Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 40. How different all of them are

University instructor is a position classified as intermediate between an assistant professor and professor. Instructors' responsibilities are to conduct seminars and laboratory classes assist a lecturer at conducting tests and seminars. As a rule, pedagogues without a scientific degree, but with vast experience are assigned to this position. This is the definition of an instructor I found in Wikipedia.

I even do not know how to start a story about our instructors. We loved and hated them. Loved the ones and hated the others. And some students liked and some hated one and the same instructor. Though, these are the extreme revelations of feelings. There was also not hatred, but mere disrespect and, to be honest, even almost rudeness demonstrated by students to the instructors. Well, and what else could one expect from maximalists, like we were at the age of seventeen? For instance, I was enrolled to the institute when I was even under seventeen. And that referred to majority of the students.
So, about our instructors. Though, I will talk about not all of them, but only about those, who left a trace in my memory. I do not at all consider my opinion right or objective. I will only share my recollections.
Mikhail Ivanovitch Zolotukhin (unfortunately, there is not photo) an instructor of the Anatomy Department. He graduated from the Stomatological Department of our institute and became an instructor at the Anatomy Department. Well, I will tell you honestly, I do not know, what kind of person he was. Maybe he was a very clever man, maybe he discovered and unknown aperture in Lamina Cribrosa, and maybe he discovered a new prominence on Crista Galli.

It was known that Mikhail Ivanovitch received a scientific degree and became a head of a TSNILKGMA Pathologic division. But we did not respect him, well, perhaps it was because he was young. Perhaps we were jealous of his position, as we were almost of the same age, he was an instructor, and we were his students, and he gave us grades. It was our biased attitude to him, which resulted in an ugly trick. And how else could one interpret Znenya's and my behavior, when we tied to a strap detail of Mikhail Ivanovitch's doctor's smock a bowels specimen? And everybody, who was during that break in the hall of the Morphology building, was laughing loudly at him. Though, even now I do not regret about what happened.

Assistant professor V.A. Poponnikov

Assistant professor
V.A. Poponnikov

Well, and who does not remember a Histology Department instructor
Vladimir Aleksandrovitch Poponnikov? However in this case, somewhere and somehow one can understand him, and maybe even forgive his conduct, which also cannot be called perfect. Some students were played a practical joke on by their friends, and some wrote his last name incorrectly in a student's record book, just because of their ignorance. That was why those record books were flying into a corner of a class room or out of a ventilator window, like mine, for example. Well, it was my fault, I sat in a hall at the Histology department and did not ask laboratory assistants how to spell the associate professor's last name, and wrote "Popoynikov" (there is a word which sounds similar and means a "drinking bout"). I passed the test; Vladimir Aleksandrovitch requested for my student's record book, I gave it to him being very pleased. And then an interesting thing happened: V.A.Poponnikov took my record book, signed it and then read how I had written his last name and with a shriek: "I will show you Popoynikov" threw the record book out of a ventilator window. Luckily, there was no rain that day. I dashed out of the room not knowing what I had done wrong, but realizing that I had committed something serious, if a man had such a reaction. I went flying out into the street. The window, out of which my student's record book was thrown, was at the front of the main building, to the right from the entrance. I ran up to the spot, my record book was on the ground near a pool. If it was just an inch closer, I would have to issue a new student's record book, and that was a hassle. I returned with my record book into the building, as my briefcase was left at the department. And there was Zhora Chernobay coming my way, by the way, he was a prospective instructor of the Pathologic Anatomy Department, during our study he was a year senior than I. I told him about what had happened. He looked into my record book and laughed loudly. It was him who enlightened me that some wrote in their record book the last name as "Pokoynikov" (that sounded similar to a "deceased"), and I was not the first one who had written "Popoynikov". What did I have to do? I did not think of anything better than to carefully correct letters and return the lawful last name. It came out not bad. So I went to the department. I peeped into the room, it was empty, then I darted to get my briefcase, and at the very moment Poponnikov came in. I did not let him to utter a word, started apologizing right away, saying that I had not known, that it had sounded similar, and I was asking for forgiveness ... and the whole song with a refrain, as it was supposed to be done. And you know, Vladimir Aleksandrovitch asked me calmly if I really had not known? I replied: "I swear...", and he explained to me that he was tired, that it was offensive, when students could not remember the last name of the instructor, who is conducting their test. He was so sincere, that at that moment I felt ashamed and started apologizing again. Then he barked at me: "Get out of here!..." As soon as my record book had been signed even before it was thrown away, I did not make him persuade me for a long time, and quickly left.

