Thursday, September 22, 2016

I Got You Covered

I'm back to school life, to campus life. I'm back to writing, and it feels so right. I've told my Vocabulary & Speaking teacher that maintaining a blog is one of my main hobbies and it made me feel like returning to my old schedule when I wrote several times a week and it was satisfying af.
Today I've visited the first organizing meeting at the driving school. I'M GONNA LEARN HOW TO DRIVE A CAR!! Can you believe that?! The funniest thing for me was that I came in all pink, I had a pink pen and a pink notebook with my image on its cover. DUH. I felt so Legally Blonde. I never did that on purpose. But if you remember Mean Girls well enough, you may notice that "on Wednesdays, we wear pink".

I looked pretty glamorous, right?
Last Sunday my student organization and I went to the cape of Tobizin just to spend some nice time together. We were lucky to have very sunny weather that day, so now I sorta suffer from my skin peeling off of my face. But I really enjoyed our little trip. We should take advantage of the last warm days as long as we can.

My co-teacher Thomas and I took the most hipster Polaroid photo at the cape
Talking about my student organization, so I keep on being the money-keeper of our gang but some exciting news has come just an hour ago. Our commander Tea has suggested Thomas and my person going to the All-Russian Student Organizations' Meeting in November. Wow. It's an important event, and if I happen to go there, it will be such an experience! There'll be around 2000 people gathered together by one idea, one spirit to share experience, new projects, ideas, material. Awesome, isn't it? 
I like this semester more than the last, spring one. Though we still have some troubles with the schedule, I'm pretty satisfied with the classes. Good for me, then! Moreover, I've chosen Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as my individual reading. Finally I, a dystopian stories lover, will read the classics!
The song of the day is gonna be the latest hit from Mac Miller feat. Ariana Grande called "My Favorite Part" (though I've been listening to The Neighbourhood for the whole evening). I like the track because it's so easy-listening, laid-back and relaxing. It just calms you down and says that everything's ok.

Be brave, 'cause that's my favorite part

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hold Up

"... they don't love you like I love you"
Beyoncé, "Hold Up"

When was the last time I poured all my shit on you here? Much water has flowed under the bridge.
I worked for two terms in "English Camp" in summer and somehow stayed alive after that (though I thought I'd die). During the first term, sports one, I worked with the kids of around 12 yo. It was the same age as I had worked the year before, I even had a boy from that previous summer. I was shocked in the beginning but then calmed myself down thinking "Stability is a sign of mastery". Plus, my co-worker Eva, I was her instructor during the teachers' training. And the term was great! One of our guys was the President of English Camp that term, and generally our kids were awesome. Though I got my new speaker stolen at the end of the term, so I was frustrated. Still, I consider that term as one of the best.

I like putting these two photos together. Me in a white hoodie in the center,
and my beautiful co-worker Eva next to me in the leather jacket
My second term was as amazing as the first one but it was more difficult in the beginning. I completely lost my voice at the end of Sports term and that second term was a music one. I entered Music Term with no voice!! But my co-worker that time was brilliant Thomas, whose instructor I was as well. If there was an award for the best teamwork, we would have definitely won it. We were given the 1st team, which means we had the oldest kids. Half of the kids had visited English Camp for many times, and for some of them this summer would be the last, so our top brass put us under big pressure that we should make this summer the most unbelievable and unforgettable for them. I felt so under this pressure first days. I even cried after daily briefings. But then the things were fine. Our coordinator and chief teacher reassured me that it wasn't even about all Thomas' and my work, our kids weren't that up-and-doing. That music term with the oldest guys showed me that I really improved my skills as a teacher, and sometimes I should just let things go and rest my head a bit. Btw, do you know how our team was called that music term? "Formation"! YAS I named our team after Beyoncé's song and my co-worker agreed on that. 'Cause yeah we got our kids in formation, okay?!

Unfortunately, Thomas didn't make it into this cool photo
(you can spot his arm on the left)
But here we go :3

