Sights on the skies

Posted on 02 April 2014 by admin

Multi-lingual Meramec student will depart for Air Force April 22

Staff Writer

Anastasia Cazacu

Anastasia Cazacu

The competitive ballroom dancer will make her way to the skies this month. With her first year coming to an end, freshman Anastasia Cazacu will face a new challenge.
“On April 22, I go to Air Force basic training,” Cazacu said. “I am nervous, but excited. My brother is in the Air Force already so he has helped prepare me.”

Cazacu was born in Moldova, a country settled between the Ukraine and Romania, and lived there until the age of 16. Three years ago her father got a job in St. Louis and moved Cazacu and her brother with him. Her mother stayed behind because the family decided to keep their family home. Cazacu said that she thinks it is her father’s intention to move back to Moldova one day.

“My mom stayed in Moldova because my parents decided to keep the house, so family life is a little different these last three years,” Cazacu said. “When we lived together we ate dinner as a family almost every night.”

Cazacu is shipping out for basic training in April, but finals do not begin until May.
“I will be taking my finals early since I leave for basic training before the semester ends,” Cazacu said.

Cazacu will be able to resume school in the fall semester since basic training is eight weeks long.

“I will be attending my basic training in Texas, and I joined the reserves with a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in services such as hotel management, so I will still be able to attend classes in the fall,” Cazacu said.

According to Cazacu, the Air Force appealed to her for the assistance that they provide with college tuition payment.

“The Air Force is paying for my education, so that is the main reason why I’m going,” Cazacu said.

Cazacu said that family life is very important to her, but has changed since moving to the U.S. When speaking of Moldova, Cazacu said that it was peaceful place, but also corrupt.
“In Moldova, you can pay some police officers directly and you won’t get a ticket,” Cazacu said. “Even some teachers offer to give a better grade in class for money.”
Cazacu said that American life was a difficult transition early on.

“It was really difficult making friends because I did not know English at all,” Cazacu said. “I had to learn English in American high school.”

Cazacu’s final two years of high school were spent at Parkway Central where she was a part of the Pom squad, a group similar to cheerleaders, but with more emphasis on dancing.

Since learning English upon moving to the U.S., that puts the total number of languages that Cazacu speaks at five.

“I speak Russian, Romanian, Moldovan and French,” Cazacu said with a smile. “My parents wanted me to learn French, but the other languages are commonly spoken in Moldova. English was difficult in the beginning because I had to learn the rules and grammar.”

Cazacu recently applied for a scholarship in Russia but said that if she does not get it, or if it does not coordinate with her Air Force commitment, then she will most likely be returning to Meramec in the fall before transferring.

“If it doesn’t work out with the Russia scholarship, I will probably come back here for a semester before applying at another school,” Cazacu said. “I would like to major in international relations at University of Illinois-Chicago.”

Her desired major is another reason that she hopes the Air Force will allow her to take the Russia scholarship if offered.

“International communications seems like a good fit for Russia and the U.S. Air Force to come together,” Cazacu said.

When she is not studying, working or preparing for her upcoming commitment to the Air Force, Cazacu enjoys competitive ballroom dancing and other leisure activities.
“I have competed in countries such as Russia, Bulgaria, the Ukraine and Germany,” Cazacu said. “I have won 73 medals in ballroom competition.”

Cazacu said her social time is spent with friends and watching the occasional soccer game, as well as running to keep fit.

profilegraphics“I like to go to movies with friends and watch soccer games,” Cazacu said. “I also enjoy running to keep in shape. I run three times a week and four miles each time. My favorite place to run is at Creve Coeur Lake.”

Cazacu said she has no worries about keeping active considering everything she has on the horizon.

“With basic training [this month] and my potential scholarship, and the possibility of being back at Meramec for the fall semester, I have plenty to keep me occupied,” Cazacu said.



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