November 2010


Today is the last day to arrange all the necessary things for OSCE. A great attention is paid to the security of the people living in Astana and to the guests coming for the summit. It is a meeting of the highest level all over the world. It is an audacious and at the same time full of responsibility step. Today we do have no lessons and are at the university till the lunch time. Because all the roads will be closed. Some of my students are very glad. Venera, one of favourite students said: ” It is a good opportunity to sleep well.” Some of our students have so many assignments and course works that they even sometimes do not sleep at all. They say it is okay if you don’t go to bed one day, but the next day you feel awkward yourself . So I hope students will spend their free time with profit. I also plan to finish a book I started reading a decade ago, it is “The sun also rises” by Ernest Hemingway. And turning the several units of my GRE preparation is also included into my plan list for tomorrow.

NU students are passing their exams this week. Today is the final day of the exams and at 11:00 we like supervisors are to control the discipline during the exams. We did the same job yesterday. It was their first exam this academic year and some students worried about the results of them. Others were confident in their knowledge and just asked to cheer them up and good luck! I wish them GOOD LUCK today too!

It is expected that some of the foreign guests will visit our university and have a talk with students. Our study will go on despite the summit while other universities and colleges have a week holiday due to it!

After the weekend spent with my uncle’s family I am sitting there to share with you all the events happened with me within the two days. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have day-off this weekend.  Because they were the working days due to the summit of OSCE. Some of the summit members are coming already and our Nazarbayev University students have a chance to meet with some f them.

I am glad our Kazakhstan is moving rapidly to the global market economy. The first reason is OSCE summit. It is a great privilege to hold world important event here in our mother country. I am proud that our republic is the first to organize such kind of important summit among post soviet countries. Another reason is the Seventh Asian Winter Games. These two events are burgeoning factors to the development of the country. As a volunteer of the Asian winter games in Astana I can say that these winter games will be eye-catching headlines of many Mass Media resources. Even creating a unique TV channel to broadcast the duration of the games is in perspective. After we had classes with our PDP teacher I and Ainagul hurried to the Organization Committee. We were informed to be leader-volunteers. The day before we also had a meeting there and Inessa, organizer of the Asian Games, told us that we would have special clothes with Asian logo. I was glad! Not because we will have clothes, but rather we will present our country in Asiada with dignity. All in all, I am grateful to Bakhyt, who helped us to become volunteers. If we didn’t meet her in the train, we would never be there. All the tickets for Asiada are being sold quickly, because the opening day is already defined: it is January, 30 at 18:00 at Astana Arena Stadium.

 The another news I want to share with you is Volunteer Commencement Day. It will be in December, 9 in Sport Complex “Daulet” at 17:00. The certificates of psychological training and our volunteer IDs will handed in our hands. And only after the commencement we can say we are volunteers of Asian Games in Astana. By the way, it will be my third commencement day. ( I hope I will have the fourth that I am solicitous of as well).

There are so many things about organizing Asian winter games in Astana, and there are so many memorable events awaiting our people. As a secret(formally), I hurry to acknowledge you that there will be built Ice Town in Astana due to the program of  “Cultural Asiada” in the RK. The Ice Town will be a representation of Kazakh culture and traditions and the place where Asian Winter Games Torch will be placed in a period of games. As the official website of the Seventh Asian Winter Games states “On the 11th of January in Al-Kuwait, where the headquarters of OCA is situated, during the solemn lighting ceremony the Flame of our Relay will be lit. It is planned to organize broadcasting of the lighting ceremony of the flame on all national channels. On the 12th of January, the Torch will come to Almaty, Kazakhstan. After the welcoming ceremony of the Torch, Relay will go along streets of the South capital, and then the regions. During 20 days the Torch will travel throughout all regions of Kazakhstan and on the 30th of January, it will finish in Astana at the “Astana-Arena” stadium at the opening ceremony of the Asian games.” So the people of capital city as well as the tourists coming especially for the winter games can see the torch in the center of the city in a span of 7 days.

Our country did its utmost on the sixteenth Asian summer games in Guangzhou and took the fifth place. A good result! I hope we will improve our results in Winter Games! It is expected that opening ceremony of Asiada 2011 in Kazakhstan will be much better than any other world events. Nevertheless, the time will show. Only 61 days are left untill the Seventh Asian Winter Games 2011 in Astana-Almaty.

