Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time after time

I'm wrapped up in a blanket, at my computer chair. I'm back. My luggage is still unpacked, somehow I'm not ready yet..I guess it's something us women can afford :)

Back at work today, the kids were sweet as usual. Most of the times they remind me how adults need attention and why. I shared candy to all the girls in the team, and was, once again, after mum, Razvan and other friends in the position to answer the question: How was it?

Words are picky, and sometimes not enough. I felt I came back from a far eastern part of Romania. I felt an instant connection to its people. I was absorbing stories and impressions, emotions and words with the thirst of a child or rather that of someone that is aware of it's bad memory and is trying to remember as much as he can.

So I started telling them about the warmth of the people, the hospitality, the history, bits of conversations like " We want to do something more but don't know how. We can do it too!", "I was out in the street when the language issue was out..we don't trust our political leaders anymore", " My grandpa and my grandma were separated....after some time, they met again, each with their families", " I now have Romanian citizenship!", " All my family is Russian", " My mum is Ukrainian and my dad is Moldavian", "I was born on the 4th of January on the way from Chisinau to Tiraspol", " Why doesn't Moldova have ambassadors? Can I be one?" (ambassadors for the P&G Pampers and shots campaign, "They (Russians) want to keep their influence on Transnistria because of its strategic position", "We started our own consultancy and translations business", "Hopefully, both Moldova and Ukraine will join EU and NATO", "Things are moving forward and a new generation will arise"..Part of the reason I liked it was because of it's diversity. Sure, diversity was and will be a reason for conflict, but all we need is tolerance and appreciation.

What amazed me more was AIESEC in Moldova. I can still remember Sergiu and Eugen at NPS, having lunch and connecting. There was very little of AIESEC in Moldova they could tell. Not the case nowadays though.

I was amazed of the professionalism of the conference team, the flexibility, and the impact. I was amazed by the hard work, dedication, beauty and originality of the OC and the greatest @song ever developed! I was amazed by the connections the delegates were making, by their maturity at certain points, by their view of the future. I have no doubt things are on the right track and the country will grow. If only at least 80% will walk the talk.

On my was home, this song was in my ears; Bits of words from the sugar cubes I received. Judging myself to see if I really deserved them; Thinking of my impact now and what more I can do. Thinking of values versus feelings / needs? and having the impressions of an unfinished conversation... Missing everyone, and the overall feeling of the conference. The magic of people brought together in the right context, the @spirit I was longing to reconnect to. Eagerly waiting to get home and open my condensed milk :P

I wish I had huge arms to hug the countries so tight there would be no borders. However it is, You will find me here whenever you will need.

Time after Time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


In 1851 Chief Seattle and his people were persuaded to sell two million acres of land in Washington State for $150,000 to the U.S. Government.

This is his response, which since inspired millions of people around the world; Today, the city of Seattle carries his name.

What if people would have the same way of thinking today?

How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.

If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap, which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

The white man's dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man --- all belong to the same family.

So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children.

So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you the land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father's grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children, and he does not care. His father's grave, and his children's birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different than your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of the insect's wings. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinon pine.

The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow's flowers.

So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.

I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood, which unites one family. All things are connected.

Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one day discover; our God is the same God.

You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.

That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.

Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.

But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

We will ponder your proposition and when we decide we will let you know. But should we accept it, I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished.

And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the roads, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless.

There are several versions of this speech, if you are interested or more accurate versions click here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The teaching Bug

I caught it or it caught me, I'm still not sure of the proper version. I guess you know when you're passionate about your work when:

1. You can't stop thinking about it
2. You give it a lot of your free time
3. It makes you feel good, and gives you a sense of purpose
4. You want to improve yourself and your work
5. You are eager to see results
6. You contaminate others :)
and the list could go on.

I get flashbacks from my childhood, I laugh everyday, I get surprised, I learn, I feel satisfied. I look back and see how little I knew at the beginning, hoping few months from now I'll look back and think the same.

I get tons of ideas. Leadership development programs, crafts, games, trips, activities; I have a strong urge to make things different.

This is how I feel 80% of my working time. The other 20 will get better :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First MTC ever!

Looking forward to the end of November!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Amongst the last hundred thoughts of the day.

Finished writing some mails and was randomly looking at IC 08 pictures. I found this one and smiled inside and out. I find it the perfect way to visualize the purpose of the organization. And it's not only about religion, social and ethnic respect and acceptance. It narrows down to ourselves, everything we have inside of us, and the way we should deal with it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My exact kind of art.

