September 28, 2011

Late for school but possible to arrange it.

I would like to share some of my experiences lately being late to school. Being away from school for a month can create a big problem. Some of you might think why I was late for school, I was late for this semester from school because my mom was sick and me as only mature son of the family have to go out of the Netherlands. Recently I am back school and everything going back to normal situation. It was and still challenging to join all classes, groups, deliver assignments on time etc.. but anyhow I remember and old Dari saying; ‘’ no one can reach the gold, unless working hard’’ I hope I can make it.

September 22, 2011


Ever since the new school year started a few weeks ago, I am still to get used to the new rhythm of teaching again, picking up my 4 year old from elementary school at 3 pm and juggling all other responsibilities and tasks as a lecturer, mentor, wife, mother, daughter and a friend. I like being busy, it makes me feel alive, but lately I also try to make sure that I can relax and not have to sprint around the building and have that long overdue cup of coffee with a colleague or simply bike to work without rushing and sweating, enjoying the occasional dry morning out of all the rainy days in Holland.

I try to pay more attention to relaxation. I am far from being a lazy person, but guess what? People like me, ex-perfectionist/workaholic/overachiever and someone who does it all, need to slow down sometimes. I am working on it, I am working on preserving my energy and teaching myself to let some things go or organise them in a way that would not make my life miserable, hectic or sweaty. It is not always possible, and it is good to have your schedule full so that there is no excuse not do something, but pauses are necessary for everyone, in everything.

I need to be better at it. I need to send myself more often to enjoy a long warm bath before going to bad instead of thinking that I should get some work done so that I will have less work to do later on. It is not possible because guess what? It does not end and yet you keep running, and catching and trying to manage.  It is good for me to watch my pointless TV shows, it is good for me to read gossip magazines to unwind and spend some quality time with my spouse. I need to work on relaxing more. Probably sounds funny to most students and people who are good at having the right balance of work & play. But I am yet to find mine and yet to see the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills latest episode…

September 14, 2011

The power of writing, getting things done and sharing.

It is nice to get things done. The feeling of finally doing things that you have been postponing for days, weeks or may be months is great. At last today I saw my to do list and got right to it without finding yet another reason not to. Surprisingly or may be expectedly once you manage to get things done, you have a very good feeling of being very productive.

 Amazing how powerful things can be if you write them down. And it is not only with to do lists. Have you ever tried putting down on paper your dreams, your goals or simply writing about how you feel?
When I was a teenager, I had a diary. Whenever I would be acting like any teen in puberty feeling like the whole world was against me and did not understand me, I would write about it in my diary. That would always let me blow off some steam and had almost a therapeutic effect making me feel good.

 It is a shame that we do not write by hand as much any more, but alternatively we have all these new ways of dealing with our emotions.

 Now we twitter about how frustrating the train delay was or post a status update on facebook about being tired, upset, happy or busy. It is certainly an alternative way to share your feelings and get rid of at least a small portion of negative emotions. The good thing about of sharing your feelings is that our friends or so called “facebook friends” often relate to us, support us or help with advice and that is something an old school diary cannot give.

 Another positive effect of posting something on facebook I noticed is a motivation to do what you posted you would do. At least for me it works that way. If I mention that I am going to do an Interval Cardio Burn, and believe me there are times when I really do not feel like it, the fact that I posted that gives me an external motivation to do it.
So what are your reasons to write things down and/or share?

September 11, 2011

Exchange so far!!

Hi all!!
Sorry for this late post after my previous one, but I've been really busy. I hope everybody had a great summer, despite the fact the weather was not that good.
In the meanwhile I've done a lot! The school system is quite different to be honest. The thing that I struggle most with, is making reports. Everything that you write should be based on official journals or articles. And to reference those journals and articles you have to use the Harvard reference system. I've never used that system so it was quite difficult the first time also because we didn't really get an explanation. Moreover, looking up journals can be VERY frustrating! There is also another grading system, but that is not so hard. I made one test so far and my results were 15½ out of 20 so that's not too bad. I reckon that that is around a 7,5 so I was quite satisfied. Those are the things which are the most different from what I am used to at the HES. Other than that, School is fun and my classes are scheduled pretty good so no worries about that.
One thing that you have to bear in mind as an Exchange study is that you have to plan really carefully. I didn't and so I now have to make these assignments in a short time period which lead to some stress and little sleep haha. But that is probably what (exchange) student life is because I'm not the only one with this problem, actually I think everybody is struggling with that because we just have heaps of fun.

September 7, 2011

Reflection on Nests

Well, I asked my own PD students to do a reflection report on their first week at school. Then I thought, why don't I do it as well? Especially since I came home in such a bad mood from our first team meeting of the year. And why was that? And what is my part in all of this (self reflection is about taking responsibility...)?
I was upset about the new ruling that 2 courses are being earmarked as so important that if students don't pass them - they won't pass to the 2nd year. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense, because some people just 'hang out' as students for 5 to 7 years... dragging it out until actually it's not clear if they are still students or part of the staff - and just like good parents - we need to eventually kick them out of the nest. Both for their sake and ours...

But on the other hand, making such strict rules for 1st year students seems tough - mainly because - having worked for the past 5 years with first year students - I perhaps lack the confidence that they will step up to this challenge.