1. Personal identification
I’m Marius. I was born in 1981 on the 28th of January in Kaunas. I don’t remember anything about the weather that day, but I know that it was about 2:30 p.m. I was the first child in the family. Our family is not very big, I have a brother. When I was a child I can’t say, that I was a good boy. My parents always want me to be a good man, and now I’m very thankful for that. At that time I didn’t understand that my parents wanted good for me, and I made my mother worry about me very often. I think, that my character isn’t bad now and I’m a good, sincere and tolerant teenager. In 1987 I started school and now I’m graduating it. I was good at all subjects. I am fond of school. I liked my class. I always felt like at home here. Everybody was so friendly and easy to get a long with. I was on good terms with my classmates and we always spend our free time together. I think, that school years maybe remain in my heart forever. I want to say a few words about the future. I’m going to take entrance exams and enter KTU. I would like to study Computer Science. My parents are engineers – programmers and I like this profession too. That’s all about myself.
Services aren’t important as food, drinks or home, but it’s enough important to as. One of them we use more frequently others we don’t use. There are many services in my region. There is post near my house. You can use all services that post can offer: to send a postcard, letter or parcel, make postal – order, to buy stamp or postcard. There are petrols where you can buy gas. Also there are hospital and police station in my region. Police station is one of the unpleasant services. You get there when you commit something bad. If you want to do photos it’s no problem, because there are some places there you can make photograph. A Very important service for people’s beauty is hairdressing saloon. But there is only one saloon in my region. Bank is very important for people, which have their own business. Usually they open checking account. But a lot of firms haven’t enough money so they take loans. Diplomatic services are useful, when you are in foreign country or when you want to go there. And garage – service use people who have a car. Here they can check and put right their cars. The most important services are hairdressing, photography, post, and hospital. So all services are very useful. They make our life easier.
3. House and home
I live in apartment house. This house is in _____ street. I have an apartment in a nine-story building I live on the second floor. The livers keep house in order. There are many trees near my house. My house was built in 1991. The number of my flat is 17. I live in the two rooms flat. The area of my flat is about 60 square meters. There is a balcony in my flat. I have a fine view from the balcony and windows. I have two bed-sitting rooms, a bathroom, a toilet, a corridor and kitchen. There are bookcases, wardrobes, beds, tables in the bed-sitting rooms. My walls are papered. On the floor there are carpets. I have all amenities hot and cold water, gas, electric light, central heating, lift. In the kitchen there is gas cooker. There are gas meter, electric meter and water meter. I would like to have a detached house in some solitary place, far away from the town’s noise, smoke and polluted air. Sure it’ll be a two-stored house with a big yard and garden.
Lithuania’s flora is rich and varied, because of its geographical position and climatic peculiarities, but we can’t boast that it’s peculiar to it alone. We have typical northern plants such as conifers, deciduous trees. Forests cover one fourth of its territory. 3 centuries ago, they were twice as extensive. Nowadays more woods are cut down than replanted. We have lots of spruce, birch and alder woods as well. It’s a pity such trees as oaks, ashes and limes are decreasing, because they were used as timber. Now we can hardly find oak, ash or lime woods. The preservation and restoration of forest hasn’t been given great attention. Every year hectares of forest are planted, but more hectares are felled. Timber is still the chief article of export. Some trees are remarkable as natural rarities. In East Lithuania at Stelmuze grows an old oak, that according to botanists, about 1,5 thousand years old. Forests cover one half of the territory in east and South Lithuania. The Varena-Druskininkai forests spread on area of thousands square km. These forests abound in mushrooms, berries and beasts. The Rudininkai forest remind as of historical events. The rebels of 1831 and 1863 against the Russian czar found refuge in it. The Cepkeliai swamp, covering 5000ha is the largest in Lithuania. Broad and beautiful are the Labanoras, Kazlu Ruda and other forests. 40% of Lithuanian’s territory is occupied by arable land.
