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Highs and Lows

May 28, 2011

First let’s start with a High. I met the health nurse I talked of last time on Tuesday and could get one step closer to my research field. It was quite difficult to communicate what I want to do in Japanese, though, and the most important thing I learnt that day was that health nurses don’t have the same background as academics. Which means that the questions which come into my mind and the problems I see are not the same as what the health nurses perceive. Many things are just a matter of course for them while many theories and thoughts I use to explain are foreign to them. So the health nurse often didn’t get a clue of what I was trying to convey. Thanks to my tutor, professor and the postdoc I already mentioned before, in the end it became clear to the health nurse what I want to do and if everything goes well, I’ll be able to visit a health center soon.

One Low actually happened before the meeting with the health nurse, but I didn’t want to begin with a negative story. I got to know of a meeting of the German stipendiaries in Tokyo by chance, but it was too late to organize a trip to Tokyo. Plus, I was already supposed to give a speech about my research on the same day as the meeting. It was also too late to cancel this, I thought, and I was already done with most of my preparation anyways, so I couldn’t take part in this meeting 😦

And all this shit just because the change of my email address didn’t reach the DAAD. Note to myself: NEVER change email address while receiving a scholarship! The different organisations apparently can’t deal with that… A little bit later this week, I got another mail from the DAAD concerning health insurance in Japan. It contained a letter dated March 31st (!) which was sent to my address in Munich were I didn’t live since last August. Since all formalities were later done via the Japanese embassy in Berlin, I only informed the embassy of all my address changes. This obviously was a mistake… Well, by know everyone involved should know.

The second Low happened while preparing my speech. I was very enthusiastic to introduce my master thesis and the work I’ve done so far and wanted to present it in an interesting way. So I prepared a slideshow and intended to give the speech freely instead of reading a script. But when I asked my professor for a projector he told me that it wasn’t possible to use one in the classroom. Actually, this can’t be true since there even is a projector installed in the classroom, so I rather guess a slideshow wasn’t appreciated.

The whole thing reminded me of an ethics seminar I once had in Munich. There were medicine and philosophy students but the philosophy students didn’t prepare slideshows while the medicine students all did. In the end the medicine students were making fun of the philosophy students stating they were somehow behind… Of course you don’t need a slideshow to make a good presentation, but if you want to show pictures there’s no better way to do so, right? In this case, I was tempted to think: “This is a typical philosophy class – no technique, just words…”

I was really disappointed that I couldn’t use the slideshow I had put so much effort into and ended up speed-reading an abbreviated version of my script. Since there were suddenly three speakers instead of two, the time of each presentation was cut down to 15 minutes. Because of that it was impossible to present all the interesting examples I found and the speech was just exhausting and boring. Had I known of these circumstances before, I would have prepared a shorter script with more examples…

Well, it’s done now and I can concentrate on my further studies, which I count as another High πŸ™‚

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