The day started off kind of rocky. I could not find the building. I accidentally walked into a random building my GPS told me to go to and quickly realized it wasn't right. I walked to my school which was nearby only to find that no one was there. Eventually, I called my director and was able to find the place. At 10 am we started with introductions and the three presenters from other areas of Russia (Moscow, Kazan, and Yekaterinburg) gave presentations which really really interesting. Then we had a 30 minute coffee break. While everyone else went to the university cafeteria we went into a back room where we were greeted with tons of pastries and candy.
After our tea break the 45 minute (which turned into 30 minute) sessions started. Elizabeth and I presented in the first slot and it went over so well. There were some technical difficulties, like not having a projector which we planned for, but we didn't really need it. Also, we never actually met together to go over our presentation because we were both so busy the last few weeks we just talked via Whatsapp. We decided to focus solely on ten terms and idioms that were created in America since we are both American. Elizabeth already had an activity ready so I just made the powerpoint. It actually turned out really well, and we think the teachers enjoyed it. Each group got to pick an idiom then on one side they had to draw the literal translation of the idiom and on the other side they had to draw the actual meaning. Then we asked them to use it in a sentence. After each group presented I asked them where they think the idiom came from to give them a little history. Actually, most idioms they picked came from baseball. Afterwards, so many people wanted to take a picture with me and Elizabeth. It's so weird being in a place where it's rare to see foreigners, especially foreigners that speak English. I felt kind of weird that they were so interested in us, but they were all so nice.
Again, we ate SO much food. One thing I love about Russia is the hospitality. No matter where you go they always want to give you so much food without anything in return. After lunch there were three more time slots for presentations. Since Elizabeth and I only had to present once we were able to choose to go to the other presentations. I LOVE professional development and conferences because I get to learn new information and it's usually a lot more engaging than having to sit in a classroom all day.
We finished up the seminar with everyone returning to the main auditorium. There, my director organized for us to be entertained by performances from the students of the university. I wish I had taken videos of the first two girls because their music was so beautiful. I did get one of the girls singing a traditional Bashkir song, which you can watch at the end of this post. I don't know if I mentioned this before on my blog, but in the republic I live there is a large ethnic diversity. The two largest groups are the Bashkirs (hence Republic of Bashkortostan) and Tatars. The language, culture, and food is still very much present in the area, so I am glad I get to share it with you because it just goes to show how diverse Russia actually is.