My memory shortens

I AM SO IMPRESSED and taken deep into my research that I’ve forgotten to write a blog summarizing “Memoirs of a British Agent”. Can you imagine? I commented a lot on this theme, but didn’t do it myself!!!

I am very ashamed…

The peace of the “Memoirs…” we have is written in such a childish, open-eyed manner at the beginning. Thus it’s obvious the author was amazed by Kieff. “…I stood at the open window looking at them(prisoners) much as a visitor studies a new animal in the Zoo…”

While driving to the city, they stopped on one of the stations. There, he met Austrian prisoners who changed the author’s relation to prisoners at all. He saw they are normal people with no bad idea in mind, well educated, good singing – just the victims of the war, that’s all.

He was walking through the streets of Kieff and admired it’s architecture built on hills. By the coincidence of circumstances (or by destiny) every place were the author went seemed to be better than Moscow. Maybe it was good, sunny weather, people’s hospitality, maybe the contrast of cultures, but Kieff stayed in his mind forever. “In Kieff I had no adventures; yet the memory of the week I spent there remains more clearly in my mind than any other incident in the war.”

As he left, the weather broke as were broken many people’s life and hopes and the Civil war, Revolutions came. The author (to my mind) didn’t like Russians and accused them in great injustice and brutality made in Ukraine, and Kieff in particularly.

The whole extract has massed emotions – from good to bad, from happiness and sun to suffering and clouds. Such was and is life and the author described Kieff in right colours of those times…

Lockhart Robert Bruce, “Memoirs of a British Agent”, Middle., England, Penguin Books, 1950, 105 – 109.

Unhappy stories always touch the heart

I was enterviewing a person from Uzbekistan for the second time. I say ‘a person’, because she doesn’t want me to tell her name. She said: “Promise me, you won’t say it! I will be too shy opening my secrets to everybody, let it be only you, okay?” So, I didn’t have choice. Let’s call her Katya.

She is also brave as our widows. When I asked about her cildhood, Katya said: “Ooooh, my childhood…too unhappy…Anyway, the more unhappy was my childhood, the more touchful is your research…than I’ll tell you!” And she started.

 Her parents worked very hard, then WWII started and her father was taken to the Front (where he was killed). As she was living in a little village, there was a great povery and famine. When she was 10, she’d already helped her mother to work(!). Then they removed, removed, removed…Katya’s mother died. She had older brothers and sisters, but they stayed in Uzbekistan, and she became lonely here in Ukraine. So she returned back and…

I won’t say what she told me in details, because I’ll write it in my research paper, and something you’ll know from the presentation. Just the impression from our communication was like: “Oh my God! Poor people!” It’s like after talking to the widows coming – you’re sad and thoughtful.

Now I’m reading a book and scanning the photos she gave me. Actually, her husband was possibly known to you – he was a paintor Kuznetzov and he’d received a letter to come to America, but in times of Soviet Union it was impossible.

So, when I’ll been read a book about Uzbekistan of 1920-1930 and Stalin till the end, I’ll write my thesis statement. Hopefully it’ll be in the next blog.

Uzbekistan…just Uzbekistan

The other article I liked and want to comment here is named “Silk, Stalin and the sacs maniacs”. And on my mind, it really describes the essence of this country  (as the other post-soviet ones).You know, today I suffered myself (and Nastya Efimofa also) from the sac maniac, who cleaned up our bags and took the purses away. It happened in one of the metro stations and we didn’t even understood what was wrong. Okay, it just my impressions about this little accident. But it’s not related to the theme of the post, so…

The author writes in a very beautiful and easy-to-read manner, so I enjoyed summarizing it. It has a lot of comparisons and fine adjectives, it’s very pleasant to read and I agree with the article in many aspects.

Back to  my topic – the article goes about how the people of Uzbekistan suffered from the Stalin’s actions (as all of our ancestors did). Here is a sensual quotation from the article:

“Uzbekistan sounds like a made-up place, and it is – specifically, by Stalin in
the 1920s. Tucked away deep in the underbelly of the old USSR, it is one of
five “autonomous” central Asian republics he created as a sop to the
nationalist aspirations of the area’s people, all the while keeping them firmly
inside the Union.”

