Archive for March, 2009

Picture and Monday Blues (or not)

March 31st, 2009

I was going to write an engaging post about Monday blues.  I had an article that I would cite so that I would not plagiarize and so that you could all see how Wooster students  use proper American Pscychological Association citing. I decided not to.

Here is the first picture to appear on my blog:

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Tonight was the first dress rehearsal for “Letting Go“. Everyone is getting ready in this picture. The rehearsal went very well.

In case you are interested in the article about Monday Blues:

Sadhana. (March 7, 2005). Three tips to beat Monday blues. In Rediff. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.rediff.com

/getahead/2005/mar/07work.htm.

Why Wonderful Wooster?

March 30th, 2009

I have had the intention of apologizing for my previous post ever since I published it, so here it is: I apologize for my previous post, in particular for the use of the word sexy.

My beloved grandfather brought up two interesting questions that are related to last entry. Firstly, he was wondering if sexy is the new adjective for things that used to be nice, fun, attractive, or even cool. Secondly, he was interested in hearing specifically why I have chosen for Wooster.

In response to my grandfathers first question I can only say that I am afraid the word sexy is indeed taking over. It might partly be the legacy of Paris Hilton, it might be MTV’s responsibility. Fact is that the word has now received more than its fair share of attention on my blog. Therefore, I now officially close the case.

Now the more interesting part: my grandfather’s question about my choice for Wooster. I don’t believe my grandfather is interested in attending Wooster at any time in the future, but if he is asking the question, many of my readers might have been wondering the same: why and how did you decide to attend the College of Wooster?

I was first introduced to American college life through the one-year Campus Scholarship Program of the Fulbright Center in Amsterdam. After I informed them of my intend to study in the United States for a year, the Fulbright Center helped me to take the relevant tests, write my essays, and fill out the paper work for my application. Furthermore, Fulbright selected eight colleges for me that they thought would fit m personality. I could apply to five of the eight and after a first selection round, Wooster turned out to be one of the five chosen ones.

My next strategy was to email alumni from the Fulbright program who had attended the different colleges. I emailed a grand total of five students per college. The responses that I received were very helpful. Most students were very positive about their colleges, but Wooster stood out. All Dutch students that had attended the College of Wooster told me that it had been a life changing experience, that they had had the best days of their lives at Wooster, and that if they had to choose again, Wooster would be on the very top of their lists again.

Wooster looked good from its website, but all college website have a great story about their school. Hearing individual experiences made the different schools come alive for me and Wooster appeared to be more alive than any of the other schools. For me, the personal experiences of the Fulbright alumni made the difference for my decision.

My expectations of Wooster have been more than met. It should become evident from my blog in what ways my needs at this college are gratified. Keep following my posts, and hopefully you will understand why it is impossible to get disappointed if you choose for Wooster.

Postcard and Sexy

March 26th, 2009

Today was a productive day. I got some work done for my big paper, I did my math and my computer science homework, I bought a Wooster T-shirt, I had a short theater rehearsal, and I signed postcards. Postcards? Yes, every accepted prospect student from the Netherlands will get a personal postcard from me. I think I managed to convince all seven of them to come to Wooster next year, so that would bring the total Dutch student population to nine. Well, maybe all seven is a little optimistic, but it would be nice if at least one Dutch student decides to join us here in Wooster (kies voor Wooster!). Well, if my postcard didn’t do it, that little personal Dutch note in this post should do it. By the way, if you are not a Dutch student and you got accepted to Wooster, the same rule applies: tell your other colleges that you are not coming, Wooster is the place to be! Marijke and I (the current Dutch students) were enrolled a one year program, called the Fulbright Scholarship Program. However, we both thought one year at Wooster was not enough which explains why we are still here. Ohio did not sound the most sexy when I was first considering Wooster (one of my options was Florida, which sounded sexier) and also my friends told me that it might have been wise for me to consider Florida when I told them that I was thinking about going to Ohio. Fortunately, I never regretted the decisions I made and I am sure that any future Wooster student will have no regrets either. I am very grateful that all the best people in the world also found Wooster, sexy people too.

Anyways, this post is turning into a longer version of a postcard itself. And yes, I am completely free to write whatever I want on this blog, so no one told me to tell you to come to Wooster (except for my heart that wants the best for all people).

Next time a more subjective post (because everything about Wooster being the best place is objective, in case you missed that) and a post with a lower frequency of the word sexy (which is a word I have hardly used before in my life).

Immersed in Wooster life again

March 25th, 2009

I have hardly fully arrived, but I have almost forgotten already that I was on break for two weeks. Life is fast paced if you are trying to make the most out of your Wooster experience, and I am.