I met a guy in the end of spring, we got through the summer (we both worked in different summer camps separately) and we almost made it come together again but he literally stood me up. We had arranged it that he meet me at the airport of Vladivostok but when I arrived there was no one to help me physically or morally. And that nasty bastard didn't pick up his phone once during that day! And in the evening he texted me something like "Hi, how did you arrive?" I mean what?? That person frankly told me he liked me, everything was nice in spring, he promised to meet me at the fucking airport and then never showed up?! Guys, don't be like that. Please.
Well, I finished my second year at university in an excellent way as I can. During the French exam, our French teacher was Kanye and I was Tay Swift, 'cause she didn't let me finish any of my tasks. Not that it was bad, she was like "I know that you know, so go" but girl, I prepared my shit, you'd better listen. But I quickly swallowed my pride not to run into some mistakes. My final course paper turned out to be pretty good. This year I'll continue working with my favorite professor, so I'll keep on writing about the nature pictured in the books by Ann Radcliffe. Honestly, that lady wrote some boring mess but the landscapes are described so gracefully, I can't even. But all the storylines are junk. But the landscapes are great. Period. Yeah, I know Ann R. is one of the pioneers of gothic novels, she's its 'queen' as they call her but nowadays it's not that interesting for me. But I'll work with that and won't give up. I'm a freaking philologist, I should know how to work with various stuff.
Also, last year my dear roommate Cherry Lady and I fell for RuPaul's Drag Race. We've watched seasons 4 and 6 and now watching season 7 by far. Probably, you've noticed its influence in my writing style. Imagine if you heard my speech! My friend and I adore (Delano) this show! So iconic. We definitely observe their vibes, some style hacks, face expressions and figures of speech.
I spent whole August and the very beginning of September in my hometown. I was glad to see my parents and Sakhalin friends again but due to them being always at work, my being on Sakhalin wasn't that rad. I decided that I wouldn't stay in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk for longer than 2-3 weeks anymore. But all the time spent with my family and friends was precious. I even made some new friends (one new friend, actually). And Dasha said she'd come to me to Vladivostok in some weeks for a couple of days. What can be more exciting? I'll finally show her my favorite party places! Moreover, my parents will come in the beginning of October to celebrate my 20 yo jubilee. To be honest, Dasha's trip and my parents' arrival will superimpose on one another, so it confuses me a bit. But we shall make it, shan't we? So my autumn seems to be all about fun and fuss. (Yes, I seem to prefer AmE, but I still refuse to use 'fall' meaning 'autumn')
Talking about music, so I'm really into Beyoncé's Lemonade (except for "Daddy Lessons", can't feel it out). I've probably taken my love to Beyoncé to the maximum this summer. The next step is to visit her concert, obvi. Or just buy some merch. But her concert is def better. So if you want to please me, put a Beyoncé song on. Or show me a cat. Or give me some chocolate. Or all together and garnish it with some chamomile tea.
So turn on something that makes you feel comfortable and self-confident and as usual...

Be brave ♥

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Things I Believe In the age of 19.
Hello, tout le monde! I know I've been absent for more than 2 months and the only thing I told you about was a crazy wedding I was this close to absolutely slay but flopped in the end.
Nevertheless, thoughts in my mind keep on flowing and I can't keep them bottled in. I still experience with the format of my blog and I liked the post I did about Q&A where the information was given in little items. I like this form myself, so give me a try this time too. I had some draughts and I made up my mind to unite them all under the theme I have stated in the title. (Oh my, I'm writing this like it's an official report. What an atta-girl)
So, commençons! Here are some things I believe in.

I believe in the chance.
Many things happened to me were incidents. They happened by chance or Fortuna helped, I don't know. On the other hand, I'm also aware of the fact that there are no accidents, all the incidents aren't incidental. But all these things are so mixed! I like the word 'fate'. Because in some cases I can see the system, the line, the process how I came from one situation to another. In other cases, something just happens and *boom!* I'm da boss.
For example, my second American trip (yes, I know, you're all fed up with it). It's clear how I got there - I still had a visa from my first American travel. But how did my parents agree to send me to the USA in 2013? Mystery. Luck. Fate. And in this 2015 adventure, how did I meet particular people? You see, I could communicate to them during my 9 Californian days, then say goodbye, shed a tear and that's all. But no! It's been about half a year since then and I still keep in touch (more or less) with some people I met there. How did I run exactly into those people? How on earth did one man decide to offer me a drink, and now he suggests me the greatest films and tunes? How? Mystery. Luck. Fate.
And only by this holy chance my bestie Cherry Lady and I sent our docs to the same university. We'd never talked about entering the same university, and one day we discussed our higher education's plans and went, "I'm sending my docs to FEFU" - "Hey, me too!" And here we are sharing one room and one specialisation!
Even back in the 5th grade of school, when my that time best friend kinda betrayed me and ditched me. I was walking to my music school all depressed when I accidently ran into Dasha who comforted me and said she was still my friend, and so we grew into best friends.
These are just a few stories from my life but I must convince you that accident things happen to me on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel like I live in the ancient Greek roman where a chance was da boss.

