Posts tagged Motherland

Three Different Kazakh students short writings

These Kazakh students’ writings (averaging about 160 words) were written in 30 minutes by my young, impressionable students.  What they wrote caught my eye because they had a clear message.  Whether you agree or not with these students and what they wrote doesn’t matter.  For my purposes, I just asked them to write what their grandparents thought of the past.  A few answered the question directly, others just gave OTHER interesting information. I’m going to have to work on their specifically answering the question as they prepare for the IELTS test…

Essay #1 I have a great story…Great story about my grandfather.  He died 3-4 years ago. But his name will never be forgotten because of his way, sacred way…My grandfather’s name is Nurmakhan.  He lived in southern Kazakhstan, near the city of Shymkent, in Abais ayl.  So in this ayl (very little city) there is a place where there’s a lot of stones.  When he was just a little boy, his mother (my grand grandmother) placed him near these huge stones.  And I think that the ability which he had, he climbed up at this young age.  Today this place name is “Gaiyp eren Kyryk shilten” [not sure what this means in English] and many people as tourists come to this place.  If you have a problem with your health, or if you want anything else you can go to this place.  As a result, many people thanks our God.  It’s really sacred place with healthy water, with interesting and amazing stones.  Just I can’t describe this place, just go and see for yourself!!!

#2 I don’t agree with my grandparents

I know my grandparents thought very well about the Soviet Union because they’ve never seen Kazakhstan without Soviet Union.  They thought that Kazakhstan couldn’t live, couldn’t exist without the Soviet Union.  My grandparents said to their sons that Moscow is the capital city of their Motherland.  I don’t agree with my grandparents.  I think my Kazakhstan is a country which can decide own problems about country.  Nowadays I’m shocked how my grandparents said that Kazakhstan lived only with Soviet Union and Russia. It is not really so.  Of course, Kazakhstan and Russia are partners, economically and politically.  But Kazakhstan isn’t a republic which depends on another country.

My grandfather was a tractorist and my grandmother was a teacher.  My grandfather participated in the II Patriotic War.  Maybe it influenced my grandparents.  I know that for my grandparents, their motherland is Soviet Union.  Maybe for my parents too.  But for me, my motherland is my Kazakhstan, my KZ.  I love my motherland!

Essay #3 Kazakhstan’s economics is not so good

There are many problems but first of all, I think we should fight against corruption.  Why do I want it?  Because corruption disturbs the development of our country.  For example, the level of education might be better but unfortunately many of our students often hope for their dad’s money, therefore our country doesn’t have enough clever workers.  And second, what I have noticed is that many buildings are built not good enough.  Due to half of that money which should have been spent on good houses or on different buildings, some people take.   We have many, many problems like this in our country.  Now, I don’t know how I can solve this problem but I can just offer to study hard and not make the same mistakes as other parents.  To sum up, I think corruption is our great problem, so it will be my first aim to solve it.

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Taras Impressions (Part II)

Why do A or A+ students always  feel the most anxious or nervous about taking tests or entrance exams?  That’s what we encountered on Thursday when three of us reps for the new university went to three different high schools to visit with the top students who were in attendance on Wednesday. We answered questions to about 110 of them, 45 in two schools and 22 students in the first school. They were all convinced they could NOT do this, too many hoops and they had not tried the first registration because they knew that the standards were so high. Also, I must keep in mind that this is not a quick decision they can make, many of them have to negotiate this with their family.  Many considerations to make that will impact them as well.  We WANT the best students.

We tried to encourage these bright Kazakh students. I think we will have a good turn out from Taras, at least I hope so. They looked earnest, intense and I would love to have them as my own students.  I told them a story about when I taught in China back in the mid-1980s.  I kept hearing my Chinese students say they were studying hard for their Motherland.  The officials kept talking about reform and change.  You look at China now and you can see they have come a long way from over 30 years ago.  The same can happen for Kazakhstan with their aim to be one of the top developed countries by the year 2030.

I told the young students that low aim is crime and that they must make their aim high enough for the love of their country.  Excellent students become the future professionals that Kazakhstan needs for the different industries that have to develop with fresh ideas.  I was impressed by one school where the teachers are required to take a test two times a year in order to be a part of the teaching staff.  They have to know their subject and if they don’t pass the test, it is competitive enough where there are other teachers waiting in line to take their place.

Also, the competition among the students to get placed in the top schools that we visited is very intense.  We heard in the one school 1,000 students apply for the 50 spots and so they have their rigorous admission policies in place.  One school admitted that they were number one in their brand name and let up recruiting students from the villages the last two years.  The teachers found that the level of students had dropped as a result.  So, they KNOW that they need to keep the competitive edge in order to get the top students for their limited slots.

This information is grist for the mill when we consider how our campaign to get Kazakhstan’s brightest and best students.  For now, we had to explain that we will have backup help for them, that they will be encouraged in their studies.  They are used to have 4 to 1 teacher/student ratio.  Our university will have 10/1 student ratio, that is what is needed for some who feel weak in the area of their English proficiency.  They may be brainy with their math or computer skills, they may have physics or chemistry as their discipline for now but they don’t have enough chance to practice their English.  That will all be worked out once they are in an environment where the students are all expected to listen to their English teacher who are native speakers of English.

I’m impressed with the students in Taras, I look forward to visiting with more students in other areas of Kazakhstan.  Maya, Aigerim and I were quite a team, we are very happy with the way things worked out with our scheduled visits. Thanks to Zhanna here in Taras and Zhanna back in Astana.  A team effort is required by all in this new endeavor.

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Nine Kazakh Proverbs from Saule

My husband had asked Saule for some specific Kazakh proverbs that might relate to the “Golden Rule.”  The following are what she came up with:


“Nightingale cannot do without woods, man cannot do without Motherland.”


“If the dead aren’t satisfied, the living will not get rich” [If you don’t remember and honor/respect the departed ancestors, you will not succeed/get rich in your life.]


“If somebody offends you, don’t treat him in the same way – treat him to food.”


“Work is your hands’ dirt.”  [Work is temporary, today you might be boss but tomorrow not.  Don’t become proud (get conceited, put on airs, become arrogant)]


“If your wife is good, your home is full of abundance (guests, joy, luck, happiness)

If your wife is bad, your home is full of unhappiness (sadness, failure).”


“If your daughter-in-law is good, your house is golden.”


“Man is a defender of his people,

Woman is a mother for her people.”


“Bad people cry that they are good,

Good people can’t say they are good.”


“Escape (run away from ) rich people lying to you,

Escape poor people complaining to you.”


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