Archive for May, 2007

Setbacks

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Well, I had the loveliest morning yesterday. After waking up too late to follow class (Yeah, a real shame) I received an email from my japan program office stating simply “Handle this”.

“This” refered to a reply of the universities international office representative stating that she had no clue what their program was, nor that she knew that I had applied and that she could not sign that their program was appropriate for my curriculum.

This led to several emotions (with appropriate exclamations) on my part.

Firstly: Why would this person know I had applied. And why did the program write to her.

Secondly: Why don’t you know about the program, you’re working at the international office and this program has had a link on your website for the last 4 years I know about.

And lastly: Why are you unsure if a program, which you’ve advocated as possible internship for several years, is appropriate to use as  . . . . internship.

The last one of course fits nicely with number two . . . except that 3 people and 2 hours later I was talking to this woman myself, and she did know about the program. Which of course brings forth the question: WTF IS GOING ON.

OK, now I’ve never been one to tell a straight story and this is no different, so I’ll no return to the beginning of the story and start including details which are probably important to figure this out.

I am not officially allowed to do an internship. By the end of this year I’ll be 1 course and 1 project short of my Bsc and you’re not allowed to go on an internship ’till you have that. But, as we all know, officially doesn’t amount to a hell-of-a-lot in real life. This official standpoint on my progress within the curriculum is important for the continuing story line on two points: 1, I have petitioned the examination council to let me count this as an internship dispite my official status (This is such an enormous oppertunity ’cause blah blah etc etc). 2, You CAN use this program as an internship. . . . . Note the use of the word “can”. Note that “can” isn’t the same as “must”, “is required” or “is obliged”. I don’t HAVE to use this as an internship, I can merely enjoy the oppertunity. Crossing off an obligatory 3 month part of my study is a bonus. This of course brings us back to the bold-faced question above.

Geez. Nobody in their right mind would use a 12 month program to fill a 3 month slot.

So now, I have the blessing of my chairholder, his secretary, my supervisor, the study councilor and the internship coordinator. But my participation in this program seems to now rest in the hands of a beaurocratic body within the faculty deciding on my position within the curriculum which shouldn’t really matter regarding my participation anyway. I don’t know about you, but I sure did sleep confidently last night.

On another down point: The woman I spoke to from the international office, who did indeed knew about the Vulcanus program, and she had less than positive news about the program. I’d asked around earlier, but all the people I spoke to had been positive about the program. But she had heard about lesser experiences aswell. People that had wanted to return half-way through, tales of bad supervision, subject not within their exact field of interrest. Bad communication between participating students, the program and the companies. Lots of bad stories really, luckily spaced rather far apart, but with me being the first participant in 2 years you can’t really expect dozens of references now can you.

On the complaints I have mixed feelings. But let me set your minds at ease first. These people went to japan to work on their career, people who know me know that this is not what drives me.

Backgroundstory time: Vulcanus program is a program where you write to without knowing where you’ll end up. In japanese culture communication-lines are very important and if you know anything about japan you’ll know you won’t talk directly to these people untill you meet them. You try to get into this program ’cause you want to go to japan.

Subscribing to this program because you really want to do research in XXX is a bad idea because you don’t know where you’ll be placed nor will you likely be in a position to discuss what you’ll be doing with these people. Complaining about all of that later on is just . . . .  silly.

Truth be told I woulnd’t mind cleaning petri-dishes for a couple of months if it’ll get me to japan. I’ll be doing real research which I have to write a report about it. It has but a slight chance of being less enjoyable then taking college classes and if it is, at least I’ll be in an interresting country meeting new people. Academic supervision, academic schnoopervision . . . who cares. I JUST WANT TO GO TO JAPAN.

 Oh, and I got a comment that my writing style was quite aggressive . . . wonder what those people will make of all the anger in this post 😀

 Next time:

-good news and stuff

Oh, we’re seeing someone about the sub-let this evening and I may have tagged a buyer for my computer. Have to fix it though. The gas and cable company aren’t too approachable though. Someone from work may have a way for me to sneak past the whole 12 month ticket limit thing, so that’ll save me €800 or so.

Oh, and I may look into using http://jalbum.net/ as a photopage thingy. Still haven’t gotten rid of the damn “Liens” thing

– Wally

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Well, I have two days to figure out how to properly configure this thing.