I believe in my country.
I'm a cosmopolitan, but it doesn't disclaim my warm attitude to my country. The more I travel, the more advantages I see in Russia, the better I understand my Motherland.
I'm not the person to talk about politics or economics but I can't deny the controversial situation in our world these days. But it's all about history. History always repeats. Russia has always had breakdowns but don't you know yourself it's always risen like a phoenix? I'm not a Slavophil but I totally agree that Russia has its own way of progressing.
After my long winter vacation on Sakhalin when I arrived back in Vladivostok, I took a train from the airport downtown. I was watching the outskirts and was thinking about how amazing my country is. Russia is different. Of course, the most picturesque views are in summer, but there is some special charm in winter. There's always something to see every season. One British friend of mine says that if he ever visits Russia, he'll come in summer. But seeing those little cottages covered with snow, I catch myself thinking I'd like him to see it, I want him to experience Russia in winter. Even though we both hate cold.
I admire other countries; you know I left my heart in LA, can't but dream about visiting France and Italy and etc. But when I'm abroad I feel Russian more than I do while practically in Russia. I don't think I'll live in Russia forever. I can see myself with a foreign husband and bilingual children (I've always seen). My idee fixe is to spend my old age somewhere near Marseille in the Côte d'Azur.
But deep down I've always felt proud of myself (and my fellow-countrymen) for one thing - people of other nations may only guess how it is to be Russian, how it's to live in Russia, and I know how it is.

I believe in love.
Not so long ago I showed one man my poetry and he asked if I had something, not about love. I wanted to protest in the beginning but then decided to keep silence wisely especially since I had a couple of poems not about love.
I don't remember at what age I realized that everything in this world was about love (earlier than I decided that I was a cosmopolitan). You love your parents, you love your sweetheart, you love your pet, you love your food... I'm not talking about the extremes when people are willing to marry a chair or something.
One song says, "What is this thing called love that you speak?" It's a good question indeed. Love is a feeling, that's for sure. Love is affection, love is an attachment. Love is trust.
My kids in the summer camp always giggled when I started talking about love and warm feelings we should have shown to each other. Then I explained to them that love was not only between lovers or spouses but between friends, and parents and their children, between me as their teacher and them as my wards. They understood.
For example, I'm bad at talking to people to whom I don't feel anything, in whom I'm not interested. But when I think the person I'm with is right, I can speak for hours, though the words may be nonsense. Because for my mind, talking, chatting is a way to show my feelings, to show that I'm comfortable with someone. Not all the information we share is important. It shouldn't be always important. If I tell you some silly things that have no value but I really want you to know, it means I value you and you're important to me and I trust you. I don't always pour out all the thoughts which are on my mind. But when I do, it means I think you're someone I can trust. And I already love you as a good human being.
So, I can discourse on the issue of love for hours, but one thing is clear:
Love can save this world, that's for sure.

I believe in art.
Because life imitates art, and art imitates life. You may suppose that I have such an opinion only because I study the humanities but it's kinda vice versa. I study the humanities because I know and appreciate the power of art.
The concept, the meaning of art is so fragile nowadays. I can pour the paint on my (or someone's) naked body, tie up some sentimental 'message' and easily call it 'The Art'. I can repeat "I love you" 83 times to a silly tune and call it "The Art". I can take a picture of a mug, add a couple of filters, again say that it carries a huge 'message' and call it "The Art". At the same time, a person may work for months on a painting and no one could appreciate it. Someone can have an amazing voice but cannot use it right because of lack of money, connections and etc. I don't mean that everything must be bought nowadays. I mean that the most of the things they sell or show are of low quality, that stuff is nonsense. Of course, there's is the true art nowadays as well. The world isn't totally doomed. That's why I believe in art and that it will arise and inspire.
My literature professor has told us that our days are like the Middle Ages. Those times, the most people didn't read (because they couldn't) so they listened to the ones who owned the knowledge. The knowledge was elitist. Nowadays people don't read too. Well, we do but not the same amount as people did a century or two ago. Many things have influenced why people gave up reading and self-teaching and enlarging their knowledge. And it's strange because today we have so many sources to educate ourselves: the same old books, e-books, the holy Internet, TV, masterclasses and video-lessons. I'm not talking about particular fields of knowledge like languages or science. I'm talking about general erudition! The art, the science, the phycology, the philosophy... There are so many things to discover day by day but not every person does it. And so the world is ruled by those who do discover the depth of human knowledge. The knowledge is elitist again.
Nowadays art isn't much about educating its observers. But it should be, it might have been. They always try to entertain us but they'd rather educate us. The world is overwhelmed with entertainment but it lacks art.

Be brave

Monday, February 22, 2016

Not My Wedding


It was a lazy evening in January. I spent my time on vacation in my hometown. That evening I was doing nothing special when I received a tweet from Dasha saying that soon enough I'd have a great time working. I was confused, so I picked up my cellphone and saw a text from my former classmate asking for my help. He was about to get married in several days (my classmate!!) and he was desperately looking for a photographer. At first, I wanted to refuse. Me? A photographer? What? That classmate and I, we weren't even friends at that level for me to take photos of his wedding. But once Dasha tweeted something like "I wish I was able to go to his wedding!!" and I couldn't resist. (Dasha couldn't be present at our classmate's wedding because she had been sent to a business trip) That's why I agreed on being a freaking photographer for food and drinks though I noticed my classmate shouldn't wait for professional pictures. If I only knew how things would turn out...
Suddenly I feel the need to change real names. Let my classmate be Logan (though it's very unlikely to meet someone named Logan in Russia), his wife will be called Alicia, and all the other names won't be real ones too. Well, I've already mentioned Dasha, but you know her, don't you?
It's gonna be a story not fully about my photographing experience but rather about other things happened to me.

