My Russian Culture prof is...
words rather fail me...
but the closest matches would be
Today we were starting to learn the Russian alphabet. He warned us that we will need to spend a lot of time rehearsing the sounds and symbols on our own because they will be on the test. "You will spend many hours," he said. ""Not like 22 hours, because that would kill you. But very many."
After shouting the sounds back at him while he wrote the letters on the board for half an hour (and yes, shouting because he won't accept anything less), he squinted his eyes all up into crinkly slits. Looking at each of us carefully, he consoled us, "Learning letters can make you crazy, but there are medications for that."
It was even funnier in his Polish accent.