Seems that my last post hit quite a nerve – Jens made his blog protected and I’ve suddenly got more KPs coming out of the woodwork. My hits have jumped heavily in the last few days too.

Hey, nothing is free from criticism. When I travelled with Up with People (or even before I started) we all faced a hell of a lot of criticism just because of UWP’s reputation and history. And there were things that could have been done better. But it was still the best time of my life. Just because something’s attracted some negativity doesn’t make it totally bad. No one’s gonna like everything.

I just wished that the feedback was more constructive. If you disagree, that’s great. (I had a friend take down a post because I disagreed with his logic and points. Nothing against him, just his rhetoric. He somehow took it as a “personal attack” and then took it down because he thought I was offended. Wha? Disagreement doesn’t mean censorship! But anyway.)

The point of my last point was that the core substance of the KaosPilots seems to be lost in between all the party pictures and the “woo, foreign country!”. If you know where the substance is, show it! Give me links, references, contacts. Tell me about the stuff you’re doing. I want to know, many others want to know too. Share that energy! We want to share in it too! But we can’t do that if we don’t see it.

In semi-related news: can anyone translate this Danish blog entry? My boyfriend, and a web translator, had a go at it and all we can work out is that this guy went to his company’s teambuilding workshop for 3 weeks, which involved a KaosPilot, and it was totally fluffy and useless. But we don’t know if that is actually what he wrote. So a Danish to English translation would be good.

La de da! The closing date for Rotterdam (not Amsterdam, Thomas) was yesterday! Let’s see how that goes. I can’t wait two weeks, visas get in the way.

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Because Deepest Sender is stupid with editing posts and Firefox can’t save post contents!

Jeg er 22 år. Jeg bor i Indooroopilly. Jeg elsker Mark (hej!). Jeg synes, han er sød. Jeg også synes, KaosPiloterne er god!
Jeg synes, WordPress.Com, Firefox, og Deepest Sender er dårlig. Lige nu, i hvert fald.

(øæå for reference, so that I don’t have to go through such madness again.)

After what seems like a long while (really a couple of months), I’m getting back to writing my fundraising letters and emails.

Among the companies/organizations I’ve contacted: Virgin Atlantic (flights between Sydney and London – big savings for me if I get this), Soroptimist Malaysia, Mensa Malaysia and Australia, Malaysian Young Entrepreneurs Association, Perdana Leadership Foundation, National Association for Women Entrepreneurs Malaysia, Australia Business Arts Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians…there’s possibly more I’m missing in here somewhere.

It’s so hard to find grants that apply. Either they don’t cover education costs, or I don’t have the right residency, or they don’t cover individuals. Feh. The Ian Potter foundations look promising though.

I’ve also sent a proposal by post to Virgin, which is apparently really good for this sort of thing. I also sent a letter to Darren Hayes, whom I adore – chances of getting a reply (let alone help) are pretty slim, but he’s been such a big influence in my life that it doesn’t hurt to ask!!

I got my bike, and will start lessons (with Mark) soon. Going for my second set of Danish lessons tonight. Here’s what I learnt last week (minus the funky characters):

Hej! Jeg hedder Tiara.
Jeg kommer fra Malaysia. (I know there’s a Danish word for this but I can’t spell it.)
Jeg taler du engelsk, og malaysisk, og lidt bengali.
Jeg er ellev. Jeg laeer Creative Industries paa QUT, og lidt dansk paa Mdm Andersen’s.
Hvordan gaar det? Jeg meget fint!

There’s also the numbers, which I can pronounce but not spell. haha.

OK, I was trying to edit this post on Deepest Sender, but instead of saving it, it decided to DELETE the post. Argh. Thankfully there was a version saved in my history, so I’ll use that instead.

Danish

Jeg læer dansk! Dav! Hvordan går det? Jeg er godt. 🙂
(translation: I’m learning Danish! Hello! How are you? I’m good.)

Weekly lessons at Manly, half-an-hour away by train. Am learning it with a lady who was in Denmark for four years and met her husband there, so my Danish is a little Aussie-accented (though with my weird combination of accents it could be anything, really). It wasn’t too hard, though some words are tricky because native Danish speakers say them really quickly, so words like “hedder” (name) sounds like “er” (is).

Cycling

I’m considering getting a second-hand bicycle to learn cycling on. I never got past training wheels as a child, but in Denmark everyone cycles so I should at least catch up. It helps that I have a cycling nut for a boyfriend (who incidentally also speaks Danish!). There is someone at UQ who’s selling his/her bike for $80, which is really cheap as far as bikes go. Assuming it doesn’t get sold off beforehand, Mark and I will give it a test run on Sunday. woo!