The Lithuanian forests have inspired many poets, writers and composers. They devoted their works to the charm of woods. The fauna has no particular species peculiar to it alone. There are various species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. For various reasons many kinds or them became extinct. This fate befell aurochs, bisons, bears, etc. All forests can boast of the giant of woods – the antlered elk. Elk meat is exported abroad. Deer are less common. Roe and hares are abundant everywhere. Wild hogs, foxes, squirrels, martens are rather numerous. The number of wolves has shrunk. The beaver was entirely exterminated, but now it has been reacclimatized. Their houses are frequent on the banks of many rivers. New species of animals such as punctate deer, minks have been acclimatized. They feel quit at home and bear offspring. We have 300 species of birds. In forests we can hear voices of woodpeckers, cuckoos, owls, hawks and others. In rivers, lakes and swamps are various species of ducks, geese, and swans, where they hatch their young. In Neringa there is a settlement of grey herons, rare birds. There are about 50 species of fish in Lithuania. We can’t boast that abound in our lakes and rivers. Bream, roach, salmon, eels, carps are caught. Salmon comes to our rivers to spawn.
TV is one of the ways to spend our free time. Sometimes it shows good or sometimes bad things. It’s good, that there are some documentary films, which show us the life of wild animals, old civilizations, and the lost world. There is news, which inform us about the things, which are happening all around the world. Also TV shows some talk shows, where we can hear the interesting interwievs. But there are a lot of violence and debauchery in TV films, even in cartoons. And violence has a bad effect on viewers, especially on children and teenagers. They can’t understand what is right or what is wrong and they think, that everything is true and start to copy everything and to do the same things as “good guys” or “bad guys”. So, I think, that there are more violence and debauchery in our TV programs, than good and nice things.
7. Museums of Kaunas
There are many museums in Lithuania. Lets talk about some of them – museums of Kaunas. Ciurlionis State Museum of Art is the national museum of Lithuania, founded in 1925. It operates as head office for 5 different museums in Kaunas. Devil museum is a part of the Ciurlionis State Museum of Art. It’s the only devil museum in the world and it was founded by professor Zmuidzinavicius. At that time, the Museum of Medicine Academy have a big interesting collection of skeletons, from fetuses to adults, also skeletons of cats, dogs and monkeys. It helps for students, who are studying Anatomy. It’s the only Anatomy museum in Lithuania. Vytautas the Great Museum of War is the only war museum in Lithuania. There are gun collection and exhibition about the first two men, who flew over the Atlantic. They have connections with the Lithuania army, organize festivals for and about soldiers. The 9th fort Museum comprises of two different parts: the 9th fort and a separate museum. The 9th fort was built at the end of the 19th century by a Russian czar to defend the Russian Empire. During World War 2 the fort was used to hold the Jews before they were executed. After the war it was used as a prison. In 1959 the fort was opened for the public as a museum. This fort is probably the cruelest concentration camp-museum in the world. And for the end about T.Ivanauskas Zoological Museum. It’s one of the oldest museums in Lithuania. It has collection of stuffed animals, collected by T.Ivanauskas. It’s the only Zoological museum in the Baltic States, having a big impressive collection of all kinds of animals, nature sounds as background music.
There are various means of travel. We can travel by train, boat, airplane, and finally we can travel on foot. First of all I will say what I think about walking. So, when you use your foot, of course then it is the cheapest way to get somewhere. But if that place is some 100 or more km. away, then everyone prefers a faster way of traveling. I agree that traveling on foot is good for your health, but just imagine that you have to go to another country and return using only your foot – I do not think, that it will be very healthy for you. Travelling by car is the finest type of travelling. It’s noisy, not good for nature, more dangerous, but it’s fast, comfortable and easy to use. Ship and plane are very useful too, when you have to reach another continent, because usually it would be too wet to get there another way. Besides all these means of transport people usually get their trip by trains and hitch-hiking. I think, everybody knows, how cheep it is when you spent money given by your parents somewhere else. So it’s no need to speak about train. And the last way of getting somewhere from somewhere is hitch-hiking. Of course, anyone can say that it’s dangerous, but you really don’t need to go alone. It’s even more fun when you go together with your only-friend, girl friend or boy friend. So, I think, it is the funniest way to travel.
