Wednesday, December 21, 2011


A proper way to take a compliment: "Thank you!"
Simple right? You'd guess so.

Contrast it with a few versions that do not work:
"I wish it was so!"
"I don't really deserve it!"
"Oh you must be mistaking me for someone else!"
"I only did very little for this to happen!"
"This only reflects one person's opinion of me!"
"Some others may disagree with that opinion!"

Basically, all these invalidate the other persons point of view - i.e. say that you do not believe that they see the world in an adequate way. If you ever respond in these ways, do not wonder why you never get any compliments.

I don't. Wonder, I mean. But I am trying to improve in this respect.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm writing this down to remmember, vol 2.

The past week has been pretty busy.

Monday and Tuesday were spent on a seminar on curriculum development. The main significance of this is that they were spent away from my office - which, combined with the fact that third year bachelors students have a deadline for submitting their supervisors to me, meant that most of Wednesday went by with students pretty much constantly going in and out of my room. Next Monday (which is the actual deadline) promises to be quite similar.

As a result, I now have 15 students in my supervision seminar. About 10 of them have a second supervisor as well, but in any case, this promises to be fun. Especially considering the broad range of topics - as I will probably learn quite a bit in the process...

Tuesday evening is also worth mentioning. Two consecutive Twilight movies (third and the first part of fourth), with a good friend. The movies really are so bad that they can actually be watched as comedies - although, the friend admitted she actually liked the books, and had read them... more than once. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun teasing each other. Old friends really are worth their weight in gold.

Thursday was spent in a more formal way, both in terms of attire and events. I finally received my PhD diploma (on a ceremony lasting nearly 3 h), then had a brief lunch (at the following banquet), went to the faculty to thank the guest lecturer in my course and then headed off to pick up my date and go to the University Anniversary Ball.

This being the first ballroom dancing event me (and my date) had ever attended. To top things off, I had learned the basic steps, but that was about a year ago - and, to my surprise, my date openly admitted that despite being a dancer (ballet, modern), she had never done so.

Which, of course was not a problem - as we just agreed I would teach her what I knew, Wednesday evening, after our Taiji class. But, since that was also the last day of PÖFF, we decided to go for a movie beforehand. After that, we headed to my workplace and danced around the board room til 2 a clock at night - quickly going through the basics of everything except Jive and Tango.

The one evenings practice turned out to be both necessary and (nearly) sufficient - Viennese waltz, Samba and Rumba covering the majority of the songs, and only one Tango being during the whole evening. Jive was played a bit more often, but we just found other things to do during that. Thinking back, dancing, the occasional refreshment pause and listening to the performers pretty much filled the entire evening - as, although the event was full of people I knew, we only spoke to 3-5 other couples, and all of these conversations were also under 5 minutes. We went there to dance, and had a lot of fun doing it.

I arrived home from the ball at around 1 A.M., when I also got an SMS, where it was suggested I catch the early train to Tallinn (which leaves at 6.30) - for I had to be at Teeviit from 10 a clock next day, selling my department to high school graduates as the best place for them to continue their studies.

So, 4 hrs of sleep later, and in the train I was, rolling towards Tallinn, with a 2. year mathematics student who I was going to be sharing a box with for the next two days and who was the one who was behind that SMS. We had quite a bit to talk about, and the train ride went by pretty quickly.

So did the following two days at Teeviit, now that I think back on it. The three of us (there was also a statistics student) had quite a bit of fun, both amongst ourselves and with the people from neighbouring boxes. Friday was busier and all three of us were at the box most of the time. When it was over, I went to my moms, had dinner and then collapsed on the bed, sleeping nearly 12 hours.

Saturday was much slower, which gave us all time to explore. I got a massage, played 3 different games on Kinect and rode around on Segway for instance.

Somewhere in the afternoon, just as I had finished my lunch of pizza and came out of the back room, my eyes instantly fixed on a large towering figure in front of our box -- my boss, who explained he had come to check out the competition (i.e. other universities teaching IT). He had met an old friend of his, who now worked in Tallinn television, and convinced her that they should do an interview with me - which they did (and which was quite probably the weirdest thing to happen during these two days). And there was ice cream after - provided by the friendly people from physics bus, who cooked it up with liquid nitrogen.

All in all, a very eventful week. Moreso than average, which is perhaps why I'm writing this.