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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Professor Cosma, part three

    This is the third part of my short story Professor Cosma. Please, would you take a look at it correct my mistakes.

    The future professor understood that his only escape was through education. And he was not alone. All his brothers and sisters as well as his playmates were tired of walking kilometre after kilometre, day after day, and taking care of sheep, cows and other animals. Probably this was one of the reasons why they had been so motivated to pass their exams and receive their qualifications. At the same time, they aroused envy and hatred among the students from the towns and cities, who saw them as a threat to their own careers, because these yokels had the will, patience, stubbornness and resourcefulness they themselves never had.

    After spending 18 months doing his compulsory military service and learning how to defend the socialism from the evil capitalists, he decided to study history. This was the subject in which he was mostly interested since he had started school. Whenever they had a history lesson, he would sit almost immobile and absorb every word uttered by his teacher. He was never bored or tired of learning how people behaved in the past, how they oppressed each other, and how they always invented more effective weapons to kill their brothers and sisters.
    There was no doubt that human beings had great imagination, especially when it came to destruction and mass murder. He was eager to know more about that to be able to understand better humankind and civilisation. He moved to the city, which came as a bit of a shock to him: broad streets filled with speeding cars, lorries and buses, pavements swarming with busy passersby, large department stores and other shops, which made one dizzy, impressive buildings, which commanded respect, but also grey block of flats where people lived close to each other and always remained strangers. He got a room in a hall of residence, which he shared with three other students, and often with two more, so called illegals, who were unable to obtain a room in a regular way. They slept on mattresses on the floor and made the room crowded. However, there was an unwritten rule among the students that the illegals should have the same right as the others, and nobody would have dared to tell them to move away. So many people in such a cramped place made reading and learning impossible, and the future professor Cosma would spend hours in a library or a reading room where he would peruse not only history books but also other literature. He was good at languages and could read German and French books without difficulty.

    Soon some of his fellow students called him a “swot,” but he did not care. They were just envious at a village boy who was desirous of knowledge. When he was not reading books, he was trying to find any kind of job, from construction sites to cafes and restaurants. And while his fellow students danced in disco clubs or flirted with their female colleagues at weekends, the future professor was toiling in a hot, steamy kitchen, peeling potatoes, chopping vegetables or sweeping floor. Later in his life, he often thought of those formative years as one of the best in his life. They were difficult and brought him often on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but he stoically endured these adverse conditions and remained faithful to his principles.
    To be continued.

  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Professor Cosma, part three

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    This is the third part of my short story Professor Cosma. Please, would you take a look at it correct my mistakes.

    The future professor understood that his only escape was through education. And he was not alone. All his brothers and sisters, as well as his playmates, were tired of walking kilometre after kilometre, day after day, and taking care of sheep, cows and other animals. Probably this was one of the reasons why they had been so motivated to pass their exams and receive their qualifications. At the same time, they aroused envy and hatred among the students from the towns and cities, who saw them as a threat to their own careers, because these yokels had the will, patience, stubbornness and resourcefulness they themselves never had.

    After spending 18 months doing his compulsory military service and learning how to defend the socialism from the evil capitalists, he decided to study history. This was the subject in which he was mostly interested since he had started school. Whenever they he had a history lesson, he would sit almost immobile and absorb every word uttered by his teacher. He was never bored or tired of learning how people behaved in the past, how they oppressed each other, and how they always invented more effective weapons to kill their brothers and sisters.
    There was no doubt that human beings had great imagination, especially when it came to destruction and mass murder. He was eager to know more about that to be able to better understand better humankind and civilisation. He moved to the city, which came as a bit of a shock to him (Here you are saying that the move to the city came as a shock, not the city itself. I would break this into two sentences - He moved to the city. The city came as a shock to him...): broad streets filled with speeding cars, lorries and buses, pavements swarming with busy passersby, large department stores and other shops, which made one dizzy, impressive buildings, which commanded respect, but also grey block of flats where people lived close to each other and always remained strangers. He got a room in a hall of residence (While I may understand what a hall of residence is, is there another way to describe this place? Is it different from a regular apartment (or flat)?), which he shared with three other students, and often with two more so called illegals, who were unable to obtain a room in a regular way. They slept on mattresses on the floor and made the room crowded. However, there was an unwritten rule among the students that the illegals should have the same right as the others, and nobody would have dared to tell them to move away. So many people in such a cramped place made reading and learning impossible, and the future professor Cosma would spend hours in a library or a reading room where he would peruse not only history books but also other literature. He was good at languages and could read German and French books without difficulty. (The more common way to write this is, "...could read German and French without difficulity. I suppose the reason one does not write "books" is that not all reading material is in books)

    Soon, some of his fellow students called him a “swot,” (No idea of what this means. If you are going to use this term you must define it) but he did not care. They were just envious at of a village boy who was desirous of knowledge. When he was not reading books, he was trying to find any kind of job, from construction sites to cafes and restaurants. And while his fellow students danced in disco clubs or flirted with their female colleagues at on weekends, the future professor was toiling in a hot, steamy kitchen, peeling potatoes, chopping vegetables or sweeping floors. Later in his life, he often thought of those formative years as one some of the best in his life. They were difficult and often brought him often on to the verge of a nervous breakdown, but he stoically endured these adverse conditions and remained faithful to his principles (Up to this point there has been no discussion of principles. Rather than try to introduce this subject here, I would opt to end the sentence after "conditions").
    To be continued.
    Gil

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Professor Cosma, part three

    Gil,
    Thank you again.
    A hall of residence is the same as a dormitory in AmE. Here I am trying to describe a room in that hall of residence or a dormitory, which in socialist countries were usually overcrowded because of the constant shortage of student housing.Every room was furnished with four or six beds, but there were always students who were unable to get a bed in an ordinary way, and they simply moved in. They often slept on the floor and they were called "illegals."
    A "swot" in BrE is a student who spends too much time studying. I think that in AmE it is called a grind.

  4. #4
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Professor Cosma, part three

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Gil,
    Thank you again.
    A hall of residence is the same as a dormitory in AmE. Here I am trying to describe a room in that hall of residence or a dormitory, which in socialist countries were usually overcrowded because of the constant shortage of student housing.Every room was furnished with four or six beds, but there were always students who were unable to get a bed in an ordinary way, and they simply moved in. They often slept on the floor and they were called "illegals."
    A "swot" in BrE is a student who spends too much time studying. I think that in AmE it is called a grind.
    I am not familiar with grind used that way. A term I am more used to is "nerd". A nerd is someone who studies rather than go out with girls or drinks with his friends. I feel that it would give your story more impact if you more fully described the conditions in a hall of residence. To an American an illegal is someone who entered the country illegally. Again, you can get impact if you took the time to describe why these people could not get a room.

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