Sharing Faith and Losing Face

Last year, I gave a number of professional writing workshops to non-native English speakers in New York City. During a break at a workshop in Manhattan, one woman said something that threw me off a bit.  “You have an inner smile when you teach. Is this your teaching style, or is it just your personality?”  An innerContinue reading “Sharing Faith and Losing Face”

Divine Translation: The Word Became Flesh

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14a The Word become flesh is the most breathtaking, precise translation of language ever accomplished. In all other cases, there is something lost in translation, the nuances and intimacies of the native tongue sanded away until only the general message remains. But in thisContinue reading “Divine Translation: The Word Became Flesh”

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”

A Rant on Poetry

I’ll never forget the smug cynicism I felt last spring when my professor handed us Ezra Pound’s poem “Papyrus.” The poem is as follows: Spring . . . . . . . Too long . . . . . . Gongula . . . . . . I quickly scribbled my own version to showContinue reading “A Rant on Poetry”

Why I’m Not Upset that My Score Didn’t Improve

I just took my post-language program oral proficiency interview, and according to the results, I didn’t improve. I scored a 10 out of 12 before I left, which signifies “advanced plus” proficiency, and I scored that same 10 three months later, after an intensive 9 to 10 hour a week program with some really greatContinue reading “Why I’m Not Upset that My Score Didn’t Improve”