On my journey to find out how Pushkin is still taught in the schools, I visited School No. 171 in St. Petersburg. This is one of the better schools in the city, located in a prestigious neighborhood (along Liteiniy Prospekt) in the center of town. The teacher had her students prepare for the occasion. One by one the students went to the front of the room (where “My Pushkin” was written on the blackboard) and quoted a verse by heart, and then discussed the meaning of what they had just quoted.
Although I didn’t get the spontaneity of a regular classroom, watching the students excitedly quote Pushkin was worth seeing. Afterwards, they bombarded me and I autographed each student’s notebook.