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samanthasmithletter

Hello dear readers! I know many of you voted for me to travel to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but unfortunately finances are tight and airfare there too expensive. So, in a week, I'll return to my beloved Maine and go on another road journey to New England. During the trip, I plan on meeting with Samantha Smith's mother in Boothbay Harbor. What questions do you want me to ask her?

I've had no time for the blog recently due to a hectic work and life schedule. :(  However, next week I'll show you "good Russia," with stories about Kazan and Ples from the winter journey. In the meantime, please let me know what questions you have for Samantha's mom. I'm happy I can finally leave the office for a week, meet with her, and relax in the beautiful surroundings of cozy New England. Does the younger generation in Russia know about Samantha's legacy? How do they learn about her? Or, is she mostly known to those who grew up during the Soviet period? I think her mother will be interested in knowing these facts. :) Have a nice weekend!

Comments

peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
You don't remember anything from Soviet times? You are about ten years younger than me. :)
jon_quille
Jul. 31st, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
Good question. I remember some things from the time of the USSR-fall. Since I was 5 or 4. But you know, it was a childhood and childhood is always bright and happy. We tend to forget bad things. Though I remember long queues in shops, lack of goods, poverty all around. I remember really good the weeks during which USSR came to its end - parents watched TV all the time - pairlament sessions, news &c.

When I went to school the USSR did not exists. It faded away really fast with all its crazy ideology, pioneers, komsomol and stuff. Though the socieity I lived in was able to preserve a few nice things from that times that helped me a lot. The best one was the sense of equaltiy, - of equal rights and equal opportunities, free education &c. I was able to attend a really good school that specialised in foreign languages (German since the beginning and after a few years English added), and then enter a college and after that the University. And I managed to finish my education in a short period between ideologies - when the Soviet one died and the modern one still did not exist. Don't know if I were so fond of that time if they added ideology to my schedule.

I have also a ver bright memory from my childhood. I went to my grandma, to the village. One day our neighbour came crying. She just received a letter from the government. About her father. He was a farmer and did not want to give up his farm and enter a collective one (kolkhoz). Not a way soviet people should live. Sho he was put into prison many years ago and died there. And now that letter told that her father is innocent and was imprisoned by mistake. She and my grandma cried together sitting in the garden. It was morning. Warm sunshine. Birds singing. And two old women crying in front of me. I remember that morning in every detail and this is one of the most terrible recollections I have.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks for sharing these memories, esp. the last paragraph. Really emotional, moving and fresh, as if it happened yesterday. I'm glad you were able to receive a good education, without neuroses or ideology. I strongly dislike the education system in the USA, esp. at the university and graduate school level. It's more like a "business," with the end goal of making money. I don't think education should be so expensive. Overall, this is bad for society.
jon_quille
Jul. 31st, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. The more we share, the more we learn. I believe that there are some changes on the way. Technology would change the way we learn at least to some extent. Even now it is possible to attend lectures online and even take the whole course on the subject you like from many universities all round the world. Programming from MIT, Stocks from Stanford, Philosopy from the University of Athenes. Well, I don't know if the last one exists, but it would be interesting to see what is going on in that field in the lands of Plato. And that's for free or affordable to anyone who had enough money to by a PC.

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