Archive for November 6, 2008

Tentative Autumn Leaves and Thesis Statements

autumn-leavesautumn-leaves-iiThe leaves have been hanging on for weeks, back in Minnesota with one good wind they would have been LONG down on the ground.  That is why I LOVE Almaty, Kazakhstan right now, I have always loved the autumn colors.  Also, I’m very proud of my students for coming up with some fairly workable thesis statements, though they are as tentative as the autumn leaves.  See what you think of the topics my students have chosen, such as education, Kazakh language and nationalities issues; famine and starvation; repression and gulags and Great Patriotic War:

 

Education

 

1. Oppression in education before the Bolshevik revolution encouraged masses of illiterate people who did not know enough to rebel against the government and hopefully lessons will be learned with our current education to help people improve their lives with better training.

 

2. During the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan, all universities and schools were conducted in Russian, therefore the Kazakh people had to learn Russian to get a good education in order to get jobs in order to survive.

 

3. Most Kazakhstani people lived in rural areas with not enough educational facilities or had large families who couldn’t afford proper education; some had to go a long way to the nearest school or do without studying at all.

 

4. The Soviet Union had many unsolved problems about education, they wanted to use Marxist-Leninist propaganda to improve morals and work ethics for all Soviet citizens.

 

5. The intelligence and serious thinking people had lots of problems because of Soviet ideology, so they had to abandon their research and scientific work.

 

6. Huge masses of illiterate people led to the October Revolution of 1917 and that problem progressed during the Soviet period; now there is a need to raise the level of education especially in rural areas.

 

Kazakh Language and Nationalities issues

1. Being on the brink of cultural degradation, the Kazakh people had to be educated in the Russian language in order to succeed in the Soviet policy and eventually develop into its own independent country after the Soviet Union collapsed.

 

2. The Kazakhs could not use their own native language and traditions during the Soviet times and in order to survive to get an education, they had to learn Russian.

 

3. Groups of individuals who felt discriminated against had to use the power of the group in order to survive against the policies of the Soviet Union.

 

Famine and Starvation

1. During the years of famine in Kazakhstan, 1.5 million people died but other people solved this problem because their aim was to survive more than just to die.

 

2. Kazakhstan’s famine after and during WWII was a great problem for many people but my grandparents found a solution by getting products from their own garden and own cattle.

 

Repression and Gulags

 

1. Before WWII mass political repression took lots of innocent people’s lives, it was implemented as a strict policy in order to force people to obey so they could survive.

 

2. People were sent to the gulag when they did not accept the USSR politics or if people complained about them, so in order to NOT be sent, they had to accept Stalin’s policy or complain on their neighbor first.

 

3. It is hard to imagine what victims of Stalin’s policies had to endure especially when sent to the gulags as “enemies of the people,” but nothing can be done except to avoid such a horrible mistake again.

 

4. During the industrialization in USSR, the government needed lots of low-paid people to construct factories, roads and they decided to create gulags where they used imprisoned political enemies and zecs who helped to increase the economy of the country by their hard work.

 

5. The Kazakh elites were killed as enemies of the country and their relatives were sent to work at camps, nevertheless, the “wives and children of the enemies of the people” survived because of their very strong wish to live, hope and love to bring their Kazakh land to independence for the next generation.

 

Great Patriotic War or WWII

1. During the period of WWII, 27 million Soviet people died and sometimes those who survived didn’t have enough food but my grandparents solved this problem because they loved each other, they survived for love.

 

2. During the Soviet period, many people in Kazakhstan had no jobs or opportunities to earn money for food, but those who survived had their own ideas and ways to educate themselves.

 

3. During WWII, a lot of women with their children struggled to survive and thanks to their enduring hardships, we have our grandparents who continued our next generation.

 

4. During WWII, folks could not trust anyone so that is why some people became spies, they worked for the Soviets and for its enemies.

 

5. In years of WWII there were medical centers which had doctors who were helping injured people by treating them and there were others who loved their job and helped with pleasure.

 

6. A lot of innocent people suffered from the Great Patriotic War but Stalin could have diminished the amount of victims and deaths if he had believed that the Nazis would attack the Soviet Union and had been better prepared for this war.

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USSR’s Past Problems, My Students’ Grandparents Solutions

The following excerpts are just some brainstorming my students are doing about their final essay and portfolio project for our academic reading and writing course. Problems aplenty, their grandparents had creative solutions in order to get out from under the burdens of the Soviet regime.  I am looking forward to reading their FINAL PRODUCT!

