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Говорят, что школьные годы - самая счастливая пора. А ты можешь сказать, что ты был счастлив в школе? Почему? School years
Some people think that school years are the happiest in their life. As for me, I cannot say whether it is right or wrong. I am still too young. I am 14 years old, and it is difficult for me to say whether my future will be more happy than my past. Moreover, school takes so much time that I hardly have time for anything else. I have classes in the first half of the day and in the evening I have to do my homework, which takes me several hours. Sometimes I have to sit up to write a composition, prepare a report, or learn a poem. Autumn and spring holidays are very short. In winter I have only two weeks free of school. Summer is the only time when I can forget about school. But it is impossible to do so. Little by little I start to understand that school plays a very important part in the life of every person, and knowledge gained at school is the key to the future success or failure.
School years may certainly be fairly happy. However, there are a lot of problems even today connected with school life and the formation of a personality. People think differently about this time of their life experience. In my opinion optimism or pessimism in the attitude to school years is equally wrong. School is the place where almost everything happens with a person for the first time. School years are the time of great expectations and great emotions. Not all emotions are always pleasant. School is the first true experience of the real life. At school a person makes his first friends, meets his first love, confronts the first betrayal. Here at school the person reads the first book and writes the first composition. He acquires basic knowledge of physics, mathematics, literature, history, biology, etc. But here at school the person not only accumulates knowledge, school helps the pupils to get on in life and become successful.
In a way it is a kind of society in miniature. School society is a model of real society with its advantages and disadvantages. School lessons are not given by teachers only. The harsh reality of everyday school life teaches pupils a lot of lessons which will be useful in their later life.
School plays a very important social role. It provides high-quality education for pupils between the ages of 6 and 17. It brings together children with different interests and experience. School offers pupils the opportunities to develop their abilities, satisfy their curiosity, and realise themselves as individuals. At school pupils are taught to be responsible, gallant, and honest. Pupils should be aware that generosity and sympathy might be as important as moral virtue. School helps pupils to establish for themselves a set of convictions and beliefs. Here at school pupils can compare themselves with each other in terms of academic ability and athletic achievements. Teachers are knowledgeable in their subjects. School provides high-quality conditions that will enable pupils and teachers to make the most of their time. Knowledge acquired at school enables pupils either to continue their education or start working.
Now I want to say some words about my school. My school is located in the centre of our city. Set up before World War II, it values its traditions, which, however, have changed in the course of time. When I started to go to school it was an old building with a garden around it. Every year on the first of September all the pupils and teachers of our school gather in the forecourt for a meeting at which the beginning of a new academic year is proclaimed. After the meeting the pupils go to their classrooms. The classrooms are very large. In our school mere are lour specialised classrooms. The first is a Biology classroom with a lot of flowers and two exotic trees. By taking care of the flowers and trees we learn to love and protect nature. The second is the Literature classroom. It resembles a library with a lot of bookcases around the walls and the portraits of the classics of Russian literature. The third is the History classroom. There are maps and archaeological artefacts in this classroom. I like history because it tells us about the events of the past. Most of all I like the English classroom. On the wall of the English classroom there are posters with London places of interest: Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and the Tower of London. There are some portraits of the British and American writers such as Shakespeare, Byron, Hemingway, and Mark Twain there. Our English teacher teaches us not only the language of the Englishmen but their culture, history and traditions as well. By learning more about the life style of other peoples we start to appreciate customs and traditions of our country. During our English classes we read and translate texts, discuss some English books, and listen to the tape-recorder.
I spend much time at school. But at school we do not only study. We have some extracurricular activities as well. They are part of school life. Our social and cultural life is well organised. We have different clubs. We often go to the museums and theatres. At school I have many interesting subjects and they are all different. My favourite subjects are English, English literature and History. I like to learn new English words, dramatise texts and dialogues. I like to discuss interesting problems in English during our English classes. Everything that is connected with Great Britain is very important to me. I like my classmates, and we always spend our time together. I am sure that eventually they will be ready to enter our society as full-fledged citizens.
What is one of the greatest problems of school life?
