10.05.2009

Possibly, a True Story

The Challenger Space Shuttle blew up on my brother's 5th birthday, January 28th, 1986. On February 7th, 1990, one day before my 12th birthday, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union agreed to give up its monopoly of power. At some point between these historic moments, three or four Russian Cosmonauts visited my elementary school; I had lunch with them because I was on the student council. All I remember is that the room was yellow-lit: it was a room that I hadn't been in before; and the Cosmonauts sat down the table to my left, and that I brought a brown-bag lunch that day, that very likely included a rice-crispy treat. Nothing the Cosmonauts said impressed me enough that I have a memory of it. But, I think I remember the remarkable appearance of their faces, or one of their faces -- it was both rounder and harder than the faces I was accustomed to. I think I remember seeing one of their helmets on the table. But, I also think I remember thinking to myself, "God, how embarrassing!--Russian Cosmonauts reduced to having lunch with third and fourth graders at an elementary school in Michigan!--is there no justice in the universe?"

But of course, I must be imagining that last part, and possibly the whole story. Today, I looked at all 55 wikipedia pages of former and current Russian Cosmonauts. If I had to guess, I would say this guy was present at my elementary school at some point in the 1980s:

Assignment: write an essay in which you argue how much (if any) of this essay is true, and be sure to explain how you made your judgment.

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