Congratulations Maturzyści!

The entire staff at The World of English would like to congratulate all those who passed their recent Matura exams. We hope our magazine was helpful, in some small way, to your success in passing the written and/or oral English examinations. We wish you all the very best and look forward to being a part of your continued educational pursuits... And now that Matura is history it' s time to think about your future educational goals.

Many of you have already decided which university you would like to attend. Congratulations on your decision. We wish you good luck in passing the entrance exams and hope that you get accepted in the school of your choice. But if for some strange reason you don' t qualify this year, don' t lose hope...

Don' t Give Up! They Didn' t!

The sculptor Rodin' s father said," I have an idiot for a son." Described as the worst pupil in the school, Rodin failed three times to secure admittance to the school of art.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn' t read until he was seven. His teacher described him as" mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams" . He was expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

Beethovenhandled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.

The parents of the famous opera singersans-serif" Enrico Caruso wanted him to be an engineer. His teacher said he had no voice at all and could not sing.

Thomas Edison' s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.

Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked fifteenth out of twenty-two in chemistry.

Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace, flunked out of college. He was described as" both unable and unwilling to learn."

A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney for lack of ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.

Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He did not become Prime Minister of England until he was sixty-two, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks.

Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

Richard Hooker worked for seven years on his humorous war novel, M*A*S*H, only to have it rejected by twenty-one publishers before Morrow decided to publish it. It became a runaway bestseller. Spawning a blockbusting movie and a highly successful television series.

"NKJO" No-nonsense Knowledge = Job Opportunities

If you' re interested in really learning English (or French, or German, or Spanish for that matter) and have always had the feeling that teaching might be your 'thing' , then I would like to recommend that you check out your local NKJOs - Nauczycielskie Kolegium Języków Obcych. NKJOs were initiated in 1990 by the Ministry of Education to help fill the gap of professionally trained teachers of foreign languages (only Russian was widely available at the time).

NKJOs were designed to offer students an intensive three-year curriculum in their chosen foreign language combined with courses in methodology, psychology and student teaching. Thanks to this program, which has graduated thousands of teachers, hundreds of thousands of Polish children have had the opportunity to learn a foreign language other than Russian (very possibly your English teacher is an NKJO graduate).

There are over fifty such institutions of higher learning throughout Poland. Most offer the above languages and most NKJOs are affiliated with a major university (i.e. the NKJO in Suwałki is a filia of Gdańsk University). If you' re interested in finding out more about NKJOs in your community, I suggest you contact your local Kuratorium Oświaty. They can give you all the details as to application procedures, requirements, etc.

In Their Own Words...

I asked my third year students to write how they would evaluate their three years in NKJO Suwałki. Below are excerpts of what they said.

"After finishing NKJO, you don' t have to worry about finding a job, it will come to you by itself... The fact is you will have the opportunity to consider different offers and choose which one suits you best. Thanks to this school I have realized many of my dreams and I have made English my greatest capital." Anna Jutkiewicz

"I highly recommend it to all those who want to get a good command of a foreign language and a good, well-paid job afterwards." Marta Czupryńska

"The college is my 'key' to the future which will open some doors closed to me until now (of course if I pass my exams)." Joanna Leska-Giczewska

"I am proud of having had the opportunity to study at the college... I met many great teachers who loved their profession and managed to teach us the same."

Edyta Korobkiewicz

"The main advantages of studying at an NKJO are lower costs, often a higher level of education and a less impersonal process of learning than at a university." Radosław Polakowski

"Before you decide to study at an NKJO, ponder on your expectations. If you dream about the so-called 'student' s life' , forget about this college. You must be tough, ambitious, hardworking, systematic and really concentrated on your studies." Joanna Hiero

"If you are not afraid of public speaking... if you feel like controlling a bunch of ten year olds... if you have quite a good knowledge of English and believe that you will realize yourself working as a teacher... then Teacher Training College is a perfect place for you." Monika Szalwińska

"...and it doesn' t matter how old you are. You can still begin to learn." Aurelia Pieczulis

Staś Wnukowski

Editor's Note: Staś is currently teaching communication skills to final year students at the NKJO in Suwałki and he would like to sincerely thank the director of NKJO Suwałki, Hanna Laskowska, for her help in providing material for this page.