This is an area I'm not sharp on at all; it seems that the whole process of catechesis over here is just different. It almost makes me feel guilty!
I approached my priest here, initially, and told him of my interest in converting (after a lot of solo inquiry, and some discussions with priests in the US). He set up a lunch meeting with me, and basically we just chatted about me, how I ended up where I was, what I knew, didn't know, what questions I had, what my intentions were, etc. At our next meeting (with my wife, as well) we planned my reception into the church, which was to be a few months later (actually this Sunday coming up!). We periodically met over that time, and I was given/suggested thing to read, prayers to do, services to attend, etc., but was never pronounced a catechumen, and as I said, my process has been very short. I think this is a combination of the way it's done in Russia, the fact that my wife is already Orthodox, and that my priest sensed I had done a lot of inquiring prior to our acquaintance. Like I said, I know this is not a common thing in the US, and as a result I feel guilty when I read about those of you who have had years of formal catechesis, but I didn't think to question my priest, or the Russians, vs. the American practice.
I'm not sure why the lengths of time here are so different, but I suspect that the lack of any prevailing cultural Protestantism/Catholicism in Russia may be part of it.
So in essence my pre-catechumenate period never happened, and it' hard to say when and how my catechumenate period began!