December 12, 2012

12-12-(20)12

No, it is not a post on 12-12-12. Everyone on the internet was talking, tweeting, posting about this special date. And yeah not to forget they added the time as well -> 12-12-12 at 12:12:12 (-_-)
But no, I wanted to post on my current situation. As I have mentioned it before, I graduated this August 2012 for TMA. And since then I was applying for jobs. I also mentioned that I was doing this course at Schiphol with the proposal of getting a job at Schiphol in the customs department. However, I have been on job interviews, but was declined because they preferred someone with more experience. Especially right now, with the economic not on its best point.

I am almost finishing my customs course at Schiphol and in the meantime I have a part-time job at a clothing store. It is not what I had imagined. But hey, we all have fixed costs and I refused my parents financial aid, because I have this urge of proving my independence to my parents. Like most students, at the age of 18 we are officially an adult, meaning paying for your own insurances and what not. I did not mind, as this independence gave me freedom in what I want to do. Before, I felt guilty in my actions, and I was always cautious not to give my parents trouble. You can say that at the age of 18 I have become rebellious :P
And besides, I have never gained retail experiences, so all this part-time job is also beneficial for my working experience. They say the more variaty on working experiences, the better on your CV and you as a person.

Anyways back to where I was, in order for me to have an income, part-time jobs (where not much experience was demanded) was the solution. I had to have an income, my savings were getting depleted and I missed money :P Because nowadays everything costs money. So I just pulled myself out of my depression of being declined one after the other and said: Just take whatever you can! And before I knew it, the day before my Bday I was called for an interview and got the job. Amazing huh, what self-motivation can bring you to.

I am not satisfied with my current situation, but not disappointed either.
What my plan is as a graduate:
- To specialize myzelf with the courses Schiphol offers. Once this course is finished, I can go for another specialization course.
- Keep on applying for fulltime, serious jobs.
- And meantime I earn my income working in this clothes shop.

It is not a post with a happy ending, but I hope to post the next story with better news! Just remember that this road called life will always has its bumps. You just have to be positive, gather your motivation back, put a bright smile and make the best out of that bad situation. I will not say that life is too short, so live it to the fullest, but I do can say: If you have the positive mindset, you will shine bright like star and affect others around you. With this you can spread and motivate others with that positive energy and get the best out of them. The world suddenly will seem different and before you know it, EVERY morning, whether the alarm goes off at 5AM or 10AM, there will be a smile on your face! A good start of the day  \(^_^)/

December 8, 2012

Leaving your loved one behind..

There is a place I used to know, there is a place I need to find. And I needed to be there in time. It was time to leave to for Malaysia on the 8th of February 2012.  Even though we have only been together for about a year, he asked my father for my hand on my "goodbye party" four days before I left. But the prospect of being apart for 5 months makes things harder then they supposed to be. A million things to worry about...

"You occupy my mind every day and night, I think of things to say to you, what we should do to keep this alive. Fears and frustrations galore. Feeding on high expectations and happy endings were we high above the ground? or was it just me? Like lullabies you are forever in my mind, I'm seeing you in all the pieces of my life. I wanted to go away with you and I will leave all my worries here. Will you still catch me when I fall, accept me flaws and all?"

There isn't much you can do when your tickets are booked, the school application is confirmed and everything is arranged. Leaving was bittersweet, because going on exchange to Malaysia was actually the main reason why I chose to study IM at the HES. Exchange was the thing I was looking forward to for 3 years, and now this thing called love, flipped my mind around. To the point even that I didn't want to leave anymore. Thankfully he supported me, and encouraged me to go. Looking back on it I realize that  the experiences I had can't be traded for anything. It made me stronger, it made us stronger. Knowing that he would come at the and of June and we would have 2 months time to spend together in Malaysia was something for us to look forward to. Nevertheless tears were shed.. uncountable tears.

And eventually things never seem to go as planned...






December 5, 2012

Child of two cultures


On a stormy 2nd December twenty-three years ago, in 1989 I was born. I came to the world on top of some layers of old newspapers on the wooden floor of our little white house. The little white house was built on a small idyllic island, somewhere in the South Chinese sea. I was born as a sister to a two-year-older brother, and as a daughter of a Dutch mother and a Malay father. Lived in paradise for four years, sand castles, fresh coconut juice, and the view of early morning sunrises over the wavy sea were normalities.
When my parent separated at age four, my mother took my brother and me back to Holland. I grew up hanging between two cultures, not really knowing where I belonged. I went back to Malaysia five times spending the holidays, and I lived there with my father when I was 17 for the time period of 10 months. Still there was not really a place called home.
Now I know home is where the love is, not a place but a feeling. But still I am looking for a place to settle. I have ranked to study abroad in Malaysia last year, and I went from February until september. Here I hoped to learn more about my background and find some more peace of mind. I want to take you with me on my journey, and report my experiences looking back on it.....

November 16, 2012

When your email box flows over...

