Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Show me that smile again

Firstly, any of you who enjoy a good, intelligent read, click on my link to 'Wake-up man' in my side-bar. Nick, if you are reading this - I think you write superbly, and I do enjoy a good little debate now and then! I just wish I had the knowledge and spirit to allow myself to see both sides of any good argument clearly.

Here I am on a Tuesday evening (whilst Tom is at uni) awaiting my university results, and I thought I should mention the topics we covered in Nederlands Niveau 4: AIDS campagnes (without focussing on the sick, rather on the healthy individuals who struggle to remain integrated in society), Jails being overfull (globally), the passing rate of allochtone students (people a language other than Netherlands as their primary language) and last but definitely not least: 'Geluk' (or happiness for the english speakers).

Perhaps I am in denial, but lately I thoroughly enjoy reading about happiness. As corny as it sounds, not to mention idealistic I do believe happiness is truly the most wonderful way to feel. This doesn't mean that one doesn't see the 'bad' in the world, or that one has everything one desires, but it does mean that one is able to enjoy why they are here, and see the good in what is around them. You probably notice that I am not writing in the first person - this is clearly due to me not having achieved this yet... nor will I probably ever achieve it. I still see the ugliness in the women in the area I live in who drive monsterous 4x4s (yes, they exist everywhere) while their husbands drive the largest Lexus's while they all drive their children the 1,5km to their fancy tennis clubs and burn every light possible in their colossal mansions. While these people are definitely in the minority, I still wish I could see the good in them rather than the rage I feel for their blatant disregard to what goes on around them.

Now, onto another subject we covered at uni: the environment (an ongoing issue...). Since I have recently read Nick's blog, I have no need to reiterate what he has already covered, but I did find it ironic that my entire Nederlands exam consistered of articles (from both Dutch and Belgian newspapers and journals) eerilly similar to his 'debate'. I really did enjoy the aricle on my dutch exam which concluded that 'Global Warming is not Unique' (for those of you who can understand dutch: http://www.elsevier.nl/nieuws/wetenschap/artikel/asp/artnr/25495/index.html). I am actually glad to have finally read something along these liness (despite being in an exam room, and reading in another language...) because since it has come out, it is amazing to see how people react to this claim. It's almost as though they don't need to feel guilty for not doing as much as they can! Personally, I don't care if many more articles come out with the same subject content... why don't we do our best for the environment, regardless? This brings me back to happiness - I certainally feel a great deal happier with myself for helping something - whether it be the earth, a beggar, or even letting in that crazy bitch-mum in her 4x4 when she is trying to turn into a busy street. But I still have a hell of a long way to go.

5 comments:

Lyn said...

Did you read my comment on your last blog? Yeah, we read Nick's blog and were impressed with his writing style and his content.
What was the article concerning foreign students about? There has been much in the press here recently concerning the pass rate of foreign students in Australia. To precis, lecturers are forced to pass many of these students even though they have underachieved, purely because they are full fee paying students. It's sad that universities are only concerned with money and not results.

Ingrid and Tom said...

No - nothing like that here - just an article about the foreign students having a passing rate of 15% lower than Belgian's - and this rate has remained the same for the past 10 years. Belgian students have approx 50% passing rate, while foreigners 35%. The article was mainly concerning students from a North African or Turkish background - and concerned mostly the cultural differences, and the difficulties faced with many of these students being first generation tertiary students (as opposed to Belgians...). With the socialist system here, it costs as much for a Belgian to study as for a foreigner, and the lecturers are not obliged to force anyone pass. Probably why Belgium has the 2nd most respected schooling system in the world...

Lyn said...

What's the first?

Ingrid and Tom said...

Finland...

Nick said...

Thanks Ingrid. I know I can be pretty one-eyed in my blog, so it is nice when there is at least one person who doesn't want to run me over in their 4x4 after reading it.