So spoke #Socrates about #Education

” <…> A freeman ought not to be a slave in the acquisition of knowledge of any kind. Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body: but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. <…> Then, my good friend, I said, do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to find out the natural bent.” 


Very true indeed!

Source: The Republic (Plato)


Skills Manifesto

The world is no longer divided between specialists, who know a lot about very little, and generalists, who know little about a lot. What matters is our capacity to keep learning and growing, build new relationships, assume new roles, and reposition ourselves every day new in this fast-changing world.

Andreas Schleicher. “A Skills Manifesto: Why Education Is The Only Lasting Economic Solution.” [Worldcrunch, 2013]

What do any of us really know about love?

Image“What do any of us really know about love?” <…> “It seems to me we’re just beginners at love. We say we love each other and we do, I don’t doubt it. <…> You know the kind of love I’m talking about now. Physical love, that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other person’s being, his or her essence, as it were. Carnal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day-to-day caring about the other person. But sometimes I have a hard time accounting for the fact that I must have loved my first wife too. But I did. I know I did. <…>

“There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I’d like to know. I wish someone could tell me. <…>

“You guys have been together eighteen months and you love each other. It shows all over you. You glow with it. But you both loved other people before you met each other. You’ve both been married before, just like us. And you probably loved other people before that too, even. <…> And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, you might say, is that if something happened to one of us – excuse me for saying this – but if something happened to one of us tomorrow I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory.

Am I wrong? Am I way off base? Because I want you to set me straight if you think I’m wrong. I want to know. I mean, I don’t know anything, and I’m the first one to admit it.”



“Die sogenannten Politiker” oder “die Ahnung verfertigt sich irgendwie unterwegs” nach Vermes Timur


Da hat er manchmal nicht unrecht…

“<…> es gibt ja dieser Tage so viele sogenannte Politiker, die vielleicht eine Viertelstunde hinter eine Ladentheke gestanden sind oder einmal im Vorbeigehen durch die offene Türe einer Werkhalle geblickt haben und die nun glauben, sie wüssten, wie das wahre Leben aussieht. Ich denke da nur einmal rein beispielshalber an diesen liberalen Asiatenminister.

Der Mann hat seine Arztausbildung abgebrochen, um sich auf seine Karriere als Politikwürstchen zu konzentrieren, da kann man doch nun wirklich nur fragen: Und wozu? Ja, wenn er stattdessen gesagt hätte, er konzentriere sich zunächst auf seinen Arztabschluss, um dann zehn oder zwanzig Jahre als Arzt zu arbeiten, fünfzig, sechzig Stunden die Woche, um hernach, geschult durch die harte Realität, sich allmählich eine Meinung zu bilden und diese zu einem Weltbilde zu verfestigen, damit er dann anschließend guten Gewissens eine sinnvolle politische Arbeit beginnen könne, so wäre wohl noch unter günstigen Umständen ein Schuh daraus geworden.

Aber natürlich ist dieses Bürschlein eines von dieser neueren, übelsten Sorte, die sich denkt, erst gehen wir in die Politik, und die Ahnung verfertigt sich wohl irgendwie unterwegs.” [383]

Vermes Timur “Er ist wieder da”

Some useful internet links I’d like to share with you :-)

Hey everyone,

Because I’m up to move to another city in the coming weeks I’ve decided to start packing up not only my clothes but what might be even more important than clothes nowadays (and can almost be considered as one of basic elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid for our young generation) – INTERNET. Even though I’m taking my tablet and smartphone with me on my journey, I still have some links saved in the favorite lists on my desktop computer which I have an access to at home. I use some of them regularly. The others I never tried, but saved for taking a closer look at further because I found them useful to myself. So I decided, figuratively speaking, to pack them up using my blog. Maybe you’ll also find some of them interesting and/or useful. In this case add them to your favorite’s sites, as I did. I would be glad if it helps you in some way :-)! For this purpose I attached a short description to any of them. I hope it makes a selection for you easier.




1. Airbnb The useful Russian internet site about finding accommodation.

2. Europass Make your CV online.

3. Life Optimizer The internet site about personal growth and development.

4. A Comprehensive List of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) Providers

5. The internet site designed to bring you in touch with a nonprofit organizations that needs you.

6. A Russian freelance trade exchange. For those who are looking for remote or part-time work opportunities in Russia.

7. ErasmusMundus Scholarship for students and postgraduates

8. English, baby Free English lessons every day.

9. Train your accent The internet site devoted to accent reduction training for foreign English speakers and conversational English practice, as well.

10. Learn English with PBS podcasting on

11. EnglishCentral English video lessons.

12. Start learning Chinese for free.

13. Doodlekit Free website builder

14. The world Factbook The internet site provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

15. Free online audio converter

16. Online converter

17. Learn out loud English audio books

18. LibriVox Free audiobooks

19. Vkontakte English audio books

20. Open Library Free classic ebooks

21. Vkontanke English books

22. Vkontakte Books in foreign languages

23. Vkontakte Books in original languages

24. Vkontake English books in PDF format

25. Project Gutenberg Free ebooks

26. Memrise Learn foreign languages online using flashcards

27. Duolingo Learn foreign languages for free online

28. Business English lessons for adults

29. Podcast Francais facile Learn Frnech with podcasts

30. Subscribe for free French lessons

31. Vkontakte Scholarships, internship for study and work experience abroad

32. Wordle Generate “word clouds” from text that you provide

33. Francais Authentique Podcasts for French learners

34. BBC – Languages Courses and phrases, audio and video, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, activities and tests

About the women who rebels against social norms. “The Awakening” or “A Solitary Soul” by Kate Chopin (1899).


ImageToday I’d like to present you a passage from the one American novel which has been written by the end of 19th century and first revealed problematic issues women struggled with in the society at that time, such as vain attempts to reconcile their desires for freedom with the maternal duties and prevailing social attitudes.

The novel was very controversial for its time, is very easy to read and make you think. 

Despite there is a long time ago the novel was first published, its notion of the conflict between an individual and society remains an issue nowadays. Even though our society has become more acceptable to such individuals as Edna in “The Awakening”, but individuals still frequently find themselves under the pressure of societal expectations. So the novel has lived on until today and remains worth reading and contemplating afterwards. Enjoy two short passages that I chose for you and myself, but if you feel like reading more of it, you can download a book on the web.

“The trouble is <…> that youth is given up to illusions. It seems to be a provision of Nature; a decoy to secure mothers for the race. And Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain at any cost.”<…> “The years that are gone seem like dreams—if one might go on sleeping and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.” [P. 117].

And another one. There is a point in there: 

“The way to become rich is to make money <…>, not to save it.” [P. 58].

“The Awakening” by Kate Chopin (c)