Tag Archives: Polish scientists

Teachers that make no scientists (but make Polish people angry)

A long time ago I intended to write a post about why Polish scientists speak American English. Aleksander Wolszczan, the astronomer, and his likes.

It would be a post coarse in its simplicity. Money rules, blah, Poland pays, blah, for what foreigners take away, blah blah, brain drains worse than acid rains, blah blah, period”.

So instead I decided to wait for Poland to grow rich enough to buy some American brainwaves back. But all we have got is new Starbucks and new Star Wars. [Foreign stars came to this blog free, so it does not count as any brain back-drain.] Poland also failed to capture Switzerland and grab the Large Hadron Collider. Though nobody knows how LHC will pay off, everybody knows it will, eventually. LHC is said to be just as important as Copernicus’ revolution.

Copernicus was German – but it’s not his nationality that counts, it’s the source of taxation. It seems Poland was capable of making economic use of foreign Scientists ages ago — but not nowadays.

I read in the latest NF — there’s science (of analysis) and there’s Science (of synthesis). The big-S Scientists, the elite, the Noble-getters who give reasons for new industries to emerge with profits, they don’t work for Poland. The small-s scientists analyze stupidities: “Chickens can have erection once bombed by gay laughter“. That sort of science — which seems like something Polish analyses could fit in. Mind, Poland never had scientists who make local inventions that earn global fortune.

When my memory got searching for some examples of education, I recalled Aleksandra Lojek-Magdziarz. Fluent in so-many so-what languages. Handling Oriental stuff no one really cares about. Living in-/beside the world that thinks you highbrowed if you happen to know Iran is not an Arabic country. (Or is it?) Past the years to come, what Brits will wrinkle their foreheads, should their small talk divert to AL-M for any yet unobvious reason: “You mean the gal that used to write for the Grauniad?” — I guess remembering AL-M for her Grauniad thing would be as fair as pondering “John Cleese?…You mean that guy from that weird commercial for a bank in…was it Romania?”

Then I vaguely recall the Polish piano guy. — Can you?
No, I don’t mean Chopin — who’s working for the French capital.

No, I don’t mean the Keitel man in the movie about a prostitute selling herself for piano keys.
No, I don’t mean David Helfgott playing at Rach 3 speed – he’s Australian.
I mean that Glaswegian janitor, whose unremembered name I had to dig out there.

Then movie classics — Paweł, Jerzy and Zbigniew. One being a licensed literature professor. All educated enough to renovate a house under the Tuscan sun.
And then many other Poles (whose list I will spare for some other time).


Polish education, when not gone to waste, hastens abroad — but starts walking with the Polish teachers.

Did you know? –- Polish teaching load is 18 school-hours a week. Which means Polish teachers work for 54 round-the-clock hours a month (compared to average Pole’s 160). When they are at work, that is. Save Saturdays and Sundays, Polish teachers enjoy vacations: a summer bimonthly, a winter biweekly, a week in April, some 10 days round Hogmanay, annual Education day, a generous handful of feasts and other reasons to shirk just working. Heck, they can take a year (!) off, to revitalize their health, so they say. (But how could they say anything, when their larynxes and pharynxes are in ruins, so they say?) And when pupils have to buy books, teacher get their copies free. And when pupils pay to go for a school trip, teachers deign to get sponsored. And they get chocolates and flowers in public. And more expensive bribes in secrecy. In addition, they are regularly paid a lot. By the state, the safest payer. Employed by the state, the safest employer. And they score big extras for private lessons, net and untaxed. And at schools, they can just order their class to read some book and then learn it by heart. Or play ball. Or pray bull. If they don’t know how to download some tests from the net, they write ones themselves, but just once in their lifetime — then they simply reuse the stuff. And, hear! hear!, they do keep moaning about how hard it is to be a teacher. And that they have to retire sooner than anymany else.

I guess that’s it. No science’s muscles can be built around that kind of lazybones.

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Warning: there is more about teachers.

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How to be a (Polish) Billionaire

US / UK quarrels about how much a billion actually is aside — there was a time when you could rather easily become a billionaire in Poland. A time when disregard for “drobne” was real. I mean, would you care about ‘small change’ when ‘small change’ could be a roll of notes to burn a socialist cigar with? (Of course, there were no cigars under socialism here. But there was Cuban music. Close, though no cigar. And I heard people saw Vietnamese cigs once, meant to repel jungle insects, not to pamper your smoker’s palate. But I digress.)

