It’s the people that make the place!?

“Perhaps it is all due to my elevated level of sleep-deprivation – in fact, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t sleep the entire night. Perhaps it is due to my overflowing social schedule – in fact, I can’t remember when I had spent so much quality time with people.”

That’s what I wrote as the start of this post more than 5 weeks ago. And as if I needed a reminder, but I kept coming back to this. Day after day, things reminded me back of Jacobs – a reference letter to draft, a personal feedback/advice to give, a letter from a friend to read through tears, a cushion with printed memories on it (memories that ring with crystal clarity of coco nut and sunshine), and every time I stared in the distance in contemplation (you know, like they do in the movies staring into the picture frames above the mantelpiece), I would see flashes of the past 3 years at Jacobs University (the electronic picture frame that I got from Mr. Laine-Naida – my satiric cynic). And those flashes will not have a logo on them, will not have a name on them, will not have numbers or grades or interview questions, or stats home works, … Those flashes are the theater performances, the laughter at the bar (I can’t hear the sound but I can feel it), the cooking contest, the wine tastings, the early rowing trainings, the presentation skills workshops, the tea evenings before physics home works, the paper studio dreams, … And i would remember all the people who have touched me – and who helped me realize: it is not the place that makes the people, and it is not the people that makes the place.

It is a fruitless endeavor to try to find the egg in the situation and i refuse to do so but I know this: those people are in my heart and that place with them is in my heart. And it could not have been better to have the better memories imprinted on the digital chip of the camera of the past year and a quarter. (if I look statistically, there was a constant increase in the number of pictures I’ll take per month – they call that “growth” in the business world which is an indication for success).

(Don’t you dare attach any meaning to the order)

Diana, Anika, Carin, Marja, Theresa, Anna L., Suna, Mareike, Jons, Venja, Anna L. (another one), Max, Iza, Dragos, Rebecca, Viki, Cornelia, Katja, Helmuth, Wiebke, Nora, Lea, Arvid, Margrit, Mina, Steffi, Carmen, Domnique, Nathalie, Romina, Cornelia, Lizzy, Marie, Alexander, Imke, Peter W., Tonia, Claudia, Warren, Kerstin, Ulf, Mitul, Gerry, Nik, Sophie, Esther, And the many many many many many many many many others who came for a career advice and who inspired me with their sparkle, their curiosity, their transparency, their honesty, their desires. I am at peace!

(no single photograph can summarize my bow to the people). (and no, this has nothing to do with this evil thing called “regrets” – I love my choice to take up the new job – in fact this ramble-of-a-realization is a confirmation that it was a great choice – because being out of the place, doesn’t make me out of place with the great people.)

This could be an ad. But it isn't. It is the great Naida-Laine family.
Marja - playing for me and the world, as if on stage
We are emotional creatures
"That color would look ugly on me"
The wedding of Carin and Roy!
Jons in the midst of his ferver
Plotting where to get the next tattoo ...
Cornelia and her warmth
Imke making a face for my benefit
The great Tonia channeling her nervousness before the PhD defense
Cooperation at hand
The peace of being with a friend
Dancing on the top of a parking lot after hours