Athwart-lier

About Me

My personal motto : "Zonder dwarsligger gaat de trein nergens heen(*).¨

"Dwarsligger"(*), that is my nickname Jan Blonk (of Rabofacet) awarded me with and he gave me my motto too  :  "without athwart-liers the train will never go anywhere". Because I'm known to do things not quite in the usual manner, I do it slightly differently, I do things "My Way". But I'm also known to be reliable to deliver.  You get 2 extremes in a single sip, I'm always very flexible, either like an elastic band or like a steel vault door, and I'm not likely to be very diplomatic about it either: what you see is what you get.

I use a lot of words to explain things, so when I take my time to expatiate for your benefit, don't tell me to come to the point ... remember I'm just filling in the blanks of your ignorance and I hate superficiality and shallowness.

I was born and raised in Belgium and I'm trilingual.

I'm a native Dutch speaker, I also speak English and French in a near-to-native manner, my German isn't perfect, but I get by.

A discussion is held based on arguments, reaching compromise is an exchange not an evangilisation process, neither a pissing contest so please don't try to convert me to your particular beliefs, respect mine as i do yours, listen to my arguments as I listen to yours.

Some call me a hedonist,

I will not dispute that, life has too many beautiful and savoury things to offer, things to enjoy, excuse me that i don't want to waste my time with the ugly and disgusting things.
I like to enjoy nice drinks, I love to taste and prepare good food, good music can move me to tears and I love the company of my friends. I like snow covered mountains and skiing down slopes, but also the shores and the sea, and I enjoy cruising around in classic cars or motorbikes.

I hate people who think they should inflict social barriers upon others in order to maintain their privileged lifestyle. Deny others the chances they claim for themselves. I don't rank or classify people, not for the colour of their skin, their gender, their social class, their age, their sexual orientation or their beliefs, ... I've fought all my life against the casual, the obvious and the institutionalised disenfranchising of people, that people are subjected to from the day they're born.


(*) Dwarsligger : dutch for athwart-lier, as in sleepers under rail-tracks, the motto translates to "without athwart-liers, the train will never go anywhere"

Contact Details

Derek V Giroulle
Antwerpen, Belgium

red tree

Genealogy

Documenting my Family

Researching and documenting my Ancestors

I decided to document my Ancestors because the man I took to be my grandfather, wasn't

Unbeknown to my father the man who for all his life had been "his father" turned out to be a surrogate. That doesn't do the man justice, he adopted my father gave him (and consequently me) the family name, he raised my father and made him the man he is and has been. He has had an unmistakable influence and he has given us more in terms of intangible heritage than the man whose genes we carry.
2 questions needed answers : where did my adoptive grandfather come from, and who is the man who fathered a child with my grand mother, and why did she takes her secret into the grave with her.
My research has turned up details and secrets about my family far beyond my expectation

Documenting your Family

Researching and documenting your Ancestors

So if you want your family researched, you want to know if you are related to an aristocrat, or a popular artist or if any of the wild stories that the goofy uncle told while drunk at family parties, much to the embarassment of the elders of the family, are true of just some fantasy, the figment of his spirited mind...

If you want to make use of my experience, I will help you study your ancestry, search & collect the documents search historic records and piece together the story of your family, as it has never been told before.  
I'm not a professional genealogist, but a well-informed and experienced researcher, who can help you with an ancestry tree and provide you with a personal archive of civil registry documents and articles to supplement the story of your family.

Research Service

  • Civil registry and Public Archives Research and collection of genealogical documents
  • Archive research for historic documents and articles relative to family/ancestors
  • Translation of manuscripts and documents and extraction of genealogical data
  • Creation of a computerised family tree database
  • Creation of a personal archive folder

I apply the APG Code of Conduct in my work as a non-professional genealogist

Contact Details

Derek V Giroulle
Antwerpen, Belgium


English Language British-American

English Classes

English immersion workshops

Need to get serious about improving your English?  

  • Small groups : 5-8 people to a group
  • Reading : vocabulary and pronunciation improvement
  • Speaking : pronunciation improvement
  • Intuitive English : avoid translational thinking
  • Writing skills
  • Grammar improvement
  • Undergraduate level

The Advanced English Immersion workshops, provide English training for non-native speakers.

The basic passive level required to start the course is secondary school (Baccalaureate) level.
That means you can listen to and understand a simple news item on radio or TV, you can read, understand and translate simple texts like English newspaper articles, novels; you can write a text in English, you have basic grammar skills like nouns, adjectives and adverbs, conjugate verbs, and determiners.
Some words interspersed with grunts or other bodily noises and "you know", as often seen on television doesn't constitute basic level English, in my honest opinion

The Immersion workshop is a very intensive course, that will take quite a lot of the participant's time for 1 to 3 months at a time. It will take a daily effort of 4-6 classroom hours (45m + 10m break, and at least one 30m break) per course day for 3-4 days a week for daytime classes (during office hours), or 3-4 hours (45m + 10m break) a day for 3 evenings a week, for the evening classes.
The workshop also requires participant to spend a lot of preparation time outside the "class room".