One of the greatest problems of school life is connected with communication. There are about 30 boys and girls in a class, and they have to live and learn together for more than a decade. Every person has his own interests and attitudes to everything. It is very important for classmates to become friends. Sometimes some of them become real friends for the rest of their lives. In some cases pupils cannot establish contacts and good relations with their classmates. The pupils who accept all the difficulties of school life and break the wall of misunderstanding with their classmates are happy at school.
What can you say about your school building?
Our school has been recently rebuilt. Now it is a modern four-storied building. On the ground floor one can find administrative offices, a gym and a cloakroom. The assembly hall is on the third floor. On the first floor there are primary school classes. Teenagers are not allowed to spend time on the first floor, because primary school pupils are too small. On other floors there are different classrooms.
What do you usually do during the breaks?
Breaks at school are not very long. They can last from 5 to 20 minutes. Sometimes we hardly have enough time to move from one classroom to another. Usually we talk or play. During one of the longest breaks we have lunch, in early autumn, and late spring we can play in the school yard.
What do you talk about with your classmates?
Usually we express our views about the books we read, computer games we play or films we have seen or want to see. We discuss our plans for the weekends and decide how to spend our free time.
Do you work hard at school?
Yes, I do. I work very hard. I never miss classes and I always do my homework. Sometimes it really takes several hours to do it, but I do not complain. I am really interested in what I learn at school. Moreover, I understand perfectly well that in the nearest future this knowledge will help me a lot.
Do you have many friends at school?
There are 28 boys and girls in our class. We are all good friends. Nevertheless, I have a few good friends. There are six of us in our company. We usually spend our free time together. We meet after classes, and go to the museums and cinemas. We have a very good time together, especially at the weekends.
Some people when they grow older do not like to speak about their school years. What do you think about it?
School years are connected with hard mental activity. That is why some people don't like to speak about them. For self-assured people, whose character was moulding at that time, the recollection of their school years can be very pleasant. All unpleasant moments of their school life they present with humour. And this is the key to their success. This very attitude has been worked out at school and by school.
Если ты хочешь продолжить свое образование, куда ты пойдешь учиться? Аргументируй свой выбор. Russia's institutions of higher education
There are a lot of institutions of higher education in our country. The Linguistic University, previously known as Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages, Pedagogic University, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia are well known not only in Russia but also abroad. There are numerous regional educational centres in our country. Almost every city of Russia has its university and colleges.
Moscow State University is the largest educational institution in Russia. Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765) inspired the foundation of Moscow University. On the Day of St. Tatiana, Count I.I. Shuvalov officially asked the permission of Empress Elizabeth to establish the University. The University was set up by the edict of the Empress issued on January 12, 1755 (according to the Russian old style). Since that time St. Tatiana has become the patron saint of Moscow University, and January 25 is celebrated as University Day in Russia.
When Moscow University was founded there were three faculties - philosophy, law and medicine there. Today there are 24 faculties mere. From the outset the best Russian scholars lectured at Moscow University. Professors were invited from all European countries. The instructions were given in Russian and in Latin. Young people from all estates but serfs could be enrolled as students. Moscow University was the centre of advanced Russian science and social thought. In the Age of Enlightenment the University was patronised by Catherine the Great. In 1785 the Empress granted the University some land for the construction of the central building.
The fire of Moscow of 1812 destroyed the magnificent classical building of the University. Precious books and archives were also lost. The construction of the new building was carried out under the supervision of D.I. Zhilyardi. Today the Institute of Asia and Africa, one of the University faculties, is housed there. In 1832 Nicholas I granted the mansion of the Pashkovs to the University. Today the Journalist Faculty is located here. During the period 1833-1836 the mansion was reconstructed into a Lecture Block. The library was located in the left wing. The University Chapel occupied the right wing. Following the October Revolution of 1917, the University got the state status and became known as Moscow State University (MGU in Russian). In May 1940 it was named after M.V. Lomonosov. In 1953 the modern University building on the Vorobyevy Hills was constructed. Sciences faculties were transferred here. In the years 1950-1970 the University campus was laid out. Now almost all the faculties are located there.
