Artem Berman: Look, I have three questionnaires. The first questionnaire is “I have never worked.” The second questionnaire is “I worked, but I don’t work now for one reason or the other one.” Well, for example, I’m looking for a job or I am not, I don’t work now, but I used to work. And the third questionnaire is “I am employed now.” Which one are we going to use?

Constantine Samilo: “I’m employed now”.

Artem Berman: Super! I am going to open the questionnaire now. I have it in English, but I will translate it into Russian. Well, everything is fine, it will be easier for us in Russian. Just a couple of minutes and it will be opened. So, so, so, so, so, so … So, so, so, so, so … So, the first questions … They will be purely formal.

Constantine Samilo: Yes-yes-yes.

Artem Berman: It is so-called semi-structured interview. That is, there will be questions, but these will be open questions. It will be conditionally not such questions as, “Do you smoke?” – “Yes/no.” It will be such questions as, “How do you feel about smoking?” This will allow you to answer the questions in detail and make your points.

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: Well, the first questions are very simple. They are closed. The first question, “Do you allow this interview to be used for scientific purposes and for the purposes of scientific research?”

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: The second question, “Do you allow this interview to be published on the website?”

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: The third one, “Would you like to publish this interview under your real name or would you like to use any pseudonym?”

Constantine Samilo: Do as you wish, I do not care.

Artem Berman: Okay. The fourth one…

Constantine Samilo: I mean, yes. “Yes” is for everything.

Artem Berman: Well, that is, we can use a real name.

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: The fourth is your name. Well, I know it. The fifth one is contact information.

Constantine Samilo: Constantine.

Artem Berman: Nice to meet you. My name is Artem. The fifth question is “Contact information” – e-mail or phone number. Well, you can send it in Skype later. In addition to this, I have already had your phone number – your wife told me.

Constantine Samilo: Okay. Okay, okay.

Artem Berman: The sixth question, “How old are you?”

Constantine Samilo: I’m 52.

Artem Berman: The seventh question is the most difficult, “Gender?” What is your gender? I suppose, male.

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: The eighth one, “Do you live alone or with a partner, a wife or with parents, other relatives?”

Constantine Samilo: I live with my family – my wife and three children.

Artem Berman: Super! The ninth question. Again, you should answer just within the zone of your own comfort. That information, which is comfortable for you to say, you tell us; that information, which is not comfortable for you to say, you don’t tell us. The ninth question, “What kind of disability or disease, or problem do you have?” That is, what happened to you?

Constantine Samilo: Well, according to the Ukrainian graduation, I have a category I disability. Permanent… I am disabled since my childhood. I had an electric shock in August 1975. I got into a transformer substation with my younger brother and sister. I decided to show them the beauty of the place that I discovered. I was 10 years old at that time, and my brother and sister were 5 years. So… Well, of course, there were completely childish thoughts – what is interesting, what is not interesting. I climbed into the transformer substation, but safety rules have not been followed. Well, I climbed into it, stumbled and fell, pushing 6,000 volts on myself. Well, and I burnt. Due to the fact that the younger ones did not rush me to save but shouted with a fright, and my father went out to smoke on the porch at that time, he heard and ran. Since he has something to do with electricity, he professionally managed to disrupt me from there. Well, accordingly, I have the charred hands, 30 % of my body, burns, etc. 8 months of operations, transplants, amputations, etc. In August … And I came back in April.
Since then, I’ve spent my entire life, 42 years out of my 52, I’m disabled, and I vaguely remember myself as the “normal” person. It was a childhood that … This can be considered untrue. I was a different person.

Artem Berman: Accordingly, the question, “How did this affect your life in all its manifestations: social, family, personal, and professional?” Well, when you were 10 years, there was no professional life.

