Monday, November 28, 2011

34th percentile

Today I presented the GMAT and the result was not as I expected. I needed 600 as minimum but I got 500. That is maybe not the worst of all. The worst was the position among all participants around the world.

To understand it we need to understand means, standard deviations, grouping and box diagrams. But I will explain it simple. The way positions are defined is the with the use of percentiles. A percentile is 1% of all the persons who presented the exam and the first percentile correspond to the lower qualification and the last one to the highest. Between the 25th and 75th percentile is the most of the population.

As an student I have been always on the 90th percentile, and most of the times even above the 95th. As an example when I receive my engineering degree I was at the 100th percentile, that is called outlier data, because is way beyond the average. Today I am at percentile 34th. I know it is just an exam but it is a hard punch from reality. I don't want to excuse myself or find excuses for it. It was my fault and my lack of preparation that least I this. But there are some lessons that need to be listed.

The first lesson is never overestimate your abilities. I thought I knew enough. Second: you are not the best or the worst, so never give up. Third: be less impulsive. When I did the exam's registration I did not think about it, just put the credit cards number and accepted the transaction. I need to think more before acting. And the last one: trying to work on all opportunities you have could lead lose all of them. Now I'm working on 4-5 opportunities I have and the exam was one requirement to one of them. The time I invested studying for it was not enough and it could have been used to work in other things. So instead of working on everything it should be better to work only in few things and make them successful. Fortunately now two things will end soon so I can work better in others.

This must be a lesson I learn instead of an crying moment. Sometimes it is ok to feel this things, so you can wake up next morning with a goal: be better.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Declaration of principles

During the last days I've been worried about the future. Not only my future but mainly the future of our society, specially Colombian society. The revolution (if you read the bold text backwards you will be pretty surprised :) ) that is happening today around the world has began to give me hope. We are all rebels, that is something one can found printed in our DNA, but we need to cultivate it. In this post I want to share with you two things that help me cultivate this rebellion I've running in my veins. The first is a song, maybe the most rebel song of all time, Times are A-Changin' by Bob Dyla. The second is a list called Declaration of Principles, by Paulo Coelho. Hope you enjoy it and help you to cultivate your rebel side :) .


Monday, September 19, 2011

Always forgetting the fourth dimension

I am a big fan of physics and I love all the movies that have some relations with that. One of them is Back to the future. In this films the Doc is always telling Martin about to do not forget the fourth dimension. We live in a four dimensions world, three spatial dimensions and one for the time. Martin always thought about the three spatial dimensions and always forgotten the time dimension. I am suffering of the same problem.

Sometimes you arrive later or earlier to the encounter with people. In order to find people that would change your life you have to find them in the right moment and in the right place. For me it has always happened that I find the people in the right place but in different times. Specially when it is about women. I’ve to admit that I’ve found amazing, incredible and valuable women next to me but our times were different, we didn’t wanted the same things or they were more or less mature than me. Being in the right place at the wrong moment is what I call bad luck, lets hope that in the near future this will change.

OST of a movie about being mistimed with the right woman.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Achievement List

When you are feeling that things are not going the way you expected, when you think that probably you have achieved nothing and when there is the idea that what you do is worthless you need to write down all the achievements you have reached in life. That is what I will do next, in order to feel better with myself :).

  • I survived a childhood characterized by illnesses.
  • I learnt to read and write before I was 4.
  • I obtained several medals when I was in primary school.
  • I’ve always been good at maths.
  • I obtained a high score in national exam (ICFES).
  • I received several recognitions at high school.
  • I was admitted to the best University in my country being among the best 25 applicants (among almost 3500).
  • 6 out of 10 semesters I received a scholarship at my University.
  • I received my bachelor degree with honours.
  • I worked for one year outside my country.
  • In this moment I have more than 5 years of experience in my field.
  • I’ve met wonderful people that I’ve the honour to call my friends.
  • I received a full scholarship to study a Master in my University.
  • After that I received another scholarship, this one to be a teacher and give lectures at my university.
  • I have always had a work or something to do.
  • I am an engineer, a real one.
  • I am IELTS Brand 7

These are some of the achievements I have in my life. Looking backwards I have done a lot of things that probably most of the population have not done, but still I want to do more things in my life. Ideas are running through my mind and hope that next days will be better than now.

Manifesto

Last year I found a powerful set of ideas that gives me the power to continue and to keep walking the road ahead, it is called the Holstee Manifesto that I want to share with you in this short video :).

