23 October 2005

Pity, Party of One

Further reflection has forced me to realize how truly pathetic the previous post is. Of course I’m unmotivated, I have no idea what I’m doing! And I’m obviously not the only one who feels this way, one of the few things I HAVE learned is how non-unique we really are, much as we would like to be otherwise. So please forgive my self-indulgence, I’ll try not to let it happen again, and as punishment I’m leaving the sad-little-me post up to remind myself not to be so pitiful in the future.

Seeking Motivation

I'm feeling a serious lack of motivation lately, which I think may stem from having done next to nothing for the past 3 months. I spent the entire summer visiting hospitals, sleeping & doing a bit of traveling, with just a tiny bit of research thrown in at the end. Now that I'm back in Poland, I'm trying to get into the swing of things again (cue the A-ha song, please), but it doesn't seem to be working so far.

I have all kinds of plans and ideas about what I'm going to accomplish each day, but all I seem able to do is fake my way through my lessons, drag myself home, and pretend to read an article or two before I find myself staring at the screen of my laptop yet again, wandering the internet and playing game after game of Scrabble.

I'm hoping that having some deadlines will give me the much needed kick in the ass I'm lacking - I have to give a presentation on Saturday about my thesis. I'm still in the fuzzy stages of planning, where I have some data recorded, some articles I think might be helpful, but no real idea where it's all leading. Does everyone go through this with their master's? Please tell me they do, even if it's a lie. :) No, really, I'd like to know.

16 October 2005

Enjoying Fall

It's chilly, but not yet cold. I'm wearing sweaters, but the hat & scarf are still packed away in the cupboard. And the leaves on the ground are delightfully crunchy.

I do like a good fall day, both wandering in the outdoors and returning home to make myself a nice cup of tea & look out at the changing colors. We're quickly approaching my two favorite holidays, first Halloween, and then All Saint's Day. I love walking through the cemetery when it's all lit up with candles. Too bad it only happens once a year - why do people only remember their dead when there's a public holiday for it?

I had a really nice weekend, classes started at the university & I got to spend time with a friend I haven't seen for months. I think I'm going to enjoy my courses this year, but I'm reserving final judgement for the moment - the boredom factor in one is dangerously high. So much depends on delivery, and the first meeting wasn't great in that regard. But I'm willing to give it another session before I decide one way or the other.

Hope everyone has a chance to go jump in a pile of dead leaves soon!

13 October 2005

Another Small Victory

I am officially a Poznan Philharmonic subscriber! I've been thinking about it for over a year & I finally did it! This may not seem like a huge deal, until you remember that I used to be able to go to the symphony in Seattle pretty much whenever I wanted, just by pulling up a seating chart & printing myself a ticket. That's about the only thing I miss about that job - other than all the great people who are still trapped there, while I escaped! :P

Anyway, the process of becoming a subscriber here, like anything else I try to do, took a bit of effort. When I got back into town, I checked the web, but this year's schedule hadn't yet been posted. So I stopped by the office of cultural information in town, and they gave me a name and phone number to call for info, but said I could also go by the office. I went by the office & saw a group of musicians sitting in a hallway & no one who looked like they had any idea about subscriptions. So I finally went by the ticket office (don't ask me why I didn't go there first, just remember that this is Poland and things are rarely where I think they should be) and got the info about the concert dates, plus a form to fill out requesting tickets. So I filled it out for myself & the 2 friends who wanted to join me and took it back to the office, where the woman took the form and told me to come back 2 weeks later to pay. Yes, she would not take my money!

I was a little wary at this point, figuring I'd go back & the woman would have no clue what I was talking about. On the appointed day, I reappeared at the ticket office and said I was there to pay for my subscription. Miraculously, the woman didn't look at me like I had 3 heads, but instead asked me my name, took my money, and gave me 3 subscription tickets! That's right, one ticket per person for the entire subscription of 8 concerts. I didn't dare ask what happens if one of us loses our ticket. I'm currently making plans to have mine surgically implanted.

So that's my latest happy story about navigating my way around this fair city of Poznan and accomplishing what I set out to do. May your next foray into the unknown be as successful!

07 October 2005

Flexible Time and Crowded Buses

Obviously, I have yet to get back into a pattern of regular postings - taking 3 months off from anything can really affect your habits! That goes for teaching too, I've finished my first week back in a classroom & I'm still a little rusty. I'm hoping the students didn't notice, but since most of them are new to me this year, I think I'm safe.

I've started my quest for the ultimate Polish lessons. I had planned to take classes at the university again, but the times they offer won't fit in my schedule - all their classes are in the evenings, which is also when I teach. So I signed up at a private school which takes a list of names & then tries to find a time that works for everyone. They said they'll get back to me by the middle of next week, which could mean anything, so we'll see if it works out. Time tends to be flexible here - one of my fellow teachers mentioned that he had gone to pick up his registration card after 4 weeks, because he was told it would be ready in 4 weeks. The other 2 ex-pats & I who were listening to his story fell on the floor in hysterics at that point. Four weeks tends to mean "sometime in the next 6 months" when it comes to beaurocratic offices around here.

I've discovered that I can walk from downtown to my apartment in 45 minutes. I didn't actually want to learn this particular piece of information, but there was no way I was going to morph into a sardine and cram myself into the night bus at 1:00 this morning, so I took a nice stroll. It really wasn't bad, the temperature has taken a turn upward in the past few days, and the whole route is very well lit.

That's about all the babble I can come up with at this point. I'll be on the lookout for interesting tidbits to report, and I hope to get back into a habit of more regular postings.