So, lately I have noticed that I have totally run out of time. So much that I don't read, let alone respond, to all my emails. To me, a Mercurian*/Gemini communicator, that is inexcusable. And yet, I forgive myself. You know why?
1. Tweets, whatsapps and facebook msgs r faster.
2. I have prioritized things in my life. Email is not at the top of the list.
3. I take time for tango, parenting classes and golf. Nope, I don't just work.
4. People are my priorities, not running after the Sisyphus ordeal of my inbox(es).
5. I learned at TedxUtrecht from the Marketing Communications manager of Ziggo that email is no longer an evolved form of snail mail, but something completely different. (I interpret it to be more advertising than real two way communication).
6. I still have, as Rebecca Bortman (also @TedxUtrecht) aptly explained, a severe case of TMP (too many projects) - but in order to do them all - and well - something has to give (guess what? Email!)

So - having said all that... You can find me on @studyleaks, on this blog, my closer friends on Whatsapp and Skype (even the phone!).

What works for you? (happy to hear ideas, comments and feedback to my anti email revolution)... after all, a revolution can only work if a person has a follower....




*The Mercurian is named for Mercury who, if he had known it, was/is the patron god of theatrical translators, those intrepid souls possessed of eloquence, feats of skill, messengers not between the gods but between cultures, traders in images, nimble and dexterous linguistic thieves. (borrowed, not stolen from: http://drama.unc.edu/mercurian.html)

October 9, 2012

Life after (my) graduation

So, it's been over a month or so since I have received my diploma blablabla.. I hope you are curious what I have been doing ever since. Well, there is a good and bad side to this. Let's start with the bad, so I can end this post on a more positive note.

It has been quite hard for me to find a job. And with job I mean a full time job where you earn around 1500 euros or more. Not the students type of part time jobs. That, I can easily find. I have been rejected in the past 3 months about 30+ times, where I had 3 job interviews included. It is hard! The most common reason I got was: "You do not have enough working experience in this business", "We have found a better candidate who has evr so slightly more (working) experience", and the list goes on and on. The worst excuse I have ever had was for my accent. Now, I am Surinamese and my accent is really not that bad. But they wanted to have someone who can speak Dutch without an accent. Seriously, this is ridiculous. Among all Dutch people, some do not have an accent?! It was for a customer service function, which I kind of understood their perspective. Still, I found this utmost discrimination. As polite and tolerable as I always am, I kindly denied them and wish them good luck in finding a suitable candidate. This was really the downfall where I saw myself drowning in. And of course adding up all the rejections and no mater how many times I change my letters, it seemed automatically that I would get a "no".

Then there was a sparkling light: WCN. Just like the quote: After rain comes sunshine (Na regen komt zonneschijn). It is a job agency (uitzendbureau) that negotiate Schiphol jobs. I was already regisered in other job agencies, so I took a shot at this one as well. Why not? I thought. But then this agency offered me more... trainings and short study courses. I am now finishing a basic course as Airway/Export expedient and am considering to take a level higher as junior customs consultant.
Who knew, that I, who studied TMA, gained my bachelor diploma for an economic study, would gone in this "customs" (douane) direction? Till today I am still shocked how unplanned things can make drastic changes in your life. Am I satisfied with it? YES! Do I want to specialize in "customs"? YES! Did the TMA course contrbuted to this? No =(  !!

It's shocking right?! So I feel like the whole TMA study has meant nothing actually to my probably (prospected) job. Of course I enjoyed the whole international part and dissertation project. But the first 2 and a half years felt like a waste. I do not remember all the theory I have learned back then. Usually that is what the teachers/professors tell you during your students years: "You have to study, you will need it for your future job". It is true though, but not for students who has not yet figured it out what they want to be or do in the future. And I do not want to put TMA on a blacklist. It has given me opportunities in many ways. But because I, back then,  did not know what I want to do or be, it was a big waste.

Now I do know and feel satisfied in what I am studying and the direction I am heading to. But gosh.. it's a bit late don't you think? Hahahaha.. Anyways, my point of this post was actually that HES/HvA should pay more attention to "finding a job that suits you" for all their students. I had these tests when I was in high school, but that was more in order for you to choose the right HBO study course after high school.
Then once you entered the study course, they are left alone on their own to figure out their future. Some students can manage, others don't. And just for those who don't, I think there should be an medium where those students can turn to. The earlier they discover who they want to be, the harder they will study and do their best to achieve their diploma and enter the workforce to sell their talent.





September 20, 2012

Officially graduated!

Hey Everyone!

It's been a while since my last post on StudyLeaks.
My last post was about getting the final pieces together and me stressing on my thesis/dissertation (scriptie), whatever you want to call it. Well..... good news! The tittle already said it:  I am officially graduated!
Today (20-09-2012) was the graduation ceremony, group pictures were taken and I received my bachelor diploma.

