Orientation, Pancakes, and more.
Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
43Trip End Jul 20, 2010
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Orientation has been interesting. They spent Thursday scarring everyone with dire warnings about getting 2 C’s and being out of the program, and how they carried some people farther than they should have last year and will not be doing that this year. These warnings were followed by the countless admonitions about using alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with the stress of culture shock and of the program. Friday we got to paint in our Culture Shock seminar. We were lined up with a piece of paper in front of us had to paint a road, that matched up with our neighbor’s road and the edges all had to match our neighbor’s colors, all done without talking
Dinner Friday night was at Oust Leiden, a Pancake House. These are NOT breakfast pancakes, and while there was syrup on the table, it wasn’t really used. I had a delicious and huge pancake with mushrooms and cheese. It was about 18" across, on a giant Delft plate. I was not able to finish it. After dinner and some pictures with the whole group in the square several people in my cohort had our TA take us for coffee (not "coffee”). The coffee trip turned into a pub crawl with our TA and one of our Professors, actually the Academic Director of the program. We ended the pub crawl at the British Pub around the corner from our apartments, where the bartenders are required to speak in English! Yep, it’s our new favorite place. The pints of cider here were what finally got all of us, so at 2:30 this morning we made our way home, although I we didn’t actually crawl into bed until 4.
Because of this I missed Saturday morning, rolling out of bed at 12:45 to meet several ladies in my cohort at 1:30 for lunch and a discussion about our reading
After lunch and a quick stop at the store for spices and paper towels, I returned to my room to read for class. Having just settled in to my IKEA chair (the entire room looks like it was decorated from the IKEA catalog, btw) and cracked open the book I heard a very loud BOOM and then music. And down the canal comes a boat with a band on it playing very loud music. I hope the video comes through and you can enjoy the scene I had from my window. It was great. Happy Summer Saturday in Leiden!
The rest of the weekend and most of Monday I will probably spend studying for class. I have my first class on Tuesday, Intro. to International Relations. On Thursday I have International Law. We also have a Professional Seminar at each of our European locations (read “Field Trips”). Here we will be visiting the International Criminal Court, NATO, the UN, the International Nuclear Weapons Agency (or whatever it is called), and we will be going to Brussels on September 17-18
So that’s what has been going on. Lots of work coming up, about 60 hours of outside of class work each week. Several of us are going to try to fit in a trip to Amsterdam sometime in the next few weeks, and I'm considering a possible a trip to Sweden or Norway for a weekend, but that is up in the air at the moment. That’s it for now.