Sunday, March 25, 2012

Random Post with Quotes

So I think my thinker is broken because I haven't come up with any good ideas recently. haha This post is going to sort of be random because nothing new to report from France other than the fact I just finished a group paper and sent it in. Ohh also someone stole a rather large sum of money from me, but other than that nothing new.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about politics and our public political discourse, religion, race relations and racism, homophobia, my future, life in general, and how they all tie together. I have come up with some interesting thoughts, so maybe my thinker isn't broken after all. Stay posted on some musings from those thoughts in later posts.

So as you can imagine if I'm not exploring some castle, travelling, playing ultimate frisbee (a game I really like, come to find out) or doing anything possible to avoid doing school work then I am on the internet. I ran across a website that I think is relatively new and its very interesting. It's devoted to woman pioneers and trailblazers. I have watched some of the videos of different woman and they are truly inspiring. There are a few quotes that I pulled from a two of the videos yesterday I really liked:

"Even in math when you  multiply 2 negatives you get a positive"
Said by Linda Alvarado who started her own contracting company many years ago. The 2 negatives she speaks about is that she is Hispanic and a woman in a white male dominated world. Additionally, she co-owner of the Colorado Rockies first Hispanic owner in MLB.

"Just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean its not possible"
Also by Alvarado. I like this quote because I've always thought this way in my decision making.

"Don't find excuses; find reasons to succeed"
This was Alvarado's mother who said this to her growing up. I think many people of color get caught up on the excuses of why they can't succeed as opposed to finding reasons to succeed.

"If you can't take criticism, then you aren't ready to make hard decisions"
By Condoleezza Rice talking about criticisms she received while in office as Secretary of State. She is extremely smart woman.

"No one needs to teach me how to be black. I have been black all my life"
Also by Rice. The videos never reveal the question but I can assume it was about the criticism she has received throughout her life of "not being black enough". I know I have heard that many of times growing up. But, in her video she makes a good point about how she hopes that as a community we have come far enough that we can realize and celebrate the diversity within our own community, rather than criticizing our own for differing interest. Rice is the perfect example: black girl who grew up in Birmingham Alabama in the 60's with an interest in the Soviet Union and Russia. For those who don't know she is fluent in Russian.


That awkward moment when you hear music coming down your hall and you want to find out where it is coming from, but as you stop at one door to hear if the music is coming from that room the occupant opens the door. *creeper* hahahaha

That didn't actually happen but I did hear music and thought about looking for it, however, I thought about that situation and decided not to do it. Besides, with the language barrier it would make it 10X worse.

But that's enough of my randomness. I have to go to bed because I start a new module tomorrow morning on Corporate Finance yay! Pretty pumped about that. Also, here in France they do observe DST they just change their clocks a couple weeks after we do in the states. I, however, did not know this. So really I have no clue what time it is right now because my laptop is still on KS time and my watches I have to change manually and I thought my phone would change by itself as most phones do, but I'm pretty sure it has the same time as my watches and lord knows I haven't changed my time on my watches.<--- long sentence! So I hope I get to class on time. I had something else to post but I can't remember what it was so when I remember I will post it...maybe.

Just A Thought!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Weekend Day in Paris

So this weekend I went to Paris for one day to a forum called "Forum National Des Initiatives Jeunes" which translate to "National Forum of Young Peoples Initiatives"  is was quite interesting. I have been to many conferences, forums, summits, and meetings of all sorts. However, this was set up in an interesting manner. For starters it was in this massive hall aptly named "La Grande Halles" and then it was separted into colored sections that corresponded with the sector the initiative was in:

Environment - Green
Lutte Contre Les Discriminations - Red
Médias - Blue
Solidarité Internationales - Orange
Solidarités Locales - Yellow

Then within these sections there were many organizations from all over France showcasing what they were doing for the betterment of the French community. It was great. There was a solar powered car, snakes, bands, radio stations, and much more. There were also these rooms where they would show documentary movies and another area they showed indie-films. They had mimes in another area and artist everywhere. The whole experience was great. It was like a celebration of the French culture while bringing attention to what needs to be changed in the country and around the world.
I must say, though, that is was certainly attractive to a certain crowd of people. I don't think I have seen so many dreads or locks or whatever they are called on so many people in one place. There was def a hipster feel to the thing but it was still awesome. I listened to a debate on issue of homosexuality and although I didn't understand a lot because of the speed of the conversation the ambient noise and I'm sure the language was too advanced for me, it was still interesting.

