Congratulations, Vova

This week was not all bad. On Friday I got to go to Vova's graduation from USC with a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering degree. I took the morning off work, got ready listening to Pomp & Circumstance on repeat, got frustrated by LA traffic, ran to the Archimedes Plaza (from a parking spot 2 miles away), and teared up as the announcer mispronounced his name. He is now off to Northern California starting a job at Box. It's bittersweet, really.


Look at us. I think that's me starting 1st grade and Vova starting 4th? Where did he get that swanky 3-piece suit from? I don't remember it. I do remember my jacket. I remember being so excited for school that I could not sleep. I remember my mom working on probably finishing my jacket on the very loud sewing machine the night before 1 September, 1997.

Vova is doing the half-smile. I've got the smug-ass look on my face. I had that same expression in the class photo, which nicely framed in my 1st grade classroom. I remember coming up and looking at it then, regretting making that overly confident face. One of my classmates said what translated to "You look like a goddess of school". Not very attractive, as far as goddesses go.


This was taken at my graduation from UCLA. Hey! Fourteen years later we learned how to smile! Vova got rid of the smile/smirk he was sporting in 1997, I got some straight front teeth  (thanks to Barry and Sue). And the bangs! I left in bangs in the 90s. I wish I could say the same for Vova.

Vova and I (Cropped)

And this is Vova's graduation. It was a gorgeous sunny day in May. I could not be more proud of him. He is so hardworking, and so smart. He has been such a great example of determination. Although it's a little discouraging that he succeeds at everything. Maybe I'll be a good example of how to fail and "never breathe a word about your loss". (Not likely. I love to whine.)

My brother is a constant inspiration for me. And for that, I am thankful. 


  1. Vasili & Tatiana GalchenkoMay 12, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    We are in tears.

  2. Tatiana and Vasili GalchenkoMay 13, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    "Where did he get that swanky 3-piece suit from?"
    Бабушка привезла из Москвы, а мама подогнала по фигуре.

  3. Tatiana GalchenkoMay 13, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Оля, спасибо тебе за блог. Мы все были рады вспомнить, как это было! Молодец! Любим, целуем!
    Удали предыдущий блог от греха подальше.


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