Part I. Roman Comedy

The last Saturday of January 2016. 6:20 am. I was up inspired to get dressed and filled with coffee asap to have enough time for making an excellent hairstyle. And so I did.
At 8 am, I was picked up by Logan and his grandpa and was taken to Logan's soon-to-be wife Alicia's place. Logan couldn't come to them and he only told me the apartment's number for the door phone. When I rang, I heard a female voice, "Yes?" - "It's your photographer," - "So what? Call where you need, you're mistaken". Then Logan came up to me and called the damn same number and the story repeated. Only then my classmate remembered the right number of Alicia's apartment and I was let in. I felt so sorry for the women we'd been calling by mistake! Being woken up at 8 am on Saturday isn't the best thing, is it? But when I finally got into the right apartment, I was welcomed with coffee and had all the freedom to take photos of everything. I'd never done anything like that before in my life. But the bride and her family were friendly with me; Alicia even made me a compliment about my hair.
By 10:30 am a motorcade of 4 cars had arrived, I was set with Logan's best man Serge and their another friend who was the driver of our car; after the ceremony Alicia's two friends joined us. Solemnizing nuptials was at 11 am. There were about 15 people at the ceremony. The room was neat as well as the lady who made Logan and Alicia a husband and a wife. I was the one to legitimately capture that moment. It didn't take a long time, so after taking photos outside the hotel where the ceremony took place, we went driving around the places where newlyweds usually take photos. Everything was fine if we forget about the fact that it was FROSTY AF! It was the reason my camera's battery got exhausted so fast. Of course, we got a bottle of champagne or two in our car, so everyone drank except the drivers for sure. We visited all the city's squares. We also drove to a statue of 2 deer which is located outside of our city. Usually, newlyweds put a ribbon on it and make a wish. But when we got there, the path to the deer was covered with the snow and it wasn't rational to reach them in all the fancy dresses. So the fresh husband decided to put a ribbon on a bottle of champagne and throw it in the statue. The first two times he flopped; his friend and our former classmate from a parallel class Xavier (lol don't even ask, I just like the name) went through that deep snow to get the bottle back. At the 3rd time, Logan came closer to the statue and I was an unbelievable god to capture the moment when the bottle was crashing in the statue. What a shot was it!! Everyone was impressed with the picture and Logan was like, "Ha, and you said I shouldn't wait for professional photos!" Also, we went to the park where Logan drove Alicia in her large white on a sleigh borrowed from a random park visitor. Btw, did I mention that Alicia was pregnant? 'Cause she was.
All the motorcade went to a neighboring town to take pictures there. But in fact, there weren't any fancy things to be photographed with and the newly-made wife was cold like everyone else. So the only thing we did in that town was visiting the restroom. We went to another town just to visit a freaking restroom!! Nevertheless, another reason to go around those places was to spend time before coming to the restaurant. All newlyweds in Russia do that.
The restaurant was average. Our party had a separate room. All in all, there was about 24 people including the relatives - a pretty little company for a wedding. Probably, due to my working for food, Logan's mother often came up to me repeating "Olga, eat! Eat, please". And hell yes I ate and drank a lot. I sat at the end of the table for friends; Xavier and Chloe (Dasha's co-worker and our former classmate Max's girlfriend) sat to my right and left. Other girls were at the other side of the table. Chloe and I drank red wine served by Xavier. The boys drank vodka, oh yeah. When the red wine was finished, we drank up white one from the other side of the table. Then we drank red again. Then the fate was for white wine. I still wonder how I didn't end up throwing up that night. During the party, Logan's mother organized some entertaining competitions. Of course, between gulping down another glass of wine and gobbling something delicious I didn't forget to do my job. But for one competition I handed my duty over to Chloe because she didn't want to participate anymore. I paired up with her boyfriend and my friend Max. My task was to dress him down in a particular way: Logan's mother would name a piece of clothing (a left sock, a belt, for example), I had to take that piece and put it into a mutual basin. After taking the things off, I needed to put everything on again. There were about 5 pairs in general. We were the 1st to finish the task though no one noticed that. I even tried to catch the bride's bouquet but I failed ("Of course", you would think, "You don't have a boyfriend even, why should you talk about a wedding?"). The bouquet was caught by Chloe, I was happy for her. Catching the bride's garter was way funnier. When Logan threw the garter for the first time, all the guys... moved aside from it. No one seemed to feel like getting that garter. But when Logan threw it another time, it was Max who caught it! Well, it was logical and romantic at the same time. I know Max and Chloe think about their potential wedding from time to time, so now they have stronger reasons for it. But it wasn't them who stole the show in the end...
At 8 pm live music started, and the singers performed the same old restaurant songs. I danced to fast ones, but when the slow music started I had no one to dance with and left the dance floor to have another drink. Once I was fed up with that, I straightly made Xavier aware, "The next time a slow tune is one, you'll dance with me, ok?" As a true gentleman, Xavier couldn't refuse. But when we got on the floor, we danced to the slow version of the song I hate the most. Then we and other guys ran dancing to almost all the songs. And during one track Xavier and I made the crowd jaw-drop when they saw us kissing! The thing is Xavier and I had never spoken to each other before. I mean, when we were at school, we knew about each other existence but we studied in different classes, so we weren't friends or something. We ran across at big parties but again we never talked. And now, that January night we were slow dancing to a lively song, lip-locking, making everyone stop. I felt that it was kinda awkward, so I suggested going out. It was certainly freezing outside, but man, we were so hot. I can say only one thing: I'd kissed only one man who did it better than Xavier. I sorta have a list in my mind and Xavier's placed second. Good for him, I guess? Around 1 am, one guy, Xavier and I decided to go home. When Max and Chloe told us good-bye, Max was like, "I'm so shocked with you, Olga! Don't do a mistake" and my answer was something like "Never mind, all the mistakes have been already done". Xavier and I got off the taxi near my house, and that other guy continued his way home. Xavier took me to the porch but we couldn't let each other go that night so we headed to his place. We went to the shop where we ran across... the husband and the wife! We didn't talk to them much. But when Xavier and I were walking to his home, I told him everything that came up to my mind. During the party, we learned that we were both Libras, and now we figured out that he was 8 days younger than me lol.
I came back home at 8 am, right in 24 hours after I had gone. How crazy was that! The last thing I said was "Has a girl ever left you at 7 am?" I caught Xavier thinking but I quickly made it easy for him continuing, "Now one has".

