Discipline for Beginners

Dear Friends,

So I am right now in upstate New York at Ukrainian dance camp.  I bring this up because the teachers here, among other things, stress the important of discipline in the students’ practice google earth kostenlos download windows 10.

I am also right now reading a book called Zen Guitar (which applies the ideals and philosophy behind the Japanese dojo to the study of guitar) (and actually is a really great book that all musicians should read) and one of the principles outlined in the book is also discipline ubuntu linux german free.

I like this congruity.  I like being able to study the same thing in different places.  It helps me to be better at it in general.  And discipline is an important skill to be built for any student of anything, whether it is piano, guitar, or, say, engineering.  Or business youtube videos herunterladen und versenden.

So what is discipline?  To paraphrase Philip Toshio Sudo (the auther of Zen Guitar), discipline is completing a task to the best of your ability every time you have to do it.  Which is actually a lot harder to do than it sounds, especially once a student has gained some skill in any given subject herunterladen.

When one of my beginners sits down at the piano, all they can do is be disciplined.  Everything they try is so new that it requires all the focus she or he can muster together.  If a student is practicing on a regular basis without mommy or daddy reminding them, then that student is actually on the path towards becoming a disciplined student of music google analytics.

But as a student gains more experience on their instrument, they require more and more discipline to stick with it.  Working on a song for a few weeks at a time does not require much discipline, but reviewing Hanon, Czerny or Schmitt exercises, or running through scales, or other finger exercises as part of your daily practice for weeks, months or even years (like at the stage of the game I am at right now) requires a level of discipline that few students ever develop wie kann man fortnite auf laptop herunterladen.

But here is something that is, like, way important.  And this is something that I actually remind my students of on a regular basis.  And it’s what I’d like to leave you all with today apple mobile device usb-treiber herunterladen.

Discipline does not mean doing it perfectly every time.  EVER.  Discipline means doing your best every time.  I know, sometimes our “best” is nowhere near our idea of what “best” sounds like.  But if you are trying your best every time you sit down to play one note or an entire sonata, then eventually – and probably sooner than we realize – our “best” becomes what we expect it to be paint shop gratis downloaden.

Mwish No. 2: Staying Focused

What’s a mwish?? It’s like, you know, a wish, but better, because there’s music in it! In addition to practicing, I need to think about what I need from my practicing (or my music in general) before I get to the bench herunterladen. So that when I get there (or wherever else I need to be) I will be better prepared to totally rock it out.

This week, Miss Anna needs some focus!  I am even having a hard time focusing on writing this mwish out sonos software herunterladen!

Why do I need focus this week?  We have one more recital coming up on Sunday.  Not only do my students have to perform, but I’ll be performing, too!  I’m really excited, for both them and myself.  But since this is our last week before the recital, and for my students to be focused and ready as we enter the home stretch,  I have to be focused and ready.  Super focused and ready, actually pinball for windows xp for free.

Although right now, the focus is not coming.  Perhaps will do some shiva nata, or just EAT SOMETHING (hmm, yes, I’m definitely hungry now that I’m thinking about it, isn’t i funny to not realize how hungry you are?), and hopefully the focus will come futura bold.

Audience Participation Time
What are you mwishing for this week?  Or at the very least, what are you regular, everyday shade of wishes for the week?  It’s a nice thing to think about on a Sunday night – the promise of all the things you can get done in the following six days gta san andreas free pc!

Mwish No. 1: Just some time, please!

What’s a mwish??  It’s like, you know, a wish, but better, because there’s music in it!  In addition to practicing, I need to think about what I need from my practicing (or my music in general) before I get to the bench.  So that when I get there (or wherever else I need to be) I will be better prepared to totally rock it out cliparts programm kostenlosen.

This week I am mwishing for more time to practice!  While I do have a crazy schedule, I know that the time exists in it somewhere for me to get more practicing in!  I have to practice for the weekly open mic (so that’s guitar), a fun jam on Saturday (that’s guitar), and a gig on Father’s Day (that’s guitar, too!) how to download from youtube.