I have to:

– Build a photopage

– Change the name “Liens” to “Links”

– Find a more appropriate theme

Also, when building the photo-page I can share with you some of the awesomeness of this past weekend. Due to the low amount of people willing to perform NPC duty the ability to send vast armies at the vortexians. Which meant that I got to play meaner and more subtle roles. One such role was to take 2 friends and sit in the bar talking to people and try to convince them to let significantly bad gods back into the pantheon. Didn’t get too much work done in that respect. But it was fun.

As far as the best and the worst. The worst was during a ritual, I had to lead it and having been given my lines only a few minutes before this was stressful. The thing wasn’t the lines, it was remembering which bit went where and what the timing was. There was a bit where we “Pray to the Gods for strength” and then the guy after me fumbled his piece . . . Between seeing how we were dealing with the interruption and trying to remember what bit came next and which principles my faction stood for . . . .

Everyone was laying down . . . . Why was everyone laying down . . . . Why is that guy pointing at me and saying “fatal”

. . .

Ah right! something happened and I’m supposed to be laying down.

Needless to say: it was a seamless performance

The best was when I, an innocent flaming skeleton, get “encased”. That is to say: wrapped in a big slab of stone. For five minutes I get to stand there waiting for the enchantment to wear of when 8 players stumble across me. In a mere jiff they break the enchantment and “heal” me for an abundant amount of hp. As an undead, being healed isn’t a good thing. So when the main character finished explaining to me I was out of play, I got to explain to them that they all fell victim to my flaming aura and 8 people promptly laid down.

On the whole japan thing. Working on finishing all the things necessary to go there. I don’t really get to concentrate as much on my schoolwork as I should. But as the rest of the things I need to do for japan are all long-term things I can now return to optimizing stuff . . . Whoopie.

hmmm, think I may make a separate page with all the dutch postings.

Oh . . . and tomorrow is ascension day. So NO school tomorrow. Wheeeeeee

MOOTS

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

So I’ll be going to japan. This’ll be fun.

But something else that will be fun is this weekend. This weekend I get to run across a grass field dressed in furs and costumes swinging a big foam club and hitting people with it.

Most people frown upon behaviour like this, but then again, I frown upon most people. It’s fun, a nice vent and a good work-out. You get to roleplay, rolefight, hang out with people of similar idiocy and end your days sipping mead around an open fire.

Ok, so I should probably explain; I’ll be “LARPing” LARP stands for Life Action Role Playing. For the people that find this an interesting concept: I’ll get to you later. For the people that, to keep using this phrase, frown upon this: Roleplaying is like the old Dungeons & Dragons, but instead of saying what you will do, describing it, rolling dice over it. You do it.

Yes, I suppose King Geek would describe it nicely

This weekend Royalty gathers for a showdown between good and evil with their fictional souls hanging in the balance.

I’ll post some pictures after this weekend . . . if I figure out how to do that

Impostor

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

It often appears to me that I am an impostor.

While it is true that I have worked hard* to get to where I am now, I can’t help but shake the feeling that over all those years I have accumulated very little knowledge. That I have been able to get by with high-school knowledge, not having learned anything beyond that point.

While I can name many things which would contradict this feeling days like this don’t help.

As part of my masters courses in the Design and Production of Composite Structures (DPCS) I am currently taking a course in polymer science.

You’ll notice that when universities and students talk about what they do they use a lot of expensive words. Today was no difference. After discussing the workings of Gel Permeation Chromatography, Differential scanning Calorimetry. Looking at the degree of crystallinety in isotactic, syndiotactic and atactic polymers.

The teacher looked out of the classroom

Closed the door

and in a low voice started to explain “Shish-kebab morphology”

What the Hell

I mean, I take 5 years of classes in Mechanics, aerodynamics, advanced math, Material science, thermodynamics and once your initiated enough into the world of the student things revert back to describing polymeric build-ups by comparing them to food?

I would not be so concerned if it wasn’t for this happening in most fields I study. Once you get past the difficult-name’isms things revert back to the same level things were at high school. I mean, who hasn’t heard of a pie chart. The leap from pie to shish kebab isn’t that big.