I honestly do miss my classmates (& friends) and being a student. But at the same time I am happy and relieved that I closed this long during chapter. Seeing the proudness on your parents face (or in this case my dad and uncle were there) is undescribable. I thought I would not make it in 4 years, due to a subject IMPORT that I probs done over a hundred times and still couldn't pass. I even passed my thesis by then, and only this subject kept me away from my graduation. But I studied and studied hard. I guess if you really put yourself 100% in what YOU really WANT, YOU CAN DO IT! And it's true, this slogan is so true (realizing now...). Nothing beats a person's motivation or determination in what they WANT to achieve, or what their GOAL is. There is no such thing as "I (simply) can't do it" or "I suck at it", which I tend to do in my students years a lot. I guess I did not believe in myself back then as I believe in myself now. Of course you can do it, you just got to assemble all your courage and confidence and just give a 200% of yourself. Prioritize and never accept failure in the beginning. Or else it will be like a false start in a race.

A little motivation (even though this schoolyear started 2 weeks ago) for all of you students already complaining and regretting school/uni  =P
You are "soon-going-to-be-graduates", whether you're a freshman, second, third or in your final year,
Time flies, seriously.. it does men! So cherish every moment being a student rigth now, because you will miss it. Even though studying might be tough sometimes, remember that you are doing ALL that for THESE below:  (^_^)
The famous Graduation Cap

Diploma!!!

Sitting there with other graduates, and realizing you have done it yourself. All those hurdles in your way, you have jumped over then nevertheless how high they were. Impossible started to sound like a fairy tale and as the years fly by, you grow a bit wiser and confident on the inside. Perhaps you even might start believe you can be Batman or Superman. You believe that you can fly and crawl on walls... Okay okay, I'm going off topic now. But you get the point right, what I am trying to tell you. Do you feel motivated now?
And yes, it's okay to party rock occasionally as a student. In fact, I do believe it's part of the student's life. HOWEVER! Once you are getting behind on homework, or are a horrible teamplayer, or getting low grades resulting in failing, etcetera.. you know that it is up to you  to make a (not so hard) decision on whether you want want those 2 things above in the pictures or party rock hard the rest of your life.

Thanks for reading my post. I will be posting more news and information on how things are for me now I am graduated or/and what to expect after being graduated. I hope my posts can help all of you (in some way).

On Belonging

It's a grey day outside, and raining... a heavy drizzle. Winter is at the door. Time to buy a coat. And as I sit inside, looking outside, my thoughts are drawn to what makes people happy at their work. I feel that people are happy when they feel that they belong somewhere. That they have a place - sometimes like a second home - with a type of family - a team - with whom they can share the joys and sorrows of life.
How do you feel that warmth? That belonging? One key element is trust. If we don't trust others - at work, (or sometimes even at home), then we walk around with fear, looking over our shoulders... Can I say this? Can I say that? Are they with me or against me?
Our new students start in Year 1 without knowing if they can trust the other students in their group. Then we tell them to start a student company. They have a lot to do. A lot of team work. But the trust isn't there just automatically. Trust has to be built up over time. If a friend or colleague promises they will do something, but they don't - that trust is broken, or doesn't grow. If promises are kept, and respected, then trust flourishes.
I may be naive (I think I mentioned that last week in my post), but I tend to believe that most people really want to trust others. That they want to feel 'contained', accepted, believed. I don't think that people start out suspicious unless they have gone through unpleasant experiences in the past. And even if they have - humans are very social creatures - we like to bond with each other. We have little disagreements then we forgive and move forward, as long as we can be together...
We like to belong, to be individuals but also to be in a group. A fuzzy, warm, you rub my back and I'll rub yours group.
That's what my team of colleagues is for me. I'm glad to have a group to belong to!
We're all just a group of intelligent chimpanzees at the end of the day, aren't we?

September 13, 2012

On Fear and Trust and Saving Souls

A few nights ago, the phone at home, which never rings, rang.
I know that the few people who know this number are close relatives (who usually prefer Skype), so I was intrigued when my son handed me the phone with a curious and unclear look on his face. It was a woman, in a heavy accent (which I later learned was Iranian), calling about a donation.

Camp Ashraf
Camp Ashraf
Hmm... well, it all started a year earlier when this woman stopped me in front of our local supermarket and showed me some awful pictures of tortured children and adults in Iran. My heart went out to them then, and I donated a small amount, and also (apparently) gave them my phone number and address!

So, now they are calling me again... Hello, how are you? Do you remember? Of course I remember... I remember at the time not being 100% sure if it was a legal organization or not, but then being relieved when they sent me an official looking thank you letter some time letter, and a receipt. You never know these days, when people come with a sob story - is it true or not?