Moscow State University teaches almost in all subject areas: Arts, Sciences, Law, Economics, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, etc. I do not know yet which faculty to choose. The Law Faculty is the centre of legal training in Russia. It is known for its high level of teaching. Professors of the Faculty do detailed research in the field of law. Moreover, they participate in the working out the Russia laws. The Lawyers, the Faculty graduates, use their knowledge in courts of law. The Faculty of Journalism is proud of its graduates who work in different fields of mass media: in editorial boards, television, radio stations and news agencies in Russia and abroad. Two-level system of economic and business education is offered at the Economics Faculty. At the Faculty students study Economics and business. They do research work and gain professional skills. The Faculty of Philosophy has always been the centre of progressive philosophical thought in Russia. The greatest Russian philosophers lectured at the Faculty. Today the best home and foreign scholars give lectures at the Faculty. Psychology was among the courses taught at first at the Faculty of Philosophy. The works of Russian psychologists are recognised in the whole world. The Biology Faculty, the largest scientific and research centre in the country, comprises the most important fields of modern Biology. Students take practical courses in Zoological Museum and Botanical Gardens. The Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics is one of the leading scientific centres in Russia. World leading professors deliver their lectures there. The Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics is popular among the applicants for entry too. Applied Mathematics and Computer Science undergo rapid changes. The usage of computers in various fields of education, science, technology, economics, management and linguistics is provided by the Faculty.
The top research institutions of Moscow State Lomonosov University enable to keep research and teaching up to date. Here students can learn skills, which fit them for a better career. Moscow State Lomonosov University reputation stays with its graduates - and their achievements in turn glorify it.
Who can enter universities or colleges in Russia? -Any school-leaver can enter any university or college he likes if the entrance exams are passed successfully. Everything depends upon the ability of the applicant for entry to work hard. At school pupils acquire the necessary knowledge that will fit them for the competitive exams. Each University or Faculty within a University can choose what exams the applicants should take and what results should be considered worthy for an applicant to become a student. In order to apply for a University a person should have certificate a school-leaving, confirming that school-leaving exams have been passed successfully.
Will you continue your education after finishing school? - Yes, certainly, I would like to continue my education. I am going to enter Moscow State Lomonosov University. This is the best institution of higher education in Russia. I have not made up my mind yet which faculty to choose. I have two years more at my disposal to think about it. Whatever faculty I'll choose, I am sure that knowledge I'll get at Moscow State Lomonosov University will enable me to become a good specialist in the chosen field.
Is it difficult to make a conscious choice of the future profession?
Now I am 14 but I think that even at 17 it is really difficult to make a proper choice of the future profession. The proper choice of the future profession is the pledge of success in life. Whatever my choice is, I know that at the moment my aim is to get knowledge that will enable me in two years to enter any institution of higher education I'll choose. It should be said that school provides pupils only with general knowledge that's why I want to continue my education in order to become a specialist in the chosen field.
What should be done to help teenagers to find their way in life?
Perhaps, first they should think over the possibilities of the future profession. Then, it is necessary to get as much information as only possible concerning it. When the teenagers do not know what to choose they should ask their parents or teachers to help them to make the right choice.
Выбрать профессию нелегко. Как ты думаешь, что может помочь тебе сделать выбор? Choosing the future profession
The problem of choosing the future profession has always been very important. The profession a person chooses in many ways determines his future life. This is a universal problem of our epoch. Every generation in this or that way comes across it. For most people choosing a career is not an easy task. It is one of the most important decisions one makes in life. The properly chosen career makes a person happy and successful for the rest of his life.
There are several factors that influence the decision of young people to make their choice. They concern material and spiritual aspects of the future profession. It is generally believed that professions should be both prestigious and interesting. Everybody wants to benefit from the social privileges provided by the profession. At the same time other factors are important. Much depends on the inclinations and interests of the person. Although it is wonderful when one's hobby becomes one's profession it seldom happens in reality. Another important factor is social environment. The profession of the parents often in this or that way influences the future profession of their children. Today we have dynasties of physicians, historians, lawyers, economists, pilots, and military officers.