For nostalgic (to old local reader) and for educational (to our young expat reader) purposes, here goes a gallery of the banknotes of the times of plenty. See lifestories behind the faces! Reckon how many of these people were pure, genuine Poles. NONE!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…OUR MONEY!

10 ZŁOTYCH

0000010
Józef Bem

Born in Austria, a national hero in Poland and Hungary, a mathematician, burnt (not entirely) during artillery tests, wrote scientific stuff in German, a general, got Légion d’honneur from Napoleon, and Virtuti Militari for defence against Russians, adopted Islam and was a Turkish field marshal, died in Ottoman Syria.

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20 ZŁOTYCH

0000020
Romuald Traugutt

Born in Russia, served in the Russian army, a sapper, commanded an uprising against Russia, got married to a Lutheran (but converted for him to RCC), fought against Bem (10 above) in Hungary, remarried, degraded and hanged in Russia (Warsaw, specifically).

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50 ZŁOTYCH

0000050
Karol Świerczewski

From Warsaw working class, fought for the Bolsheviks in the revolutionary Russia. And fought against Ukrainians. Fought against Poles during the Polish-Soviet War. Fought against Franco forces in Spain. Shot POW’s and befriended Hemingway. Fought against Germans since 1941. Would give [fatal] orders drunk, a Stalinist MP in Poland, killed by Ukrainian fighters.

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100 ZŁOTYCH

0000100
Ludwik Waryński

Born in Ukraine, a Socialist activist, arrested by Austrians, migrated to Switzerland, returned to Warsaw (in Russia), founded a workers party, arrested by Russians, died in Schlisselburg prison, aged 33.

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200 ZŁOTYCH

0000200
Jarosław Dąbrowski

A noble born in Kiev Russia, awarded by Russians for fighting Chechens. Arrested by selfsame Russians for conspiring, he escaped from his Siberia-bound transport and got to France, where fought for the Paris Commune. Died and was interred in Paris. Mentioned in the Polish National Anthem he is not — another J. Dąbrowski is, being a British Queen(‘s peer), sort of.

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500 ZŁOTYCH

0000500
Tadeusz Kościuszko

A noble, born in Polesia. Got a scholarship in Paris, a military engineer. Fought against Britain, an American national hero. Insurrected against Russia in Poland, leading nobles and peasants alike, sorely defeated, Sworn allegiance to the Russian tzar, emigrated to USA, then to Paris, died in Switzerland. Did I mention he’s mentioned in the name of the highest peak Down Under?

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1000 ZŁOTYCH

0001000
Mikołaj Kopernik

Born in Torun (Prussia, Poland, either Pole or German), wrote in Latin. An astronomer, a mathematician, a translator, a general, a diplomat, a businessman, he stopped the Sun and moved the Earth. In 2006 his skull was DNA-tested and certified to be his. [Watch out for a Polish insider joke: he was a woman.]

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2000 ZŁOTYCH

0002000
Mieszko I

The first ruler of Poland, when there was no Poland yet. His other wife was German. He got (t)his country baptised and religious. Sweet, huh? You bet!….
Real McCoy

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5000 ZŁOTYCH

0005000
Fryderyk Chopin

You’d brand him a pop musician today, somewhere betwixt Rubik and Doda. He was so Polish that his name is spelled French way. Adored, quite weirdly, in Japan. As is Vader. (Which is much less weird.) His “green” banknote – unlike 50 zlotych – was first to mean anything like a dollar.

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10000 ZŁOTYCH

0010000
Stanisław Wyspiański

Montypythons unwound it eloquently: Say no more! Say no more!

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20000 ZŁOTYCH

0020000
Maria…?

….If you go on with “Skłodowska-Curie”, you are pro-Polish.
….If you choose “Curie-Sklodowska”, you are a bloody French lover. Or worse, a French person.

She and her spouse (or the other sex round) used to be on a 500 French Franc banknote. Say: who valued her more? Anyway, the lady discovered polonium and radon.

[Watch out for a Polish insider joke: she was a woman.]

