Everyone has people he admires. Though the admiration itself may be different in its nature. One can take some person as an idol. One of the Commandments says: ‘Thou shalt not make thee any graven image’. I don’t have any idols, but I have several people I really respect and admire. I don’t understand those who make idols out of pop-stars, actors etc. There are a lot of people of worth around us in real life. People we know. Now I will tell you about one of them.
I don’t know what I will be like when I turn 75. Hopefully I will be half as active as I am now. Maybe a bit more. I am not able to understand at present how difficult it is to go upstairs to reach the fourth floor at the University. I suppose it is a hard task to stand by the blackboard for one and a half hours and deliver three lectures running. I am sure it is. It is still more difficult to put all your energy into the lectures, get the students interested in the subject. I am going to tell you about my History teacher at the University.
When we first saw him and he introduced himself, we didn’t know what to expect of this man. But when the classes started I began to understand that he was going to influence my personality. When I was at school, I did not like History. It’s better to say that I liked History as a scientific field, but I was not interested in the school subject. Learning History at school is just reading new material at home and retelling it in class afterwards. At the end of school there were no interconnections among dates, historic personalities and proper names. Just tons of facts, hovering somewhere in my memory.
At the third or fourth lecture at the University I regretted I hadn’t chosen the Faculty of History. Really. It turned out that Alexey Nikiforovich possesses so many qualities, that made us understand that we really needed History and got prepared for the practical classes every time we had them.
There was a lot of humour in his lectures. He always drew maps and schemes on the blackboard and we copied them into our notebooks.
The best time for me personally were practical classes. He slowly came into the room, took a seat and I didn’t notice how the time passed. An hour and a half were like one minute.
A bit later I got to know that he had suffered a stroke a few years before. And I understood that this man is really strong, both physically and mentally. It was really a miracle that he had managed to recover fully after it.
I know that I will be thankful to him for everything that he has done for us all and for me personally. When I graduate from the University I will do my best to make a good specialist and be as responsible and useful at my work as my History teacher. I am happy that there has been such an example in my life.