In Pursuit of the Light

Today, I want to continue my very personal story (last post was in October 2014) and as “Circle of fear” feels rather like where I have come from than where I am going to, I want to rename my very personal story from now on to “In Pursuit of the Light”. To illustrate what I mean with these words, I want to show you my…

Vision of life

The goal(s?) in my life

The power of love

Yes: I am a dreamer

And yes, sometimes it feels like a punishment but it feels so great when you meet someone who sees the dawn with you before the rest of the world and maybe can even help you make the world see it a little earlier.

Why sustainability?

But now back to my very personal story…

In Pursuit of the Light

Let’s say I begin to think about my life again after three years filled with studies and girlfriend struggle. I discover the great book “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey and begin taking control of my life again. I do better at work, enjoy my life more and more and feel quite good. I am spending very great summer holidays, one week of hiking with my parents (Austria) and two weeks of language-learning/practising and partying/excessive dancing (Salamanca, Spain). I discover how much I like to get to know to new people once again and organise some parties and connect people to each other. Back in Germany, some may have a hard time getting used to my new self-confidence but yeah, we are working on that. So lots of things are happening/I make lots of things happen and I want to leave you here for getting my shower to get ready for another exciting day.

This is how I left you last time I was writing down my very personal story. So what happened since then?

After the extreme energy and dancing in Summer 2014, I get known to a lovely girl from Fall to Spring and reaching Summer 2015, I wake up from my “Wintersleep” realizing I was not living to my full potential in this relationship and we break up. In Spring 2015, I begin working as an IT consultant quitting the company I worked at during and after my studies. As I am working most of the time from my home office (and only sometimes having workshops with customers what I would prefer much more), I look for excitement and social interaction outside of my work. I go a lot to the dancing parties of my dancing school, most of the time with the dancing partner I am dancing with for more than a year now. We spend our summer holidays at the Lake Constance together and enjoy the time very much. I am reaching my highest energy at the end of September 2015 when taking part in the Project Management Karlsruhe where I can talk and think a lot with great people and inspiring sessions.

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I go to another dancing party just after the PM Camp is over and my life changes in a sudden. I am dancing with a woman I am knowing quite well for the little walk we had with some other persons from my dancing school in the summer. She tells me that my eyes would look empty and I begin to listen to my body. She tells me a few words while we are dancing and all of a sudden, my artificially pushed energy level gets down to a kind of natural tiredness after exhaustion and at the end of the dance, we hug each other. Laying in each other’s arms, we change the room and sit down for a close talk. In the following days, we see each other a lot and have continued to do so ever since. My words from “In our forest” are inspired by our first days. We seem to be very different but having the same goals in life which means we can support each other quite well, living a love I have not known before. When I see my grandma for the next time, I tell her that I have a new girlfriend and before she can reply anything, I tell her “I believe this time, she’s the one”. I am sure we will enjoy our pursuit of the light together.

But well, there is not only light in the world. In Spring 2015, I discover that I have started my master studies (distant learning) without thinking too much and decide to quit the pain and live without master degree – quite well so far I think.

In Fall 2015, I end the friendship with my dancing partner I spent my summer holidays with because I feel like I have to be an older, less energized version of myself when being with her. It gets complicated and sometimes ugly but feels great once I have cut all ways back – after all it is often leaving a door back open which ties us to our past and prevents us from reaching our full potential, I think. Of course, this does not mean that we do not need to make peace with our past – I accept that I have lost a friend but am grateful for the great time we had.

With the shaping of my vision of life I told you about above, I feel wrong with my job at the IT consulting company. I feel like I have to do too much things, I don’t love or the world don’t need that much and at the same time, I have learned during a Massive Open Online Course about Social Business which great things companies can do. I love my customers and enjoy working with them a lot but my bosses boss me around too much and sometimes show that they dream less than I do. I know that I am a hard-to-employ employee because I do not accept leadership executed by organizational position (“You have to do so because I am the boss”) and ask for real profit from my work for our customers and less focus on the profit of the company. But anyway, I close the door to my past once more and quit the job (currently I have my last working days till January 2016). It feels great, this smell of adventure!

Well, I am not unemployed despite this, I have started working for the Cooperate State University Karlsruhe as a project staff member in the area of eLearning (well known from my studies) – a job which feels a lot more like the purpose star in the first image.

DSC_5928_smallAnd there is a lot more to come, whatever it may be. I am on my way in pursuit of the light.