Part II. Greek Tragedy

When I returned home, I sharply retold my parents what had happened to me (except for the last part), had a life-giving shower and had a 3-hours nap because later I was expected at my music school to watch the musical instruments' contest. After the contest, Logan called me inviting to go on partying but I was definitely not up to it. Then he got interested in the photos and asked to send him the coolest ones. When I finally arrived home, I uploaded photos from the second microSD on my laptop (we had to use 2 microSD's 'cause we ran out of memory. We even used 2 cameras because we ran out of battery). But when I took the first microSD which had been used from the very morning of that day until the start of the wedding, I saw it was a little bent. I fitted the adapter but the laptop couldn't read it. I lightly pressed the memory card and it... literally broke in two halves. The world stopped that moment. The connections looked saved, so I tried to put that part into the adapter but it never worked anyway. I ran to Chloe's work thinking maybe she could help me. She also tried to use some adapters but all was in vain. A couple of guys told us that was it and no information would be saved. I was in panic. (And typing it in almost a month I still am when remembering about that) I called Logan to explain everything to him. He calmed me down a bit though I burst out crying speaking to him. The next day I went to some tech services and they only laughed at me. I was as full of grief as the newlyweds were because all the amazing photos I took including the ceremony, riding the sleight and crashing the bottle in the statue, everything was gone!.. GONE!!!
Logan asked me to give the microSD to him. He said they had found someone who was ready to look at that mess. I felt so awfully. As I hadn't given them any present, now I felt the fault and the need, so I gave them a money present. To tell the truth, I was afraid to face Alicia again because a) she could be furious because of the loss of the photos; b) she was pregnant so she could be twice as furious. But when we finally met, the both of the guys weren't that happy, of course, but they were fine. They were going to put some legends on their rings and they even asked me what they could write.
But it didn't go for good - that morning I woke up with a sore throat, it hurt so bad. Mom said it was because of that huge stress. For sure, it may have happened because I drank a lot and probably didn't zip up the coat when we went to Xavier but I don't remember that fact, tbh. I got over a sore throat only in a week when I was in Vladivostok already.


I don't know if the guys found a way to restore the photos. I should ask for the news. I still feel really bad about that situation, so I didn't publish any photos from the wedding party which were from another microSD (except for one picture I published on Facebook and that's gonna appear in the end of the post).
I never met Xavier after that night. We aren't even friends on any social network. And you know what? I feel extremely fine with that! It was like a true one-night stand. I'm known to easily get attached to people but I don't feel anything about the guy this time. You may think, "Of course, you don't feel anything, you spent only one night with him!" Oooh, you don't know me then! So I followed all the heartbreaker rules that time without breaking hearts, I hope. 
That's probably how karma works. Only I thought how great everything had been, then the shit happened.

I really like the photo perhaps because it's me and all the boys. Mom didn't recognize me here.
I'll leave it to you to guess who's who. So yup, write me your guesses about
who's Xavier, Max, Serge and the guy we went home with on this photo.

