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....