Archiv des Autors: Razan

My Class

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Three weeks have passed, and 1 week only is left.. time passed by quickly. We’ve learned a lot in so little time. My classmates were definitely an important factor in this positive learning experience, more or less everyone was on the same level, so we didn’t have problems moving on.

In my class we were ten students, Gordana from Serbia/Canda, we sat next to each other, and quite often we got hush-hushed by Johanna, out teacher :P

Then there was Martin from Sweden, he is an artist! He sings, plays the guitar, and I think he does a bunch of other things. You could tell from his looks that he is made for music, he is funny, and surely confident.

We had also our two dear Brazilians, one from Rio de Janeiro, and the other from Sao Paolo, but I don’t know which is from where, hehe. One is Liana, she is a researcher, and the other is my friend Eduardo, he’s a young web designer, and he likes traveling.. maybe for those two I saw a bit of myself in him.

Ingvild from Norway is also an artist, she does photography, writing and I think also paints, and she has beautiful eyes and style!

Richard from USA works in a law firm here, we saw him a few times in our class :P

Then Gyorgy from Solvakia.. whenever I think about him, I think about the word “aber..”! Lol. He is so sweet.

Djibooo, she got me a hamburger the other day, and some chocolate for everyone! When Johanna asked her “ was bist du von beruf?” she answered “i am a tourist!”.. I dont know but we found it really funny then.. but then I found out she also plays soccer here, maybe this is what she does “von beruf”. She is from Niga, don’t mix it up with Niagara.

Then comes Marina from Russia, who had experienced Berlin’s Underground for the first time the other day, after about a year of living here! Wow, right? :D Marina has usually very funny answers for the exercises we have in class.

My dear classmates, you made this course a wonderful experience, it wouldn’t have been the same without each one of you! :)

Raz

Rubik’s Cube Party

Last Saturday I went to this event, called Rubik’s Cube Party. I wasn’t really planning to go since I was at the Visual Voltage exhibition earlier, but my friend insisted that we should go so I thought to myself, “Well, its just a Rubik’s Cube party, whats the worse that can happen? Trying to solve it and failing? What the hell, we’re going!”

So I arrive there, and my friends are all dressed up like clowns! Everyone was wearing green, red, white, yellow, all together! When they saw me in my jeans and green pullover, they got disappointed. I was like, huh?

Apparently, there are no Rubik’s cubes at all, so what is the party is all about?

The idea is that you get dressed up as Rubik’s cube wearing different colour clothes. Throughout the night you swap clothes with people at the event until you are wearing all one colour clothes. You are not going to get your clothes back at the end of the night, but you might be leaving with someone else’s clothes! Lol. So when you make it to one colour, you can go and ask the photographer to take a photo of you, then you start your search for the next colour!

I managed to be all green, all red, and all white! that was so much fun :D

Me on the way to green :)

He made it!

A matter of colour

“Since a white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while a black page uses only 59 watts; saving of 15 watts of energy can be done by a simple change of colour from the light background to a dark one. Google for instance, gets over 200 million queries a day. According to Mark Ontkush a black Google page saves approximately 750 Megawatt-hours a year. Hence, Heap media started the blackle.com utilizing this concept of energy consumption.”, Visual Voltage Project.

Therefore, I invite you all to use black backgrounds for your screens, websites, and maybe emails as well! If you have a Google email you could do that through the settings.

Raz

Link to the project: http://blackle.com

Visual Voltage- Art Exhibition

Saturday evening there was an art exhibition in the Swedish embassy in Berlin, entitled Visual Voltage, the exhibition presents concepts and artworks to show that designers and artists have also have an important part to play in creating awareness and debate around this vital issue. This project is one of the contributions of the Swedish institute to the sustainability field.

This art perspective invites us to rethink of our consumption habits in order to avoid a global catastrophe, it does that mainly through interactive artwork in which the human behavior towards energy is reflected on the project.

One of the projects that caught my eyes is the Energy AWARE clock, which is a an electricity meter that resembles an ordinary kitchen clock, it is designed to make energy awareness a part of everyday life by visualizing the daily rhythms of the household. At a glance, you could see how much energy is consumed, and the new graphs are drawn on top of the ones from the day before, in order to compare the energy use from day to day.

