John Steinbeck, «A Russian Journal»
В 1947 году Джон Стейнбек вместе с фотографом Робертом Капой каким-то чудом съездили в СССР, побывали в разных городах и деревнях, общались с людьми и привезли из своего путешествия дневник и несколько тысяч негативов. Очень интересно взглянуть на социалистическое прошлое нашей страны глазами чужестранцев, которые сейчас уже кажутся ближе и понятнее, чем тогдашние соотечественники. Многие моменты в книге воскресили школьные воспоминания, а кое-какие традиции сохранились и поныне.
Кусочки на память:
There was some reluctance about letting a cameraman into the Soviet Union... The camera is one of the most frightening of modern weapons, particularly to people who have been in warfare, who have been bombed and shelled, for at the back of a bombing run is invariably a photograph. In back of ruined towns, and cities, and factories, there is aerial mapping, or spy mapping, usually with a camera. Therefore the camera is a feared instrument, and a man with a camera is suspected and watched wherever he goes.
No one gets to an office before noon, no one. The office is closed until noon. But, from noon on, the office remains open, and people work, until midnight. The mornings are not used for work.
It seems to us that one of the deepest divisions between the Russians and the Americans or British, is in their feeling toward their governments. The Russians are taught, and trained, and encouraged to believe that their government is good, that every part of it is good, and that their job is to carry it forward, to back it up in all ways. On the other hand, the deep emotional feeling among Americans and British is that all government is somehow dangerous, that there should be as little government as possible, that any increase in the power of government is bad, and that existing government must be watched constantly, watched and criticized to keep it sharp and its toes.
She [Svetlana Litvinova] detested modern art of all kinds. The abstractionists were decadent Americans; the experiments in painting were decadent too; Picasso nauseated her... The only painting she really liked was nineteenth-century representational photographic painting. We found that this was not her own personal view, but was general.
Drivers in the Soviet Union speed their cars, and than take them out of gear and let them coast. They take advantage of all hills to disengage their gears and coast. We were told that this saved gasoline, and tht it is a part of the training of every driver. ... The wear and tear on clutch and gear is not taken into consideration, and the saving of gasoline must be very small indeed. To us the practice was rather nerve-racking.
People moved their bundles into the plain and piled them in the aisles. Everyone had brought food, loaves of black bread, and apples, and sausage and cheese, and smoked bacon. They always carry food, and we discovered that this was a very good idea. With a loaf of black rye bread in your bag you will not be hungry for two days if anything goes wrong.
We had awakened very hungry, but it didnt do us any good. There was nothing to eat on the train. In fact, in all the time we were in Russia we did not find anything to eat on any conveyance. You either take your lunch or you go hungry.
Soviet young people are trained to feel that there is so much work to be done, more work than they can ever accomplish, that there is not much time for play.
...after a while the lack of laughter gets under your skin and you become serious yourself. ... There is laughter in the country, in the Ukraine, and on the steppes, and in Georgia, but Moscow is a very serious city.
Although Kiev is greatly destroyed while Moscow is not, the people in Kiev did not seem to have the dead weariness of the Moscow people.They did not slouch when they walked, their shoulders were back, and they laughed in the streets.
As Capa has said, the museum is the church of modern Russia, and to refuse to look at a museum is a little like refusing to visit a church. And they are all more or less alike.
A visitor to a town in America is taken to see the Chamber of Commerce, the airfield, the new courthouse, the swimming pool, and the armory. And a visitor in Russia is taken to see the museum and the park of culture and rest. ... To refuse to see the local park of culture and rest would be as bad manners as to refuse to go to see a new real estate development in an American town.
Later we went to Red Square, where a queue of people at least a quarter of mile long stood waiting to go through Lenins tomb. ... It is like a religious thing, although they would not call it religious.
In the hotels and restaurants, well displayed, there is a compliant book with a pencil on it, and you can write any compliant that you want against the service, or the management, or the arrangements, and you neednt sign it. ...
And there is another book in the Soviet Union, which we were coming to view with a certain amount of terror. It is the impression book. Whether you have visited a factory, a museum, an art gallery, a bakery, or even a building project, there is invariably an impressions book in which you must set down what you think about what you have seen. And usually, by the time you come to the book, you dont know what you have seen. ... Impressions, with me at least, require a little time to cook up. They are not full grown immediately.
We had just about begun to believe that Russias secret weapon, toward guests at least, is food. ... It was the vision of the table that nearly killed us. It was about fourteen feet long, and it was loaded with food... And the frightful thing about it was that everything was delicious. The flavors were all new, and we wanted to taste all of them. And we were nearly dying of overeating.
Кэрол Вордерман, Джон Вудкок, Шон Макаманус и др., «Программирование для детей»
На мой взгляд, такого рода книги должны не столько учить детей программированию, сколько увлекать их этим процессом. Несмотря на спорный выбор языков (Scratch и Python) и способ подачи информации (визуально шумный), авторы выбрали совершенно точный подход: изучать программирование через написание игр. Весь мой прежний опыт работы в ШЮПе и наблюдения за преподаванием информатики в школе говорит, что только так и нужно действовать. Если бы я писал такую книгу, в ней было бы еще меньше теории, не подкрепленной тут же фаном.