Holstee Manifesto

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quienes son los colombianos

Durante la última semana he asistido a los partidos de la selección Colombia en el mundial FIFA Sub20 y además de ver el fútbol he visto también a la gente de bien que asiste al estadio. En esta ocasión, olvidando a aquellos que tratan de robar y hacerse donde no les toca, me ha impresionado la cultura de la gente y la diversidad de publico que se sienta a gritar y a cantar con la selección. Entre todos los que asisten la sorpresa mas grata ha sido ver a las familias completas, padres y niños animando juntos a la selección.

He descubierto con agrado que son los niños quienes ponen el toque de alegría en el estadio y que sin ellos no sería más que una reunión aburrida de adultos para ver a otros correr. Entre todos los que han venido, hoy me acompaña la verdadera representación de la familia colombiana, un niño y su abuelo, a quienes presento en la siguiente foto:

cameraroll-1312589861.974848

Cuando los vi con su mirada de inocencia excelsa, el gorro tricolor, la cara pintada y la esperanza infinita que solo el Colombiano de a pie posee mi propia esperanza por esta patria me arrebato una sonrisa. Mi mente no paraba de imaginarse las incontables historias que pueden tener estos dos compatriotas a los que hoy tengo el placer de tener enfrente. y mas aun cuando vi que habían elaborado un pequeño cartel que rezaba: Esta es Colombia alegre y en paz, bienvenidos.

Esta pareja humilde de colombianos ha de recordarnos quienes somos realmente. Colombia no son ni los guerrilleros, ni los narcos, ni los yupis que nos gobiernan, es mucho mas. Colombia son todos aquellos que todos los días se levantan a trabajar por este país con el corazón, con ganas y con la tarea de dejarle un país mucho mejor a las siguientes generaciones. Hoy mi compromiso por este país ha sido reforzado gracias a estos vecinos con su mensaje y alegría. Ahora que siga rodando el balón y esperemos que un campeonato pueda inundar nuestro país de esperanza.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What if I had not been an engineer?

As human beings we are always wondering what if… whatever, what if we had took that other path or talked to the other woman? I always ask this to myself. Maybe because I’m a frustrated story teller or writer I like to think about different futures and now I’m asking myself what if I had not been an engineer.

I like to find patterns and solve mysteries. Since I was a child I loved to watch programs which main idea was to resolve enigmas. That was just a hobby, to try to resolve puzzles. The years came by and I decided to study engineering. But now, mostly when I’m trying to find myself inside engineering :P, sometimes I think about myself being a detective, solving mysteries. Finding patterns in order to get useful information and save people’s life. Maybe in other life…

Or probably I would have been a Psychologist, I love to hear people talking about themselves, about their lives and problems. I gave them advice and hope that tomorrow will be another day to start again. Maybe I would have been a good Psychologist.

But today I was watching “El secreto de sus ojos”, an Argentinian awarded movie, where the main character, a former detective, writes a novel based on his life and tries to change the end. He lost his beloved woman and 25 years after wants to change his life trying to write a novel of it with a different end. One day someone says to him: if you keep thinking about the past “You are going to have 1000 past and no future”. I’ve to start saying the same thing to myself.

Lately I was wondering about all the past that I would have, but no thought about my future crossed my mind. Now I’ve to think more about my future. And revive my passions, now I’m working on that. I’ve bought a new guitar, an electroacoustic one and I’m learning again how to play it :). And with this I’m realizing that the only way to find your future is to follow your passions. An talking about passions let me finish with the best description of a passion:

Passion

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

About movie finals

An excellent story has to have three parts: an introduction that gets you inside the idea, a development that takes you deeper and deeper inside the argument and a final that reveals everything and makes you take a position about the argument. Each one of this steps might be impressive in order to achieve perfection. And for me the last step should be amazing, not obvious and might leave you something.

Today I watched the last chapter of Harry Potter and the final was as expected, obvious. The good guy kills the bad guy and everybody lived happily ever after. It was like the end of the Lord of the Rings. I’ve to admit that I enjoyed some of the Harry Potter movies and the last year movie was quite impressive and left me sensation of wanting more. Afterwards I realized that probably the end will be predictable and that I had to lower my expectations. Indeed it was like I thought. But well now it is over and I can tell that I’ve seen the largest series of movies ever.

After I went out of the theatre I began to think about what make a movie perfect, not only great but outstanding. Despite of all the special effects, music, lights and action (and even beautiful women :P)  for me what makes a movie perfect is the position that you take after you watch it. Let me give you an example. Which was your thought after watching Matrix, Terminator 2 or Inception? Was that maybe there can be something out there or in our future that will guide our lives? or which was after Forrest Gump, Schindler's List, Das Leben der Anderen or Wall E? Mine was that everybody is special, smart and has a place in the world (if you save on life you save the world) These movies, just to mention a few, have given something to me, not only pure and banal entertainment. And Harry Potter was that, just entertainment, amazing of course.