Constantine Samilo: There was not, yes. It effected dramatically because boys have a different life at this age. This is a period of active … Well, an active period in all areas. That is, sports, this is the formation of man, well, finding his/her place in the life, well, and so on. Everything was finished, but I was an active guy. Well, I don’t know about a big sports career, but, nevertheless, I participated in a sport. That is, in short, it impacted on me dramatically, so, at first. I was afraid to go out on the street.
When I came back from the hospital, I looked out the window at the guys of the same age and did not know whether they welcome me. I had a lot of wrong ideas, including suicides. I believed that everyone would poke their fingers at me. Had it not been for the help by parents, my father and my mother, who got through to me and told me to go outside, and then the help of my friends, who welcomed me, of course, it would be hard for me both psychologically and physiologically. It’s also the period of physiological development. If it were not active, it is not known what it would be. Well, that is, it was very important. The help of relatives was very important. If they did not accept me, I would not run, would not jump, would not swim, would not ride a bicycle, and would not actively engage in life, I could be a completely different person. So, that’s it.

Artem Berman: In principle, we answered the tenth question, namely, “How did your social rehabilitation begin? What was the process of coming back or joining the society? Who and what helped you? Who and what did interfere?” You told me that there were your parents, you told me that there were your friends, that is, your environment.

Constantine Samilo: Yes, yes. This was very important, because, well, as I understand it, we have that in common… And it was difficult to perceive… I felt the glances of people by my skin and perceived them very painfully. I wanted to not stick out, I wanted people to not to notice, but they still notice. Well, it was hard. It was hard. The period was rather complicated, and then it intensified even during puberty, because, as you understand …

Artem Berman: Yes.

Constantine Samilo: As you understand, it is quite difficult to see how different you are from your peers, not how the opposite sex pays or does not pay attention to you during this period. It is very important. So, of course, there were a lot of things. In particular, the moment was the total … So that they took you for a reason, and that friends treat you as an ordinary person. I had the incident when I provoked the guys to have a fight against me, otherwise, I would not understand myself … I wouldn’t accept myself as a full-fledged person.

Artem Berman: I see. Yes, we have something in common. The eleventh question, “What is your education?” Again, the information you deem it necessary to share. The first sub-question, “Did you have an education before that thing that happened to you?” I guess that you went to secondary school when you were 10 years old.

Constantine Samilo: Yes. I studied in the 4th form. I graduated from the 4 grade and moved to the fifth. So… My education continued. Well, even if a year was lost, the class welcomed me. They were waiting for me, they supported me, and so there was a very pleasant moment there. So … And after about a year I had to learn to read, it was necessary to learn how to write, it was necessary to learn, well, many things with prostheses that were uncomfortable. I tried to write with my feet, with my teeth. As a result, I realized that I should not engage in stupidities, but try to write with prostheses, and I learned this. Therefore, I continued quite, in principle, again thanks to the teachers, who noticed that I could speculate on their situation. This age is quite serious. They were very strict with me. And they stopped such things. They intercepted the speculation on my physical condition and treated me like everyone else. And it helped me. I do not know how it influences on others, but it helps me. Well, there were also problems when it came to the progression of studies. I’m a man from the family, you can say … Well, my father is a techie. Until the moment of disability, I was close to the tech direction. Then I had to change myself. I could not enter where I wanted. In the end, I believe that I did the right thing. I entered that specialty that does not require hands but requires a head and a tongue. This is the Faculty of History. In our Soviet time, it was quite prestigious because it was the ideological faculty. All party and state leaders graduated, first of all, the Faculty of History. Therefore, it was also a very serious test. Well, I went there and realized myself as a teacher, where there was no need to prove myself through the hands. So, that’s it.

Artem Berman: Well, yes we have answered such questions as, “Why did you choose this specialization?” You have answered this one. «What influenced the choice of this particular university or college, which you entered?» Was it a university in your city or …

Constantine Samilo: Yes, it was a university in my city, and it was solely because I was dependent on my parents. My life outside and the trip to another city was impossible because it was necessary to find a person who would help me at once.

Artem Berman: And you graduated as a bachelor or specialist?

Constantine Samilo: There were neither bachelors nor masters in the Soviet Union. The specialist was the highest degree.

Artem Berman: Specialist…Yes.

Constantine Samilo: I finished in 1987. That is, it was the height of Perestroika.

Artem Berman: Yes, the height.

