My good friend out in San Francisco is going for his masters degree in computer science next semester. How cool is that? If you remember me talking about him, he is my friend from Russia who worked in the IT department on my first job out of college.
The remarkable thing is that when he graduated from high school in 1991, he could not speak any English – only Russian. But the summer after he graduated from high school, he focused all his efforts on learning English so that when he started college in Moscow he could read and write English, then he learned how to speak it. He says that speaking it without an accent is the hardest part of our language.
I agree with him that reading another language is easier than speaking it. I took Spanish for 6 years in high school and I can read entire novels in Spanish. But I cannot carry a conversation with a native Spanish speaker. I’ve been told my accent is like that of someone from Argentina – which is not a bad thing. But it takes me a long time to think of the words that I want to say and the people I am talking to get tired of waiting for me to figure it out. lol
Eugene graduated from college in Moscow and then came to the United States. I think I shared his story before, because I am in awe of what he has accomplished. So now that he is here and an American citizen, he is going to start working on his masters in computer science. He is amazing with computers – I think he will probably ace every course he takes.
When Eugene called to tell me the news and chit chat about his family, I asked about Fred, my other IT buddy from San Francisco. I was shocked to learn that Fred finally left the company! There was a huge upheaval out there after I left, and Fred was the last of the original crew that was still working there this past summer. But since Fred and I talked, evidently he left when the company said he had to move to Chicago or be laid off.
I hope he is taking advantage of the unemployment money and grants available to go back to school, too. He can get his masters of public administration online and not even have to leave the house! Sometimes getting laid off is the best time to further your education and develop new skills. I bet a job less stressful than running the IT department for a company that is going bankrupt would sound pretty good to Fred right now!