Enjoy the last days of this year – spend the Christmas days peacefully and wisely with your loved ones and if we do not talk to each other before 2016 – have a great start into the new year everybody!

 

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Circles of fear – a very personal story (Episode 6 (Summer 2010 – Summer 2014))

Episode 5

herbstAfter spending a very young summer (after all she is 4 years younger than me) with a lot of self-made music, little love adventures and a lot of relaxing in the Castle garden of Karlsruhe, my cooperative studies begin. I enjoy working and discovering the freedom I’ve got in my company. There is a monthly meeting which everybody can join and I am told that after every project presentation everybody can ask every question. So once attending to this meeting for the first time (after working a few days in this company), I ask 4 questions after 4 presentations (100% score, yay!) and get my first standing at the company. Some might be embarassed for the rest of their lifetime now but that’s not my way.

After Christmas, I change to my studying phase and work hard because I have a certain fear of not making it. I make it, even too good so that I decide to relax during the second year of studies. But one step after another…

Do you understand that I want to get back to this physical state? :)

Could I become a jacket model? 🙂

By the beginning of 2011, I have helped my girlfriend to become a lot better at school and lifted her up so that she does not hurt herself anymore or only at very rare occassions. I feel happy and we enjoy our time together travelling, making music and discovering/rediscovering the teenage way towards becoming an adult. It hits me like thunder once I learn that my girlfriend is suffering from some kind of bulimic anorexia. She has talked to my brother who decides that he can’t take the responsibility to keep that secret and talks to me. Three days later, she talks to me and tells me what happened to her.

Now I can handle it, another potential developing project, we can make it baby, here we go! I take her to a doctor, we talk to her mother, we try a lot of things and sometimes she feels better and sometimes she feels worse. Work is becoming a little less important even if I am struggling with the teams during my second year’s working phases. I guess I can thank to the music and my inner knowledge of my potential and unconscious feeling of my energy that I don’t start getting another psychic illness…

It’s by that time, in the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 that I begin to develop a little emotional distance from my girlfriend. I guess it’s a little self-protection wall against her sometimes very hard verbal aggressions. After all, she is sick and not herself or in control of herself all of the time anymore so I don’t blame her for that but take the necessary steps to protect myself. Though this beginning of losing my love for her, I still believe we can make it and move into a flat with her in autumn 2012. I accept a 90 minutes door-to-door one-way way to work everyday to be able to live with her despite the fact we work in different cities. In the beginning, it’s worth the pain. She gets a lot better once having left her parents (where she lacked the attention she needed or wanted to get). At least for sometime…

Through the green gate

Through the green gate

After about three months, I realize a change in her behaviour, now highly sensitive for this kind of behaviour. She is starting to overreact, to refuse being touched, to worry about eating, trying hard to destroy her life once again. I support her trying lots of things even though she has made my daily way-to-work-pain a ridiculous sacrifice by quitting her job and staying at home looking for another job closer to the city I work in. But my emotional self-protection wall begins to grow, I kind of put my heart into the freezer and we live together in the most independent way possible in a 3-room flat.

Ah yeah, I almost forgot, my final study year has already begun and I am working hard to prove my company I am the one to hire after my studies. I am writing a good project paper after a well-appreciated project in my company and discover my interest for education writing two research papers at the cooperative state university.
After some time of hard work and uncertainty, I finally get my working contract and can fully concentrate on writing a great bachelor thesis. Looking at my final grade, I haven’t done that bad…

2013-09-25 14.31.00In Autumn 2013, I leave for Kazan, Russia, to present a paper developed out of my research papers about education. I discover in this foreign country how easy communication with a girl can be even if you only share about 5 words in one language (she only speaks Russian and very very few words of english but luckily she is that smart she brings her tablet with google translator with her the second day). Nothing more happens but once back in Germany, I decide to accept my emotional wall and leave my girlfriend – may she do whatever she wants to her life as cruel as it may sound. I break up (I am so bad at it) and she falls in love again with another guy after a week or something.

I move to my parents’ again and enjoy life at Hotel Mummy again. Not for a long time, I lose my platin card guest status quite quickly and begin to mow the lane, clean the road and do some housework again quite soon. But I am not alone if I need someone to talk and I am independent enough in my room if I need some time for my own.
I begin working at the company where I studied after my longer holidays and enjoy it quite much. Towards christmas I am concentrating on a little love story with a chinese girl living in Cologne (in short it was like a rocket – took me almost to the stars in a sudden but somehow I dropped back to earth in a sudden like a waste part of a multistage rocket). This story already finishes shortly after the beginning of 2014 and I concentrate on work again.