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: The question is, “Do you have any special support at you current working place? What kind of support do you have: flexible hours, specially equipped workplace, anything from the organization in which you are currently working and what is this place? ”

Constantine Samilo: I have no concessions at all, but I have a slightly unusual story. Let’s do it. I’m in a nutshell about my work experience. After the institute, I started to work as a teacher of History. I worked as a history teacher for 4 years – up to the 1991 year. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 together with my friend from a parallel group …We established our own school. Here, and I was, well, among those …Well, my friend was more engaged, let’s say, the idea of the program, on which the school will work, some sort of selection of cadres because he had the opportunity. And I dealt with organizational and financial issues. I became the director of the school that we established. My friend became my deputy. Since then, since 1991 I am the director of the school that created by myself. Although it is not private, it was stated from the very beginning. However, I do not need any specific workplace. That is, in order to manage the school you need, again, brains, language, somewhere, well, in the movements I’m not limited. I was not interested in anything else.

Artem Berman: Are we talking about secondary school, right?

Constantine Samilo: Yes, we are talking about secondary school. Well, we started as a lyceum, which prepared children only for admission, that is, it is a senior school. Now, this is a full school, that is, from the first to the eleventh grade.

Artem Berman: The thirteenth question probably almost has no sense, but nevertheless, I will voice it: “Have you ever been enlisted, that is, have you ever been offered a promotion? Do you see your career path? Do you consider yourself a candidate for promotion? If so, why, if not, why? Well, you are the director of the school, so, definitely yes. But if you have something to say …

Constantine Samilo: So, I’ll tell you. If we talk about that thing that happened, there were several proposals on the career line, that is, it means to be the bureaucrat. There were proposals to hold the post of the chief of the district, and then to grow, if there is a possibility further in this area. There were reflections, but since everything is connected with my school, I chose my school.

Artem Berman: Yes.

Constantine Samilo: After consulting with the family, with my wife, we each time (this was a repeated offer) made a decision in favor of continuing the activity as the school director. In parallel, there were in the 90s, there were doubts whether it was necessary to do just this, or there were also attempts to be engaged in business and I even thought about just an entrepreneurial activity. These moments were also presented. I had to choose at some point, because “either/or.” Both activities took a lot of time. Again, the decision was made in favor of continuing to work at school. This brought, probably, more not material, but moral satisfaction. Therefore, if we talk about now, career growth is associated only with the school, with its development, because we have many plans: we are building, we are developing. Now in the light of reforms – the reforms of secondary education are becoming to be very serious in Ukraine. The lyceum holds rather a decent position not only in the city, but also in Ukraine now. Therefore, we have a vision of our future in the future education system. It’s interesting. There is a lot without changing the place of work – just a career grows in its essence: not in the place of work…

Artem Berman: I see. But by filling. Greater scope of tasks.

Constantine Samilo: Yes.

Artem Berman: And once again I specify the city.

Constantine Samilo: Zaporozhye.

Artem Berman: So … The next question, “What are the main difficulties that you are experiencing, or the challenges that you face at work?”

Constantine Samilo: All my life I had one major difficulty with which I fought. Well, first, my main difficulty is that I still remain an addicted person. But my difficulty has been successfully solved, first of all, by the fact that I have a family – a wife, children, who support me. I do not feel daily nuances. Again, we are married for a long time, so this problem is solved. So, if we talk about other things… My main difficulty is that I don’t want to treat myself as an invalid as well as no one around me because I consider myself a self-sufficient person and an accomplished person. That is, in this regard … My father and mother brought me up in a right way: they taught me that I could swim, I could run, I could fight, I could protect myself if I set myself up like this. Therefore, there are no complications. Moreover, I can say that I believe that it is not difficulties, sometimes it’s even easier, because when you come and solve some problems connected with the school, and someone there is a potential sponsor, deputy, official – I believe that sometimes it helps when people see my physiological state. I do not use it, but I feel that it helps.

Artem Berman: I get it.

Constantine Samilo: Well…

Artem Berman: Yes, it is logical. The question is, maybe, a little more philosophical. And, again, let’s come a little bit back. “What was the main reason that you started to work that time?” And what is the reason that you continue to work?