For those who might think that Harry Potter was the best movie ever I highly recommend The Shawshank Redemption, it is one of the best movies ever for me (and for all the community in the most important movie web site, IMDB.com). It has all the elements to be great and at the end probably a tear will fall from your head :) Meanwhile I will drink the last shot of Dominican rum and listen to Bossa Nova here in my lovely Bogotá while reading a nice book about education and innovation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Radio Love

I’m a person who loves radio. I like it because you can hear and use your imagination to see the sounds. Most of the time I’m listening to it and now I have remembered that there is a lot of online radio stations with all the sounds I always wanted but never looked for. And today, after working and studying I wanted to change what I listen. So suddenly I remembered that iTunes has access to thousands of online radio stations.

Now I am astonished with the thousands of choices I have, now I’m hearing to some Celtic music and after that will be some Jazz. This music gives peace to my soul and maybe the kick I need to achieve the things that I’ve to do during this year. Hope you can find those radio station with which you can let your imagination fly :).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding peace in the music

When I began to listen to music I really wanted to play like the guys I used to listen. Then I bought a guitar, an acoustic and cheap one. I practiced hard all nights and was not so bad :P. After some years I bought an electric guitar and literally my fingers bled due I was practicing a lot. And the study, friends and other passions just take place and the old fire colour guitar was forgotten.

Now that I’m living hard times I remember how playing guitar helped me a lot to get through hard times. Before going to sleep I used to play random rhythms just to let imagination fly. That was special, it was like slowing the beat of your heart while your mind was thinking in new ideas and stuff. Now during the nights I’m having the same feeling, the need of play guitar while I’m thinking.

Last week I cleaned my old guitar, now it is ready to receive a new strings set. But that is an electric guitar and now I’m feeling more folk :). So I decided to buy a new guitar, an electroacoustic guitar. Next month I will check the best option and I will tell you which one is going to me my new peace instrument.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The equation of happiness

I believe that you need a finite number of thing to be happy. And, as in the math equations, these things need to be in a perfect equilibrium to achieve happiness. A mathematical equation has three parts, the left side (in this case happiness), the equal sign and the right side (the set of things that are related and that describe the left side). If something is missing in the right side, the result won’t be the desired; and also something can be minimizing the goal.

In this moment this is my case. If I look backwards and sum all the things I’ve achieved and done in my life anyone could say that I’m happy. But no. In this moment there are some items in the equation that are reducing my chances to be happy. And you know when your equation is not balanced, you know which are the things that are not helping in the achieving of your happiness. Now is my Master Thesis the one who is getting me away of my happiness. I’m kind of lost, I don’t see the goal or the north. Things are blur and I’m desperate. I need to see the north to define my path. I feel that  my life is going and nobody will give my time back.

This is the moment when I have to decide if I keep going in the master or just leave it for a while in order to think the things better and choose the right path. Meanwhile there is a song in my head. For me this song means the end of something, when you leave the well known path and take the adventure of discover new ways to live. Hopefully I will find new ways to solve my equation.

The end of an era

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This is it!

These words have been in my mind for some days. In this moment of my life I’ve so many options and so many things to do that I don’t know where to start them. And also some disappointments have appeared making me desperate in some moments. But I realize that this is the moment, now is when I’ve to take the decisions that are going to improve my life. I was concerned about leaving things behind or just getting myself out of the equation.  And then I remember a quote from a movie:

It's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be.
There's no time limit, stop whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.

So that would be it, I’m going to change some things and take the decisions that will lead me to the person who I want to be. In the next posts I’m going to introduce the decisions and options I have to achieve that goal. You, my dear reader, will be my adviser in this path that is just to begin :) .

Monday, March 7, 2011

Days of days

Some days you feel overwhelming, you feel that you can change the world. Ideas run in your mind, your head is crazy and you can’t stop smiling. There are also days when you can’t afford one more step. Life is a huge and heavy weight in your back, each day is just a copy of the one before and the dream of yesterday seems far far away.

Today is one of those days. In this moment I feel disappointed, with whom? maybe me, maybe my country, maybe my decisions, maybe… Hopefully tomorrow will be another day and a new sunrise will show me that today was just a bad day.

meSunrise

This photo reminds me that even the most difficult day can be great if you wake up early and say hello to the sunrise having a cup of delicious Colombian coffee.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The grand design

Last month I read The grand design by Stephen Hawking, a quite interesting book about the universe, how it was created and the latest ideas of the physicist that try to find the unification theory. The author concludes that the actual science can define the no existence of God, or at least the God known by everybody.

