The time that I have awaited for months has finally arrived. I have begun language classes. And after nearly 2 weeks of class, I have arrived at what I believe to be 2 indisputable conclusions:
1. Russian is hard.
2. Cursive is stupid.
(To be fair, I had discovered that cursive is stupid all the way back in the 6th grade, but it is gratifying to know that I'm still right. To paraphrase an important philosopher: Cursive is like a microphone at a Britney Spears concert.)
There are 4 of us in class, and we're meeting up 4 days a week for 3 hours a session. Our teacher, Alla, speaks almost no English, but never seems to have a problem letting us know what she wants us to do. It's a pretty good setup, and I am learning. Slowly. Quite slowly. Here's a brief sample of what I've been studying: Антон, скажи, это твой собака? It either means 'Anton, tell me, is this your dog?', or 'Help I am a cantaloupe.'
The prospect of studying a new language is more than daunting, as is the notion of having to do homework again. But I''m excited to be learning. I find my motivation from the idea of getting to talk to people that I meet, or being able to order food at a restaurant without having to point, or buying something from the store without having to do an awkward mime. (Seriously, try to ask someone where the bathroom is without using words.) I want to be able to share the gospel with someone in Russian. I want to be able to minister to someone in their heart language. It's going to be a long process, but I'll get there soon. Hopefully before 2 years is up.