I am one of a small group of CREES undergraduates. I studied for a BA in Russian and Russian Studies so my time in CREES was combined with language and literature in the Russian Department. I floated between the Ashley Building and the Muirhead Tower with just a few stop offs in the Mermaid Bar in between.

Being an undergraduate in CREES could be very overwhelming as there were so few of us and I always felt like the least clever person in the room. However, I made some very good friends there and was always especially grateful to Marea, Nancy and Tricia who took special care to look after me.

I still remember my prelim year of Russian, taught mostly by Dave Adshead with some input from Mike Berry and Tony Briggs and Mike Pushkin from the Russian department, as the best teaching I have had during any stage of my education. I also have very fond memories of hours spent avoiding work in the Baykov, developing our CREES quote sheet and reading match reports. I wonder if anyone ever did find that copy of Viz we hid in one of the many thousands of boxes of obscure Russian journal articles?

As well as being one of a small number of undergraduates of CREES, I’m probably in an even smaller group of CREESniks who met their husband there. I became great friends with Matthew Wyman, who was at that time studying his PhD in CREES, and several years after we both left CREES we married and will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary in August. We often talk about CREES especially on our Friday night trips to the pub, when we play a word game on the quiz machine, and we can hear Mike Berry in our ears prompting us to ‘look at the prefix’. We don’t think we’ll ever understand how to use ‘Pri’ though, despite Mike’s constant worksheets on the subject!

I’m now a support manager in a large FE College, with responsibility for admissions, careers guidance and Learning Resources amongst other things. I don’t get to use my Russian much except for infrequent trips watching Everton play abroad. One of my finest moments was being interviewed by a Ukrainian TV crew in Russian before we played Metalist Kharkhiv about how I came to speak (very poor) Russian, and how unusual it was for a woman to be watching football! I taught all the locals how to say nasty things about Liverpool in Russian – so my time at CREES certainly came in useful after all!