Truth be told, I’m a believer. I’m catholic who believes in the description of God by Einstein. He said, not in his exact words, that God was all the laws that created the perfect equilibrium in the Universe. The gravity, the electromagnetic fields, the light speed.. everything is God. But I also believe, based on my personal experience, that God is in all the miracles that happen to us everyday. I used to think that I was unlucky, that nobody has given anything to me and everything that I had was the result of my hard work. I was right, but also I realized that I’m lucky, each day I receive a miracle. If you take the time to think about it each day you receive something, something unplanned, something that give you peace. It doesn’t matter if it is a penny that you find in the street, the cancelation of an exam that you didn’t want, an idea that just pop out of your mind… everything that appears just out of the equation of your day is a miracle.

Now I believe that these miracles are product of something (you can call it God, fate, destiny, karma, yin…) that keeps you up, even when you are losing the north. Miracles just show you the path and try to keep you in your element, in the place where you belong. I’m where I’m because sometimes I followed those miracles or just let them go. But in the last months I began to discover where I belong. Life is showing me the vision of IT (information technologies) as a social change engine. And probably that’s what I want to do in my life, use my knowledge and abilities on IT to help society to evolve. My society (Colombian society) claims for a change, a change that does not reside in the hands of the president or the government but in the hands of everybody. I believe that my country has 45 million of opportunities that can be exploited by the use of IT.

“Change is the only thing that is permanent” used to be our lemma, and now it is time to reuse it. Those miracles in the grand design are setting the road we need to walk, step by step. Hope that this year my miracles will give me the strength to keep forward and to achieve what I have to achieve in order to follow that road.

Music that sounds now on my iPod

Last days I am listening a new english band: Mumford & Sons and I’ve to admit that I love the songs of their album. They play folk music, full of beautiful sounds and rhythm. I listen to it on my iPod everyday, it brings to me the relax and quietness that I need these days. And I only want to share with you the song that keeps playing in my mind :)

As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts…

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

La zona

Hoy terminé de leer La fiesta del chivo y termine con ese sentimiento de agradecimiento y nostalgia que me da luego de leer un buen libro. En este caso es más especial todavía porque este libro se desarrolla en mi querida República Dominicana y cada vez que se describían los lugares sentía como si volviera a recorrer a la quisqueya bella. A continuación presento tal vez una de las mejores descripciones de la noche en un barrio de la ciudad que me albergo por más de un año.

Estaba, más bien, concentrada en las inmemoriales casas abiertas de par en par, luciendo sus intimidades, y las familias volcadas a las calles -viejos, viejas, jóvenes, niños, perros, gatos y hasta loros y canarios- para tomar el fresco de la noche luego de la ardiente jornada, parloteando desde sus mecedoras, sillas y banquetas, o sentados en los quicios de las puertas o los poyos de las altas veredas, convirtiendo las viejas calles capitaleñas en una inmensa tertulia, peña o verbena popular, a la que permanecían totalmente indiferentes, atornillados a sus mesas iluminadas por lamparines o mecheros, los grupos de dos o cuatro -siempre hombres, siempre maduros- jugadores de dominó. Era un espectáculo, como el de los alegres colmados con sus mostradores y anaqueles de madera pintada de blanco, rebosando de latas, botellas de Carta Dorada, jacas y cidra de Bermúdez, y cajas de colores, en los que siempre había gente comprando, … un espectáculo tal vez desaparecido o extinguiéndose en el Santo Domingo de hoy, o que existiría, tal vez, sólo en ese cuadrilátero de manzanas donde siglos atrás un grupo de aventureros venidos de Europa fundaron la primera ciudad cristiana del nuevo mundo, con el eufónico nombre de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

La zona y los cafés

Cafés en el Conde y la noche

Sunday, January 16, 2011

La medida de la eternidad

¿Cómo medimos aquello que no tiene fin? En mis clases de matemáticas universitarias, hace ya más de 5 años, me enseñaron a medir las oscilaciones de una cuerda infinita o la temperatura de una barra infinita. Nunca encontré la utilidad de ello, pero creo que ahora comprendo un poco más porque esto hace parte de la educación. Creo que todo parte de nuestra inmensa curiosidad; esa curiosidad que hace que podamos durar horas contemplando una noche estrellada, acompañados de miles de preguntas sobre lo que existe allá afuera y nos hace tan insignificantes y especiales a la vez. La inmensidad, es palabra difícil de pronunciar y difícil de imaginar, nos lleva rondando la cabeza por milenios y de todas las formas hemos tratado de entenderla y hacer parte de ella. Tal vez por eso estudiamos cosas, por lo menos para mi, sin mucha práctica en nuestra vida diaria, como las cuerdas infinitas y las barras infinitas (nunca en mis 25 años de vida he visto una de ellas…).

