From America with Russian Love

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


A vivacious and carefree four-year-old, I dropped my paintbrush, splattering globs of blue paint all over my t-shirt and classmates nearby. Immediately, my thin lips transformed into an enormous grin. My grandpa, or as we say in Russian, my dedashka, was finally here to pick me up. Flailing, I ran into his arms screaming, “Deda Vova!” My grandpa’s warm arms embraced my little four-year-old body. He enthusiastically said, “Preevet Fionachka," calling me by my Russian name and pointing his always-ready video camera towards me. I was ecstatic to start my fun-filled Friday afternoon with my grandfather. Hurriedly, I pulled away from his embrace and packed up my belongings. With my tiny and soft hand in his rough and wrinkly one, we left the building and began our weekly adventure.

Years later, I was helping my grandparents clean out their basement and stumbled upon a cardboard box of dusty cassettes. I found a tape labeled “Preschool 2003 – Fionachka.” I excitedly ran upstairs and asked my grandpa to start up the VCR. Video after video, I watched my preschool Fridays come back to life as my four-year-old self dropped anything and everything in hand and jumped into my grandpa’s arms. After a while of watching documentaries of our...

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