Let’s try to cope: rudeness

This article is not going to be pessimistic. I have done all my best to make it sound realistic. It is a true-to-life story. The one thing I would like to say beforehand is that there is a difference: some people pay attention to such situations, some don’t. However, it shows a lot. Maybe, at least, to me.

Last Tuesday Olga, 21, and Irana, 22, were using metro to get to the places of their destination. Girls had some coffee after college, chatted, had a bit of fun and were to go. “We were listening to music when a policeman stopped us”, says Olga. “We love Britney Spears so we were listening to her songs on my phone: Irana had one earphone, and I had the other one”, adds the girl. The policeman thought girls were so close to each other as they wanted to use one smart card. The man stopped the girls without saying, “I am sorry, could you please stop for a second?”. He checked both smart cards, saying, “I will believe you… Take”. He didn’t say “I am sorry for taking your time” or “I am sorry for accusing you of something you haven’t done”. The girls asked for excuses, the man either was silent or kept on being rude. The girls didn’t want to waste their time, they just wanted to hear the apologies – the thing that is normal for every person. “It turns out it’s easier to be rude than to be polite”, says Olga. The same day Helen, 21, was buying a smart card. The girl asked about the fee, and the rude woman responded, “It hasn’t changed! It has been for 6 months.” She it right, but the girl had forgotten, and she couldn’t find the fees anywhere. The woman might have been tired but it’s her work to sell things and to be polite and friendly. Friendly and polite. The normal response of an adequate person to this rudeness would be… rudeness… If a person is smart, he won’t argue. He will just smile, say, “thanks”, and go away. However, trying to cope with the system makes you ask for being polite in a kind way.

Rudeness or friendliness is a personal thing. However, it influences the future. Tiny little kids see how adults act, and pick it up. And they are the future. We are the future. It’s well-known old citizens love to scold the young generation for everything. Yet, there are guys who don’t want to go to college, don’t want to work, or do anything. They don’t read books and use swear words in every other sentence. They are not everybody. There are exceptions out of every rule. Always.

Have anyone ever thought of who should give an example to follow to this “bad young generation”? Who should show what’s good and what’s bad? Scolding and saying some things that won’t bring pleasure to hear is not a way out. It incites some problems. There is a major problem called “the Russian Federation vs. the Soviet Union” just because of this misunderstandings. And how is it possible to put History and Culture with rudeness and impoliteness together? It was not like yesterday the person was polite and friendly, and now the same person is rude. Just imagine – it’s ridiculous.

The thing everyone should do is to be polite and kind. Treat every person like he, himself, or she, herself, would like to be treated. Everyone knows it, but just a few people follow it. Just a few. And it’s hard to realize there will be a disaster in a few decades, even now there is a disaster.

Let’s do something about it, isn’t it the right time?!

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You can’t cope the system: saying “bye-bye” to high school

Switching on TV or reading newspapers, flicking through articles on blogs or just participating in EGE (Russian State Exam that every Russian high school senior should take) shows that the educational system has lots of problems. Checking someone’s knowledge is a good thing. But only when it’s fair.

Alisa,19, is a high school senior. Now the girl is under stress: not because she was doing nothing at school but because of the system. The young lady has to take 4 exams. She has a few “C” grades, lots of “B” grades and just a few “A”s, and that’s a typical result for a today’s youngster.

The girl has failed her Math EGE. 1 out of a maximum of 100 points. The student always got a “good “B” grade” for both Algebra and Geometry. She goes to a typical school. And EGE was created to check the knowledge of such ordinary kids. The key-word is “Ordinary”, not wunderkinds. Alisa hasn’t been shocked. She is smiling and laughing, which doesn’t mean she is not serious about school. The girl’s sister Kate,21, says that Alisa’s parents “were almost “to kill” Alisa” though the older sibling realizes her tiny sis is not guilty. “She is not supposed to be a mathematician as she wants to major in Law in college. She couldn’t be that much stressed to get just 0 out of 100. It means that she doesn’t even know that 2 * 2 = 4. It’s ridiculous.”

Alisa will do well as she is smart. And she knows more that 2*2= 4. Definitely.

The thing is this exam can ruin the future of a kid. Just a “simple” test that is based on Multiple Choice can ruin a kid’s life. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

The thing number one is why the main method at the exam is Multiple Choice? There are many people who just fear that method as it’s not that “comfortable” for them. Secondly, the usage of this method at EGE means that a person who doesn’t know, for example, a foreign language can “tick” or “cross” and get his/her points.
Thirdly, it’s not about using an “own brain” as here students deal with cheating using the Internet and vkontakte. Everyone knows it’s fine.