In our town every other family has its own cars. Everybody is eager to have a car. It’s especially convenient for shopping. Sometimes cars help people when they hurry to the work or when it’s necessary to take an invalid to hospital. But cars cause a lot of problems. Cars poison our air with exhaust, shatter our ears with noise and the drivers wreck our nerves with dangerous driving.In Kaunas center the traffic is heavy. Donelaitis and Kestutis streets are one-way streets and in those and other streets are many traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, but sometimes there are traffic jams and parking problems, because some drivers are careless and selfish. Many traffic accidents happen in the main wide streets, for example Barsauskas, Vytautas streets, because the drivers drive much too fast and they don’t pay attention to the speed limits. Also traffic accidents happen when pedestrians forget about road safety and crossing the road. But people aren’t afraid of traffic accidents and they keep buying cars, because it’s the fastest and the most comfortable way to get around.
The Baltic States’ admission to NATO is currently the most pressing topic in the Baltic. NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It’s a military alliance of Western nations for the purpose of collective defense. It was established in 1949. NATO’s member States are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany (since 1955), Greece (1952), Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain (1982), Turkey (1952), UK, USA. Poland and Czech were admitted this year. If the Baltic States support the program – “Partnership for Peace” to the fullest extent, they will be admitted as well. Baltic military forces take part in NATO maneuvers and it’s a concrete benefit, as Baltic States want to be admitted as full members. There are lots of different opinions on what is better for a small country: to be a member of a military organization or to be a neutral country. There are various advantages and disadvantages of both. It’s said, that preparation of Lithuania to join NATO requires from 8 to 10 mln. Litas. That is why it would be more beneficial to modernize the economics of Lithuania, than to spend huge sums of money on joining NATO. Moreover some people say, that the threat of war is only our imagination. For example, during the period of 1944-1953 lots of men were killed, but it was impossible to confirm the act of independence. Meanwhile, in 1990 the independence was restored without any war or guns. So, it would be better to spend money on solving social and economical problems than on joining NATO. In conclusion the opponents of “Lithuania in NATO” consider, that Lithuania should seeks to be a neutral country. The proponents of “Lithuania in NATO” suggest that joining NATO would confirm the stability of Lithuania. Lithuania is tiny country and the enemies can be too strong and powerful to fight with. So, NATO could help in case in the threat of war.
11. Social affairs
I want to tell you about the town, where I live, about Kaunas. Kaunas is an industrial town. There are a lot of companies, factories and enterprises in Kaunas, but they pollute our rivers and blacken our sky. As Kaunas is a big town, here are a lot of cars, buses, and they pollute our environment too. People, working in these factories, sometimes suffer from ill and die of various diseases, but they don’t complain, because they are afraid to lose their jobs. They have to support their families and money is very important for them. Nowadays prices go up and are high and wages are low in Lithuania. There are many unemployed, poor people. There are a lot of children, who beg for money or food. I think, that all this sounds very sad, but I hope, someday it will be better. That’s all about my native town.
12. Education in GB and Lithuania
Education is compulsory in our country. Children start school at the age of seven. They can stay at school for twelve years but some of them leave school at the end of the ninth form. These pupils usually go to vocational junior colleges where they can get both secondary education and the qualification. Education in Great Britain is compulsory too. British children start school at 5. They go to the primary school, which has two divisions: the infant school (from 5 to 8) and junior school. From 11 to 16 British children go to a secondary school. At the age of 16 schoolchildren may either leave the school or remain two years longer to prepare for university or college entrance. Education is free; everybody can go to a university or any higher school after finishing secondary school. In Lithuania children go to school five days a week. The school year begins September and ends in the middle of June. Education in Lithuania has been centralized for a long time, but now almost all schools have their own education system, but all systems don’t differ from each other very much: children study almost the same subjects in all schools. Schoolchildren can transfer freely from one school to another. At that time in Great Britain the education system has been decentralized for a long time and the school curriculum, the organization of lessons, and other things vary from school to school. There are two types of secondary schools: grammar school – giving education up to the age of 18, preparing pupils for university entrance and secondary modern school, which gave general education and some practical training up to the age of 15. After a secondary school, a vocational junior college or a manual training school, children can take entrance exams and enter the university.