By the way, I  translated and read them to my interviewed person. As she hates Stalin and Hitler both, she agreed on both of the articles I’ve chosen. I’ll get more detailed about that in the next post.

Bleach, Stephan “Silk, Stalin and the sacs maniacs”, Sunday Times, Jul28 2002, 5.

British Council – source of articles:)

As my research paper is about Uzbekistan of 1930-1940s, it was really not so easy to find information in the ebscohost. But with the help of the x-person (Mrs.Gray), i found a couple of sound articles.

So…Now I need to summarize them. I even don’t know how to do this, because two that I’m going to tell you about, are too interesting.

Anyway, the article “The making of a tragedy”  describes the tragedy in Beslan and the whole situation in Caucasus.It also goes about the history of Uzbekistan a bit, and about collaboration of Caucasian people with Hitler against Stalin (during WWII). Those lands always attracted foreigners, as it’s written in the article, by its oil. You know how precious is oil on contemporary market…

People, living on this territory suffer much, they did, they do, they will.The author emphazise on that: “It would happen without the evil allure of oil, but oil makes everything vastly worse, because into the local quarrels come dollar-laden foreigners, buying and bribing in their desperation for the Earth’s black blood. Control of the pipelines, accordingly, becomes a reason for mass murder. If oil did not matter, some other prompt for fighting would be needed; but – just perhaps – none might be found.”

 Grayling, A. C.”The making of a tragedy”,Times, The (United Kingdom), 11Sep 2004, 4.

What the hearts think about

When I was sitting and describing the photos for the Photo Contest, I was so confused about what titles have I to give them. I wrote something, but I didn’t liked it. Then also wrote, didn’t like either.

So I remembered one guy always telling me that people understand and feel the same. Just giving a title you think is beautiful is not enough, because other people might not see the essence you see. You  need to give the name from what you feel, that’s why it’ll be Universal – understandable for everyone.

The hearts think about global , independent, unrelated, uncontrollable  things. They say – “People are happy by the different events, but they are unhappy from the same.” To my mind – we always are happy seeing our parents are proud of us, seeing children making first steps, we are happy by making success or seeing our beloved person is reaching the goal, aren’t we?

Victims of Soviet-Nazist doings

Today four widows came to our English Composition class, and it was so interesting. I have so many emotions that I even can’t say much. This widows have a special story each, but what units them – it’s the strength to overcome the life obstacles.
Youth always says – “why old people are so pessimistic?” Know why? Because they get used to that, to that all in their life is sad – they loose everything…

I’ve talked to widow Lidia. She has a story of loosing everything in her life – family (no parents – died during the War, no brother – he was taken in separate orphanage), childhood, than again her family – husband and daughter, than money, apartment… The only thing she has now – it’s church. She hopes they will bury her – look what’s she’s waiting for!
 She told us how she was moved from one orphanage to another – and each of them gave her different date of birth (depending on what age they needed), other middle name.

She was done different experiments while being in Nazi occupation. She had worked 50 years with broken back – “I felt some difficulties descending from the rackets, but it was okay”, said Lidia.

She hate communists and isn’t scared to die. She only has a fear of dogs, because they were surrounded by the big German gods in childhood.

So such a person is Lidia Nazarenko.  I can tell more and more, but in conclusion I can only write – HER SMILE WILL STAY IN MY MIND FOR A LONG LONG TIME…

It’s your Destiny

The story of brave and in the same time fragile creations that had found enough forces to overcome life obstacles.

Once, in the forest of Alaska, a family heard a strange cry. This was a trapped fox crying. Her leg was destroyed and it hurt very much. As  Avril (the author) was a veterinary, she took the foxy (she was young)  home for to  take care of the fox’s leg, but it was infected, and Avril amputated it. Long, anxious hours passed before the operation was done and the fox stirred.

This nice woman had three children – a daughter Jan and two sons: Mark and Scott. How they worried about foxy! They even gave her name – Vicky. ‘Victorious’ – she’ll win.

After few days of living in the family’s house, Vicky tried to make first steps on three legs. Foxy “stood, lost her balance, fell and tied again. Jan whispered: “She’s so brave, and she keeps trying”. My own heart ached.”

