Professor Grīnvalds

Professor Grīnvalds

With only a Master’s degree in English from the lovely and wonderful University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I have landed myself a job as a lecturer at Riga Technical University (RTU). The Mighty Flying Letts of RTU are a traditional powerhouse of the Big Baltic Conference. They are dominant in such sports as Ice Fishing, Feline Trapping, and Wind Sailing.

I am kidding. Life here doesn’t work like that. Students actually go to school to study and learn. It is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen!

Seriously, I am teaching a load of four classes with 12 hours of lectures a week on such subjects ranging from the English Language (with a focus on architecture) to Presentation Practice and Beginning Grammar. These are brilliant students who are ready to become the frontier of Latvian engineering and science, and they are turning to me for some of their English training. I wish them all the best!

So now I am both a high school teacher (again) and a college “professor”. I use that term loosely because I do not have a Ph.D. But I think the students would feel more comfortable calling me “professor” than “mister” although one young lady already referred to me as “sir.” That was a bit unsettling.

RTU has several campuses in Riga, with the main one located about a block away from Gymnasium 2, so that is really convenient. Another campus at which I am teaching is on the island of Ķipsala on the Daugava River, where King Arthur reportedly floated to just before passing into the next realm of existence. On my walk to my first class on Friday, I took a photo of the building I am teaching at, and a selfie to cherish the memory. I was nervous because I didn’t have a class roster or really any credentials. I had to convince the guard that I was a teacher, and then find the room, and then wait for students to show (they were late which added to my nervousness).

Sometimes, I feel like I am in a video game. Talking to the guard was one of those little moments in the game that I had to complete to move onto the next stage. I think I moved up a level after finishing the class. I hope this doesn’t make me sound weird… or any weirder than you already think I might be. I look at lots of daily challenges like video game scenarios. It makes life more interesting than just pretending you are in a movie. Video games have challenges and bosses to beat. Who is your boss? What level are you? What is your power-up? Keep these things to yourself, but you should know!

I am excited to start this new career! This week is going to be packed with lessons and worries, so do not expect too much from me. I just wanted to update everyone to let you know what is going on in the world other than the Nebraska Cornhusker’s complete and utter decline as a football program.

 

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