Jack H. Penrod 19’, World Languages Major (German/Russian), Political Science Minor
Before his final year of high school, the only foreign language which Jack knew well was German, which he had been learning since 2011. Then, during his senior year, he began watching documentaries about the history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, sparking his interest in Russian culture. While a freshman, he often heard his Belarusian roommate and Russian neighbor speaking in Russian, and felt compelled to begin learning the language himself. After having taught himself the Cyrillic alphabet and some simple phrases, in the summer of 2016 Jack travelled to the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk to complete a language intensive program. The experience proved to be very positive, and it became clear to him that he wanted to officially incorporate Russian into his academic studies. After graduation, Jack plans to return to his hometown in Southern California, but intends to someday soon return to Russia, to cross the country via the Trans-Siberian Railway, to traverse the volcanoes of Kamchatka, and to reunite with his comrades.