13. The School
School is a part of our environment from the time you are a little child until you are almost grown up. We hear very little of what the pupils think of school, and what happens to them here. At school pupils spend the most important years of their lives. Here they take courage and confidence, make friends and learn to understand life. Whatever school years maybe remain in our hearts forever. Our teachers not only give us knowledge of physics, mathematics, history and ect. But they also taught us to love our Motherland, to be honest and hard working. In the school I’d like the relationship between teachers and pupils would be changed. Instead of the teacher telling the pupil, both teacher and pupil would learn together, creating warm relationship. A school is a place where people learn together to live together and loved one another. I like my class. I always feel at home here. Everybody is so friendly and easy to get a long with. I was on good terms with my classmates and we always spend our free time together. I think, that there can be an ideal school. Everybody has their own wishes.
14. “Saule” gymnasium
I attend “Saule” gymnasium. The society “Saule” guided by prelate Olsauskas included several Lithuania schools, supported by the government. Just from the first days of it’s existence, the palace was used for various educational purposes, for teacher’s seminary and finally for girls school. Nuns were invited by prelate Olsauskas to run the school. Our school was built in 1912. Students are selected on their ability to this gymnasium. They have to take entrance exams in math, Lithuanian and English. Only the best are supposed to be admitted. Our gymnasium has a good reputation, especially for math and computer science. It’s quite prestigious to study here. We have advanced courses in math and computer science. Our school maintains a high academic standard. The requirements are much higher than in any ordinary school. Our gymnasium is famous for its old traditions. The teachers and all the system of our gymnasium do everything under the sun to make study all the day round. There are a lot of good teachers, but most of them are sure, that their subject is the most important for the pupils. I can say, that I’m happy here and I need to prepare for university entrance, so I don’t know the better school for that.
15. Food & drink
Food and drink are very important, because nobody can live without eating and drinking. These two things may be a great pleasure. Of course, we have to eat neither too much nor too little. Foods that are eaten on a regular basis make up a diet. Although geographic location and family traditions play major part in forming dietary habits, food choices vary from person to person. Eating too much salt, sugar and fat can effect your risk of developing heart disease and raise the level of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a natural waxy substance made by the body. It helps to form digestive juices. Eating too much sugar can mean that you’re more likely to become obese and that means a higher risk of getting heart disease. Sugar may taste good, but of course, it contains nothing but calories. Sugar can lead to tooth decoy. Eating too much salt has been linked with high blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart disease. Fast foods are major part of many people’s diets. Fast foods are often high in fat, salt and low in minerals and vitamins. It’s important to eat more fresh fruit & vegetables, to cut down on salty snacks, chips, nuts, to go easy on sweets, chocolates and to use less salt and sugar in cooking. But the most important thing in changing your eating habits is to cut down gradually.
It’s said, that 70% of young people smoke or have tried smoking. Well I think that smoking is a bag thing. It’s dangerous to us and to others. Smoking causes cancer, various diseases of lungs, throat. Doctors inform us about it, but smokers don’t pay attention to it. Youngest usually like to imitate the adults. For this purpose parents must no smoke themselves. Smoking is like illnesses, once try and you can’t stop. Smoking helps people to relax and they enjoy it. But to give up is very difficult, and some people can’t do this without others help. I think, that many smokers are selfish people, because there are many places where is “no smoking” sign, but a lot of people ignore them. They do harm not only for their health, but for non-smoker’s health too. To my mind smoking is really not the problem of the person itself, but it’s also the problem of mankind. The person not only poisons itself, but he pollutes the environment also. So it’s better not to begin smoking at all. The life of all people will be healthier, especially of the young people.
17. Weather forecasts
I think, that weather forecast is good thing, but not always it’s right. Sometimes forecast said one thing, but happens another. So, we can’t always trust them. I think, that people are interested in forecasts, when they are going somewhere or when they are going to make a party in open air. Sometimes people are interesting in forecasts when they have nothing to do and are bored. In spring the sky often is cloudy all day long and it’s raining at intervals. The temperature is about 10 degrees over zero. But sometimes the sky is clear and the sun is shining and then the temperature rise up to 15-19 degrees over zero. In summer sometimes temperature is 25 degrees over zero and it’s very hot and sultry. Sun is blazing, but it’s good only to get sunburn. The wind is very wild in summer, because it’s western or southern. Sometimes it’s drizzling after that there are many puddles everywhere.
