the commuter's eye

interesting reading about social trends among youngsters

Posted in mindscapes, socioholicalishism by martzipan on January 24, 2012

“Today’s young people have an entirely different view of work than their parents and grandparents. The boundaries between work and the rest of their lives are not as distinct, so Millennials expect more personal fulfillment from their day jobs.

But Generation Y — defined loosely as those born after 1980 — has also been acutely affected by the Great Recession, and this means that they also know the value of a hard-earned paycheck.

In fact, entering the workforce during a down economy creates attitudes that could last up to 20 years, according to a recent study led by Yale economics professor Lisa Kahn. This includes a tendency toward risk-aversion, a greater willingness to settle, and a belief that luck plays a big role in future success.”

Rest of the article here.

does anyone see a striking resemblance?

Posted in cityscapes, mindscapes, on wording and writing, socioholicalishism by martzipan on August 11, 2011

people on streets

here are two images. although the reasons are different, the purpose is the same – i.e. both reclaiming people’s right of owning their streets. the intereseting part is that both play on the distance between literally and figuratively speaking, with an emphasis on the former. without getting into ‘pragmaticalities’ and ‘semioticalities’,  the funny part is that one will most likely be remembered as a just and entitled to act, while the other as an irrational and condemnable one. take a wild guess which is which…

syria takes to the streets

occupy wall street

foreign humanities graduate seeks master program in romania

Posted in how tos, likes and dislikes, romania is my country, socioholicalishism by martzipan on June 24, 2011

how romanian universities are not thinking out-of-the-box

these days my (former) students (1) presented their dissertations and, technically speaking, they’ve graduated – i take this opportunity to warmly congratulate them all and wish them all the best for the upcoming academic and less academic endeavors they’ll undertake. one of them posted this afternoon a question on a social network asking about an interesting romanian master program to apply to. answers start popping-up, with hyperlinks directing towards different universities and faculties. so far so good, nothing unusual. for the romanian humanities graduates – native speakers, most likely – the offer is apparently quite rich with sufficient choices, unless they want to embark on a journey that will take them beyond the borders of our fatherland to a foreign university, which, hopefully, will better suit their research interests. most of my students already know that i’ve always been a keen supporter of this second option – i was and i am pestering them about applying to any available program abroad (even if it is only for few months or a semester) each time i have the chance to do it.

however, this afternoon i’ve made a different exercise, i.e. to put myself in the shoes of a foreigner who recently graduated in humanities and who may have the (not so) peculiar idea to explore his or her options for a ma program in… romania. we have plenty of foreign students in medicine, applied sciences, engineering, it, maths, etc. coming here for studies, so why not having some of them in… humanities?

here is what i’ve discovered in terms of offers:

* according to the web site of the university of bucharest, i’ve found the impressive amount of… five master programs in foreign languages. actually, i guess there may be more, especially at the faculty of foreign languages and literatures, but i didn’t have the patience to scrutinize the entire english version of the web site. you can find their full description here:

* university of cluj provides a richer offer on their web page, with at least ten such programs – smart choice to group them all on a single page (including those that the folks from the university of bucharest would probably mention on the foreign languages faculty but without listing them as programs taught in english, french or whatever other language than romanian). you can find them, with a full description too, here:

* university of timisoara has interesting programs too, but it doesn’t say whether they are taught in foreign languages or not:

* university of oradea has its main site in english (, but the web pages of the faculty of letters are in romanian only (

* university of iasi – – lists several programs, but without telling which one is taught in a foreign language, if any

* university of contanta presents directly in english its programs, but again you have to guess if they are taught in other language than romanian:

one could argue that there are some other reputable romanian universities and research centers offering similar master programs that are not present in my list. true. it is a personal/biased choice, as all our choices are in the end. if you want a complete list of universities, just google it. here are the top three results google returned to my query after ‘romanian universities’ string:

i believe that it would have been nice to have a decent official information portal ranking first, but, hey, wikipedia goes as well. good luck at studying in romania as a foreign student!


(1) i’ve put ‘former’ between parentheses because i like to think that my students will always be my students.


Posted in romania is my country, socioholicalishism by martzipan on April 28, 2011

kill the people,  save the monkeys

the media warmly cheered the capital’s zoo for acquiring two pairs of lemurs included in the lists of threatened or endangered species (and some meerkats, although they don’t count, as they aren’t actually on the verge of any soon extinction). it’s funny though how a nation that systematically shuts down hospitals one after another with an astonishing ease (the motivation is the lack of resources and the “acceleration of the process of reform” – whatever that means) endangering itself has no problem in sheltering lemurs.

don’t get me wrong, i’m a fan of “madagascar”, but i guess that even for king julien this is a bit waaaay to cynical 😀