Y yo siendo un romántico declarado he descubierto que la eternidad puede ser medida y que por lo tanto en algún momento termina; pero que irremediablemente vuelve a comenzar. Encontré esta discretización, por usar un término matemático, luego de encontrar una definición de esta medida. “La medida de la eternidad es la espera para un niño entre una navidad y otra” definió por primera vez para mi que los seres humanos siempre esperamos eternamente la realización de nuestros sueños y esperanzas. ¿Cuánto tiempo se espera por el beso del ser amado que no esta?, pueden ser días, horas, minutos o inclusive los segundos entre beso y beso, pero esa espera, por pequeña que sea es eterna. ¿No es eterna la espera de una madre que espera a su hijo prodigo? ¿No es eterna la espera de un niño que esta a punto de salir a vacaciones? ¿No es eterno el llanto de un bebe que espera ser abrazado por sus padres? Sin darnos cuenta vivimos en la eternidad esperando ese instante fugaz en el que nuestros sueños dejen las nubes y se materialicen, para luego ver como vuelve a comenzar la eternidad.

Y es la eternidad la que le da sentido a la realización de nuestros sueños ideales. Solo a través de esta espera infinita es que podemos valorar esos instantes que el mundo es justo lo que deseamos, para luego volver a nuestro encuentro con la eternidad.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011–Alpha

Well, it is time for the proposals for this new year. As I told in my last post I want to be pretty careful with these proposals because last year I dreamt high and I didn’t achieve my proposals. That gave me a lesson, dream based on your present and keep your feet on earth, but the sight on the stars. So this year I decided to create my resolutions for this year in a way to feel them reachable and accountable, step by step. I based this proposals in this post of the happiness-project.

  • Write 30 posts: I’ve realized that the best way to learn and practice languages is the writing. You learn new words and can practice what you see in the movies or in the lectures that you perform in that language. Sir Francis Bacon said once “Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man”, I want to be all of them. Last year I practice the reading and this year I want to improve my writing. So my proposal is to write 10 posts per language spoken. I hope to write some posts in French, I know that it is difficult but it is the only way to improve my language precision.
  • Work at least 3 hours daily on my thesis: The rules of my University say that I have to spend at least 1000 hours working on my thesis. In a 360 days year that would be at least 3 hours per day. I want to finish my thesis this year and receive my Master’s Degree not after March 2012. To achieve this goal I have to be quite demanding with myself and become a MS Project expert to manage my time :). These days I’m defining the task that need to be done to achieve it, finishing an article in order to send it to a congress and writing the first chapter of my thesis.
  • Work: In 2009 I took the decision of not work again in something I don’t like. I’ve respected this decision and also it has moved me to new “works”. I say “works” because you can not call that a typical job, why? because you don’t hate it, you are not lazy and also you feel good doing it. I’m moving to the entrepreneurship side of the force :P. Leaving the dark side was something that showed me that the world doesn’t need more working engineers, it needs and calls for entrepreneur engineers, who use their knowledge to create wise ideas that can lead the changes that the world needs. In 2010 I worked in some entrepreneur projects having different results and I want to create my own project (I hope to tell you soon) and be the change I want to see in the world :). Also last year I worked as a teacher, and truth be told, I love it. I hope to keep doing this and become a better teacher each day.
  • Don’t watch the same stuff twice: This year I spent a lot of time watching the same movies/series on television, more than one time. If you count the number of movies/series that you repeat and sum all the hours you will realize that you spend so much time watching times that you have watched before. And I want my time to do new things each day. So as a proposal for this year I want to watch only new things, and don’t repeat them. Learn something new each day is more important that learn the same thing each time.
  • 10 books in one year: I love reading, but being honest I don’t have enough time to read a lot while I’m studying at the University, so I decided to reduce the quota of books to read. I’ve them bought already, so it just a matter of lecture :).
  • Visit one other country: Last year I didn’t travel quite much, maybe because my lost of passion. I want to recover my passion for discover new places. So my goal is quite simple, visit one country this year. I’ve some savings so money is not an issue :). The possibilities are Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Perú and USA. Let’s hope a wise choose.
  • Eat salad twice a week: As I told you, last year I gained some weight. And I want to loose it. So I will eat salad twice in a week to be more healthy, also I will try to do some exercise.

So those are my proposals for this year and for track them I will write a post the last day of each month to show the progress, or not, of each one of this goals.