Today I had a horrible time fighting my teenagers for their attention. They were talking so loud that I couldn’t be heard over them and they weren’t listening to anything I said or writing any of the exercises I gave them. That, combined with an hour and a half of throwing paper airplanes, physically fighting with each other and harassing one of the other students meant I was completely exhausted afterward. So when I got home I was tired and ready to give up and go to bed.
But suddenly it all turned around. My roommate and her boyfriend came walking in with a bunch of their Russian friends. I ended up staying up and spending some time with them and speaking with them. Some of the Russians didn’t know English or else spoke it very poorly which meant I got to speak Russian. Then I spoke one-on-one with one of the girls and we understood each other completely. Then my roommate was speaking Russian too and we were translating and helping each other and when some of the Russian spoke in English everyone applauded. There was such a sense of warmth and unity and everyone is learning a new language and it felt like we’re all in it together and it’s nothing to be taken too seriously.
Afterward I felt so high and so happy. Every time I converse and communicate with Russians, in Russian, I feel such incredible joy. Knowing that I can speak and be understood and that I can understand others in this language is, for me, one of life’s natural highs. Just like that my day was turned around and all the abuse I’d suffered was erased. It’s incredible what communicating with other people and sharing language can accomplish!