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Who Am I #2

My American year is almost over. It is so weird to talk about it right now. Feels like i have been living this way forever, and now, saying goodbye to this all... It feels like taking an essential part of me away. But my experience is going to stay with me forever. Yes, I have definitely changed during this past year, and I realize that I am going home, to Ukraine, as a totally different person, with different views, attitude, and character itself.

This year gave me great understanding of where i belong to and what my goals are. I know that my Motherland - is Ukraine - and it is the dearest country for me. It is the place where my parents and family are from, it is the place where my first home is, it is the place where the people are the ones who understand you best of all. Just because you share the same problems, the same language, same culture and way of living - you understand each other really well. Ukrainian flag - is my flag, it shines like the beautiful landscape of the wheat field with the deep-blue sky above. I love my country, and I am proud to call myself Ukrainian, I am proud of my culture and my roots. Ukraine is something that cannot be replaced for me, I am with Ukraine in my heart.
America made me a stronger person. This whole year I have been learning how to find a compromise in any situation, how to cooperate with any person, and how to solve the problems on my own. Yes, I did face some hardships on my way to this, last day in the United States. I faced them and I went over them. All the hardships only made me better and gave me an opportunity to improve. I have become a more independent person, more prepared for life in the real world. And I know that everything I've got during this year, I will carry it throughout my whole road of life.
What I can say is that being an exchange student is some kind of experience you can only get this way, going away from your usual life, getting out of your comfort zone and facing the real life. Your exchange is more like a life in just a year, than a year in your life. Once you leave your home to reach out and see the world, trust me, you will never be the same. Our life experiences is something that directly shapes our personalities. I know that now, and it makes me a more confident person. I know now for sure that our tomorrow, our future is in our own hands. Remember that, and it will lead you to happiness and success. Success I am looking for, and I hope, I am on the right route.

A loser or a winner?

 

Dear Reader,

we all are looking for big achievements but we cannot always win. Our life is full of ups and downs, and to survive in this world we need to learn how to cooperate with it. People are really stereotypical about winning. We all have some model of success which is widely thought to be right and accepted in the society. I do not know, why a lot of people connect the term "success" with money and materialistic issues. If you are rich, you are successful. If you have fame - you are successful. If you have a great career - you are successful. No, maybe you are not, but you are SUPPOSED to be like that.

The whole culture of the XXI century is built on the looking for a special way to success and recognition. However, let us face the truth. We do not need that many winners in the world. Our living and the economy of the world is based on the people, who are often called "the losers". The blue-collar workers, people who do the dirtiest work, people who do not get that much money - we all depend on them. You see, once the winners of the life disappear, we may know about it, we may be sad, but we may not suffer. However, once the people we call the losers disappear, we may feel it. The economy may die in a short time, as far as who may grow and pick up the basic, food, for all of us. Who may work on the plantations? Who may keep us going?

Yes, the truth is that we may not survive. We won't be able to succeed without the people who may be under us, who may become those losers. Everything is based on the comparing. This way, there would be no success in the existence, if there was no losing. We cannot always win, too. This is life and  we all depend on the people who surround us, we depend on the conditions which anyways influence us. Success is not only money. It consists of different parts. Money is only a part of it. And money does not necessarily means happiness.

There always were and always will be winners and losers, and the percentage of the last ones in the nature may be way bigger, comparing to the first ones. This is how it has been forever. Everyone will become the winners in some field and, at the same time, the biggest losers in another field of living. You should just remember, dear reader, that every single losing is only a reason to become a better person. So, whenever you lose, you become a stronger person. We all will one day face the loss, and our main goal is to face it with readiness and belief in the better tomorrow.

Sincerely Yours,

I.D.

