Archive for September 11, 2010

Fifty years of teaching in ONE place, in Astana

What an honor for Ken and me to attend Michael Spektor’s celebration yesterday. Professor Spektor is a well known academic having taught at the Agricultural Institute in the old part of town of Astana for FIFTY years!!!  I’d say just surviving in Astana for 50 years needs to be recognized with a “Survivor of cold winters” medal.  Many speeches and certificates, diplomas and an honorary degree were given to him, as well as a traditional Kazakh coat.  After much speech making and soft spoken Michael giving his own speech, there were Kazakh musical numbers and food after that.  Ken gave his speech of appreciation in Russian. I was very proud of him being the token American among all these important people. Some were former students of Michael’s or colleagues or friends in the field of agriculture.

This ag institute was begun back in 1957. Michael as a professor and graduate of Moscow University has published much on land use and land reform in Kazakhstan.  He is a Soviet professor of the old school.  I thought he seemed a very humble and young looking man for his 77 years.  May he have many more years of service for his country of Kazakhstan.  He said in his speech that one must work with truth and honesty and you must LOVE what you are doing. Good idea from a seasoned professor.

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