AWARE clock – AWARE clock

The AWARE Laundry Lamp, on the other hand, attempts to use the usually-wasted heat energy generated from light bulbs in drying clothes! Basically, you can design your own lampshade which you will hang your clothes on. Not only that, but you could also go further and make a statement with the kind of laundry you put to display ;) Using this method instead of tumble-dryers which is one of the greatest consumers of electricity at home.

AWARE lampshade

Another project is the Eco Awario War, or something like that :P I cannot remember the name exactly, but anyhow: it is a Nintendo wii game which aims to create awareness of resources consumption. The largest challenge, was to embed as much information as possible without compromising the fun for the players. Apparently, most of the traditional energy-saving workshops, speeches, .. etc have been observed by those who are already aware, those who are already saving energy! Therefore, targeting another group is important.

You could check the other projects at the following link: www.visualvoltage.se

I think the exhibition did a great job, myself I have been noticing the lights left on in empty rooms in the flat and turning them off, washing dishes the german way saves lots of water as well, and removing the laptop and mobile chargers from plugs when not used, those are energy thieves!

Why this exhibition was very important for me personally, is because I’ve been thinking for a while of career change. Well, I don’t know if career is the right word since I haven’t yet got a job. Anyway, having studied Computer Engineering I now feel it’s a bit too technical, and I’m not exactly enthusiastic about it, therefore, I started looking for Masters in some other field. BUT seeing those project that combine art, design and technology I felt like I could do something similar, finding a project in which I could marry my previous knowledge with interactive designs. That would be fantastic.

Well, I hope you would pay a bit more attention to your energy consumption, why to keep the lights on when you are not in the room, why to use the clothes dryer when there is sun outside, and why not to remove the chargers from plugs when you are done using them? :)

Cheers!

Raz

Half a Life

On Christmas, I received a book as a gift from a dear friend of mine. I was like, oh.. a book.. thanks! “Since when do I read novels..?” I thought to myself. On my way back to Potsdam, I opened this book, and started reading.. And I’ve never in my life had such an experience with a book, to dive so deep in the story, sense all details, be able to picture the place and the people. Maybe because my life at the moment is very similar to Willi’s, the main character in the book. Wondering if my friend chose this book randomly, or if she picked it specifically knowing the Willi and I are searching for the same answers.

Willi is an Indian whose dad is from the Caste (middle class) and his mom is from the backwards. At the time of the Mahatma, Willi’s dad felt like he should also make a sacrifice, he responded to the Mahtma’s call and burnt his English books, quit the University, and chose to marry this ugly girl who is a backward. After that his life changed, and things went bad.. the fruits of this marriage was Willi and his sister. The marriage was an unhappy one, Willi’s dad never really liked his wife or kids. For that, Willi was miserable.

Not only this, but also having a mixed background caused him nonacceptance in both the Caste and the backwards. He never felt he belongs to any, he always felt he has to leave.

Being a student in a missionary school, he knew a little about the west from his Canadian teachers, and he decided to go there for college. He ends up in a college in London.

In post-war London, he saw the bohemian life, the clubs, and girls. With the latter, he had serious issues. Willi couldn’t find a girl for himself, he only slept with his friends‘ girlfriend, and prostitutes, and he was really bad at sex. He blamed his dad and his culture for this, he never felt his manhood compelete, every girl kicked him off.. and the same feeling of nonacceptance he had back in India, had started again in London. His only hope for acceptance was a book he wrote, and like Willi, it didn’t have any success. There was as well a big mess for the black people there, a black man got stabbed in a riot, and since then he had to be careful and felt even stranger than before.

His college studies was about to finish, Willi thought, “I don’t know where I am going. I am just letting the days go by. I don’t like the place that’s waiting for me at home. For the past two and a half years I have lived like a free man. I can’t go back to the other thing.” Around that time, a woman has read his book, and sent him a letter, she had a big appreciation for him. They met, they talked, they had sex and it was good. Never in his life Willi felt so accepted. Her name was Ana, she was half African half Portuguese.

College finished, Ana was about to go back to Africa. Having nowhere to go, Willi said to her, “Ana, I would like to go with you to Africa. You’ve read my stories. You know I’ve nowhere else to go. And I don’t want to lose you.” He goes with her back to Africa, and when right when he arrived, he realized he hates that place, and he does not belong there either. Willi thought, “I don’t know where I am. I don’t think I can pick my way back. I don’t ever want this view to become familiar. I must not unpack. I must never behave as though I am staying.”

He stayed for eighteen years.