It was interesting at one point the socialist candidate, who is leading in the polls in front of current president Nicholas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande, showed up which created a ruckus. I tried to take a picture of him but someone got in the way. As you can imagine he was only there for photo ops so he was moving rather quickly and tons of people swarmed around him. Right before he showed up I had went outside and there were two armed soldiers, so naturally, I took a picture. (He even smiled lol... not)

I've learned alot about different organization here in France as well as generated some ideas for Wichita State and actually some ideas I will be presenting to the program coordinator here at ESC-PAU.

At the end of the night before we loaded the buses to go back to our respective cities there was a concert that was organzed by the organizers of the conference. The opening band was pretty good. However, the actual main act was terrible and almost literally put everyone to sleep. haha and then a DJ came out that I guess is well known and livened things back up. Who ever invented earplugs, my ears are thanking you because the music was so loud but they were handing the plugs out at the doors. Great Idea!
The first band had a odd make up of intruments and one of those was the violin and that is one of my favorite intrument and the guy was really good.
This was the opening band
Bass, violin, acordian, and I think guitar, and drums

This is the DJ. I didn't take any pics of the main guy. Yes, he was that terrible

Can't wait to go back in acouple of weeks to actually see things in Paris other than a conference center. To see the sites and hang out with friends.

On a serious note, I have read about the shooting death of that 17 year old in Florida. That is quite ridiculous that the man hasn't been arrested even though he had no legal grounds for shooting Trayvon Martin. This is nothing short of a cold-blooded killing. It would be a sad travesty to let this injustice stand. Zimmerman should have been arrested long ago. I hope that I am never anywhere and "look suspicious" to the wrong person.
There needs to be justice for this young man.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
 Those words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. and I think they speak volumes in this case.

Just A Thought

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Catch Up

Hey Everyone I'm Back!!!

It has been a month since I've last posted anything. I don't know why I haven't been posting because alot has happen since I've last posted. I will try to still keep it short though.

1) I've been voted as a class representative for the semester. Doesn't have many responsibilities, just if the class has a problem, like wanting a test moved or something like that, then I and/or the other class rep will go a speak to the program coordinator to try to resolve the issue. Regardless of the responsibilities I must say I am still honored and humbled as always since it was a vote by my peers.

2) There was this festival that Pau has every year. I'm not 100% sure of the name. But, it was so much fun! It is similiar to the renaissance fair we have in the states, although Ive never been to one in the states. There was a parade where I got creamed (shaving cream) in the face by some woman who was in the parade. Of course everyone in the parade was in period clothing. There were people on stilts, chimney Sweeps, mules, donkeys, bread makers, Kings and Queens (or one of each haha), knights and such as well.

I still had fun though.That night they had this huge tent with a band that played period music mixed with rock it was rather good. But, the best part were the dances that everyone was doing. The type you see in the movies and everyone is doing the same thing and moving in a circle. Its was funny because once you move around the circle you were always with a new (random) person. Fun!

3) We had a weeklong break Feb 19th - Feb 26th. I wanted to go to Italy with the other international student and made plans to do so, but backed out last minute (which Im sorry for) because Im sure it would have drained my back account. So I had told myself I was going to go to cities around France stay acouple of days in Bordeaux then go to Paris but that didn't end up happening like I planned so I essentially slept most of the break.

4) I also went skiing again. This time though I sort of stayed where I was suppose to; I learned that from last time. It seems I fell alot more this time though. I have troubles with the whole important task of ya know... stopping. But, I got better as the day progressed. I plan on going again unless all the snow melts of course. Thats the lasty thing I need is to try skiing in rocks and falling on my face. I love the mountains though they are so beautiful.