Be brave!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

30 Questions To Ask Yourself

The year of 2015 is coming to its end, and I'd like to sum it up a bit. I still have some plans I feel like I must execute, but they won't change the main, you know, volume of emotions. I had such an amazing year, didn't I? It changed me pretty much, helped me to understand what I want from life.
Not so long ago I found a post on our Russian version of Facebook that included some interesting questions people may ask themselves about their lives (originally the questions are from the book "My 5 years. 365 questions, 1825 answers. Diary"). They say to answer privately and show nobody, but I think it's a funny way to share my thoughts about the year with you. Maybe there're gonna be the questions I won't want to answer, so I'll politely skip them. Let's start!

1. The best moment of the year is...
My American trip, beyond doubt. I know, I worked in the children camp for the first time, I finished my 1st year at university this year and started the 2nd, but nevertheless my travel to LA was the most amazing and unforgettable for many reasons.

2. What inspired me the most this year?
Oh, difficulties have started. I can't help mentioning my mind-blowing travel again. People around me inspire me all the time. Participating in the contests with my student organization. Reading good literature, for sure; literature never lets me down.

3. The main news of the year.
I started working seriously. I became the English tutor in February and a teacher in the camp in June. Also now I can speak French!

4. The anthem of the year.
Man, you know, questions about music are HARD! Probably I could have pointed out one song the previous years, but not this one. I can't recall one song. Let it be Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood, the Eurovision 2015 winning song Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw, Style by Taylor Swift and Colors by Halsey.

5. The most important people in my life. (this year, apparently)
Well, I can't but mention my parents and best friends who are my most important people in my life forever. Also I'd like to point out the Australian man I met in LA. Nowadays, when several months have passed by, I understand that I won't exaggerate when saying that he kinda influenced my perception of the world and myself mainly. It's one in a million chance to get to know such a person, believe me.

6. What was the most difficult for me?
Umm, making up your mind is always difficult. Sometimes working with the children at camp was difficult; I even cried twice during the term. Urging myself to read all the necessary literature even if I totally don't feel like is always a challenge too.

7. What color was this year?
Oy, I could send you to Colors by Halsey here, too:) But having to choose the color of the year, I'd say red. Red is my second favorite color, and my 2015 has been so vibrant and energetic and full of unexpected things, so it was red. ("... but loving him was red")

8. What event of this year I'd like to remember forever?
Is it going to be another post about my LA trip or what?

9. What word I used most often?
Hmm, interesting. I'd probably be able to answer this question in Russian. In English I'd choose the word expression "on point", let it be so.

10. The most ridiculous purchase of the year.
I hope I learnt not to waste money this year as being a student. So I think I never bought anything ridiculous in 2015. Or I try not to remember.

11. I'd better experiment with...
Oh my, I think I've experimented enough this year. Perhaps, there's even nothing I'd regret. YOU GO, GIRL!

12. This year was great because...
I realized many plans and ideas, I tried and did what I hadn't done before. I met so many amazing people; many of them have become my good friends. I traveled all on my own abroad for the first time.

13. What intimate problem have I solved?
I don't know. Usually I try to avoid noticing problems including my owns. I still try to understand my nature, so I'll leave this question open.

14. Whom I hugged at night?
That's almost offensive. I hug my plush cat toy at night, you know. Well, I wasn't that hopeless this year, but they are more one night stand cases :c

15. At whose wedding I partied?
At no one's.

16. What average salary did I have this year?
*politely skipping*

17. Did I have a conversation that changed everything in my mind?
I don't think I'm capable of recalling one particular conversation. I try to extract something useful from every conversation I have. Talking to foreigners was remarkable; and conversations with my camp co-workers were always great.

18. What new business have I started this year?
Well, I've already written about my work. Though I don't earn much money, but I enjoy teaching my little students English, it's my own little serious business.

19. If I could become a super hero for one day, what would I do?
It might sound selfish, but if I were a super hero for a day, I'd fly to my guys in LA. Seriously.

20. What do I dream about?
Is it about 2015 or what? I have many dreams actually. Right now I dream to successfully pass my exams beforehand this semester and come to my hometown for a whole month.

21. What I consider to be my biggest achievement?
My successful American trip. Sorry.

22. Express this year (up to this day) in one phrase.
Off the hook.

23. The last message that I sent.
You won't be much excited about that: the last thing I sent was the translated sentences I sent to my group mates. Sorry.

24. A quotation that suits this year.
"I don't believe you. I believe in you" © the Canadian guy I met in LA

25. Have I realized everything I planned for this year?
Not yet. Only some chore stuff are left. But globally yes, I've done everything I planned. Well done.

26. How many new friends have I made this year?
I'm bad at counting. I guess there are about 4-5 new good friends I made this year.