 

Russian empire’s system of education – The nature of this problem led to repression and political organization in the early Soviet Union.  The nature of problem is distribution of state money in Russian empire, less of it was spent on education and thus not developed educational system.  Consequently, enormous amount of uneducated “marginal” people and this problem concerned every person and effected every sphere of their living.  Main effect is revolution [1917] and after that fatal because no competition of any competent personnel.  The effect was an absolute fall of science and culture. Natalya

 

Education – Problems with education with no teachers, not enough schools.  Also, I think it is a problem for Kazakh people because in Soviet period all things were put into Russian language. Many Kazakh people didn’t get hired on jobs.  Many Kazakhs learn Russian language and forgot their own language.  I think some of parents don’t know their mother language because their parents spoke Russian language.  Their solution to survive was to learn Russian. Madina

 

Education – Some problems in education was overteaching, too much to read in some classes which children don’t need.  In the Soviet time, education was censored.  All pupils learned by only one book and nowadays we can choose our books and the way of learning ourselves.  It was in the whole Soviet Union because the Soviet government made that for “brain cleaning.”  For showing their way of history and showing dictators from good side.  It started from kindergarten and ended in the university, after this education they are believe that only their dictator is the best, only the Soviet Union is the best, etc.

Solution: – Now people only smiling when reminded of these times.  People learn how to think for themselves and how to learn themselves.  Askar

 

Famine – The topic of my problem/solution essay is starvation and WWI.  I think that is one of the great problems of that period of time because a lot of people died and their families stayed alone without help.  The nature of the problem is unemployment because it was difficult to have a good education in that period and people did not work and died from famine.  It had a great impact on the people and many small children began to work very early.  I think that this problem needed to be solved by the older generation because small children struggled from these problems.  Also, a lot of people died during Great Patriotic War, many people lost their relatives and it was really difficult to stabilize the situation that existed in that period of time.  Nowadays we haven’t so difficult situation, like starvation and I think our great grandfathers did everything for that. Zhanna

 

Famine after WWII – Nature of the problem is famine after and during WWII.  The main cause is war and approximately all men were taken to war.  Everything was put on women, most products (food) was sent to war places.  This problem was not in the whole country, but mostly in auls (villages) and nearest places to front.  This probably was needed to be solved because many, many people would die.  Finally, if this problem wasn’t solved, then people simply would die, because people first of all needed to eat to survive. Diana

 

Soviet Living Conditions – All these problems of bad lifestyle, lack of food and clothes, no place to live and long lines to stand in, led to illnesses and depopulation.  Older generations tried to solve that problem by using their own experience, and in my problem solution essay I will use quotes from my grandmother in how she solved these problems.

If no solution had been found, people would have died, so the conclusion is “the strong people will survive.”

All these problems are very important for former USSR, because our older generation suffered from these problems and I want to show it in my paper. Kristina

 

Broken up families/poor families – Many Soviet women had to bring up their children alone because their husbands had died during the war, famine, etc.  The effects of this is that many children, especially oldest sons didn’t have “proper” childhoods, women had to work harder, also start to do some “man work.”  The fact that there is no man in the family didn’t effect well psychologically on little children as well; women started to emancipate in many fields of life.  Maiya

 

Soviet repression – I’ll choose the problems which were social problems about gulags and prisons.  During the Stalin’s repression, a lot of people became an enemies of the state because of different causes.  In Soviet period, there are a lot of educated people, “intelligence” they were against an ideology, Stalin’s regime and that’s why the government decided to imprison them.  This problem was extended in the whole USSR.  Many people were imprisoned in gulags and died there.  Then the population was fallen dramatically.  That time was a scary time when people were in fear and always worried about themselves and their relatives. Akbota

 

Evacuation – People who were relocated during WWII faced new living conditions they weren’t used to.  This problem was caused by evacuation during WWII.  These problems needed to be solved because it was the only way to survive.  If no solution had been found, all the people who suffered a lot, both local people and those who were evacuated would have died.  This problem was very widespread during that time because families were destroyed, relatives were placed in different regions of the country.  But still, they had to be strong to start a new life in a new location. Yelena

 

Enemies of the PeopleSoviet Union claimed that my grandparents were enemies of the USSR.  They were the elites and came from well-educated and well known families and the communist party wanted to make all the people as equal as possible and started to destroy the elites of Kazakh, to not let them mobilize all the poor and not to educate people to protect their rights and do not proclaim themselves as independent, a sovereign republic from USSR.

The elites of Kazakhs at that time wanted to be free as their ancestors, to establish as Kazakh autonomy country and they could mobilize people to fight for their sovereignty.  But most of the elites were killed by communist party’s representatives and their wives were sent to working camps such as gulag ALZHIR.  But the wives could stay straight even under a lot of problems came and they survived.  They worked hard and helped other people and finally they achieved their goals.  Kazakhstan is independent and a sovereign republic. Aida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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