vineri, 19 octombrie 2012

Trag de timp

Traversez o perioada tare ocupata si sunt foarte obosita. Dar n-am abandonat de tot Jocul Orb, imi vin in minte multe subiecte, nu-mi vine insa starea si nici timpul necesar dezvoltarii lor iar unele sunt prea frumoase ca sa se aleaga doar cu doua fraze superficiale, scrise in graba... Asa ca trag de timp si mai pun cate un filmulet, cate o melodie. Sper sa ma intelegeti si sa ne bucuram de discutii peste cateva zile cand revin mai in forta si mai in forma, sper :))... But for now I'm so tired. Enjoy The Beatles

luni, 15 octombrie 2012

Facebook, privacy si agresivitate

Atunci cand a venit vremea sa aleg cum procedez cu contul meu de Facebook, mi-am spus ca vreau sa fie o fereastra deschisa spre lume, un stimulent de comunicare pe care nu il am in viata de zi cu zi din cauza timpului.

Printre prietenii mei de pe Facebook se numara familia, prietenii apropiati, prietenii cu care ma vad mai rar, colegii din diferite etape ale vietii, fostii studenti, oamenii pe care ii citesc/ii urmaresc/ii admir, prietenii prietenilor, oameni cu aceleasi interese/pasiuni, in special legate de cultura sau medicina.

Nu am multe fotografii, pana de curand aveam doar doua dar vrajita de Instagram am mai adaugat cateva, nu imi povestesc viata, nici vacantele, oricum nu mai mult decat o fac aici, pe blog. Pentru detalii, vorbim la telefon sau pe mail :). Imi place, la randul meu, sa aflu cand oamenii pe care ii cunosc iubesc, se casatoresc, sunt fericiti, au facut copii, au citit o carte buna sau au vazut un spectacol remarcabil. Sau chiar imi place sa aflu cand au nevoie de ajutor ca sa incerc sa fiu alaturi de ei. Imi place sa le urmaresc evolutia peste timp, unora dintre ei cu admiratie sau cu dorinta de a-mi confirma intuitiile pozitive in ceea ce ii priveste. Imi place uneori sa pornesc melodiile de pe wall, atunci cand ele ar putea sa imi aduca inspiratie sau sa se lipeasca peste starea mea. Intalnesc uneori linkuri interesante si citesc articole care pot reusi sa imi modifice intelegerea unui fenomen.

Well, recunosc ca nu sunt foarte restrictiva dar nici foarte increzatoare...asadar, daca am ceva de reprosat, imi pot reprosa mie, nu Facebook-ului in sine.

Dar lucrul la care ma gandesc imediat este urmatorul: nu stiu sa gestionez conflictele si agresivitatea acolo. Am pornit de la ideea ca Wall-ul este un loc de exersat placere, admiratie si umor, eventual rationamente, nu un teren de lupta cu oamenii care ne sunt dezagreabili sau cu frustrarile noastre.

Am fost insa contactata de cateva ori, recunosc putine, de oameni carora le sunt dezagreabila. E firesc ca ei sa existe, nu poti sa le placi tuturor si, cum imi place sa o parafrazez pe Glenda Bailey, nici viata, nici locul de munca nu sunt un concurs de popularitate. Ce nu pot sa inteleg este motivatia acestor oameni de a sari niste etape si de a-si manifesta agresivitatea la mine pe Wall. Este ca si cand te-ai deranja sa pleci de la tine de acasa, sa iei masina, sa o parchezi in fata casei mele si sa-mi suni la usa doar ca sa imi spui ca sunt urata, proasta, incorecta, incompetenta etc.

Ei bine, poate ca sunt, statistic este foarte posibil desi mi se pare ca nu e usor sa dai verdicte mai ales daca n-ai schimbat nici doua propozitii fata in fata cu mine toata viata. E drept: scriu articole din cand in cand, scriu pe blog deci exista material pentru o concluzie, fie ea pozitiva, indiferenta sau negativa. Insa toata straduinta unora sa ajunga la usa casei mele pentru a-mi explica in ce masura sunt  'nepotrivita' este mai mult o carte de vizita a lor decat a mea.

