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

2012-2013: Physics: From Hate Subject to Favorite Subject. My first YouTube Channel

2012. Just before finishing the eleventh grade, I moved with Mom, Dascha, and Laura in the spring to a neighboring small village called Borsum. Despite my efforts, I couldn't persuade my mother to move to the city of Hildesheim. At least the new place wasn't worse than Lühnde...

The reason for the move was a conflict with the previous landlord, which arose due to an accident with the dishwasher. Its connection had come loose, and it had flooded the entire kitchen with water, resulting in damage to the apartment that led to a legal dispute. A deep black mold spread in the storage room, which kept coming back despite our attempts to remove it with various means. No one would have believed me, but the stains reminded me each time of cryptic messages whose meaning I could never decipher.

A few days before this incident, Dascha and her friend Antonia asked me how to summon the Queen of Spades. They wanted to spend the night in a tent on our courtyard with Lauri and experience something spooky. I remembered vividly what we did back in Azov to summon the Queen of Spades into this world. I explained to them what they needed and warned them to remove the drawing on the mirror immediately if anyone felt uncomfortable...

In the dead silence of the night, a loud bang pierced my dreams as the front door slammed shut with alarming force. I widened my eyes, hearing faint cries for help in the distance, barely audible yet so unsettling: "Help, help." My heart began to race wildly, and without hesitation, I leaped out of bed and rushed to the front door.

I cautiously pressed my ear to the wood and recognized with horror that it was the voices of my sisters calling for help. I hastily slipped into my mother's slippers and rushed down the stairs to the courtyard. The light of the lantern revealed how the neighbor and my mother were trying to remove a massive branch from the completely devastated tent.

The tent, defenseless against the cruel play of nature, was a field of debris. As I looked up in horror at the treetop swaying threateningly in the wind, I felt with every fiber of my being that someone was hiding up there, but their figure remained hidden in the impenetrable darkness. The cold of the night penetrated my bones, and I was paralyzed.

Only when my mother and the neighbor freed my slightly injured sisters did I venture back to my room, stunned, and into bed. In the eerie silence of the night, I heard only the ticking of the clock, indicating 2:15 a.m. I lay awake for a long time, while my hand involuntarily slid to my chest, where under the T-shirt lay Gogi's cross. It protected me.

A few days later, the accident with the dishwasher and the black mold in the storage room occurred. My mother had to bear the costs, and she didn't earn much. After unsuccessfully trying to start a tutoring company for young children, she started working as a nursing assistant. It was tough work. She constantly had to fill in for sick employees and work on holidays, even on Christmas.

When she came home from work and found something not where it belonged, my very temperamental mother suddenly turned into a roaring Godzilla. It was exhausting to endure, so I got into the habit of quickly tidying up my things, vacuuming, and emptying the dishwasher to calm her down again.

Afterward, I needed to let off steam, usually with loud music and a pipe. Disturbed, a band Alexey always listened to, was perfect to bring me back to my original calm state. If I was already feeling sad, I would rather listen to music from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Gothic, or World of Warcraft while shedding a few tears. Afterward, I felt much better.

I was very emotional. When we watched movies like Romeo and Juliet or Life is Beautiful in class, I was always so touched that I had to try to suppress my tears. I found it odd to cry in front of the whole class – especially because I had learned to think that a man should never cry.

Once, I couldn't suppress it, and tears streamed down my face while reading a war poem in German class. With each verse, a lump formed in my throat. Swallowing became increasingly difficult. My voice began to break. Then the first tears fell onto the paper with the poem. When my emotional state could no longer be concealed, and the others noticed, I ran out of the classroom and to the bathroom, to wash my face. Shortly after, my German teacher knocked on the bathroom door.

»Alex, is everything okay?«

»Yes, everything's fine. I just sometimes get too absorbed in the story.«

»Take your time. If you want to talk, let me know,« she suggested and seemed to be gone a few seconds later.

My first YouTube channel

2012. During the summer vacation, I created a YouTube channel to complement my website. I struggled with the name of the channel because my website practically covered everything imaginable - from mathematics to politics, poetry, philosophy, and diary entries to imaginary physics experiments. It was very universal, so the first name that came to mind was Universal Philosopher. No, that didn't really fit because it was about more than just philosophy.

Then I thought of Wannabe Genius. That sounded stupid. I didn't like other ideas either. Finally, the idea came to me: »Universal Thinker«. It didn't sound too crazy and represented my content well. Without hesitation, I changed the name of my website to match the YouTube channel to universaldenker.de.

With a small camera I found in the living room drawer, I shot my first video, which contained my thoughts on racism. With a better video camera I later acquired with my birthday money, I filmed myself chatting about the meaning of life, reciting my poems, or Goethe's lyrics.

In an added notebook, I collected my thoughts and ideas. Some of them, such as videos about the concept of truth, the functioning of interpersonal communication, or the origin of knowledge, I worked out and published on YouTube.

The first people commented on the videos. Most of the comments were nice. Some made fun of my accent, which I found just as funny when I listened to the video myself.

