Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So...that's that then.

Took my Russian test today. Done with Russian. Got the score I needed plus a few + signs. Meaning a 3+/3+ (speaking/reading). I actually only need a 2/2 to go to Post, but for some reason they required me to get a 3/3 in order to end language training early so our departure is not delayed. Bully for us, too, as a 3/3 or higher gets us a monetary bonus.

I was trying to find documentation about what exactly 3+/3+ means, but I failed. It basically means I can hold my own. I do know that, as far as the reading goes, the examiner pointed out that I didn't get the cultural reference to a scientist named Michurin* in one op-ed I had to read (cultural knowledge being the hallmark of reading at a 4 level). C'est la vie.

Either way, Monday I will start three weeks on the passport task force. 54 hours a week adjudicating passport applications. By the end of which I will probably not be able to speak Russian, or any other language for that matter.

But before that, we're heading to Michigan on Friday for the annual Bogaerts (Katherine's mom's family) family reunion. 2 days of fun in Petoskey, Michigan. I'm told it will include eating lots of pie.

*Yeah, this guy. How could I have not known?

Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin is an eminent Russian selectionist, founder of scientific base for selection of fruit crops. Ivan Michurin has created over 300 of valuable types of various fruit-trees, some of which have widely spread across Russia – for example, winter pear-tree, some species of apples and cherries. Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin made an essential contribution to development of such sciences as genetics and biology of fruit and berry plants, performing experiments on artificial polyploidy and studying heredity’s relations with ontogenesis patterns and environment. Ivan Vladimirovich has created a theory of dominance, explained a possibility of changing a genotype by means of variation of environmental conditions and developed a theory of selection of starting forms for further crossing.

Ivan Michurin is born in Vershina estate, located near the Dolgoe village, on October 27 of 1855 in the noble family. Since early childhood, Ivan spends all his spare time in the garden – he is totally absorbed with growing plants, paying almost no attention to other joys of life. After Ivan graduates from Pronskoye district school, he is admitted to Ryazan gymnasium (grammar school), however, his family goes into bankruptcy, and he has to quit from the educational institution. In 1873 Ivan Vladimirovich finds a job of a clerk at local railway station. Ivan studies telegraph and signaling equipment and learns to repair them; afterwards he opens a watch-maker's shop. Future scientist settles down on the Kozlov railway station, but his duty makes him travel around for servicing watches and signaling equipment...


At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil - You are a language savant. Having said that..I might be just a tad p.o'd in your shoes. A 4/4 would mean you'd never ever have to test again in Russian...and you'd clearly have been there in a few more weeks. But I hear passports are TONS of fun!!

At 1:46 AM, Blogger Katherine and Phil said...

I don't know. An extra four weeks probably wouldn't have taught me who Ivan Michurin was.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Shawn said...

Yeah, I doubt a few more weeks would have gotten you to 4/4. FSI is pretty loath to give those out I think.

At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck on the passport task force; I just finished a month of it and it was very worthwhile.


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