Education is an indispensable part of modern people’s life. And life-long education does not surprise us  any more now for like other people we see its benefit for our self-development in future. I have the same point of view on education along with your life. A few days ago, talking with my parents on the phone, they counted years I was studying and would study and asked if I didn’t get bored with studying. Though it is strange for them I am glad they support me in my decisions and never make me doubt about my activities. On the contrary, they are surprised how I managed to go so far (NU) and speak about me to our relatives and friends with pride. I am proud that my parents are proud of me. (I wonder what they will do if I go abroad (with God’s wish) for my Master’s degree). Nevertheless, I am not to talk about it here, but about the survey I did in a span of three days.

I created a survey on the theme of international exchange. Working with statistics is exciting, because each respondent is a unique individual and has his/her own point of view. Two different people can look at one thing, but see quite different images; can listen to one and the same song, but notice quite different words. I proved it for myself analyzing the results of the survey. 20 respondents’ answers were the basis for my research to do some statistics on exchange programs. I am glad that most of the respondents (70%) admit the necessity of foreign education. It is of great benefit to gain truthful results. I noticed that all the programs I mentioned in the survey are familiar to students (however, I limited their answer to one so they could choose only one they are most familiar with or they heard first) except Au-Pair. I was a bit surprised that nobody knew this program, because Au-pair also works in Kazakhstan. Perhaps, it is because the program is closer to the German language. One of my fellow students at the institute went to Germany by Au-Pair nach Deuchland.  Right now she is in Frankfurt enjoying her foreign life. However, let’s go back to my survey. 85% of the respondents have never been abroad and approximately the same percentage (60%) considers improvement of career prospects as the main reason for going abroad to study. I fully agree, but would like to add the study of subject matter not offered in home university as one of the mains reasons to do it. 70% of the people say that people cannot afford a foreign education because of financial difficulties. At the same time, they (60%) admit that most universities use study abroad programs as marketing tools to attract new students.  It is clear that scholarships play an important role in getting foreign education. Moreover, I asked them to think whether scholarships are merit-based or need-based. Answers given bifurcate to two parts: 35% of need-baseds vs. 35% of equals (both-based).Rather interesting! I think that these are precisely such divergent factors that form food for thinking. The opinions of the respondents on the availability, contribution, offer of scholarships and perspective of exchange programs vary very much.

On a whole, I was pleased with the results I gained from the survey, especially I am glad that most of the respondents didn’t get lazy to add comments to the answers. The most valuable thoughts I gathered about the survey itself. I should admit that it had some disadvantages analyzing the answers of each respondent on the last question. One of the respondents wrote: “I would like some questions had multiple answers to be chosen, cause there are some questions I want to give more than one answer”. Another respondent who did Fulbright two times left a considerable comment that I liked though it was critical. S/He wrote: “ Good, not sure what you meant in the matrix with contributive or perspective.  Also, you needed to allow for more than one answer to your questions.  You can disqualify my answers if you like, I have a westerner’s perspective.” Certainly, I will not disqualify her answers, because I need critics to improve my skills. In future I will consider this point in creating my next surveys.  Further I wish search my theme deeper from scientific point of view. To do it I need consult many works and investigations done before. The thing I am engaged in right now. I hope everything will all right.

Yesterday I woke up very early as usual. At 7:15a.m. I was at the university standing in a queue for breakfast. I had nothing to do except my assignment on PDP in the morning. At 2:30p.m. I went to PDP classes and we watched “Dead poet’s society”, a film about the novelty that makes people others be against of. Then I and Ainagul hurried to our psychological training. The training was more serious comparing with previous ones for we touched upon an arduous theme of conflict management. All of us were excited and ready to da any activity. Out psychologist Zhanara asked us to be vigilant in dealing with different critical situations. Conflict is an indispensable part of our life. Despite our attitude and wish to avoid disputed cases we are sometimes forced to cope with them in the street, at home and in the shop. It is impossible to protect yourself from shouts, quarrels and cries, but it is possible to resolve the situation in a peaceful way. That is what we are to do in Asian Games. On the training we acted out different situations and possible means of dealing with them. I am a peaceful person, I cannot even pretend to be  quarrelsome. (However, I should admit I am not soooo peaceful when is comes to my rights and personal territory.) We played a game, where two people stand with their backs to each other. The task of the first person is to say rude, bad words addressing to her partner, the task of the second person is the same, but to say only good, kind and warm words. She will make a step with each kind word uttered until she stands near the bad person. I and Aidana were the first pair to act it out. I was a good person, Aidana – bad. So we began. I was saying: “Aidana, you are good, clever. I appreciate your opinions. Each time I pay attention to your thoughts.” But I was receiving a feedback like ” You are bad. Shut up! I don’t want to listen to you.” So did all of us. Later when we shared our feelings about the activity,  the girls said that it was difficult to say bad words against good ones. It is really difficult to be rude when someone is polite to you.