I randomly clicked on Theo's link and unexpectedly discovered some of the greatest graffiti I've ever seen. Satirical, witty and outspoken, just like the author, Banksy, a famous British graffiti artist, one of the most amazing contemporary artists world wide.

Theo went offline before I got to say anything, and I promised to myself next time I'll see her, I'll at least say hello. You can find more here.

Being Alive

Maira Kalman, incredibly talented and humorous, a living example of living, vs existing.

The search continues

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Latest Learnings

There has been a lot of time since I got a kick in the butt like that. It came due to Iashington, a great conference I truly recommend, and more precise from the sessions I attended on the Leadership track. It was a kick in the butt because it pushed me forward and it was exactly what I needed this period to understand myself.

I think the whole experience can be described by just one story. As I was coming home from the last session, I was thinking: "I needed this kind of event"...and also..."I wonder for how long I'll continue to feel so empowered and focused on the important things to me..I wonder when the next event will be.."

Then all of a sudden it struck me. " What am I thinking? That's not what I want. What I want is for everything to come from within me not from somewhere else. I can be the next Jim Bagnola, and I'm not talking about his public speaking skills, but about his ability to uplift himself and also the people around him. I want to be that type of person .."

It was so weird, because, For some time, I had things figured out. I had my own vision of the future, I knew what I wanted...but I was searching for external ways to get there. With all the leadership trainings and sessions I attended...with all the talks and the great people I have met during all these years...I guess I've never fully understood the importance of talking the walk instead of walking the talk.

Our continuous conscious choices for a better future don't start with huge things. they start with awareness to internal thoughts and their control. They start with deciding not to get upset, or changing a sentence in your mind, before you say it, so that it has a positive message, thus influencing a positive response.

This is it, I'm done with chasing for loads of changes in me. I only want to change this. ..it's not easy but it's really not that hard either.

Everything else will fall into place. I will have the impact I'm looking for in people's lives and society, I will bring positive change, I will make a difference.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Enjoy the Ride!

This song has been on and on in my mind for a few days now. Quite a few ups and downs lately. Plenty of time, but very little for enjoying.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Free time

Well, this is the vision of the near future :) I have to thank Arthur not only for his thought provoking postings, but also for the cool applications he shares!

You can make your own characters and stories here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Words of mine

Wordle is the coolest application I ever discovered! You can make one of your own using texts from books, poems or your own blogs.

It reminds me of a semiotical way of analyzing poems or different texts my English teacher taught us. Often the main ideas were expressed with the help of the most used words in the text. The bigger words are the ones I used more often. Pretty interesting I'd say!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nocturnal thoughts

The crazy race towards graduation is now finished. With all the excitement gone, I am experiencing for the first time in a very long time the art of spending time.

I spend time every day doing things I like. I've taken a short trip to my grandparents, cooked, picked fruits, swung, listened to my fav songs, read, sang, played with a variety of animals, danced, watched tv, watched movies, the X files, hot rod, animal rescue and ..other stuff.

The bottom line is..I am taking a break and it feels good. Not a complete break though. Started having some Job interviews. The real deal after my AIESEC XP. Met some young applicants like me, saw the differences, found out more about this city's market, and turned down the first company interested in me.

I feel grateful for all of these things.. For everything AIESEC has given to me and for all the decisions I have taken to be here. I have friends I can rely on, a vision, values, Knowledge and skills to take me there, I can speak my mind when I have to and I trust myself and know I have to persevere.

I feel at home here more and more each day. I think about the future. My roots are growing strong..I love summer and the summer smell. Sweet and intense, fresh after the rain, warm and ripped, the sea and the flowers of the hills..the forest, the birds ,the light blue sky and the sunsets.

I'm making plans for the next days. Books to read, movies to see, places to go. I am now marking another point on the map. The sweet ambivalence - end and beginning. And for all this, I am more certain every day: my life will not be measured in days!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Graduation speech

Dear colleagues, honorable professors, friends and supporters,

We are, I believe at the beginning of a new Era. A place in time when we don't operate only in the confines of our national boarders, a time when information travels with the speed of our brain connections, when all scientific fields have shown a deeper development and interconnection than ever before, when technology changes behaviors and societies, when the world becomes a village, when human behavior becomes a product, when peace and wars become products, a world still full of troubles, but more conscious of past mistakes?

In the context of this changing, high speed, global environment, we are now placed in Romania, Iasi, a town of 320,888, with over 5 universities and much more than 60.000 students per year. We are proud of our University, the oldest and one of the largest and most prominent in the country.