Edgeware

The Edgeware conference went great! I did a short talk on managing to get to Stockholm despite all the possible obstacles, and people were entertained and inspired. Too bad Frank isn’t hiring for speakers in Brisbane – I would have rocked! (If you are a speaker’s agency in Brisbane, please get in touch!) One of the people I brought in for my group discount, Chakae, turns out to be an awesomely talented fundraiser. She organized a please-help-us-pay-the-rent party for a designer friend in 2 weeks, and was pretty successful. She’s such a colourful character (literally and figuratively) and I am SO glad that we met! I’d say she was one of the biggest gifts I got from the Edgeware experience.

Naked Lady Party

Speaking of Chakae and fundraising: Myself, Chakae, and Nikki (hello :D) are co-organizing a Naked Lady clothes swap, partly to raise funds and partly because I need to get rid of a LOT of clothes and accessories. The idea is to have the swap one evening, then sell the rest at a market stall the next day. We were going to get $20 for the stall in return for volunteering at an event tonight, but the event’s already got enough volunteers…oh well. We just got free space for the venue (yay Carla and International House!!) so all that’s left is to organize (pretty simple – get food, get space, get stuff) and advertise. Nikki and I have classes and Chakae’s busy with organizing the Virtual Everest fundraising team for the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (sponsor Nikki, Chakae, and the Brisneyland community here!) so we probably won’t work on this fully till a fortnight or so. that’s fine; the hardest part was the venue, and we’ve got that down!

Course credit woes

I went to talk to my course coordinator, Adrian Thomas, this morning about getting my final elective-filled semester credited so that I could go to the KaosPilots while still having my QUT degree (otherwise I’d end up with a perpetually unfinished degree). The only way I could claim credit that way is to put in an application with detailed reference letters about all the work I did, but he’s skeptical that I’d get even one subject credited for that. He suggested that I go to Denmark anyway, and then write back to QUT after a semester with my progress report to get my credit, but visa issues may get in the way.

Honestly, I’ve more than proven my mettle in the subject matter, and I was way ahead of them with the workplace/service learning thing before they decided to implement it officially. Right now it’s a matter of bureaucratic paperwork more than anything else. I’m more than prepared to go to the KaosPilots without an official QUT degree; I’m not going to let a piece of paper stop me (heck, I don’t actually care; I’m not hung up on qualifications). However, it would be nice if I did manage to get that certificate so that my two years here isn’t completely wasted (not that I think it’s a waste; I did get some good things regardless of qualification, but at the same time learning for its own sake isn’t well-regarded in my culture. Feh.). I’ve emailed everyone I could think of whose reference letters aren’t so complete (and Bob, whose reference letter is PERFECT but has old contact details) and I’m getting that application for credit in!

House parties

I just finished Morrie Warshawski‘s book The Fundraising Houseparty, which is basically all about hosting a small party where you make a pitch for your venture and get people to support you. It’s simple, but quite effective if done right. To accomplish this, I need a good Host (someone whose house I can ninja) and I already have someone in mind; however, if anyone in Brisbane would like to host me, feel free to contact me!

Mental Health

I’m getting my mental health taken care of – I’ve sorted a Disability plan with the QUT Disability services that allows me to get extensions on my assignments if they start to pile up and I get anxious and stressed over them. I’m also going back on the Brisbane Mind program, which allows me 6 sessions with a psychologist for low prices. It was really helpful for me last year and this year I want to get preventative care – learning how to cope before the stress eats me. My year was ruined by my inability to get a grip on stress last year – things seriously fell apart. I don’t want that to happen again. I still need to find motivation to do uni work though.

Milestones

Geez, nearly a 1000 words for this update, and this might be post #100 according to WordPress. Yay milestones!

Rosetta Stone – they have a Level 1 CD program, as well as online programs for 3/6/12 months.

Berlitz – when I was on the flight to Amsterdam, KLM actually had a pretty fun backseat program tha taught languages, and I learnt a little bit of Danish that way. I can’t seem to find a CD version of that anywhere, but there are books.

Institute of Modern Languages, UQ – $260 for 22 hours. Seems OK, and UQ is near where I used to live. They also have custom packages, one of which is at $75/hour (or less if I can get a bigger group).

Siti Salwa Abd Karim – this person lives in my state! Pretty pricey though (RM1500) and I’m not sure if they’d allow individuals instead of groups.

J Andersen – in Brisbane! Good contact when I return.

The annoying thing about some Learn Danish websites is that they never actually show you how to phonetically pronounce the word. This is important in a language where “Hej” does not sound like “hedge”.

ALSO! Am trying to find Danish press but they’re all in, well, Danish. Which would be OK except I can’t seem to figure out who to contact to propose a column. Are there any big English-language media in Denmark?

