Frugality for the win


So far I have showed some of the hidden gems I have found while studying in The Netherlands. Some gems were huge like everybody’s English proficiency, others were small like the efficiency in organisation for absolutely everything. This time I found one that is just the right size, and that boasts an incredible value. And it has to do with what is said about the Dutchmen being cheap.

I could understand since here the added tax value is quite high, imagine having to pay 15 euros for a hamburger at a restaurant! It would make sense to learn the art of economical management. I first noticed it in the supermarkets over here, where I actually felt like they wanted me to be the one making money. Their marketing techniques include giving away free stuff and putting dozens of items in discount every week, surely has to say something about the behaviour of their customers. So yeah they must be cheap! But I think the idea of saving is everywhere and not just in supermarkets, and it is not only ‘saving money’ or being ‘cheap’, it is ‘preventing financial waste’ as a Dutch friend put it.

But how can being cheap help in education at all? The biggest advantage is seen in two ways, first by always making sure that everything that has been paid for is being put to the best use and second by ensuring that nothing goes to waste, whether it is time or resources.

For example, the worst possible sin a teaching assistant can commit is to seem be doing nothing. Professors are always making sure that T.A.’s are used exhaustively, that we attend all workgroups and that we ask a ton of questions. And sometimes less than the necessary number of T.A’s are hired, how cruel.

An actually active BlackBoard Forum with actual discussions in it? Somebody pinch me!
BlackBoard is a service that is studied, and applied extensively by the lecturers. For example, I did not even know blogs could be made within BlackBoard and In one of my current courses a professor posts a blog on BlackBoard to elaborate on the topic and to explain the exercises. Also, enrolling into workgroups with just one click, weblectures, and more. Hell, all we used BlackBoard for in my uni in Mexico was to submit assignments!

This sense of reducing wasted resources gives an inspiring vibe of professionalism that I appreciate and I hope it was used more in Mexico.

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