October 12, 2011
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September 8, 1917
St. Petersburg
I am going to write this journal all in English, because I must practice my English before we get to America. Mama tells us to speak English as much as we can. Much of the time my sister Viktoriya gets lazy and just speaks Russian, but I want to be as good at English as I can. It is not very hard. I already know French, and English is not very different.
We are on the train now, waiting in the station. We are waiting to leave Russia, our country, forever. Probably forever. This makes me sad. I am leaving the only home I ever knew. But we have no hope for a better life in Russia. Now that the tsar is dead, I do not know what will happen to the country. The government is ???????????; crazy. The emotions I feel right now, leaving my homeland, cannot be said in English. They are too deep to speak of not in Russian. I do not even know if I could express them with words at all.
Papa says we will be free in America. We will be free to go where we want to go and live where we want to live. That sounds very nice. But still I am afraid. My younger siblings, Matvei and Elizaveta, are more afraid than I. They do not understand what is happening. They do not understand why we must leave Russia. Matvei and Elizaveta both have eight years. They were born at the same time. I do not know the word for this in English. I have fifteen years and my older sister Viktoriya has seventeen years. I am glad that I have my sisters and brother and mother and father here with me, because I miss my best friend, Sofia. She must stay in Russia.
The train is departing from the station now. I am looking at my travel papers in my hand. My name is printed on them: Alisa Spartakovna Kavetski. But in Russian alphabet, of course. I have heard of American people. Their names sound nothing like mine. Will I stand out in America? Will people think we are strange?
The train is moving quickly now. ?? ????????, Russia! Do svidaniya! Goodbye! I will miss you.

September 10, 2011
On the train
As I sit in this train, speeding across Europe, I feel more and more nervous each second. We are going to England, where we will board a ship and sail to America. Is freedom in a strange country worth leaving everything you know? I want to say ??; da. Yes. But I am not certain. I really hope that I will come to love America as my home. Papa keeps saying, “Our lives will be better in America. You will see in time.” I want to believe Papa. The freedom will be worth it.
We will be free in America. The government is more stable there and Papa will be able to get a good job in New York. We will be happy. I have to believe in that!

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SecretNonConformist said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 8:17 am

Great job! I felt the emotions of your character and her struggle with the English language. You know, you're one of the few writers who's character's diary entries sound realistic and like something this character would write. Your narrator was the strongest thing in this story.

Something that would be interesting that you can add if you'd like is a little background on the character's life in Russia. What happened to their mother? Of what socioeconomic class were they in Russia? Who ... (more »)

. replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Thank you very much for the commendation and suggestions! :) By the way, the places where it says "?????" was supposed to be Russian words and they didn't show up.
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