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Diary 9: Spring in St Petersburg

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  • Tuesday 1st March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    The first day of Spring in Russia, which must be some kind of meteorological joke. I’ve never known the temperature to rise above minus five on 1st March, and today was no exception, with it being minus sixteen on my way out this morning to my wealthy countryside individual client, who lives in a village called Foxes’ Nose. Next week they’re going skiing in Austria for a couple of weeks, which is good news for me; the three-hour round trip is starting to get to me. One ...

  • Wednesday 2nd March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    Our local Metro station is something akin to a very depressing soap opera. I only realised this tonight, whilst waiting in the station vestibule for my wife. I wait for her every night after my lessons at exactly the same time, and on looking up from my daydreaming tonight I realised that I recognised a lot of the people around me; the same beggar, face caked in grime, who is always slumped by the steps in the evening; the same couple, always drinking beer and evidently ...

  • Thursday 3rd March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    I and my wife whiled away the latter part of the evening in St. Petersburg's only Greek restaurant, not a bad place and one that'll have to be visited again. Perhaps when all the CAE students pass their exam. Tonight they did a speaking paper practice, which generally involves describing and comparing random pictures and doing rather artificial tasks in pairs for fifteen minutes. I've no idea how it helps people to use their English in real situations (I, for example, have never in ...

  • Monday 7th March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    It’s also a chance for everyone to take a breather from a hectic work schedule. Hard to believe with it still being minus ten outside, but we’re getting ready for our summer language camps already. A language camp sounds a bit daunting, but is actually supposed to be fun and is something that has spawned from the Soviet tradition of sending children away for a few weeks to the south of that former empire for education, adventure and possibly so that parents can have a bit of a rest ...

  • Wednesday 9th March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    Moscow are going to sort out most of the camp materials for us to use, which is a weight off my mind. However, I’ve still got to prepare for one camp, which combines English with diving lessons. I’d welcome any contributions from anyone who happens to have English lessons loosely based around the topic of diving. Three weeks’ worth, if possible.

  • Tuesday 15th March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    It’s also a job to get the students motivated as the fifth month of winter drags on and shows no sign of letting up; we haven't seen pavements, or unfrozen, soft earth, or walked in the street confident that we’re not about to go sliding all over the shop since well before Christmas. Motivation is necessary with the exams coming up in the fairly near future, and I’m doing my best by being a mean old soul in the class and giving them little fun and lots of hard work, and not giving them ...

  • Sunday 27th March

    Author: Saul Pope Type: Reference material

    To say that the last two weeks have been eventful would be an understatement. It’s just a shame they’ve been eventful largely for all the wrong reasons. One teacher has left us at our behest and is making things as difficult as possible for everybody, another has been in hospital and is returning to the UK permanently, another has resigned and another is threatening to do so in a week. If you know anyone in the Russia area who wants work as a teacher, tell them to get ...

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