I'm too tired to write anything original, so I leave you all with one of my favorite texts from one of the worst Russian-language textbooks of all time, Russian for Everybody:

Andrei went to the exam at the institute. He wasn't thinking about the exam, however. He was well-prepared and knew that he would pass it. Andrei was thinking about his first love, Lena. They had studied together at the medical institute. Andrei had liked Lena from the beginning and in the beginning, he had thought that Lena also liked him.

A year ago in the fall Andrei was elected group leader. Now Andrew hated the day when he was chosen. As group leader he wanted all of the students in his group to do well in school. Lena, however, wasn't doing so well. Once she didn't pass an exam. Andrei should have found out from Lena why she failed the exam, but he didn't know how to begin that difficult conversation. He met Lena at the institute and said to her, "We need to talk. It's important."

"Okay," answered Lena, "This evening we'll walk home together and talk.

That evening they walked side by side through the park. It was cold, but Andrei was worried and didn't feel the cold.

"Lena, I want to tell you..." Andrei began.

"I'm listening to you," Lena said quietly.

"I don't know how to begin... It's difficult for me to talk about this... Don't get mad..."

"I'm not mad, Andrei. Come on!"

Andrei decisively began, "Lena, I want to ask you, why didn't you pass the exam? You of all people should know that chemistry..."

"That's all you wanted to talk about? Shocking, " Lena said angrily, "You never forget that you're the group leader!"

She didn't even say "Good-bye" to Andrei and quickly went ahead alone. Andrei for a long time stood in the park and sadly thought about the conversation, about how strongly he loved Lena, but couldn't tell her about it.

After Lena passed the next exam and received a "C", Andrei said to her, "Lena, I want to help you, we'll prepare for the exam together."

Lena, however, answered angrily, "I don't need your help, comrade group leader. I'll study by myself."

And thus the entire year passed. When Lena and Andrei began to talk, they always argued. Andrei thought that Lena hated him and therefore he was silent. Andrei couldn't even tell his friend that he loved a girl who hated him because he wants her to do well in school."

Andrei thought about all of this on his way to the exam. Today they had to pass the last exam.

At the institute he saw his group. Lena stood alone and looked out the window. The professor arrived. The exam began. Andrei went first. He received an "A" and began waiting for Lena's turn to answer. Andrei heard the professor tell Lena, "Don't worry, I'm listening to you." In the end Lena began to answer. She calmly answered the question. The professor asked her a question. She answered. Again a question. Another answer. Lena answered all the questions and received an "A."

After the exam, Andrei said to Lena, "I'm so happy! You did so well!"

Lena sadly answered, "I wanted to show you that I'm not as stupid as you think...comrade group leader!"

Andrei couldn't be silent any longer, "I love you, Lena!"

"Andrei," Lena quietly said, "I've loved you for a long time."

Andrei and Lena were happy. Ahead of them was the summer, relaxation. Ahead of them was their junior year, then their senior, and beyond that their entire lives...



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