the unstoppable, stopped and other unnecessary melodrama
I waltzed into my second session this week with Olga the Russian Tutor this week, absolutely brimming with smug satisfaction over my quick though imperfect mastery of the Russian alphabet, all things r-rolling aside. Sure, I still pronounce everything like an AHMEREEKANSKEEYEE, but I learned to read Russian! In just a week! I am unstoppable!
But Olga was unimpressed. Quickly, she ran through possessives, pluralization, personal pronouns, question words, verbs, nominatives/accusatives, and the s-i-x different forms of nouns. [“Six types of nouns in your people’s language, Alex!” I yelled. “That’s grounds for divorce!”] My eyes blurred. I begged her (on the inside) to slow down. Or, at the very least, to write in print and not script. No dice.
My Russian tutor is kicking my ass. She moves too fast, she does little of that synthesizing of information good teachers are supposed to do, and I find the text book easier to follow. I need to dump Olga, but I suspect I never will. Why? Because my inability to admit defeat is my – how do they say it oh, so, dramatically in literature classes? – fatal flaw. Dumping her would be like owning up to the fact that she’s given me such a ridiculous amount of information to absorb in a 7-day period, I nearly have a panic attack every time I look at my notebook. And this I cannot do. I am a contortionist, didn’t you know? There is no such thing as “too much on my plate” or “over my head.” [Also, “I get to work at 9 AM every day,” “a 3-hour recipe is too much for a weekday night,” or “nah, I’ll skip that last glass of wine.”] I am brilliant! I am capable of anything and everything! I am unstoppable! I am…
Exhausted. Day-job, freelancing, newlywed, kitchen goddess, pumpkin-carving, spice rack organizing, half-housekeeper who is also heading out to Pittsburgh for the weekend, and if you can imagine the cruelty of this, I seem to sick again. Obviously, the universe does not smile upon people who think they are unstoppable.
In that case don't drop the tutor, swap it!
As a native-Russian speaker, I'm in total awe that you're doing this - good for you, and it does get easier once it clicks - the tenses, the conjunctions... it's like Latin. Only you have to speak it. As for your tutor being unimpressed.... This is a very Russian thing - impossibly high standards and expectations. Just feel lucky not to have typically-Russian parents :)
Girl, do your thang! The fact that you are learning another language is freaking amazing. Plus, I have to say you are unstoppable.
3 | ali | October 28, 2005 01:45 PM
Haven't you learned the word "Nyet" yet?
"Ty pahnesh kak gorohovoi sup" you smell like pea soup in russian... i think.i can't make the pretty cyrillic work so this shall have to do but just incase your tutor really annoys you next time, it's brilliant are never really sure whether they should be offended or not but w/e. i have HUGE amounts of respect for you learning a slavic language, so different and junk.
5 | maisy | October 28, 2005 08:22 PM