Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Prospects for the future...

Its been a hectic few weeks since my last post. I'm aware I didn't reflect much on my progress during my trip in December. I guess my time in Russia is starting to feel a little more 'normal'. I'll take that as a positive.

I've not left the snow behind though, thats for sure. Maybe those guys in Copenhagen have done a better job than we give them credit for...Either way the thermostat seems to have been turned down for time being, I'm almost glad to have experienced those big negative figures, Oxford was practically tropical in comparison...

The subject of this post reflects the opportunity I've been given to return to Russia in Easter, this time not just to my adopted 'home' of St Petersburg, but to Moscow and my chance at last to feel like a proper historian again. Through an organisation connected to my academic studies at Oxford - CEELBAS for those with any interest - I have successfully applied for a place in workshop that will offer my first introduction to the state archives of Russia and the former Soviet Union. You've seen how excited I get in the museums over there, I'll probably need to wear bib my saliva glands will be working so hard...

In the meantime I return to my studies for another term. After being a little frustrated by the teaching thus far being geared purely for the academic side of things, I am nevertheless hoping to complete my qualification exam next week. This is really just to give me the chance to take off some of the pressure and get back to enjoying the process of learning the language again.

In the classroom things are going to get a little more current too, with papers focused on politics and economics during the transition from Communist power. I'm hoping it will fill in some gaps, I just hope it won't dillute my enjoyment with a lot of mind-numbing statistics and analytical modelling. Only time will tell.

Its been a wonderful start to the new year for me so far. Though none of that is really connected to my Russian. I'm now looking forward to the next step, trying to get my head round how to spend my Summer and getting my hands on some documents. One of my presents at Christmas was a big dictionary. I'm so cool.

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