How has studying at the GLN benefited you?(personal or professional growth, networking, etc.)
I took two semesters of Russian because my domestic Russian had been in storage for many years and needed to be “freshened” it up a bit before visiting my cousins in Belarus. After my trip, I decided to volunteer as a TA to keep the Russian alive.
Do you have a preferred method of studying that makes learning and memorizing more fun or efficient?
I’m a visual learner so I need to see it to retain what I’ve learned. I also enjoy games and activities where everyone “wins.” Small bites of vocabulary or dialog work best with me. I also need time to internalize what I’ve learned.
Why did you decide to take your most recent course? What aspects of that language and culture did you find compelling?
I took French Foreigner this past Spring in preparation for my river cruise on the Seine with my choir. What I found compelling was the absolute seduction of the language. You are helpless in its grip. Just as French ballet is a foundation for dance movement, so does French language and culture lay down a foundation for the “art” of living well.
How has teaching at the GLN benefited you? (personal or professional growth, networking, etc.)
This is my third semester as a TA. It was the catalyst I needed to keep my Russian alive. It also connected me with Russian events and like minded folks. As a retiree, I was looking to make a contribution in my community, and I love the fact that it’s in my neighborhood.
Do you have a favorite activity that you feel boosts student interest or engagement in the class?
Activities that divide the class into teams generates so much energy and focus that everyone does well. Students stop thinking about performing and get into the play zone.
What is a unique or interesting aspect of your culture or language that most people don’t know?
There’s both a formality and an earthiness in the language that makes it a rich language to “chew” on.
If someone were traveling to your country, what should he or she know before arriving?
People in general have guarded expressions. They are puzzled by the open-eyed, smiling American tourist. So, expect some reserve until they get to know you.