Alisa says that she remembers the correct answers for Russian EGE were available on the Internet. Her tutor told her and a few other guys not to take the bait which meant “write and think on their own”. The guys were from different schools and gymnasiums but all of them are applying to one college now. They hadn’t got those answers. At the same tim 10 other guys got them before the exam. How come? In the end they got their “B”s, and Alisa got her “B”. Fair? No one needs the knowledge as nowadays just that one paper shows everything. Cheating or studying hard – who cares? The result will be the same. It’s not the first year when this thing is happening. Why this exam is still existing and Mr. Fursenko (Russian Minister of Education and Science) hasn’t created any alternatives to it yet is a big question.

One of the most unfair things is that this exam doesn’t show the real knowledge. Olga, 21, was quite good at Geography and English at her gymnasium. It was mostly like a hobby. The girl could discuss maps, regimes and books on politics with her brother and father for many hours. There was nothing about school, it was an addition to a hobby. Geography was done “well” as the student had a typical oral exam when a senior. Teacher asked questions, they wanted to get real knowledge. However, the girl got a “B” grade for English. At the same time a group of students who were worse at school got higher points. How come? Probably, a fair system. And it’s not called “injustice of life”.

When someone deals with education and knowledge, everything should fair. Everyone understands things can be really fair but less corruption + real knowledge and looking at abilities without personal attitude = a good future for the nation. Otherwise, why should guys study and go to classes if they believe good luck in “tick-or-cross-amazing-system”?

And now we see what both Ministry and the Society have been gaining for 10 years – 300,000 students are cheating at high schools at EGE (what will they do in college?), no desire to study due to “tick-or-cross-amazing-system”. It turns out it’s easier to cheat than to study, it’s easier to buy the correct answers on the Internet but not to work hard. That’s what Mr. Fursenko and the society are having for now. What will the same society have in 5-7 years? Doctors who can’t diagnose a patient, layers who write with mistakes in their own language, the generation of cheaters and no future to the country?

You can’t cope: top colleges

Almost every high school girl and boy (from a good high school or gymnasium) has a dream of applying to a dozen of top colleges: basically in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Those colleges are prestigious because of their status and professors who work there. Kids from all over the country go to 2 colleges – Moscow State and St. Petersburg State Universities. They study, swot, work hard and hope, they hope they are not that bad to fail. And they are not! However, the real life set things up. If you your parents have plenty of money, you are “accepted”, I’d they are not – “next”. It’s not about scholarships and tuition. It’s about bribes.

Marina, 54, a head of one of St. Petersburg clothing companies, shared with me a story of her son. Despite of being “out” of St. Petersburg State University, he is a professional in Law. The man is around 30 now, and he doesn’t regret having graduated from a “less prestigious college”.

“We never really believed he could enter St. Petersburg State University without bribes and get a scholarship. However, he made it. It was a shock, and was happy for him”. The guy’s Mom never believed her son’s status “accepted” as everyone knows knowledge is nothing when you enter a college, your grades are nothing, the money is something. You want to get a scholarship – you give money under the table. If your family doesn’t have money but you are smart, you go to a “less prestigious college” which is almost equal to “less corruption”. No matter how but you enter a “prestigious college” and you study. Things seem to be easy: go to school, do homework, spend hours in the library, and you will get good grades. This standard formulae would work in countries with some values but not in one of the top corrupted ones. Marina’s son used to study hard. He was getting only “A” grades till one exam. “I remember he had been sitting and studying for a week. No breaks, no parties, no work”, say the old woman. Studying for a week means getting a good grade. At the exam the guy answered very well, but the teacher said, “You and 4 other guys didn’t give me anything (meaning a luxury gift like an apartment or a car), so you can take the documents now. You won’t pass my exam.” The guy and 4 other guys had to transfer to other “less prestigious colleges”. They don’t regret. They just needed the papers of having a degree in this or that sphere. Isn’t that horrific?

Sveta, 24, told me a story of her friend who died when 22. He was coughing and had the flu. He was getting worse day by day. The doctors thought he had problems with his back. The guy died. His medical card was lost, no one knew the doctor who suddenly disappeared. The question is what degree did he get? And by what means?

Alisa, 21, studies Law. She was made to study it as her Mom owns a huge Law Agency. The girl’s future was predictable. Alisa doesn’t hide she goes to college just for a “paper”.

A big question is what’s the use of studying if you study hard and get the same grade as a girl or a boy who just had given some money? Grades will be the same. Knowledge? Some Kids want get some knowledge. However, when seniors they do realize no one needs that knowledge. Its not pessimism, it’s the reality that we have.

Democracy? The country of opportunities? No corruption?
A fake image. Broken lives. The majority does not want to study hard. The wish is gone. The reality of life has been ruining it.