Further on, we were given a paper with different disputed cases. We were to write our responses to them. Some of us wanted to respond on the basis of the first reactions. These are some of the examples I remembered: “You promised to promote me instead of Mr.X. Why did you promote him then?”, “You made a mistake, so I won’t allocate money from the budget to your department”, “I can’t finish the work today”. etc. In addition, we told such situations from our own life. Moldir (volunteer from school#28) told that she broke up with her best friend because of nothing. Now they study in the same class and do not communicate, though they studied in different classes when they were friends. The life!

Do noy try to create conflicts!Avoid them! Conflicts raise problems, antipathy, vengeance. It causes different unpleasant situations. Every case can be solved in a peaceful way. Just think about how! Have more friends and NO enemies!

Today is the third day of my psychological training. As previous two days, it was full of interesting information, activities and games. We shared our thoughts and feelings that overwhelmed us during a day. Everybody was glad to meet each other, especially Aidana (volunteer from school #28). She was glad to see her friends for she missed her classes at school that day. At the same time, Anelya (Aidana’s classmate) was happy Ainagul and me brought Nazarbayev University handbook for them. She is an excellent student, potential owner of “Altyn belgi” medal. She showed a great interest in NU since she found out we studied there. The girls asked a lot of questions that we decided to bring university handbook for they could see and read everything for themselves. Anelya was happy to get a handbook, I was happy to have my promise kept.

So we began our training. The psychologist of the center Zhanara prepped a rather interesting activity “Hills” for us to begin with. Our task was to form hills by different positions of our body, head, hands and feet. There was also a rock-climber, whose task was to overcome all dangerous curves repeating each form of the hills. At first, it seemed to be easy to accomplish the task, but when my turn came to be a rock-climber, I recognized that it only seemed to be easy. However, everything was all right. And the next activity we did was a bit difficult for me in comparison with the first one. I mean difficult from physical point of view. Again we arranged a circle and each member had a pen between a finger of hers and her neighbour’s to connect each other making a circle whole by it. Keeping a circle position, Zhanara asked us to do different movements altogether. On the other hand, we should not let a pen between our fingers fall on the floor. Some of us played at ease, others found some difficulties in controlling a pen from the right and from the left sides as well. Still we accomplished it perfectly, a circle remained whole in the end of the game. There is a curious thing I noticed about the games is that all of them somehow refer to a circle. A circle is a closed sphere with no breaks. A circle, we form during the games, means unity of each member of the group, I concluded for myself.

Further on, we listened to a lecture about the means of protection (contraception). And watched a cartoon “When a girl gets older…” on how a child is formed and developed along with the scientific explanations to the process. I don’t want to write evrything we learnt from the lectures, because it is a field that refers to self-education. And it will be better to self-educate yourself with a person who is well ackowledged in the sphere. 

So, our time passed quickly as usual. We became more closer and dearer to each other. All of us expect something more from the next training. I am sure it will super!

The second day of the training passed. And I am sitting there solicitous of putting all my feelings onto the page of my blog. As the previous training the second training met my expectations and enriched my inner world with interesting and valuable information.

Like the first day we began our training with a short banter on how we spent a day and what happened to us. I felt sulky from an early morning and didn’t know what exactly was wrong with me, but I was in a  bad mood.))(Perhaps, it was because of the weather.) I hoped somehow to cheer myself up and succeeded. There was a joyful countenance on my face after our training was over.

