Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting better

I’ve been too busy to update my blog, but I can report lot of good stuff. The first and biggest news is that I moved from the dormitory to an apartment that I like very much. It’s described as a one-room apartment, but that’s because they don’t count rooms with water. I’ve got a very large kitchen with a divan I could open into a double bed for guests (come on over!) and a little table with four chairs. I’ve also got a bright and odor-free toilet room and an amazing bathroom. The shower cabinet looks like the Orgasmatron in the movie “Sleeper,” and it includes a radio, numerous shower heads, a steam generator and a seat. So far I’ve figured out how to work the radio and two of the shower heads.

One other dazzling benefit of my new apartment is its proximity to the Hotel Europe and its WiFi access point. I can buy blocks of time on their internet connection three hours at a time, and I can hook up by putting my laptop on the window sill. The connection is very weak, but at least it’s still faster than the connection in the computer lab at the University. My other neighbor is a music academy and when it’s warm out I can hear the students practicing. I love it, though both are a little distracting.

As for my school, I can at least say that I have high hopes. I’m way behind my class, but understand enough to gain every day. And I really like my private lessons. My teacher always arrives well prepared and she brings lessons amazingly appropriate to my level of understanding. So… I end up with homework from two teachers, and the homework from my main class is over my head. It makes for limited free time, to say the least.

Last night I did sneak out to the opera. I saw the first two acts of Rimsky-Korsakoff’s “The Tsar’s Bride.” I would have loved to stay for the whole thing, but I still had uncompleted homework and the show was pretty long. I left at the second of three intermissions. The music, costumes, singing and acting were all superb. Since my ticket was only $4, I may buy another and go back to see the second half later.

I can’t say enough good things about the academic program here. Although they didn’t have a class exactly suited to my abilities, they’ve adjusted well and they’ve made me feel extraordinarily welcome. I’ll probably be back, because I’ll certainly have a whole lot still to learn when I leave this time.

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