Week 3

Trip Start Aug 21, 2007
Trip End Jan 21, 2008

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Sunday, September 9, 2007

Week 3
I began school this week. I am taking six courses which totals 38 European Credits (almost 18 home credits). The classes are Business Ethics, Business Performance Tools, Business to Business Marketing, International Marketing, Public Relations and Public Affairs, and Dutch Language, Culture, and Society. I have each class once a week (except business performance tools) for three hours at a time. My favorite class is Business Ethics, hands down. It was the one class I was really dreading, I arrived in class and fell in love with it. There are three professors for twenty students. The odds of doing well are quite low, but I am excited for the challenge. They told us that 40% of the students in my class would drop by the end of week 2 and of the remaining 60% only half of those students would understand and succeed in the class. The class is based on asking questions. They don't force feed us ideas that they believe are the right ones, they lead us to explore the options and decided for ourselves. It is great! I love being challenged in school and this is the first time I have had a class that makes me think and challenges me in that way. I am looking forward to having that class again. Also, the first day I made a real impression on the class and professors. I was one of three people to speak most of the period. When one of the professors asked another professor if he wanted coffee, I piped in to break the awkward silence of the class and asked for one too (I don't even drink coffee). The teacher ended up getting me coffee! It was super awkward because I was totally joking, but it was a pretty nice gesture on my teacher's part. Later that evening one of the professors added me on facebook. I laughed. The rest of my classes are normal...nothing too exciting. I learned a lot of Dutch for one day.  I learned how to say my name, where I am from, how old I am, where I live, thank you, and some other words. I also learned the alphabet, some numbers, sounds, irregular verbs, and present tense of verbs. It was a lot of the time we had. I even had to speak Dutch in front of my class! I already dread public speaking...then you get me up there with a language I just learned a moment before...scary! In my other classes we do a lot of presentations. I am very thankful that my first language is English; it makes them so much easier. Most students struggle to get the message out. The teachers base their grading on the message and not the speaking skills, so public speaking just became a lot easier. After one week of classes I have 5 or 6 group projects due (in 12 weeks) and a few minor assignments. One assignment is a case study that I have to present with a group next class period. It should be interesting. I think the most challenging part of these classes will be catching up. You are supposed to have two years of business classes before you arrive here. I have taken primarily generals, information technology classes, and education classes. I have no business class background. That has already proven to be a bit of a challenge, but if I work hard and use my common knowledge I should succeed. I love to have challenges.
This week I have not done a whole lot besides homework, hang out around our flats (I have been spending time with people from here), grocery shopping/ running errands, and playing guitar. Luke let me borrow his acoustic guitar while I am here and I have been practicing every day. I am improving! I have learned a few new songs since I got it and learn more every time. It is nice to have it around. I also found that guitars draw people towards you. It is really funny to watch. I just had the guitar leaning up against my wall in the back of my room and two people walked by my window and saw it...they came back and asked me if I played and wanted to hear. I didn't play for them because I said I wasn't very good, but I did tell them I would once I got better. It was really funny. It happens a lot. I miss playing the piano.
My room is beginning to feel more like home. I put some of the cards I received when I left on the wall and I also bought a flower. I bought a light purple/ pink orchid. It is beautiful. I painted some flowers and writing on my walls as well. It is really nice for this place to feel more friendly. I am going to have all my friends put their hand prints on my wall and sign notes under each as well. J It will be fun!
I am experience many difference cultures as well as languages. For example I am learning bits and pieces of Russian, Hebrew, Dutch, German, and Turkish. It is a lot to remember, but it is very interesting!
Well...I am sick again. I keep getting sick here and cannot figure out why. Maybe all of it is connected and some days are just worse than others, I don't really know. It really stinks. I really want to be at home right now. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I am really glad I get to keep in touch pretty well with them.
Well, I have a lot of homework on my plate, so I best get to that. Thanks for reading! I will update again next week!
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