Posted by: jmarleneh | December 9, 2008

Фестиваль иностранных студентов

This weekend  ДВГУ hosted an international student festival. It was hosted by our university ДВГУ (Дальневосточный государственный университет or the Far Eastern National  University).

There is only one other international student festival like ours in Russia and many important people arrived to watch. It was even televised all across Russia. We didn’t have class yesterday (Monday) to give the teachers/students a rest from all their hard work as the festival was on Sunday and Saturday.  On Monday Meddy and I went to the Chinese Consulate to pick up our visas. I hope to go to China with Ayumi, Meddy and others this Thursday! We’ll see!

Here are some links and pictures about the international student fair:

“V Фестиваль иностранных студентов вузов Дальнего Востока”

During the festival Rebecca, Kristi and I (affectionately known as the “Americans” at the Russian school) played “Guess what Boris Sereivich is thinking right now.” I loved the suspense of knowing he could turn his head 30 degrees at any time and catch us watching him intently. Yes, I confess we were getting bored.  This was only because the festival was several hours long and we were eager to see our school and our friends perform.  I don’t want to suggest that the festival was boring altogether but the first part was especially hard to understand.   Each school’s students performed a skit introducing their university. And during the 16 or so songs performed eventually all the Chinese pop songs started to sound alike. There were a couple of performances not from our school that were very interesting and even beautiful! Did I mention we needed a distraction from our own hunger (we left earlier that morning without breakfast promised there would be a buffet that didn’t open for several more hours of course). So these are the reasons why we resorted to playing this game briefly. The best part of the game: Shortly after we started watching him he checked his watch. 🙂 Perhaps he was thinking something similar . . . when is lunch?

 I’d like to take this time to attempt to explain why so many studetns have a fascination with Boris Sergeivich.  I don’t think it would be unfair to say he’s one of the student’s favorite teachers here and not just mine!  I have him for Russian conversation.   I remember thinking early on he must really like his job. I like his genuine interest when he asks questions and obvious delight from teaching us. One day Gee Hyung shared some statistics about people’s satisfaction from their jobs in Russia. Teachers had some of the lowest job satisfaction. This prompted a discussion about why. Boris Sereivich explained that the pay isn’t that good and that it’s important that teachers enjoy what they do. He explained why he thought his job wasn’t boring and how he is always learning new things. We’ve even briefly heard about some of his travels before to different universities in Korea and Japan. If teachers don’t enjoy their job then it’s not for them! How wise he is! I think I’d like to do something similar to him.   I think I like the idea of teaching in an international school and working with foreigners.

On one occassion we asked about his family. He told us about his parrot. I still fondly remember him telling me “If my parrot can speak Russian! So can you!” 😉 Early on I hated Russian Conversation because it was so hard for me to say anything. It’s still hard for me. But my attitude has changed ” Я могу говорить по-русски!” I think this has been my biggest obstacle.  Thank you Boris Sergeivich!



  1. Aw. Pictures of Jess performing? Sad day.
    I’ll have to show you the Chinese pop I’ve discovered when you get back. We’ll compare.

  2. I wish you a good xmas, I hope your having a great Time. Everything is good here.

  3. I’m leaving portland soon, which makes me a little sad. There is so much snow here! I had a snowball fight with my roommates. I’m sorry you missed it, but I’m sure you got your share there. Half my finals got canceled (or made into email ‘take home’ finals). I found my collection of your various missives, and I can’t wait to see you in a month!!! Yay!! Call me when you get back.

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