After a semester studying at the University of St.Petersburg, my family decided to come to the USA. For better or for worse, we ended up in New York City. In the beginning I held some random jobs to support my family and a herd of guinea pigs. They included being a dock worker, a crane operator, a UPS delivery person and, finally, the pinnacle of my achievements, a slaughterhouse manager.
After a year or so, I was accepted to SUNY at Stony Brook and then, after another year, transferred to Cornell University. I managed to escape this time, too, and, in May 1999, left the sunny Ithaca heading for California, where I am now a graduate student at Stanford under the supervision of Prof. Monica Lam.
This is it so far.
Some of my interests are clasical guitar, New Orleans Jazz, Irish and Scottish traditional music, Russian bard songs, artsy movies movies, and all sorts of printed matter, just to name a few.
A play badminton on a somewhat regular basis, I have been playing ever since I was 10, and now I do it for fun once or twice a week. There's actually a club at Stanford, even though this information is not very widely publicized and it took me some time to find them. They have practices four times a week; to subscribe to the mailing list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe badminton-club in the body. I also started playing ping-pong and tennis, the latter with some reluctance and under peer pressure. As of the end of 2001, I run a table tennis club at the local JCC every Tuesday night.
Those of you who are local to Stanford are also encouraged to visit the site of the Stanford Film Society and look at the listing of Music Department concerts. The website of Stanford Hillel also usually has some pretty interesting events listed.