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50000 ZŁOTYCH

0050000
Stanisław Staszic

A middle-class man, a philosopher, a geologist, a scientist, a sponsor to others, including this Jew. Set up a coal mine. A Catholic priest. Well, naturally? Said to dislike wearing his cassock so much he did not wear it. Wanted general education and teology separated. [Ain’t that a shocker? Hardly lived in any Poland though.]

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100000 ZLOTYCH

0100000
Stanisław Moniuszko

A noble, born in Russia (now Belarus), died in Russia (now Warsaw). His composer’s career set off in Berlin. Fathered Polish national opera. — It was, uh, blasphemised calculated there are 5 female names in Poland. The title of one Moniuszko’s highlit opera is Halka. “Halka” is a female name – and then it means “petticoat” in Polish (plus some scary things in some scary languages, possibly).

Below Jontek, a Highlander, Halka’s boyfriend, pines for his love. Halka dumped him for a landlordling, thus he pines. His first words: “The pines tremble on the mountain”. (Or “Roar firs”. Anyway, some trees near Zakopane. Anyone spots a bagpiper in second two below? Oh, and the voice comes from a Ukrainian.)

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200000 ZLOTYCH
0200000

The front side is PRL. (You won’t understand.) The reverse shows Warsaw. (I don’t understand.)

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500000 ZLOTYCH

0500000
Henryk Sienkiewicz

Born in tzarist Poland into a family of Tartar Lithuanians, died in Switzerland. The man who wanted to lift up Polish hearts, basically by means of heart-chilling stories about cruel non-Poles suffering defeats from not less cruel foes. One of his novels, Quo vadis, is about non-Poles suffering in Rome. A Nobel prize winner. Without him, Poland would be different, including some titles.

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1000000 ZLOTYCH

1000000
Władysław Reymont

Born on the much hated 7th day of May, just like Hume, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and, well, others.

He got a Nobel prize for a lengthy dialect-laden novel about peasants. Thomas Mann did not get the prize then. Some say there were few good candidates “during the 1920s”.

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2000000 ZLOTYCH

2000000
Ignacy Paderewski

Born in Russia (now Ukraine), died in New York, a composer and a triumphant piano virtuoso. His heart is interred in the USA. Married a baroness. Has haunted his own museum. They say he was a Sir of the British Empire. A skillful politician, in English, a prime minister, in Poland. Starred in a music drama, as pioneerly as 30 years prior to another music drama, “Yellow Submarine”.

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A 5000000 zloty note was designed, with the Moustached Marshall
5000000
but people had started miscounting zeros already, so the powers that mint gave the idea up. (So, the highest ranking officer here is the Soviet 3-star general, I suppose?)

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They don’t pay me for this.

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How to make Poles angry? [Teaser]

Some of you may need to know what Poland and Poles are truly like or about.

The saying is: “truth shows when wine flows”. When someone goes sloshed(wards), their mind starts closing but their mouth starts spilling the beans (beside some grosser things) — so you can learn a lot. Yet, though any potent wine, plonks included, can do the trick – you have to stay sober yourself — and the timing is crucial since Poles are not heavy drinkers.

So, there’s another way: Make Poles angry.

It’s cheaper. Quicker. Better. Healthier. Sexier.

By making a Pole angry, you’ll make him utter his loud truths. I wrote “him” and “his” as men are socially permitted to give in to their aggression and they get fuming freely, unlike women. (And the generalisation I’ve just made is only to make the female reader angry. Quote, “Hell hath no fury like a woman”, unquote.) By the way, discussing Polish women is some evergreen hellraiser.

Optionally, you may consider hints about how to make Poles angry as warnings what not to discuss with them. Take the nukes, hide them in your arsenal, and pray no one steals or uses them.

The nukes will be my next 7-8 posts — discussing:

1. Polish sportsmen. (Why 30 years’ old memories of clowns are young?)
2. Polish soldiers. (Why they never won their battles, anyway? The whole truth in two half-truths.]
3. Polish artists. (Why no one heard of them?)
4. Polish scientists. (Why they speak American English?)
5. Polish workers. (Why miners, teachers, pensioners
won’t get to decent work?)
6. Polish friends. (And how to use them.)
7. Poles who have to be Polish. (Though they don’t want to or don’t know why.)

[There will be more, but only if your comments make me angry enough.]

Stay tuned to Polandian.

 

You can release your anger here, too.

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