June 14, 2012

Hup Holland, Hup.... if you are an ardent football fan, you might want to stop reading right now.
See, up until the last World Cup, I was never a football fan myself. In fact, I was all out irreverent. I "hated" seeing any green fields on the TV screen and resented the hours of watching by other family members (while I felt ignored and dismissed)... However, something shifted when we played in South Africa. Despite the horrible Vuvuzela sounds which I really couldn't stand - ok so my patience levels aren't that great even now... - I watched every game where Holland played, and sometimes even watched other games as well. Even when I visited my family in Israel, I insisted on watching the Dutch games. And wore orange, and screamed with joy at every goal.
So, actually, I was looking forward to the EK. (European Cup? or Kampionship or something). In Portugal, over the weekend, we dressed in orange, and went out to watch with a group of total (Dutch) strangers - who, for the course of 1.5 hours became our best mates, drinking beer together, doing waves, screaming at the TV, cursing at the referee. And as you know, it was a terrible loss.
Today again, I got up my hopes, got snacks ready, dressed in orange, got excited and pffff... fizzle fizzle... like rain on a campfire... All my hopes up in smoke...
But what I wanted to share was how I felt / feel while watching. In the beginning, I'm exciting, hopeful. And I cheer on the players, c'mon guys, you can do it! I encourage them, under my breath, yes, keep the ball, well done, pass it - good! Closer, yes, nice control of the ball, you have those Germans beat! And then, as the time ticks by, and no scores are made, I become increasingly impatient with "my" football team, and frustrated. I suddenly feel that they are too much like my sometimes low flying 5.5 mentality students, although I must say these guys in orange are great team players. Pass the ball, pass it, pass it... very nice guys, but where is your killer instinct? I am frustrated with the coach who sits there like a fish, saying nothing at all... I want him to be like Al Pacino - rousing the emotions of his players, getting the best out of them. I think of how my few German students are such high achievers, so willing to go the extra mile, so assertive and so pleasant to work with.  I suggest to Theo that perhaps we should move to Germany, because life there would be so much more fulfilling. I don't want to back the losers. I don't want to be a loser. I want to win, or not play at all. And that could be the reason I was never such a good football fan to begin with. I'm all about the short term victory, the quick successes, I'm not into the whole Zen thing of football for football's sake.
So, Hup Holland ? Or Go Germany? I can feel my Jewish ancestors turning unhappily in their graves...
It's just a game, and sports is good for you - to watch, to play, it's a way of life. So, get over it Audrey and just 'doe normaal'!

May 29, 2012

Analyzing Data for Free Credit Points

I needed just another 6.5 hours to complete my free credit point assignment. Then I received the mail that Ms Weinberg had an vacancy for 4.5 hours and I told myself that this is the opportunity to finish my FCP assignment.
So I mailed my former EC1 teacher Ms.Weinberg and met her on Thursday. She told me that she needed me to analyze some evaluation papers for three of her courses. One of them, EC4 was in my roster as well, and the other two were courses I had to take in the next semester. This was good for me because I was able to read what still lies ahead of me.
So Ms.Weinberg handed me the rough data to analyze, and I told her it will take me around two days before I would send her the results.
Luckily for me, the weather was great in this time of the year so I took the rough data and my laptop, and laid down in the garden and started analyzing.
It was a good thing that I already knew Ms.Weinberg so could recognize my own feelings in the reactions of the students.
Most of them were positive with whom I agreed. Some were a bit negative, but that was just a small amount of students out of the 80 evaluations I read.
It took me a few hours but I was able to hand in a clear report of what the students thought about the courses EC4, EC5 and CCT, and Ms. Weinberg herself of course.

So to conclude, I can say it was a pleasant experience for me to analyze some course information, and I’m glad that I was able to help Ms. Weinberg with it as well.

Sönke Lill

May 26, 2012

Calligraphy, Words and Truth

Finally relaxing after last teaching week is over, sitting in a skirt and short sleeve top, enjoying the warm air with all windows wide open; it feels as hot as if I'm back in Israel.
Although I am not really allowed to relax yet - there's a lot more to do... the students' tests from last week need to be corrected urgently of course although I have to say that the students I met in the hallway were extremely polite and sweet about their results... "um, have you had the chance...?" Well, since I have just taught them to be more polite, formal and tentative in their writing, they seem to have absorbed the lesson well! Which motivates me even more to get them their grades ASAP. But without stress. Because stress leads to unhappiness which is something that we in the Western world have the privilege of demanding and expecting less of in our lives. (sorry about all the double negatives)...
I was still a little stressed after checking out the Folia magazine after attending Maike Boots' Japanese Calligraphy lesson on Thursday where I bumped into a journalist for their paper. Reading through the article I wondered how so much unrelated information could come from a simple lesson on Japanese brush strokes... I saw my name mentioned in the article and tried to remember if I had said the words that were accredited to me. I am a big defender of democracy and freedom of the press, but it is so interesting how many perspectives and interpretations can be given to almost anything at all. 
So, last but not least, as I tell my students, don't forget to read critically anything you read anywhere, no matter how 'neutral' and objective the media seems to be... Always look at the facts, observe first, and explain or judge later...

May 21, 2012

Save a Student - Take a (short) Survey!


Dear International students of the International Business School,

In my experience as an IBMS student I have to conclude that we've got a great curriculum a lot of dedicated and able teachers. However one thing has always lacked, and that is the extent to which our 'international classrooms' are actually international. Only 14,1% of applicants in Sep 2010 were International. This is an oft-heard complaint and there is a consensus among both students and staff that increasing the share of international students is a priority. It is supported by various research studies that stress the importance of developing intercultural competencies.

This prompted me to write a thesis on the main pull factors and considerations that students make in their decision making process when choosing a university. I designed a survey together with the IBS M&C Adviser International and the Lector of Internationalization at CAREM) to obtain quantitative and qualitative data on these pull factors, to give M&C insights to help improve strategic planning of recruitment of international students.

