А напоследок я скажу: Все, пока(:

А напоследок я скажу: Все, пока(:
12 August 2016


Calvin_Hobbes_careening.jpgI’ve always been terrible at goodbye’s, but here’s a pitiful attempt…

Actually, I guess I’m copping out of it slightly, cause I’ll let these two Calvin and Hobbes comics say it all. I would personally recommend this comic strip to anyone because of the depth it has in just a few lines of dialogue and a few beautifully drawn (but also extremely fun) pictures. And somehow, despite it’s sometimes serious overtones, do I laugh at the end? Heck yes. Happens every time. It’s actually usually best for me to read them NOT in a public space, cause I just burst out laughing randomly and end up looking weird. But I can’t help it. Something about the tone of voice just resonates with me, and I can relate to the funny struggles of Calvin’s childhood(:

That being said, the more overarching message of these two strips really expresses my feelings about leaving Riga perfectly. I wish I could have controlled the speed of time for my stay here. The first day, travelling, not knowing where anything was or who anybody was, would have been really fast. It would have been just one of those “get it over” things. I can honestly say though that around the third day, I wanted to already start riding on the slow side, and just trying to keep things the same everyday and maximizing the length of the days. There was just so much to immediately appreciate about Riga, about my internship, about speaking Russian or about my Russian classes to really get everything out of it at regular speed. I definitely felt the “drinking water from a firehose” analogy…

And in case you’re wondering, that’s how it’s felt ever since. Even now, as I’m writing this, I have a list of things I still need to do today and tomorrow. And the list is looooong. If I could, slowing time down would be PERFECT, because I have no idea how I’ll do everything I need to do and still appreciate these last two days as fully as I would like.

But I guess that’s why they say “treat every moment like your last”. It’s kind of morbid if you think like that all the time, but if I could go back to my first day here and give myself some advice, it would probably go something like that. I like the larger comic strip of the two for this reason. There’s no indication that Calvin and Hobbes are really worried about time expiring, they’re just not wasting time doing stuff. If they want to look under rocks, darn it they’re going to look under rocks, and then go do something else. I also like it for the representative value, that the things you do from day to day can be as diverse as digging for dinosaurs one second, and the next having a dart gun war. I’ve said this before, but Riga, for being a small city when compared to New York or Moscow, has that wide of a diversity of things to do and see. But staying here, you still get the small town, comfy feel.

I’d like to thank Liden & Denz, the Russian Language School here in Riga, and my supervisors both here and in St. Petersburg (Jelena and Sasha) for letting me be an intern and take Russian courses here. Also, thanks goes out to Sandra, my coworker, for keeping work fun, and my Russian teachers Михайл and Жанна. This whole experience was miles above what I imagined an internship would be like(: Writing about Riga has given me a whole new appreciation for the city and Latvia as a whole, and I’m looking forward to coming back in the future.

So here’s to hoping that if you read this, you either take advantage of every moment here, OR you learn to slow down and speed up time when you want to. In case of the latter, please contact me, as I would like to learn how to savor every moment more…

Ok, so I legitimately am the worst at saying goodbye’s, so… Have fun, be safe, and always follow your dreams.

Все, пока(:

Mark Kennedy, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Riga. 

Posted by Mark Kennedy

Всем Привет! My name is Mark Kennedy, and I’m currently studying Russian at the Liden and Denz Language Center in Riga, Latvia! To say I’m excited to be here is a severe understatement. Currently I'm going into my fourth year at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where I'm enrolled as a dual-degree candidate, earning two degrees in Russian Language and Literature, and French Horn Performance. I started my study of Russian during a two-year mission for my church in St. Petersburg, Russia. Probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! My language learning started off as kind of a trial by fire: with only 12 weeks of training beforehand, I was thrown into Russia and expected (to attempt, at least) to hold full on conversations with people. In the beginning it wasn’t pretty, but the sink or swim mentality of it all forced me to work hard from the start, and motivated me to really overcome any issues I had quickly. Combined with a personally guided plan of language study and some study materials, I came to love the language and the Russian people a TON! Two years later and I’m still studying it… Outside of Russian language, my French Horn degree keeps me busy. Favorite composer is probably Richard Strauss, and my favorite symphonic work is The Rite of Spring Suite by Stravinsky. (Debussy Piano pieces are my favorite non-symphonic works). I’m also into basically anything arts related: singing, dancing, listening to Maroon 5, drawing Sharpie art, going to art exhibits, going to orchestra concerts, etc. In terms of sports, I was a collegiate rower for the University of Michigan in 2011-2012, when we won the National Champions Team Trophy, and I play Ultimate Frisbee. I’m excited for this opportunity to write for Liden & Denz, and to share my enthusiasm and excitement about Riga and the Russian language!

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