What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was definitely Introduction to Russian Poetry with Professor Pollak. I have always loved Russian literature and this course gave me the chance to appreciate nineteenth century lyric poetry through close reading and translation. In the course, I learned about the mechanics and art of translation and the problems inherent to the act of translation. I was continuously surprised by the creativity that is required to replicate poetry and how the act of translation allows one to appreciate the subtleties of languages in a different way.
What is your main extracurricular activity--why is it important to you?
I have been involved with interning in the archives of the History Center in Tompkins County since my sophomore year. The experience of working at the History Center has been invaluable to my Cornell experience. The History Center has allowed me to interact with the Ithaca community in a meaningful way and to learn about the history and culture of the region. While an important learning experience, my internship has also given me a passion for archival work and has opened up a career path which I had never considered.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
My experience abroad impacted my Cornell experience and offered me a new perspective on my place in the world. I spent the spring of junior year in St. Petersburg, Russia, studying at the liberal arts faculty of St. Petersburg State University. While I was living in Russia, I was confronted with a culture in many ways different from my own. The experience gave me perspective in the ways I considered my identity as an American and as an individual. For me, the most significant part of who I am is not tied to nationality but is defined by the relationships I form with others.