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”

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”

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”

Riding the Bus in Russia

Many Russians have asked me with a smirk, “so, have you been on our buses? What do you think?,” expecting me to go on a tirade about how cramped and stuffy and dirty they are and how American transportation is king, yada-yada-yada. But actually, I don’t feel that way at all. Yes, getting on aContinue reading “Riding the Bus in Russia”

If the Master and Margarita had a Sequel

Last night, I finally hit the halfway mark in the first full-length classic I have attempted to read in the original, Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita! (Well, I actually attempted The Brothers Karamazov last summer, but that turned out to be way above my level at the time.) I first became enamored with the bookContinue reading “If the Master and Margarita had a Sequel”