Which leads me to conclude that it isn’t me that is fraudulently claiming to be a student. It’s the universities that aren’t what they claim to be.

On a japanese theme of things I have received confirmation of my placement at Mitsubishi. Having asked a question concerning the subject of my study:

CENSORED

Is now refined as:

CENSORED

So instead of possibly looking at electromagnetic signatures or measuring electronic circuitry I do indeed get to look at the Material part of things.

So now I get to look for a supervisor, a ticket etc. Unfortunately the decision on whether I could use this as an internship for the TUD was made yesterday and I was not able to provide them with more detailed information on what I would actually be doing other than that one sentence I stated earlier.

Surfaced problems include that I have signed a lease stating that I’ll sublet for 6 months max. Though if I log 1 month in my name after those 6 months I can put someone in there for another 6 months, so that can be easily worked out.

Also, I have decided to ditch this computer. While it is possible to move this beast about through 3 moves and 2 intercontinental flights . . . . it’s just not worth the effort.

This leaves me in a bit of a pickle though, (so what else is new, decisions only lead to new considerations) I currently have half-a-computer. That is to say: My computer works, but I’m using the on-board videocard. Do I upgrade for the remaining 4 months here knowing that I’ll get more money for the thing with an actual video card but not nearly as much as I have to pay for it. Also, where do I get a laptop, japan is expensive, but not for electronic gadgets. So I sell my computer here, backup everything twice and then buy a new one there? What does that do to the warranty after that year. What if I can’t find a nice flaptop there. What if someone drops a nuclear bomb on japan just before I arrive and all the laptops are damaged due to EMP and prices skyrocket.

Bleh, looks like I’ve turned into a control-freak. Wanting to have that much control over my electronic toys.

Oh, I’ll post a picture of google earth where I’ll be going soon. I take it you can find Tokyo and Kobe, but as I won’t actually be in Kobe I’ll post where I will be. I’ll give you a hint though. The Kobe earthquake isn’t really called the Kobe earthquake (too hard to pronounce). It’s named after where I am going. Isn’t that peachy, I get to go to the town where one of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history took place.

Well, you know what they say about earthquakes never striking twice

* = free to interpretation

P.S. This will at first be translated by a webdictionary, then I’ll really write it.

P.P.S. Maybe that saying was about lightning

==========================

Het verschijnt aan me vaak dat ik een impostor ben.

Terwijl het waar is dat ik hard * om aan waar heb gewerkt te krijgen ik nu ben, kan ik helpen niet maar schud het gevoel dat over al die jaren ik zeer weinig kennis heb geaccumuleerd. Dat heb ik langs met hoog-schoolkennis kunnen worden, hebben geleerdd om het even wat voorbij dat punt niet.

Terwijl ik kan vele dingen noemen die dit tegenspreken zouden die dagen als dit voelt help niet.

Als deel van mijn meesterscursussen in het Ontwerp en de Productie van Samengestelde Structuren (DPCS) ik neem momenteel een cursus in polymeerwetenschap.

U zult opmerken dat wanneer universiteiten en studentenbespreking over wat zij zij heel wat dure woorden gebruiken. Vandaag was geen verschil. Na het bespreken van de werkingen van de Chromatografie van de Permeatie van het Gel, Differentieel aftastencalorimetrie. Bekijkend de graad van crystallinety in isotactic, syndiotactic en atactic polymeren.

De leraar keek uit het klaslokaal

Sloot de deur

en in een lage stem die is begonnen om “de morfologie Shish -shish-kebab” te verklaren

Wat de Hel

Ik beteken, verg ik 5 jaar klassen in Werktuigkundigen, geavanceerde aërodynamica, math, Materiële wetenschap, thermodynamica en zodra uw in werking gesteld genoeg in de wereld van de studentendingen terug naar het beschrijven van polymere opbouw door hen bij voedsel te vergelijken terugkeert?

Ik zou niet zo betroffen worden als het voor dit het gebeuren op de meeste gebieden I geen studie was. Zodra u voorbij de moeilijk-name’ismsdingen krijgt keer terug naar de zelfde niveaudingen waren terug op hoge school. Ik beteken, die geen cirkeldiagram heb vernomen. De sprong van pastei aan shish kebab is niet groot dat.