What is the role of this institution? What would be my role as a teacher? What is the best way for me to do that? In which way do I influence my students? What is the external need in society that I am fulfilling? It's been four years since I've started my University studies, and in these years, except for the case of one individual I really did not feel in any way these questions were pondering in my teachers minds...

For a country and a town in continuous transition and development, that are struggling for qualified human resources, for foreign investments for covering EU funds, for keeping pace with the world, I did not feel at any point the intention of our teachers to provide leadership.

The term is foreign language to both students and teachers.

Teachers prove no basic knowledge of how adults learn. I sometimes felt like being in a primitive cave where the supposed leader of the group tried to draw a carving on a wall to teach the others what good food is...Teachers coming to classes with courses that look incredibly similar from one year to another dictating them as in reading them or sometimes having a free monologue...No need of other logistics..no need of brain activation, no need of individual opinions, no need or no conception of actually teaching a student a lesson while in class not them teaching themselves 1 day max before an exam...

No intention whatsoever of developing practical skills, of doing more than spending some time and delivering some oral info that can be easily found on the internet. No need for being an example..a mentor, a coach. We are however proud to have such honorable scientists, such highly appreciated intellectuals...too intellectuals to teach the same language, too intellectuals to step down from their cloud of superior knowledge and do their jobs.

Not for the money, not for the status , not for the power, not because they do not know how to do anything else...but for growing independent capable individuals, that can shape the world we live in..that can determine their grandchildren and great grandchildren lives. I felt no sense for this urgency..I felt very little passion for what is supposed to be one of the most important roles in society.

The paradox is that all the teachers I've met during these years are quite smart individuals, however, in spite of that, political games are more important than teaching well, self sufficiency and intellectual narcissism are greater than changing a student's perspective, having a personal talk, giving advice. How can intelligence, corruption, self sufficiency, ignorance, incompetency and many other terms work together to provide leadership for society?

On the other hand I must admit I might have a clue of where their disappointment is coming from. I'm standing here next to my colleagues at the end of our what is supposed to be our "getting ready for life period". However, very few of them, even those with the highest grades have any clue about what they are going to in the next months, 1 year or 5. Not even a vague image of a vision. Most of them don't really know themselves. They never asked the right questions because no one guided them to do so;they barely know their own vales and principles. They rarely stepped beyond the "minimum necessary"; but that's also because no one showed them they could do much more. They don't care about the world issues, not even about local issues. They don't have a clear career path, and some of them never worked and never been to an interview. They barely produced original thoughts because they were not trained to. The studying for the exams always takes place one or two days Before an exam, in which period the word "study" becomes extremely misused.

I wished my words were of gratitude.. However the courses and books I've read during these years, the learning I took were purely acts of solitude. I wish I could have assisted a graduation where the leaders of students were actually capable of delivering a graduation speech. I wish I would have been provided with all the necessary logistics to have the presentation I dreamed of for my graduation paper, not upfront discouragement, I wish I actually had a presentation not a panel interview..I wish teachers would not underestimate so much, I wish self sufficiency would be replaced with a race towards performance.

and yeah...I wish this speech would have been actually delivered...right then ..at the graduation ceremony...it could have been a strong disinfectant odor against the smell of hypocrisy gathered there...in one of the most elegant rooms...of one of the best universities in the country?

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I've been told my postings are not so cheerful, so I decided to throw in a smile see what happens :)

Today exam no 5 was passed, heading for the other 7. Studying so much lately I am starting to be amazed of all the brain power I'm wasting everyday.

Days pass so quickly, I feel I have all the patience in the world. Except for days when time passes hard, when I live the same days or when the circles we spin in have no spiral perspectives.

Checking out Lev, I discovered the animation world magazine. There are some pretty cool videos to watch..if you have time.

So yeah, that's my piece of smile for today.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Scaphandre ou papillon?

Butterflies float in the air
Like jellyfish in the sea
Elegant, fragile, docile,
They swirl,
In a dance of grace -
- a last minute prayer.

The butterflies choke me,
In a dance of death,
They fly insight my mouth
As if I was crippled,
As if I had nothing to say..
down my throat..
in my stomach..
knees and feet.

Take your butterflies home
I cough each one of them
and they fly back
As I breath my freedom.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thinking too much..being too little

There are some mysteries in life I just haven't yet figured out..I mean, you can always suspect reasons behind behaviors, but sometimes..some things.. I guess you just don't want to understand..

- people thinking too much of themselves
- people taking themselves too seriously
- people thinking just about themselves
- people hiding behind masks
- people pre - fabricating truths that don't exist
- people hoping where there is no hope left
- ...

and the list could go on.