While over 50 students responded (3x the average according to one HvA employee), the response rate is currently still too low. I already employed mail, facebook and personal snowballing networks. As we have hundreds of international students spread over many groups, it's hard to reach all of you personally. That is why I I'd like to use this blog to bring this important survey to your attention. I urge you to participate, it takes about 10 minutes and can have positive effects on your studies and those of hundreds of fellow and future students. I also urge you to appeal to your fellow international students and friends at the IBS to participate, too.

International Students Only: Students who attended secondary school (age 12-18) outside of the Netherlands.
Check your hva account for a mail, or follow this link to participate: response.questback.com/hogeschoolvanamsterdamhes/studentconsiderations

Please accept my sincere thanks for your help. Furthermore, I would like to thank Ms. Audrey Gran-Weinberg for kindly offering her help posting this message on this blog.

Sincerely, your fellow IBS student Tarik Abbara

May 16, 2012

Last pieces to gather

I have been extremely busy with my dissertation, never knew that it would consume so much time from me. Sometimes I am on a daily basis of 8 hours on my laptop searching for right doucuments, reading long reports and analyzing what pieces I can use best. And then re-writing, correct, and re-write.. again and again. This has been going on for quite a few days already.

And the doom day is getting closer and closer... graduation. I feel scared.. pff honestly I wish I could extend my study, can you imagine?! But I guess this is because I have no plan after graduation (yet). I can get a job, but then a HBO level job (not some random job) or continue studying on a Master.But yeah, first I need to find a fun job or a Master that intrigues me. I haven't had time to search yet, but I think it's about time to do so soon.

But first I need to finish the final weeks of my study. It is hard and I do feel the pressure now. 2 weeks ago I was all relaxed and do fun things. Now it's totally the opposite.
Soo... for me it is to gather the last pieces which is two more courses to pass and my dissertation defense. Wish me luck! Hope to update you soon about how I survived.

May 2, 2012

I want extra energy!

It was great weather yesterday. Now it's raining, so my urge to leave the house totally disappeared. Okay, I did some homework (as I was bored), cleaned my closet and did laundry (was about time) and now. . .?
Eventhough I went to bed at 4.30AM, I still woke up 5 hours later very energetically :-O How's that possible?
Well, because I had to do finish a chapter for my dissertation, I stayed up all night doing so, and drunk 2 cups of coffee. Okay normally I am used to coffee, nothing unusually, except the fact that I stopped drinking coffee a year ago. So I forgot that drinking coffee after a long time of period might awaken my addictive coffee part.
Now I remember why I was addicted to coffee and why I had to stop drinking it. 1 = I drank too much/unhealthy, 2 = my teeth got brown :( pff. Well for reason why I already knew too much coffee can damage your health, but I did not care as coffee give me the exact energy I need throughout the day. But then for reason 2, I got hit in the face. Hehehe well what can I say, when it comes to beauty... I get sensitive. Yes I know, I'm weird on that part.
Anyways I fear that I migth not be able to stop drinking coffee now. I totally regret my action last night fo rmaking coffee. As coming day are the final 2 months towards graduation, I am extremely busy :-O so many reports to write, so many research to be conducted.. woow I surely need that coffee.
Ah well, that is all pshycological, I should be stronger to be energetic WITHOUT coffee right?! I do eat healthy, I ate my 500 gram veggs every day (okay okay, honestly out of 7 days, 5 days I can reach that), No fried food, I stopped drinking soda/energydrinks/juice fr a year now.. only water (I am a real teeth fetisj, after my dentist said, oh no your teeth is getting thinner due to soda drinks and juice and careful with apples and coffee.. I really love my teeth, so I stopped doing all bad things that migth affect my teeth negatively)...
I even walked over from coffee to tea, as I heard that tea is much healthier. I start drinking green tea. But it made my teeth brown as well.. so I stopped that too. well, OKAY enough about my teeth.. My point is I don't have an unhealthy lifestyle that makes me feel so weak ..!!
And yes I do every a 2-3 hour self-fitniss at home.. I walk every day.. so exercise part is fine. I really have been thinking about this, how it is possible that I do not have much energy. Is it because I am getting old? HAHAHA naa I am still young :P other people will hate me for even thinking about old.
Hmm I wonder what other things I can do to have extra energy each day.. any ideas? any tips? I don't think I would turn to enerypills =S ...!! naaa....

April 30, 2012

Its orange and the whole days smells of BBQ and beer.

My fellow man, woman and children it's QUEENS DAY! But what are we celebrating actually? Her birthday, other past dutch royalties' birthday? If you were to ask the latest generation Dutchman he/she nowadays would hardly know what it is even about. Apart from the fact that most of us hit the streets dressed or some not even dressed at all in orange or walk around as orange sumo wrestlers, being drunkards in the middle of the day and sell your old stuff legally, there is not much else we relate this day with.