Constantine Samilo: You know, the reason that I went to work, I do not even remember. I think, this question has never come up. Yes, I got a pension from 10 years old. Well, that was not me, but my parents. In principle, it was possible, there, answering the main question of your dissertation, you could live. Everyone worked in my family: my father worked, my mother worked. I saw how the financial relations were built. That is, my family wasn’t rich. Everything that was done was done, well, probably, by parental labor. And the first scholarships that I began to have, I began to give part of it in a ‘common pocket’. It was because I began to understand that I was fed, that I was being worn. And the first salary, until I began to live with my own family, I gave all salaries to my mother and my father. That is, it helped because we still had a brother and sister. For me it was important to participate in …

Artem Berman: In the formation of the family budget.

Constantine Samilo: Yes. At that time there was no business, at that time there were still no plans, to be rich or poor. In those days we were all the same. The question was not this, that was the social issue. I would feel that I am a man only if I worked, and at that time everyone worked like this, everything, in my opinion, was the same. Although, yes, I understand that many disabled people passed before my eyes, I went through prosthetic workshops, through medical institutions, where I saw people who lost their arms, legs, both arms, and legs, and they had to adapt to much worse one’s conditions than I have. I understood all this, that is, I say, I had no problems. I’m with the understanding that I have to work. I chose a profession for myself, which allowed…

Artem Berman: That was at that time. What motivates you now, why don’t you stop?

Constantine Samilo: Sorry, now I have about 600 children with me. My school is experimental. It remains like this, it’s not like any other. This is the first point. Secondly, we don’t live in the Soviet Union anymore and we can’t live just on pension in Ukraine.

Artem Berman: Yes.

Constantine Samilo: So this is a huge help. Again, we are working with my wife. My wife works in a little bit different area. She works at a university.

Artem Berman: Educational area.

Constantine Samilo: Yes, close to me. Therefore, we … It’s not an issue now … If I leave my work now, then the standard of living will drop dramatically … In general, I do not know, I do not know how we will live … Therefore, the material life is very important now …

Artem Berman: Well, you’ve answered that both material and responsibility to these children who go to school. Actually, we have answered the sixteenth question, namely: “Can you imagine yourself without work, that you left it, and what would be the consequences?” Well, you have already said, and economic …

Constantine Samilo: It’s pretty hard to imagine. I am at that age when sometimes you already think about what will happen in a few years when the pension comes. But I can hardly imagine myself retired, for the reason that I have small children and the oldest child is not an adult yet. That is, she still has to study at the university, that is, I have many tasks. It’s as if not up to retirement.

Artem Berman: Perfect. It is very interesting to talk to you. Just in case, to orient you. We still have about four questions. Do you still have about 25 minutes?

Constantine Samilo: Yes, please.

Artem Berman: Well, the following seventeenth question, “Is it your first working place? If not, why did you leave the previous one?”

Constantine Samilo: This is my second place of work. I left the first one only because I established my own school. That is, I worked as a teacher at school quite successfully, I believe, because we established a gymnasium in this school and recruited special classes, and I was actualized as a historian there as well. However, my school, which should not have the disadvantages that were in the regular school, was more important, so I left there, believing that here I would have a possibility to actualize myself better.

Artem Berman: I see. The next question is, “What does your family think about your work, that you work, about your active life position?”

Constantine Samilo: Well, my eldest daughter was finishing my school. I believe, not because she is my daughter, I believe, because I consider myself to be quite a critical person. She got a good education, and now she wants to be the architect-designer. That is, I think she remembers the school with pleasure. Well, everyone else – they quite often they come to me, they see my place of work and support me. So everything is fine.

Artem Berman: The next question is, “Is your work related to your education?” Well, that is, do you work in your specialty?

Constantine Samilo: Yes. I continue to work as a historian …

Artem Berman: Okay.

Constantine Samilo: And only as a director …

Artem Berman: Teach the subject …

Constantine Samilo: I continue to enjoy my work.

Artem Berman: Super. Do you think that your education, that’s the higher education you got, gave you more opportunities in life?

