This Cruel World
Dasha Kudinova, 14, Samara



(click on photo to enlarge)



Right now I like my school very much. Its a beautiful place with interesting people. In school now I have a lot of buddies and they are not only students, but teachers too. But it wasn't like that at one time.

Our teachers teach us to be polite. But some of us don't remember that lesson every day.

One day my life was terrible and cruel. When I came to school, all my friends turned their backs on me and giggled when they saw me.

I asked them: Why do you do that?

My best friend, Tatiana said: You are a know-it-all. You are different and nothing more. Its your fault!

I was so confused by this. I went to my teacher, Why are they doing that?

And she answered: Dasha, you are a clever and nice girl. They are very cruel to you, because you are different. Maybe they are envious of you.

I said, I always thought that its better if you dont look like other people. Are you saying that sometimes its not good? That sometimes we must be similar?

After this conversation, I went to my friends and said to them, Im different but Im not so strange. Then I went away.

The next day they came to my house and said: Dasha, we
are very sorry! And after that we became real friends again.


I. Understanding the Story
Talk with a partner about the main idea.

II. Vocabulary
Complete the sentences with the best word from the list.
buddy    polite    cruel    fault    envious    similar
1. My sister and I are _________________ in both weight and height.
2. The mean girl was _________________ in her teasing Dasha.
3. Life is so much more pleasant if we are ______________ to everyone.
4. It was not Dasha's ___________ that the girls were cruel to her.
5. Dasha thought that Tatiana was her __________________.
6. The girls were ________________ of Dasha.

III. Now you Talk
1. When and why are people envious of someone?
2. How is Dasha different? Make guesses about this.
3. Would you forgive this behavior as fast as Dasha did? Why or why not?

IV. Now you Write
1. Describe the narrator. Create details.
2. Write from Tatiana's viewpoint about Dasha.
3. Write about the next incident, when these girls get along.

V. Role Play
1. Tatiana and the writer: They argue about Dasha's differences.
2. The writer and the teacher: Dasha complains about the girls.
3. The writer and her mother: They talk about her friends.
4. The teacher and Tatiana: They talk about this cruelty.
5. Two girls and the writer: They go to her house to apologize.