By Andrei Ter-Grigorian, 01/10/12

WARNING: This text contains large amounts of “I” and “my”.
Hi, my name is Andre Ter-Grigorian, and I do have trouble spelling my last name to people sometimes. I came to the United States about 3 months ago from Moscow, Russia, where I spent most of my life. Moving to New Mexico from one of Europe’s largest capitals was quite a drastic change, but I guess that is exactly what I wanted – contrast. Having spent nearly every summer of my school years at my grandparents’ house in Albuquerque, I became more or less familiar with American culture and lifestyle, and always felt really lucky for having the chance to explore new territory at such an early age.
Right now I’m enrolled at both CNM and UNM and plan on studying Fine Arts and Digital Media. I received an Associates Degree in Arts in Advertising last year in Moscow, so the path I’m taking now is closely tied to my existing knowledge and experience. It is said that one should be engaged in activities according to his/her own nature, and figuring this out is vital for an individual and is truly a blessing once realized. So, in a way, the education process is insightful – not only do you gain knowledge on the subject you’re interested in, but you also observe your inner state once the knowledge is digested. This might be useful to determine, whether the path you’re taking is truly yours or not.
Metaphysics aside, I’m taking this course to improve my written and verbal English, expand my vocabulary and most of all, to be able to properly deliver my thoughts and ideas, so no one gets brain-damaged. I believe writing is a form of art, even if it’s a formal business letter or a scientific article on molecular enhancement. One simple idea can be expressed in numerous ways, yet remain inaccessible, while a complex thought might be presented with striking clarity and ease. In Russia we have this saying: “Brevity is the sister of talent”, I believe in English it sounds similar. I find it to be one of the greatest principles, when it comes to communication and self-expression.
My previous English courses emphasized basic grammar and pronunciation, because English was taught as a second language. Most of my learning came from trips to the United States as a kid and actual conversations with real-life Americans. I still believe that it’s the best way to learn a language if you’re not a native speaker, although I find it somewhat illogical in case you don’t know a single word. That’s what happened to me anyway.
Speaking of apprehensiveness, I don’t see any issues and feel confident and quite comfortable learning as much as I can. I love writing, it helps me out a lot, and I love English with it’s relevant straightforwardness and simplicity, when compared to Russian for example, which I love as well.
Knowledge is the only weapon to fight ignorance, and any true knowledge is valuable. Especially when it comes to such core elements of life as analysis and communication.
Thank you!