So I guess its time for an update! Yay! So I figured that this time I would give you a few updates on the strange happenings at my school and everything that has been going on there past the boring updates of “school is boring”. So there have been 3 main strange things that have happened at my school in the last month or so. I guess ill go in order in which they happened.
So about a month and a half ago everyone started talking about the flu. Which to me didn’t seem like such a big thing. I mean it’s the flu it happens everywhere and I mean we are IN RUSSIA!!! It’s a cold place of course people are going to get sick in the winter its been -20C for the last 3 weeks! (Although as I write this it is back up to -5C!!!). But there are a few differences between Americans and Russians when they get sick. In Russia when you get sick you stay home from school (and work) when you are sick but then you also must stay home for 4/5 days after you are better to make sure you are fully recovered. While yes this is very continent for someone like me who doesn’t have to make up any thing in school its pretty bad for the school because it means when someone gets sick they are out of school for more then a week, usually around 2 weeks just for one little bout of the flu.
Because of this pretty much all of February there were a tun of kids that were out of school and class. One day Jenia and me came to school and all the teachers were wearing those medical mask type things that you sometimes wear in the doctor’s offices because they were afraid that the teachers would spread the germs I guess? I’m not sure but all of the teachers were required to wear them at all times because of the “break out of the flu” now mind you, this is just the regular old flu. That very same day this lady with a clipboard came to our class and asked how many kids were missing from our class. This confused me and Jenia so we asked our Russian teacher about it and she told us that the school was deciding which classes they were going to quarantine… YES QUARANTINE!!
This SHOCKED us. I mean they are acting like the plague broke out when in reality it was just the FLU! So when the deemed that too many kids from one class were gone sick from school they closed that class down for a whole week. One week of no school for everyone in that class because there were too many kids sick… WOW! They also made us stop changing classrooms because of the flu. So we stayed in the same classroom all day because they were afraid of people “mingling in the hallways”. But this did lead me and Jenia to discover that our school has a whole classroom dedicated to CHESS! Yes CHESS!
So basically the whole month of February my school was freaking out over what they called the “flu epidemic”. We thought it was a bit ridiculous but its how they work. It’s Russia.
So on to the next strange thing than happened in February in my school. We went to school one day only to discover that there was NO ELECTRICITY! None at all. We had to take off all our coats and boots in the dark, the classrooms were dark, the bathrooms had no light, and the kitchens didn’t either. So of course we asked our Russian teacher right away because we wanted to know why there were no lights. Well it turns out that 3 schools in my town didn’t have electricity because they didn’t pay the bill so the city shut off their electricity! TO A SCHOOL! We were really surprised. So for that day we had short lessons and there were only 3 lessons because the kitchens couldn’t work and no one could go to the bathroom because they were really dark!
This went on for about 3 days and then they got the electricity back to the school! So I can now officially say that I’ve been to a school that didn’t have any electricity!
So for the last interesting thing that happened in my school was that they had a Marching contest. Yes you heard me correctly. A marching contest. For a bout a week we saw that all the classes seemed to be practicing marching and when we asked them why we were told that there would be a competition between the classes. Me and Jenia thought that was a little strange because I mean, its marching, isn’t that a military thing? Not something you do in school! But nope they were all preparing for a marching contest!
It was really weird to walk down the hall and turn a corner and suddenly see a group of kids (a class) practicing their marching in the hallway!
So on the day of the contest of course me and Jenia went to watch it because I mean come on, a school wide marching contest? How Russian is that! So it started with all of the kids (dressed completely in black and white!) marching in class-by-class and standing all around the gym. Then there seemed to be some kind of flag ceremony and then the Russian national anthem was sung (if I do say so myself this song is a little intimidating!) and then all the kids went out into the hall way and the classes started to come in one at a time to do their marches.
Our class went first (they…didn’t exactly invite me and Jenia to join in, so we just watched) and they all came in from tallest to shortest and did this salute thing to the army man that had come to the school to watch this event and then they counted off and did some “front, back, right turn, left turn” militaryish type stuff and they ended their presentation by walking around the gym all singing a song.
Each class proceeded to do this one by one, it got a little boring by the end but in one of the younger grades this adorable little short boy who was at the end of the line ended up turning the wrong way so that he was facing the audience instead of the opposite way like the rest of his class but he didn’t know he was wrong so it was THE most adorable thing EVER!
So pretty much when all the classes had gone they announced the winner (10th grade) and then pretty much everyone left.
So this is my experience of a Russian marching contest! Only in Russia.
So I hope you enjoyed some happenings of my school that all happened this February! Ill do a general life update in the next few days after I get back from my afs camp!
OOOOOO! The title of this post means “my comrades” yes I’m VERY proud to say that I can say “Comrades” in Russian. To me this is a VERY Russian word! And want to know a secret? They actually use this word in every day life! I love it!