Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

2009-2011: Secondary school, the rock star class teacher and the first attempt to make it to upper school

2009. On the second attempt in Realschule, I got the coolest homeroom teacher I ever had. He had long blonde hair, was in a rock band, and didn't look like the German or history teacher he actually was. He exuded enormous authority and was very intelligent! Every student respected him. But the best thing about him was: He liked me. He saw potential in me, which boosted my diligence. Ultimately, I wanted to maintain my teacher's positive opinion of me.

Thanks to my homeroom teacher, I had my first positive experience with the natural sciences - specifically, physics - even though the subjects he taught had nothing to do with physics. Instead, in German class, he wanted to find out who our role models were - personalities that fascinated us. This was to be presented in the form of a presentation. I had overslept the few minutes he gave us to think, so I had to quickly come up with someone when he asked each of us one by one about the topic. But I didn't have a role model. The first probably more interesting personality that came to mind besides George Clooney was Albert Einstein.

"Alexander, who is your role model?" the teacher asked me now.

"Albert Einstein," I replied decisively. And so I had to delve into the life of the world's most famous physicist. After learning that his scientific discoveries enabled the development of a terrible weapon of destruction, namely the atomic bomb, and that it was subsequently used in Japan, I was shocked. I realized that scientific progress could mean the downfall of humanity if human reason lagged behind in its development.

For the presentation, I received an A and also got to know an interesting personality. Albert Einstein somehow became my role model because he never hesitated to explore new ideas in physics. I also liked about him that he was a global citizen and advocated for world peace and the oppressed. He struggled in his studies, just as I struggled in school.

This presentation about Einstein's life was enough to make him my role model. But to develop a real interest in physics, the presentation was not enough. Also, an exciting documentary about Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, which my friend Alexey sent me via Skype after the presentation, gave me the most intense goosebumps I've ever had while watching.

After the successful presentation about Albert Einstein, I sat on a bench during the big break as usual, eating a Milky Way bar that I had bought at the school kiosk, while watching the playful students.

"How can you sit like that?" one of the passing students asked me.

"I'm Russian," I replied, taking a bite of my Milky Way bar.

"Please keep your feet off the bench," said the supervising teacher, Mr. Weimann, as he strode past me. So I sat on the bench like everyone else.

Sometimes Thomas and his brother Oswald passed by my bench, who were in the other tenth grade, and we chatted about World of Warcraft and other video games until the end of the break. Occasionally, my sister Dascha, who now attended the same school, would pass by my usual spot and bring me a cheese roll.

High School Diploma

2010. I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked at my final grades. A three in biology and technology, but otherwise only twos. My second attempt to complete the tenth grade was a clear success. With a great homeroom teacher by my side, I managed - without it being my intention - to achieve an overall grade point average of 2.0, which corresponded to an extended secondary school leaving certificate. In essence, it was not just my final grade, but also that of my good teachers. My grade point average reflected the overall quality of the teachers. Because ultimately, when a teacher assigns grades, they are not just evaluating the students but also their own work.

Even on the last day of school, my homeroom teacher showed me that I was capable of something. Our art teacher was sick and was represented by my homeroom teacher. He gave us the task of drawing a cover for a folder in which the report cards would be handed out. We were allowed to let our creativity run wild. I put a lot of effort into it and drew a tree with thick branches reaching upwards. On the lower branches were doors to lower grades. If you followed the branches upward, you would reach the doors to higher grades. The literal highest class was the tenth grade that we had completed. When my homeroom teacher walked by my desk and saw the finished drawing, he liked it so much that he chose it in the end. I felt very proud.

After the report card ceremony, Mom drove me to the prom in her blue Opel Vectra, which she had bought after divorcing Joachim. My mother was very happy with my grades, so she insisted that I bring flowers to my homeroom teacher. After I did that, I sat down in the front row, not far from the DJ, where many seats were still empty. I sipped on my champagne and watched as some students danced. Gradually, I felt the urge to join them and move to the awesome beats. By now, I had a few glasses of champagne in me and was almost ready to get up and hit the dance floor.

"Come on, Alex," my classmate Michel called out to me from the dance floor. Then I glanced briefly at the audience and noticed the looks of the teachers and parents, all focused on the dance floor. I looked back at Michel and shook my head. No, I better not embarrass myself, I thought. Shortly after, my crush Laura sat down right next to me, even though there were a dozen other empty seats. I was puzzled, after all, she had rejected me back then on SchülerVZ when I had written to her that I had a crush on her. But I didn't have time to dwell on that thought because shortly after, she got up and danced with her friend on the dance floor right in front of me, while I spent the rest of the evening trying to muster the courage to dance too.