She lived two month in their house, she became strong enough to catch a little chicken. But family decided she needs to go, and so thought Vicky – she heard the Call of the wild. She left, but every day she came ‘home’ and slept near the house on the pink rug. Three weeks passed after she took away her rug from the house.

Time flew, and Jan was 12, when she’d got a malignant growth that would require leg amputation. Can you imagine that situation?

“Mom, remember Vicky? – Avril’s heart quivered. – I won’t anything stop me from doing things I want to do in life.”

After all, Jan became a full wife and mother of two great boys.

Sometimes Avril see from the window her unique tracks in the snow…

Maybe something in our life is coming to show us up how to live and how to deal with life’s hardships and joys.


Johannes, Avril. Fox in the Kitchen, Reader’s Digest, Dec1998, 132-136.

MLA format + or – ?

At the start of the year I would rapidly say – (no), but my opinion changed basing on the practice, believe.

MLA format is very strict – you have to see all the details, and it’s rather hard, that’s why student don’t like it much.You have to focus on the things that don’t attract your attention – such as a fixed text format (Times new Roman or Courier), the script has to be only double spaced. You also need to create a header with page number (arabic) , initials and theme of the work on each page. And a great amount of other very important little things.

A big attention must be paid to the in-text Citations and Works cited list. The Citation has to correspond with an entry in the Works cited. Something like that:

The in-text quotation: …as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3).

View on the Works cited page:  Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U ofCalifornia P, 1966,3.

There are many other aspects of writing MLA format paper. But what I think you can learn from it:

1) to write correctly, of course; 2) but there is other, more important thing – it teaches you to be attentive, not being disseminated; to know how it’s right, how it’s wrong; not being ashamed by writing style and many other things not visible from the first sight.

So MLA formatting is useful not only for hands and mind, but also for training personal skills.


Locigal Fallacies

Everyday we are trapped  in some logical tricks of other people or even of ourselves (!). Logical fallacies are, in other words, misunderstanding and error of reasoning. There are many types of them, but even if you’ll know them all, you couldn’t be secure in not becoming a victim of logic’s features.

 Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

‘The Latin phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc” means, literally, “after this therefore because of this.” The post hoc fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because one thing occurred after another, it must have occurred as a result of it. Mere temporal succession, however, does not entail causal succession. Just because one thing follows another does not mean that it was caused by it. This fallacy is closely related to the cum hoc fallacy.’

The classical example of Post hoc is about a sportsman who adopts a pre-match ritual because one time he did something before a game he got a good result.

Conclusion: prejudices and “over-thought opinions” (like sophisticated).

Sweeping Generalization

Briefly  speaking, it’s when one takes a statement too broadly, that means, tries to ‘enclose’ this statement to every situation, nevertheless this situation is different from others. This fallacy is the reverse of a hasty generalisation, which infers a general rule from a specific case.

Conclusion: general rule doesn’t apply in some cases.

Hasty Generalization

Logical fallacy in which someone uses a generalization based on small evidence or on exceptional or biased evidence.

The general opinion is based on untypical, rare case.Conclusion: something big is taken from too little.There are much more types of logical fallacies, but I think, to avoid them – we have NOT TO HAVE PREJUDICES AND DON’T GO DEEP IN SOPHISTICS.

Oops! I get too generally! Maybe I’m using another logical fallacy, am I?

Research paper & photo contest

I. My research paper will be about life in Uzbekistan during and after WWII. This interview I take from one of the ‘behenzu’ from there and she told me very touchily story how hard was her childhood and how helpless they were and are now.

I know, that there are any interesting facts in Ukrainian history, and I really do love my country and respect my ancestors, but I think : 1) there will be enough researches about Ukrainian history,

             2) I always am ruled by my feelings and emotions, so I want to write paper what about we don’t know much.

II. Photo contest is the thing I expect with impatience, because I love to make photos. But there is a huge problem – I’ve never had a good camera. It’s a pity, of course, but it doesn’t stirs me to participate in it.

Besides, I have some interesting family photos, which are very old.

When I asked my grandfather about if he has some photos, he said: “Ah, my brother Vitya lost them all! I only have one and a letter from my father, from the Front. That’s all, honey.”

I was  bit upset about this fact, but my granny has a lot of them – she saves everything:)



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