During the November elections when Aleks was about 8, he seethed that he wasn’t allowed to vote because, as he put it, he probably knew “more about the issues than a lot of adults.” He was right!
That was around the time that Aleks taught himself Russian (with a bit of help from my father) and changed the spelling of his name (then “Alex”) to Aleks. It was also about the time that he became interested in Russian and Eastern European politics, economics, and philosophy – something that he has remained deeply interested in all along.
Years later, in 2010, as a Political Science and International Studies major at the University of Washington, Aleks took part in the University's 4-month intensive Comparative History of Ideas program in Prague.
He fell in love with the city, its people, and the Eastern European region in general, and vowed to return for a longer stay.
And return, he will! Aleks has just been accepted to the INTERNATIONAL MASTERS IN ECONOMY, STATE & SOCIETY program (with reference to Central and Eastern Europe)! This is a two years Master’s degree program, with the first year taking place at University College London and the second year taking place in either Prague (his first choice) or in Krakow, Budapest, or Moscow.
Although Aleks was accepted to the program last week, he needs to wait at least another week to find out whether he is one of the few lucky recipients of a full-ride scholarship for the program. If not, he will have to defer enrollment and work his tail off (and live at home) for a year to save so he can pay his own way. Needless to say, cross your fingers that he receives a scholarship!
I am so incredibly proud of my son!
I had a feeling his life would take a road in this direction, but I didn’t know it would be such a far-away road. I will miss him horribly while he’s away – and chances are good that he’ll establish his career in Europe -- but I am fully confident that this is the road Aleks is meant to be on, and I predict that it will bring about all good things for him – and perhaps contribute to a global good, as well.
Addendum: Unfortunately, Aleks won’t be attending the IMESS program next year because he didn’t receive the scholarship. Little did we know that there were over 280 applicants for only 8 scholarships! You’d think they could have waited two weeks to inform applicants about both acceptance to the program and financial aid status at the same time. It seems just cruel to notify someone that they’ve been accepted to the program and then make them wait another few weeks, during which time they just build excitement and anticipation, before notifying them about their actual chances of attending. Just GRRRRRRR! Mama Bear is feeling angry and protective!