Cu toate astea, raman cu o senzatie neplacuta, de casa 'sparta' daca vreti, desi eu am ales sa-mi las usa deschisa. Asa ca va intreb direct pe voi, cititorii, sau pe voi, prietenii mei de pe Facebook: voi cum procedati? cat sunteti de restrictivi cu profilul vostru de FB? Si cum gestionati conflictele?

PS. Foto de aici.

vineri, 12 octombrie 2012

Good night song

"Slow down, you crazy child, you're so ambitious for a juvenile (...) You're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need".

Am cules melodia de mai jos de la a Facebook friend.

"Dream on but don't imagine that they will all come true". Voi mai reveni la ideea asta... Good night!


miercuri, 10 octombrie 2012

Mike's and Jacqui's eyes

"I am an eye person. I don't know about you, guys, but that's what works for me" Mike Sager said during his workshop at The Power of Storytelling  in Bucharest. I did not actually understand his line, although I thought I did, until a few hours later.

Jacqui Banaszynski is an eye person too, may it be in a different way. When she first stared at me from the photo displayed on the conference website, I knew I wanted to listen to her, and watch her, and maybe, if only it was possible, interact with her. The magnetism of her clear blue eyes was more talkative to me in that moment than her frequently mentioned Pulitzer prize. There was just something about it...

Nevermind the years I spent improving my public speaking and interactions, I am still the same shy person on the inside. I stood in line during one coffee break in order to meet her. I failed since the girl before me did not finish what she had to ask before the next session would start. I had already given up my plans - it's so much easier to give up sometimes - when the occasion came up spontaneously. With the courage of the shy, I thank her from my heart for her wonderful and almost scientifically organized workshop. As I like to put it, it deeply appealed to my scientific mind... And, as I was saying that, I just staired at her bold, steel blue eyes that I feared would intimidate me but encouraged me  instead, and the rest of the conversation came up naturally.

I had given up talking to Mike Sager too when the right moment misteriously came along. Someone had just left him and he was strolling alone among people. So I stepped in with a slight hesitation. My spoken English is an unmistakable sign of how I feel. And it was babbled and faltered at the beginning...

From the distance, Mike Sager's appearance was that of a Californian teen-ager: he is not tall and he was wearing a black t-shirt, a neutral coloured 3/4 cargo pant, socks and Converse. You would almost expect that he had brought his skateboard with him. At a more attentive look, only his mid-sized black socks rising from his Converse betrayed the fact that he belonged to a generation born before the nineties as the younger always take up the ankle-sized model. From the distance, his eyes seemed small and dark. And even his portofolio photos would not reveal at a glance their true expression.
photo by Radu Coman

When I got close to him, I looked him in the eyes for I am generally an eye person myself. As I was saying my "thank you very much and I have one question" kind of speech, I noticed his small dark eyes growing larger and incredibly luminous and irradiant. As we kept on talking about the ministerial role of the interviewer, I felt the need to confess that I was a doctor, a MD. The disclosure was naively meant to demand some sort of indulgence for my journalistic ignorance but also to convey a sense of me being able to play such a part. And a thought strucked me in that very moment: under that sparkling gaze, my English had become smoother. I no longer worried about what I would say or do. I was just going with the conversation wherever it led me. It led to Mike Sager's childhood and teenage years when he went to the hospital with his father, a gynecologist, and when he worked as an OR technician. It led to his experience with the obese hero of one of his stories, to his approach on the delicate subjects and to his opinion, to both our opinions on the worlds' doctors' overtness and spirituality. I will not share this one with you...

His gaze just does its magic. As an incantation or a spell. Like Harry Potter's Alohomora. Or Indian's Jantar Mantar Jadu Mantar. It captures the details that flow out of yourself, it notices every single gesture and it opens the gates to your personal truth without employing questions, just light: 

"Be yourself– only a little less so. Your reporter-self should be more humble than your writer-self, more of a wallflower than a star, more of a follower, a watcher, a true believer, someone willing to try on an idea and wear it around the room, just to see what it feels like."

