My time at UCLAN in the Russian Beginners’ course has come to an end now, with the remaining class taken up by the exam which “real” students will be taking next week but which I and other “members of the public” are banned from. Never mind – it was a fun six months and I look forward to joining again in autumn for the next level up. I don’t know where my Russian will be by then as I plan to continue the private Skype lessons, but it has been a pleasure and educational experience going to university each week and learning with other people.
In addition to the classes and conversation class, I’ve attended some of the Russian society events, one of which took place last Wednesday. The advanced class – made up mostly it seems of Latvians and Lithuanians! – performed extracts from a Fedot fairytale by Filatov (You can see him performing this himself here on Youtube) However, two of us in the beginners’ class got given (very) minor parts at the last minute the previous week, so we got to participate too! I was a servant who had two lines to say – which apparently are in archaic Russian, so my son’s colleague’s grandma said. You can see literally just my two lines here spoken by the two identically dressed guys in the corner:
Sean, on the other hand, was given the part of the English ambassador which involved acting as if he didn’t understand anything and just agreed three times to whatever was said with “yes”. He played it perfectly!
There was also a lovely presentation about Malenitsa, followed by pancakes with a variety of fillings including cottage cheese which, apparently, is a “thing” there.
It was a lovely experience and one I look forward to repeating next academic year when the classes and societies begin again.