So how did my Queens night go, queens night was party till ya drop literally! That is not because we went dancing for hours and hours but from waiting for the night bus! Can you believe that?! At 03:00 me and my best friends left the club to go home. After walking  all the way through a massive throng of late night party goers and the puking masses we reached our destination to catch the night buses. So there we were waiting, waiting and some more waiting, we did so much intensive waiting that we looked like pro's. Looked at the watch and thought it strange that the bus did not move an inch from the stop it dropped its passengers. The departure stop was a stone throw away from it and the bloody bus never showed up there. Then after having enough of useless, unproductive hanging around the bus stop we decided to look whats wrong and just when we were about to do so it drove away going past us like we were not even there. That such a thing ruined the night was not pleasant to say the least.. In the end we spent 2 hours of our life waiting for it to come. By the time the two hours passed the early trains already started running.

In conclusion we did a respective 4/6 party and 2/6 waiting.

And now the Queens day.

To start with the weather was and still is wonderful and can be called a true summer day! But it didn't start so well though. Me and two others planned on selling our products for the YEN project at 10:00 but as usual I overslept big time and made them wait so long. IF YOU ARE READING THIS HERE IS MY WRITTEN APOLOGY: SSSOOOOOORRRYY! But to get even with me they forgot their stuff to sell. XD LOOL
But no biggie, we managed to at least sell the stuff we had at hand. Funny thing is though, as we were selling our stuff, the people who bought our stuff always wanted to walk away after only hearing the price and its function but as soon as I mentioned that it was sold in order to raise money for charity they had a change of heart and bought it. Why is charity such a big thing I asked myself. Is it that the purchase is more meaningful when helping others is involved, is it out of feeling sorry for the ones we are helping or is it a sense of satisfaction you get when giving a helping hand or is it dajk35ad gdi$@gd akjgd agdf#$k@sgdau. There or millions of reasons one can thing of but lets stick to the most apparent ones for simplicities sake. I am not capable of giving you there reason why people buy our stuff faster when charity is involved, cuz my brainzzellzz are swimming in alcohol now. #hick#

Well thats all for now, chuck yu. lat...zz!

April 29, 2012

Creating tomorrow

Well, I used to work in Marketing. And I know that part of marketing work involves designing new marketing material and coming up with new brochures etc that will help the brand become more visible and more accessible... but sorry, I just don't get it.
And no offense to our marketing department, but really I just don't quite understand what the new purple triangles have to do with 'Creating Tomorrow' - our new mission statement. So, I have added a slogan under our Creating Tomorrow logo - which says - One Purple Triangle at a Time.
And if you happen to know what it means, then please tell me.
I mean, what are we doing here?
Is the HvA - Hes/Sem/Dem, whatever we're called these days - is it a design school? Or architecture? 

I had the feeling, that we were a school... and that we taught students who were going into the business world. International Business... But of course, we are not allowed to be our own special school anymore, are we? No, we are now part of one ginormous organisation - HvA. Which, by the way, is somehow connected to UvA. (Note they both have a small v in their names!) So, the logo has to fit all of the HvA. Or wait, are the Triangles only ours? So, if so, I'm confused. Because if I were to think of what our key success factors are - I would think of the people... The students, firstly, and then, ok, our lecturers - and what about the entire globe? I have students now in China, in South America, in NY. They really are creating tomorrow. I learn from my students every day! 

But what in the world do purple triangles have to do with it? Oh wait - triangle is like the Greek letter Delta - right? (never mind that most of our students can't read any Greek letters...) - Delta is change.. or something like that... and purple? Well, that is like one of the chakras - must have to do with creativity or innovation or wisdom. Ok, now it all makes sense to me and to the rest of the world! Wow, what an amazing logo! I'm so impressed!


ps. I just discovered something new while downloading the logo from our HvA website... actually each dept (International, Society and Law etc) has a different color triangle!!! So, actually, the School of Economics is PURPLE, while the International Business School is BLUE... so, hmmm. The blue chakra definitely stands for communication. So, once again, I'm blown away with awe! (By the way, the School of Law is various shades of red?)

April 22, 2012

Students discount

I would like to write on m own previous comment about students discounts. Everyone knows that students have a very hard, financial life. Therefore, the government invented the students discount we students all love. In cinema's (now not anymore..), in cinema's, theatres, etc. But I never experienced such a generosity as in Paris about students or should I say, "youngsters" discount.

Everyone untill the age of 26 will profit from a discount rate. And this is almost everywhere (90%) applicable. I will give you an example. First time sightseeing in Paris with some Parisian friends and every happening we went, my Parisian friends always ask or mentioned the students discount and funny enough there is usually always a discount. It was very shocking to me, first of all embarrasing to see my friends ask for discount all the time. They looked so pityfull and I was just not use to this kind of behaviour.
As I spent many more days I got to understand the reasons and WONDERFUL benefits for this. It is really a help to profit from these discounts. Also for EU citizens there are discounts. In the Netherlands I never experienced so much supply of discount for students.

