While driving to work today and missing Scooter with all my heart I put a Russian pop music CD in my car stereo and marveled in how I truly and passionately LOVE the Russian language. Even though my level of fluent daily conversation is still in process, I can identify words and phrases here and there, and I feel a deeper connection with it than the other languages I’ve learned in the past. And, strangely enough, my love of Russia and its culture and people began as far back as my childhood! I recall being totally fascinated with both Russia and Egypt while still a child and in high school taking a music composition / appreciation class with all my original compositions turned out sounding Russian (so evident that the teacher even made mention of it).
While in college I took a Russian language course, and loved it. Sadly, after college I had no opportunity to utilize it on a daily basis and all but a couple phrases of what I had learned was lost.
My love of Russian was still always lying dormant in the back of my mind, and when I made the decision to host Lola during the summer of 2006 I purchased the Pimsleur Method CDs to play in my car to and from work. I found that much of what I had learned in college came back to me. The strange thing is that I know I could count and speak in full sentences in Russian back in college, so why did learning it again not spark a glimmer of recollection? The only thing I can attribute the memory loss to is that in the summer between my junior and senior year of college I attended summer school and lived in a high-rise dormitory. A few weeks into the summer session there was a fire in the dorm. It began in a room on the next floor up from mine and all I truly remember was that the boy living there was hanging out the window at 6am and fell 6 stories to his death, with a blood alcohol level many times above the legal limit. The rest of what I know about that day was what was later told to me by my friends, and later on I found that things I should have remembered about that summer were suddenly erased from my memory. As the years have passed I find that little pieces of the events of that summer and the school year before have come back to me, but unfortunately, my knowledge of the Russian language seemed to have been obliterated from my memory bank.
Lately while at the office I have been listening to Russian music exclusively - - for the entire eight hours I am there- - - and talk about sparking the endorphins!! WOO-HOO! This is better than champagne on New Year’s Eve!
The Russian language is not fluid like French, nor guttural like German (both of which I had studied), but has a sound all its own which I find oddly comforting - - as if by just hearing the sound of it I feel like I’m home. The same feeling came over me even more so when I set foot on Russian soil…I welcomed each time I visited Russia, with a mixture of excitement and anxious apprehension and just being in Russia was like stepping into a wonderful new adventure. The food, the history, the people and their generosity were overwhelming! During the adoption process I was advised prior to each visit to provide ‘gifts’ for the various people in Russia who were involved in part of the process, but I came home with gifts from some of them as well (which I had not at all expected).
Lola and I hope to travel back there after school is out for summer, but we are not yet in the planning stages. Much depends on what's going on with my workload at the office and finances...