 You only know when You are far

 

I still recall my first step on the American earth. You know, it was a very weird feeling. Why? Probably, because of some great expectations connected with the coming exchange year. Every of our FLEX-ers was so excited, that we just started talking about our plans for the nearest "American" future, hugging each other, and even crying. Strange,  isn't it? I still remember when we started singing Ukrainian National Anthem, right in the Dulles Airport. We were kind of joking about "how much we miss our Motherland", though even every single of us said it with some warm feeling in the voice,  we still didn't realize some points of our life. Yes, we did loved UA much at that moment. However, we could not even imagine how strong our love would turn out to be after some time of living in the USA. Now, I am hundred percent sure, any of my "colleagues" in this exchange year may say that he/she is proud to call him/herself Ukrainian. Simply because when you are far from your dear hometown, when you are surrounded by totally different people, you are in totally different conditions, - you get the sense of comparing and analyzing things which are around you. You find out that any aspect has two sides. And, this way, you come to understanding of your own happiness - happiness to be Ukrainian. 

 

Follow your heart. Even if it leads to something new and inexperienced yet, just follow. At least, because you have no clue where the exit is going to be. And what, if it goes straight to you American dream? Who knows. So, take a risk and get what You want. But start with simple: remember who you are and where you belong. And, what is the most important about it - do it with all your heart and sincerely. As far as being fair and true to yourself - is right what makes you the way you are. 

 

Ukrainians! Love Ukraine with all your heart and mind! Americans? Be proud of Your country, because for a great amount of people this is a dream - to come and live here. So, appreciate what You have. Because only Your own attitude can make You either happy, or not. 

 

The product of Society or Not?

 

 

Yes. We are all the products of the conditions we live in - both material, and non-material. As far as all of these conditions are created by the Society and Culture within which we exist, this way, yes, every of us is a product of a Society in this or that way. Why is it so? To my mind, this becomes possible because our everyday routine, which is spent in some certain conditions, is something that influences our attitudes, lifestyle, habits, knowledge and experience, behavior and etc. As a result, I am definitely sure that our circle of communication, our family, friends, our mates, the school we attend, the way we spend our time, the way we celebrate any holidays, and the way we are used to do this or that type of activity - these all is what makes us the way we are.

 

An example of this straight interdepending of these aspects can be the history facts about the untamed children. In the other words, the life stories of the kids who, because of these or those reasons, were raised in the inhuman conditions - in the wild, or in the place far from civilization, or even far from any contact with another person. Such kids, been found after years of isolation, did not have most of the abilities which normal people, who grew up in the human society, had. This fact proves the theory that we all - are the products of the community we live in.

 

All in all, in my personal opinion, our language, customs and traditions, and even the emotions we express - these and other aspects are the result of our socialization and interaction. Without it, with only the lower level of communication, the human kind would, probably, look just like all the other biological species and would never achieve that progress which we have nowadays.

 

Тhe school week

Here has just passed by my another week of living and studying in the USA. More knowledge, more experience, other 5 school days. What was new for me? 
 
Probably, the most important memories are connected with the Veterans' Day, which took place on Monday, 11.11.13, this year. The Honor Ceremony will stay in my memories forever, as an integral part of my American experience. I could see the real pride for their country in the eyes of American people. Their unlimited feeling of the great patriotism makes me happy, because this is what makes the United States definitely United! People who feel proud about being the way they are, and even sing about it: "I am proud to be American!.." - those people who are with their Motherland with all their minds and hearts can be called the real citizens of their country!
 
Among some other important thoughts of the week was the one about voting. Why should every able single person vote in the elections or whatever? One of our teachers said that, at least, You should vote in the memory of Your ancestors who died in the wars, fighting for Your rights, for Your freedoms and for Your ability to decide the future of Your country, and this way, Your own future.
 
 
This passing week was, as always while my staying in the USA, full of the jokes, fun, and sarcasm. And it makes me feeling happy about this school year. I am extremely grateful to my Book of Life for such colorful and unforgettable pages, which are connected with my American being. Whatever happens - is leading to the better. And I am pretty sure that it is really so. This is what our lives are all about.
 
Work. Love. Die
 
Have You ever thought about how short is our life in fact? And every of us has so many plans for it. Some people try to spend every single day going step by step to their dreams. Others just waste years. Why? Probably, they just have not found themselves and the way to go. Or, maybe, they just have not looked for it. What is our life all about?
 