2013-10-11 10.45.46I realize that now I am done, I’ve reached my last goals – getting my bachelor degree and getting hired. What am I supposed to do now? Should I keep working until my retirement? What do I do during my spare time? Why does work feel so bad and unfitting sometimes? Am I doing the right thing?

30 days of proacitivity diary - read me in the morning - tell me in the evening

30 days of proacitivity diary – read me in the morning – tell me in the evening

Let’s say I begin to think about my life again after three years filled with studies and girlfriend struggle. I discover the great book “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey and begin taking control of my life again. I do better at work, enjoy my life more and more and feel quite good. I am spending very great summer holidays, one week of hiking with my parents (Austria) and two weeks of language-learning/practising and partying/excessive dancing (Salamanca, Spain). I discover how much I like to get to know to new people once again and organise some parties and connect people to each other. Back in Germany, some may have a hard time getting used to my new self-confidence but yeah, we are working on that.

So lots of things are happening/I make lots of things happen and I want to leave you here for getting my shower to get ready for another exciting day.

Thanks for reading and feel free to ask for more detail whereever I have gone to fast.

Cheers,
Chris

Can Gamification Make Us Learn?

Howdy folks,

2014-08-04-15-00-50.jpgtoday I want to share with you my latest insights about the question if gamification can make us learn. I was thinking about it again because my former lecturer told me that in her opinion, learning (especially in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)) does not need to be fun but to include top notch content.

First, for those of you who are not familiar to gamification: gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-game contexts, e.g. showing customers a leaderboard of the most-buying customers to motivate them to buy even more. So you might want to call gamification a manipulation thing using mechanics that make you feel good or try to do better in games.

The question now is, can we really be manipulated to learn something?

2013-10-11 10.45.46In my opinion, gamification can be a trigger for learning. The game-like style is likely to grab your attention and teach you a first few things in an easy way. This is supported by a good on-boarding design. On-boarding means that in the beginning, there is more help and less difficulty so that you can start smoothly and not just get scared and frustrated after the first minutes.

Gamification then can keep you for some time satisfying your curiosity to discover new things and to figure out how things work. You might enjoy yourself earning some points and achievements and making some progress.

But someday, things get boring and the question then is: What have you learned and what are the take-aways from the time spent on this gamified learning environment?

To be able to answer this question, we have to think about your original motivation why you spent this time and if your motivation changed during spending the time. In my opinion, you can only learn something in a healthy way if you are really caring about learning it. I define healthy learning as a sustainable learning which is achieved once the learner begins to ask questions and looks for answers to these questions – which leads to real engagement of the learner and application of the topic to learn.

2014-08-07-10-50-56.jpgSo if you just stumbled into the learning environment accidentally, looking for pleasure and left once pleasure became less and work became more, you might have learned a few things but they are very likely to fade away soon and you are likely to have not achieved a deep learning and understanding of the topic to learn. In short, little or no learning.

But if you came to the learning environment with questions to answer or developed an interest in the topic to learn in the learning environment, you are likely to take away much more – and maybe even stay longer or look for other learning environments.

So the point I want to make is that what matters first and most is not the design of the learning environment but your motivation to learn.

Which is the role of gamification then?

Redesign of a gamified Software Engineering course, ICL Kazan 2013(6)As stated above, gamification can be a trigger for learning. If the learner is motivated for learning (motivation is not the product of gamification!), the elements of gamification can be a great way to provide the learner with a lot of intuitive learning management tools. Think of a map which shows you the topics you could still move to. A skill tree which shows you which skills you’ve already learned and what you might want or need to work on. A quest you can give to someone so that he/she explains something to you or works on a topic you are interested in. Earning experience points for learning success and getting level-ups to find and peer with other persons of similar levels. All the tracking of your learning and the management of the topics to cover, the possibilities to work on and the communication with other persons can be enhanced and facilitated by gamification techniques so that you can spend more time on the thing you care for – learning something you are really interested in.

