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  • Dutch Bedside Manner: ‘You’re Dying.’ | Greg Shapiro
    frank discussion of symptoms as if to imply that I shouldn t need to be bothering them at all My doctor will ask What do you think is the cause of the problem It s like a medicine quiz We think our daughter has an ear infection I ll say The doctor You are right I half expect to win a prize Then comes the next question And what would you like me to do I ve heard this question more than once from Dutch doctors What do you think I should do It s not the best way to inspire confidence My first reaction is always You re the doctor Don t you know I ll ask for some medicine And the doctor will look at me like I ve said something deeply offensive The Netherlands is a country where you can get smart drugs over the counter no problem Weed Over the counter no problem But if you want to get antibiotic medicine to heal your body Dutch culture says Get out of here you sick disgusting freak And then there s Dutch bedside manner My most memorable case was during my wife s first pregnancy About a month before the due date of our first child my wife had a couple of days when she didn t feel the baby move As a first time mother she got super nervous We got super nervous So on a Sunday we decided to go in to the hospital If I can recommend a day of the week to go to a Dutch hospital I would not recommend a Sunday There was only one obstetrician on duty so I explained that my wife was super nervous and we just needed a consultation Just someone in a uniform to tell us

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/dutch-bedside-manner-youre-dying/ (2015-11-02)
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  • From iPads to English, Are Dutch Schools Becoming American? | Greg Shapiro
    response was Put your money where your mouth is If de Hond was serious about starting up an iPad School then Asscher would arrange accredidation I was present at the creation of what is now called the Steve Jobs School Maybe Dutch Education is more progressive than I d thought Meanwhile meet my 9 year old son So far he s a dedicated underachiever Until you put an iPad in his hand He s taught himself chess He taught himself filmmaking He s teaching himself algebra with great apps like Dragon Box But at his school he s falling behind His class is full His teacher had a burn out Now the school is suggesting he might be Dyslexic for the simple reason that his test scores are so low We were afraid he d be sent to a special class But lucky for us that s unlikely Why Since the latest round of budget cuts the special needs kids are being lumped into the same classrooms as everyone else This trend now has a new term Plofklassen Remember the Word of the Year 2012 Plofkip Some Dutch people are now looking at growing class sizes as critically as they viewed the hormonally bloated chickens We started looking for a different school To be fair there are many options in the Dutch system from Dalton School to Waldorf to Montessori But they re full When we heard that there was an iPad School being planned in our area we went to the Information Day We waited in line to speak to someone and who did we get Maurice de Hond We listened as he explained the basics What he explained was not only progressive It was radical Yes the classes would take place in a school But the coursework would

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/from-ipads-to-english-are-dutch-schools-becoming-american/ (2015-11-02)
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  • Dutch Meetings Are from Mars | Greg Shapiro
    he s not funny Yes but what if our audience has no sense of humor Yes but what if there s someone in the audience who s having an affair with someone else in the audience and he makes a joke about inter office affairs and they are offended actual quote For the product launch I went from being Hired to Maybe Hired The follow up meeting was a conference call That turned out to be a bad call Literally It was a bad connection It was an especially bad sign since they were a telecommunications company I once heard a saying A camel is a horse designed by a committee That s what happened in the conference call They wanted tailored stand up But also live role play One wanted no more than 30 minutes Another wanted no less than 45 In the conference call I said I m still unclear what you all want Why don t we start from the beginning Bad move Afterward I got an e mail saying I d lost the job It was an angry e mail blaming me for a lack of professionalism The e mail was in fact a series of e mails from everyone on the conference call Babette In the conference call Mr Shapiro asked us to start from the beginning I couldn t hear everything he said but did he even read the briefing Ingrid Babette said that Shapiro said he didn t read the briefing Monique Ingrid said that Babette said that Shapiro said he didn t even bother to read the briefing We have chosen not to work with Mr Shapiro for obvious reasons What s funny to me is that most of these women probably had a degree in Communication I found out later that

