Cliff Gardner

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I can't remember the last time I slept...and I couldn't be happier!

Learning a new language while living abroad is like that scene from the movie "Abyss" where Ed Harris tries to breath that liquid oxygen stuff. He resists it at first because it's so different, then he starts to panic because it feels like he's drowning, then he relaxes as he takes it into his lungs, and finally he can breath again, but in a different way. In terms of learning Russian, I'm think I'm safely in the "relax and take it in" phase, which is good because I've got my language proficiency interview, or LPI, next week. It's basically a non-threatening, informal conversation, in Russian, with a Peace Corps staff person that determines whether or not I've learned enough Russian to get by over here, and more importantly, if I'm fit to be sworn in as a volunteer in a few weeks. I feel like the LPI is the biggest hurdle I'll face in trying to become a volunteer (remember, I'm still just a trainee), but there are two others. I've already had one of them, the demonstration lesson I taught that was observed by Peace Corps staff, and I think it went really well. The other one is our community project, which my training cluster and I are putting on this Friday at the school we've all been teaching at during training. It's a "Farewell to Fall Festival" at which we're going to have different tables celebrating different American holidays. It's going to go really well, I think, but there's still a lot to do.

That's about it on my end--prayers and letters are always appreciated. The Peace Corps address a few posts down still works so if you want to be totally awesome like Kourtney (three letters so far, just got you latest!), Liz (two letters and a lot of awesome webcomics), my awesome cousin Gretchen and my dad (I've finished season seven of the West Wing already, thanks!) then feel free to drop me a line! I love you all very much!


  • Good for you. You're a total badass for picking up a language so quickly. It's very admirable. Actually, pretty much everything you are doing right now is admirable.

    I'll be posting from China starting on Dec. 10, so get ready for some ke-ray-zee-ness. Just thinking about leaving in two days makes me want to pass out in nervous excitement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 PM  

  • If you want, we'll ship Akbar over to you for some tutoring. But then, you'd have to work on enunciation.

    You're one of my favorite people. Keep being awesome!

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 8:57 AM  

  • See! I told you that you'd kick ass at learning Russian! I expect that you will do great on the test. :-)

    By Anonymous Christine, at 10:09 AM  

  • Good luck on your interview! I have no doubt you will pass with flying colors. You have an amazing drive! My thoughts are always with you.

    As for WW season seven...JEALOUS!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM  

  • Russian? Where the hell are you Tom?

    Hi from Emac in Eugene : ). Long time my friend. I just talked to Dave for the first time in months too. I was really happy to catch up on your posts, it sounds really great and challenging. I just posted my a small fall update on my blogger, motivated by all the communication going on with all the great people we know.

    I'm so sorry about Logan, the whole community is right there with you. He was an absolutely great guy.

    I'm realy proud of you Tom. How many stamps does it take to get a letter to you? : ) Damn how did all the great people I know get to so many interesting places in the world?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  

  • I miss you, buddy! Prayers are coming your way!

    By Anonymous sharl, at 7:47 PM  

  • i cant remember the last time i slept without you....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 AM  

  • Thomas dear - I'm glad to hear you are feeling confident with your language skills since I know how much you were fearing these "exams" before you left. You will do fine, because even if you mess up the words you are always quick with the jokes :)

    I love you and hope you have a good holiday over there knowing we are all thinking about you back here!

    By Anonymous Amy, at 9:26 PM  

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