Work. American people take it really seriously. They start thinking about their future occupation already while being in the High School, or even earlier. Work and personal achievement - are among the main American values, that is why people try to do their best in it. A lot of Americans put their careers as the first priority in their lives. And very often, unfortunately, they forget about some of the other extremely important aspects - family, home warmth, hobbies, friends. They forget about something which is deeper. They forget about love.
 
Love. This topic is very sensitive for most of American people. They prefer not to talk about this feeling. Why? Are Americans afraid of love? Are they afraid to love? They afraid to be loved by someone? Probably. Some Americans even say that they do not remember if they have ever said, "I love you, Mom." For me, as an Ukrainian it is weird. Maybe, because in my Motherland it is different. The relationships between a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, a mother and a child are so much different. Here the fringe between friendship and love is almost invisible. And this is what makes everything messed up. But why do Americans not like talking about love? Probably, because of their inner feeling of independence and self-reliance. I may explain. Such a deep feeling as love is a very touching topic. Love itself means depending on someone, means responsibility. Yes, if You give love to a person, You make him/her trust You. So, You should always be ready to become a helpful back for a person, You should always be there for the person You love. And I think, that a lot of American people are just not prepared for such a kind of responsibility. Because the real love - is the responsibility for another person. From the beginning and to the death.
 
Death. Death is the other forbidden topic for Americans. Though, not only for them. The question about where we may go after the end of our lives turns out to be scary for most of people all over the world, without depending on the continent, country, or society. But why do we avoid talking about death? To my mind, the answer is clear. Death means obscurity. Let us look at the things from the realistic point if view: no one can certainly say and prove what is going to happen after our life in this world ends. Will there be eternal life? Or are we going to reincarnate and have a new, totally different life on the Earth? But what if there is just nothing after the death? What if our existence simply stops after our body stops its functioning? Do not You think that the darkness of the death - is right what makes us forget about all the thoughts connected with it? Personally, I think so. Yes, everything that is unknown is scary for us. And this is understandable.
 
You know, I do not want to end this blog like, "All in all," or something. I just would like to say: think over what priorities You have in Your own life. Think over how short is Your time on the Earth. And find some time for love in Your life. Because sometimes it is necessary to find time for something different from work, career, daily routine.
 
American Values
 
 United States of America. Coming here as an exchange student for me meant really much: new experience, new life, new people around. By coming to the US I got a great possibility to explore the new culture, and to compare it to my own, Ukrainian. And as any other one, American culture is based on the values its people have. So, what do Americans value in their lives, and how does it influence their lives?
 
Among the main American values are: personal achievement, individualism and independence, personal responsibility, democracy and equality, morality and humanity, work-discipline, freedom and others. And they all are an important part in the process of formation of the national mentality. So American people - they are very self-responsible, which means that if You fail they are totally sure that this is fully Your own fault. From this point they also show their attitude to the individualism: Americans tend to be very independent people. For example, You can see it at school - students always prefer doing everything on their own, whether in the home- or the classwork. Trust me, as an exchange student I can say that You would feel ashamed if found cheating. Moreover, You may have problems, as far as teachers do not tolerate any kind of "team-work" or plagiarism - they may just put an "F", which means fail. One of the other extremely important values in the American society is being punctual. Once our History teacher even said: "USA is just all about being on time everywhere." This way, people expect to see You at the meeting, at school, at work, on the bus(when the field trips take place, for instance) right on time, with no tardiness, or even better 5 minutes earlier. You are late - You are rude and show Your disrespect. There are a lot of other examples of how the value system influences the society, and You are able to see it in the daily routine.
 
All things considered, know and respect the values of the community You live in. As the saying goes: "When in Rome, do as Romans do." This will definitely make Your life in the other society much easier. Remember: the values we hold form our principles; the principles we hold form our actions.