Welke lood me om te besluiten dat het niet me is dat frauduleus een student eist te zijn. Het is de universiteiten die aren’t wat zij om eisen te zijn.

Op een Japans thema van dingen heb ik bevestiging van mijn plaatsing in Mitsubishi ontvangen. Hebben gesteldd een vraag betreffende het onderwerp van mijn studie:

CENSORED

Nu wordt geraffineerd zoals:

CENSORED

Zo in plaats van misschien het bekijken elektromagnetische handtekeningen of het meten van elektronisch schakelschema word ik inderdaad om het Materiële deel van dingen te bekijken.

Zo nu ik word om een supervisor, een kaartje enz. te zoeken Jammer genoeg het besluit betreffende of ik dit kon gebruiken aangezien internship voor TUD gisteren werd gemaakt en ik niet hen van meer gedetailleerde informatie kon voorzien over wat ik eigenlijk buiten die één zin zou doen die ik vroeger heb verklaard.

De opgedoken problemen omvatten dat ik een huur verklaart die heb ondertekend dat ik voor 6 maanden maximum zal onderverhuren. Hoewel als ik 1 maand in mijn naam na die 6 maanden registreer ik iemand nog eens 6 maanden kan binnen daar zetten, zodat gemakkelijk kan worden uitgewerkt.

Ook, heb ik beslist deze computer te graven. Terwijl het mogelijk is om dit dier door 3 bewegingen en 2 intercontinentale vluchten ongeveer te bewegen. .. . het is niet enkel de inspanning waard.

Dit verlaat me in een weinig groenten in het zuur niettemin, (zo wat anders nieuw is, leiden de besluiten slechts tot nieuwe overwegingen) ik heb momenteel helft-a-computer. D.w.z.: Mijn computer werkt, maar ik gebruik videocard aan boord. Bevorder ik voor de resterende 4 maanden hier wetend dat ik meer geld voor het ding met een daadwerkelijke videokaart maar niet bijna zo veel zal krijgen aangezien ik voor het moet betalen. Ook, waar ik laptop krijg, Japan, maar niet voor elektronische gadgets duur is. Zo verkoop ik mijn computer hier, reserve daar koopt alles tweemaal en dan nieuwe? Wat dat doet doe aan de garantie na dat jaar. Wat als ik een aardige flaptop niet kan daar vinden. Wat als iemand een kernbom op Japan laat vallen vlak alvorens ik aankom en alle laptops wegens EMP en prijzen worden beschadigd schiet omhoog.

Bleh, kijkt als ik heeft geworden controle-buitenissig. Het willen hebben dat veel controle over mijn elektronisch speelgoed.

Oh, zal ik een beeld van googleaarde posten waar ik spoedig zal gaan. Ik neem het u kan Tokyo en Kobe vinden, maar aangezien ik niet echt in Kobe zal zijn zal ik posten waar ik zal zijn. Ik zal u een wenk niettemin geven. De aardbeving Kobe wordt niet werkelijk genoemd de aardbeving Kobe (te hard om zich uit te spreken). Het wordt genoemd na waar ik ga. Is niet peachy dat, krijg ik om naar de stad te gaan waar één van de grootste aardbevingen in geregistreerde geschiedenis plaatsvond.

Goed, weet u wat zij over aardbevingen zeggen die nooit tweemaal slaan

* = vrij om interpretatie

P.S. Dit zal aanvankelijk vertaald worden door webdictionary, dan zal ik het werkelijk schrijven.

P.P.S. Misschien was dat die over bliksem zegt

The Beginning (Part 2)

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Well,

For a Dutch version scroll down

I’ve never been one for writing long letters, repeating myself in different ways to different people. I like to jot things down and forget about them, only to have them regurgitated at the next party where copious amounts of alcohol will ensure the hilarity of the story I tried to convey

While I sent mass-mails on my last trip round the world this doesn’t really suit me as I haven’t compiled any email-adresses since then.
Oh, I could run down my MSN list, but several ppl only use that for MSN’ing having up to 2k unread mail on their email-account.
Besides: I’m lazy. I’ll link this in my MSN name once I actually leave and have ppl find it themselves. All interested parties will find this sooner or later

So, this will be my blog.

