Write a short story about giving or receiving some good or bad news
In 1998 I participated in the contest, organized by Open Society Institute (Soros Fund). The task was to write a work, devoted to general or specific problems of Russian or European Law. There was a time limit to send the work – it should have been sent until October, 15th, 1998. This date was only a month from the date I attended my first lecture at the University. So, I was in a great hurry, but nevertheless I was able to compose the work in time. It was based on my school knowledge of Law only, and it was sent on October, 14th, 1998. That’s why I was almost sure, that I have no chances to win a prize (that was more than $1000). But, absolutely unexpectedly for me in March of 1999 I received a letter from Moscow saying I was one of the winners. That was surprisingly good news.
I do not usually believe in the supernatural and predestiny...
I was about fifteen or may be sixteen. One day I was depressed and very absent-minded. I was walking round my house and, unexpectedly strike against one old man. I excused and was going to continue my way, but the old man stopped me and saying that I wouldn’t have success in life and die early, because it is my destiny, it’s prescribed for me by stars. He also told me many other unpleasant things about my current and future life constantly insisting that I’d die very soon and that I wasn’t able to change anything… I was staying silently hearing these words and getting more and more angry and finally I replied in the following way: “Well, everything is changing. Things are getting older, so do people, and I'm not an exception, of course. Each day I become one day older, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year, and who knows how many years in life… That's the Rule we cannot override and the Law we can't break. Like it or not, but each man has to obey it. So do I, and therefore I don't think about getting older at all. I just live my usual life without being troubled about it. That doesn't mean that I believe in "predestiny" theories, saying that whatever's going to happen will happen anyway. Instead I believe in DESTINY - that's the one I am in charge of. Luck is like a blind chance, destiny… that you build. May be that sounds quite strange, but that has been and is my life position for many years and I don't plan to change it”.
Do you think advertising is a good or a bad thing? Why?
I’m sure advertising is a good thing. It allows us to get the latest information about new products, technologies and services. It encourages companies to produce cheaper and better products for less price. And, the most important thing, advertising is an integral element of market economy that just can’t exist without it. Of course, advertising has some negative sides. It can be very annoying or boring when interrupting an interesting film in the most breathtaking moment, for example, but that’s not a problem of advertising itself, but a question TV companies should think over. The other mistake about advertising is that it makes things more expensive. Advertising makes things cheaper by increasing the quantity of product sold, so decreasing producing cost – it’s evident, that producing larger quantities of product is cheaper (per unit of product) than smaller. One more significant function of advertising is that it allows us to use many services for free or very low price. That’s related, first of all, to television and newspapers that are quite cheap just because they publish advertising.
Write about a time when you had a problem because you didn’t know how to say something in a foreign language.
In 1981-1989 our family lived at Soviet Military Base in Germany. We lived at SOVIET Military Base, so we practically didn’t see Berlin or other German cities. I went to kindergarten where all children were Russians and they were speaking Russian. We bought Russian products in Russian shops… I describe these just to explain that I hadn’t any practice of German. But time was going on, and some democratic processes took place in Soviet Union, and in 1988 we were allowed to visit out-of-base territory absolutely free. That was our “Discovery of Germany”. We visited Berlin, Stratford-on-Avon and many other German cities. That was very interesting, and there were no any problems except one – language problem: we didn’t know German not counting some general words and expression like “Wie spa ist est?” and number up to one hundred. That was my first time I had many-many problems because I didn’t know how to say something in a foreign language.
Write about your own physical appearance. How do you feel about the way you look? Has your appearance affected your life?
My appearance… Never thought of it. And I’m 100% sure that it hasn’t affected my life in any way. I just live my usual life without being troubled about it. Regardless of many prejudices concerning a human’s appearance I believe it shouldn’t have and it hasn’t any influence upon my life and future. I suppose human should be evaluated (estimated) according to his/her abilities, potentialities and talents. Of course, in some spheres of human life appearance plays a great role, for example, in model business or on TV, but the number of these spheres is decreasing and the understanding of the fact, that a man could be very talented even if he/she is very unattractive, is coming up.
Should government spend more money on people and on animals or vice versa?
I don’t think governments should spend more money to save rare animals that are in danger of becoming extinct. I also do not think that governments should spend less money on animals and more money on people, because millions of people starve to death every year. I believe, governments should increase spending both for saving people from starvation and animals for extinction as these are two very closely related processes and governments should realize that spending less to solve one of these problems nowadays they would possibly find short-term decision for the second one. But in a long-term perspective it’s difficult to imagine possible result of such politics. Increasing the human intervention in natural processes (to supply people with food) governments should also activate their efforts to save nature (including animals).