Tigran Petrosyan, a relative of Vagram Agadzhanyan from the Stomatology Department, found himself in a similar situation, like me. And Vagram and I were the witnesses of that situation, because for some time we were together working off the topics of the Latin classes we had missed, and our instructor was Galina Petrovna Pronina.

Assistant professor G.P. Pronina

Assistant professor
G.P. Pronina

A couple of words about Tigran. First of all, he was about thirty years old, had private practice as a dentist, which was, perhaps, illegal. He came to classes by "Volga" car, and it was the twenty fourth model. And at that time those cars were only coming to the market. Well, generally speaking, he was an impressive aristocrat, stout, but quite handsome. He entered the institute in order not to seek knowledge, but to receive a certificate of degree. Just do not assume, that I intend to offend him. He himself said that to me and others, and did not feel shy because of that.
Now a coupe of words about Galina Petrovna. She was an experienced instructor, who had worked for many years and devotedly loved her subject. Galina Petrovna had one physical defect; it was a leukoma of the right eye. So students gave her a nickname of Obliqua, which in Latin meant "squint-eyed ".
So we arrived to work off the tasks of the classes we had missed: Vagram, Tigran and I. To be more exact, there were two of us, Vagram and I who came to work off the tasks, and we met Tigran on the way, when he learned that we were going to work off the tasks, he remembered that he, too, had topics to work off to Obliqua, and joined us. He made us promise him that we would be prompting to him. On the way he asked us what was Obliqua's patronymic name, and we told him that it was Petrovna, but that went beneath our notice. We came into the class room and sat next to each other; Tigran was in the middle, for us to prompt to him from both sides. Galina Petrovna was in front of us. Those who knew her, remembered, that her face was always gloomy, as if she was permanently displeased by something. Now I do not remember the topic we had to present, I just remember that I studied an exercise number 65 and Vagram - number 66. We, as usually, studied together, and that was why, we knew somehow each other's exercises. For some reason, Galina Petrovna decided to start from Tigran. And there it became clear that he had an absolutely different topic, and she asked him to answer the 67 exercise, which was a new topic for us. And there one had to be present in the room. Tigran replied and with Caucasian accent, which went like that: "Nope, I'd be' answer' sixt' fif'". Pronina objected: "No, excuse me, you have to present a different topic, so, please, it should be the 67th".

Tigran insisted: "Eh, there's no difference this topic or that topic, well, okay, let compromise, let it be 66th". Galina Petrovna cut the further bargaining and said: "We are not at the market place; you will come here next time". And there it happened. "Why, Obliqua Petrovna? Ah?" - Tigran was sincerely surprised. "How did you call me?" "Obliqua Petrovna" - Tigran repeated, and he was absolutely calm. He just did not know the meaning of the word "Obliqua", and all around were constantly saying Obliqua. He had asked us about her patronymic name, and we had given it to him. "Get out of here!" - Obliqua said firmly, and when he left the room, she addressed us: "And what do you have?" We replied that we had exercises 65 and 66: "Now it's clear, why he wanted these exercises. You may consider you passed the topic", and she circled the classes Vagram and I had missed in her list. Tigran was waiting for us in the hall and attacked Vagram asking why he had lied to him? Why had he told him her name was Obliqua Petrovna? While we were in the class room, Tigran was already enlightened that Obliqua was the nickname. Of course, we did not agree to the blames. The question had been about the patronymic name, and we had answered it, and what was after... Well, Tigran himself was not angry, he was acting just for the show. When we parted Tigran said just one thing: "What would I do now'?" and left deep in his thoughts. Tigran found the way out and graduated from the institute. Later at Vagram's wedding we remembered that situation together with him, and all, who were near us and heard the story, had a good laugh.
Of course, Golubev, too, left a lasting impression in my memory.



