This single 24 year old male from Taraz, Kazakhstan has in his family history about the famine of 1932-33.
When I was a kid, my grandpa used to ask me who I wanted to be when I grow up. Of course, as a child I used to change my mind everyday. I lived with my grandparents until I was six. They spoiled me a great deal. At any rate, they played an important role in my upbringing. It was my grandfather who taught me how to write and read first. He really paid much attention to my education. Because at the age of five after spending some time over a text I was able to distinguish my grandfather’s pills one from another and bring the right one when he needed. As an infant, he had undergone a terrible ordeal of great starvation and managed to survive owing to his mother who saved his life by giving him to an orphanage. Having seen all these problems, he probably wanted his children and grandchildren to get a decent education and live an affluent life.
The question that my grandfather used to ask me lingered in my mind for another 10 years until I decided to leave school and apply to a university for an associate’s degree in economics. Despite the fact that my major was banking, I dedicated much time to English during my freshman year. Because at the time of entrance I could barely get 60 out of 100 at English lessons and as all the lessons were conducted in English, I had to excel myself and improve on my English as soon as possible. Most distressing experience was finding your name somewhere at the bottom of the grade list every Friday. I think everything happens for the best and this was one more impetus that helped me to push ahead with my plans. However, by the end of the first year I was able to leave half of the list behind and would proudly find myself in the upper half of the grade list. I guess this was my first worthy achievement till that time. By the end of the college courses, I was ready to answer my grandfather’s question but he was already gone to eternity. But what I’m grateful to him is that he awakened academic interest in me.
This single, 23 year old female from Almaty also had a grandfather who impacted her desire to learn in environmental studies
Water is a main source of life. People can live forty days without food, but can live only three days without water. Everyone knows the role of water in our life. I have been surrounded by people who were really devoted in their life to water issues for many years. My grandpa is a well known professor in water management and water resources. Our home library is full of books on this matter and my grandpa’s co-workers and friends came to our place, and they had long discussions regarding water issues. For me, it was the unusual world of the beauty of water, I tried to absorb everything that they were discussing. My grandpa shared interesting experience he had had with me and since my fifth grade at secondary school, I have known that my future profession would be connected with the world of water.
Finally, a 25 year old woman from Aktobe City had strong impressions of her early years of learning
I still remember the time when I was in secondary school in Aktobe city, all my thirty classmates including myself had exactly the same subjects to study. Everyone struggled. Some couldn’t understand literature, some—math. I personally had difficulty to study chemistry as my strengths were in history, languages, grammar, literature, painting and music. Even in my young age, I didn’t like the fact that everyone was taught in the same way by the same methods in spite of our talents and interests. Ever since I was a schoolgirl, I cherished a strong desire to change existing school system. I knew education should help a person to develop his potential and talents, but not to make him feel as “another regular pupil” with identical personality and strengths.