25 June 2012

Full glass becomes mostly empty

Not long after my arrival at ERIM I’ve encountered a gentleman that caught my attention who was a professor that attended several seminars on psychology related topics. Later I found out that that gentleman was a professor in the marketing department and I attended a seminar given by him. 

A few weeks later I discover that this gentleman was the teacher for a methodology course that I was taking. Not long after the course started I discovered that this gentleman was a really good teacher and a very agreeable person. His course was, for me, the best given methodology course I had in 2 years at ERIM.

Close to the end of the course I asked this gentleman if he would take me as his research assistant. He accepted and was very diligent. I worked for him for five months and I can say that even if I had very little contact with him, the working relationship was very good.

I have asked him to give me some advice and a recommendation letter for my PhD applications. He was really helpful and diligent.

This gentleman’s name is Dirk Smeesters, who today was found to have messed up with some data for two of his publications. He resigned from the position at RSM.

I am very surprised, but it is not for me to judge what has happened. All I can say is that this gentleman will be remembered by myself (and most likely by many other students) as a great teacher and a very helpful and diligent person.

12 June 2012

Lessons learned in The Netherlands

After about two years spent in The Netherlands I can say that I’ve learned several lessons:

1. As long as you are not really stupid, how intelligent you are does not really matter in the output of your work (mainly academic). What actually counts is how much work you put in. In brief, as long as one’s IQ is at least average, then it is not about who is smarter, but about who sweats more.

2. Related to the previous point, it is impossible to make big jumps. In brief, everything is taken step by step and each progress is incremental.

3. It’s OK to be different; everyone is different in a different way.

4. As an Eastern European, I thought that the westerners are more civilized, but this is not true. People in themselves are not more civilized. They behave in a civilized manner mostly because the environment (in a broad sense) is shaped in a way that guides behavior towards a desired one.

5. Related to the previous point, civilized behavior in not an individual choice, it is imposed as the only choice.

6. Truly cherish sun light, sunny days and good weather!

7. Although I thought it was impossible, tall and large buildings can be built on sand (sandy soil).

8. The best beer in The Netherlands is in fact Belgian; same with the chocolate.

9. Cherish the vegetables that actually taste like vegetables! 

10. For me Romanian women are the most beautiful ones (particularly my wife :) )