Dead Poets Society, Russian Style

Before the semester started, I was told that I could teach one course on anything I wanted to. Although the possibility to teach “anything” seems nice at first glance, the vagueness really wasn’t helpful in narrowing down ideas, and I was glad to get advice from other teachers during our Moscow conference on what topic might beContinue reading “Dead Poets Society, Russian Style”

Spring’s Not Green Here, But…

Spring’s not green here, but for now, the melting will do. And though some might consider the in-between a muddy mess, littered, mushy, I’ll compare it to Oreo pie, confettied, since it means that green exists, just not yet. I’ve walked and walked in steps of fear joy uncertainty prayer shaking strong, and today isContinue reading “Spring’s Not Green Here, But…”

Learning Tatar

Although Tatarstan is politically a part of the Russian Federation, I am constantly reminded that at the same time, it is a country and culture all its own. Beautiful mosques share the scene with Orthodox churches, Tatar delicacies such as chak-chak and mantiy are served just as often as  borsch and kasha, and most exciting for a languageContinue reading “Learning Tatar”

Unless a Kernel of Wheat

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24 These are the words of Jesus that Dostoevsky chose to open The Brothers Karamazov  with, words that are now etched as the epitaphContinue reading “Unless a Kernel of Wheat”

Russia in Color

Russia is often wrongly stereotyped as a depressing land devoid of color and life. Although the Russian winter is  long and there are definitely periods where the dominant colors are white, brown, and grey, I have found Russia to possess an understated beauty that continues to stun me when I least expect it. I’ve selectedContinue reading “Russia in Color”