My education

** #PE ** I received a very good education in all fields.

Genetic. From my parents & grandparents, I inherited a few good genes with talents for arithmetics (very strong), mathematics (limited), foreign languages (limited), sports (strong but wasted).

  1. Kindergarten. I was meant to learn to say poems, sing, and dance. I failed in all fields, yet learned a bit about how to live with strangers.
  2. MK. I realized very early that I love trains and trams more than buses and cars. At about 10, I was able to list all locomotives and multiple units used by the then Polish State Railways (PKP).
  3. General & Kinderstube 1. When I was 3, I would be tested by my proud Mateczka (only in front of guests) with a simple question: “Krzysiu, how much is it, arcus sinus 1?” And I was taught to promptly reply “Pi-pół” (half pi,π/2). Each guest would then consider me well educated and raised.
  4. Joking. My GrandMa would tell me vulgar jokes since I have been 3, yet I did not repeat them as I usually did not understand them. So, each guest would consider me well raised.
  5. Le français. My GrandMa would take me for a walk every day when my Mateczka was working. She would speak French then and teach me. I did not realize how much she taught me until years later – when I visited Paris as a teenager and found out I spoke pretty good French.
  6. Journalism. I began editing my own weekly newspaper when I was 6, with obligatory subscriptions in the family. Good education, good income.
  7. Primary schools. For many complicated reasons, instead of just one, I attended five of them (or even six, unsure now). I still remember five of my schools’ numbers: Warsaw 212, 69, 57; Rabka 1; Bukowina Tatrzańska 1. This serves as the best proof I received a solid primary education.
  8. Computing. My Mateczka would early teach me basic FORTRAN, and by the end of primary school, I was fluent in FORTRAN and algol. What a waste 🙁
  9. Religious. When at school in Rabka (1967/68), I was forced to attend religion lessons in the local church, and accept the First Communion. Given the obvious artificiality of the ceremony and the attitude of my classmates, I gave up for good.
  10. Musical. I was forced to listen to Chopin in early childhood. At 11, with my 5th-grade classmates, I discovered Deep Purple, then Emerson, Lake & Palmer, eventually Pink Floyd. This constitutes me until today.
  11. English. Listening to progressive rock, I felt obliged to begin learning: write down the lyrics of what I hear. While I did encounter quite a lot of problems, it provided great results: at 12, I was fully capable of conversing in English, though it still needed a boost in 1978 when I visited London for the first time.
  12. Russian. I received a thorough & obligatory education in the language of our semi-occupant . Still, I hardly spoke and speak a word, I hardly can read.
  13. Secondary. I attended only one school at this level, so obviously my high school education is far more modest than primary. On the other hand, it was a really good school, educative yet full of fun.
  14. Hitch-hiking. From circa 1970 onwards, my main means of transport, both in Poland and throughout Europe. Lots of small pieces of great education.
  15. Le métro. First time in Paris, within a week, I learned the underground system by heart and was able to advise others on how to get from A to B.
  16. Sexual. I received some education in the last grade of high school. While I now see nothing wrong in it, I then worried: why so late?
  17. University stage one. I spent 7 years at the Technical University of Warsaw (average at my faculty). Good, useless education.
  18. Being jailed. A few months after 13 December 1981. Enough to become a university hero, not enough to get tired.
  19. Underground plotting. Mid-1982 until mid-1989. Few dangerous moments, lots of fun and feeling free despite martial law around.
  20. Univesity stage two. 4,5 years of History at the University of Warsaw. Real good education in journalist’s & historian’s techniques. No joking.

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