And look what I found! Scandinavian Society of Malaysia and ScandAsia, a news portal for Scandinavians in SEA. Mwahaha!

Danish

Jeg læer dansk! Dav! Hvordan går det? Jeg er godt. 🙂
(translation: I’m learning Danish! Hello! How are you? I’m good.)
Weekly lessons at Manly, half-an-hour away by train. Am learning it with a lady who was in Denmark for four years and met her husband there, so my Danish is a little Aussie-accented (though with my weird combination of accents it could be anything, really). It wasn’t too hard, though some words are tricky because native Danish speakers say them really quickly, so words like “hedder” (name) sounds like “er” (is).

Cycling

I’m considering getting a second-hand bicycle to learn cycling on. I never got past training wheels as a child, but in Denmark everyone cycles so I should at least catch up. It helps that I have a cycling nut for a boyfriend (who incidentally also speaks Danish!). There is someone at UQ who’s selling his/her bike for $80, which is really cheap as far as bikes go. Assuming it doesn’t get sold off beforehand, Mark and I will give it a test run on Sunday. woo!

Edgeware

The Edgeware conference went great! I did a short talk on managing to get to Stockholm despite all the possible obstacles, and people were entertained and inspired. Too bad Frank isn’t hiring for speakers in Brisbane – I would have rocked! (If you are a speaker’s agency in Brisbane, please get in touch!) One of the people I brought in for my group discount, Chakae, turns out to be an awesomely talented fundraiser. She organized a please-help-us-pay-the-rent party for a designer friend in 2 weeks, and was pretty successful. She’s such a colourful character (literally and figuratively) and I am SO glad that we met! I’d say she was one of the biggest gifts I got from the Edgeware experience.

Naked Lady Party

Speaking of Chakae and fundraising: Myself, Chakae, and Nikki (hello :D) are co-organizing a Naked Lady clothes swap, partly to raise funds and partly because I need to get rid of a LOT of clothes and accessories. The idea is to have the swap one evening, then sell the rest at a market stall the next day. We were going to get $20 for the stall in return for volunteering at an event tonight, but the event’s already got enough volunteers…oh well. We just got free space for the venue (yay Carla and International House!!) so all that’s left is to organize (pretty simple – get food, get space, get stuff) and advertise. Nikki and I have classes and Chakae’s busy with organizing the Virtual Everest fundraising team for the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (sponsor Nikki, Chakae, and the Brisneyland community here!) so we probably won’t work on this fully till a fortnight or so. that’s fine; the hardest part was the venue, and we’ve got that down!

Course credit woes

I went to talk to my course coordinator, Adrian Thomas, this morning about getting my final elective-filled semester credited so that I could go to the KaosPilots while still having my QUT degree (otherwise I’d end up with a perpetually unfinished degree). The only way I could claim credit that way is to put in an application with detailed reference letters about all the work I did, but he’s skeptical that I’d get even one subject credited for that. He suggested that I go to Denmark anyway, and then write back to QUT after a semester with my progress report to get my credit, but visa issues may get in the way.

Honestly, I’ve more than proven my mettle in the subject matter, and I was way ahead of them with the workplace/service learning thing before they decided to implement it officially. Right now it’s a matter of bureaucratic paperwork more than anything else. I’m more than prepared to go to the KaosPilots without an official QUT degree; I’m not going to let a piece of paper stop me (heck, I don’t actually care; I’m not hung up on qualifications). However, it would be nice if I did manage to get that certificate so that my two years here isn’t completely wasted (not that I think it’s a waste; I did get some good things regardless of qualification, but at the same time learning for its own sake isn’t well-regarded in my culture. Feh.). I’ve emailed everyone I could think of whose reference letters aren’t so complete (and Bob, whose reference letter is PERFECT but has old contact details) and I’m getting that application for credit in!

House parties

I just finished Morrie Warshawski‘s book The Fundraising Houseparty, which is basically all about hosting a small party where you make a pitch for your venture and get people to support you. It’s simple, but quite effective if done right. To accomplish this, I need a good Host (someone whose house I can ninja) and I already have someone in mind; however, if anyone in Brisbane would like to host me, feel free to contact me!

Mental Health

I’m getting my mental health taken care of – I’ve sorted a Disability plan with the QUT Disability services that allows me to get extensions on my assignments if they start to pile up and I get anxious and stressed over them. I’m also going back on the Brisbane Mind program, which allows me 6 sessions with a psychologist for low prices. It was really helpful for me last year and this year I want to get preventative care – learning how to cope before the stress eats me. My year was ruined by my inability to get a grip on stress last year – things seriously fell apart. I don’t want that to happen again. I still need to find motivation to do uni work though.

Milestones

Geez, nearly a 1000 words for this update, and this might be post #100 according to WordPress. Yay milestones!