Look how high that goes, needless to say I didn't use it.

5) Up until now after the break it seemed as though we were swamped with classes and class work. Several presentations and group assignments to do. There was also the occasional party (or several) depending on whose counting.

6) Ive also visited the Chateau the former residence of King Henry IV. Beautiful outside and in. It gives me ideas for when I build my castle in Wichita somewhere, but that's years away I have to become successful first ;)

King Henry's cradle when he was baby - Its a turtle shell
Can we say awesome?!?
7) This past weekend I went to a chocolate factory and museum. It was a fun morning with some of the other international students. The chocolate was good and the names of many of them were quite funny. "Les Coucougnettes" named after King Henry because he liked the woman a lot. "Les Tetons de la Reine Margot" named after Queen Margot's best assets and the look like them too. And many others like the one below that says you have to be 18 to eat it because it is an "Aphrodisiac":

naughty naughty Chocolate

I am having a blast here. Meeting new people trying new things. For example, there is this spread called "marmite" apparently it's all the rage in the UK, but if you are ever offered marmite kindly say no! It was not good at at all plus some maybe even multiplied by 2. Although, I always encourage people to try new things so maybe you should try it anyway just so you know what I mean.Or you might even like it, someone has to.

Anywho, I've also recently officially filed and announced my candidacy for SGA President which is exciting. So that's all I can think of for now.

Just A Thought!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day Trip Weekend

Good Evening,

So it has been a week since I last posted so I figured I would update y'all on whats going on in my life. For starters, I realized that I post these long drawn-out random blogs so I will try to focus them a little bit more and refine the material, but plans don't also go as they should.

The program that I am enrolled in has finally started on Thursday last week. Which means things are about too get intense! I forget if I have explained how the classes in this program are or not. I am in the IMP program, which is International Management Masters Program, even sounds crazy right? It not as hard as I was expecting, at least at the moment, but they are like 6 or so summer classes in a row. Meaning that we take a class and it will go for a week or two before we move onto the next class. Some would think that sounds nice, but if this first class is any indication of whats to come then it's not. This class is only a week long and we have 3 presentations to make, 2 group and 1 individual. I mean, so far the class isn't too difficult just long (10-4) with a break for lunch, of course. However, I will keep you posted!

On Friday we, the class, went on a day trip. This time we went to the mountains beautiful views!

Then we continued our journey and went to a church that was huge! It is in Lourdes which is the most sacred city in France. All the is there essentially are churches, some homes...I think, and souvenir shops. The church is massive and ornate. It is also the site where Mary appeared and so alot of people will go there and pray and worship. I hear, the Pope comes and does masses there at the church. There is holy water spikets with holy water flowing from them. I have a vile of holy water now! They say that miracles are performed there as well.

The place where the statue is placed is where Mary appeared. There was a service going when we arrived. Which, btw, would suck to be the priest who was selected to do this service because it was cold! He didn't have any gloves or anything on.

Our last stop was the Beret Museum... Not much to be said about it. It was cool learning about the history of the Beret though. I guess it originated in this area that I live and different colors, initially, were used for different events. There are also 3 different sizes which would indicate where you lived because different people in different areas wore different sizes.

So all in all it was a great week and weekend. Went to some parties this weekend and had a great time. Really enjoying my time here in France! Sorry if there are too many pictures.... I'm sure you will get over it. Just kidding...but not really.... :)  

Last thing, some of the people I have met here are probably some of the nicest people I've met. It took awhile to meet some of them, but once you meet them they are super nice!

Just a Thought!

As you all know my camera is broken and I haven't bought another. These photos were taken by french students in my class, who are fantastic with taking pictures, Mylene Gable and/or Merlin Cattin.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

First Time kind of Day

So, today I went skiing with the student body from ESC-PAU and the International Students for the Snow Cup 2012 and it was a blast!

As the title aludes to today was my first time skiing ever. Let me tell you that I think I could have died several times, literally!!

