Tag Archives: russian

so long


Last week I graduated from Union College in upstate New York. It was an absolutely magical day as my parents were there, my sisters were there, The Boy was there, my best friends from college were there, and my grandparents were there. It was extra special to have my paternal grandmother at the ceremony because her husband, my late grandfather, graduated from Union in 1956. My father received his BA in history from Union in 1987 and also got his MAT from Union. My mom received her MBA in Healthcare Management from the Union Graduate College.




Union College is such a special place to my family and it became even more meaningful to me over the past three years being there. After an unhappy freshman year at Boston College I transferred to Union hoping that I would find a better fit. Without a doubt I did. I have made beyond incredible friends at Union, met so many amazing professors and administrators, and really felt like I found myself during my brief time there. I happily majored in economics with a minor in Russian language and am proud to share that I graduated as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014 (despite only having three years of grades to factor into my GPA!). Next month I am headed down to my most favorite city in the entire world, New York, to begin a job in finance.



TheGarnetLetter began as a work study assignment for Union College. Back in 2011 the school had a few student blogs running, many of which played an important role in my decision to attend Union. When I finally got to Schenectady, I wanted to be able to share my unique insights into the school and college life in general to hopefully help other potential students like myself find their perfect fit. Eventually Union combined all of its student blogs onto one platform, the award-winning Union Unfiltered, but I kept TGL going on the side as my own college lifestyle blog and creative outlet.



Having TGL in my life has shaped me in more ways than I can ever describe. The blog has chronicled my years at Union and the many amazing experiences that I am so grateful to have had. It will be difficult closing this chapter of my life (you might have noticed that I’ve been putting off this farewell post…), but like everything and anything it is time to turn the page and start on yet another, hopefully marvelous, adventure. This will conclude my time writing for TheGarnetLetter, but those savvy enough might find me elsewhere on the blogosphere in a more anonymous sense. I will never lose my love of blogging or my need for a creative outlet, but the real world dictates that my time curating TGL must come to an end.


Farewell, beautiful readers! Thank you for joining me on this beyond amazing journey and hopefully I will hear from you all again soon somewhere else in this wonderful blogging world 😉


With much love and many thanks,


Let the Grecian dream of his sacred stream,

And sing of the brace adorning,

The Phoebus weaves from his laurel leaves

At the golden gates of morning,

But the brook that bounds through old Union’s grounds

Gleams bright as the Delphic water,

And a prize as fair as a god may wear

Is a dip from our Alma Mater.


Then here’s to the, the brave and free,

Old Union, smiling o’er us

And for many a days as they walls grow gray,

May they ring with thy children’s chorus!


sleeping beauty

Last week I went to see the very pristine performance of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Proctors Theater in Downtown Schenectady. I am a very big fan of Proctors and any chance I have to attend a performance at the gorgeous theater I put in every effort to make it work.

I saw the ballet with an advanced Russian Literature class from my college. We were interested in hearing the wonderful work of Tchaikovsky and seeing Bourne’s Gothic interpretation of the classic story was an added bonus. Most people are familiar with either the Disney classic (actually, Aurora is my favorite Disney princess!) or the dark Grimm version, but Bourne did an excellent job of staying true to the traditional story line while adding modern twists of excitement.

Here’s a little video of how I got ready for my evening out and about!

Victory Day

Victory Day
68 years ago, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Today, Union’s Russian and East European Culture Club will be commemorating  May 9, 1945, known as День Победы, or Victory Day, in Russian, by serving a full Russian meal in Hale House from 6-8pm and hosting local Russian community members as well as a few esteemed Russian veterans. The event will include an introduction of the veterans, a brief lecture about the history of the day by Professor Stephen Berk of the Union College History Department, student-lead musical performances, and presentations by World War II Russian veterans and their friends and families. The event promises to be inspirational and the food promises to be delicious. All are cordially invited to attend this year’s Union College Victory Day celebrations: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 6-8pm, Hale House. Приходите! Come!

language expo!

language expo

Come join us today, April 29th, during Common Lunch in Reamer Pit for the first event of International Week — Language Expo! Learn key phrases from languages around the world from your fellow Union students. Yours truly will be sharing some quintessential quotes по-русский! Make sure to stop by today and say, “Здравствуйте!”

pierogi fest!

pierogi fest

Come join the Russian and East European Culture Club at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 24th, in Beuth House as we present Pierogi Fest, a much-loved event chock full of delicious food and warm East European culture. All students are welcome!

weekend at west point


from top-to-bottom, left-to-right: three first-year Russian language students at Union College with one of our wonderful professors of Russian at Union, Kristin Bidoshi, our TA, Elena Reznikova, myself, and my dear friend and fellow second-year Russian language student, Sabeha; the view from our hotel for Friday night; me and Sabi taking some glamour shots; the Russian poem that I had to memorize for the competition; our consolation prize — a book about planets in Russian!

This weekend I, two Union professors of Russian language, our Russian TA, and four of my fellow Russian language students at Union College traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to compete in this year’s New York State Russian Olympiada. We had three first-year Russian language students competing at the beginners’ level and two students (including yours truly!) competing at the intermediate level. The competition was extra tough this year and while Union students did not take home any of the top prizes, I am still extremely proud of our Russian program and its wonderful students. I have watched our program flourish during the two short years that I have been here and I cannot wait to see where it is headed! On top of all of the awesome Russian events we already throw (see some great examples here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), we are in the midst of planning Union’s first ever term abroad to Irkutsk, Siberia for next Spring! My involvement with the Russian language program here is one of my most favorite things I do at Union and its future is looking очень хорошо (very good!)!!!

go union beat army

go union beat army
This evening I will be traveling to the United States Military Academy at West Point to compete in this year’s New York State Russian Olympiada. Last year I came in second place in the first year level competition and this year I hope to pull through again at the intermediate level. The pressure is on as I haven’t had as much time as I would like to prepare for the competition, but I am hoping to represent Union’s wonderful Russian program well and make the school and my peers proud. GO UNION! BEAT ARMY!