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


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?