Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Importance of reading contracts

My sister is so naive and trusts people so much, that she does not bother
reading contracts she is signing. When I planned to go to the United States for a
second time, she wanted to go with me. She needed someone who would take care
of her and show her where to go and what to do. As we went to KoŇ°ice to sign
contracts with the agency for the Work and Travel program, the agency guy made a
mistake and he copied the second page of the contract twice instead of copying both
the first and second page.

Knowing her well, I checked her contract before she signed, gave it to her and I asked her if the contract is O.K. She said yes, it is O.K. Before she signed I asked her to read what she is signing at least briefly, but she did not bother. I then told the agency employee that he copied the wrong page and he had to make new copy. I hope she learned the lesson to read what you are signing.

Never hurry when signing contracts, take your time. Always ask yourself – What if am
I signing my approval to donate my kidney to the other party?

Let’s get back to my time in college. I made sure that I would get into at least
one of the many universities by subscribing to four different university entry tests.
One of those universities was the Economic University in Bratislava (EUBA). My
results at this entry test were not good enough to pass better students who scored
higher. Seven years later I became a teacher at EUBA.

My college entry test to Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica did not go
well, because my mathematic education was very bad. Instead of three years of
mathematics in high school we had only two. It was because our teacher was on a
sick leave for quite a long time and our substitute teachers were not mathematicians.
Instead of calculations we played the game Five in a Line or did our homework for
other lessons. I was able to finish the entry test well enough only for external study,
which I was satisfied with, because it meant I would have time for a real job.

When the day of enrollment came, I arrived one day earlier than everyone
else in Banska Bystrica, because I had no other transportation option. I arrived at
eleven in the evening and spent my night in the railway station. Railway police woke
me up during the night and asked me to leave the station. After some discussion they
allowed me to stay because it was cold outside and they said they didn’t want
students to freeze. Their only condition was that I could not sleep while in the railway
station. I went for a night walk to keep myself awake.

The next morning I found the college and at the enrollment room I was offered internal study in Poprad as they opened a new branch there. I agreed, as this meant free college education and I was
half asleep so I did not think it through. This is how I ended up in Poprad instead of
Banska Bystrica for three years without a real job. Looking back, this was better than
if I would have gone to Banska Bystrica.

Our study results were generally better than the results of students who were in the central of the university. This was because there were fewer of us and we had personal relationships with the teachers. Once the personal relationship was established, most of us wanted our teachers to be proud of us and we did not study just to pass the tests.

College life here I come. My first roommate John was a great guy and fun to
be with. As we shared the same room we hiked over High Tatra, prepared for exams
and I taught him how to drink beer and other alcohol. After a few unsuccessful tries
he learned how to drink without having to vomit later.

I was hard on him and insisted that he must learn how to drink alcohol the right way. I also helped him to clean the room when his training was not successful. Alcohol is good for socialization if you are shy. People show their true nature when they get drunk. If you want to get to know the person better, get drunk with him and watch his reactions towards you and towards other people.

One of my roommates and later one of few true friends Marek, is such an
interesting character that he deserves at least a few sentences. When we shared the
same room we found out that even if we respected each other, our daily routines
were very different. Marek slept only four hours a night and had the window open
even during the winter. That is probably why he was so rarely ill.

On the other hand, because of my kickboxing I needed at least seven hours of sleep and I liked it
warmer in the room. After a month or so, Marek told me that he was switching rooms,
because he values our good relationship and it was difficult to live together for both of
us. I admire Marek for his courage and easy going approach. He had no problem
asking a complete stranger to let him drive his Ferrari for example.

Once he saw Ferrari in the parking lot and he knew he wanted to drive it. He waited for the owner
to come and asked him if he let him drive. Even to his surprise the owner was
pleased by his courage and allowed him to drive for a while. There is nothing that can
stop Marek. At the college house, three girls in one room had a big flip-chart paper on
their bathroom doors where they drew their schoolmates and wrote short notes about
them. Once Marek came to visit me and John and he told us about this.

As we knew Marek, we thought he is just kidding and asked him to prove it. So he left and in three
minutes he entered our room with a door in his hands. He was right; the paper with
descriptions and pictures was there. Five minutes later one girl came and asked
Marek to return the door, because she needed to pee and she would like to do it
behind closed doors. He told us the fun was over and returned the door to the girl
room.

One funny story with John happened during the winter. I was walking back to
our college house and John was approximately one hundred feet behind when he
threw a snowball towards my direction to tease me. I did not see it coming and it
splashed over my completely shaved head. Even he was surprised at how accurate
he was. I turned around and saw how John's smile froze on his lips.

We started to run. John thought he will find shelter at the school as this detached department
shared the property with the magistracy and local police. That was his mistake. I
chased him down, caught him at the entrance and I put him down although the
policemen were watching. We laughed so the police took no action. I like to remind
myself of times spent with John.

I really enjoyed college because I was out of my home and I could do what I
wanted in my free time. Unfortunately it was difficult to find some part time jobs in
Poprad at that time, so money was still a problem. There was solution however.
There is always some sort of solution. The Work and Travel USA program was mine.
With four months spent in the US working there, I was able to live off the money I had
earned for the duration of the next school year.

During my three college years in Poprad, as I had time between studying and
training kick box, I worked for the AIESEC organization and gained more knowledge
and experience in personal development. We were finding jobs for foreign students to
allow them internships in Slovakia. I met fantastic people there. Remember that it is who you spend your time with also affects your future as they influence your actions.

People learn by studying, observing and by doing. That is why it is important who you
spend your time with. Spend your time with bad guys and you become a bad guy.
Spend your time with good guys and you become a good guy. Our leader was
Johnny and he was a cool and good guy. He was a true leader leading from the front
and not from behind. He was the first leader I admired.

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