My First Feelings Feelings on Arrival - a Flashback

 

I still recall my first step on the American earth. You know, it was a very weird feeling. Why? Probably, because of some great expectations connected with the coming exchange year. Every of our FLEX-ers was so excited, that we just started talking about our plans for the nearest "American" future, hugging each other, and even crying. Strange, isn't it? I still remember how we started singing the Ukrainian National Anthem, right in the DullesAirport. We were a kind of joking about "how much we miss our Motherland", and even though every single of us said it with some warm feeling in the voice,  we still didn't realize some points of our life. Yes, we did loved UA much at that moment. However, we could not even imagine how strong our love would turn out to be after some time of living in theUSA. Now, I am hundred percent sure, any of my "colleagues" in this exchange year may say that he/she is proud to call him/herself  a Ukrainian. Simply because when you are far from your dear hometown, when you are surrounded by totally different people, you are in totally different conditions - you get the sense of comparing and analyzing things which are around you. You find out that any aspect has two sides. And, this way, you come to understanding your own happiness - happiness to belong to Ukraine..

 

Follow your heart. Even if it leads to something new and inexperienced yet, just follow.  Do it, at least, because you have no clue where the exit is going to be. And what if it goes straight to you American dream? Who knows. So, take a risk and get what You want. But start with simple: remember who you are and where you belong. And, what is the most important about it - do it with all your heart and sincerity. As far as being fair and true to yourself - is right what makes you the way you are.

 

Ukrainians, love Ukraine with all your heart and mind!

Save Our Souls (Impressions of a Dispute Class)

 

So, the ship has sunk and some people survived. Luck was on their side. However, the problem is that there are more than 20 people alive and there is just one life boat which can only handle 9 people. Thus, every survivor faces an important decision: who should be saved, and why? After a discussion in the class, we figured out a group of people who would be saved by us. Let us see, which categories of people the students have chosen.

 

 
First of all, we tried to choose the survivors according to their skills and experiences. For instance, we saved those people who were former sailors or those who knew much about the "great water" and, consequently, could find the way out, the course to go. Another group of people to be saved were those who had the skills in medical care. Among them there were some former doctors and nurses, who could probably help in a case of an injury or a disease. Also, the students would save some physically strong people who would bring the life boat itself in the motion.
 
However, the students would leave a place on a life boat for those people who are financially prosper. This number includes the rich ones, and those who have promised to give a great amount of money for having been saved. This way, we can say that money means quite a lot to American people. But, are they the only ones to matter material stuff much today? I think, no. This aspect is rather important in all the cultures and countries all over the world.
 
Yes, we made our decision about those to be saved and get a place on the "last chance" life boat. But would it be the same in some other countries? I think that the priority in the choice of survivors in other cultures would differ. They would prefer to save people first according to their age, or to sex. Anyway, it would depend on the values and, someway, customs of a society and the people.
 
All in all, the people to survive would differ from community to community, from culture to culture. The decision to leave these or those people on the life boat would depend on what a society value and what kinds of customs, in some way, they have. And who would YOU give a chance to save their souls? Think over it, because who knows, what is waiting for us after the next turn on the lifeway.

The Game

Our life is the game. We all live in different communities; we are all influenced by various people, by those who are around us. Alhough  we have some similar moral codes in our being, there is still something that makes the rules we live by different: our cultural values, our traditions and attitudes towards various issues in a particular society we grow up in. There is always a particular aspect which creates the difference.  And this aspect makes our game.
 
People are created for adjusting. Every of us can get used to any conditions the Life has prepared. It only takes some time to get the things on the right places. However, when You start feeling comfortable exactly in this place, exactly in this circle of socialization, in this culture, and You suddenly have to change it all - how does it work? We could watch it while making an experiment in the class.
 
According to the teacher's experiment, the class was divided into 3 groups. We had to play a card game, which rules were shown on the separate sheets of paper for each single group.
At first we were just playing inside our "mini-communities" or "mini-cultures" - which I mean the student groups. We could talk, and we played for a kind of "treats". Then we continued our game, but in the silence: everyone could only use gestures or drawings to explain anything. As far, as we all knew the rules of the game, we felt rather convenient while continuing playing. However, the next challenge was to switch the group for each "culture's" member, so that the only one original player of a group stayed in the same conditions, playing according to the original rules of his/her group. After switching we continued playing in silence. And since that point some issues started to appear: the "freshmen" in each particular group started getting frustrated, upset and from time to time even got mad. They had no idea about what was going on in their new "mini-culture". So, what was happening, You may ask? The trick was that the teacher had made the totally same regulations for the game for all the groups of students. All the rules were exactly identical. All, except the only one.
 
