Interview with Alecia Jioeva
Professor From Moscow State University
by Murat Palaoglu
Alecia Jioeva (53) is a Professor of Linguistics who has been teaching English for 25 years. For the last 15 years, she has been teaching language in the Department of Foreign Languages and Department of International Politics. She is at CELOP on a Fulbright research scholarship, and besides doing research and attending classes she delivers lectures and classes herself, both in BU and Harvard. The one she gave to the teachers of CELOP was enjoyed by everybody. The colleagues found the presentation most useful and interesting. Alecia lives in Brookline with another Professor from Harvard. In her life, Alecia was mostly influenced by her parents and her academic supervisor. Her father, who was a most kind personality, died when she was 17. Alecia thinks that to be kind is very important in life, and when you talk to her, you can see that she is influenced by her father to be kind, honest, responsible and friendly. Also, her academic advisor Natalya Sljusareva, who was a Russian Professor, had affected her to be honest and responsible in her academic career. The Professor says that even if she had enough money and time, she wouldn’t give up working, but she would like to have the chance to help people in South Ossetia and other talented people with their education. Alecia plans to work as long as she can, but mentions that if she feels that she cannot give anything to the academic world or to her students, at that moment she will quit. When I asked her a funny question about creating a sports team with her children, and what the team would be, she answered me without a doubt that it would be a soccer team with 11 children. We also decided on a name for her team: Manchester United Jr. Then I noticed that the reason is the great love inside her heart for a soccer team named Manchester United. Alecia said that she is not actually a soccer fan, she is an MU fan. She mentioned that Man United is not
just a soccer team; it is the club with its own philosophy, its own history and traditions. For her it is not just loving soccer, it is the feeling of belonging to a society chosen by you, to those whom you
consider the best, of having a friendship which doesn’t consider nationality, gender, age or any other differences. There are Bostonian MU supporters called Boston Reds-MU Reds, with whom she goes to a bar to watch the games together. Alecia is also a member of Moscow Reds, but she also has friends who live in London and support MU. Her family members are also MU supporters –
her brother and her nephew. The most surprising and exciting experience in her life was going to Old Traford Stadium - the home arena for Manchester United - for the first time. The stadium is called “The theatre of Dreams”, the name give to it by legendary Bobby Charlton. Alecia mentioned the slogan, “Keep the Red Flag flying high ‘cause Man United will never die,” which is the philosophy of Manchester United Club. It was obvious that she could talk about MU for 24 hours, and possibly seven days a week, 365 days a year. Alecia is also a great music fan, and she likes to listen to classical music, Beatles and jazz. She has a wonderful collection of Beatles Interpretations, like Classical and Opera versions of Beatles, or jazz and lute interpretations of them. Besides MU and music, her job gives her the most happiness in her life. She loves
students and finds her job most enjoyable. The Professor believes that there is no end point for upgrading. “If you start thinking that you are already good enough, you start going back because
the world is constantly moving forward. There is always room for becoming better,” she said.
When asked about the possibility of being reincarnated, Alecia said she would like to be herself again, but a better person—more tolerant and more giving and less sensitive. When asked about the chance of winning a lottery, Alecia said she would spend her money on educating the people
in South Ossetia. Another question I asked her was if there had been anything in her life she regretted. “One shouldn’t regret,” was the answer. “Whatever IS, is fine. And we benefit from whatever happened— spiritually, morally, professionally, personally. If there is one thing I
truly regret is that I could probably have spent more time with my mother when she was still here.”
After the amazing interview with this modest lady, I was impressed by her different skills and interests in different fields of life, but I am sure that the first thing I will remember about her is the
light which sparkled in her eyes when we talked about Manchester United.
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