You know when they say that time goes fast? Well, I don't know exactly who they are, but they aren't wrong. Time is still something I am settling into here, but it is already starting to go too quickly in ways. I think this is because the work pace in the Netherlands is so different to what I am used to back home. Instead of having a lot of work here all at once, it is very much about pacing things across the weeks into smaller assignments with some bigger assignments which are a product of those at the end. But more on that in a second.
|A few sketches of some Dutch things that I did this week - Copyright CLSS 2017|
It's hard to call a favourite class because I like them all but, if I had to, then it would probably be Dutch themes. This is a history module which focuses in on the development of the Netherlands from 1555 right up to the present day, meaning there is always plenty to discuss and research. This previous week we had quite a complicated, almost philosophical discussion, about what exactly a nation is and how it can be formed by a small group of people. I'd never really thought that something which is commonly stated but isn't tangible as imagined before, and talking about it that way made me realise just how complex everything around me is. It was obvious then that I would spend my evening reading up on this further and working to comprehend how communities are simultaneously positive and negative things which begin initially as creations.
In The Personal is Political, we have discussed again so much already. We get to create a research project in this class on anything of our choosing which I find really exciting. I want to focus in again on that area I never shut up about in my field (the impact of spaces, atmospheres, environments, etc). More specifically, the impact of virtual spaces and how this is the next development in the conversation surrounding so many different indentity based topics. I think it is a good platform on which to voice ideas (whilst it can have negative repercussions) because it means that anyone can be part of this global conversation which is of the utmost importance in opening our minds to new perspectives we perhaps never would have come up with on our own.
One thing I wasn't prepared for was the rain - it's been practically torrential! My rain coat hasn't failed me but unfortunately my trusty backpack flooded so I had to get a new one in preparation for the next round of clouds. Now that I look back it's actually quite comical; I thought being from England where it rains all the time that nowhere could possibly be rainier. Boy was I wrong! I felt very much like I was starring in an underwater play that day with how soggy my socks were.
|Hitting the books - Copyright CLSS 2017|
Alongside settling in academically, I've just been trying to find a balance in general for my life. Working out budgets that work for me, figuring out how much work is pushing my limit, planning out in advance for future assignments and knowing when to cook, clean etc. With so much to settle into doing for myself after adjusting to home over the summer, it's important to make things into habits as early on as possible otherwise I'll end up doing silly things like missing meals to work and that always results in burnouts workwise. But like I say, so far I'm doing ok. I think one of the biggest reasons for that is because again, I am not giving up anything for anything else. I do my work, I do my chores, but then I have my own projects to work on beyond the classroom and access to a place with a piano (of course). So, with that said, it's time to get on with a bit more assignment work. Here is a recent arrangement I did of Taylor Swift's latest song, hope you like it:
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