From our differences we found the best ideas

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    This story is by Andrei, a remarkable young man from Ukraine who has participated in InterestEng.’s  international civics class for two years now. He is a senior in highschool and will be going off to university next year. Andrei is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian.


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WHEN I think about the last two years, I am most impressed with the willingness of the people who participated to give so much of themselves. We had a very serious project to do, but still we had fun times together, just to fool around. Both things together made us feel close to each other. 

     One funny thing I remember is that once we had a discussion about the most important thing in life and Shaiq said, “Money”. He knew our teacher would not be happy with the answer.  So every class he always found a way to say how important money is to solve everything. Finally our teacher said, “If you say that one more time you have to dance for us!”  For two years, every week Shaiq said that money is the answer to everything. We laughed because our teacher had no way to make him dance … until our last class.  He danced!  It totally completed the project for us. We all felt really close and happy. (Shaiq is going to be really surprised when he finds out that I wrote about him!) 

     Our civics class was really useful, as well as an important time to learn with people from other countries. I learned a lot about the world and things I never would have dreamed of. For example, when I learned about the amount of weapons people have in the U.S. I was shocked. It showed me that no amount of laws will control weapons. Until people’s mentality changes, nothing will change.

     The richness of the class was learning from the life experience of my friends. Each of their counties have special qualities. It is interesting to me, that when we were disagreeing with each other we found answers to solving problems! Our sharing broke through all the barriers and from our differences we found the best ideas. It was incredible to find a common language between us even though we are from such different cultures.  

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com