Not in Europe

I finally figured out why my plan to bring somebody from Ukraine to teach Russian at my university collapsed. I thought everybody knew that Russian is spoken not only in Russia. When I request an Arabic instructor, I get people from many different countries. Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait. So why shouldn’t a list of Russian teachers include people from Ukraine, Belarus or Moldova?

But it turns out that there are different departments within the organization that work separately and don’t intersect. Ukraine is part of the European department. But Russia isn’t. It’s on the list for Asian countries. As a result, it’s impossible to have a list of instructors that are from Ukraine and Russia. It’s either one or the other.

I should have remembered that Russia isn’t considered a European country from back in my grad school days. I needed to take classes in an additional foreign language. I suggested Russian but was told that my program was in European languages, and Russian didn’t count. I ended up taking English lit because English is a foreign language to me.

In short, it’s all my own fault.

Word to Image

I was doing a quiz on national flags with my niece and discovered that if I hear the name of a country, it’s easier for me to remember what the flag is than to see a flag and associate it with a country. I can go from a word to an image a lot more easily than I can from an image to a word.

For instance, I didn’t recognize the Mexican flag. But right now, I say “Mexican flag” and I can see it perfectly in my mind’s eye.