Hello everyone, my name is Susannah Powell. Neither I nor my family is Russian, but thanks to a wonderful woman named Faina Piven, I have a lifelong fascination with Slavic culture and languages. Along with teaching high school Russian, Ms. Piven was a survivor of the siege of Leningrad, a certified yoga instructor and practiced African dance in her spare time. Also, under hypnosis, she discovered that she was a light bulb in a former life. I learned little grammar or vocabulary from Ms. Piven, but I quickly decided that, if her compatriots were half as eccentrically intriguing as she was, I had to learn Russian in order to get to know them better.
Two study abroad trips to Moscow, three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine and a year of grad school in St Petersburg just confirmed the unpredictability of Eastern Europe and its people. I spent the following three years as a Russian translator in a very dry, technical field. My new job better fits my personality, but I miss using foreign language on a daily basis. Teaching with GLN helps fill that void.