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Home town.

1. Where are you from ?

I come from Wielki Kack which is one of many districts of Gdynia. Before founding of the city in 1926, Wielki Kack used to be a village which was attached to the town during its development. Today much of the character of the village has remained and Wielki Kack is rather a quiet area but also a pleasant one. Most people are friendly and outgoing and I think that everyone gets one with each other well. One of the major advantages is the location of the district. It is in close proximity to Tricity Ringroad which means that it is very easy to commute to other parts of town. It is just few minutes drive to the center and for this reason a lot of new people are attracted to the area. I moved in to live here two years ago and I don’t think I would like to live anywhere else now.

2. Can you tell me something about your town?

Gdynia is a modern city located at the Baltic coast. It was established in 1926 and merchant port played a significant role in its development. Prior to this event Gdynia had been a fisherman village of little importance. Today it has a population of around 500.000 inhabitants and there is a huge inflow of new people into the town. The port is one of the biggest and most modern ports in the Baltic Sea. The most beautiful part of Gdynia is waterfront. There is a spacious boulevard along the sea, where tourists as well as locals can walk and rest in numerous small pubs and cafes. However, it is the center which speaks volumes of Gdynia’s character, people and culture. The most representative street is Świętojańska where nearly everything can be bought starting from socks up to property. At the northern end of the boulevard there is Kościuszko square with Maritime museum, multi-cinema, fun park and restaurants. There, are also situated two historical ships, destroyer BLYSKAWICA and nearly 100 years old frigate DAR POMORZA. I think that Gdynia has set high goals for other towns in Poland to achieve and it is gradually adapting its structure to European standards.

3. What is there to do in the evenings in your town?

There is quite few things to do in the evenings in my town. The way the evening is spent depends upon one’s taste and mood. For those who enjoy wild nights and loud music, I would recommend to visit Tornado which is the biggest night club in Gdynia. It is said to have good music and reasonable atmosphere. Those people who would like to have a quite evening out I would recommend to pay a visit to pubs, restaurants and cafes. John Bull Pub, although known as being rather pricy, offers live Irish and Scottish music twice a week. Monika caf offers the best ice-creams in Gdynia and excellent coffee is served there too. When it comes to restaurants, I would recommend Polonia restaurant which apart from serving delicious dishes is also famous for special atmosphere and warm outlook. Those who enjoy live performances, I would recommend two theaters in Gdynia namely Music and Municipal Theatre. Both offer a wide range of plays throughout the whole year and have a cast of actors. Finally, City Council is also involved in organization and sponsoring of multitude of Art Galleries and Concerts. There are also many social events and picnics which start in the afternoons and go on till late in the evenings.

4. Which part of your town do you like most? Why?

There are many interesting places in my town. However, the one which is closest to my heart is undoubtedly the area of Kościuszko Square and Boulevard with a view at the sea. The sea front part of my town is the most beautiful. It has a special character and is truly a charismatic place. The view from Sightseeing Tower in Kamienna Góra is really amazing. One can see Hel peninsular on a sunny day and vessels moored at the quay. Walks along Kościuszko Square with the view at two historic vessels namely 100 year old frigate Dar Pomorza and Second World War destroyer Błyskawica, are truly magic. Boat trips across the sea port canals and to Sopot pier provide people with warm memories of summer during cold winter days. I think that this place is the most representative of Gdynia’s character. It speaks volumes of the past and the way this city has progressed from a petty village to one of the most advanced towns in Poland.

5. What kind of jobs do people do in your town?

Gdynia is primarily a sea port town and as such most of its inhabitants are employed in merchant port, shipyards and other companies involved in shipping business. There are many Sailor Recruitment Agencies which give employment to many sailors whose families live in the town. There are also shipping design and consulting companies which employ designers and economists. The second considerable group are professional man and businessman who run their own companies and give employment to a lot of skilled and semi-skilled labor. They own most of the city retail outlets and commercial services. There are also many civil servants who work in public services such as City Hall. They along with many white collar workers constitute one of the largest groups in the city. Finally, there is also a group of self-employed people who mostly engage in trade. People in this group often lack necessary skills demanded by labor market to find employment elsewhere.