2014-08-08-11-44-19.jpgFinally, to answer my starting question: gamification can not make us learn in a healthy way if we are only looking for pleasure. And a last side note: It is somewhat ironic that a society which is pleasure-centered tries to cure the problems of their pleasure-centeredness (that people care more about earning money to buy more pleasure than to learn more to make the world a better place), that this pleasure-centered society is trying to cure their pleasure-centeredness problem with making learning more pleasure…

I am looking forward to learn what you think.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

I Love Loyal Friends

Howdy folks,

Passing on my way to work - looks impressive in the early darkness

Passing on my way to work – looks impressive in the early darkness

how are you? I’ve been off for quite a few days now only replying to comments and sometimes reading one or another blog post but not participating here most of the time. But I have still about 20 views per day and am getting a few comments each day. I’m impressed and want to say thank you for your loyalty!

Well, short update for me so that you know what I am up to do:

Taken on my before last visit at my grandma's

Taken on my before last visit at my grandma’s

Currently I’m quite into “real people” so I try to use every possibility to meet with and talk to people, anyway if for music collaboration, sightseeing or just for passing time because the train is waiting for three hours on its journey to my hometown because someone decided to commit suicide using the train just before us. I am breathing life deep into my veins and am working full time, so blogging falls short these days. No, I guess with these two, blogging would enjoy having very much attention but I am also into educational research and decided to begin a master in IT Management by “homeschooling”. I am so excited to get my first learning materials! Hope to feel like to catch up actively on your news soon, my friends. But feel free to drop me a line telling me what’s happening at yours right now please!

Have a great time and celebrate life.

Chris

For Those Who Want To Read My Paper – Redesign of a Gamified Software Engineering Course

Accumulative grading in my redesigned course

Accumulative grading in my redesigned course

Howdy folks,

if you want to read my paper with which I won the Young Scientist Award 2013, feel free to do so here.

Comments and like are very appreciated.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend.

Yours sincerely,

Chris

Finally Arrived In Kasan – Only My Luggage Got Lost Somehow

Howdy folks,

Finally I’m arrived in Kasan, Russia after my flight from Frankfurt to Moscow was delayed. But my flight from Moscow to

Night sight from my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

Night sight from my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

Kasan waited and at Kasan Airport there was a very nice woman waiting for us to take us to the hotel.

Me against the window of my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

Me against the window of my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

Because of me or rather because of my luggage, we all needed to wait a bit longer before taking the bus to the hotel. You see, I made it to change the flights at Moscow but my luggage didn’t manage to, somehow. So we asked at Kasan Airport and they told us that my luggage should arrive about tomorrow in the hotel. Looking forward to have my cosmetics and clothing back because after tomorrow, my current clothes (which I of course put off as soon as I’ve entered my room to save them for tomorrow) will begin to smell badly the day after tomorrow.

My Shower Cabin At Kasan Korston Hotel

My Shower Cabin At Kasan Korston Hotel

But looking forward to having a nice shower tomorrow morning in this shower cabin with the free hotel cosmetics.

Sorry for the selfie in my room in Kasan Korston Hotel

Sorry for the selfie in my room in Kasan Korston Hotel

The hotel looks quite nice I think (see the images below) and now I am tired enough to go to bed and get up very early tomorrow to work a bit on my presentation. Looking forward to breakfast and the first day of the ICL conference, guess I will tell you more about it tomorrow night.

Bed in my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

Bed in my room at Kasan Korston Hotel

My room at Kasan Korston Hotel

My room at Kasan Korston Hotel

TV in my room at Kasan Korston Hotel - not going to have much time to spend on using it though

TV in my room at Kasan Korston Hotel – not going to have much time to spend on using it though

I wish all of you a very great day and hope you had a great day. Stay tuned, I am looking forward to your comments and likes my friends.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend.

Chris

Russia – Here We Come

English: All Religions Temple. A building and ...

English: All Religions Temple. A building and cultural center build by the local artist Ildar Xanov. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Howdy folks,

In about seven hours, my flight is leaving Germany for Russia and after changing the flight in Moscow, we will finally arrive at Kasan, Russia. Why? Well, I won the Young Scientist Award for the ICL Conference 2013 with a paper called “Redesign of a gamified Software Engineering Course”. So I get the opportunity to stay four days in Russia and present my paper for 20 minutes plus attending to a lot of presentations. You might want to read a bit more about this here.

I will keep you posted how I am doing and will upload my paper and maybe even a video of my presentation (I think someone will record it, the only question is when I get it) for you as soon as I am home again.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend.