The most depressing comments for me were those claiming that everything I produced was garbage and that I should stop wasting their and my time. I took every hate comment to heart and then felt depressed and unmotivated for days because I had put a lot of work into these videos. These people made me delete most of the videos and content.

To free myself from the depressing thoughts, I smoked my pipe and listened to the birds chirping on the balcony. That helped me calm down again.

After a while, I got used to the hate comments. I realized that it was actually just a few people who seemed to enjoy humiliating me or criticizing me unfairly. I decided to block anyone who insulted me. I reminded myself that behind the hate comments were probably people who had private problems and therefore vented their frustration on me under the cloak of anonymity.

Interest in Physics

2013. When the summer vacation was over, I entered the twelfth grade, the so-called qualification phase, where I naturally opted for the computer science focus over mechanical engineering because I found soldering resistors onto a circuit board and tinkering with computers more interesting than sawing wood and metal. My interest was also clearly reflected in my grades. Computer science – good, and physics – good. Spanish – good, but it was for complete beginners.

I was good at physics because Alexey sometimes explained some things to me, but also because my physics teacher was capable and nice. However, it wasn't until the twelfth grade, when I got a new physics teacher and finished the boring classical mechanics, that my interest began to shift from computer science to physics.

The good grades I received at the beginning of the school year – more out of sheer luck – and the subsequent unexpected praise from my new physics teacher led me to believe that I had a talent for the subject. Even my classmates and the teacher seemed to think so. It felt good to be praised and to be referred to as a physicist in class by now.

All of a sudden, physics became my favorite subject, even though I never really liked physics! This led me to take active steps to maintain this feeling of success. I started doing physics homework regularly and was always mentally present in class. It was hard to believe, but I was truly sad when the physics class was canceled.

It was amazing to see the impact my physics teacher had on my future. His recognition sparked endless motivation in me. His exciting explanations of topics like the quantum mechanical tunneling effect led me to decide in the twelfth grade to study physics after graduation and to become like my teacher, if not even better.

A positive transformation took place within me as I finally felt I had found my path. The fascination for physics was so great that I even set myself the goal of one day making a contribution to this field and receiving the Nobel Prize for it.

My previous physics teacher was good, and I had good grades. But my new physics teacher became a role model who not only influenced my grades but also my future.

My First Physics Video

2013. After some of my classmates asked me to explain physics to them, I thought of doing this in the form of a YouTube video. And so, my very first physics video about the photoelectric effect by Albert Einstein was born. This also led to the creation of a section for physics topics in text form on my website.

Naturally, I also received hate comments on my first physics video. They told me that I was not a universal thinker but either a show-off, a wishful thinker, or something else – but definitely not a universal thinker. And I should stay away from physics because I didn't understand anything about it anyway, and I would only get the Nobel Prize in Physics in a parallel universe.

These people tried to drill their negative classifications into me until I accepted them – served on a silver platter. However, the passion I gained for physics stood up to all kinds of negative influences, whether it was hate comments on the physics video, emails trying to convince me that I knew nothing about physics, or worse physics grades.

All these events and influences didn't even come close to making me turn away from physics. I was like an enthusiastic child, and physics was my new toy that no one could take away from me.

I firmly believed that I should never give up the child in me if I wanted to positively impact the world; if I wanted to achieve everything in my life that I set out to do. At that time, I was convinced that I could be as brilliant as Albert Einstein, that I could understand physics just like him. I just couldn't lose my passion. That was the most important thing, not any school grades or opinions of critics.

I could hardly believe that Albert Einstein studied physics to get good grades in the subject or to pass exams. He was interested in physics because he wanted to know what holds our universe together at its core. He always remained a curious, enthusiastic child at heart, revolutionizing the then-understanding of physics - despite many critics. Where would physics be now if he had given up his work in this area after the first criticism?

Donations for My Hobby

2013. Over time, I created more physics videos on topics we covered in school, and with that, I was not only helping my classmates but also other students. They wrote to me saying that they were getting better grades in physics thanks to my videos.

Of course, I didn't ask for a single cent from the visitors and viewers for my work because I firmly believed that knowledge should be freely accessible to everyone. I knew exactly how valuable it was to be able to learn from others for free on the internet. My mother wouldn't have had money for a tutor anyway. The free sources of knowledge were therefore even more helpful. And I was sure that there were plenty of other people who couldn't afford paid offerings or weren't willing to spend money on knowledge. Freely available knowledge, I still believe, prevents a division of society into the knowledgeable and the unknowledgeable. And in my case, some students were so grateful for the videos that they voluntarily donated. This was the first time I generated passive income and could at least finance the server and domain costs of the website with it.


Future Learnings from this Life Stage:
  • I've learned to ignore my haters and realize that the hate has less to do with me than with the hater themselves.
  • Before criticizing others on the internet, I should introspect and figure out what current problem is bothering me.

Future Learnings from the Time in 12th and 13th Grade:

  • Good teachers determine good grades on the report card. Role models determine the future of students.
  • Free knowledge is the key to prevent society from dividing into the knowledgeable and the unknowledgeable.
  • I will always support people who share their knowledge for free because I know from personal experience that you can't live off of gratitude alone.