November 30, 2010

Shareholders In Awe

It's a few degrees below freezing tonight and the wind is 'quite brisk'.  In this lovely weather I just got back from my student company's first shareholders meeting. It was held at a different building from where I teach, closer to the city center and in the evening. Yes, you might say I was somewhat less than enthusiastic at being made to leave the heat of my home and face the slippery half frozen ice, catch a metro and find a place I'd never been to.
But I have to say I was in for a few surprises. Firstly, the location of the school is practically "on" the tramline - so close that you see the darn building as soon as you step out of the metro station. Secondly, the students were all there on time - all in their very best clothes and fully organized with a super cool state of the art presentation... Prezi ring a bell? Ok, it's true that the coffee did hold up the start of the meeting, but besides that glitch, the students were well organized, they knew what to say, and had a nice audience of about 15 shareholders! You won't believe it - but they even have the first draft of their website on the air ! http://www.chipbuddy.nl/
Well done! I'm very happy for 'my' students. They did me proud tonight!

Snowy night this morning

End of November is the time the snow begins this year. Yesterday in class we were distracted all day by the question - will it snow? And since I come from warmer climates, LA and then Israel, it's always an attraction - at least the first time. So, we watched the cold white sky, and saw the mist draw closer, until finally at 3:30 in the afternoon, just as I was explaining the difference between a thesis led essay (where you have a strong opinion), vs an evidence led essay (where you can easily argue for both sides), the first dry flat flakes started blowing past our class window. So, it's that time of year... and now it's Tuesday morning, I'm preparing work for class, sitting at home by my window - it's 8:20 a.m. and still seems like night but the weatherman said some sun may shine through. And I'm a believer, yes I am!

Cable Gate - Why Julian had to tell

I had nothing to do with it. Really. And saying this my heart beats faster, thinking oh my G-d, what if they think it is me... but it's not. Just because I'm Israeli and American, that has nothing to do with it. In fact, news from the WikiLeak website has been dripping out steadily for quite some time now - so it hasn't come as a shock to me that the Cable Gate affair happened.
We humans are weak, and people with secrets are weaker still for two main reasons - one is that secrets are heavy and hard to hold onto. Just knowing something you can't tell makes it so much more tempting - just like the bar of caramel crispy chocolate that you just can't resist - it's there on the counter in front of your eyes. Secondly, there is the "90 seconds of fame" effect which many of us long for... (why otherwise would I write a blog?)
Or there could be some idealism involved... definitely a possibility there... But the psychological explanation of just needing to get it off their chest works for me -
So, that's my theory on why he had to tell. Why else?
And what secrets have you got? As for me - I have a few - it's true. And perhaps you hope to hear some of them. And perhaps you will - later on, but for now, all you get is that I'm a Lecturer at HvA - International Dept. of the Business school... want to know more? Ok, I'll tell - I'm in Amsterdam!