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Opinion » Columnists

Things are better than they were

08.04.2014
 
Pages: 12345


By Stuart Harrold

    

Things are better than they were. 52536.jpeg

Let there be no misconceptions, things are better than they were, in the "relations" between the United States and Russia, and the federation than during the cold war-far better. On the "surface" it might appear that the "politics" between the United States and Russia, or the federation, might appear dismal and dim at the moment. They might even appear tumultuous in current events. But that is just the "world" of politics, which is usually subject to change. But "underneath" the surface, "below" the surface, there are a lot of "good things" happening since the end of the cold war between the United States and Russia---that are beyond the realm of "politics." You need something demonstrative, something that demonstrates, the good will, something you can sink your teeth into. I can demonstrate, with some factual information and two stories, how things "are a lot better" than they were years ago, particularly during the cold war.

     If you look up the University of Chicago-Russian language tutors, you'll find under WyzAnt, (which is a tutor registering service, where you make a profile, and they keep your address and personal information and the student goes through them) there are-if you dig right, if you look around, there are over 1,300 Russian tutors, not all, but mostly women teachers, complete with photos, and histories of their schools and where they lived in Russia-the many many schools in Russia or the federation, many of which are "native" Russian speakers. Many taught English in Russia.

     Why are there 1,300 Russian women tutors in Chicago, or available for tutoring from other cities on the internet. Why? In the south, nobody likes Chicago, or to live there, it's too windy and too cold.

     If you look up the University of Houston, which is a major city, the 3rd largest, with about 3.5 million people, there are over 1,100, Russian language tutors at the University of Houston. Now it's warmer down here. So why? Are there that many people that want to learn Russian? It is a hard language, and besides it's difficult to spell-when you are an English speaker.

     Now if you think it's "just "the University of Moscow, that the schools have a foreign exchange program with, you wouldn't be quite right. The University of Houston has an exchange program with    Novosibirsk State University, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, along with another 11 other Universities in Russia, or I should say the CIS or federation. Novosibirsk State University also has affiliations with 124 other scientific schools. So you see it's not all the University of Moscow-there are schools all over Russia-or the federation, numerous schools.  And numerous schools-that American students go to, just as there are major cities here that have "major" universities that Russian students go to over here. But you almost have to "be" in a major city to meet Russian students. In this town, which is small, and along the Gulf Coast, we have a junior college, a Maritime College, and a medical school. There are Russian students here though, even though it is a small town on the Gulf Coast of Texas. There are two girls from Ukraine that ride the bus. A girl is studying micro-biology from Russia at the medical school, and others. They were never here during the cold war. There were no Russian students here during the cold war. We're not a "major" city. They are here now. Some go to the medical school, some to the junior college, and some to the Maritime Academy. We're a resort town, with a beach, and a port, and even cruise ships. There is a lure to coming here though-there is a beach, and a warm climate. There are not "many" Russian students. Some. We are not a major city with a major university.

     If you look up Tallahassee Florida, which is the capital, and home to Florida State University, which has a large nursing school, when you look up Russian Language tutors, there is not much there-at all, and FSU has an exchange program with the University of Moscow, so where are the tutors. If you scroll down, "the page" to other "cities" Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter beach, you find, under these "cities" that that's where they are! South Florida. You see-they are Russian women, and men. So they live in south Florida, tutor from there, about 80 of them, because they probably hated cold cruel Siberia and now they are snow birds from Russia. Living here-in wonderful warm Florida, and tutoring the Russian language, to students before they get to FSU.

     Now, I'm sure, that some Russian women teachers, who are on the internet, just have an "iron" in the fire, by being on the internet. In other words there might not "be" a lot of students that pay 45.00 an hour. But a lot of them actually probably "do" tutor, because there are way too many. And if you add in "other" major cities---there are thousands of tutors in the United States. Russians now, a lot of them. There are also a lot more American students studying now in Russia than during the cold war.

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