RecrearApply Kazan starts!

It looked like nothing special was happening – just another winter morning in Kazan, when I had to wake up 7 a.m. to go to work. Everything as usual: running late and no time for breakfast, driving on ice and searching for a parking spot in downtown. Only I knew it was a special day. Today a security woman, who wouldn’t want to let us into the university told me: “Don’t think you are special”. But actually I am. I am privileged to be here doing RecrearApply in my home city Kazan with these wonderful people. I did not have to go to a far away place to make a difference. I had togo through all the bureaucratic levels to make it happen in Kazan, which was by the way one of the most painful experiences, but it was absolutely worth it.
So there I was beginning our first session with Nolan Empey. Excited, happy and somewhat stressed. Stressed about how helpful can we be for students living in a big city like Kazan and what difference we can actually make. Yet, the stress went away very soon: as we were encouraging our participants to share their expectations for the program with us, they somehow encouraged us. There was so much genuine interest that I felt so comfortable that I’ve never felt before teaching any of my classes as a professor. Recrear was my inspiration, but so were the participants
Our first workshop touched on Recrear’s history and we were to discuss participants’ expectations even the most wild ones. We started with “I want to apply to a school abroad” to figuring out countries, schools and programs. The more I learned about our participants the more excited I was to work with them. Our first workshop was full of the logistics, it just had to be. What if they will get bored even before we’ll get to do the real stuff? And then within only half an hour a participant calls me saying how excited she is and if it’s possible to bring a friend to the workshop. An hour later I got home to get a long email from another participant – sweetest email ever – and her blog post, which I’ll be sharing with you.

End of day 1 conclusion: we are on the right track! Extremely excited to continue tomorrow!


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