A compilation of my adventures, experiences and wild orgies
(well, here’s hoping)

To those of you who don’t keep in close contact with my professional life . . . and why would you . . . I’m off to japan for a year.

4 months – Tokyo, Learning japanese
8 months – Close to Kobe, Internship at Mitsubishi

At this point I’ve known about being admitted to the program for 3 weeks and am still trying to get my head around things. The fact that I’ve managed to swipe away one out of 40’ish positions where over 800 people applies!
Not the program.
Or the having to leave life as I know it.
But the fact that I’ve managed to swipe away one out of 40’ish positions where over 800 people applies!
And the sheer amount of sheit that needs to be arranged. MY GOD.

I have to do the program’s paperwork, apply for a visa (2 heavily beaurocratic processes), find someone to live in my apartment and contract stuff with him/her, deal with the max. 6 months sub-letting-rule, quit my job, check for inoculations needed, Move all my sheit, arrange to not have an exam 12 hours before I have to report in Tokyo (I’m pretty sure it’s not physically possible to do both), find out what exactly I’ll be doing at mitsubishi, Applying for a new ID card, Applying for a new Bank card, Empowering my dad to deal with my financial stuff, change LOADS of ppl addresses of me, damnit I should’ve made a list I already forgot stuff, buy clothes (no, japanese sizes aren’t going to fit a 1.95m tall male), Ship my computer/sell the computer and buy a laptop, arrange storage for my sheit, get the paperwork in order at school (not sure what this entails exactly, but it’d be nice to get points for this), arrange for a goodbye party (any excuse éh), attend a pre-departure meeting in Brussels.

OK, so it’s a long list without any insurmountable obstacles. I should probably just get to it.

Back on the whole intro to blog thing.
I will not only be posting stuff that goes on in japan (or any other country in the orient I may visit). I will also try to scour the torrents of thought that assault my brain for any deep thoughts to share with you. It’d be a shame not to share my wisdom with the virtual community.

Gee, look at that, with one of these I can type these things without having to keep a straight face.

P.S. Dit gaat nog naart nederlands vertaald worden. Hopelijk

Het begin (deel 2)

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

OK,

Lange brieven schrijven is tot daar aan toe natuurlijk. Maar het jezelf blijven herhalen in verschillende brieven/emails vind ik een beetje kut. Je moet die dingne gewoon opschrijven verder vergeten tot een of andere lamzak het weer bovenhaalt tijdens een feestje ofzo.

Vorige keer dat ik en trip rond de wereld maakte Heb ik gewoon mass-emails verzonden, maar omdat ik nergens een Email lijst heb bijgehouden is dat lastig nu. Ik zou natuurlijk m’n MSN af kunnen lopen, maar niet iedereen gebruikt dat adres, en ik ben beetje te lui om die moeite allemaal te doen.. Vroeg of laat zullen de geinterreseerden deze site wel vinden.,

Dus, Dit word mijn blog.

Een samenvattend journaal waarin ik m’n avonturen, ervaringen en orgies in kwijtkan (Tja, een man kan dromen)

Voor diegene die het niet helemaal gevolgd hebben: Ik ga naar japan voor een jaar.

4 Maanden – Tokyo, Japans leren :S
8 Maanden – Dichtbij Kobe, Stage bij Mitsubishi

Er werd mij nu 3 weken geleden te kennen gegeven dat ik definitief gekozen ben voor het programma, en heb nog een beetje moeite mee het allemaal te bevatten.
Niet het programma
Of het achterlaten van alles dat ik ken.
Maar het feit dat ik een van 40 plekken wist te veroveren met meer dan 800 contenders.
En de enorme hoeveelheid sheit die nog geregeld moet worden. JEZUS MAN

Voor een lijst . . . leer engels en scroll naar boven. . . pffffffff lange lijst

Niks onoverkomelijks, maar wel dingen die allemaal gedaan moeten worden.

Nou ga ik niet alleen dingen vertellen maar zal ik ook graantjes wijsheid hier zaaien. De kans bestaat natuurlijk dat ik de oplossing voor wereldvrede ofzo bedenk terwijl ik daar zit en de kans om het eerst te lezen wil ik jullie niet ontzeggen

P.S. Dit is het in het nederlands vertaalde gedeelte. Beter dan die babelfish vertaling, of nie