of Karen's classes today. Her students were debating whether or not mothers should have jobs. Here are some nice one-liners I wrote down during the class. Not sure how relevant to the topic they are.

"All women want the chance to be beautiful, to be told that they are pretty."

"Children are gifts from God to two parents."

"If a woman is in old clothes and curlers, her husband will leave her."

"Women must always look beautiful. When a woman looks ugly, her husband can look at he and say, 'This it not my wife.'"

"Did you love your fathers less because they worked?"

"It is hard to find a girl who has a good relationship with her father."

"To feel a mother's love: It is the most important feeling in a child's life."

26 March 2007

lviv 26 march 07

fresh from an unbelievably well executed surprise bday party for casey--a weekend that saw our part of the world's time leap ahead an hour and more guests than we've had since last summer--i step out of my apartment this morning and there's a dead woman.

she laying prostrate on the corner on the park nearest our block. her feet are wrapped in green and white socks. her head is buried in her scarf.

she's not moving. she might be sleeping, passed out from too much of something, but she's not.

after i pass her on my way to exchange some money--you don't stop and help these people; you just can't because it happens way too often--i come back by her body and the ambulance has pulled up. a nurse pops out of the back of the van.

she lays an orange bag onto the pavement near the lady, smooths its wind-curled sides, and rolls the lady onto it.

zips her into it.

20 March 2007



i know that guy. he was in my building, on my floor during my time at U of O.

i feel all dirty and tingly.

18 March 2007

A Wedding March

This week in class we've been disucssing "Wedding Traditions" in the U.S. Of course, the students are a bit thrown off my some of my wedding photos (the beach in January without snow, smearing cake on each others' faces, flip-flops on bridesmaids...).

Many have told me that the building where we got married isn't actually a church, because there are no "icons" on the walls like in Ukrainian churches. I try to explain to them that it is a non-denominational (tough concept) chapel, where church groups of different religions hold services. Then I try to explain the idea of a "justice of the peace" rather than priest...another toughie.

We discussed traditional vows, the idea of writing your own vows, tossing the bouquet, the cake-cutting ceremony, gift registry, the toast, and of course the honeymoon.

Most of their ideas are from movies, of course. You don't find out about some of the important details from watching movies. They liked the gift registry concept, but it was a difficult one to grasp. Most Ukrainian stores still don't even give receipts, and there are very few chains. So the concept of scanning items and updating the registry list all over the country was puzzling.

=) Think of all these things you take for granted.

15 March 2007

street life

hunger, yesterday, overtook me on the street. i stopped at a kiosk and bought a hot dog made with a hunter's sausage--a thin, tasty type of cured sausage. as i'm waiting for my dog, these two guys order beer--of course. they receive bottles.

they ask for a bottle opener and go to down on it with one free hand. they manage to get one edge pried up and the one guy says, that's good enough.

he grabs the bottle in his hand puts the cap--the metal cap--between his teeth. he then pries the lid off.



and my grandma said teeth weren't made for pliers.

13 March 2007

a warm fuzzy


two minutes ago i was going to log in and blog it up with a bunch of bitching. some needed venting. but then i got an email.

we worked on a conference in Poltava last weekend. i presented about racial diversity in ukraine. it was fun, but i don't know how much we impacted the students. i've been in a rut like that, feeling kinda useless lately. and then this:

"'I was expecting the Americans to tell us about their culture and makeus believe the same things. Instead, they encouraged us to have adiscussion and find solutions for ourselves. I was really surprised.' -- a graduate student from the Technical University"

a student from the conference wrote that.

i am really truly very happy right now.

i'm going to hold onto that and just move on without bitching about anything.

10 March 2007

the cat's done outta the bag


it will be soon.

i guess i won't be jinxing it now, so i'll let you know.

i'm getting pub'd this summer in Worldview magazine. www.worldviewmagazine.com

it'll be a piece i wrote last summer on ukraine. two-thousand words.

my first worldwide, print publication credit.

look grandma, i'm a real wrter (<<< oh the irony in misspelling that word) now!!


05 March 2007

what occupation?

so, yushchenko mentioned that he might like to see an occupation museum open up in ukraine--a museum to talk about the soviet occupation. he had just visted on ein georgia and got the idea.

and then this from the press:

Creation of Museum of Soviet Occupation, the necessity of which was outlined by the President Yushchenko in Tbilisi, will become the final point of division of Ukraine into West and East. Member of Communist party of Ukraine Oleksandr Golub told Friday.
“It will lead to final split of Ukraine,” he said. “It is just another inadequate action of the President.

"What occupation? This is absurd,” Golub added.

first, it's "what famine?"

then, "what racism?"

now it's, "what occupation?"

backwards more than forwards, i tell you.

backwards more than forwards.

02 March 2007

ixnay on the inxjay

came to kyiv for medical and dental exams. routine stuff. were looking for an apartment to stay in cuz we didn't want to stay in the same ol' hotel way out in the middle of nowhere. in that quest, we had a very poor service interaction (surprise) with a ukrainian woman who rents hotels in kyiv. but we ended up in an apartment anyway with our friends kris and jen. we were headed, tonight, to see them in poltava and work on a conference; instead, they areflying back to the u.s. they've received some bad news about a family member and are returning home for two weeks for a funeral. we wish them safe travels. we did the same trip a little over a year ago. we understand the pain in going home, but also the joy that mixes in from being able to see home again. very, very bittersweet.

big heat today. up to plus 5 or so. snow is melting--maybe for good this time? the roads are like rivers for all of the run-off. we walked forty minutes in the rain to the detists and forty minutes back. avoiding the metro, for no other reason than just because. so far, so good.

in somewhat exciting news, which isn't confirmed yet, i submitted a piece of my pc writing series that i'm doing for perigee-art.com to worldview magazine--a pc magazine with worldwide distribution. they wrote that they liked my piece, offered edits, and said they were interested in publishing it in the summer. if so, it'll be my first real-deal print magazine publication.

i hope i didn't just jinx that.