So that is a lot of guitar.  My poor little left hand fingers.

Here I am making a mental note of needing to get ink cartridges for my printer tkkg herunterladen. Just in case I need to print out any new lead sheets.

Additionally, I have been slacking on the piano practicing lately.  I’ve been focusing too much on my students.  A good thing, yes?  But I can’t forget my own playing.  So there’s that to get back into zdfmediathek.

That’s a lot of practicing I’m mwishing for this week.  Think I’ll get it done this week?

Audience Participation Time
What are you mwishing for this week?  Or at the very least, what are you regular, everyday shade of wishes for the week?  It’s a nice thing to think about on a Sunday night – the promise of all the things you can get done in the following six days disney plus herunterladen telefunken!

The Good and the Interesting No. 1: Chords

It’s Friday, and Friday is as good a day as any to stop and evaluate all the Good, the Interesting, and sometimes, even the Bad.  If you notice something particularly funky while you are thinking about it today, why not spend tomorrow focusing just on that free horse games to download?

Good Things
I blogged!  You might be thinking this is old hat for me by now, but really, I sometimes find it really hard to get motivated to blog.  I have tried many different techniques to get myself to blog, and most of them failed.  This week, I didn’t.  What worked?  No clue.  Maybe that’s part of the fun zoom.de herunterladen.

Something else that’s actually pretty awesome this week is I got a new album by one of my fave bands, World/Inferno Friendship Society.  PARENTS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.  It is a pretty amazing album, as far as their albums go, and I sat down and figured out not one, but TWO of their songs.  “Thirteen Years Without Peter King” and also “The Politics of Passing Out.”  They weren’t actually too difficult for me to figure out, but a search on ultimate-guitar.com (both my favorite place to find chords and the bane of my very existence sometimes) returns nothing on either of these songs.  So I guess what I consider “challenging” has shifted since the last time I actually tried to figure out a song on my own.  Which is actually kind of cool.  I got better virus protection mac for free. I have spent so much time teaching and making other people better, I didn’t realize my ears were getting better at stuff pretty much all on their own teams microsoft herunterladen.

Other neat thing this week – I spent two days babysitting the kids.  And by that I mean, I was working at Pianos Plus in Raritan.  It’s one of the cooler jobs I’ve ever had.  Where else do I get to hang out with 20 assorted pianos and keyboards??  Seriously!  One of the neat things is practicing the same thing on each piano.  You stop paying attention to what you’re putting into the piano and you really start paying attention to the subtle differences of what is coming out of each piano.  It’s fascinating, and an opportunity few rarely get songs aus amazon musik downloaden.

Interesting Things
What does Miss Anna find interesting anyway?  What constitutes “interesting?”  What is this “interesting” of which you speak?  One of my students YEARS ago came to the conclusion.  I never say something sounds bad.  It’s always, “That was iiinnnteresting.”  Which is pretty true song von soundcloud herunterladen.

Much to my surprise, nothing really interesting happened this week.  Hooray!

Bad Things
None of that happened this week. herunterladen. musically.  Personally, not so much.  But we’re trying to remain positive here, in general, yes?  So we are going to be thankful that at least nothing bad happened musically, and we are going to move on super mario world herunterladen.


Audience Participation Time
What did you do this week?   Discover anything interesting about yourself?  Did any bit of your playing take a leap or bound forward this week?  And don’t worry, if it didn’t happen this week or hasn’t happened lately, it will happen at some point.  It happens to everyone!  you wake up one morning and BING, you’re so much better at this one thing than you were before you went to bad last night.  It’s actually kind of neat alle games gratisen.

Believe in Something

I’m preparing to give a presentation on my recent trip to Ukraine at my church next week. I can’t believe I’ve been home for a month and a half adobe fonts schriften herunterladen! While I’ve been sitting here, trying to figure out a way to organize my experience and my thoughts into something cohesive and coherent, I’ve also been thinking about what meaning can be taken out of all of this, what lessons can be passed on harry potter font for free.

