Obies Using Languages: Anna Arays ’10

Anna Arays graduated from Oberlin in 2010 with majors in Studio Art and English. She was born in Latvia and is a heritage speaker of Russian, and she is a graduate student in Library Science and Russian and East European Studies.

I am a heritage speaker of Russian, and I tried my best to use it in my coursework every year. I took Russian language and literature courses with Amanda Blasko, Arlene Forman, and Maia Solovieva, and I greatly appreciated the opportunities that Oberlin’s Russian House gave me to exercise my language skills in a friendly setting.

The enthusiasm of my professors and the welcoming atmosphere in Russian House were the two greatest resources I had as an Oberlin student — I often wish that I had been a Russian major during my time at Oberlin, but one of Oberlin’s many strengths is its willingness to let students explore as many facets of its academic offerings as they can. I’m grateful that I always felt so welcome in the department and among its students.

I am entering my final year of a dual master’s program in Library Science and Russian and East European Studies. My specialization is in rare books and special collections, and I have recently become interested in Slavic paleography and the history of the book in Eastern Europe. My interests have put me in contact with a number of scholars and experts in the field, and I look forward to continuing my studies in this area.


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