I don't know what I was thinking but I only used the beginners hill once before I decided to move on to bigger better things. I must note that the main reason I moved on was because of the line for the conveyor belt thing was too long to keep waiting for. So I figured I would take the "t-bar" thing that moves you up the hill faster and higher up. However, rather than me going back down the bigger beginners hill thing. I turned to the other side of the mountain. Mistake!!! I must note here that I wasn't alone, one of the other international students came with me, she is from England.

But, we are looking at the three different slopes on this other side of the mountain and decide that one of the looked easy enough that we could go down this slope with little to no problem. So if you haven't caught on, it was a mistake. We were wrong! I was half was down (and by halfway down I only thought it was halfway down) when I realize I am going too fast for my comfort and probably the safety of everyone else. But, there is a little problem, when I was on the beginners hill I didn't teach myself how to stop or even slow down. Haha Mistake!! At this point I figure before I fly off the mountain the best thing to do is voluntarily fall in a thicker patch of snow. The other international student with me, Jennifer, did the same thing. But, what we then realized is that this slope keep going alot further down than we thought, but it was too steep to try to walk back up. So we were stuck for like 10 minutes trying to figure out what to do as little kids who had to be like 8 or 10 zooming past us like pros. Eventually, we decided to slide all the way down on our skis by just sitting on them, which took another 5 or so minutes. Sounds easier than it was. I fell off at one point and kept going while my skis got stuck. I went on down for several more feet on my stomach before I stopped. A Spanish woman helped me and pushed them down to me. Thank goodness.

So long story we short we get to the bottom. When we are about to take one of the two ski lifts back up  the operator told us that the other chair lift was much easier to use and essentially wouldn't let us use his lift. Which, I must add, sucked because it took us to another part of the mountain in which we would have to ski down a more advanced slope to get back to where we should be. Meanwhile, the lift we wanted to use would have taken us back to where we started.

So we use the chair lift that takes us to this new part of the mountain. But, I am happy to announce we were able to ski down to where we needed to be. The only thing that sucked is as soon as we got back down to the bottom, we had to trek it right back up that same path because lunch was at the top of the mountain. Sucked! Of course we could have skied back down the slope we just fell down and then take the chair lift back up, but that would have been a mistake!

Lastly, while waiting on lunch to be finished I decided to do alittle more skiing on this part of the mountain. Mistake!! I go to a slope, rather short, that didnt look to hard. Mistake! This was the steepest slope ever. I was going so fast down I got that feeling you get going down rollercoaster and when that happened I knew I was in trouble. In order to stop I decided instead of just falling I would go up an upslope, smart huh? Nope! I went up an upslope but fell and slide all the way back down on my back. And this was in front of a line of people waiting to use the ski lift back up the hill. Mistake & Embarrassing!!

After a few more embarrasing falls infront of everyone I decided that after lunch I was going to teach myself how to slow down and stop properly on the beginners slope, exactly where I should have been all day.

Lessons Learned: 1) Check your pride at the door when you try to ski things out of your league and when you are a beginner skier. 2) When you are a beginner doing anything other than a beginner slope is foolish. 3) Learn how to walk (slow down and stop) before you run (intermediate runs).

Just a Thought!

Picture props go to a fellow international student here at ESC-PAU, Reichelle Carlos

Friday, January 27, 2012

End of Week 2 Thoughts

Hello so its been a couple of days since I last posted and it seems as though alot has happened. I have labeled the sections so you know what they are about because I typed alot. There is a graphic picture towards the bottom just so you are aware. *Reader Discretion Advised* haha


