To Russia with Love

"Shiroka strana moya rodina" ("O vast is my country"), the people are singing. "There's no other country where a man breathes more freely." Swept up in the collective elation, Mom inhales as deep as she can, filling her lungs with what she will always describe as "that smell"--the Soviet institutional odor of dusty folders, karbolka…

A Step Forward

A more apt title for this post might have been a step backward, but somehow that just didn't seem right. You see, after last week's minor pity party (colds and dissertations don't mix well), I decided that humanity had to be restored. So I cut back on my library hours and got down to the…