In Paris this discount rate is for people till the age of 26. For cinema's with the students discount you  pay only 4 euro and 20 cents (dated 31 dec.2011), all museums are free entrance for EU citizens, quite a few restaurants have students prices, bars/theatres as well. My point is that Paris helps students very well. I am not sure about the other parts in France, but in Paris this is sure. Now, I do not want to bash my own country. I do believe that there must be some legit, political reasons why we do not have that much discounts for students. At the moment I cannot think of any reasons why, so I leave it up to you to argue about this. Do you feel like we should also havemore students or maybe youngsters discounts, or is it unnecessary? Or if you have any disagreements, let me know.

April 15, 2012

Comedy =)

This weeks blog is a bit off topic from business. I have been to a stand-up comedy show this friday to celebrate a friend's birthday. Well, I LOVE comedy so much that even words cannot express. There were 4 stand up comedians, and a host. I liked out of the four only one comedian, he made me continuously laugh. The others also made me laugh, but occasionally.. so that is why I gave them minus points. But overall it was funny, especially the host.

The price was a disappointment.. 17,50 .. which is not expensive.. for working people, but for students it is. If I had the money I would go every week to a comedy show for sure! I remember that when I was doing my internship in Paris (full-time job, got well-paid) I would easily spend money. Because I can afford it. I must say that THAT lifestyle was the highlight in my life. The experience of working 5 days in a week does not motivate anyone perhaps, but it is a really pay-off. Especially when going out ( and no not only clubs, but having drinks at a bar, visit museums/places, etc.) every weekend (and weekdays as well), you always have the money to spend for. (i miss this lifestyle, I will tell more on the next blog about this lifestyle, it is quite interesting)

Anyways, where I wanted to go is that now with the crisis, cut off and savings everywhere, I have to turn every coin 10 times before I want to spend it.. And now also for comedy =( It is not the first time I have been to a comedy show. I went with a big group with Groupon discount (cost 5 euros) to Boom Chicago. That was really a night full of laughter, this I definitely recommend to go (@Leidseplein), but without the Groupon discount, it is also pricy =( For me (and students) a reasonable price could be maximum 10 euro's. I hope coming months the crisis will soon be over, because I am graduating and I hope to find a good job. The motivation for doing a master I just do not have yet.

April 11, 2012

Small advice

I would like to give a small advice to students who haven’t done their internship yet. Choosing the right internship is really important, not only according to our university’s requirements, but also later in life. No, I am not talking about when applying for a job or have a good CV reference, but more about your dissertation.

Thinking back, I wish I had more time to search for a better company to do my internship. Nonetheless, I certainly do not regret my past internship. Not at all!

It all happened just way too quick and only, wish I’d had some extra time to make a decision.

Just came back from my exchange, had a blast! But then, it was back being serious for university, and time to search for internship. Well, I did start since I left for my exchange. But because there were other fun stuff to do, I neglected it a bit and was more enjoying the “good” life.

Once being back I had like a month or so until the deadline and I literally got approached by a company with an internship offer. But then this has to get accepted by university too, and the deadline was 5 days later. Stress! Thank god the internship coordinator was very cooperative and quick in his replies. And that same weekend I was in Paris, homeless :P

Luckily after 2 weeks I settled down, found a nice cozy place and actually enjoyed working fulltime (10-6PM). Then after internship it was straight chaos to dissertation topic and company and the deadlines were killing. Because of that I was left with no other choice than to pick my internship company to assign me a dissertation project.

Thinking back I wish I had given some more time to search for a dissertation company or a better internship. So even though you are still a second or first year student, and you think internship is still far away... you're wrong! (well at least in my case). Just want to remind all the students that haven't reached that stage yet, to already "look out" for internship possibilities. It's never wrong with being early instead of being late right?!

April 9, 2012

Controversy? Blasphemy?! Nope just another way of looking at it.

So how is Easter? Any luck finding a rabbit which poops eggs in bushes or anywhere in or around your house for you to find? Well I did not. So instead I have had another wonderful thinking session during work and i have gotten myself something to write about, perhaps slightly controversial or it is even considered to be blasphemy! Please do leave some comments after reading this, I would love to have discussions regarding the topics I wrote and am writing now.

Hell - Why is hell considered to be evil or frightening if those (humans mostly I think) who committed "crimes" pay for it there? Look at it this way, hell is equivalent to a prison in our realm of existence so to say. Those convicted for their wrongdoings are "the evil element" so would you not think, hell as a kind of prison, should be the "good element". In this light hell itself could be thought of as something good right? Now that you have caught my drift the same can be said about the demons/Satan residing there. Demons/Satan in this way can be considered the prison guards, keepers of the damned.