Constantine Samilo: Definitely! Definitely, because it was a specific education, for which you could only show yourself, well, or go to the party-state work, well, this, you understand, this Perestroika, and I was not attracted to it. I was not in a party … That is, I had to go either to continue my studies and go to college or go to school. I went to school, and, in principle, it’s suitable for me. I could, could change my further destiny – get a second education. And there were even thoughts about legal education, but at some point, life was delayed, and everything went quite actively and there was no time to do it. And then there was no need.

Artem Berman: And one more sub-question, “How do you maintain the current level in the profession?” Well, it’s hard for me to say how …

Constantine Samilo: Reading! Reading, regular reading of all that is published in Ukraine and not only in Ukraine in my specialty. A lot of things are published, so there are a lot of things you can do … The most interesting is that history is an interesting science. On the one hand, it is a prostitute, which is sold to everyone and everything, but if you explain it in a professional way, then it is interesting and never lets you get bored.

Artem Berman: The next question concerns figures. You can answer as well as do not answer, or answer vaguely. But, in any case, I will voice the question, you answer as you want, “Do you get any financial help from the state?”

Constantine Samilo: I get it. I get a pension throughout my entire adult life. There was a time when it was just symbolic. There was a time when, well, it’s all due to inflation, our internal state affairs … Now, this pension is, well, about 200 – 220 dollars. In principle, it cannot be said that this is a large pension or a small one. It is an average pension, therefore, in principle, it is normal. This adds to the family budget good earnings. At least, utility bills can be paid…

Artem Berman: You pay.

Constantine Samilo: We pay.

Artem Berman: We have a sub-question, “What percentage of your total income is a pension?” Well, at least, is it significant or insignificant?

Constantine Samilo: Let’s just say, if you talk about me, it’s, well, the fourth part.

Artem Berman: Well, that is, to some extent, it is the significant one. And the last sub-question, “Are you satisfied with your level of prosperity that you have?”

Constantine Samilo: I am generally satisfied with everything in life, although all my life I have been striving for the best. Therefore … Now I believe that, well, I have the opportunity to afford myself a lot. We are even able to raise money in order to travel with the family, and sometimes even make decent purchases, so I’m satisfied, not completely, but, in principle, in principle – yes! I cannot complain. I have never complained in my life, therefore … I am a person who believes that much has been accomplished in my life.

Artem Berman: Super. And the last question consists of series of open phrases, that is, roughly speaking, two words and three words, and I will ask you to finish them. The first is the most difficult. You can end it with one word, with a phrase, that is, whatever you like. «I» and ellipsis.

Constantine Samilo: I’m probably a man, the protector of the family.

Artem Berman: Super. “Before the injury or before the accident I …”

Constantine Samilo: I was a curious boy. Curiosity, probably, remained my feature, although it led me to the trauma.

Artem Berman: Okay. Hence, the further phrase, “I can / I am able to …”

Constantine Samilo: In principle, I can do everything, I am capable to do everything that is necessary, I am capable of anything.

Artem Berman: Super! “In future I realize myself …”

Constantine Samilo: In future, I would like to realize myself as a happy father and a grandfather, because I see my main task as the success of my children.

Artem Berman: And the last two open questions, “I’m afraid of …”

Constantine Samilo: I’m afraid of those things everyone is afraid of. I’m afraid of diseases that can interfere, I’m afraid of the situation in a state that can become uncontrollable and which I cannot influence, I’m afraid of the war, well, I’m afraid, probably, of the time when I have to be retired anyway.

Artem Berman: And the last, “I want …”

Constantine Samilo: Well, there is, let’s say, personal and professional. I have many professions – I will not voice them, but in my personal life I want to continue to live fully, full-blooded, allow myself and my loved ones to self-actualize and enjoy everything from traveling, communication with people, different places. In short, this is what I want. I want to live a full life.

Artem Berman: I see. We have reached the end of the interview. If there are any questions, I will be happy to answer, and if not, thanks for your time and desire to have a conversation.

Constantine Samilo: Artem, I believe that you do the right thing. I think that we have something in common, so I approved this interview.
So I was glad to answer these questions, and I wish you every success.

Artem Berman: Thank you very much! We will keep in touch.

Constantine Samilo: If something interests you, please, contact me.

Artem Berman: Okay.

Constantine Samilo: Bye-bye!

Artem Berman: Thank you.