First, today was my last day of class for my first class here in France. It was a pretty good class. I also liked the professor, he is english teaches here in France. He had a way of making you excited over the stuff he was excited about. Which, I guess is a good mark of an educator. Although the students would talk all the time and he would let them for the most part. There was one day, though, that I had a headache and just felt bad and the other student were talking like the entire class and he says "You all have been chattering away the entire class, Marcus has a headache and that is probably why" OMG I did not know how to feel at that moment, especially since I told him only moments ago that my head was not hurting because of the talking. The name of the class was "The Future of Higher Education".
Initially, the class was suppose to be a discussion based class looking at global geopolitical atmosphere and the direction of the world and how it affects higher education. However, we ended up looking a lot at different business schools around the world and what types of things they were doing as well as the projected future - So it was a little more random than originally proposed. It also turned out to be much more focused on the project that we had at the end of the week.
For the project we, the students, acted as consultants for a massive multi-school multi-campus merger that ESC-Pau,the school I attend, is apart. My team talked about Marketing and Communication, Internationalization, and Student Experience/Student Engagement as our topics. The purpose of the project was to give ideas for things that we  feel are important to include in the new France Business School, the name of the new merged institution.
In France the business schools are structured alot different than in the states. The business schools are all separate entities from the Universities. They are actually under the supervision of the Chamber of Commerce, which I might add get funding from the French government. As one can imagine funding coming from the government and even the Chamber is drying up, so as I alluded to they are currently in the process of merging several business schools around the country. This restructuring is not only happening for the purpose of funding, but also they are doing to improve the quality of the business schools here in France, in order to stay globally competitive. I think it is awesome what they are doing and certainly bold with so much at stake.
I said all that to say that the class has me thinking about WSU and wondering what we are doing to stay globally competitive? But, more importantly what are we doing to prepare our student for a global world? That's really my question because I think WSU is a fantastic university and will be successful in the long-run even as others struggle. I do question, though, the student preparation to compete globally for jobs. Especially in business, are we doing ourselves a disservice by not having our students learn another language? I know we have the minimum requirement of 12 or 15 hours but maybe we have a business class taught in another language. For example, here they have to take an entire section of classes in English. Now, I know the language of business is English and that is why they require it for their students, but that's not a good enough reason not to learn another language. Especially as the world change simply knowing one language might not get you very far.

Needless to say, I have a lot of ideas when I return.


Tomorrow I am going skiing. This will actually be the first time I have ever been skiing. The funny thing is, the other international students are from the Philippines so they've never been skiing either so they were asking me what we were suppose to wear and etc. I have no clue! But, we got it all figured out. I bought ski pants yesterday and a cheap coat from a corner store today so it should be a good time. Apparently, every store is having a sale until Feb. 5th here in Pau. I almost bought a blazer yesterday but the thing was slightly too small in the shoulder *sadface* cause it was nice. I also almost bought a coat and I still might. I might buy a few gifts for people if I find something I, I mean, they will like.

On a completely different note, I know I want to travel but I don't know where I want to go. I know I have never been big on planning things, but I think I should plan these things out. Like the other student have it planned out where they want to go and when, but I haven't even looked. I know what places I want to go to, its just the daunting task of planning that is getting in the way. I have a week before our first major break so I have that time to decide. Maybe I'll do a weekend in Paris. Maybe I'll just open a map of Europe close my eyes and point. Who knows? Not this guy...

Random Thought of the Day

This evening I was scrolling through FB looking at updates and the following picture came up:

I was kinda dumb-founded by it when I first saw it because I surprised to see on FB. With the person who posted it saying that "Not to long ago...this too was politics..." Great message. However, I proceeded to read through the comments and the first comment was "Every country has it's dark moments. But we survive and grow! Thank God!" Not bad right? But the next comment proceeds to questions the person who posted the first comment as to why they used the word "we". Huh? Doesn't make sense right? But, then you find out the person who posted the first comment was white. huh?!? Still doesnt make sense right? I know. Then there was someone else who proceeded to essentially say that if you aren't black, or "on the receiving end", then you cant fully understand the "reality of the situation". What?!? Not sure I read that right. Yes, indeed that is what was said. Now to the give credit where credit is due the person who posted the comment said it much more eloquently than that, but that is still what they said. There were a couple more post by the same two people who responded to the first post. Even going on to say the minorities are "victims" and blah blah blah.

It gave me a moments pause when I read that because I truly wonder how people think that only one group of people know the "reality" of the situation above. In fact I will just post my full response and then pose, as usual, some questions.

