Aspirations come from hopes and dreams only a dedicated person can
conjure up. They can range from passing the third grade to making the local
high school football team. Marie Curie's aspirations, however, were much
Life in late 19th century Poland was rough. Being a female in those
days wasn't a walk in the park either. Marie Curie is recognized in history by
the name she took in her adopted country, France. Born in Poland in 1867, she
was christened Manya Sklodowska. In the year of her birth, Poland was ruled by
the neighboring Russia; no Pole could forget it, or at least anyone involved in
education, as both Manya's parents were. Manya's mother was a headmistress of a
girls' school. The Russians insisted that Polish schools teach the Russian
language and Russian history. The Poles had to teach their children their own
language and history in secrecy.
Manya enjoyed learning but her childhood was always overshadowed by
depression. At the young age of six, her father lost his job and her family
became very poor. In the same year of 1873, her mother died of tuberculosis.
As if that wasn't enough tragedy for the family already, two of her sisters died
of typhus as well. Her oldest sister, Bronya, had to leave school early to take
care of the family. Despite all these hardships and setbacks, Manya continued
to work hard at school.
Although her sister Bronya had stopped going to school to act as the
family's housekeeper, she desperately wanted to go on studying to become a
doctor. This was almost impossible in Poland, however. In Poland, women were
not allowed to go to college. Many Poles took the option to flee from Russian
rule and live in France; this is exactly what Bronya did. She had set her
heart on going to Paris to study at the famous Sorbonne University (The
University of Paris). The only problem now was that she had no money to get
Manya and Bronya agreed to help each other attain their educations.
Manya got a job as a governess and sent her earnings to support Bronya in Paris.
Then, when Bronya could afford it, she would help Manya with her schooling and
education in return. Manya went to live in a village called Szczuki with a
family called Zorawski. Aside from teaching the two children of the family for
seven hours a day, she organized lessons for her own benefit as well. Manya
spent her evenin...
... middle of paper ...
1921, Marie was invited to the United States to receive her radium. After
stepping out into the public just once, the world fell in love.
She became sort of and ambassador for science, travelling to other
countries, educating as well as still receiving honors. In 1925, the Polish
government erected another radium institute, this time in her honor - The Marie
Sklodowska/Curie Institute. The President of Poland laid the first corner stone
while Marie laid the second. The women of the United States acknowledged her a
second time and collected enough money to produce yet another gram of radium to
be presented to the Polish Institute for its research and treatment program.
In may of 1934, Marie Curie was stricken to her bed due to the flu.
Being too weak to fight against the virus, she died in a sanitarium in the
French Alps. She was quietly buried on July 6, 1934 and laid to rest next to
her husband Pierre.
Marie Curie was a woman of the ages. She represented true humanity in
the pusuit of perfection. Marie found humanity's perfection in chemistry and
her work. Loving what she did and devoting herself to the sciences is what made
her happy in the sense that true perfection was found.
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