And I think the biggest thing I can tell anyone in relation to my trip here, isn’t about the kids I met, or the consequences of the accident at Chernobyl, or anything at all even related to nuclear power cs go download.

It’s the importance of finding something to believe in, and believing in that thing 110%, no matter what, and without fail. Leaving my family and friends, and job and all my students for two weeks was not easy herunterladen. There were a few times during the trip where I was definitely very, very homesick. There were some sad moments when I wished, as much of a grown up as I was, I could just get a hug from my mother herunterladen. But in the end, I was witness to some amazing work and yes, if CCPI asked me to document another trip for them, I would say yes.

I’m not saying that everyone should go halfway around the world to volunteer for various charitable organizations skype for business download windows 10 kostenlos. But I am saying that you should not be afraid to believe in something – whether it is a personal goal or a philanthropic pursuit – and believe in it wherever it takes you 32 or 64 bit. My belief in my cause took me to Ukraine. Your beliefs may not take you to a third world country (maybe you’ll luck out and go somewhere glamorous ls11 mods kostenlosen! hah!), they may not even take you out of the country you currently reside in.

But the feeling you get when your dreams become reality is one of the most amazing feelings in the world invitations available for free word.

The Built-in Metronome

built in metronome – (noun) a rhythm that is repeated throughout a piece that a student can use to help him or her keep the beat steady.

A metronome is an invaluable tool when learning a piece mysql german free windows. But sometimes a student has a hard time working with a metronome (especially if they are a new player). In that case, I look at the particular piece of music to see if there is any kind of repeated pattern in either hand that can also function as a “built in metronome,” something that is repeated at a steady interval herunterladen.

If a child can identify visually that something is a repeated pattern, then they will more easily be able to identify aurally that something is a repeated pattern, and they can work from there rail&fly ticket herunterladen. The easiest of these patterns to identify is a pattern of all quarter notes, which often happens in the left hand of a piece. Then the left hand becomes a metronome herunterladen. Since most students are taught note values based on the quarter note equalling one beat, it is very easy for a student to hear that a half note would equal two quarter notes, or a whole note would equal four Christmas stories to download.

In an example like this, I would work on the student’s left hand first, making sure that they listen carefully as they play. Sometimes I may even make them play the notes as evenly as they can first, then unevenly, playing them in pairs of long and short notes (playing the wrong way sometimes helps a student identify the right way) herunterladen.

Sometimes, I even make them play a repeated pattern of quarter notes while we have a conversation, forcing them to concentrate on keeping the beat steady, and also on something completely different powerpoint übungen kostenlos download. This is actually a good exercise because it is playing the piano, but still so uniquely different that when/if they make a mistake, it is actually cause for a giggle instead of a frustration microsoft office download for free windows 7. And every so often, which I find very interesting, a student will speed up/slow down to match the rhythm of their speech.

Once they can see, hear (and also feel) that the left hand pattern should remain as steady as possible, we start adding the right hand back in mit realplayer videos herunterladen. As they start playing it hands together, I will stop them whenever the left hand starts to be influenced by whatever the right hand is doing, which may still happen in spite of all the work we have just done netflix kan niet downloaden op laptop. I tell the student that it is normal – sometimes a change is not immediately apparent – and that they should continue to practice like that at home.

Sometimes a pattern is not so obvious, or not so useful. The left hand may have all whole notes, but whole notes have four beats each and so they are not the best when trying to compare other notes to it. When I can, I try and find some sort of pattern as a point of reference for a student, to help them make sense of a piece of music.

Zero Gravity

Zero-Gravity Zone (noun) the area immediately surrounding the piano keyboard.

When a kid is young and their fingers are small, many of them will throw their entire hand into playing the piano.  Wrists bounce, sometimes arms flap, and if this is not caught and fixed early, they will struggle to build the finger strength they need to glide over the keys like a master counter strike go download kostenlos.

To help children visualize the proper technique, I explain to them that the proper way to hold their hands at the keyboard is to hold them like they are floating in a zero-gravity field.  There is absolutely no reason to lean into the keys when they play, that they will not fall off the face of the earth.  The amount of energy they really need in pressing down a key is similar to the amount of energy expended flipping on a light switch passpartout herunterladen.

