Monday, March 29, 2010

Unfolding Future Plans

Word from all the music schools is officially in and I am officially going to reapply next year! During the interim I will be living in Minneapolis (after visiting southern Minnesota to see family and friends) working and practicing up a storm. It's looking like I will work with Dr. Rieppel on my audition pieces, which I couldn't be happier about! Currently re-investigating programs and it looks like I may be able to apply to some European schools this next time 'round!

In the mean time things here are far colder than we remember them being last year at this time. I am currently pretending that this means we won't see any unbearable heat during our remaining time here. School is moving right along and it looks like my English and German classes will end in early May. After that comes close of service conference and limited time to say good bye to everyone here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Battsetseg and the Demise of XUDS

Let me start by saying that her name isn't really Battsetseg. She is a janitor at my college (The Institute of Commerce and Business, or XUDS for short). My guess is that she is around twenty-three years old. Last fall she started taking classes with the first year students hoping to pursue her B.S. (in accounting I believe). She changed from janitor uniform to student clothing about three times a day and studied well: never failed to turn in a homework assignment or come to class.

Then, earlier this semester we found out that the government will be "consolidating" publicly funded institutes of higher learning. Next fall Mongolia will go from around forty-six to sixteen such institutions. One of the many being cut is XUDS here in Bayankhongor.

Once the news about the XUDS closure was official, Battsetseg stopped attending classes. Students with the financial resources to move to the capital (UB) will be admitted to the business university there. Unsurprisingly, many students lack said resources and as a result are rarely seen in their Elementary English and German classes this semester...

In slightly happier news the weather is allowing for spring jackets and more fashionable hats. This week saw the completion of the BACC's Embassy Grant and soon we should know a date for the spring concert (early May?). Waiting to hear from just one more music school before I write up a blog about those plans...

Be well and enjoy spring!