Essays - Part 21
Let us recall what long distance relationships were like in the past – let’s say, two hundred years ago. She writes a long letter to her lover, sprays some perfume on it, then sends it and waits for long days to hear back from him. He spends weeks or even months waiting for any news from his darling, maybe looking outside his window longing for the post carriage. All of that was so moving and romantic, yet so unreliable.
There are a lot of questions humankind is searching an answer to for many years, but still with no results. “How come someone is rich and someone is poor?” is one of them. There can be a general explanation for this, when it comes to people – someone works harder, others have a better background, some simply were in the right place at the right time. It is way harder to explain why some countries are wealthier than others. But the scheme of interaction between them is very similar to how rich and poor people interact. Loaning money is part and parcel of these relations.
If you have at least once visited Egypt, you definitely have a picture with Pyramids on a background. Everyone who went to Italy should imagine oneself holding the tower of Pisa. But how many of them can say even few words about the history of those places?
Tourism is becoming more and more popular each day. Within one season New York welcomes 500 millions of visitors. That is like half of the population of China. Fortunately, the city is big and its streets are built to handle the big quantity of people. And in case they don’t – they can be renovated and rebuilt.
Did you know that there are four branches of power, and not three, like most of us think? We all know legislative, executive and judicial branches. They seem to create perfect mechanism of democratic state: legislative power formulates rules, executive branch implements them in reality and judicial makes sure everybody follows them. But doesn’t it sound more like a monarchy when one (in a person of three in this case) has control over everything? How will we know if the rules are not fair enough, or somebody doesn’t follow them without any punishment?
How often do you watch TV? I know two kinds of people. First ones do not even have a TV set at home, not to mention cable and all the other applications. The second type always has it on. It seems, they simply cannot be in a quiet room.
As for me, I have TV at home. I pay for satellite and have over a thousand. Still, it is definitely one of the things I shouldn’t be paying for because I barely turn my TV on. I have MTV on when I clean my house or listen to a rock music channel in the morning instead of alarm, and that’s it. And wouldn’t radio be enough for those purposes?
July, 3d, 1863
I have not slept today at all. The wounded are brought every minute and I now have a feeling that this battle will never end. I suppose I must be tired, but after having seen so much death, I can hardly feel anything. I know I must save people’s lives and this is what I have been doing here, so close to each battle field, since this horrific war started. But is it really important now? What is the use of saving lives if those who survive are thrown again into the massacre of war which destroys my country?
Considering my high school experience, I come to the conclusion that it has been one of the most interesting and fruitful periods of my life so far. If I were to give advice to perspective high school students, I would summarize all my ideas to three principles.
First and foremost, be socially active. Your high school life provides you with excellent opportunities for making new friends, socializing and making something useful, but truly enjoyable. Join the organization committee, school newspaper staff or even propose yourself for the President of your school. You will definitely have a lot of work to do apart from your studies, but this experience may be positive both in terms of your future admission to college and acquiring useful skills.
Three years ago I successfully passed my driving test and bought my first car. In two month on a winter day I was driving my car when I saw a friend of mine waiting for the bus. The weather was so nasty I stopped and offered him a lift.
He got into the car and we started chatting about some trifles. I noticed that he had not fastened his seat belt and asked him to do it. In several minutes we got into a horrific car accident.
Unlike most of my friends, who enjoyed the stability of living in respectable suburbs, I spent my teenage years on the move. My parents traveled a lot on business, being a choreographer and a doctor with a famous theatrical ballet company, and I had to face the choice of either traveling with them, or living with my grandparents. I chose the first option, which meant that I would have to study in different schools, sometimes just with a private teacher or using the Internet technology, sending and receiving e-mails with home assignments and stay with parents for several months during the end of the school year to take my exams and prove that I had acquired the necessary level.
Several years ago I took up yoga as a hobby. My fascination with this fitness system gradually evoked my interest not only in the physical exercises, but also in certain spiritual practices and led to the fact that gradually I acquired a number of Buddhist friends and constant rows with my mother. She, being a devoted Christian and an active member of the church community, found it very difficult to digest the idea that I enjoyed the company of those people whose religious beliefs, in her opinion, were totally unacceptable.