My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Indeed some of my favorite things are the Sound of Music movie, the songs and John Coltrane's wonderful Jazz interpretation of it!

If I were to write the lyrics for this song in my youth, I would definitely add math and technical drafting to the list.

Ever since I was a child, I remember how my dad would always come up with interesting and fun math problems that he would give me and my brother while we were doing ordinary things.

Math has always seemed fun with him and during the middle school years


my love for math grew stronger with an amazing math teacher that my class was lucky to have. Mrs. Claudia Yakovlevna Shvachich was a tall, kind woman in her late 50s that taught Algebra and Geometry classes from 5th to 8th grades (1983-1986). She commended respect and love of students with her kind, passionate and articulate approach to teaching math.


Mrs. Shvachich never used a text book and always explained the material using her own words with such passionate energy and articulation that the entire class would listen holding their breath.

She never had to discipline anyone or do anything in class to make students quiet. She was so brilliant and interesting in her teaching that students were quiet, so they could hear her. Every student in her class had a good grade, with B (or 4 in Soviet grading system) being the worst grade in class, she was so good, it was impossible not to understand math. She was definitely one of the most memorable teachers of my life.

Claudia Yakovlevna called me by my full first name Stanislav with the emphasis on "i", in a way that no other person has ever done. She loved hard candies, especially the kind that at the time was used for airplane ear and motion sickness on airplanes called Caramel Vzletnaya.


In later years of high school we missed Claudia Yakovlevna and her brilliant way of teaching in calculus classes that didn't seem interesting without her.

However at that time I found my new favorite class - technical drafting! It was taught by a visiting teacher from a different school, who would come to our school once a week.

To me drafting was drawing with structure, a perfect combination of art, design and technical skills - it attracted me immediately and I spent long hours perfecting my homework working long into night hours. I was amazed by what I could produce by following the rules of drafting. The work I remember the most was complicated 3D isometry figures with cut outs. I was so good at it, that the teacher wanted me to continue studying drafting in college preparatory classes.

To this day, I use my math and drafting skills on daily basis in my business, although it is now enhanced by spreadsheets, calculators, graphical and CAD software. And yet, that combination of art, design and technical implementation, in addition to seeing the big picture are the actual things that excite and drive me today, so many years later from my frist drafting classes. And today math and drafting are still on the list of my favorite things!