The Socialist Award

by Jonah

Ah, yes, the socialist award. Last Thursday my History and Politics of
Modern Russia class had a end of course party. People brought snacks, our
instructor (who is a lady from Russia) made tea, and we watched Russian
singing and dancing on a video while munching on Russian Tea Cakes. Then our
instructor (I never use her real name because I can’t pronounce it, let alone
spell it) reminded us about how when Stalin was bringing about rapid
industrialization, people would be awarded medals and stuff for hard work.
So she said that it was fitting that we recognize the person with the best
attendance (the guy on my right piped up, “That’d be Joanna,”) and the person
with the highest grade on the midterm (a girl over to my left added,
“Joanna.”). “So I think we can agree that Joanna (she pronounces my name as
one syllable. You know, Russians are used to shortages) should get this.”
Our personal minister of propaganda came over and handed me a cheap medal
that said something in Russian and bore the date 1977. I stood up, shook her
hand, and put it on proudly. Then I wore it for the rest of the day. I
asked her what it meant, and she said it was for the best socialist. So…

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