However, I don’t want to make you wait to know what exactly draw happiness on my face. The training, we have, is a kind of relaxing and informative therapy. I bifurcate it into two parts: discussion and games. Mostly, they are mixed or combined. The first game, we played that day, was the most interesting for me. “Numeral Three”. (It is a name I call this name.) It is a logical game, where all group members sit in a circle and put their hands on the neighbour’s knee from both sides. The main rule of the game is not to pronounce a numeral that is divided to three and ends with three as well. The first starts counting, the next goes on, but the third  claps  the neighbour’s knee two times for he cannot pronounce “three” according to the rule. So the game goes on until group members get confused in numerals and mathematical tasks. It tends to be more difficult when numerals get larger and larger. Though I have not been studying Maths since I graduated from school (4 years easily vanish your knowledge of Maths!), I became one of the winners. ‘Good job, you still know something in Mathematics’ I praised myself. And what you think my mood after the game was. Much better!

Furthermore, we got involved into another game (“Scarf”) with alacrity. Again a group arranged a circle and one of us had her (there are only girls in the group) eyes tied tight with a scarf. The task was to recognize a person by her voice without touching. The game taught us to break the walls if mistrust and establish an affinity between us! (Mind we are acquainted only two days.)

Then it was a turn for an informative part of the training. The doctor-venereologist of the center Oksana told us about infections passed through sexual ways, their symptoms, and about the means of protection and treatment. Although I know something about such kind of diseases, some of them with fatal consequences, my knowledge meant not so much because I got a deeper understanding of the theme only in the training. We were sometimes struck by the facts we heard during the discussion. Oksana gave us questions to conclude the knowledge acquired in the end. Nevertheless, the lesson was of great evaluative character for me.

Along with the a.m. games we were involved in various activities. In a word, I liked the day. I think the fact that we enjoyed the time spent there is due to the unity of our group and professionalism of the staff of the center. The first impression they had on us was excellent, perhaps, it buttressed our burgeoning desire to came there again and again.

A few days of the training are still ahead and I am looking forward to know what we will gain from our next meetings. However, I will share everything with you!

This  and the next years are promised to be successful for Kazakhstan for we have OSCE on December, 1-2, 2010 and we tend to organize and hold the Seventh Asian Winter Games in Astana-Almaty from January, 30 till February, 6, 2010. Both events bear grandiose importance to the country as well to the people who are responsible for it. Realizing this fact and being a patriot of my country I decided to partake in Asian Winter games. With a burden to support my country in such kind of assiduous task I became a volunteer of SWAG in Astana. It is my first time when I participate in world event and surely I feel excited. I hope I will get more experience of working in a world level, find more new friends in Kazakhstan and in foreign countries as well. It makes me feel happy, I anticipate for the beginning of the games. I think that success of this Asian games partially depends upon us – volunteers! Volunteer is an image and the first impression of the country. That’s why we should do our utmost to demonstrate our republic from the good sides. It is due to us how other countries will remember Kazakh people, what their opinion about our ability will be. It is a hard, but at the same time a rewarding job. To my mind, such kind of events are push-ups to the further development and recognition in world economy.

However, finding the right volunteers to represent the status of the republic is a difficult and responsible task. The function of the organization committee is not only to fill the rows of potential and want-to-be volunteers, but to develop them, to prepare them to any unexpected situations and to teach them how to cope with definite barriers during the games. The process of becoming a volunteer requires passing application, psychological training and accreditation processes. All of them are very important and here I would like to share my feelings from the first day of psychological training.

Psychological training is a process of releasing your inner world, a process that helps you to break the walls of mistrust, a process that motivates to believe in your abilities, to show your strengths, to attenuate your weaknesses. My psychological training has begun today. It lasted only for two hours, but the time passed very quick. To tell my truth I didn’t expect anything unusual from it, I accepted it formal, must-to-be meeting. However, it was much better, I dare say super! First of all, we introduced ourselves ( there were only 7 of us) and then we played a rather interesting game called ‘iceberg’. The point of the game is to unite people unfamiliar with each other to reach a common purpose. The rule of the game was to stand unitedly on small pieces of paper and do not let anybody from your ‘friends’ to fell out. Amazing!

Furthermore, iceberg was followed by switching the roles games. We formed pairs and told about ourselves to our partners in a span of five minutes and vice versa listened to them during the next five minutes. Then we told everything that we found out about our friend intending to be that person himself. It was funny to hear your story from the other person. Really funny! After we listened to not less interesting lecture on the theme of reproductive systems and watched a cartoon about the way our organs function. In the end each one shared their feelings about the training and were grateful  to spend to the staff of the center.

On my part, I can say that I am really happy that I enrolled in Asian games as a volunteer. I consider it as a way full of pleasant adventures. Our psychological training will last for five days. And I am looking forward for the next meeting…..

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