I wish reason and feeling would call a truce and I could bring my dreams back home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

One Hell of a ride... :)

It was 11 pm doing the usual 7 h train ride. Walked into the compartment, and instead of the usual unusual characters, 3 seemingly decent people occupied the seats next to me: two middle aged women and one chick my age.

At first I felt releaved, but after 1 h of uninterrupted loud conversation, from which not even the 2 newspapers I was naively trying to dive into could save me, I was seriously considering finding my own lonely piece of heaven. Was about then when one of the two women stopped babbling about her daughter that can speak 3 different languages and has the greatest job in the best company in the world, doing school and having straight A's , and started talking about her husband that apparently is a priest and was just about to finish his forth university. That's when it happened ...

The ultimate mistake of getting involved in the conversation, driven by my irrational curiosity. "Quite interesting...I said...Which faculties would those be?" It just didn't make any sense..how thirsty for knowledge do u have to be to study 4 different fields one after another in our educational system? Why?

"History, Medicine, Theology and Management and International Studies" she proudly replied, with a glooming sparkle in her eyes, giving a bigger dimension to my mystery.

"What's his current occupation ?", I asked, trying to understand why he would pick those sciences ..how did they relate...and what practical use would they have in his current occupation.

"He's a priest, he works for his hollyness Orthodox Patriarch Daniel"

"I see, it's funny you said that, I was just reading an article about him saying his hollynesses' file was the first one to disappear after the communist SRI (the spying communist apparatus) files were made public...".. somehow I didn't think ahead before saying that...My second big mistake...

My last words were followed by a rain of appraisals and considerate thoughts about the head of the Romanian orthodox church, about his activity and his life time achievements. Then I started thinking..why did the conversation feel so superficial? The man was probably there for a reason, for his high character, for his kind deeds...but then again, the thought of him being a collaborator...after everything communism did for this nation...then came my third mistake...

"Do you have any idea how many victims communism made in Romania?"

That of course triggered a storm of sweet words towards anyone who doubts followed by very loud confessions of how believing changed her life...and ridiculous metaphysical stories of how she got to believe...each of them had a rational scientific explanation that was burning on my lips...she also mentioned her son in law was a "gifted" person, that he could just touch people and say whatever they are suffering from...That of course made some sense into his restless desire to learn all sort of sciences..nonetheless, after the way the conversation evolved I decided to shut up.

This thought was quite far away from my neighbor's mind..she kept on talking for hours. she started asking the girl next to me all sort of questions exploring her lack of self defense...where she was going, working, if she had a boyfriend, what was his job, her job, her mum's job..followed by malicious comments the girl was bravely ignoring..he only wants to fuck her, that's why she's going there, then they started sharing all sorts of sexually related stories, some of them included animals, and then theories about men, ending with the story of her 2 marriages, how she was cheated, and how she made her latter husband swear on his health with the hand on the bible he'd never do it again..

All this time I kept my eyes shut simulating a deep sleep up to a point when a big yawn gave me away...

"You cannot sleep because of us can you, she asked with a Machiavellian smile on her face"

"No, I was just thinking.."

"What about?"

"People who believe..."

"Are you talking about me?"

"No, I am not"

Friday, April 4, 2008



No rack can torture me,
My soul's at liberty
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw,
Nor rend with scymitar.
Two bodies therefore be;
Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky,
Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So's liberty.

Emily Dickinson

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bird in a cage

man: - You drive me to distraction, little bird, my mind flies away, from reality to dream. Your song makes me weak, but happy. If only I could understand the words..

bird: - My words are sad, but speak the truth. All these songs, I sing of you.

man: - Nonetheless, I don't need to understand. You brighten my room everyday, with your colorful little body, and your sparkly voice. You see and listen to me.

bird: - The things I wish to see are greater than these walls. Human pride is weak. The higher it goes up, the higher it falls.

man: - You probably listened to my thoughts aloud so many times. Time is our enemy and yet, time has brought us close.

bird: - Time ended when I was put in this cage. Time is a context. You can't blame time.

man: - You've been a quiet witness of so many things. You must know me better than anyone else now..

bird: - What I know is of no use. The best of me that I give you refuse.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A winter's dream

The bigger you grow the smaller people become. I guess disappointment is a part of the process. However what amazes me most is not that, but my complete lack of awareness.

The last events brought both mistrust and confidence in people and the thought that in appearance, all men seem made out of the same things. What really makes the difference between them is just one simple context.

This song is for you Mali! You inspire the same strength.