A Humorous Look at Russia Through Memes: Умом Россию Не Понять

Long before Winston Churchill famously said that “[Russia] is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” the Russians had their own proverb acknowledging the enigmatic quality by which foreigners are both fascinated and frustrated. Thanks to an 1866 poem by Fyodor Tutchev, when a foreigner is befuddled by the crazy things that goContinue reading “A Humorous Look at Russia Through Memes: Умом Россию Не Понять”

What Language Learning is Really Like

“Just go live in the country for a few months; you’ll come back fluent for sure.” “You just have to immerse yourself in the language. Once you hear it spoken, you’ll pick it up and be speaking in no time.” Comments like these to the aspiring language learner are well-meant, but, as I’ve learned, areContinue reading “What Language Learning is Really Like”

A Psalm of Life

Earlier this morning, I was paging through an old copy of Longfellow poems my grandmother had given me. I had always treasured the old volume from 1896, embossed with silver etchings and delicate roses. I thought that I might bring it with me to share with my students in Russia; after all, Longfellow was fromContinue reading “A Psalm of Life”

The Heart I Want to Have

Prayer has always been a battle for me, an enigmatic pursuit that I often am lazy in pursuing. I confess that I have often avoided prayer simply because articulating my heart before the unseen Creator seemed so elusive and vast. Vague words would waddle around in distracted circles, coming out more like a laundry listContinue reading “The Heart I Want to Have”

Ten Years Ago, I Fell in Love

A few days ago, while sorting through some old papers in my room, I found this: In case it’s too small to read, this is a piece in the Bangor Daily News from 2003 that details an upcoming trip to Russia that a local magician and his 12 year old daughter were going to make…Continue reading “Ten Years Ago, I Fell in Love”