Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

20 Nov 2005, 10:05 a.m.

Mourning Russia

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

According to Freedom House (via an article in the Atlantic Monthly, December issue), Russia is now less free than it was in 1990. This week's MC Masala is "Mourning the Russia that liberated me".

Meanwhile, a representative from a summer language-immersion program in Vermont tried to recruit my Russian class. I met him in a campus food court and listened uncomfortably as he tried to sell me on the great leap forward my language skills would take after only six weeks at Middlebury. Finally, I blurted, "Immersion scares the hell out of me. If I'm going to have the hell scared out of me, I want it to happen in Russia."