character building events

What do I remember of the events that shaped me?


in reverse chronological order:

gap year

I was a bit disappointed, I had no clean slate. I was from a top school, going to the top school. Social circles reached everywhere.

High School

Before school started they called and asked if I wanted to be put into a "special" class for foriegn language learning. I declined, because I preferred more science-y stuff.

I was put into the "randos" class, half were students who had decided to do science+biology (this was the more difficult track, because doctors) and the other half hadn't decided what to do with their lives. Although our class was all boys, we were a floor where the majority were girls. This sort of affected in how "open" we could be.

I was in a club and despite the "science-y" name, we just used that to collaborate across schools for events. So I did a lot of event planning, and photography. Usually I managed to weasel myself into some "special" position. Anyways, what I was best at was reacting to the everchanging situations.

I pulled 18h days, My day started at 0600, a commute, studying before classes, classes till 1700, socializing/studying (depend on year) till 2200 and usually gaming till 2400 for relaxation. I was called a vampire/zombie quite a few times.

Gaming. My choice was Planetside 2, up to 1200 people per server split into 3 factions fighting for territory. I rose up the ranks and occasionally got to lead ~120 people platoons that could shift the tides of war.

My coffee addiction started at the tail end of my time in high school.

Middle School

First school, I cried (a bit) on my first day. I did make some (temporary) friends.

I was expelled for insulting the head teacher of our private school. I compared him to Kim Jung Il. I was praised for my english skill.

I continued to read, but now my reading had shifted to: The Times, Financial Times (occasionally, I didn't understand that much yet), and The Economist.

I was homeschooled for a few months. Progress flew by in maths/science.

I went to an international school. I made 1 long term friend. Also managed to skip a year in school.

I went to a swimming club and put into the non-competitive group. Two memories stood out: once I gave up halfway through a strenuous timed exercise, the coach quickly dumped me back in, I pulled though; the other was this girl in my lane, we didn't really count as friends, but it was one of the rare times I felt as an equal to someone.

Primary School

I remember even then I preferred talking to teachers/adults. There always seemed like so much I could learn. In my mind, somewhere in the future, there would be a clearly defined moment when you transitioned from "childhood" to "adulthood". (hint: it never came.)

My mom tore up my notebooks if I didn't do well enough, or locked me "outside" or in the walk in cabinet. Of course I cried.

Apparently in the school play I preferred to boss people around, than actually act in the play.

I learned to (was forced to) take notes. We used pens, to enforce the idea of doing it right the first time.

I read. A lot. I knew the contents of every book at home. And my monthly reading consisted of Popular Science, Scientific American, and National Geographic. I thought I understood most of it.

I think this was the last period of my life where I actually was care-free, and didn't have to constantly think/worry about the future.


I was sent to a local russian preschool/daycare. It was dark, I didn't speak the language, there were oversized toys (trucks?). I didn't make any friends. I cried for the full 2 days I was there.

I was then sent to an international school. I spoke english (somewhat). The teachers were friendly, I got along fine.

I didn't like movies/cartoons back then (I still don't). I think I felt too much empathy for the characters in them, making the entire experience stressful.

before school

I have faint "memories", though I'm not sure if they are real or were synthesized through photos, stories, and later experiences.

The only strong memory I have is of climbing on/around the approx. 80 boxes we had of our stuff when we moved to Moscow.