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 88. International Children's Day

In an American action film there was a line: "Tony is Tony". Well, forget about it, the American Tony, a phrase: "Women are women" will sound much more globally. Just imagine the following scene: in remote and cold November, 1949, a group of women decided to have a meeting in order to socialize, talk "about life" as usual, some of them wanted to show off with a new dress, and some with new earrings. And one of them decided to walk back and forth in silence, sure enough, if she managed to, as she was determined to walk back and forth only on condition that she would be asked a question: "And why are you actually walking back and forth in silence?". And then she would have brought up everything she could not hold herself in... Well and where do you think the ladies decided to meet? Of course, in Paris. And they had chosen a solid reason for their get together, they decided, as soon as we gathered in Paris and not anywhere else, let's initiate an "International Children's Day".

Sure enough, they wanted to stay in Paris as long as possible and do more shopping, so they named their get together a Congress of a Women's Democratic Federation and even established the International Children's Day. They pronounced only one day off, as there was no much time for discussion, a lot of time was taken by boutiques and other stores. It was agreed to celebrate the International Children's Day in summer, and in order not to go through the hassle, on the very first summer day, the first of June, and start celebrating it since the next year after the congress, since 1950.

Though, the one, who was walking back and forth in silence miscalculated her attempt and nobody asked her: "And why are you actually walking back and forth in silence?". And there was nobody to ask, as everybody was rushing shopping. So she insidiously made up her mind to speak at the Congress herself, and as soon as nobody had asked her, to make a speech of her own. And she made a speech, and she won over all of them. She expressed her indignation saying that they were having a meeting, meaning hanging around in November, 1949, and would celebrate only on the first of June, 1950, which was not good; she suggested: "Today is 20 November, let's perpetuate it and proclaim it The International Children's Day. Everybody felt guilty towards her; and generally speaking, she was a nice lady; so it was decided unanimously by the Congress to agree with her even in such a minor thing, and the day was established. However they had thought about something absolutely different in their minds.

And what did you expect? This is the way a group of women is. The women-democrats returned to their homes with their suitcases full with purchases and all kinds of "Chanell № 5" and declared: "We will celebrate in summer, when it is warm, and not in November." There is no denying it; winter is in its full swing in November in Russia. So members of the Women's Democratic Federation revenged themselves upon their own democrat peer, and in addition to that called her "the silent walker" for her walking back and forth in silence.

Sure enough, Galina Veldyaskina could not know about everything above mentioned, when she was running from the institute's main building to the dorm. There was warmth and joy in her heart. All passers-by seemed to her to be unusually attractive. There was a smile "from ear to ear" in Galya's face, like in faces of all children around. She was rushing to the dorm in order to..., though we'll talk about that a bit later.



One can endlessly keep saying that pharmacology is one of pillars of medicine, as well as that the Pharmacology Department professors are not popular among the students. And how could they be sincerely loved, if they constantly gave re-examinations and those re-examinations were passed after the tenth try, and they failed students during exams. Students did not care that many-many years later most of them would be grateful to such "parasites" as Gennadiy Semenovitch Sazykin. That associate professor of the department had a nickname of "the associate professor". Oh, he was hated so much! And what should the students love him for? That was the associate professor Sazykin who never allowed, as far as students could remember, to pass the re-examination he had given from the first try, and it was also nonsense to pass it from the second one. Only when a poor thing-student came to him for eight or nine times, only then he changed his attitude. Once Galya called him a maniac at a students' party and was persuading everybody that during the re-examinations he took her brain out of her head, chopped it in dice and after that put it back into her head, but did not consider her re-examination passed. Galya could not explain why she had that kind of an association, she just felt that way.

Generally speaking she was not particularly asked about that, wine could cause even more weird associations than that one. How could G.S. Sazykin not be called a maniac, if he liked to gather all his "debtors", and everybody in the group was his "debtor", so he used to gather the whole group at the department's hall, around a billiard table (I wonder, if that table is still there?)

The students barely managed to overhang around the table and were waiting for their poor fate. Perhaps, everybody who had to be re-examined by him, remembers the touch of the green cloth of the table. "The Maniac" Sazykin called the students one by one and scoffed at them with sarcasm, irony and twisting of every word said by a poor "debtor". There was much more in "the associate professor's" arsenal. If Lenin was just saying: "To study, study and study again...", then Sazykin made his students: "Study, study and study again...".

He trained them to write in a prescription's "Signa" in such a way that patients would never be confused about how to use a tablet of Validol (a heart drug) and a rectal suppository. And they never put the suppository under their tongues.
It is now when Galya Veldyaskina, sorry, Galina Yurovskaya now, says about G.S. Sazykin: "A man of sense! I am so grateful to him!" However back then, in the early morning of the first of June, when walking to the department to take another re-examination she was full-heartedly cursing the associate professor. Galia had remembered antiarrhythmic and antihypertensive remedies for all her life. Luckily Galya is an optimist by nature, so that morning she was walking to the department being absolutely sure that she would pass the re-examination that time and would be given a permission to take examinations. She had studied all night long before that, she knew by heart mechanisms of effect of medicines, that was a real pleasure to listen to her. So with mixed thoughts about the parasite Sazykin and the mechanisms of medicines' effects, Galina came to the department, and stopped confused...; there was deathly silence, all offices were locked, including the one of Sazykin. She almost cried because of disappointment; she had learned everything so well, and gee whiz. He himself appointed the re-examination on the morning of the first of June. And there Galya saw an announcement stuck to the office door: "Today is the International Children's Day; that is why I accept two re-examinations of everybody as passed. Put a slip of paper with your last name, your group number and a topic into the envelope (see below the announcement). Come tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the morning for your student record books to be signed"; there was an envelope under the announcement. How could one not grow dumb with astonishment because of such generosity and kindness?

She jetted down her details and the re-examination's topic: "Antiarrhythmic and Antihypertensive Remedies" in a flash and rushed to the dorm to tell everybody, who got scared to be executed by "the maniac" Gennadiy Semenovitch Sazykin on that day, about the way he celebrated the International Children's Day.

That was some sprint, mass and enthusiastic; a good half of all the students was racing with one another to the main building to the cherished envelope. And on the second of June Galya Veldyaskina had a permission to take examinations, and since then she started celebrating the day. And "the silent walker" from the first part of the essay was never invited to women's conferences again. Democracy is fine, though it is not good to show off and walk back and forth in silence when everybody went shopping around in Paris.

The story is courtesy of Galina Yurovskaya (Veldyaskina).

28 November, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21210010319

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content