Archive for September 6, 2007

Happy Interruptions and Relief

My mantra for the week is Don Sargent’s: ” What about the students?”  I was glad to be interrupted by
1) S.M. who applied for a job as a teaching assistant. I hired him using my own money.  He is here on a full scholarship, but needs money for room ad board. He and three other male students share a one room apartment.
Rosa, a sour faced (but beautiful when she smiles) office assistant sent him; I’d asked about finding a student who needed money. He had a “TA” with the department, but has not been reappointed. Perhaps if he is reappointed, the department will pay for it. Meanwhile, He’s mine and I am very impressed. He is a fourth year student, very clear eyes. His mother is Russian, and a nurse. He is hesitant to speak of his father: a retired driver. (I suspect a weak father). He is from the North, Kustanai, and his grandfather came from Kyiv region in the settlement of the New Lands in 1950s. S.M. is a fourth year student will be a good T.A., I may also use him for a research assistant.

2) Nikola, an instructor, popped in. He helps with the Introduction to Macro (coordinated?) course and is a genuine help, with insights facts, etc.

3) Two students from the student newspaper came in for an interview.  I showed them family pictures from my wallet of you and the L’s.  Then, from the notebook computer of our place in MN and of the L’s places in AZ. I look forward to the article they will publish.  I was able to say these university students have a “higher level of academic culture”  than Ukrainian students. (I’m going to keep up that line, as a challenge to them to keep up the competition.) 

———————
So I paid landlord a little for my staying at Paul’s. I’m not in the contract.  These expenses will be paid in part: I learned that the $200 visa fee will be paid.  2) the $100 Fed Ex fee should be paid, too. 3) My (at least) $200 penalty for changing ticket will be paid. That’s $500. God provides, doesn’t He?

————-S.M. came by in office now, and picked up recording work to do — attendances, and information on which tutorials my 180 macro students are in. He will buy me a UBS extension.  He showed me a web site to look for apartments in Kiev, and how to use it.  I advanced him 5,000 Tenge (about $80) which he didn’t ask for, but I felt I should “nail him down” before the department starts offering official TA positions. I’d like to have his loyalty.
I miss my computer glasses, which the hotel did not find. If you could get copies of the two prescriptions and scan and send them, I will go to a place and get copy made of the computer glasses. I expect it will not be very much money.

I am tired but not disheartened.  I was thinking last night as I walked around between bus and store and home for money and back, and forth that I ha a spring in my step and walk more rapidly, like when I was younger. I also reflected that my lungs are very clear. I believe I am loosing weight, too. So, God is using circumstances to make me better.


I will go home earlier than usual, maybe soon.  I will come back in early. Friday I have no 9 o’clock class tomorrow, and no 2.00 pm one, but I do have at 10 and 3 and will start making up the quiz that S.M. will help me grade.

There was a faculty meeting this noon, about committee appointments.  I expressed interest in a committee on General Education, which is supposed to have North Americans on it for accreditation. I thought I could learn something there, in my “field work”  research here.


I’ve been assigned as chair of the department’s Publicity Committee, which means marketing. Again, it is the American face (that launched a thousand slips.)  He talked about, who knows it could happen, making trips around
C.A. and Russia to recruit students.  I would like some of that, as I could see different places and perhaps visit with the parents, the new middle class.

I miss the simplicity of Ukraine, but perhaps health has improved, and that just needs to “stew” by itself, while God has this. I am pretty much surrendered to Him, in it.  I thank Him for the extra time on the farmstead, and the promise of home to return to. Then, Heaven, I suppose.   I do yearn to see Jesus.

—– I also got ten minutes to retire to a nearby park, sit on a notebook in the grass, lean against a tree and take a look at Oswald for today, and, meaning to reread Ps 25, I read instead Ps. 26, and the phrase that stuck in my mind/heart was: I stand on level ground.  Oswald’s thought was as Christ as source, FLOWING through me: if I am on level ground then it is a wide path of flow.

Perhaps that was achieved in the meeting, in which I was deposed as coordinator of some kind of mess. The joint teaching of 360 students in four lectures and 15 tutorials, for the first time. It is an uncomfortable situation, a bit like what they’ve been doing, and cling to, and yet new, imposed from on high that experienced teachers (Me) teach big sections, that are however graded by the others. Sigh. Well, I stand relieved and relieved. I want to rest a lot and get up here early tomorrow morning.

I forgot to say that an additional blessing has been listening on speakers ($8 ones!) to the CD Praise Piano today. I look forward to when it is cooler and I can close the window and its Abai noise. I think this is slightly different phone number (and that makes a Big difference) than what I had been given. Since the modem is plugged in, no one could ever get through anyway.  I you want to try about 8:30 a.m. your time 9:30 pm here, please give it a try on WDT. I doubt it will work. Then, if you have SkYPE out set up, you could try that. I learned that the reason we can’t call the Paul’s apt is that we have to unplug the computer modem. Also, I may have had the wrong number.  [oy!] The land lord was there last night. The lady landlord is an agronomist and worked for Mekhlis Sulemenov. They are looking for an “unimproved”  3 room apartment for us. If any exist in Almaty! I read a newspaper article that housing prices are falling in Kazazkhtan– maybe rents with them. [hopefully]

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