Autumn. The cool wind is blowing my face. Rustle of the leaves under my feet. I am in the Park, sitting on the bench, next to the monument, I can see our famous writer and pioneer of the enlightenment Akhmet Baitursynuly, great composer Eugenii Brusilovskyi is shaking hand of the famous artist Kasteyev. The great ruler and diplomat of his time, Ablai Khan, is talking to Kanish Satpayev, who was the leader of the Kazakh SSR. These people lived in the different times of our large history, but they are those who made this history, they are those who built the country, they are those who made their impact into the development of the culture of our big country with its huge, rich and beautiful history. All these people can’t be at the same place and the same time and they can’t shake each others hands, they can’t talk to each other. It is a fake monument, it is not a real monument, but it is real in my mind and in my heart, as I want to gather all these people together, so the youngsters can see their heroes all together. I want them to have eternal flame of patriotism in their hearts to develop our country and to make it better. I want them to see, how the really good education can improve the way of our life, the education, patriotism and culture that these people had. And I want to be the part of this development to help my country by developing its education. I want to find a key of the sacred book, where the names of the greatest countries are, and I want to see my motherland in it some day, to find a key of the entrance, to open the door with a bright future.
The next excerpt is written by an impressionable single 25 year old female from Rudny:
…the fortunate event in my life was when I started to learn English. Right away I fell in love with it. It’s hard to explain but it left me forever changed. At last I did something that I really enjoyed! It utterly and completely engrossed me. I was learning new words and cramming grammar rules for hours. I don’t even know when I managed to do it because at that moment I already had two jobs. That’s why when I heard my classmates complain about not having enough time to do their homework, I got really mad. They didn’t have to worry about rent, tuition fees and living. The only job of theirs was to do their homework. What else could a student wish for? So my logo since then is the more I do, the stronger I become.
I moved to Almaty but I needed a full-time job with short hours so that I could attend evening classes. As soon as I set foot inside the school, I found myself in a different world. I had no idea that there was such a school in Kazakhstan. There was magic in the air down the hallways: the children’s pictures everywhere, the banners saying “Kindness and Politeness” friendly and smiling people. Later on I admired the warmth of classroom environment, the depth of the rapport with children, the seamless way children managed their own behavior in the classroom, the unconditional respect for each child. I couldn’t even dream about that kind of school when I was a child. I discovered a profound difference between this international school and the other Kazakhstan schools I had known.
The third is by a gifted, 24 year old male from Pavlador, he had other interesting things to write in his “Statement of Purpose,” but this part caught my eye. How does he write in his first language of Russian or Kazakh, I wonder? I was impressed.
The Soviet Union collapsed when I was a seven year old child and my memories of that time are somewhat vague. However, a few impressions were stamped in my memory. I can still recall the wintertime when as a first grader I used to walk to school at dawn. The Siberian winters were cold, while the days were short and the mornings bleak. I traversed through the school park with its slippery asphalt path on my way to the main building. The wind swayed the branches of the bare trees back and forth while the lights high above shook on the lampposts. Thousands of whirling snowflakes fell as I walked by the imposing statue of Lenin. His massive pedestal towered over the road; his cast-iron figure was about thirty feet high so I had to strain to see his head. But the only thing I was able to see was his arm stretched above me, pointed somewhere out into the abyss. During these moments I felt that the statue was alive and might even be looking down at me. This was everyday life in the USSR.