Back in the U-S-(S)-A!

I just got back on Sunday!  I'm still trying to recover from the jet lag (I wake up completely awake at 3am) and I just came down with a cold.  But I'd rather suffer in the USA than while on my vacation so I'll take what I can get.

Anyway, the trip was brilliant on several levels!

I bought a whole bunch of awesome stuff:

  • A few bottles of Żubrówka (if you buy it in the USA, it doesn't actually contain any bison grass, its signature ingredient).
  • Lots of Harry Potter stuff: All the books and audio books I don't already have, as well as all the DVD's currently released.
  • A post apocalyptic sci-fi book: Apokalipsa według Pana Jana by Robert J. Szmidt.
  • June and July editions of Science Fiction magazine (Robert J. Szmidt was also founder of this magazine).  These are collections of short stories.
  • A CD by Kazik Staszewski.
  • More random assorted magazines and news papers.
  • And of course presents for friends and family that will go unmentioned.

The course was good too.  Everyday, it basically consisted of:

  • 3 hours of grammar class (Ick!).
  • 1 hour lecture on various topics (ie. the war, the church, music, film, etc) in Polish.
  • 1 hour one-on-one with a tutor.
  • 1.5 hours of group conversation class.

Doing that much grammar was pretty lame.  However, I like to look at it as another opportunity to hear and speak Polish, the subject just happens to be grammar.

This all amounted to alot of time at the university!  So, I didn't get nearly as much time as last year to explore on my own (I took a less intensive program last year).  But, almost every night I would go out with friends to pizza and/or drinks (but wait!  Pizza is not a Polish food!  It is, however, one of the easiest things to find that a vegetarian like myself can eat).

The people at the program were from all over the world, all at different levels of Polish.  Most people (but not all!) spoke English to some degree too.  So, when there was a certain threshold of low-level Polish speakers in a group, English would be the language of conversation.  However, I found plenty of opportunities when out with a group of better Polish speakers where all the conversation was in Polish.

All in all, in the three weeks I was there, I spoke more Polish than I ever have in my life.

There is much more to say about the trip, but I'll leave it at that for now.  Over the next couple weeks I'm going to be throwing together some tutorials for using, so stay tuned!