Supernaturalism/Religion - Take the gods of the ancient Greeks/romans for example. Roughly 1500-1700 years ago everything that could not be explained or controlled by man themselves was believed to be caused by something supernatural. Because mankind at that time could not comprehend that what occurred around them; violent storms at sea, volcanic eruptions, drought etc. They imagined a multiple gods were the ones responsible. A higher being or form of existence and these beings always had to be an embodiment of man or had to look like one. This type of god is similar to other western style religions. The reason therefor that I can think of is that it is the only thing humans can relate to and if it looked like a human then it would be more believable in converting the populace for example. A god that looks like us surely is capable to feel, care and punish us would it not? But to get back to my point, nowadays people still believe that which has been explained/scientifically proven by humans themselves, is still the work of a god or gods. Does that make sense? Or is religion only used as a tool to bring people together for a common cause?
Oh funny think BTW, a preacher walked up on me a couple of weeks ago and started her wonderful story why I should believe in it. While she was at it I contradicted her on everything she said, simply because it did not make sense at all. I even wonder how many of them have actually read the bible in its entirety. She said one thing that was very interesting; in a 1000 years time everything on the planet will be peaceful. So I said to her why did this not happen a 1000 years ago from beginning of their religions existence so we do not have to live in this war torn world. She just stared at me and moved on to another topic and eventually got so stressed and possibly even mad with me she just left. At a certain point she even started to doubt herself.

Death - That what happens to us emotionally when death or the passing of something occurs is quite fascinating. Why? Because it always involves the amount of value you give for a person or natural, supernatural or metaphysical form of existence. That which each individual hold dear or is close with it; pets, friends, the Eiffel tower etc. have such a great impact on them upon its passing. However when someone, a beggar for example or something an individual feels no attachment towards dies or passes in time, they could feel sorry or sad and that would only be temporarily that it.
Speaking about death, I do not understand the fear most of us have for it. Death in itself is painless, it is only an instant and after that the physical body is not capable of feeling a thing after being declared death. Instant death is a very good example or decapitation. On the contrary it is life itself that makes you experience pain, both physical and emotional. It is then the fear of knowing that something could happen to you what might get you killed and/or the possibility that it may be so that is painful or to any other living creature.
To make the concept of death more bearable, if you were to look out for any dangers that might come across you, you will not be living your life to the fullest and that would be a damn shame. Instead come to accept it, or do not to think of it at all. Word of caution; just don't be reckless.

Here is some food for thought for yah and happy Easter!

March 26, 2012

Volunteer work

Have you ever done volunteer work before? I have, but only for one day. I was not really interested in this field, as I thought: why would I perform without being paid. I really did not know the value of volunteer work.

So what and when did volunteer work have my attention? It started on my exchange (in Malaysia) when I met this Japanese girl who is working in an organization that does volunteer work for Nepal. We started talking about this, and because she was very nice, I just asked her to tell me more about her volunteer work. As she kept on talking about it, I realized the importance and value of us well fared people help towards the less helpful people in the world. Then I realized that the Netherlands does not have many incentives to push our young generation to perform volunteer work e.g. our universities. Well I really did not mind that HES did not have this, because I really did not care if they had and had no interest in volunteer work before. So you can blame the mindset of students, or society or whatever reasons there are for this.

Then the tsunami event in Japan happened and this Japanese girl I got befriended with, her family got hit. Luckily they were okay. But seeing her so sad and doing her best (whilst being in Malaysia) how to help her family and other Japanese people in Japan during this sad event. I just felt like I need to support and help too. Soon in Malaysia a charity event opened for this event. Of course she volunteered for this, and I automatically joined her to show my support. It was a very busy and though day, I still can remember. But at the end of the day, it was worthy and I felt I have done a good deed for mankind. And this feeling is really indescribable.

Now, I am looking to do some more volunteer work, but then something I really can feel empathy for. So, my next project is for Child & Youth Finance. This organization teaches young children how to handle their money. It is really interesting, please just check their website: http://childfinanceinternational.org and its held in Amsterdam RAI on 3th and 4th April: http://www.rai.nl/nl/Paginas/Child-and-Youth-Finance-International.aspx This organization is still looking for volunteers, so if you are interested, please leave a message. And it is also nice to have this experience on your CV (^_^)..

March 25, 2012

Man or Animal. Who can tell?! Well I don't! XD

Here is a nut cracker for yah!!

We are Homo sapiens, but let me first give you a brief description what we actually are.
  • We are Mammals
  • We do not have a particular mating season
  • We have a lot in common with monkeys, both genetically and behaviorally.
  • Like we sometimes say, we can behave like a beast/be animalistic
  • Lots of other stuff.

Genetically speaking you are homo sapiens, but on a intellectual level we are human. We can proudly say that we are homo sapiens, but to what extent can you call yourself a human being?

The foremost reason would be that we have the ability to reason. Many make the mistake of saying that we can think, but that is wrong. Why? Every living animal, perhaps plants and insects as well, have brain activity or some sort of receptive ability, which sets a whole chain of action into motion. This what i believe to be thinking. So it is applicable to both the conscious and unconscious level of brain activity. In this statement I focus on the brain as a whole and not different parts of the brain by themselves.

Hmm.. if you were to read this description then another question arises. Does our body think or do YOU think? Some believe in a spirit, others believe in materialism. So there are two answers and those are both correct. Why? Because we humans are not able to fully understand each others reasoning, let alone every individual in the entire world! So it is safe to say that there is no correct/good or wrong/evil. Only if humans are capable of doing the above mentioned, only then can there be a truly correct/good or truly wrong/evil.

To answer the question to what extent we are human beings, I would say that we are only humans in our mind.


HAVE FUN THINKING OR IS IT REASONING?

HMM.. I DON'T KNOW! XD