Family

1. Do you have a large or small family?
2. Can you tell me something about them?

I think I have a small family. There are three people in it. I am the only child but sometimes I wish I had a brother or a sister. This is because I feel lonely at times and I wish I had someone to speak to. I am a second year student at High School Number 2 in Sopot. My mother is a manager in a trading company and my father is an officer on a passenger vessel. He spends most of his time away from home and this means that I am mostly with my mother. Nevertheless, I think that when we are all together we are a happy family. My father and myself are very keen on computing and we always spend summer holidays together at Mazurian Lake District sailing on our boat. My mother likes traveling abroad and she enjoys warm countries in particular.

Work/Study

1. Can you tell me something about yourself ?

I am seventeen years old teenagers and I think I am just the same like all of them. I enjoy listening to music and my favorite kind of music is hip-hop. My favorite band is Cypress Hill and Dr Dre. I have been always good at sports and I like playing basketball and volleyball. Most of all, however, I am keen on extreme sports such as parachute and bungee jumping. I think I am an open person with very outgoing personality. It is sometimes difficult to get on with me but generally I think I am open minded. I like studying languages and I enjoy computing very much. I go out with friends and I like having a lot of people around me.

2. Do you work or are you a student ?

I am a second year student at High school No. 2 in Sopot. I have never worked before although I wish I had my own source of income so that I would not have to ask my parents for money. My school is academically average but I think that it has a special atmosphere created by the students. I generally get on with most of my teachers but sometimes there happens a disagreement over my grades or behavior. I think I enjoy my student life just like all the rest of my friends. We go to the parties and we love to socialize and meet new people. I think that I would like to have some kind of summer job because it could give me the opportunity not only to meet new people but also to learn some skills which may prove to be useful in the future.

3. What do you enjoy most about your studies ?

I don’t think I enjoy studying very much but at the same time I don’t think I could do without going to school. I have a lot of friends there and there is always something happening. Life in my school is I believe just the same as in any other. Some people continually get into trouble but it is fun watching them. However, one subject which I enjoy most in my school is Mathematics. I understand maths because I have had a very good teacher in my primary school. In comparison to my present one, she knew how to teach as well as to make people like her subject. She was both funny as well as demanding and she had this special gift of making a very relaxing atmosphere in her lessons. I believe that the prime reason why I don’t enjoy my studies now is the fact that most teachers do not make enough sacrifice to make us understand. They only come into the lesson and do what they have to. I wish it was different but then I think I would have to change schools which I am not very keen on doing because of my friends.

4. What qualifications will you need for the job you hope to do ?

I would like to peruse a career of a software engineer. I think this profession has future and recent developments in high-tech industry suggest that demand for software engineers is going to grow rapidly. This is a highly competitive area and I am aware of the fact that there will be a lot of people applying for all the key jobs by the time I will finish university. For this reason I am studying languages because they may prove vital addition to my qualifications. Good command of at least two European languages is a must if one wants to have a career in computing and work for multinational companies such as Softbank, ICL or Microsoft. In addition I think it would be also important to have a good university degree at masters level from a good university. In order to be able to get into good academic institution one needs to have good grades in science based subjects. However, a high pace of development of this branch of industry makes it difficult to predict what other requirements might employers want in the future and for this reason I think that one has to achieve good results in everything.

Leisure

1. Do you have any hobby ?

There are many things that I like to do but my main hobbies include computers and sport. Generally these hobbies don’t go together well but I like them in the same way. I have been interested in computers for six years. I started with games, then I used to make and mix music and now I spend a lot of time making graphics and internet pages. I also surf in internet. Sometimes I like playing strategy games on internet but not often because it’s too expensive. My second hobby is sport. I like all sports connected with board most. My summer hobby is windsurfing. When weather, time and money permit I try to do it as often as possible. I practice windsurfing on sea, in Chalupy, at the Hel Peninsula. This is often dangerous, difficult but also very exciting. The more dangerous kind of windsurfing is kitesurfing which I would like to try one day. In winter I practice snowboarding which is my favorite board-sport. I love jumping and doing tricks. I’ve many friends doing the same, so I don’t have any problems with finding company when going snowboarding.

