Today is December, 28. For most people it can be usual ordinary day, but for me it is a special one. I remember, two months ago I posted my first blog on WordPress. It was October, 28. That day I posted only “Hello, world. October 28, 2010 is the day I first created my own blog! It is amazing, exciting. You are interested in my blog, you are always welcome.” Looking back, I realize how it is exciting and interesting to have a blog you are passionate of writing for. In the very beginning I wrote very short posts, just 3-10 sentences. That time I thought a lot whether to put a definite event on the blog or not. But gradually, it went somehow, because something from inside advised to post it or not. It is only the matter of inexperience in blogging. One more thing I paid attention that time was visitor statistics. In October and even in November it varied so much. Having two-month experience behind, I decided to collect stats on how the statistics changed. And I am glad it looks like a ladder going up. I had only 57 views in October, in November it increased to 196, this month it is even much higher.  It means that in average I have 8-10 visitors per day.The most active month was December. I hope it will continue growing as I continue blogging.

I guess it is my last post this year. On New Year’s Eve I wish friendship of all nations in the world get stronger and trust to each other more powerful. Happy New 2011 Year!

Today the weather is much better, though yesterday it was stormy and frosty. A strong wind was blowing all the night as if he wanted to show the guests came for Summit how severe and astringent it can be. However, it seems to be only the beginning of asperity of capital city climate!)))Sitting in the library and looking at the window one cannot imagine -11 degree frost with the sun shining in the sky.

 As I have noticed most of my time at the university is spent in the library. If I am not in the library, I am in the cafeteria OR I am in our PDP classes (However, sometimes if I am at PDP classes I am in the library as well))). In addition, yesterday I planned to work in the library, unfortunately, it was closed earlier and a special guest visited me and was with me the whole evening. Boredom!(( I don’t like the state of abeyance. For a person used to do several things at a time it is…(I have no words)

By the way, I watched Ken Robinson’s speech on Ted.com and really got interested in the way he was stating the facts. Mainly Ken spoke about the education, he presented an arresting speech on the theme which seem to be dull at the  first sight. His manner of speech and informality is really absorbing, he can dwell on the problems and switch to the facts from the life to buttress the idea he is moving forward. He says schools kill creativity. At first, you wonder and try to think for yourself whether it is so or not. Immediately, I remembered Laura, my fellow student from NIS. She is leading research on the development of student’s imagination. If Laura, an experienced teacher, has chosen this theme, it is really problematic at school. But, killing their imagination, their creativity? NO! Not killing, rather ignoring! All the things Ken tells is true. Yes, there is a hierarchy in education, there is a demand for Bachelor, if you have no, for Master – if you have Bachelor and for Ph.D. – if you have Master. I can say nothing against. It is what we are talking every day! Lifelong education, that starts from childhood. Every child has a cornucopia of abilities, their fantasy does not know borders, they can sometimes say something to stumble even an adult. In his speech Ken mentions a story, rather interesting, about a girl, who liked drawing. During her usual classes she was drawing a picture, and when a teacher asked what was drawing. She responded “God”. To teacher’s remark that nobody knows how God looks like she says: “They will in a minute”. Pretend you are that teacher, what will you say further? I will nothing! What can I?

Creativity is a step to novelty. That’s why it is necessary to be developed. A teacher should not daunt a child for his wrong answer. Otherwise, he will be afraid the next time, frightened of giving a wrong answer. The answers they give may not answer your question, but it shows their flow of creativity. “The children should be developed into creativity, not out of it” Ken states. Moreover, we should not be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes help us to do the same better, to improve. “A great mistake is not to correct your previous mistakes.” (I do not remember the author). All in all, I liked the speech and I am eager to read the book Ken is working right now. “Epiphany”! People know everything about their idols, but not about themselves. Epiphany is a difficulty I faced while writing essays for a definite program. If you are not attentive to yourself, you will hardly realize what it is. I hope, Ted.com will show Ken’s speech on this book in future!

If you search in the internet you can find many useful things(useless as well)))). You are not making research, but you can see how other people succeed in it. For instance, let’s take Hans Rosling’s presentation on the statistics. With the help of gapminder he demonstrates the changes occurring in sphere of health and money all over the world. It is interesting to watch statistics moving fro and back. The presentation is so detailed that it involves global data of the countries. You can see the path of development of a continent and of a country taken separately. It is difficult to deal with large numbers, but it is easy to watch them. You needn’t read copious statistics done when you can watch them.

I want to draw your attention on statistical data of Kazakhstan with the help of gapminder. As an educator, I searched the data about  literacy. Youth literacy rate in our republic is 100% of all people from 15-24 who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on everyday life. However, only 42% of the same aged youth are employed. Another interesting data is average age of the first marriage of women is 24 in Kazakhstan, while in Bangladesh is 19, in Sweden it is 32. How huge the difference is!  Unfortunately, statistics sometimes makes you happy, sometimes disappoint you. Comparing the data on HIV affected among 15-49 year old adults I noticed that the highest percentage is still in South Africa(18%), the lowest is in Philippines, Japan and Bangladesh. Kazakhstan with 0.08% is somewhere in the middle. Working with gapminder you can state an endless amount of statistics. Gapminder is useful, if you travel somewhere and what to know the life conditions of a definite country. For more information visit www.gapminder.org/world

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.