See also: A detailed report on The Power of Storytelling conference: day one & day two.

duminică, 7 octombrie 2012

"Fear is not an option", DvF

Sunt sigura ca multi dintre voi au auzit de Diane von Furstenberg. Numele ei pare a fi legat doar de moda, little wrap dress, Studio 54 si, eventual, pentru cunoscatori, Andy Warhol.

La o cautare mai atenta, numele Diane von Furstenberg este o minunata legatura intre Romania, Grecia, Belgia si SUA. Tatal lui Diane se numea Leon (Lipa) Halfin si a trait o parte din viata la Chisinau. In 1929 a emigrat la Paris iar de acolo la Bruxelles unde, in 1945, a cunoscut-o pe Liliane Nahmias, o supravietuitoare a Holocaustului originara din Grecia. Restul istoriei personale a lui Diane il puteti afla de pe Wikipedia.

Influenta mamei a fost adeseori mentioata de DvF in interviuri. Lily a invatat-o despre rezistenta in fata fricii "Fear is not an option", despre autoevaluarea si responsabilitatea propriei persoane "Never to blame anything or anyone, and just take responsability on yourself", despre autonomie.

Am descoperit-o pe Diane von Furstenberg in interviurile de pe The Conversation, un show online produs de Demi Moore si mediatizat la noi de Cristina Bazavan. Pentru ca si impresia mea era una light (o vedeam ca pe inca una din muzele de la Studio 54), am fost surprinsa sa descopar o femeie puternica, autonoma si curajoasa.

Printre multe altele m-a uimit in mod special franchetea cu care vorbeste despre frumusete. "Toata lumea crede ca ar trebui sa imi fac ceva la fata, sa ma operez, dar eu cred ca o floare frumoasa ramane frumoasa si daca e ofilita."

Intregul episod este aici. Nu o cautati numai pe Diane von Furstenberg. Glenda Bailey este si ea foarte interesanta: exclamatia ei "When you are working, it is not a popularity contest" mi-a raspuns la multe intrebari.

Un alt interviu cuprinzator cu DvF in varianta transcrisa pe siteul CNN. Enjoy!

The Power of Storytelling - day two

The morning speakers of the POS conference. From left to right: Alex Tizon,  Pat Walters, Walt  Harrington and Evan  Ratliff.
"Thou shalt not bore" is the very first rule of writing in a set of fifty one of them, carefully formulated by the famous journalist and writer Mike Sager. What I can grant for, after the second day of The Power of Storytelling conference, is that there is no chance whatsoever that any of the speakers of the conference would bore you, especially if you are passioned about reading, and writing, and humanity.

The first day was an awesome experience but, as Cristi Lupsa -the host - put it, there was more awesomeness waiting for us today. 

The morning started with a plenary session where Alex Tizon shared with us the tribulations of telling his own story. He offered three specific tips. The first: Read other people's memoirs. The second: Just forget them. The third: It could serve to know the topic of the memoir you're planning to write, which in his case was race and manhood, and the THEME, which for him was shame. It impressed me to discover at what point the shame could be something as deeply hidden and corrosive to the personal structure of a person as rodents hidden in the walls of an old house.

Evan Ratliff is the man who experimented for the sake of a story how it feels like to disappear out of your own life and live in a hideaway in fear that you might be recognized or tracked down. In his journey from writing to digital entrepreneurship, he reassured us: "it's ok not to know what to do".

What most haunts me when it comes to writing is the ending. Pat Walters, aged 27, the youngest journalist invited to POS, shared some tips on how to end the story. It deeply impacted me that he emphasized the power of an ending that questioned the entire story. It is something I belive in although I am not mastering yet the skill of creating it.

Walt Harrington ended the morning session saying the truth and nothing but the truth as he spoke about the "non" in "nonfiction". It is hard to stick with the truth even in the most remote of the details when the flow of the narrative could benefit from a slight change... But one has to do it because otherwise it would turn the story into fiction. No journalist should stick to the unconscious assumptions or to some sort of confidence about the things he or she does not know. "You say your mother loves you. Check it out!"

The rest of the day was dedicated to the workshops. I wish we had 3 days for the conference so that I would not have had to choose only three among the nine topics. As it was my first time in a storytelling event, I went for the big names, the impacting personalities and the basic techniques. 

