Literacy and Liberty

Russian School
Posted by: , September 5, 2018, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I used to resent going to Russian school when I was younger. Until around the age of 12, my parents forced me to attend Russian school early every Sunday where I would recite poetry and prose in order to improve my mastery of the Russian language. The names Pushkin and Yesenin brought out a certain discomfort in my mind because I had learned to associate them with rising early on a weekend and being dragged on a 40 minute car ride to listen to poetry for hours. My teacher, an amicable, elderly Russian woman named Sveta, was always very happy to see my cousin and I for our individualized lessons. I remember always being keenly aware of Sveta’s passion for poetry, often times the things she read to us moved her to tears. I was young, and felt uncomfortable with these situations. Who was this woman crying from some words on a page of which I cannot even grasp the full significance? A few months ago, I heard news that Sveta had passed away. It has been a number of years since I had last seen her but her passing caused me to reminisce on those dreaded Russian lessons. They not only improved my language skills, but they imbued me with an appreciation for poetry. Now that I embark on this new journey through college, I am not able to practice my Russian with my family around me. Perhaps, I’ll pick up a few of those poems that Sveta used to teach me.

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Wow, Dan–what a promising start to your literacy narrative. Can you imagine how you might draw out the narrative and analytical potential of this good post? What if, for example, you described a whole lesson or a really salient moment you remember from one of them? Or took us to one of those passages that moved Sveta to tears?

   Professor Seiler 09.06.18 @ 4:10 pm

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