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/dutch-meetings-are-from-mars/ (2015-11-02)
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  • Boom Chicago Moving | Greg Shapiro
    Theater and moved in The bar and theater in back are owned by Heineken and Boom Chicago leased from them Boom Chicago has never been subsidized In fact they still have a framed letter from the VVV advising them not to start up an English language comedy theater in Amsterdam As we ve learned especially in dealing with civil servants That is not possible translates to It s totally possible but I don t feel like it In 2010 we had a special guest onstage Ronald Plasterk then Minister of Culture Pep Rosenfeld Artistic Dir jokingly asked What would Boom Chicago need to do to get some subsidy money Plasterk answered Boom Chicago doesn t need subsidy Everyone wants to come to see your show as it is Rosenfeld responded So your job is to give money to shows that people DON T want to see And Plasterk said Yeah In 2011 Boom Chicago did get a break from the city of Amsterdam a license to stay open late Time to expand The 3 partners of Boom Chicago teamed up with 3 new partners including Casper Reinders Jimmy Woo Together they remodeled the club so that from 18 00 00 00 it was a comedy club From 00 00 05 00 it was a dance club Thus the Chicago Social Club was born It was an interesting plan on paper In practice there were growing pains both with the comedy club and the dance club And then came the news that the City of Amsterdam was looking for a new permanent tenant for the Rozentheater Boom Chicago got the call would they be interested At first it seemed like a crazy idea Leave the Leidseplein But with the success of Chicago Social Club and Amsterdam s offer to help support

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/boom-chicago-moving/ (2015-11-02)
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  • Dutch Digging Zwarte Hole Deeper | Greg Shapiro
    daughter pointing to a black person as Zwarte Piet No It happens all the time I was in a café yesterday where an African looking man got laughed at He took offense at a 4 year old kid who called him Zwarte Piet The kid was only 4 years old The man told the parents they should tell their child the difference No hat no feather no Zwarte Piet They laughed Then he said maybe he should go away to buy some gifts to give out If you ask me this man was asking for it It makes me wonder what would Dutch people say if they d move to another country with a lovable character called Buck tooth Dutchie where everyone dressed up as Anky van Grunsven But we love all you bony buck toothed square faced Dutch people they d say And you don t have the right to be offended Here are some more Dutch people arguing that they are not racist Every year you people feel discriminated because of a little black makeup Show a little character These complainers are just hyper correct white people or aggrieved descendants of slavery who look for a reason to complain They re just the latest batch of moochers who would rather complain about nothing than do something with their lives Non white people who complain should start their own tradition of dressing up in sandals long hair because they re all doing one big hippie imitation And then of course there s the personal Even more pathetic than this whole debate is Greg Shapiro himself I ve never heard him say anything funny He would be wise to first address his utter lack of humor before lecturing his pedantic American finger at the rest of the world Shapiro it

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/dutch-digging-zwarte-hole-deeper/ (2015-11-02)
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  • Little Racist Dutch Kids | Greg Shapiro
    a Sinterklaas evening not long ago My daughter was about 5 and it was time for Sinterklaas to come My wife is Dutch and we do our Sinterklaas ritual in what I m told is the traditional Dutch way That is as cheaply as possible We have a sack of gifts and we give it to the neighbor At the appointed time the neighbor drops off the gifts by the door rings the doorbell and runs like hell The kids then open the door and they scream and cheer Zwarte Piet even though no one is there This is the most cost effective special effect ever One year it s almost 6 o clock it s dark out And before I could go to the neighbor the doorbell rings My daughter is 5 years old she yells yay and runs over to the door She whips it open and there standing in the doorway is a guy with a black face big curly hair a brightly colored red yellow outfit and holding out a package for my daughter The package says DHL Post Because he s a Surinamese guy who delivers the post for DHL And I m looking at

    Original URL path: http://www.gregshapiro.nl/little-racist-dutch-kids/ (2015-11-02)
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