Friendship, psychology, music, eternity, magic, parallel worlds, extraordinary people, ordinary happiness – these are some of the things that constitutes the range of interests of 14-year-old Ann. She loves to read and in many cases has her own opinion, which she is ready to defend. Ann takes an active approach in life, striving to turn every situation into a positive experience. She wrote essays on the relationship between human beings. Ann explains latitude of her views: «I love to love ...»
– What do you usually write about?
– About teens trying to go through their life's difficulties. Recently I started to write poetry.
– And when you're happy, do you want to share it?
– Yes ... I was very happy when Xenia was born, my younger sister. I jumped around the room, danced, laughed, I wanted to hug everyone. I realized that Xenia is happiness. There is a new human being, my sister, and this is so wonderful.
– Have you ever written a story with a happy end?
– Once I’ve written a Christmas play for the school party. It was a tale about Snow White, who was stolen by the villains, to prevent children to celebrate the New Year. In the final part there was a battle, and Snow White was saved. I was very pleased that my work is appreciated and play is performed for the holidays.
– Once you mentioned that you wanted to change the school. Why?
– I would like to see more possibility of expressing the thoughts and more group discussions during class. My class is very fond of noisy debates, but sometimes it grows into a buzz.
– Do you want to become a journalist?
– No, I want to become a psychologist. There is no school subject that attracts me enough to become my profession. The only thing I do well is communication with people. I love to listen to people, talk to them, discuss different subjects ...
– Do you like to read books?
– Yes, I read a lot. A couple of years ago I liked books by Krapivin. In one of his books a hero stands up for his rights, and it is very important for me. Once in class we had a similar situation, and in this book I found support for me.
Also I love science fiction by Belyaev, despite of the fact that they are gloomy and often have a vague ending, as in «Ariel». I like a sad ending of the books, if it is written very well and looks like reality.
I also like brother Strugatzki: «Roadside Picnic», «For a million years before the end of the world», «Hard to Be God». Recently I read Agatha Christie with pleasure. And of course there is «Gone with the Wind», although I do not like Scarlett.
– And who do you like in it?
– Melanie is good. But Rhett Butler is the greatest one. Scarlett is selfish, imperious, stole her sister’s groom away for the sake of money ... She was not considered of anyone. And though she did all of it for the benefit, if this was the wrong way.
– Is it her fault – or trouble? How it was going for her, on your opinion?
– I was pity of her while reading the book, but she has a tough character. For her notorious thirst for life, she goes over somebody’s body, ready to trample on another person. A human being is a very complicated being, capable of good and bad deeds. I think that good and bad people do not exist. Everyone has all the traits, selfishness to name the few. I can’t say: I’m only this or that trait. Everything is inside me. It’s probably wrong, to judge people by attributing to them certain traits. Man in different situations acts in many different ways.
– And do you believe that man can change himself during his life: improve his character, change destiny?
– I do not believe that people can change instantly. May be, if you take some period of time ... I think that man can adapt to circumstances. During the life his attitude to various things changes. On the other hand, something could happen that seriously changed his life.
– Is there a way out of situation when a man is in an aggressive environment? How not to loose yourself?
– Do something different! You must respond to anger very politely, to keep restraint and calmly ask: «Do not raise your voice at me, please». The very important thing – do not become like those who yell at you. And more important thing is a strong desire to live your life the way that such interactions are not a possibility.
– And is it possible to improve relations with people? For example, if a person comes into a new class, but at first his classmates do not accept him. What to do in this case?
– I can advise to start with a friendly chat, don’t shun them and don’t try to be clever, just talk to them about some things that might interest them.
There are two things that concerned to the relationship. First is to be yourself, living by your own rules and ignore the other rules, if it restricts your freedom. Then you can meet those who accepted you as you are. The second is trying to flow with the new environment immediately and get acquainted with the classmates, showing them who you are. Although sometimes it does not help to establish contact with people.
– Are there authorities for you?
– No. I do not want to be like anyone else. I have a respect for a man who manages himself while being creative, has vivid imagination and a broad outlook on the world, open and able to defend their position in life, no matter what.
INTERVIEW | Alice Berger
PHOTO | Ann Vlasova, Alice Berger
ESSAY | Secret of My Own Moscow