I found this semi-obnoxious image in honor of 1 May, a holiday in Russia. Click on it to see it larger and in all its ridiculous glory.
I can’t believe I haven’t written in a week! I was really busy last weekend studying for economics (I ended up getting an A in the class) and for most of this week, I’ve been writing. This week, I have written over 8,000 words of my novel. I feel like it’s finally shaping up and turning into something halfway decent. I have been very impatient about my writing recently since I discovered author Russell Blake. He’s written almost twenty books in fewer than two years.
In writing, there’s no substitute for lots and lots of practice, so I am trying to get that practice in and actually finish a novel. This current one I’m working on has been in the works for almost five years now. That’s a bit ridiculous and it’s time I finished it.
I took my statistics final today and got an A. I am so glad to be done with that class. I really liked the material, but dealing with a teacher who could not write clear test questions if her life depended on it was really, really annoying. Seriously, I don’t think she could write English properly.
I have only three more weeks of classes left. That’s sort of scary, because it means I have to start studying for finals (note to any high school and college students out there: the best thing you can do to ensure a decent grade in a class is start studying early!) and it means I’m that much closer to my crazy intense class this summer. (I took these two classes in preparation for the summer class.)
I am a bit sad for statistics to end. I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected. After the drop/add deadline last month, over half the class dropped and the people who remain ask a lot fewer stupid questions now. Unfortunately, I do not feel the same affection for economics. I like the subject better than statistics, but the class itself is dreadful. The people ask the most absurd questions. One girl in particular can barely do basic algebra. (She also hopes to be a CPA. I’m not sure how well that will work out for her, as that CPA exam is supposed to be actually difficult.)
My final exams are within five days of each other, at the end of this month. I’ve already started making a study sheet for statistics. Soon I’ll be sending those final grades to Texas, then going to Texas myself.
Kim Jong-il sharing my blog with fellow North Koreans. (Not really.)
In high school and the first few years of university, I wrote a semi-popular political blog. Early on, I discovered how to use StatCounter to track the hits on my website. (I’m not being paid to say this, but StatCounter is amazing. It lets you see the most recent 500 visitors to your website just by installing a simple little script. It’s very useful and very easy to use.) StatCounter very helpfully provides IP addresses, the visitor’s city and country, and the visitor’s ISP when you login. So one day, I logged in and saw a few hits from North Korea. I don’t remember exactly how this user was identified – I think the IP address may have been from China, but the ISP was listed as North Korea Telecom or something like that – but I thought it was amusing. Later on I learned that only the elite in North Korea have internet access to the rest of the world, and so I came to the conclusion that Kim Jong-il himself read my blog.
When a Major Political Event is going on, don’t log into Facebook. Seeing people’s political proclamations and “activism” just isn’t conducive to putting you in a good mood.
Instead, study Russian! This blog is a great new find.
The Kremlin, center of Russian politics since Soviet times
I used to be a hardcore Russia watcher. I started a blog in high school and after starting university, it slowly morphed into a Russia-watching blog, where I wrote about news concerning Russia and expressed my many opinions relating to the country and its neighbors. Writing that blog was fun, but then something happened. I was far away from home, on a year-long study abroad, when I realized I didn’t want to write that blog anymore. I wanted a fresh start, so I started a new blog (and lost the vast majority of my readers – I still feel a bit bad about my sudden abandonment of the old blog, but I wanted to make a clean break).
Oops. I missed my own blogiversary, which was on March 7 of this year. I have now had this blog for over two years now. I haven’t written as much as I’d like, but I’m doing my best here.
My first post was oh so creatively entitled “Hello” and in it, I confessed my love for Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. (For the record, I love Bulgakov even more now than I did two years ago, since I’ve read a lot more of his work at this point in time.)
In honor of my belated blogiversary, I thought it would be fun to look at the different taglines I’ve had for this blog. Back in the day, I started this blog as an overworked study abroad student and my tagline was “Not your average study abroad blog ™”. (Yes, complete with the trademark symbol. I thought it was cute/fun.) Then I came home from my study abroad and that tagline didn’t work so well anymore. I went with “Languages, History, and other random tidbits” before quickly changing to “Languages, History, Russia,” which I stayed with for a long time. I only recently changed the tagline to its current incarnation, “Resistance is futile” (which any Star Trek fan worth his/her salt will immediately recognize). Basically, I discovered finance and economics and realized that languages, history, and Russia was not fully adequate to describe my diverse interests. The current tagline is supposed to convey how incredibly irresistible my blog is – once you find it and start reading, you can’t stop.