Days went by him, boring and stale. He was hiding in Ana’s life, he didn’t have a name, he was for everyone Ana’s man. Eventually, at the age of forty-one, Willi had the courage to tell Ana he wants to divorce her. “I am tired of living your life”, he said to her.

“You wanted it, Willi. You asked. I had to think about it.”

 “I know, You did everything for me. You made it easy for me here. I couldn’t have lived here without you. When I asked you in London I was frightened. I had nowhere to go. They were going to throw me out of college at the end of the term and I didn’t know what I could do to keep afloat. But now the best part of my life has gone, and I’ve done nothing. I have been hiding in your life for too long.”

Ana said, “Perhaps it wasn’t really my life either.”

27 days to my flight..

27 days left to my flight, and I have these mixed feelings of missing stuff back home, but also not wanting other things.. On the other hand, there are things here that I would miss so much and other stuff that I cant wait to get rid of!  But I am happy and greatful for having experienced this and that, and for having the opprtunity to return next year if I  decided to do my Masters..

So, Things Im looking forward to in Amman…

1) the Sun
2) My Family
3) My best friends, other friends and my mates in the CPE class.
4) Jabal Amman, incl. Rainbow str., Wild Jordan Cafe, Books@cafe, Danise Cafe, and the galleries.
5) The Sage plants in the garden behind my house.
6) Any temperature above 0.
7) Downtown
8) VERY cheap calls and sms, lol.

Things I will miss in Berlin:

1) Traveling, and knowing that anytime im stressed i could getaway for a few days on spontaneous trips to Hamburg, Prague, Amsterdam, … etc.
2) Freedom.
3) The Clubs.
4) Art, Art, Art..
5) Taking the trains everyday, knowing exactly what time ill be where.
6) Seeing a super-good-looking guy is an everyday thing..
7) Flea Markets
8) My flowers
9) Kaufland

Soon I am going to Portugal and Spain, now i am planning the trip!

Bis Bald!

Depressed..

So, after 4 months of living in Germany.. im getting the cultural shock now, the cold weather, the cold feelings, the loneliness..  I come from the middle east,  I didnt really like it there, no freedom.. too much gossip.. too many limits.. I couldnt bare it, I’ve always felt I belong to Europe, I had to leave. I came to Germany.

The first 3 months were full of fun, travelling, partying, new friends.. Then came the fourth month, it got really cold, friends started getting drunk everytime we go out, some became aggressive and let out ugly stuff.. I ran out of money after xmas in Switzerland and loads of shopping.. I gained some weight.. and became emotionally exhausted.

In a month, Ill fly back home.. back to where the sun in shinning, but where my freedom is not complete.. and I dont know, am I looking forward to go there, or I am just looking forward to leave this place for a while.. I have no idea where do I belong more, or where do I feel less strange..

ok! enough depression! Now im busy learning German.. its nice, I like the language :) Today i had a complete conversation in German with a woman on the train! how awesome is that? :)

First day! :)

Guten Tag!

I am Razan, 22 year old girl from Jordan. I came to Germany 4 months ago to do an internship, and as I had many foreign friends back home, I knew that learning the language of a country is very important if you’re planning to live there for a while. I was a bit egoistic and thought, well.. I’ll pick it up :P Indeed, I picked up some phrases, I could say some stuff.. but I couldnt yet speak the language, I couldnt understand it when people talk, and finally realized, my „picking-it-up“ strategy won’t work, I started searching for an intensive course, bearing in mind length of the course, tuition fees, location of the school, quality and quantity of the material being taught, and this is how I decided on Deutsche Akademie.

Today I had the first lesson in my first German course! I arrived a bit late, but it was ok. Our teacher Johanna asked me if I needed anything and answered my questions. My class mates seem like interesting smart people, so hopefully the class will run smoothly, hehe :)

We learnt basic phrases, numbers, letters, how to conjugate verbs, ask and answers questions about name, country, place of living, and other stuff. What I like about the teaching style is that I could remember what we learnt without memorizing, and this is important when it comes to intensive courses, imo.

When class finished, I did some shopping around, bought some gifts for my brother :) There are many shops around the akademie. Actually, that area is the center of west Berlin, so you could find around almost anything you can think of; shops, gyms, malls (Ka De We), restaurants and cafes,.. etc.   Now sitting in a bar writing this and waiting for my bus! Its too cold to wait outside!

Looking forward for tomorrow’s class, will let you know how it goes! :D

Raz