18. Seasons of the year
There are four seasons in a year. They are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Every season is beautiful and pleasant in its own way. Spring is a wonderful season. Spring comes and nature awakens from its winter sleep. The days become longer and nights shorter. The ground is covered with fresh green grass and the first spring flowers .The trees are covered with new leaves and blossoms. The air is fresh and sun shines brightly. Spring months are March , April and May. Summer months are June, July and August. The weather is usually fine in summer. It is much warmer than in spring. The trees are green and the gardens are full of flowers. Everybody enjoys summer. A lot of people have their holidays in summer. They can go swimming and boating, they can lie in the sun and get sunburn, they can gather berries and mushrooms. Autumn months are September, October and November. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. The weather often changes, and it gets colder and colder. The sky is often grey and cloudy, often rains. Autumn is harvesting time; it’s the time when grain, fruit and vegetables become ripe. Winter months are December, January and February. Sometimes it is very cold (30 degrees or more below zero). It often snows. Winter is a good time for sport. Little children are fond of playing snowballs and making snowmen, older ones go in for skating and skiing.
19. Foreign languages
English is very popular in nowadays. About 85% of people speak English. English is used as native language, as second language or the language, which we have to use in our job. People like English, because it’s easy to learn and to speak. If we know a foreign language, we are able to speak to foreigners, to write letters or documents to other country. I think it’s very important to know at least 2 foreign languages. I know English and Russian; my parents know polish, English and Russian. I know polish too. I have used my knowledge, when we were in Poland. I spoke with salesmen, when I wanted to buy some souvenirs. We can talk to tourists if we know foreign language; we can talk, when we are in other country. We can read books, papers, listen to the songs words, news, we can watch films without translation. And I think that most important must be speaking, because if we have to use foreign language, we usually speak, but not write or read. I think, that we can learn foreign language very well if we only want.
These days the life is really difficult in our country. People have a lot of problems, they have lost hope to live better. It’s the worst thing that could happen. Thousands of people can’t afford to buy even food. Today in Lithuania there are a lot of homeless families, sick and disable people, thousands of lonely, helpless old people, who can’t support themselves only living on their pensions, they can’t afford to pay heavy taxes for a flat, electricity, central heating and gas. They suffer from malnutrition and diseases. We can see beggars on every corner. There are people dying of starvation. Nobody cares that there are hundreds of children who stay away from school. There are people who beg for help, but nobody hears them. Nobody care about them, others think that it’s nothing to do with them. There are charity organizations. There are people who feel maral duty to help others, they sacrifices themselves for charity, they collect money, but they can’t solve this terrible problem. Almost 50 years Lithuania was exploited by Soviet occupation. Our natural resources were stolen, our industry was suppressed, and people were taken as slaves. Most of people dream to be rich, to earn a lot of money by cheating others and so on.
We go shopping practically every day when we need to buy some foodstuffs or some household articles. Very often we don’t know what to buy and advertisements help us to decide. People are influenced by publicity everywhere – in newspapers, on the train or on the bus, on television, in the shops. While we are shopping we are attracted by colorful packets, by signs of reductions and free gifts. I think advertisements are very useful for sellers and for buyers. They give the public information. If we want to buy something important, we go to a large department store. These stores are very useful places, people enjoy shopping there because all kinds of things are on sale there and they can buy everything they need. All the things for sale are displayed and can be easily seen. “Iki” is the biggest department store in our town. You can get almost everything there. The store is divided into sections: the women clothes, the men clothes, the shoes, the toys, the sports goods, radios and so on. Some of these departments can be called ‘self-service departments’ because customers walk round and choose what they want there. If you need a gift or a souvenir you can go to the souvenir section. There is a mini bar where you can have tea or a cup of coffee and a cake or sandwich. On the next floor you can get everything in the way of clothes wanted by men or women. You can get footwear there too. In the perfume section there is a wide assortment of perfume. So in “Iki” you can find lots of tiny and large things that you may want for you or for your house. On the each floor in “Iki” there are some checkouts where you pay money for your goods. I go to “Iki” too. But usually I go shopping near my house. This shop isn’t large but I can get almost everything there.