During class only English is spoken, except during translation exercises. Expect during the work shop to talk for at least 30 minutes every course day in order to attain our goals.
Examples will be British based non-native English , and American colloquialisms (like “gonna”, “wanna”, “you know” ect..) will be corrected, but the course doesn’t ban American English

Contact me via email for information, scheduling and pre-registration

Contact Details

Derek V Giroulle
Antwerpen, Belgium

Education

Antwerp port & diamonds

Antwerp University

MBA : Master Applied Economics June 1982

In 1976 the closest things to a personal computer was the Apple II, the PET-Commodore and the Amiga, and the closest thing to a networked (desktop) business computer was the Wang 2200VP.
At university the maths department offered computer studies according to the mainframe paradigm, which was already hopelessly obsolete at that time, only the powers that be at university had yet to absorbe that reality from the outside world.
As the mainframe approaches its 60th anniversary contemplate that any 2015 smartphone, like the Samsung or the Apple IPhone, has nearly 3 times the equivalent computing power of a Cray2 supercomputer and dwarf the 70ś IBM370 145 in the order of 106

So rather than computer studies I decided to study an MBA, and acquire well-founded knowledge about accountancy, international trade, the national and international (macro-)economy, taxes, social security, policy-making, sociology and how to organise a business.

What I took away from University is a nearly intuitive understanding of a business, many types of business, and its process, its shortcomings, its blindspots and its succes; and everything relating to international trade.
What i also learned was the inherent and false assumptions of liberal capitalist economic thinking. The motor of greed that pushes workers and their families into poverty and recreates, over and over again, economic serfdom.

Let nobody ever fool you in thinking that economists are scientists or engineers, they are neither. At best they are artists, society is their canvas, and the economy its motor, but but they are not genius mechanics, apart from applying some brush strokes they will never paint a perfect picture that reflects their supposed genius insights, some might have a streak of genius, many tried to grasp it all, but without exception all of them failed.

Experience

Political work

Patient advocate (Sobrevivire) 2009 - present

As a Patient Advocate I represent young survivors of cancer, brain tumours and other rare or chronic diseases, and I represent also their families suffering the consequences of the disease.
My area of particular expertise is poverty caused by disease and long term chronic care.
I attend meetings in forums or focus groups like the European or Belgian parliament, conferences by the cancer research organisations like EORTC, rare disease organisations like EURORDIS or Civil society poverty platforms like "Netwerk Tegen Armoede"(be). Together with my association, we organise information sessions for/and with patient or civil organisations, awareness raising events and fundraisers.

Personal Assistant to a Senator (Belgian Federal Senate) 2010 - 2015

As a PA i researched relevant political matters, i prepared parliamentary questions and interventions, roundtables and conferences, on diverse subjects for the senator. Matters included human rights, immigration policy, discrimination and racism, poverty and health issues, economic policy, Millennium goals etc...


Freelance Consultant

Interim ICT management 2008 - 2015

As Interim ICT manager I had the oversight of an ICT support team providing services and support for the business and for the development department. This involved the complete spectrum of activities within the scope of ITIL

Infrastructure architect and project management 1989 - 2010

My ICT-infrstaructure career started at the bottom with support, and ended with the function of Architect and project manager. The keyskill is ITIL, my generalist approach is a key succes factor to understand complex x-platform architectures, and the intricacies of large-, medium- and small-scale invironments, LAN, WAN, RAN and GAN.

Business Process architect and project management 1989-2018

My education as an economist and keen interest for the business as a process, allowed me to grasp the essntials of a business quickly and accurately. Like any system that transforms input into output, a business will fail to produce the desired results if either the input or the process is flawed. The latter is not so difficult to detect and can be remedied, the first is often obvious but beyond the control of the enterprise.

Security Expert 1989-2018

I have a particular knack for matters related to security, both in everyday life, in an enterprise or public service and in society as a whole, whether it concerns the virtual or the physical world.
I'm one of the founders of Eicar in 1991. During 1991 the IEEE-conference in New York, I was invited to speak about maintaining business/operational integrity to the virtual side of the enterprise, a holistic approach to continuity and contingency planning (use of military tactics). I developped minimal intrusion protocols to defend enterprise ICT networks against malware, and erradication protocols for infected departments or enterprise sites. Based on the study of malicious hacking and developments in computer malware, I also predicted in '91 the advent of large scale data theft, ransomware and counterfeit information (fake news) as future forms of computer malware, and close proximity virtual intrusion.

Contact Details

Derek V Giroulle
Antwerpen, Belgium

Skills

Over the years I acquired a broad skill-set. This is by choice, specialisation isn't my style. I do appreciate working with specialists, but I prefer to keep the oversight, work form the global picture, being able to go back to the helicopter view, see how things can be fitted together and how they interact with each other.

  • Business Processes, Architecture and Management
  • ITIL - ICT and Infrastructure Management
  • Project Management Prince 2
  • Scrum / Agile
  • Technical and functional Analysis
  • SDM-ERD-PCM
  • UML
  • Networking & x-platform Architectures
  • Testing, TAT/UAT, Integration and E2E testing
  • Security

Get In Touch.

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