I arrived a day late on campus because the reasonably priced air tickets for a Sunday return had sold out, but when I arrived Wooster life took off right away. I had work starting at five on Monday, but I arrived at six. Fortunately, I had informed my employer Elys that I would be late. I still felt bad for missing an hour of my shift, so I decided to take no time off. I walked into the library with my big duffelbag and started my shift (an hour late). I returned on I.S. Monday and if you know what this day means than you also know that on that day the library was not the place to be. I.S Monday is the final day on which seniors can turn in their Independent Study project which is a major part of a Wooster education. The completion of all the seniors’ projects gives reason for a whole day of celebration and partying. For a nice slideshow of the day, click here. After my very quiet shift, I decided to grab something to eat and go to bed. The nine hour flight plus layover and the six hour time difference had madetheir impact on my energy level.

Tuesday started off with a great way of waking up: feeling so rested that no further sleep is required. The rest of the day mostly consisted of math and computer science. After classes, I shortly visited the Model UN meeting (I am still an alternate after it turned out that the Model UN team is also influenced by the economic downturn) and then I went on to do an interview for a documentary about the play that I am in this semester. The documentary is an I.S project by Jamie, a Wooster graduate and student. She has returned to Wooster to get a theater degree and her I.S is about the therapeutic effects of participating in theater. After being in front of the camera for a couple of minutes, I had to go to my weekly Wooster Activities Crew (WAC) meeting. During the meeting we discussed Springfest which is coming up. Springfest is a yearly celebration that involves activities, souvenirs, and music. We are having Blackalicious as the main act for this party, and we are still in the process of deciding whether Wiz Khalifa or The Rapture is going to be the opening act. Nomatter which one it is going to be, Springfest is going to be a great event!

Today, I had theater rehearsal.  On the one hand, it was a rough rehearsal since we hadn’t gone through the play for two weeks, but on the other hand the play is really taking shape. The set is almost finished and things really start falling in place. It is a wonderful project. The cast consists of seven students and nine elders and is meant to be an inter-generational production. This makes it very interesting and a lot of fun to participate in. Unfortunately, I messed up more than a few times. My role involves many entrances and exits, so its’ hard to get my cues down. The shows are on April 3rd and 4th, so next week is going to be hard work.

Even though I am busy, from now on I will increase the frequency of posts. No excuses about stealing internet from the neighbors anymore, because pretty much all of campus is covered by the ScotZone wireless network. It should also not take long until pictures start showing up on my blog!

Bastiaan

Sunburn

March 21st, 2009

Finally, Sunburn.

After two weeks of fickle but mostly grey weather, we had two days of sun. Yesterday was Keri’s birthday. We went to the North Shore to get breakfast and enjoy the beach. The sun was hot, bright and stronger than my SPF 50 sunscreen. The water was deep blue and when we were about to leave the beach, a whale swam by. A perfect ending of a nice beach morning.

We tried to take the bus back to the house, but it took forever. We were lucky enough to get a spectacular ride in the back of a truck all the way to Keri’s hometown, Wahiawa. Back at the house, we started cooking delicious dishes for the birthday party. It was a great birthday after a beautiful morning and when it was time to bed I could feel my sunburnt shoulders against the mattras.

Today, I went surfing in the morning while Keri is shopping with some of her friends. I caught a few good waves, but I am still a little clumsy on the board. It was my second time surfing, but it to me it still looks much easier than it is. The greatest struggle is to get out on the water, because the waves keep throwing you towards the shore. But when you catch a wave, it is worth all the effort. After surfing, I went back to the house to get some work done.
Tomorrow, I am leaving the island. Wooster, Ohio is waiting for me again. I am not completely ready for break to be over, but I have good faith that a wonderful second half of the semester is coming.

Break Time

March 15th, 2009

We are half way trough our break already. Time goes so fast when your on break, time always goes fast.

As I have told my readers, I am spending my break on Oahu, the main island of Hawaii. What I haven’t told yet, is that I am staying at my girlfriend’s house. Yes, I am dating a girl from Hawaii, her name is Keri and she also goes to the College of Wooster. She is a great girl, so I am double lucky: from Hawaii and great. Well, enough romance talk. It’s just to let you know in what context I am here.

Last summer, I was here with Keri as well, but Oahu is not the same Oahu at this time of the year. When I was here last summer, I could enjoy swimming on Oahu’s famous north shore. This time, that is not even to be considered. When I arrived here last Sunday, the waves were 15 to 20 feet high. Maybe not very high for Hawaii standards, but extremely high for Bastiaan standards. It was amazing to see nature’s beauty and strength combined into a playground for surfers and a great view for Wooster students. I have traveled to many countries, but this view was one of the most spectacular ones of my life!
Another difference with this past summer is the weather. Because of my prior Hawaii experience, I didn’t deem it necessary to pack more than one sweater. The result is that I am wearing the same sweater almost every day. The wind and the grey and rainy weather make it chilly at times, especially in the evenings. It is still warm and sunny at times, but not in the same way as it was this past summer. But don’t get me wrong, I am still getting a tan and enjoying the beach!

