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”

Why We Should Fight for Community in a Culture that Idolizes Independence

Nearing the end of my time in Russia in 2014, I sat with a close friend trying to puzzle out my next steps. I was going to be in grad school part-time, which would make a full-time job difficult, but I had to find a way to support myself. I was convinced, absolutely convinced, thatContinue reading “Why We Should Fight for Community in a Culture that Idolizes Independence”

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”