It is impossible to forget about the material aspect of the future profession. It indicates the level of the society's values. Today all professions can be classified as prestigious and not prestigious. The problem of prestige is subjective. Nobody can explain the meaning of this notion. «Prestigious» jobs give a chance to an individual to enter the upper circles of the society. When the job is prestigious money is of secondary importance. The future profession should be interesting and meet the demands of the person.
To avoid mistakes, I discuss career prospects with my friends even today. Some of us want to become physicians, others teachers, economists, historians, historians of art, mathematicians, biologists, and computer operators. All the professions are very useful. Physicians help people to be healthy and live a long life. They save the lives of their patients. This profession requires well-educated people. Mistakes are impossible in this profession. Physicians should be very patient and attentive with their patients.
Teachers also should be patient and kind. Teachers should not only give knowledge to their pupils but understand their problems, help them to become real citizens of their country, be honest and hard working. For education to be successful, teachers and pupils should work together. Every word and every gesture of the teacher should be carefully chosen, otherwise the misunderstanding is inevitable. Certainly, it is very difficult to be a teacher, because sometimes pupils do not behave properly. They can shout, whistle, and drum on the desk. Teachers should maintain discipline among the troublemakers. At the same time one should not forget that discipline should work hand in hand with freedom. Freedom is welcomed if it helps a pupil to learn. Teachers should encourage their pupils to do things successfully. Teachers should be well educated themselves. Unfortunately both professions - physician and teacher are not well paid in our country. One has to be an enthusiast to choose one of them. I do not know how to cope with this problem but it is said that a state declines if the government does not support health care and education.
Today the most popular professions are lawyers and economists. These professions are prestigious. After graduating from Law and Economics Faculties it is possible to find good jobs. Law and Economics students are better motivated to do their best because they have clearly set goals. Their competence and knowledge, required by the developing business economy, are well paid. To be a designer is attractive too. This profession can fit creative people who know how to make things around them look nice. For those young adults who choose the profession of a chemist, a mathematician or a physicist the determinant factor is not prestige but interest and inclination. To be a biologist is very prestigious and interesting today, because the biologists are at the forefront of cloning. They are on the threshold of great discoveries. I think that to be a sociologist or a psychologist is very interesting and useful too. Psychologists try to help people to cope with their spiritual problems. Sociologists study the health of the society.
One of the most fashionable and prestigious professions of today is that of a computer operator. Although computers came into our life only in the 1960s they quickly gained the ground of the contemporary society having become its indispensable part. Today our life is entirely connected with computers. With the help of computers people can do a lot of wonderful things from controlling spaceship up to buying books and participating in virtual conferences. New programmes are needed all the time to meet the increasing demands of our time. The roots of computer science lie primarily in the related fields of electrical engineering and mathematics. Electrical engineering physics and mathematics became the source of the development of computers. Boolean algebra developed in the 19-th century made its contribution to the elaboration of different programmes. Computers began to be widely used 40 years ago. From the start they were used for computational support of scientific and engineering disciplines and for business needs. Mathematicians did a lot for the development of the computer science. The significance of Mathematics in the general system of human knowledge constantly rises. Modern mathematical ideas and methods are used for the control of spaceship flights, different branches of industry, and transport systems. Applied Mathematics is part of different arts and sciences, such as Physics, Biology, Medicine, and Linguistics.
I think that to be a historian is also very important today. People think that it is possible to live without looking back at the historical past. But it is a mistaken view. We cannot live without history because it is around us. By analysing the past we can avoid the mistakes in the future. If people do not use the experience of the past they will inevitably make mistake in the present. Historians have always tried to understand past human lives and societies. History helps to understand the global historical process. Historians interpret the processes of the past to explain the processes of the present and foresee the processes of the future.
Have you made up your mind which profession to choose?
No, I have not made up my mind which profession to choose. There are neither good nor bad professions. The problem is that every profession should fit the person to make him happy.
What should be done to choose the profession properly?