He was short, frail, weighed not more than forty or fifty kilos, but extremely swift. His wife worked as a janitor at our institute as well. I also remember that he had four children. Though, I do not recollect his name. And all of those who I asked, too, hesitantly said: "Seems like Feodorovitch", or "Perhaps Igor Viktorovitch". No one gave his name correctly. But all remember Golubev. In the internet I found a list of instructors, who worked or work at the Kemerovo State Medical Academy, published in 2005 to the 50th anniversary of the institute. There it was said: Igor Viktorovitch Golubev, Histology Department. But the second Golubev was not in it!!! What does it mean? Here he is in the lower photo from my student album, photographed together with Vadik Osetrov.
If someone has not yet read my story "Golubev And Sasha Plokhikh", read it, and you will understand. You will understand why he could not be forgotten.

Our instructors

Yevgeniy Nikolaevitch Sherstennikov

D.h.a.P Y.N. Sherstennikov

Y.N. Sherstennikov

and Ariel Mendeleyevitch Shklovskiy

Associate professor A.M. Shklovskiy

Associate professor
A.M. Shklovskiy

I mentioned in the story "An Operative Surgery Exam". I am writing about the two of them, as this is the way they imprinted in my memory. Remember, how I passed an operative surgery exam for an excellent; for some reason, Ariel Mendeleyevitch was the first one Yevgeniy Nikolayevitch informed about that, and he also told me that my answer was excellent. It was weird, as I did not give any particular answer at all then. Great variety of most different stories was told from generation to generation through student rumors. Here are a couple of them about that couple; what a nice tautology came out. They said that every year Sherstennikov greeted Ariel Mendeleyevitch with 8 March (the International Women's Day), and the latter seriously thanked him for the greetings. Then Sherstennikov himself told about that at his lectures. Here is one more. There was a regular scheduled operative surgery examination. One group of students was taking the exam with Sherstennikov, and the other with Shklovskiy. Sherstennikov gave only two grades: "excellent" or "bad"; he used to say that a doctor who knew operative surgery for a "satisfactory" was a criminal; neither more, nor less than that. Maybe he was right; I am not going to judge.

And Ariel Mendeleyevitch gave any kind of grades, though an "excellent" was a very rare case. So there was an exam, Yevgeniy Nikolaevitch unexpectedly came into the room, where Scklovskiy was conducting the exam, studied the examination record list and declared: "Ariel Mendeleyevitch, why do you have only "good" as grades? Is it possible that all of them know the subject that well?" And believe it or not, after that three or four students received a "bad". Until the moment when Sherstennikov again rushed into the room and rebuked Shklovskiy sharply: "Do you want me to conduct re-examination till summer? Are all of them that ignorant? - and ran out of the room. And then several students were given good grades.
Now tell me, how could one not to remember those two for one's whole life? There were rumors that at instructors' parties Yevgeniy Nikolayevitch was a jester and a wisecracker and a wonderful speaker at various meetings. Well, and all students had first-hand knowledge of what an uncompromising fighter against ignorance Y.N. Sherstennikov was in the area of responsibility of his department.
So, here is the last character of my story. At the time period I described in the story of "Mini Dorm", i.e. in 1966, when I had just entered the institute, my older fellow students Zhora Chernobay and Kolya Kozlov intimidated me with anatomy, with what a complicated and hard the subject was. And what was the most important, they were scaring me with Faradey.

Associate professor T.F. Ryzhkov

Associate professor
T.F. Ryzhkov

According to them, if I was not lucky and got enrolled into the group where he taught, or answer to him at an exam, that would be it, a wash-out. I still cannot figure out, why they used the expression "wash-out". Perhaps, because one could be washed out on some minor mistake, I don't know. Afterwards I met Faradey in the halls of the institute. Yes, he was quite a personality. For some reason I remembered that he was tall, dressed somewhat sloppy. For instance, if Sherstennikov's jacket fitted him perfectly, then Faradey's was a bit baggy, though all of that is mere trifle. Just remember his look! Remember his piercing glance, which went deep down to one's transverse process of vertebra. And his brows were cooler than those of Leonid Illitch (one of leaders of the USSR), and they were tangled in such an inconceivable way, that were scary just by itself. And if one looked down his face and saw his nose, he would start trembling. His nose was big, but not fleshy, and it was scary because of his bristling Budenny moustache (Budenny - a Red Army cavalry leader, during the civil war in Russia 1918 - 1921). No, you were wrong, if you assumed that the moustache was at the proper place under the nose. That huge moustache was bristling right out of his nostrils, which made his look fierce. And if to consider that I was not the only one who had been intimidated by him long before I met him, it became clear why when seeing Faradey all of us felt like pressing ourselves into a wall and whispering: "Keep away from me!.."
Before I started the story I had mentioned that in our group practical training was conducted by Mikhail Ivanovitch Zolotukhin, and I took exams conducted by Lidiya Viktorovna Remeneva.