Mike Sager shared fifty-three ways to improve your reporting. You can read them on his website but there you will neither perceive the man's amazing presence, nor hear his remarkable memories about the quest for a story (which, by the way, may mean that you are stucked for three days in a Brasilian hotel waiting for a phone from J.Lo's agent to tell you that she's ready for the interview). 

Jacqui Banaszynski's workshop was the treasure I have been waiting for so long. After one hour and thirty minutes she gave me the feeling that, with a thorough use of the things she shared with us, my narrative writing might never be the same again. In the best of the possible meanings... Ever since I saw her photo and read about Cristi's impressions on her, I felt fascinated. The practical skills she generously revealed throughout the workshop satisfied both the scientist in me, and the artist in me as she said that, even after knowing the techniques, it all is in the practice. "There are only two ways to learn how to write: writing and reading".

In one surprising simmetrics, the evening ended in the same classical, confortable pace as the morning did while listening to Walt Harrington's workshop on intimate journalism.

At the end, during the goodbye drinks, I struggled to triumph over my shyness in order to meet some of the speakers. I guess this too is a moment I will never forget. Just be patient with me and allow me to tell you about the eyes and glances of Mike and Jacqui in a totally different, self-indulgent post.

Of course, I feel like thanking all those wonderful speakers millions of times over and over again. But it would have never happened without Cristian Lupsa and the entire team from DOR. Thank you, guys, it was wonderful!

Make sure you did not miss The Power of Storytelling-day one.

sâmbătă, 6 octombrie 2012

The Power of Storytelling - day one

"Stories are our prayers. Write and edit them with due reverence. Stories are parables. Write and edit and tell yours with meaning. Stories are history. Write and edit and tell yours with accuracy and understanding and context and with unwavering devotion to the truth. Stories are music. Write and edit and tell yours with pace and rhythm and flow. Stories are our soul. Tell them as if they are all that matters."

Jacqui Banaszynski, who wrote those words, confessed today at The Power of Storytelling conference in Bucharest that after more than 30 years in journalism she still feels sometimes as if her stock of words was over. And that whenever she calls for her muse, the muse always reaches her after the deadline.

It seems like the struggle with writing will never be over. And, as Chris Jones said in a speech following that of Jacqui, most of the time you love writing but writing does not love you back.

As most of those who visit my blog already know, in my everyday life I am a doctor, I am seing patients, I am operating on patients. But when I go home, later in the evening or even at night, I sometimes take their stories with me and sometimes their stories are shouting at me demanding to be written. My stories and the stories of my friends compete in the same foolish demand to be spoken out to the universe, as if they knew that, once outthere, they could really help somebody else. And this is only one side of the moon. On the other side, fictional stories build themselves in my mind at an inconstant but troubling pace.

Throughout the time I constantly thought it was a priviledge to write and have an appetite for writing. Then, at some point of my life, writing hit me back violently as if I was not allowed to have my own voice. And then again it came back to me with passion, tenderness and dedication as if it eventually turned out into a divine gift.

I thought it was just me: ever changing, curious, joggling with ideas, tormented by the perspective of not being able to create one thing. Well, tonight at the conference, I saw those huge feature writers on stage - Jacqui Banaszynski, Chris Jones, Mike Sager - confessing that they too live into the same rarefied stratosphere of uncertainty and self confidence.

They did not leave us without any clues, though...

Jacqui tought us to pay attention and to remember that what we do matters. Stories might be specific and unique but their meaning is universal.

Chris said "clear eyes full heart can't lose" and he advised us to be kind. "Stop when you become a cynical, when you stop feeling, when you see only the bad parts of things". His advice works for writing but might as well work for everything else in life: jobs, hobbies, relationships.

Mike Sager reminded me of a precious idea I read for the first time in Karel Capek's writings: even the most malicious person in the world can feel sadness or vulnerability. Well, Mike told us that we should not be afraid to walk without judgement into someone else's shoes. There is no complexity about good and evil but real persons are complex characters. Whoever they are, they have a piece of both."There was something loveable even about Hitler: Eva Braun loved him".