2. How did you become interested in your hobby ?

My hobbies are computers and sport. I have been interested in computers for six years. This was when my father bought for me my first real computer. I remember that it was Pentium 133 and it was the best hardware on the market. I was sitting all the time in front of the monitor and I was playing all the time. But soon playing games began to bore me and I started making and mixing music. Now I’m mostly interested in graphics and internet. I have already made a few internet pages and I am involved in making a web site for my school. I have been also interested in sport ever since I can remember. My parents are very keen on sport and they got me interested in sport. My mother is a sailing, swimming and skiing instructor because she graduated from Physical Education Academy in Gdansk. My father has been sailing for 8 years and generally he has always liked sport. My first true contact with sport was when I was 6 or 7 and I went to the tennis lessons which I enjoyed very much. Today I am keen on bored-sports and I love snowboarding and windsurfing.

3. Which do you prefer more, watching television or going cinema? What sort of programs/films do you like to watch ?

Generally I don’t like watching television because I’m rather an active person but there are times when I like lying on the sofa and watching TV. I like watching comedies and action films especially. My favorite comedy serial is “swiat wedlug kiepskich” which is one the funniest program I’ve ever seen. I watch it as often as I can. Nevertheless, above all, I prefer going out with my friends to watching television. I often go to the multi cinema in Kosciuszko square in Gdynia where I can watch films on the big screen and listen to truly outstanding sound effects. I saw my first film in this cinema in September, one week after it was officially opened. The film that I went to see was “Gladiator” and it was shown in the biggest room called “panorama”. There is a semi-circular screen and Dolby surround sound system. I think that “Gladiator” was one of the best films I have ever seen and for this reason I have seen it four times already. I think that the soundtrack from this movie is also exceptionally good and I would recommend it to everyone. Generally I am not fond of sitting at home so I prefer going to the cinema.

4. What kind of sports are you and your friends interested in ?

I and my friends are interested in many sports but most of all we like all sort of sports connected with a board. We practice skateboarding in our yard throughout the whole year. I remember the first skate board was owned by my friend Michael and then the rest of us bought ours. In summer, we also practice windsurfing. When the weather is good and we have enough money, we often go to the Chalupy at the Hel Peninsula. Sometimes during holidays we go there camping and we do a lot of windsurfing. However what we truly enjoy is snowboarding which we practice at camps in Slovakia. We like jumping on the boards so we often build ramps on the slopes. It happens that occasionally someone breaks something but people do not get put off and we continue practicing jumps to the perfection. I and my friends have always enjoyed extreme sports. This year some of us are considering to try parachute jumping. I think that all of us enjoy the feeling of freedom and independence. I deeply believe that parachute jumping would enable us to experience both of them.

5. What kind of music do you enjoy most ?

I like many different kinds of music but most of all I enjoy hip-hop. The first time that I have heard a hip-hop song was in the sixth class of Grammar School. At that time most of my friends were listening to groups such as backstreet boys and spice girls. I didn’t particularly enjoy this kind of music and I was looking for something that really appealed to my lifestyle and my personality. My first band which I have really listened to was Cypress Hill and it has remained my most favorite group till this day. I have all their records and albums and sometimes I wish I could go to their concert live. I generally prefer American hip-hop groups because polish hip-hop scene is rather poor. There are perhaps three or four reasonable bands but nothing else really. Somebody said few years ago that white man can’t jump and white man can’t rap and I think I agree with this statement. Of course it is easy to look for exceptions just like in the case of Eminem who is the most popular hip-hop artist now. He is very good despite being white. I also like traditional polish music which is quite popular in our country. I prefer bands such as “Brathanki” and “Golec uorkiestra” which I listen to quite a lot. My parents do not generally approve of the music that I listen to and they often say I have a rather strange taste. Generally, I tolerate all other kinds of music but I don’t think I will ever like disco-polo.

