I am from Russia. I came here to do my master’s in English and stayed to do my PhD. All of my family is back home. I got a scholarship to do my master’s at the University of Nebraska, so it was a little bit of a random chance of fate that I ended up here. My husband and I have been married three years, and our daughter is now one month old. I thought I would go back home after my master’s degree. This is now my eighth year. My mother misses me a lot. My grandmother is threatening to die if I don’t visit. She always gives me the guilt trip. But they are proud of me. Generally they are happy, but sometimes sad because they cannot see me every day. I do not go there very often because of the complicated political situations, but my mom visits me here every year.
Culturally, it is important for my daughter to learn the Russian language, as well as literature and the arts. There are a lot of interesting things about Russia. A lot of 19th century literature, like Tolstoy, is important to me. Also, for the art that goes along with it, Russian landscapes are the foundation of Russian art. Russian avantgarde is very important to me too. I want to pass all of this onto her.