Sheila Pattle: “I did not know what to expect from Perm; I did not search the internet about the city, but it was a pleasant surprise to me”
Sheila, PhD student from Durham university, talks about her work in the State archive of Perm region, her passion to Russian culture and things in Perm that were a welcome surprise to her.
About the visit to Russia
This is not my first visit to Russia. I often come here throughout the recent decade. From 2008 to 2012 I was receiving bachelor's degree in Russian. After that – master’s degree. Now I am writing my PhD thesis. But as for Perm, this is my first time here. I did not know what to expect from Perm because I did not search the internet about the city. However, it was a pleasant surprise to me.
About the interest to Russia
I think, it’s all your culture. Probably, it is the main reason for my love to Russia. I remember, when I was a teenager, I read a lot of books by Leo Tolstoy. Later a fateful moment came when I discovered the music by Shostakovich. It changed my life.
Impressions from the city
I was traveling from Moscow to Perm by train. My travel companion was a woman, a native of Perm, who told me many good things about the city, so I can say that first impressions about your city were good. When I was riding to the hotel by bus, I saw a lot of soviet buildings in the centre. I expected to see many modern buildings, so it was a pleasant surprise to see historic architecture in the centre.
Actually, I came to Perm for work, so I don’t have time for sightseeing. But I have been to your famous Tchaikovsky Opera and ballet theatre thrice. It is the main place of culture to me.
Working in the State archive of Perm region
I am writing a thesis about the use of sociology in industry in Soviet Union in 1960s-1980s. I have chosen two cities as examples: Leningrad and Perm. Perm was chosen even before establishing partner relations between my university and HSE. In the archive I look for sociological documents and different works of sociologists. It sounds strange, but it is always necessary to choose something uncommon for PhD thesis. Besides, it is really difficult to find information on the subject.
Impressions from HSE-Perm
Unfortunately, I do not visit the university often, and I communicated with few persons. Only with employees from the foreign students support department. But when I saw the university for the first time, I was surprised how clean it is.
Besides, everybody seems to be busy here. Maybe, I simply came at break time, but I managed to feel strong energy that your university emits.
PhD student, Durham University
Partner programme of Durham University and HSE-Perm
I think, it is a great opportunity for Durham to find a partner in Russia. I am sure that our students who will go to Perm will like the city. It seemed friendly to me. I hope I will have a chance to come back here to continue my work or to write a book.