Crónica 14: impresiones de un profesor británico

  • 25/07/2018

La foto que acompaña a esta crónica es muy especial. Nos la hemos hecho esta mañana con el párroco de la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Pushkin. Nos ha invitado a té para agradecernos todo el trabajo que hemos hecho en sus locales parroquiales.

 

Por otro lado, hemos subido una nueva remesa con algunas fotos más. Están disponibles pinchando aquí.

 

Por último, os dejamos una crónica muy especial, de Mr. Cartwright, un profesor británico de 30 años. Tras pasar su primer año en el colegio se disponía a disfrutar de un merecido descanso con su familia a las afueras de Londres. Sin embargo, al ser el preparador del equipo de debate en inglés que ganó el torneo nacional, acabó viajando a Chequia y de rebote aterrizó en Pushkin. Sus impresiones son las de alguien que ve qué es un campo de trabajo por primera vez.

 

San Petersburgo, 25 de julio de 2018

Russia – the very name of this country conjures up a host of ideas, impressions and fantasies: the tsars, the soviets, vast expanses of inhospitable terrain and poor weather (and for an Englishman to describe another country´s weather as “poor” you know it must be bad). In fact, since arriving here in Pushkin from the international debating tournament in the Czech Republic, the weather has been really quite good: despite perhaps two heavy showers, almost every day has been warm with good sunshine.

Our accommodation, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. I think I must have been told not to be frightened at least five times on our way there from the airport with D Alberto. Still, basic as it may be, it could perhaps be seen as a symbol of the zeal with which the communist architects sought to make their vision a reality -and not only has it given the students an experiential sense of the living conditions of some in Russia, but it has also forced them into interactions with its inhabitants, pulling them out of their bubbles and broadening their cultural horizons. Moreover, I suspect the grittiness has sharpened the students´ spirits, lending them a fervour with which they have approached the renovations to the church.

To their credit, not once have I heard a single one of the students complaining (about their work or about the accommodation), and in fact several students have refused opportunities to visit the city in order to complete the work they have been engaged in on time. Even now, as we approach the end of this trip, the students continue working as hard as ever. Although the students have enjoyed taking advantage of their time here to get to know the city of St Petersburg, it seems to me that they have enjoyed their work, as well as their evening periods of rest, more than their moments of tourism.

Evenings in and around the dining room always see the students enjoying lively conversations with one another. Equally, many of them have enjoyed tidying and washing up, some really throwing themselves into it. Despite this year´s fashion for catching Pokemon (which at least has encouraged the students to see more of Pushkin in their quests to catch them all), rarely have the students been on their phones, and they are always happy to set them aside.

For me it´s been a wonderful thing to have attended the Mass each morning – although I would have liked to have seen just a little more British punctuality in some of the students. This notwithstanding, I´ve been impressed by the devotion shown among many of them in the way they have continued praying in the church for considerable lengths of time afterwards. Some of them have recounted to me how daily Mass, as well as conversations with teachers and with Fr. Enrique, have helped them grow in their faith, and that they hope to prolong this after they leave Russia.

Both Russia and its people have a long and complex history. I hope that, as we come to the end of another short contribution to that history, some of the fruits of our students´ work – and prayers – will continue growing in years to come, both here in Russia and in the students themselves.

Mark Cartwright

Crónica 14: impresiones de un profesor británico

La foto que acompaña a esta crónica es muy especial. Nos la hemos hecho esta mañana con el párroco de la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Pushkin. Nos ha invitado a té para agradecernos todo el trabajo que hemos hecho en sus locales parroquiales.

 

Por otro lado, hemos subido una nueva remesa con algunas fotos más. Están disponibles pinchando aquí.

 

Por último, os dejamos una crónica muy especial, de Mr. Cartwright, un profesor británico de 30 años. Tras pasar su primer año en el colegio se disponía a disfrutar de un merecido descanso con su familia a las afueras de Londres. Sin embargo, al ser el preparador del equipo de debate en inglés que ganó el torneo nacional, acabó viajando a Chequia y de rebote aterrizó en Pushkin. Sus impresiones son las de alguien que ve qué es un campo de trabajo por primera vez.

 

San Petersburgo, 25 de julio de 2018

Russia – the very name of this country conjures up a host of ideas, impressions and fantasies: the tsars, the soviets, vast expanses of inhospitable terrain and poor weather (and for an Englishman to describe another country´s weather as “poor” you know it must be bad). In fact, since arriving here in Pushkin from the international debating tournament in the Czech Republic, the weather has been really quite good: despite perhaps two heavy showers, almost every day has been warm with good sunshine.

Our accommodation, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. I think I must have been told not to be frightened at least five times on our way there from the airport with D Alberto. Still, basic as it may be, it could perhaps be seen as a symbol of the zeal with which the communist architects sought to make their vision a reality -and not only has it given the students an experiential sense of the living conditions of some in Russia, but it has also forced them into interactions with its inhabitants, pulling them out of their bubbles and broadening their cultural horizons. Moreover, I suspect the grittiness has sharpened the students´ spirits, lending them a fervour with which they have approached the renovations to the church.

To their credit, not once have I heard a single one of the students complaining (about their work or about the accommodation), and in fact several students have refused opportunities to visit the city in order to complete the work they have been engaged in on time. Even now, as we approach the end of this trip, the students continue working as hard as ever. Although the students have enjoyed taking advantage of their time here to get to know the city of St Petersburg, it seems to me that they have enjoyed their work, as well as their evening periods of rest, more than their moments of tourism.

Evenings in and around the dining room always see the students enjoying lively conversations with one another. Equally, many of them have enjoyed tidying and washing up, some really throwing themselves into it. Despite this year´s fashion for catching Pokemon (which at least has encouraged the students to see more of Pushkin in their quests to catch them all), rarely have the students been on their phones, and they are always happy to set them aside.

For me it´s been a wonderful thing to have attended the Mass each morning – although I would have liked to have seen just a little more British punctuality in some of the students. This notwithstanding, I´ve been impressed by the devotion shown among many of them in the way they have continued praying in the church for considerable lengths of time afterwards. Some of them have recounted to me how daily Mass, as well as conversations with teachers and with Fr. Enrique, have helped them grow in their faith, and that they hope to prolong this after they leave Russia.

Both Russia and its people have a long and complex history. I hope that, as we come to the end of another short contribution to that history, some of the fruits of our students´ work – and prayers – will continue growing in years to come, both here in Russia and in the students themselves.

Mark Cartwright