The Third Trip to Russia

During the summer vacation, I traveled to Russia with my sisters and mom to visit our relatives. It was nice to work at Uncle Sascha's farm again. During a week in Kharkovskiy, I helped him pimp his Opel Vectra. We attached neon-colored lighting and bumpers under the car, making it look lowered. We also added a huge spoiler to the trunk. My goodness, it felt awesome to cruise through the village with Uncle and show off, and on the weekends, to drive to the Azov Sea with the cool car.

In the following week, Dascha and I visited Galja and Gogi for three days, and then spent the rest of the time with Dima. It was great to meet my friend Sanja again in Azov, eat delicious Samsá from Galja, and then have her massage my feet. For breakfast, I was awakened by Gogi, who splashed me with ice-cold holy water.

"Aaaah, Gogi, it's coooold," I screamed as if he were exorcising a demon from me.

"Breakfast is ready," he simply said, laughing.

After breakfast, Gogi and I visited the church one day, of course. But this time, it was somehow different. Wherever I looked, I saw condescending looks from the saints depicted on the large icons on the church walls. It was a oppressive feeling to be observed.

Gogi lit a candle.

"Gogi, let's go back, I feel sick."

"Do not sin. Are you wearing the cross?"

"Sure," I replied, pulling out the silver cross that Gogi had given me from under my T-shirt. After he finally finished with the candles, we left the church.

The next day, Dima picked us up, and we spent the rest of the week with him. On the last day, as with every trip, it was difficult to say goodbye. Who knew when we would see each other again?

Senior High School (German: Gymnasiale Oberstufe)

2010. Thanks to my good high school diploma, I had the opportunity to achieve an even higher level of education, so I took advantage of it and applied for the eleventh grade of an upper secondary school at the Robert Bosch Comprehensive School.

In this school, my classmates seemed much more intelligent. They could express themselves much more eloquently than my former classmates. It intimidated me a bit at first. The subjects, such as German, physics, biology, and chemistry, were damn difficult. On the other hand, I really enjoyed sports. Even though I was one of the last to be chosen for a team when we had team sports like basketball, I always did my best and even continued playing with the others almost until the end of the break. I was always amazed why I only got a C for physical education, even though I showed full commitment.

After sports, sweaty, I went directly to chemistry class with my classmates. The break lasted a few more minutes. Some of us, including me, sat on the floor in the hallway in front of the classroom door. Klara was also there, talking to a guy standing in front of her. I sat alone, drinking from my water bottle, and occasionally discreetly glanced at her. Her curly brown hair was tied back in a ponytail after sports. While the guy was talking to her, she looked at him and smiled. Dreamily, I looked down and imagined standing in the guy's place, looking at Klara, who would also smile at me. The school bell brought me back to reality.

The chemistry teacher, as in every class, made jokes about the bad students. It was entertaining. Although I was also bad, fortunately he didn't make jokes about me. It was the only subject in which I dared to raise my hand to answer the teacher's questions. But it didn't do me much good. In the end, I still got an F.

In addition to sports and chemistry, I also quite liked art - except for the image analyses we had to do in exams. The titles of my artworks were better than the artworks themselves: The Hand of Integrity, The Thread of Life, Chosen One of God on the Way to Olympus, and Chair with an Intelligent Soul.

In all the other subjects, my grades were rather poor. I had a bunch of Fs. Eventually, I just didn't feel like going to school anymore. I saw dropping out of the eleventh grade, which I wouldn't have passed with my attitude anyway, as the only way out.

Instead, I preferred to become independent. I wanted to start a company where I would repair, clean, and assemble computers. Install operating systems, optimize slow computers, and even develop software.

After school, instead of doing homework, I focused on what I needed to do to start a business. In the evenings, I attended a programming course where I learned the basics of C++ to be able to develop my own software later on. I started collecting all the necessary information for the founding and pinned it in a folder so that I could start my business right after dropping out of school.

After half a year at the Robert Bosch Comprehensive School, on the last day of school, I went to the head of the upper school to hand over the flowers. Of course, not for him, but for Klara. I didn't dare to do it myself, so someone else had to do it for me. The next day, Klara thanked me on Facebook. She told me that she was very surprised when the head of the upper school burst into the German class and handed her the flowers - without telling her who they were from. When she then discovered a small note in the flowers, she was surprised to learn that I was her admirer. But she also made it clear in the chat that she was not interested in me.

Future Learnings from the Time at Molitoris School:
  • The grades on the report card say more about the teachers than about the young students.
  • You learn more from a role model teacher who knows little than from a teacher who knows a lot but is not taken seriously by the students.