6. How do you usually spend your holidays ?

I usually spend my holidays away from home, often at the camps with friends but sometimes I go on holidays with my parents on my father’s boat. I enjoy camps because I can relax without my parents with my friends and we can do what we want. We always go to Slovakia together and we enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. Our camps are always sports camps. In the summer we go to play tennis and in winter we spend our vocation skiing and snowboarding. However, my most favorite camps are in winter. I love snowboarding and skiing. Last vocation I spent with my father sailing in Mazurian Lake Distric. We also went to Hel Peninsula where we did a lot of windsurfing. I also like traveling abroad and I have already visited few countries. I have already been to Rome, Mallorca and Spain. However, most of all I enjoy camps and spending my time with friends.

7. Is there anywhere you would particularly like to visit ? Why ?

I would particularly like to visit Bali because there are the best conditions for kite-surfing and generally it is a beautiful island with unusual nature. There are gorgeous beaches, warm sea and most importantly perfect waves for surfing. I always wanted to visit different countries and tropical places hence travel to Bali has been my dream for many years. I would also like to visit the USA too because this is a different country which I have never been to before. I know that films do not show true images of American life and culture and I would like to see it on my own eyes. Most of all I would like to visit New York and see statue of liberty and Manhattan. However, what I would like to do most is to go shopping there. There are a lot of products which are not yet available on the polish market. On the other hand, there are also many impressive places of interest such as canyons and Yellowstone National Park. In addition, there are also many other places in the world that I would like to visit.

Future Plans

1. What do you hope to do in the next few years ?

My plans for the next few years are very ambitious so I’ll have a lot of work to do. In the near future I hope to get my driving license and I know it is not all that easy to pass the exam in the first go. I am also planning to attend a parachuting course in one of the airdromes in the Tricity. There are few theoretical lessons at the beginning but then the course gets much tougher because there is a lot of fitness exercises which each candidate must complete. I would also like to improve my windsurfing and kite-surfing skills either at the Hawaii islands or Bali. These places are known for excellent instructors and best conditions to do these sports. I am also planning to do well at school. I would like to pass entrance exams to Gdańsk Polytechnic and do a computing course there. Polytechnic is said to be very demanding so I know that there is a lot of studying ahead of me. After graduation I would like to start my own company and earn enough money to buy an apartment of my own. One thing which I am not planning to do in next few years is to get married until I am completely financially independent.

2. How important is English to your future plans ?

English is very important for my future plans because I would like to travel a lot in the future. I particularly would like to visit USA. English is widely spoken all over the world by over 2 million people. It is an international language which enables people to communicate in nearly al European countries. Nevertheless, most importantly English is a key to professional success for many young people. I would like to study computing at Gdańsk Polytechnic and both of these fields are extremely related to one another. I do not think it is possible to make any career without proper command of English language both spoken and written. There are many international companies investing in Poland and they search markets for people with good command of this language. Head hunters in Warsaw often say it is extremely difficult to find young trainees with well spoken English. For these reasons I believe that this language is going to be a key to my future English is international language of informatics so I must know it in the perfect way to be good in my future profession. All professional scientific new is publicized in this language. I want to go to the USA to the Hollywood or Silicon Valley to work as a designer of programs for special effect to films.

3. What do you hope to be doing in five years time ?

My plans for the next few years are very ambitious so I’ll have a lot of work to do. In the near future I hope to get my driving license and I know it is not all that easy to pass the exam in the first go. I am also planning to attend a parachuting course in one of the airdromes in the Tricity. There are few theoretical lessons at the beginning but then the course gets much tougher because there is a lot of fitness exercises which each candidate must complete. I would also like to improve my windsurfing and kite-surfing skills either at the Hawaii islands or Bali. These places are known for excellent instructors and best conditions to do these sports. I am also planning to do well at school. I would like to pass entrance exams to Gdańsk Polytechnic and do a computing course there. Polytechnic is said to be very demanding so I know that there is a lot of studying ahead of me. After graduation I would like to start my own company and earn enough money to buy an apartment of my own. One thing which I am not planning to do in next few years is to get married until I am completely financially independent.

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