Archive for August 23, 2009

Viktoriya’s Grandpa “Ded”

How nice to have some students repeat in another class that I teach because they like you or your style of teaching or both, this is true of Viktoriya.  She wrote a good piece about her grandmother last year and she did a fine job this time.  Read on about her grandpa named “Ded.”

“Grandparents. The people whom we love and respect. We listen, learn from their experiences and admire them, they are the ones we should appreciate and pay enough attention to….

As I was writing about my only alive grandmother last time, I thought that it would be more challenging to tell you about the one of my grandfathers…

Actually, the man I want to write about was not my blood relative, as he was my Grandma’s second husband, but in fact he was the one who brought me up in a certain sense. All my family including parents and relatives were calling him ‘Ded’, which means ‘Grandpa’ in Russian, I was never calling him by his real name – Nikolay.

I remember him since I was a kid as we were living together with my grandparents those days. Ded was the one who always stood up for me when my older brother was bullying me, although he was strict enough to punish me, by sending me to stay “in the corner” of the room thinking about my bad behavior. He was different and I have appreciated that. Thanks to him I was not spoiled and I was not a crybaby.

When my Grandma married Ded both of them had families with grown children, but my Mom as well as my uncle fell in love with their mother’s new companion. And afterwards, when my Dad came to Almaty to meet the bride’s parents, it was Ded who met him first and judged whether he was good enough for their girl.

Each summer spent with my grandparents at the summer house made me smarter and wiser. Ded taught me to respect the elderly, to be polite and to love all the living beings starting from the bugs and to humans. Being silent on public majority of the time, he was amazingly smart; we always had something to talk about.

He died when I was 15 years old. But he will always be in my heart and in my thoughts.

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Alexander K.’s Belarussian Grandfather

How gratifying for a teacher to have their students enjoy an assignment so much that they take off with it by doing more work, over and above what was expected of them.  Read to the end of this essay to see how Alexander K. regarded his first assignment of simply writing 300 words about one of his grandparents.  This makes my teacher heart proud of my students and happy they enjoyed sharing just a little bit about someone special in their family.  Read on…

     “His name was Arcady Brodkin. He was born in 1921 in Belarusian SSR. Actually I didn’t know anything about him till yesterday evening, and I just didn’t even guess that I had such outstanding person in my family. He was frontier officer and served on the western limit.

     On June 22 1941 fascists attacked the Soviet Union and my grandpa was among them who took part in the first battle. When he was telling all that to my mom, she clearly remembered scary pictures of that story. There was a river passing by the battlefield about 80 metres width away. On the next day of the battle, it was possible to pass the river by dead bodies.

     Also he protected Moscow when Germans were within 25km distance in autumn 1941. He was wounded with a large-caliber shell. Leg was really milled and the bone was broken into little pieces. First, the doctors wanted to amputate his leg but one surgeon with golden hands tried to operate on him. He gathered all pieces of the bone, bridged all them together and saved my grandpa’s leg. After his leg was totally cured, he returned to the front to protect his native land.

     The war ended and he continued to serve on limit but he was sent to the eastern one. In that time there was a conflict with China. One enemy tried to pass the border unnoticed. A pursuit had begun for him. He was found only on the second day in the thicket of forest. When grandpa tried to arrest him, he resisted and injured his friend with a knife. He made arrest to bear his friend by his back. As they were too far from the post they reached it only after 3 days. My grandpa got pneumonia and thereafter he had asthma.

     During all his service he got 13 war awards.

     He decided to leave the military and go back home. When he had finally returned he knew that all his family: Mom, Dad, younger sister were killed by fascists. He didn’t want to stay in Belarus any more so he went to his friend in Tajikistan. There he was placed in Society for Preparation of Youth for service in the army as an instructor. There he met my grandma. She was great in shooting and she got first place in the city for shooting. And their great love gave a birth to my Mom who told me that entire story yesterday. And now I’m going to know more and more about all my relatives. I’m not a Kazakh and actually Russians don’t have a tradition to know all their forefathers but now I’m going to start a book where will be my geological history of our family.”

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