So, the teacher created the same conditions for all the "mini-societies", and only made a small different, one for each group. And not being able to speak, people became captured by the situation. They were lost in the new "culture", and, moreover, they could not ask anyone for help. New people in a "society" were not prepared for this challenge; this aspect showed us this way the adjustment of the humans to the rules of a new community; it shows us the period of so called "cultural shock" - the period of adaptation to a new society, a new culture.
 
All in all,  playing this game, we could find out that our life in this world seems really quite the same somehow. Every culture has its own specialties, and every society has something that makes it identity. And You should remember that "when in Rome, do as Romans do". Use Your adjusting and communicative skills to feel comfortable in a new circle of people. Remember the rules of the place You are from, but respect the traditions of the place You stay in. Play Your game confidently, control the situation and be the winner in this Life.
 

New Generation

XXI century. The world is changing rapidly. New technologies, new tendencies, new prospective. We are all changing. Can You imagine Your life, for instance, without cell-phones or the Internet? Probably, no. However, it was only a few decades ago when there were none of those things. And people could build their lives, their business and communication without it. There were no computers only 40 years ago!

Today we live in the world of globalization. Cultures are mixing up, the character of an individual is changing, our goals and dreams are getting on the new level. I, personally, can say that a lot of things have changed even comparing to the days of my childhood. For example, we used to play a lot in the yard together with other kids; we used to go outside daily; we could spend all days long in the street playing, communicating and being active all the time. Now it is changing. I feel so sorry about all the children of today, who spend their early years in front of the blue screens, in front of the "goggle-boxes" and with the cell-phones in their hands. 

Technology... A helper or an enemy? It is a very questionable issue. Yes, it makes our lives easier. Yes, it gives us more spare time. Yes, it relaxes us in some way. However, all this easiness - is it really good and helpful to humanity as a species? Does not it make us less intelligent and smart as the creatures by giving us an opportunity to have everything done for us? And, all in all, does not the development of media and tech stop the development of a human society, personal individuality and creativity? Does not it stop the process of identifying  ourselves? Probably, it does. This way, what is this all leading to? The new generation whichis gradually losing the ability to analyze the things, the ability to create. Not everyone, of course, only those masses of people who may continue to let the technological progress interrupt the process of their own progress. 

So, what will happen to the Earth in just a couple next decades? No one can say for sure. Although, some futurologists try to foretell our future. They claim, that people may come to the process of degradation if they do not change the situation right now. Reading books, developing our creative skills, communicating with each other and studying - these all can save us. We should just find the perspective and go on. All we need is progress. Intellectual progress of the nation, progress of our minds and souls. 

Who am I?

 

We all, people, are a part of the whole society. Every of us has a special kind of mission in this world. Every of us tries to identify ourselves: we have dreams, create opportunities for achieving our goals, we do what we want  and, finally, get some results. The whole life way leads every of us to the only one main question: "Who am I in this world? And where am I going?"
 
So, who am I? First of all, I am the creator of my own future. I have a goal and I go straightly to it. I know what I want and it helps me to identify myself. I adore the process of studying, I love to gain some new knowledge about the world around. I love sports, both to play and watch. Now I am in the USA as a foreign exchange student from Ukraine. For me it means really much, and I definitely know, that this is the result of my hard work. I think that 80% of what I get in my life depends on my own initiative and attitude. However, I also know for sure, that there are some people who influence me in such a way, that I am now who I am. Among them - my family, friends, schoolmates, teachers, all in all - everyone who is around me. The whole society we live in influences us much, although sometimes we do not even understand it. It is very important to save YOUR own face and individuality in the crowd. It is very important to save something that makes YOU different from other people.
 
Just keep going to Your dream, and find Your own mission in this life. And never give up. 
Copyright MyCorp © 2017
Dasuk Anton
School №2
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