Monday, March 1, 2010

Complex assignments

In one of my current classes, we discuss the syntax, lexical patterns, grammar constructions, and realms of usage of different writing styles in the Russian language.

I like the mathematical qualities of scientific writing, which we are covering now. In some ways it is easier to translate because so many words are universal or the constructions rigid. Just insert something here with the proper ending and you have an intellectual-sounding sentence!

But it is still hard to keep up. It’s one thing to look at the construction and see how clearly it is formed, and another to use it in your own speech and writing.

We are going waaaay too fast, in my opinion. I don’t want to just take in information, I want to use it!

Soon I will get my chance....more/-

In April there will be a student conference, and our articles are due next week!

At first we were told to choose a topic that was interesting to us. I chose orphanages because there were already people planning to write about theology, and discussing culture and language all the time gets old. I guess those are my main interests.

But then today we were supposed to say why our topic is relevant. And I had to consider for myself the following:

-Why should I tell foreign students about the situation in St. Petersburg? How can I make it interesting for them? Or am I writing mainly for the teachers, since this is their city and their future?

-How can I write about an emotional topic without emotion? Is it possible to reduce this call of my heart to a 2-page synopsis? Yes, I should develop this skill, because I may someday have to fight for it in a formal situation. But I'm not sure how.

And then, of course, there is the question of a huge topic, and only two pages. And one week.

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