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Unfiled August 26, 2005
I Hate School And School Teachers
By Edward Limonov Browse author

I deeply hated my school. I remember as I walked in early mornings, half-asleep, stepping into muddy grounds of Poperetchnaia Street towards my school Number Eight. We have lived at Saltovski settlement, outskirts of Kharkov, Ukraine. Scrambled eggs stuffed into my stomach in hustle were suffocating me. Red necktie of soviet pioneer, galoshes on my feet, long coat, fur cap on my head, portfolio full of books, I looked as a clown. I hated myself. I thought about going back home, about lying on my divan and having a deep sleep. But it was impossible, because of my mother. She would not let me back in. She wanted me to be educated person.

My school, a four-story red bricked building, was located in the very end of Poperetchnaia Street. To get there I walked past dozens of sleepy looking two or three storey houses, few hostels, housing separately men and women, working at various Kharkov's factories. At women's hostel doors usually were waiting men, friends or lovers, waiting to accompany women to work. It was kind of misterious place: lights of cigarettes, laughs, some muttered works, sometimes quarrels. I felt very attracted by women hostel. I heard from my schoolmates that young women living there were easy going prostitutes. What does it mean, I guessed, to be a prostitute?

I have seen on the street of Saltovski settlement drunken women many times. I guessed that drunken women are prostitutes. Drunken women were: most of them were kind of attractive. They had red lipstick on their lips, they were smiling, staggering on their feet, they were happily talking to men, kissing and hugging with them. From all that knowledge I figured out that women's hostels are full of such women. Boris Khrushko from Sevens-Bi class bragged that he climbed once through the window into women's hostel and slept with two of those young workers - prostitutes. Boris Khrushko was good looking tall sportsman, he was champion swimmer. At his fourteen he already started to shave...I sighed when walking past women hostel.

School fence appeared in dark. November morning was cold. Small rain started to fall. I hastened my steps. Saltovski settlement was short on electrical light. Only a few lampaders, each one near building. Poorly asphalted Saltovski settlement was unwalkable without galoshes. Even wearing galoshes one will arrive at school with extremely dirty feet, Saltovski's mud was famous for it stickiness.

Small figures of my fellows schoolmates were emerging from the dark, sleepy looking, making very little noize dark figures, we were entering the school doors. At school hall we all started to take off our galoshes and shoes and wearing instead slippers. Slippers we have brought with us, special bag was required by school administration for transporting them. Slippers on our feet, galoshes and shoes in bags, we proceeded into cloakroom to relive us of our coats. Only then we headed to class-rooms. Taking our places we immediately fell to sleep with open eyes.

I remember my school days as a struggle with sleep, as struggle with teachers, as a constant struggle with unnecessary knowledge. Knowledge was as morning scrambled eggs which I was stuffed by my mother. Especially I hated mathematics. Mathematical formulas were mental tortures inflicted on me. Algebra, physics as taught by our teachers were violent deformation of my consciousness, our physicist Yakov Lvovitch was responsible for my dislike of physics. Later I found physics are exciting, but I was in my thirties in that time. As to Yakov Lvovitch he was a beast, he would beat up my schoolmates for non learned lessons. He would close the door of his physician office and would beat them up, one by one. He never touched me however, because my father was an army officer.

Schooling is too long. School was invented to break a young men and women, boys and girls, to make them obedient social animals. One day I counted how much of my actual knowledge I have learned in school. Very very little, it have appeared. So little was amount of knowledge learned by me at school that it could be taught in two or three years. But I was kept in that prison of school Number Eight for ten years! They have ripped me off my ten years of life! My parents who forced me to go to school every day, my stinking teachers. Oh yes, they were stinking, not a clene creatures. Our teachers stinked of piss and kitchen. Poor kitchen they stinked of old piss. And also they stinked of dirty teeth. Even now I hate school and hate my teachers. I am happy when I learn myself. I learn only those things that I need to know. When in prison I read with pleasure the works of Lenin and Bakunin. I read history books, and Stephen Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time."

As to Yakov Lvovitch I hate him even now. When in 1994 I was visiting my family in Kharkov my mother told that Yakov Lvovitch have suddenly called her. He asked her to ask me to help me, to find him some remedy from a rear maladie what he suffers. This remedy is not available in Russia, only abroad that medicine is produced. I said "No, I will not help that sadist. I still remember a blood on the leaps of Victor Proutorov, friend of mine, when he stepped out of Yakov Lvovitch's office in 1958."

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