"Wow when I saw this picture I was almost dumb struck it was on Facebook. But got the message. Although, reading through the comments I did want to add that we as black people, or minorities in general, cannot try to monopolize the events of the past. To try to say that we are the only ones who know what it was like to go through what is depicted in this picture is completely false. That would be glossing over, down playing the role, of all the white who had to live through this, the many who died in defense of the minorities. We can't forgot that we did not move forward on our own. The Million Man March wasn't just black people, the Freedom Riders were not just black people, the NAACP was not started by all black people, the call to change the American culture- for equity and justice- was not just black people. So to question Leanna for saying "we" would be denying a part of history..."
Then I cooked dinner and kept thinking about that and what the person said about "victims" so I posted again:

"Furthermore, I did want to quickly touch on minorities being "victims". Honestly, I sometimes think that we as a people use that as an excuse. We are 2012 with the ability to do whatever we want, become whatever we want to become; without the worry of which door to enter, which place to sit, what fountain to use, what store to go to; yet we some how still say that black people can't get ahead because of racism. Now I'm not saying racism is dead, its far from it, but to use it as a crutch in our community is absurd. Take the Harlem Renaissance - Created a rich artistic culture, literary and musical stars, that are still celebrated today, were created during this time. Not forgetting that this was in the 1920-1930 approx. 30+years before the signing of the Civil Rights bill. Yet, even under all that pressure they created what they created.
Ya know, what truly frustrates me sometime is that we as a people seem to put more emphasis on becoming the next great rapper or the next sports star and fickle things like that rather than putting the emphasis on education, going to college, becoming your own person. Which, in my opinion, is what is truly holding us back. Sorry for the big gap between this and my other comment, I just kept thinking about it, so had to comment :)"
What do yall think about that? I mean the "victim" mentality that minorities seem be stuck on. I doesn't make much sense to me.
Sorry I just had to vent that because it was on my mind. On a lighter note, there is a watch made by Armani on sale for 120euros = $160ish should I get it?
Well I am off to bed. Have to get up at 5 to leave for the ski resort.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Randomness

So today I have been very very unproductive. I decided to sleep in so I slept until like 2:30. The only thing I have done today, besides shower, is iron some clothes that I've been needing to iron since I unpacked and listen to music on YouTube. So a day full of exciting nothingness.

Speaking of music, I can't access my Rhapsody account since I am in France they will not let me. Which really sucks a lot! I also can't use my Hulu account because I am in France which also sucks because I was hoping to watch a couple of shows while here. Furthermore, I thought I would be smart and go the the network websites and watch the shows I want to watch on there and guess what...thats right they won't stream their videos since I am in France. So that sucks. But, I didn't get on today to complain about my inability to watch my shows or listen to my music. I got on today because as I was showering I had a thought:

"Would Joe Paterno still be alive if he was doing what he loved -coaching the Penn State football team - and not in the midst of this scandal?"

I mean lets face it the man was old. He was 85 when the good lord called him home, but who can say he wasn't going to live to be 90, 95, or 100. I think there is something to be said about dying from heartbreak. I'm not sure if it has ever been scientifically proven, but I think legitimately someone can die from heartbreak and pain.
Lets take all those stories of those couples who have been married for like 50+ years and both individuals die within weeks of each other or even days of each other. Would the second one still be alive if their soulmate hadn't past away first. Would the second spouse have died anyway thus causing the first one to die?....I hope that makes sense.

So that last paragraph is why I should not blog. That was my randomness for the day I must now go a try to study for a test I have tomorrow.

Ohh before I go, since I did start this blog to chronicle my time in France, I must tell you that yesterday as I was walking around downtown some guy can up to me and asked me if I wanted to buy drugs. Yes, you read it right - drugs. Maybe it was because I was wearing sweats, idk, but buy drugs?!?! So as I handed him my money and walked away, I pondered why he decided I was the one to ask. hahaha Thats was certainly a first!

Disclaimer: I didn't actually buy drugs from the guy. I was joking. I said no and walked away. I have never and will never try any illicit recreational drug.