Couple of weeks ago, I was at the gym, training, when this kid, around the age of 10, came up to me and started asking me about exercises.

From the very first word he said, I noticed that there is something weird and unfamiliar about that kid. He was talking a bit slow, no accent, perfect Bulgarian language, but there was something different about him...

Later on, I overheard another kid asking him:

 - So your thoughts are in Norwegian?

 - Yes, they are, I think... - he said.

Then I connected the dots and realized what was different about him - he was living in Norway with his Bulgarian parents.

At the end of the workout, before I went out, I decided to ask the kid about the school he goes to.

He said he'll be in the 5th grade (or maybe even 6th, I forgot) this year and he hasn't been graded, yet... In Bulgaria, things are very different. We have grades from the very beginning of school and from 2nd grade on, you can be left to repeat a grade, if you can't keep up with the rest of the kids.

I've heard before about such an education system (no grades in the first school years) being used in western countries and I think this, probably, is the better approach.

Still, there is a very important component in the success of any system - fun.

I believe, that every educational system, with or without grades, should be fun. Kids should learn how to have fun working on problems and studying. Kids shouldn't be forced to study, until the required data gets in their heads. Instead, they should enjoy the process of studying. This is how they actively will want to learn and improve, not only while there is a teacher over their heads, but for the rest of their lives.

As expected, on my last post Russophiles and burgers, I got a response, roughly stating that the current government in Ukraine, doesn't hold the best interest of the Ukrainian people, and that I should be grateful to Russia for my life (better yet - "existence")... Here is the comment:

This is not about hate. This is about reality.

What would YOU do or think if there was a definite fascist government in Macedonia, and some Macedonian lands with people there, who were Bulgarians by nature and soul, did not approve their rulers and future, and would rather be part of Bulgaria than Macedonia?...

And what did Russia to us? Well, let's put it like this: if it wasn't Russia, you would most probably not exist. ;)

I will not comment the example for Macedonia, (almost) at all, but I will say that I felt like I am reading a letter send by the means of pigeon and it's medieval time again. Except for the fascist part, we wouldn't know what that was, back then.

Here is my answer to the rest of it.

So, let me get this straight - you think that the Ukrainian government, the government that wants Ukraine to be part of the European Union, is a "definite fascist" government? How did the entire world, besides Russia, miss that fact? Coming to think of it, I don't even remember Russia, making such statement... So far, they just say, they don't even have any part in the entire conflict.

I wouldn't be alive, if it wasn't for Russia... At first this line got me angry, but then I remembered... you were right - I really wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for Russia! :)

Gosh, when I was a kid, I remember going from a hospital to a hospital, getting a surgery after surgery and if the conditions were just a tiny bit worse... I wouldn't be here writing these comments in Facebook, drinking my morning coffee.

I am grateful to Russia (truly), that they didn't accepted us in the Soviet Union, because if they had, I don't think I would be alive. If these hospitals were just a tiny bit less unstocked and filthy, I wouldn't be alive.

I am grateful to Russia for insisting, Bulgaria to be a country that should suffer reparations after the WWII and be considered a loser in the war, while we weren't before they had their say. Yes, we deserved it! Yep, the same country that started the war with Hitler, told us, small piece of land that was forced to get into the fight, bare-footed, with rocks and sticks, that we. are. guilty. for it. Thanks.

I am grateful that Russia gave us the communism, forcing all people to give their livestock, riches and land to stupidity, naming anyone that disagree an "enemy to the nation" (my great grand father was one of your enemies, at least Russia says so), killing him or throwing him in jail, putting this mark of disgrace on his/her family.

My great grandmother and her son (my grandfather) are also grateful for being deported from their home on the other side of the country with a bag of clothes, no money, but great prospects for the future in our (then) communist country, because they are the family of an "enemy of the nation"...

My father is also grateful, that didn't get the chance to go study after high-school, because of the big red stamp in his record - "family of enemy of the nation".

If I was a kid, that was brought up to live by 2 crackheads and a bottle of bad whiskey, I'd still be grateful for my life, but that's just about it.

(Sorry Mom & Dad, you aren't crackheads, I'm just trying to make a point. Love you!)