In the second part of the evening, Starlee Kine talked about ideas and Travis Fox talked about freelance video journalism (that brought him an Emmy). I will be sharing with you my impressions about their speeches in a future episode.

Good night for now. Can't wait for the Power of Storytelling tomorrow!

Read more: The Power of Storytelling - day two.

joi, 4 octombrie 2012

50 years from now

Cum vad prietenii mei si prietenii acestui blog viata peste 50 de ani? Pentru ca mi s-a pus aceasta intrebare si pentru ca am reusit sa raspund doar prin imagini, le-am adresat la randul meu prietenilor rugamintea de a-mi trimite imagini legate de cum vad ei viata peste 50 de ani... Orice, le-am spus: o fotografie, o opera de arta, un peisaj, un obiect, o coperta de album sau de film, absolut orice...

Si stiti ce? Intr-o lume a tehnologiei, a plasticului, a realitatii virtuale, a industrializarii, a second life, a robotilor, sufletul nostru nu s-a schimbat deloc. A ramas la fel de cald, de uman, de sangerand... Multi dintre cei care mi-au raspuns mi-au trimis o poveste de dragoste. Asa cum si eu la randu-mi am pus o poveste de dragoste in centrul moodboardului meu.

Asta mi-a adus aminte de un citat subliniat de mine in liceu din cartea lui Emil Cioran "Pe culmile disperarii"

"Singurul lucru care-l poate salva pe om este iubirea. Şi deşi atâta lume a susţinut această afirmaţie, este a nu fi încercat niciodată iubirea, pentru a o declara banalitate. Să-ţi vină să plângi atunci când te gândeşti la oameni, să iubeşti totul, într-un sentiment de supremă responsabilitate, să te apuce o învăluitoare melancolie când te gândeşti şi la lacrimile ce încă nu le-ai vărsat pentru oameni, iată ce înseamnă a te salva prin iubire, singurul izvor al speranţelor."

Va multumesc din suflet, dragi prieteni, pentru ca mi-ati facut bucuria si onoarea de a participa la acest proiect cu imagini sau sugestii (sper sa nu fi uitat pe nimeni):

  • Adina Grigorescu, prietena mea buna
  • Ana-Maria Onisei, linkul este spre minunatele ei interviuri din Adevarul
  • Anonim
  • Alex Ogica
  • Clarisa Gidea 
  • Cristina Solo
  • Ioana Hodoiu, linkul este spre proiectul Mandrie si Beton 
  • Ioana K-Man si blogul sau Konkursman
  • Ioana Socaci
  •  Jacqueline si interesantul ei blog 
  • Maglina Filimon, multitalent :) si blogul Moglaugh
  • Ramona Covrig
  • Simona Diaconu
Postarea aceasta este legata de 
Anul european al imbatranirii active si al solidaritatii generatiilor in cadrul campaniei Reprezentantei Comisiei Europene in Romania, o initiativa sprijinita de Blogal Initiative.

Din cadrul acestei campanii mai puteti citi: The age issue, Pensionar la Sausalito, Putem integra varstnicii ascultandu-le marturiile, The best is yet to come.

later edit: din pacate ultima foto mi-a parvenit dupa ce facusem moodboardul dar o adaug aici. E si simbolic: predam stafeta generatiei urmatoare... :)

miercuri, 3 octombrie 2012

RDS si dispretul sau fata de clienti

De cativa ani de zile sunt abonata RDS/RCS pe toate liniile de acasa: telefon, televizor, internet. Adica as putea fi considerata ceea ce se cheama un client fidel, notiune pentru care companiile de telefonie mobila se bat cu puncte, reduceri si surprize de ziua clientului. Aici si in alte tari.

Nu si RDS "compania lider pe piata serviciilor de televiziune si de internet din Romania", cum se autoprezinta pe site. Strategia sa de marketing se bazeaza pe dispretul nedisimulat fata de client.

