The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Study, study, study

Here and There

In my school years in the Soviet Union, our teachers constantly quoted Lenin’s words that students must “study, study, and study” for the sake of the country’s success because “communism can be built by highly educated people only,” as Lenin said.

In my entire educational experience, I met few of my classmates who truly believed in communism. The Soviet school was required to teach students to serve the superpower’s success and not their own.

That’s why the central ministry of education strictly unified the curriculum for all secondary schools, including college and university level, throughout the nation.

Teachers were neither allowed nor supposed to create their own curricula. Therefore, students admitted to a certain university at a certain professional department did not have freedom to choose courses they preferred.

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I wasn’t taught how to present my professional skills to a potential employer, how to plan my career goals according to my personality, we never had anything resembling a resume or a professional interview.

 Instead of all this, a graduate from university was obliged to work at least three years somewhere they would be sent by their university. You did not have the right to look for a job yourself; instead, you were required to follow your school’s “order” to be employed at a certain place. Once the university assigns you to this position, you had no choice to reject it. However, sometimes an employer had that right.

My mom was sent to a local newspaper in a small town at the other end of Ukraine after she graduated from university. When she eventually arrived at the place, after her daylong journey by train, she was told her position had been taken, and so she had to travel all way back on her own.

When I entered De Anza College, I was surprised that I was given an opportunity to choose classes within my major’s requirements and in the order I wanted. Then, I was struck that every teacher creates his/her own curriculum and chooses their own methods of teaching, mostly very creative and provoking methods.

The administration’s embracing of the students’ protests, teaching critical thinking about the society we live in astonished me even more.

Of course, there is no such thing as a mandatory assignment for a job after graduation. I can only imagine what opportunities I would have here as a journalist if I were slightly younger. Still, I hope I could find the job I dreamt of when I applied to De Anza for my journalism AA: to share with my fellow Americans my experience in ex-Soviet Ukraine so that America won’t repeat Soviet deadly errors.

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