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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

end of the semester...

so this is my conspicuous end-of-the-semester absence. i am alive and doing things in yaroslavl. some of them have been interesting. in about two weeks i'm going to be free of basically all obligations, and i am looking forward to that time. in the immediate (looming) future i have to start and finish a paper on the lyrics of afanasy fet. and then over the weekend a paper on the role of chess in russian culture. none of this would have been terribly hard, even in russian, if there were normal libraries in yaroslavl, but i still haven't gotten my two photographs taken so that i can plead for a 'reader's card' at the local library. that's not actually a library card, mind you - it's a card that lets you into the library so that you can find relevant books in a card catalog (remember? in america the cards are in little boxes next to the computers, with those stubby pencils so you can take notes). then you get to ask the librarian to find the books for you and you get to read them in an allegedly-not-even-that-comfortable reading room. if anyone remembers how i described buying groceries, you'll notice the pattern here.

so like a good sport, i didn't even bother to go to the library and i'm going to various other ends of yaroslavl to try and get around it. everyone else said it's an awful experience, even with help/direction from teachers. relying on the good old internet. all of my would-be sources for the fet paper are freely distributed 10th grade 'доклады.' but insightful ones, really, almost without exception. since student formulated surveys distributed to 9 host moms apparently count as valid research for the culture paper, i'm going to be a doing a little first hand investigating, too, in lieu of first hand reading books!