Serviciul de telefonie fixa desi inclus in contractul meu initial nu a fost utilizat pana acum. Prin urmare nu a fost pe lista noastra de prioritati sa verificam starea lui de functionare. Recent insa am constatat ca am nevoie de acest serviciu. Am verificat si am constatat ca linia nu e functionala. Am telefonat la RDS/RCS. Primul apel la ora 9: telefonul mi-a fost inchis pe cateva dintre numerele destinate serviciului clienti. Al doilea apel: ora 14 - timp de asteptare 4 min fara a putea accesa un operator (a trebuit sa inchid eu din lipsa de timp). Al 3-lea apel in jurul orelor 16.30: dupa 6.45 min de asteptare pe mobilul meu (presupun ca se platesc) mi-a raspuns o domnisoara pe care am menajat-o de protestele mele nemultumite datorita faptului ca a fost realmente extrem de politicoasa.

In ciuda faptului ca platesc pentru un serviciu de care nu beneficiez, am fost informata ca "in sistem" s-a dispus "incetarea unilaterala a contractului" iar pentru a reintroduce telefonia fixa (parte din contractul pe care IL PLATESC) este nevoie sa ma prezint la un sediu RDS/RCS sa semnez DIN NOU o conventie.

Ok. Cu sacrificii reusesc ca la ora 17.00 sa ma aflu la sediul RDS si sa ma asez la o coada la care numar in fata mea aproximativ 7 persoane. Ora de inchidere a centrului: 18.00.

Cu totii suntem inghesuiti intr-un hol stramt ca de apartament de bloc (de altfel, asta si este), nu exista ventilatie si miroase urat. Trec 40 de minute si intre timp ajungem in pozitia cu numarul 4. Este 17:40.

La 17:45 o domnisoara pe nume Alina Manciu iese din birou si ne anunta cu o voce importanta pe noi cei care stam de aproape o ora si pe cei din spatele nostru ca programul se va incheia in 15 minute, timp in care mai poate fi rezolvat un singur client. Ne trimite acasa. Dupa 45 de minute de asteptare a reinscrierii unui serviciu pe care il platesc si NU il primesc.

Evident, cei de fata am protestat. Domnisoara, care crede probabil ca este platita de vreo companie de stat ce supravietuieste doar pentru ca exista, nu a cedat presiunii: la ora 18 i se incheie programul. Si nici nu a considerat necesar sa ne informeze inainte de a ne aseza la coada de capacitatile limitate ale Domniei Sale.

Ei bine, stimati angajati ai RDS, am o noutate: sunteti o companie privata si traiti din banii consumatorilor. Adica ai dobitocilor pe care i-ati lasat sa astepte la coada si apoi le-ati inchis usa in nas. Doar ca dintre dobitocii acestia, tot mai multi s-au desteptat si au pretentii de la ceea ce inseamna SERVICII pe care le platesc.

Asa ca e matematic: noi incetam contractul si dumneavoastra nu veti mai avea cu ce sa fiti platiti. Si nici ce usa sa inchideti in fata clientilor. Va ramane insa la dispozitie usa propriului apartament dupa incasarea ajutorului pentru somaj!

marți, 2 octombrie 2012


Pentru cei care lupta cu cancerul, de o parte si de alta a baricadei, pacientii si familiile lor, medicii si cercetatorii, mesajul acestei campanii este emotionant.

Am aflat via Cristina Bazavan despe Ziua GALBENA a Romaniei propusa de Asociatia Little People.  Apoi vestea s-a extins pe Facebook

Am purtat astazi galben pentru ca cei care se lupta cu aceasta boala au de parcurs un drum anevoios in care orice detaliu conteaza: de la promptitudinea cu care sistemul medical reuseste sa raspunda nevoii lor de a fi corect diagnosticati, stadializati si tratati, la profesionalismul echipelor care ii iau in grija in care orice personaj poate fi important -  infirmiera, brancardier, asistenta, radiolog, gastroenterolog, hematolog, chirurg, anestezist, oncolog etc.-, de la gustul mancarii la suportul neconditionat al familiei, de la sprijinul pe care orice persoana il poate acorda prin intermediul ONG-urilor luptei contra acestei clase de boli la soliditatea propriului lor psihic.

Respect invingatorilor! Pentru ei astazi am purtat galben...