Littering is a disgusting habit; it shows a lack of responsibility on all sides. Unfortunately, these days most parents don’t bring their children up properly and don’t set a good example themselves. A local government ought to provide litter cans, place them at regular intervals and empty them regularly. And citizens ought to feel a duty to use them, but untidy people don’t bother, as if it doesn’t concern them. People who leave litter behind them are anti-social, because they create all sorts of danger. Broken bottles, rusty cans, cigarette butts, empty packages spoil the countryside, and they can cause serious injuries, especially to children. Only fools throw away matches and cigarette butts, because they can start fire, especially in dry forest. I think, that littering is a crime and carries a heavy penalty. But the police are too busy to prevent serious crimes, to worry about littering. If someone dropped a ton of poisonous chemical waste, the police would try to catch him, but they can’t chase everyone who leaves around empty bottles, cans and scrap of paper or cigarette butts after a picnic. Every citizen ought to feel responsibility for their bad habits.
Nowadays our life isn’t safe. It seems that neither police, nor government can’t guarantee public safety. Statistics shows that violent crimes at present have been increase. So no one can live in peace and feel save even in his own home. This situation in Lithuania is getting hopeless. A lot of dangerous criminals are allowed to escape and roam free. There are more and more burglars, kidnappers, murders and killers, who commit crimes and succeed in escaping penalties by engaging good lawyers. Juvenile delinquency has become a serious problem and it’s evident. People can’t trust even banks, which most of them become bankrupt, because they were ruined by greedy, little-skilled people. Only few of these bank workers were convicted of being guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. Others sentence was commuted or the sentence wasn’t carried out at all. And now they are free. Meanwhile lots of people lost their savings.I don’t believe, that criminals, who commit crimes of a particularly heinous nature can be reformed in the prison. Some people robbing, committing crimes, because of hunger or poverty. But the worst thing is that, then you are poor and can’t afford to have a good solicitor, you can be convicted of murder and imprisoned even being completely innocent. Sometimes it’s not use in locking for the truth and justice, because there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.
Lithuania is a small country at the Baltic Sea. The nature is very beautiful in Lithuania. One must show the foreign visitors it’s wonderful nature and traditions. To my mind, they must see everything what is nice. There are many national parks in Lithuania. You can take your guests to them. The Trakai national Park was designated in 1992 to embrace the historical city of Trakai, the forests, villages and lakes. The most significant historical monument is the Ancient Castle, erected on one of the island of the lake Galve. Zemaitija National Park was founded in 1991. The main aims of the park are the preserve the lake Plateliai system and the nature, to take care of cultural values in Zemaiciu Kalvarija, Plateliai and other places. In the park the visitors can have a good rest and spend the holidays or weekend in the fresh air, in picturesque places, play games, go by water bikes and yachts and do other things. For the foreigners it’s very interesting to take part at festivals. The festival of Rasa is held on the 22-23 of June. There is a Church festival in Zemaiciu Kalvarija at the beginning of July. Thousands of people come there to pray, sign ancient Church songs and visit chapels, which were built 350 years ago. The Zemaiciai National Park contains many agricultural territories with a great amount of unique monuments, reflecting etnocultural heritage of the very early population up to our days. And that’s all about the places where you can take the foreigners.
Every four years people of Lithuania vote in general elections. Now 3 years have already passed since the last general elections took place. We have almost forgotten all these long political speeches and debates on the radio and TV, all the agitation for one or the other candidate. But one year will fly past and this marathon will start again. The Conservatives, as always, will be hoping to convince the nation, that if people unite under their government, they will overcome such evils as inflation, food shortage, unemployment and crises. The LDDP will be introducing radical new measures including widespread nationalization of private industry in an effort to rescue Lithuania from threatening economic problems. The socialists, the Center Coalition Party, the Liberal Democrats and the other will be trying to persuade the voters that Lithuania can achieve economical stability and industrial prosperity only under their leadership. In the next elections my classmates and I will be voting for the first time. My family always goes to vote, we belong to Silainiai electoral district. From early morning till evening people go to polling stations and put their voting-papers into ballot boxes. I think, that nowadays people are disappointed with the Government, because they see how one party changing other, but situation in Lithuania doesn’t change. I think, that deputies must work and try to do their best – to make life easier for their electors, but not themselves and then maybe the political situation will achieve stability.