Associate professor L.V. Remeneva

Associate professor
L.V. Remeneva

So I did not have a chance to meet Faradey, in everyday life Timofey Fadeyevitch Ryzhkov, though I do not regret that a tiniest bit. Who ever would regret that, if he heard roaring "To the mine...", as a rule that was the reaction to a guy's wrong answer, or "To a beer stand... to sell beer... to the market place...", if a girl made a mistake. Though, if to believe the student rumors, Faradey had one more passion. Just do not assume that I will judge him. None of real men would ever condemn another man for his attraction to women.

I did not have a chance to get to know Faradey well, but the students of 41 group of the Stomatology Department had such a pleaser for three years. For three years T.F. Ryzhkov was the group's supervising professor and taught a course of anatomy to them, and conducted their exams. I know what I am writing about from a student of that group Kostya Romashov. I am not going to describe all events in 41 group's life, let their historiographers do that, though one situation was quite characteristic of Faradey. Just read about it.
The first year was almost over. All students were taking tests and examinations. And 41 group was taking a general anatomy test conducted personally by Timofey Fadeyevitch.

In their group there was Lena Dubovitskaya from Prokopievsk. She was a beauty with fair hair and blue eyes and fine figure, to make it short, all guys not only of 41 group, but of the whole Stomatology Department were in love with her. And if to add that at that time Lenochka was wearing extremely short skirts, it would be clear that she was not suffering because of the lack of attention.
So there was the test. Everything was democratic; there was a class room at the General Anatomy Department, an iron table in the middle of the room, a specimen stinking of formalin on the table. Faradey and the students were sitting around the table. Unlike the abovementioned M.I.Zolotukhin, Faradey allowed to answer when sitting.

Lena Dubovitskaya was giving an answer. She was speaking clearly, enthusiastically and glibly. Faradey interrupted her and asked: "Well, Dubovitskaya, take for me that poster off, and we would have a better look of the picture". And the posters were hanging in three rows, and the upper one was right under the ceiling. Several guys immediately offered their help. But Faradey insisted: "I would like kindly to ask Yelena such and such..." And Lena had to climb up on the table at the head of the specimen and reach with a special pole with a hook on its end for a rode under the ceiling to get the ill-fated poster. She was in a miniskirt, and her surgical coat was even shorter than her skirt, Lena stood on tiptoe, her skirt and surgical coat went up and opened the view for the group and Faradey
of pretty legs and small pieces of paper covered with fine minute handwriting under the stockings on her thighs. After that Faradey for about fifteen minutes was lecturing the group about what kind of surgical coats medical students had to wear and what was the difference between a doctor's coat and the one of a market woman. At the end
Доцент Ткачев А.А

Associate professor
A.A. Tkachev

he offered to those who did not want to study to go to a mine or a beer stand. The group had to have the test once again.

A petty tyrant - is a person who acts according to his whim and his self-will, humiliating dignity of other people.
I am not going to label anyone. I simply offered you a definition of a petty tyrant from Wikipedia, and it is up to you to consider it and contemplate. Life is a complicated thing. After the muster, when buses brought us to the main building of the institute, the chancellor A.A.Tkachev addressed the students with a request to stand in turn guard of honor at the coffin of Timofey Fadeyevitch Ryzhkov. And we were standing the guard, and we forgave him the offences, if he had possibly offended someone. I was just standing and thinking about perishable nature of life and was wishing to Timofey Fadeyevitch Ryzhkov: "May the piece of God be with him."

august 9, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202110327

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content