This visualization should also be recalled when a student is working on playing loudly or softly.

I feel that students are incorrectly taught that a loud sound requires a hard touch, and a soft sound requires a light touch.  This gives the impression that a different amount of pressure needs to be applied.  Playing loud or soft does not involve hard jabs or light brushes on the keys.  What is really needed is a quick pressing down of a key, or a slow pressing down of a key herunterladen.

If you don’t believe me, witness the student who speeds up through loud passages or slows down through soft passages.  Also check out trying to depress a key without sounding the hammer against the string.  Depending on the sensitivity of the mechanism this process can take actually a few seconds, whereas pressing the key to get a sound is an instantaneous action herunterladen.

How do I get my students around this?  First with a little bit of my own demonstration.  I set the metronome very low – around 50 – 60 bpm, depending on my mood.  I will play a bunch of notes loudly, and then play a bunch of notes softly.  I instruct the student not to just listen, but to specifically watch my hand.  Moving at such a slow tempo, there is enough time to see that when I play loudly, my finger is quickly hitting the key in an instant.  While I am playing softly, my finger is taking almost the whole beat to move, which is a very obvious gesture musik kostenlos downloaden auf handy samsung.

The next step includes having my student hold out the palm of their hand, where i repeat the gesture. first “loud” tapping, then “soft” tapping.  The point of this part of the exercise is to really have the child realize that when my finger hits the palm of their hand, it feels exactly the same no matter how loud or soft I am playing.  Then, they get to give it a go herunterladen.

I really stress the importance of a zero-gravity zone, whether or not I even use that exact terminology.  It is very important to work on the proper technique here, as extra pressure leaning your hands or even your whole arm into the keys can lead to not just bad technique, but health problems as well vlc media player windows 10 download kostenlos.

Many people are aware that carpel tunnel syndrome arises when the nerve in the wrist is pinched over a period of time.  It can happen because of the way you are bending at the wrist or at the elbow, which is basically a pinching of the nerve due to your actual movement.  It’s a very obvious thing.  The nerve can be pinched by the muscles as well, which can sometimes be not so obvious.  If you are using your wrists to play, or are leaning your body into the keys, the muscles in your arms need to flex, which will include the muscles in your forearm and wrist.  Too much pressure over time may cause carpel tunnel syndrom to develop blumenbilder herunterladen.

Maybe I am being a little paranoid here because of my own run ins with carpel tunnel.  When I play for myself, I play hard.  I enjoy passionate and loud music (especially if I am playing some of those Ukrainian folk tunes I and my friends enjoy hearing, or straight up pop music by Tori Amos or Fiona Apple).  I know for a fact I lean into the keys more than I should.  I have been to specialists and at the time I was told that my CTS was coming more from my muscles pinching the nerve than from the bones pinching it, but also, that my pain was so faint (yet persistent) that it could have also been a form of tendonitis (which is an inflammation of the tendons, which, again, may have been pressing on that nerve).  It was so hard to pinpoint my pain, and yet, my pain was so manageable, and more importantly, not life-changing, that tests to get to the bottom of the matter may have just ended up being too painful, too expensive, and still, possibly inconclusive brickshooter egypt vollversion kostenlosen.

Since then, I have altered the way I play, and taken a much different approach to my practice regimen.  I am hardly on painkillers. I am very thankful that my symptoms are manageable when they do flare up, and that also, I can recognize a flare up very early, and react accordingly (take pain meds, restrict my movements) gif herunterladen ios.

I do not wish this on any of my students.  I know that I am lucky, but not everyone is.

Besides health implications, playing in a zero-gravity zone has other, fun benefits.  For example, a student will start to make more mistakes.