Yours sincerely,

Chris

P.S.: Make sure to join my Remember Happiness Today series – a question per day to think of happy times – here.

P.S.2: Yesterday was my “best day ever” with 72 visits on my blog. I am happy and want to say thank you thank you thank you to you all, I am so glad you are here and am looking forward to our interaction.

P.S.3: If you wondered about the “We” in the title – my lecturer who is also co-author of my paper will come with me which I am very grateful for.

About this blog

Howdy folks,

Sun Pillar

Sun Pillar (Photo credit: tomhe)

just wanted to let you know that I’ve recently updated my about page which you can find here.

If you do not know my blog in detail yet, you can quickly get into my categories and some posts here.

Thank you very much for being one of the very important persons in my life! Please let me know if I can do anything for you, either by commenting on a post, by dropping me some lines using my contact form or by commenting on my off topic forum “Where we meet“.

Yours sincerely,

Chris

Circles of fear – a very personal story (Episode 5 (Summer 2007-Summer 2010))

Episode 1

Episode 4

Sing the Blues

Sing the Blues (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

My singing teacher is the only person among my friends that is only surprised about my choice of leaving school for homeschool. He can even find some positive aspects of my choice. My (ex-)girlfriend and especially my mother (who is a German highschool teacher) are shocked. To convince my parents, I want to pay the homeschooling fee with the money I earn working at the Fraunhofer. I teach myself java programming there and work on a project to simulate security scenarios.

My parents accept my decision under the condition that I check it out for the free four weeks and then think about it again. My father gets ill with a psychosis a bit later and claims to be stronger than I am.  But he loses his “war of nerves” against my mind and leaves the battlefield to recover in a psychatric hospital.

Rock Band

Rock Band (Photo credit: spakulsk)

After this time of trouble, there is a kind of peaceful co-existence in the family, I have made peace with my mother and try to support her while my father is in the psychatric hospital. I find my first band projects and succeed to control and balance my energy flow and body ressources.

In sum, I feel a lot more grown-up and in good condition (body and mind). I hit the hard floor of reality when I get three out of fifteen points at the Maths pre-exam. I only can thank to my good French pre-exam achievements that I pass the pre-exam and am allowed to attend to the final exams for my diploma. I work very hard for the next two monts, I study old Maths exams, in sum about 120 hours of studying. I get twelve out of fifteen points in the final Maths exam which is helpful for my wish of studying Computer Science.

Before the final oral exams, I worry about Physics because I’ve never done my homework in a good quality. I take lessons at a nice and competent student and get twelve out of fifteen points in the final oral exam and a remark “Have you ever worked in a job related to Physics?” which I take as a compliment.

Mathematics homework

Mathematics homework (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days later, I’m the proud owner of a German highschool diploma (Abitur) with a GPA of C+ (2,7). I feel well prepared for my studies to become a Computer Scientist. I have chosen to study and work fifty-fity for three years (cooperative study program at the DH, Karlsruhe) and found a very cool drugstore chain with a great working and employee philosophy for the working phases.

I find my love seaching for a musician by a girl who plays the guitar. We spend an exciting first year of our love, our music and my studies. My singing skills improve and I feel like getting more and more the best of myself feeling a harmony with my inner vibes. By recovering from my psychosis, I seem to have become a sort of an expert in the field of psychic illnesses and try to support my friends and their friends to find the reasons and solutions for their problems.

Episode 6

Now I have this blog and you can contact me in the comment section or just ask me for my email adress there and I will send you an email so that we can talk about everything you want to.

I wish you only the best, may peace surround you and happiness rule your mind.

Yours sincerely,

Chris

How a school I found would look like

Howdy folks,

this morning I had a look again at Suzie81’s great post about why students are not allowed to fail. Afterwards, in the train to work, my brain started rattling and I thought about writing a blog entry on how a school I found would look like, especially how to write a kind of a mission statement for true and deep learning.

Real People. Deep Learning

Real People. Deep Learning (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

I happened to not having paper with me so I was happy to find some empty space in the DB Mobil magazine (a free monthly magazine that is available in German trains). Enjoy reading about the “Basics for getting the best of yourself School” (BaGeBeYouS) and don’t forget to tell me what you think about it. Thank you very much and you really are a brave one, dear (soon) commenter. Cheers!

Visit and Contribute to the Basics for Getting the Best of Yourself School (BaGeBeYouS)