From The Peopling of New York City

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Who am I

My name is Aleksey Ruditskiy. I hail from a a country you probably never heard off called Belarus. I was born in the city of Minsk on July 21, 1990. I have been a resident of this country for 7 years and am currently living in the borough of Brooklyn. I am currently studying to become a chemical engineers with a minor in physics at City College of New York. I have been fortunate enough to enter the Macaulay Honors program and be a part of this experience. There is one thing that I enjoy most in the world: sleep. However these days my nights are spent cramming for the next test or preparing the work we present here. The class was an enjoyable experience thought the amount of home work seemed seemed disparate with with the work done in class. In the future I believe that the number of reading should be reduced so we can actually focus our class discussions on some of the content.

The Place and People Who Made Me Who I Am

My life is an ever-changing story. It shifts as my own life progresses. I am, as a human being, shaped by the events which around my family and me: past, present and future. I am influenced by my ancestors, by their choices whether they were big or small, intentional or unconscious. I am who I am because of them, for better or for worse. It is rather ironic that while speak of my ancestors’ influences so highly in reality I don’t know most of them at all. Out of the four grandparents that I was due I met only one. An intelligent woman through out her life Olga Lukyanova, my grandmother, began to resent my mother, as she moved into her later years. I couldn’t understand the reason for it. My mother never did anything but care for my grandmother. I may have begun to resent her too, for bringing my mother to tears on so many occasions. My grandfathers were polar opposites, one seemed the gentle caregiver, the other created an impression of an oppressive brute. My mother’s father, Alexei Lebedev, passed on his fascination with science to me through my mother; as well as his name. His opposite imbibed in me a deep resentment for overbearing authority, though that may be just an illusion as my memories of him formed in my rebellious teenage years. My father’s mother, Broniya Geyfman, left me with a memory of a sun-bleached gravestone. The words sound poisonously shallow as I write them. Perhaps it was from her only remains that I had learned guilt. My parents were the sculptors, more so than any teacher I have ever had. It was them who shaped my personality, and allowed me to adapt to changing times. They both brought something distinctly different: my mother born among the golden grains, my father among the bustling city life of Minsk. I saw in them hard workers, people who would do anything to keep the family going. They taught me much of my humility. They gave me goals and kept my dreams burning brightly. My whole life’s purpose is thanks to them. We left Minsk when I was twelve locking behind us everything we ever knew, embarking on our own great journey into parts unknown and uncharted. I am formed and blazed now, no longer the unshaped clay of my early years. My past gave me dreams and aspirations. It gave me guidance. With it I will step into the future and shape it with these eager hands.

New York and I

Handball Courts

The ball hits the wall. There is a scrambling of people, limbs in the air ready to strike a mighty blow or a gentle-yet-deadly slice. The atmosphere builds with tension as the rally continues until finally the air rings with a shout of triumph and a growl of defeat. Such is the way of the handball courts. This is one of the things that tie me to this city, a sport nearly unique to it. The Fort Hamilton handball court is a place of many memories for me. I have met many friends for the first time while awkwardly learning to play. The courts embody the nature of New York: the myriad of cultures brought together near seamlessly in one place. There is an unspoken understanding and respect regardless of who you are or where you are from. It is a place to forget your troubles and lose yourself in the motion, at least while the ball is in the air.