Playing with poor technique is like playing with shackles on your fingers.  You are limited in movement, and your movement can be clumsy.  Once you remove your restrictions (your restrictions being the weight of your arms), it is like as huge expansivive field has opened up before you.  And what else could you want to do besides run through it?  so.  Your fingers speed up, you start making mistakes and you don’t even know why.  It’s important to have a metronome out at this point so that while you are focusing on your new technique, you can use the metronome to keep you grounded… which is an interesting choice of words, I suppose, when talking about floating over the keyboard!

Silly Mistakes

Silly mistake  (noun) – a mistake that is immediately identified as a mistake, which the student self-corrects.

I’m not sure where I first came up with the term ‘silly mistake.’ It’s possible that this is something I picked up from my mother, a third grade teacher but active with music and performance at her school herunterladen.

We are taught to learn from our mistakes, but mistakes are a little bit different in music.  You make a mistake because of a miscommunication between your fingers, brain and ears.  Most times, a mistake is a clue that you need to slooooow down futura kostenlos herunterladen. Especially a silly mistake.

Silly mistakes happen at that point where you almost know a piece, and your confidence level may be just exceeding your knowledge and comfort level netflix films download iphone. When you become overconfident, you relax, mentally, and speed up, physically,  and every so often, there is a disjoint between what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing.  And that’s where it happens – a silly mistake once upon a time in hollywood herunterladen.

As SOON as you make a silly mistake, you come to the immediate realization of, “Hey!  That’s not right!”  And you self-correct.  The silly part comes when you realize it’s a mistake.  If you knew it was a mistake, why was it made in the first place robot karol download kostenlos mac?

How do you fix a silly mistake?  That immediate self-correction is NOT a fixed silly mistake.  It is the end of the silly mistake.  To fix such a mistake, you need to go over first the small section of the passage where the mistake was made, raelly zero in on it.  Once you can confidently and securely get through the silly mistake, then you zoom out a little and work on the section from a few measures before to a few measures after the silly mistake, because you have to practice getting in and out of the section herunterladen.

Once you can do this smoothly, then you can go back to running through the whole piece.  The whole process of fixing a silly mistake is a short one, if the student is focused.  It may take anywhere from 5 minutes to maybe even a whole hour or, well, who really knows, depending on the mistake and on the student.  BUTTTTTTTTT.  The alternative, simply continuing on and playing the entire piece from start to finish until all mistakes are fixed, is quite a longer process, and could take days, if it is successful at all mit welchem programm kann man youtube videos downloaden.

Doing the Chicken Dance

chicken dance 1. (noun) the wrong way to play scales.

When students start working on scales, this usually marks the transition from playing straight out of piano methods books to playing “real” music by “real” composers who have been dead a “real” long time.  And an important physical change can be addressed when starting scales alternative zu word kostenlosen.

In the piano methods books, all five fingers are stationary.  They sit over five keys and never move for the entire song.  If they move, they move as a group.  Or, occiasionally, the pinky or thumb needs to move down or up a key, at various places through the song.  Students’ hands generally reach into the keyboard straight on from the body… kind of like a zombie (and in fact, for comic relief at this point I sometimes pull out my zombie impression) video aus youtube herunterladen.

This kind of hand position really obviously is the beginning of very interesing (and bad) technique when children start working on scales.  When their fingers are going straight into the keys, it presents an awkward hand position for when they need to cross a finger over their thumb, or pass their thumb under a finger.  Elbows start to flap in the breeze as they try to rotate their hands enough to allow their fingers to move.  What ends up happening is the kids look like they are starting to do the chicken dance logo erstellen kostenlos download chip.

chicken dance 2. (verb) a form of stress relief.

Sometimes, kids get frustrated.  Sometimes, they even get angry and upset.  Sometimes, we need to take a break.  I did this once in an extreme situation where a student had played the same passage at least five times in a row and had grown increasing frustrated each time she made the same mistake herunterladen. “I GOT IT AT HOME! WHY CAN’T I GET IT NOW?” Her eyes were shiny with tears waiting to erupt from them.

I silenced her and told her to take a breath.  Deeply in, and slowly out.  And another one.  And another one.  And then, the most absurd thing that came to mind icloud pictures folder. “DO THE CHICKEN DANCE!”  I sang the song.  I did the dance.  And my student started to laugh.  Crisis averted.