27. Whom I helped this year?
Myself firstly. My Australian man. Cherry Lady. Tatyana. I like helping people if I'm sure I can.

28. What places have I visited?
OOOOHHH should I count my hometown? Besides, there are West Hollywood, Venice Beach, Downtown LA and all the other places I went to in LA. Most of them were new for me. Oh, and Tokyo! I've been to Tokyo for the first time!

29. What business have I put off till the next year?
Recording the songs that I wrote because I don't have any instruments here in Vladivostok (yet). So I wait for coming to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and creating some (I think) cool stuff there.

30. What do I want to achieve in the new year?
Discovering new aspects of my soul. I want to live happily in general. Earlier I'd absolutely send a wish upon a star for a boyfriend. Now I get it that I don't constantly need a boy to feel happy. Of course, I don't deny the need of somebody by my side. But unless I'm fully satisfied with myself, I won't be satisfied with anyone. Plus now I know I don't need a boy - I need a man ("who can do it like I can"). I guess I met someone who looked like my ideal this year, and now it's pretty tough to find somebody like him. But actually I don't look for anyone on purpose. I believe if I feel confident, my destiny will find me easily. So feeling constantly confident, being patient and attentive is what I want to achieve in the new year.

That's it! Maybe, my answers were pretty obvious and silly, but they are mine, don't you think? Try to answer yourself and see how amazing your 2015 was!

Be brave

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Movies' Day. Part IV

Although I write about separate movies from time to time, it's been pretty long since my last "Movies' Day" post, so I feel quite ready to create something new for you.
philadelphia movieAlright, alright, alright! Last weekend my roommate and dear friend Cherry Lady checked the movies we had been recommended by our professors. 

The first one is "Philadelphia", a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. (Thanks, Wikipedia) Actually, the film wasn't in our mood, but we watched it pretty attentively because the acting is simply brilliant! I can easily understand why Mr. Tom Hanks received the Oscar for the leading role of Andrew Beckett. And the soundtrack! Certainly I'd heard "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen before, but I never knew it was for the movie. That was pleasant news. 
The plot is rather controversial but pretty understandable. I loved that even though Denzel Washington's character Joe Miller had homophobia and  mysophobia, he agreed on helping Andrew Beckett in the name of justice and law. The movie's worth watching even if you're not a fan of the jurisprudence.

philadelphia movie
Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett

guys and dolls 1955
On Sunday, we turned on "Guys and Dolls". It's a 1955 movie based on the Broadway musical of the same name. It starred  Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. The plot is about how 50s' New York criminals liked gambling and betting. And that love wins at the end of it all. The movie is full of nice songs and fancy dances - of course, it's based on the musical! I liked the characters. Men were so handsome and women were so stylish those days. It reminded me of how much I like 50s' movies.

The only thing I didn't like in "Guys and Dolls" was Sister Sarah Brown's wedding dress. Or better say, the lack of her wedding dress! I know that she was a missionary, but I beg you! It's a 50s' musical! You could have made it!

But in general, "Guys and Dolls" is totally worth watching.

marlon brando

spectre 007
The third film I wanna talk about is the latest James Bond film "Spectre". The acting crew is wonderful! Daniel Craig, of course, but I was even more thrilled about one and only Monica Bellucci, adorable Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and - OMG YAS - Andrew Scott! Mr. Scott played Max Denbigh, a member of the British government, and comparing this character to Scott's famous Moriarty, I guess Andrew Scott do fine with this type of role. Unfortunately, Andrew's character won't be lucky to appear in next movies. But maybe as a flashback? Please?
Frankly speaking, I didn't like Léa Seydoux as a Bond girl much. Well, she's nice, but not splendid, you know.

The story features James Bond's first encounter with the global criminal organisation Spectre, marking the group's first appearance in an Eon Productions film since 1971's Diamonds Are Forever, and tying Craig's series of films together with an overarching storyline. (Thanks, Wikipedia)

ben whishaw qspectre andrew scott

Of course, I can't help writing about the main "Spectre" theme "Writing's On The Wall" performed by Sam Smith. Remember how excited I was with "Skyfall" by Adele? No wonder why it received an Oscar. So "Writing's On The Wall" is spectacular as well. I watched the live performance, and Mr. Smith nailed it! Let's see what awards this track will get.

