Even when it is for the sake of our children’s future, how hard it must be to give up one’s familiar cultural habitat for unknown territory. To start a new life in a new language and with no job is daunting enough. Raising children in these foreign waters has to be a real challenge. So, when an eighteen-year old boy says he thinks all immigrant children are grateful to their parents I sit up and listen.
Greg Reznik, born in the United States, is the son of Russian émigré parents and knows the difficult road they, and his grandmother, have traveled to give him and his sister a better chance then they would have had in the, then, Soviet Union. He is mature and good humored about the educational expectations with which he was raised and rather philosophical about his parents’ reactions to the pulls of American life, sleepovers, social life, giving up Judo. He knows their first concern is for his well-being. He knows what they gave up and knows how hard they have worked to make a good life in a new country.
To listen to him tell about his experience as the son of his parents is moving and joyful. He is a very American young man, fun-loving, spirited, generous, open-hearted, grateful for and enthusiastic about all he has. He is sweet, patient, smart, and, by the way, an exceptionally gifted computer teacher. He is also a musician, singer, actor (Played Tevye in a local high school production of Fiddler on the Roof), tennis player, fencer and all around wonderful fellow with endless talents.
Greg has plans for a life in the tech world at which he is extremely talented and has just happily started university life in San Francisco. He describes himself as GregGeek; to me that inspires confidence. If you want to get to know him in this regard, I invite you to read his tech blog. It is a recently launched forum for technology in which anyone can ask questions for iPod or Mac help. For a glimpse of his personal style and to keep up with his blossoming life you can follow him on Twitter. And, for the pure joy of his teaching style and approach to technology, do take a look here at his Youtube life. Yes, he is admittedly one of my favorite teens. I see his posts on facebook and am touched by how ebullient he is about each new day. I’m keeping my eyes open for what’s next for Greg.
From me to you with love in the air,