Sometimes, we get so focused we are too focused.  All we can see is what we are working on, and more dangerously, our immediate short coming.  We are only focused on the mistake that we can’t fix.  We get upset, we tense our bodies – very quickly – and we just continue to twist up, both mentally and physically.  To zoom out just as quickly, I often do the chicken dance (don’t tell the copywrite holders, Im sure by now I owe them thousands, although they should let me off the hook because it’s a private performance, and not-for-profit) magix soundpool download for free. It works because it’s so absurd, so shocking, so unexpected, and SO FUN, that it snaps the student backwards to a point where they can allow themselves to relax, get their bearings and start over herunterladen.

Sometimes I like to think this is just good advice for life.  When times get tough, take a deep breath and do the chicken dance.

Sunday at City Center

The day started out so dreary I feared a day of sight seeing would be a total wash.  For entertainment I could walk across the street to the supermarket. Or go clothes shopping (local fashion is very interesting).  Or play solitaire on my laptop for eight hours. Or sleep.

BUT!  The sky cleared quickly.  There was great improvement just during the time while we were in breakfast so Ignacio, Ash, Hafsa and myself decided to embark on sightseeing to the center of the city.  We had to take the subway and then do a bit of walking to get there, but it was worth it.  The subway station we got off at was MASSIVE because two different lines connected there.  I think I really only made it up from the subway because I was following the crowd that poured out of the train.  It was a little confusing.  Also, probably it was confusing since, you know, I don’t really understand Russian.  The station we stopped at, also went by two different names, I think Universitet and ALSO Gasprom. steuerformulare 2019 herunterladen. or Darzprom, depending on if you were reading a sign printed in Russian or Ukrainian. See?  You’re already confused, too!  The metro station we got off at was very sci-fi/steam punk.  I loved the chandeliers.

Here’s that guy, that crazy guy, Lenin.  What’s he doing here anyway?  I’m only making a funny face because Ignacio was also making a funny face (actually, a whole funny pose) but Hafsa zoomed in and you couldn’t see it.

Here he is again.  Can you believe the nerve of this guy?  Standing here for so long after communism has fallen?  Though considering he’s the monument that really ties the whole square together, and there is a street named after him in the city, it would be a bit of a shame to tear him down, but they seriously could have put another statue up in his place, like, say, anyone else in the free world with a -sky at the end of their name windows 10 update wil niet.

This is the building way at the other end of this square.  It’s probably the only building I’ve seen so far that has a tryzub on it.  By the way, this is apparently the second largest public square in the world.  The only one bigger is Tienneman.

Here’s Shevchenko, now this is a Ukrainian statue I can get behind.  It’s really a magnificent monument herunterladen. The figures around the base depict points in Ukrainian history, beginning with its birth (that’s on the right, a woman holding a small baby), and finishes with a man and woman looking forward to the future.

This is the view of the back, depicting the persecution of the kozaks herunterladen.

This is in front of the opera house.  I can’t believe Ani Lorak is playing here on Tuesday.  She is one of my favorites.  I will not be in attendance.  I’m doubly sad about this because the opera house is very impressive looking from the outside, would really love to see the inside as well.  But alas, they wouldn’t let us in without a ticket.

The front steps of the opera house from far away ganze webseite downloaden.

I have to tell you I got yelled at for taking this picture. “Relax, pal, I’m not KGB! I just want take picture of delicious foods for eating later!”

Below is where we got to eat.  There was no one here to yell at me for taking pictures.  Also, the tv was playing different music videos from what music we actually heard over the sound system, which really kind of bothered me a lot.  Also, this place is a chain restaurant, I went to another one of these places in Lviv.  Also, ALL OF THEIR BATHROOMS WERE CLOSED which was dumb.  Also, now I’m just starting my sentences with the word also on purpose musik von youtube herunterladen kostenlos.