It is necessary to know your own inclinations and interests. A person primarily should listen to himself and not to the recommendations given by others. He should not keep company with the friend following his choice, too.
Will you make the decision concerning your future profession as soon as possible?
I think the sooner a person chooses his future profession the better it is. He can attend specialised classes to be well prepared for the entrance exams. Some people try to postpone to take a decision. They think that they will take it later. They pretend that such a problem does not exist at all. I think that this way deprives the person of a lot of opportunities. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the necessity of making a conscious choice of the future profession. Some pupils simply follow blindly in the footsteps of their parents, relatives or friends. Such approach can bring about terrible mistakes.
I think that it is necessary to start thinking about the future profession as soon as possible. It is high time for discussing this problem with parents and friends. БИЛЕТ 4
Существуют разные возможности познания мира (средства массовой информации, книги, путешествия, посещения музеев, встречи с интересными людьми и т.д.). Какие из них ты предпочитаешь? Ways of exploring the world
There are many ways of exploring the world. Previously the choice of the means of exploring the world was rather limited. It was confined to books and meeting other people. Transport was poorly developed to allow people to travel throughout the world without difficulties. With the appearance of newspapers in the 17-th century people had a chance to learn about current events more quickly. The technical progress of the 20-th centuries has made our planet a small world. Any distance is covered in a twinkle of an eye. Today besides books and travelling the world can be explored with the help of mass media and the Internet.
Books are considered to be a traditional way of learning about the world around us. This is quite natural because books give information about various subjects. From the point of view of the 21-st century it is possible to say that this source of knowledge is proved by time. Books introduce us to the experience of the present, past, and future. In every day life we are limited by Time. We cannot enter the distant future or return to the past. Every moment we live only in the present. Books make an easily accessible time machine. They give everybody a wonderful opportunity to travel into the past and future. With the help of books we can almost eyewitness the major historical events, the way people lived in distant epochs. Ancient and medieval writers show us the world of the past centuries as it was. For example, by reading books about the expeditions to the North and South Poles we live the lives of the people who participated in them. From books we derive all possible knowledge of arts and sciences. Textbooks and manuals are written to give knowledge and information about different special things. It is held that nothing can be more important but the book acquired in time. All the revolutions are conceived first in mind and then put into practice. From the books we understand that the idea of an ideal society has interested people since antiquity. The stories about an ideal society were written by Plato, Thomas Moor, Adam Smith; modern scholars developed them. In the last two centuries attempts were made to put the dream into reality through a number of successive revolutions. I think that books play a very important part in our education. Every specialist first derives information from books.
Travelling as a way of learning also has a long tradition. In the past travelling was the final stage of the education of aristocrats. Lord Byron described his journey in his poem «Childe Harolde». It is very useful to visit different countries and get familiar with different cultures. People today are travelling far more than they ever used to. In the past people did not travel so much as we do today; they set sail in search of new lands and trade routes. Now a person travels in order to learn more about the culture of the country he is visiting and compare the real life of the people with the information given in the books. Sometimes the reality and the books do not coincide. The information given in the books does not often reflect the reality of the day. For example, the pictures of the great painters given in the albums do not show the size, colour or emotion of the paintings. That is why it is better to see paintings, sculpture and architecture in the original. Travelling is indispensable for learning foreign languages. Pupils go to different countries to learn the chosen language. In all European countries there are a lot of summer schools. They are not expensive, but are very useful. The effect is great. After studying at such schools pupils can speak English more fluently. They do not have a language barrier any more. They can establish contacts with people easier. Travelling is very popular today. The most fantastic wishes are put into life due to modern technologies. Millions of people move from their own countries. By mountain biking or skiing, flying into outerspace, feeding sharks or just sight seeing people explore both themselves and the world around them. It should be said that now people travel by car, train, plane, ship, spacecraft or on foot. Travelling, going from one place to another, gives a person a kind of social experience.