Thank you to all my readers out there, whether you’ve been reading since 2011 or just discovered me last week. I really appreciate all of you and I hope you enjoy reading the blog.
Photo from here.
Crocus and snowdrops in London (Hampstead Heath).
Happy March, everyone! I’m officially on spring break now, so I should be able to go on a little vacation, right? Wrong, I have quite a bit of schoolwork to do, as both of my professors have decided to give tests the week we get back from spring break. I’ve had a lot of material to study, so that’s been keeping me busy.
I have also:
- been seeing movies (Dark Skies is amazing; The Master is not)
- gone to the dentist (that was yesterday and it was surprisingly not terrible)
- been writing (my internet friend Vicki finished the first draft of her book, which makes me feel both envious and inspired)
- been playing violin (I played lots of Beethoven today and no Mozart, surprisingly)
How has everyone else been doing?
That awkward moment when you realize that you have the WRONG email address on your blog’s contact form and have therefore not been receiving emails that people submitted through your website. (That just happened to me.)
And that other awkward moment when you go into the old email account that website contacts were forwarded from (I could have sworn I deleted that account!) and find an email from literally the last person on earth you want an email from (seriously, I would rather have had a sketchy email from a Central Asian dictator). As you’ve probably guessed, that just happened to me, too.
This just really hasn’t been my evening…
I fully admit that I was really strange in high school. I had some angst, but at least I didn’t express it on the internet for any of the world’s seven billion people to see. (I blogged in high school, but it was not angst-filled blogging. The angst was relegated to my private journal.)
Xanga never really took off at my high school, but LiveJournal was relatively popular, at least during freshman and sophomore years. The most notable incident with LiveJournal was when one of the semi-popular girls posted naked pictures of herself on there. People talked about that for weeks.
What made me think of this was a blogger’s old Xanga account. I’ve read some of her current work (she’s a university student now) and I found her old blog through a little searching on Google (I hadn’t known it existed; I just stumbled on it). The sad thing is, on her Xanga blog, she comes across as your average angst-ridden, sometimes stressed teenager, but now, one can definitely see that she’s changed for the worse. Personally, I’d like to think that I’ve changed for the better since high school.
I think I have reached a milestone in my personal development. Unlike last semester, I did not relentlessly scrutinize the course listings of my alma mater for this year’s spring classes. I did not even realize that I had not done this until a few nights ago, when I was talking to my friend B. She told me that she had endlessly analyzed the course listings in her undergraduate major. At that moment, I realized I had not done so, and did not miss doing so.
It’s almost dinner time, so I cannot write any more. But rest assured, I have many fabulous posts planned, including a few concerning what I’ve been doing lately!
I hope everyone is having a great 2013 so far. Have you made any resolutions?
Here are some of my own:
- Learn more Russian. My Russian has improved a lot this year, but I want to improve even more. I want to learn more vocabulary and improve my pronunciation. I also want to read more books, both classics and modern literature.
- This is related to the prior point: I want to stop lusting after other foreign languages and focus my efforts on my Russian. I’d rather know one foreign language with near-native fluency than two at a mediocre level. And I will stop obsessing over Serbian, once and for all! I love this language, I badly want to learn it, but I cannot at this point because it is similar enough to Russian to confuse me, and I certainly don’t want that to happen.
- I’m signed up for two classes this semester and I plan to achieve top marks in both.
- I want to read less and write more this year. Lots of reading is never a bad thing (seriously, the world would be a better place if more people read more books), but sometimes I feel like my reading time cuts into time I could be spend writing. And I want to finish that fabulous novel I’m working on, once and for all!
And I’m going to be all sanctimonious here and inform you that, while many of you are probably bundled up, freezing from snowy weather, I am sitting in my room with the window open since it’s 64 degrees outside. Ah, life in the Balmy Tropics…