The way this place was set up is very interesting, because it seems like they basically took over the building after it was built.  You walk in and mostly it is just the buffet area.  There are very few places to eat.  You walk up half a level and there is a teeny dining room, then another half a level and there is a large dining room (with multiple rooms), with a second dessert and beer buffet.  Then you walk up just a few steps and you end up in the room we ate in.  I don’t know why my colleagues insisted on sitting as high up as possible.  The food here was really great.  Not SUPER remarkable, and I definitely didn’t like the stuffed cabbage (The cabbage was all wrong, I gave Hafsa a full education on the proper handling of cabbage and what kind to use and what kind you SHOULDN’T use and they totally were using the kind you shouldn’t use, but whatever, it is their restaurant, not mine), but definitely, I will go back there again in a heart beat, if for dessert alone.  I had cherry varenyky, and also that wafer and condensed milk torte concoction that my mother makes and a few of the ladies from church make as well.  I think I like my mom’s better though.

I don’t know what this statue is for, and why there are men here demonstrating with flags with hammer and sickles on them, but I’m pretty sure any explanation of either might make me sad.  I tried to get a better picture of the flag that had the writing on it, but none came out well, and I didn’t fancy the idea of going right up to them and asking, Hey, how’s it going schriftart herunterladen wie geht das? What’s up!

Right behind the demonstrators, and statue, and people on horseback, and army tanks, was a monastery.  We visited (glad I brought a scarf to cover my head).  We went inside and I bought two candles to light for my grandmothers in the church there.  I took some pictures of the outside, but obviously none of the inside. Whatever good fortune may have been bestowed on me for the lighting of candles I didn’t want taken away for the taking of pictures.

While we were here Ignacio went on a search for a Triptika, which I may be spelling wrong, but that’s how he pronounced it.  On his last trip to UA, he had bought one for his father, and on this trip he wanted to buy one for himself odmiana.

He didn’t end up finding one he liked in the gift shop at the monastery, or in another religious store a few meters away, but at the gift store at this massive and very interesting looking cathedral.  We got to this one after a trip through an area where lots of people were selling paintings, and there was a statute of a kozak looking guy that I made up a story about for Hafsa.  I don’t even remember it all.  Since I was kind of acting as the guide for everyone since I know the most about the town and can read some of the signs, she had been asking me a few random questions as we traveled (I’ll bet it was my extensive knowledge of cabbage that really impressed her, haha), and asked about the statue we were very cautiously walking past (ice plus melting conditions equals slippery ice, plus walking downhill equals either hilarity.. or pain).  I made up some story about how he killed hundreds of invaders to UA with one hand while painting a delightful image of the steppes with  his other hand, so that is why people sell paintings in that park.  I think she bought it until I started to uncontrollably giggle youtube filme online herunterladen.

We then went on a massive trek across the river, through a bus depot and finally made it to the central market.  I thought this might be a great place to get souveniers, but it was basically a flea market, where they sold really important and indigenous things to this region of Ukraine.  Like raisins.  And kitchen pots.  And hair dye.  Basically, it was an outdoor supermarket.  Or something.  I was so bored with this place I decided to fall.  Actually, my interest in the place has nothing to do with me falling.  I just totally lost my footing and slid and fell on my right leg and arm.. into a puddle that I think was filled with disintegrating cardboard.  It was kind of disgusting, but I didn’t get totally soaked.

It was at this point that we found our way out of the market and were faced with MacDonalds.  I was actually kind of hoping to go, because I was really interested in the comforting taste of a double cheeseburger (or maybe the new and exotic taste of a ukrainian double cheeseburger).  We didn’t go to McD’s (I SWEAR I AM GOING TO GO TO ONE BEFORE WE LEAVE), but we found the nearest metro station and headed home.

I was so glad to get out of my shoes.  My Uggs were totally soaked.  Of course the Aussies know nothing about waterproofing shoes (especially the kind of shoes that they never expected crazy Americans to wear outside in the snow in the first place).  They’ve hardly ever seen snow before!  In fact, here’s my favorite Aussie, Ash, with his first snowball.