Let the culture talk begin (first post Education)

I have been thinking about writing about culture for quite some time. Like some of you know I was born in Colombia and moved to the US during my teens, so I got to learn a lot about my “mother land’s” culture as well as experienced being a teenager in the US. I have had the luck to be able to explore both cultures at an almost perfect age to be able to assimilate both of them, which is awesome. Living in Chicago also allowed me to learn tons about other cultures, from my best friend being Polish to my fascination with Asian cultures, and just so many other cultures available in such a cosmopolitan area. There are tons of things that are worth while discussing in culture differences, and I guess I would most likely compare anything I discuss here to my two basic ones Colombian and American. I will like to start by pointing some of the differences in the education systems, which have surprised a lot of people when I have pointed out the differences.

I attended a private Catholic school in Colombia and a public school in the US. I completed 11 grades in Colombia s well as being able to attend a US public high school due to my age.

At first glance both systems seem very similar, even having similar roots, but as soon as you start digging you see that there are major differences. One of the most mind-boggling to me is that Colombia has 1 less year of Pre-college education, yet all students are required to complete a lot of courses that in the US would be considered college level.

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Insight into Human nature?

People in general do not like things to be handed to them. For example advice, junk mail, information in general are things people do not like to receive, but instead if they find it on their own, that same information seems useful. The perception is totally changed depending on how that information is obtained.

Take job searching as an example. If any of you has gone thru this painful ordeal you will know what I am talking about. You send your resume to numerous places, post it online, and even drop it off in person. In the end, what really works is having someone feel like they “found” you. Most of the time when I have actually gotten a job, it has been because of someone actually finding my resume on my personal website. It happened for my last 2 jobs. That shows that a supervisor or a director of a department seeking a candidate feels a lot better about finding the right person using google, than by looking at the stack of resumes dropped off by HR.

Another example is what we consider junk snail mail, the old fashion kind. Plenty of people are annoyed by it, I am somewhat neutral in some cases… but those same people will walk into a store and pick up the flyer. That same piece of paper is discarded if it came unsolicited.

When you find information using your own means, it makes you feel empowered in some way. Maybe it is the new involvement that I have in marketing in my company, or maybe is just my crazy mind, but I think I might be onto something.

Colombian Art

Browsing around today I found the following Link (link is dead now :( ), and then continue to read.

I am very proud of being Colombian, sure I am pretty much an American now when it comes to the way I live and I love America as much if not more than most natives. But I am very proud of my roots and if some day I have kids they will learn about my culture for sure. Turcios is my latest finding, Colombian talent is one of the things that makes me the proudest of being Colombian. From Botero to Rayo and their paintings to Gabo and his Magical Realism all those works of art make me proud to say where I am from.

It is difficult to explain to people that have only heard about Colombia via the mass media, that Colombia is a lot more than the country where most of the US drugs come from. But pointing people to works of arts made by Colombians, makes them realize that we do a lot more for the world than drugs and coffee.

Turcios is my latest finding, and I hope you enjoy his work as much as I did.

Meeting people online

Well, this topic has changed so much in recent years. If you would have asked me the question, would you meet someone from an online chatroom or message board?, two years ago, I would have been like, are you crazy? But now things have dramatically changed. There was a point where I decided that only people that I knew personally could have access to my buddy list on the messengers. I had blocked all other messages other than the people I had on my list. Back then 50% of the messages I was getting on ICQ were spam, that was one of the reasons to lock my messengers persay.

Now with the communities that I am a part of, this whole question takes on a new meaning Chicagolandsportbikes, Laneros, SSBC are all places I visit quite often. And thru those message boards I have met some people that I now call friends. I guess destiny had some to do with it. The first time I decided to meet some of the people was a motorcycle group ride. I showed up and the people seemed cool enough. Their internet personas, were more or less their real personality. We were chatting before the kicks stand up, and then people are like, hey there comes Chris. I was not supposed to have met any of this people before or so I tought. Then Chris takes off his helmet, and what do you know, of my my College buddies best friend shows up. I guess this made me a lot less reluctant to meeting people from the internet.

I am also lucky enough to be never have really used a dating service online. But I do know a couple of people that have with positive results. So is the internet the new place to meet people? is it more effective? Well, I think it is. It is easier to find people with common interests, and well 50% of the people that I know in Michigan now, I met thru either a motorcycle board, or a gaming board.

In the past I have met a group of car tuning people just by bumping into their little personal website. Later finding out that they were into martial arts, and had a whole group name GrandmasDen. Then in a professional level, I got to meet some translator from ProzDotCom a site I am a member of, and I ended up setting up a PoWwow. So I got to meet a lot of cool people that without the internet I might have never crossed paths with.

The latest story I think is the coolest. I am playing my current addiction gunbound which is a global game. People from Singapure, Korea, Brazil and China are the ones that I encounter more often. Well, during a game that was going to the crapper due to slow connections, everyone started asking, where are you guys from. A guy answers USA, not uncommon, the I go and say Michigan. The guy goes on to say, where, I am like Midland. He is like YOU LIE. after the lmao, we moved on to where in town. We live only about 10 blocks from each other. Isn’t that crazy. It is just weird, call it destiny, call it luck, but making friends online is now pretty cool.

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