A minor distraction from the enjoyment is the fact that I have a big  paper due shortly after Spring break. It is hard to completely not think about it. I brought all the books that I need for the paper and I am planning on having a first version done before break ends. Most things are more attractive these days than working on a paper, so it is going to be a challenge.

The last thing that I want to share with you is about a great project Keri and I completed. We worked a whole day on cleaning out Keri’s house. It had been a while (more than a while) since things had been organized, so it was a very satisfying job. The makeover of the living room can be qualified as more extreme than the ones you might see on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It was work during vacation time, but it was a lot of fun to do.

This could be my last post during break time since I have to steal the neighbor’s internet in order to get connected. It is a small crime, so I might do it again (not saying that small crimes should be repeated in general).

Bastiaan

Last days

March 5th, 2009

I am writing this while I am waiting for my computer science class to start. My previous class was math, but we finished early (my professor somehow hurt her knee while teaching, she was astonished herself). My math exam went well yesterday and I am happy to say that for me there are no exams or homeworks due until after Spring break.

This past weekend was Winter Gala weekend. Because I am part of the Wooster Activities Crew (WAC) now, it was expected of me to help set up before and clean up after gala. The people in charge of the Traditions part of WAC had organized everything perfectly. We decorated the Hollywood themed Gala spectacularly. After entering the gala on the red carpet (while being victimized by the flashes of the paparazzi), people entered the dining hall which was decorated in black and gold. A big chocolate fountain paraded in the middle of the room. Dressed up people were dancing to the live music while others were enjoying the cheese cake. It was a great night, but after everyone was gone, it was time to clean up. That was easier said than done. All the tables had been cleared from the dining area and they all had to be put back in the exact right place, with the right number of chairs surrounding them. I learned a new interesting fact about our cafeteria while cleaning up. All saltcellars have to face south (salt starts with s just like south) and the peppers face north. From now on, I will always be able to orientate while I am having a meal. Who wouldn’t be grateful for that. After two hours of cleaning mess and moving tables and chairs we were finally done. It was a lot of work, but the successful gala was worth it.

Because of my excitement for my selection to the Ambassadors Program and the knowledge that I had a math exam the next day, I forgot my theater rehearsal on Monday night. Besides exposing the fact that I am a little unorganized at the moment, it also shows that it is really time for Spring break to come.

In this last week before the break, I also encountered my first major disappointment. I am not selected to be a resident assistant next year, but I am asked to be an alternate. That is neither what I expected nor what I had hoped for. I guess this will help me learn how to deal with set backs. I’ll have to keep looking on the bright side of life : ).
Because of my disappointed mood after I heard the outcome of the RA selection process, I had a hard time being the smarmy waiter Steven during the play rehearsal on Thursday night. Being smarmy is much easier when you’re actually feeling happy.

Even though I am having a small dip right now, I am confident that I will start the second half of the semester with lots of positive energy. Two weeks of Hawaiian sun can do miracles I believe. Right after Spring break, I will hear if I am selected to be an orientation committee member. I had my individual interview yesterday evening, after play rehearsal. I really hope I will be a member of orientation committee because orientation is lots of fun. If you’re coming to Wooster next year, I might be helping you finding your way around campus!

One more day of classes to go. My next post will be from an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with temperatures in the eighties. I don’t dislike Ohio, but changing it for Hawaii for a while won’t make me complain.

Bastiaan

Ambassador

March 2nd, 2009

Even though I have a math exam tomorrow, I wanted to take a quick break from studying to tell you some exciting news: I got selected to be one of the five ambassadors next year! I don’t know yet what the other countries will be, but I know that the Netherlands will be represented. I got notified by a letter that I took out of my mailbox at 2:47 p.m. this afternoon. Since that moment, this cold day has been a bright one for me (even though my hair froze when I walked from my dorm to the library after taking a shower).

While I am writing anyways, I can tell you that there was a celebration of International Women’s Day on campus this past Sunday. It was very interesting to hear perspectives on gender roles from around the globe. One of the remarks that struck me most, was made by one of my Pakistani friends Amun. She pointed out that women wearing a burka, are not necessarily oppressed but can do this out of choice. That means that a woman wearing a burka might just as well be liberated as  a woman wearing a  skirt.

That’s all for now. I am working on uploading some nice pictures to this blog, but so far all my attempts led to a giant picture destroying the whole layout.