Also, Cherry Lady and I have watched (my friend has re-watched) an amazing British series calls "Black Books". There are 3 seasons in the sitcom as well as 3 main characters: the bookshop's owner Bernard Black played by hilarious Dylan Moran, his assistant Manny Bianco and their friend Fran Katzenjammer. Actually, it's all about the wine, dealing with life and relationships, more booze, books vs. modern technologies, "Don't you dare use the word "party" as a verb in this shop!" and wine again. The comedy is just great! Not that stupid American pointless sitcoms, but classy smart British-Irish humor as it is.

black books dylan moran

That's all for today! Enjoy the silence the movies and have fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Russian Student Organizations

RSO logo
Russian Student Organizations (or Brigades as Wikipedia says) (RSO) is a big all-Russian youth non-governmental organization founded in 2004. It was created to provide college and university students with different jobs, mostly during summer holidays. Once you join one or another organization, you can become a teacher in a children summer camp (as me), a constructor, a conductor on a train, a worker on a fish-processing plant or somewhere else. At least these four professions are available in our Primorsky region. I'm not sure that you can be a worker on a fish-processing plant somewhere in the central Russia.
Such Student organizations originated in 1959 at the Physics Department of the Moscow State University as student construction brigades. They built new railways, buildings and etc. to 'create communism'. From the mid-sixties, they became an all-Union movement with all the camp teachers, plant workers, conductors, ecologists and so on. One of the main aims was to grow the feeling of the unity, pride, love to work. And of course even back then people earned money this way too. Actually, you can make pretty much working as a constructor or a plant worker. To be honest, teachers have the smallest wages but it's more about loving children, nice time with your mates and summer, I think.

Coastal Cluster of the Winter Olympics venues which were
built with the help of RSO
So, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the tradition of student organization continued in some Russian regions. The main center was in Yekaterinburg, so it's exactly where the modern Russian tradition of student organization started. RSO has done many awesome things in modern Russia. The construction brigades helped to build the venues of the 2014 Winter Olympics, our two fantastic bridges in Vladivostok and the latest project Vostochny Cosmodrome which is still being built. The conductors go on trains from Vladivostok to Moscow for 7 days and back. Well, guys from other cities have other routes, but I don't know much about them. People joined fishing organizations come to my home island Sakhalin to work at the fish-processing plant.

Almost all the members have special RSO jackets as the uniform. The jackets can be khaki, dark green (or even blue in rare cases) that resemble the constuctors' uniform in the USSR. Only the teachers don't receive the jackets as they start working because we don't do any 'dirty work', we don't need such kind of uniform. A teacher must deserve, earn this jacket, it's kinda a symbol that your organization trusts you and present you a jacket. Teachers' uniform usually is a t-shirt and a neckerchief of significant colors.
Every organization has its commander, commissar, methodologist and master. RSO, as one huge organization consolidating the organizations from the whole country, has its own commander, commissar and master. And regional departments have too.

Different student organizations of Vladivostok on the Tiger's Day. I wasn't there :c
See the khaki jackets? Also you can differentiate one organization from another by the colors of the uniforms
Some of us posing for the photo session due to our being
the best pedagogical organization in our region in 2015
Personally I am a member of a student teaching organization (or as it's called a student pedagogical organization). Our organization's called "S.T.E.P." which is deciphered as Student Teaching English Program. Our organization has the bias for the English language (nowadays we're the only organization in our region with the bias for English) therefore all the members have made-up English names. Mine is Leslie, obviously. We work in the children summer camp called - you won't believe - "English Camp" which is situated right on my university campus. There are 3 terms during summer; also this camp has terms during fall, winter and spring holidays.

"S.T.E.P." is the biggest pedagogical organization in Primorsky region as far as I know. Formally, there are more than 100 members, though only about 70-80 teachers worked during the last summer. Anyhow, it didn't prevent us from becoming the best pedagogical organization in Primorye in 2015!
I worked last summer during the 1st term, it was my very first time. Of course, during the previous academic year we had been trained, but I faced the real children only in summer. Thankfully, my co-worker was an experienced teacher, she became my good friend. And our helper was so amazing though she was a fresh blood too.
Me and the teacher from another team (on the left) as the hosts
for the evening event with our boss Francis between us
But being a part of RSO isn't only about work and earning money. For me being a part of such a huge organization awakes some proud feelings inside like "Hell yeah, I do something good! It's useful and something you can be proud of". Apart from direct work student organization originate various social events. For example, our organization provides free English lessons in Vladivostok's libraries for kids. Unfortunately, I don't have time to teach there this year, but last year I willingly gave some lessons in the libraries as well.

Each year Primorsky Department of RSO arranges the event or the contest called something like "The Worker of the Year". At this event the best workers, the best organizations are announced. There are some criteria for that, but don't ask me about that. So, as I've already mentioned, our organization became the best!! We were so happy and proud!

But what can you see? I'm wearing The Jacket on the photo! Unfortunately, it's not mine (yet!) - I had to borrow one to perform on stage! I was honored to sing our national anthem, the RSO anthem and the theme song on stage with 5 other coolest singers of Primorsky Department of RSO. Although, it wasn't me who participated in the contest as a worker of the year, I felt so proud to represent my organization during the musical performances.

I'm actually happy that I joined RSO last year. I can't wait to see new guys coming to our organization, getting its craziness and awesomeness. Some of them will stay, some of them will go; but the process itself, the experience is priceless.

Be brave to be a part of something grand

Popular Posts