I am fond of travelling because it is the best way to learn the world. It gives me a chance to see new places and meet new people. Reminiscences about my travelling experience will stay with me forever and a day. I guess that the most impressive was the trip to Greece a year ago. I spent there a fascinating fortnight. I visited Athens, Delphi, and Corinth. The trip was especially important to me because we were through with the history of Ancient Greece and it gave a rare opportunity to see the place where Ancient Greek history happened. I saw the region where ancient heroes lived, fought and died. I visited the temples of incomparable beauty, especially the Parthenon. And may be there in Greece I made up my mind to be a historian.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Greek monuments and ancient cities lie in ruins. Everything that I saw seemed unreal to me. The temple in Delphi, the citadel in Mycenae, the theatre in Epidaurus, the tombs of the ancient kings seemed to be the remnants of an alien race to which we do not belong. People had abandoned the cities before they were forgotten for centuries to come. Only excavations returned most of the monuments to humanity. I saw St. Paul's Pulpit in Ancient Corinth, the mask of Agamemnon from Mycenae, the reconstructed Athenian treasury in the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. Although the Ancient Greek civilisation has vanished we still admire its temples and statues. We want to know more about the people who erected them. Nauplia, the first capital of modern Greece, is full of life. The fortress, erected by the Venetians in the 18-th century, has become a museum to remind people of the heroic deeds of the past. In 1822 it was the stronghold of the rebellious Greeks that led them to independence from the Turks.
By travelling we get new information. The period of extensive travelling is called the Age of Discovery. Tourism, activity or practice of touring for pleasure, is the phenomenon of the 20-th century.
Another phenomenon of the 20-th century is the Internet. It is a brand-new way of exploring the world. This symbol of the 20-th century is becoming more and more popular among the people of different ages and social standing. Through the Internet people get all kind of information. The Internet as a means of communication is very convenient: a person can get a lot of information without leaving his apartment. The Internet breaks the traditional frontiers. Through it a person, who lives in Moscow, gets information which is stored in the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge or Washington.
The Internet is the global communication system. With its help a person can find friends, who share his interests and tastes in any part of the world. Such programmes as ICQ (I Seek You) and AOL (America Online) Messenger, specifically designed for communication, make it easy and thrilling. Through the Internet it is not only possible to receive messages from a friend in the United States, but see a picture of him and hear his voice. The only problem is that people in different countries speak different languages and in order to explore the full depth of the Internet one should know the universal language of international communications, English. The invention of the mobile phone, the wireless means of communication, allows a contemporary man to communicate and get information 24 hours wherever he/she is.
We can not imagine our life without mass media. They are one more source of information. Mass media give not only the current information about the situation in the world. They impose certain values on contemporary man. Sometimes information given by television, radio, newspapers is contradictory and man must decide which one is more reliable. The received information moulds the way of thinking. It is imposed on people in such a way that they hardly understand that they are robots and the greatest task of mass media is to programme man to do certain things. Of course it is possible to switch everything off and live in isolation but then people will deprive themselves of one of the sources of information. Previously it took news months to travel from Asia to Europe; today it takes it only several seconds. It is better to be selective to all the received information, for it is really important to live with mass media.
What are other ways of getting information?
Films can be regarded as one more source of information, especially educational and documentary. It is better to watch such films at home with the help of television or video.
Does television help pupils in their education?
Yes, it does. There are educational programmes, which help pupils to study history, geography, biology, and learn foreign languages.
Which way of getting information is the best for you?
I cannot say which way of getting information is the best. It depends upon various factors. Sometimes it is necessary to travel to get more information. I think that books continue to be the best and the most traditional way of getting information. We cannot deny that to get information through the Internet is very convenient. As for me, I think that all the above mentioned manners are useful and important. It is impossible for me to chose one way at the expense of others.
Do you often go to the museums?
No, I do not. Unfortunately I do not have much free time. But I like to go to the museums, especially to the art galleries. Visiting museums is another possible way of exploring the world. There are a lot of museums in Moscow. I like to go to the State Tretyakov Gallery. There I can walk for hours to enjoy my favourite paintings by Bryullov, Vrubel, Petrov-Vodkin, and other great artists.
БИЛЕТ 1 Говорят, что школьные годы - самая счастливая пора. А ты можешь сказать, что ты был счастлив в школе? Почему? School years