Thursday, February 15, 2018

I am ...

I have been trying to find a short but clear description of who I am, 
what I like,
what I believe in.

Here is what I got so far.
I am absolutely convinced that any extremism is bad.

Any idea, even a very good one, if taken to its extremes becomes its own opposite.
Every good idea can be severely compromised by its poor implementation (which is often taking it to the extreme).
That is why I am extremely anti-extremist.

I am
A conservative liberal
A knowledgeable wonderer
A believing atheist
A constructive disruptor
A logical artist
A loyal oppositionist
A passive activist
A modest braggart
and
A serious laugher
© Dr. Valentin Voroshilov 

I was lucky to work side-by-side with extremely smart and educated people, including my mentors - people who taught me that there are only two rules for becoming a master: 1. learn from the masters; 2. constantly push yourself. My mentors had an incredible knowledge of human nature. People, who “by a single look at a raindrop could deduce the existence of the oceans”. People, who walked toward a challenge and found a pleasure in solving complicated problems. People who would tell things as they are. People who taught me what does it mean to be a professional, including the five top professional qualities: curiosity, imagination, an ability to reason, an ability to laugh at themselves, and having strict criteria for the quality of their own work. The type of people to whom I feel deep admiration and respect.

All my actions are limited by 3 rules: 
1. nothing illegal; 
2. nothing stupid; 
3. learn from mistakes (sh@t happens). 
Everything else, e.g. opinions, traditions, views, emotions, is relative, hence irrelevant. History of science demonstrates that even the most widely accepted views can (and did) become outdated and be replaced. 

As a long-term teacher, at times I may be judgmental, and may challenge people, but I have trained myself to keep it down.

There is a type of people who I don't really like to deal with. People who are arrogant, full of themselves, believe they know everything and tell everyone what to do, people who try to avoid logical conversations and always silence the opponents by loudly screaming emotional trivialities and calling people names.
Those people come in all possible forms: all genders, races, ages, wealth, education, status.
Those people demand to be treated with the utmost respect, but do not respect anybody else.
I believe, there should be no gaps or disconnections between laws, moral rules, and the actual social culture. 
The Golden Rule does not mention race, gender, ethnicity, age, IQ, education, wealth, religion, political bias, the planet of birth.
I guess, this is one of the reasons Stephen Colbert (I like him, but not as much as I liked Jon Stewart) repeatedly has said "I do not see race". Well, following this logic, and the Golden Rule, we all should say "I do not see gender", "I do not see ethnicity", "I do not see IQ", "I do not see age", "I do not see education", "I do not see wealth", "I do not see religion", "I do not see political bias", "I do not see an alien".
The problem, however, is that for someone to actually follow the Golden Rule, that one needs to have:
- an ability to see how other people see other persons - a.k.a. imagination.

- an ability to see how other people see himself/herself, a.k.a. reflection.
- the willingness for "trying on  someone else shoes", a.k.a. caring.





These are some of my favorite sayings (meaning, I love them, but I did not invent them):
“If you didn't succeed first time, try and try again.”
“Repeating again and again the same actions and expecting a different result is an insanity.”

"Question always; question everything; question everyone".
These are mine:
"Mistakes are inevitable and unavoidable. There is no shame in making a mistake. The shame is in insisting that you're right even when even you already know that you are not."
“If you look in a mirror, and do not like what you see, do not blame the mirror.”
(BTW: a mirror is an object or a person interaction with which activates the process of reflection on (a) personal appearance; (b) external environment; or (c) internal psychological state).


Appendix 
I am a very successful professional. I have my share of achievements I am proud with. It shows that I am not just someone who "says the right things", I do the right things.



Table of content
Thank you for visiting,
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
Education Advancement Professionals
GoMars.xyz

To learn more about my professional experience:
The voices of my students 
"The Backpack Full of Cahs": pointing at a problem, not offering a solution
Essentials of Teaching Science

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