Getting Ready to Leave….

After waiting all summer and writing 4 papers in preparation, I begin this adventure today! I still have to finish packing ALL of my things into one standard sized suitcase, print out the work that I have just completed, and download all of my music onto my phone, but in 7 hours I will be flying above the Atlantic well on my way to Amsterdam. Once I arrive, I will take a 20 minute train ride to Utrecht, walk about 10 minutes to my apartment, and begin to explore the neighborhood. I am quite nervous to meet the rest of my group (there are only 10 of us after all), to adjust back into a daily life of academic work, and honestly, I don’t feel totally prepared to begin!

One thing I didn’t expect going into this program was the amount of work that I would need to do in preparation. Aside from changing my phone plan, figuring out airfare and everything else it takes to live in a different country for 3 months, I had a ton of school work to do over the summer. Not only did I write 3 essays, each of which will be worth 20% of my final grade for 2 different courses, but I began research for my independent project. To do this, I read about 10-20 news articles, books, and journals, and wrote out a proposal for my paper along with a tentative timeline for my project. Figuring out how to fit in this academic work with the rest of my summer plans was not easy, and I am honestly impressed that it all got done. Once I am in Europe we will have only a few more written assignments total, but doing a large part of the work before the courses actually start has been quite an adjustment.

My first week in Utrecht will consist of attending lectures through the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies’ “NOISE” summer school (Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s studies in Europe) – a PHD and MA program held every year that tackles multidisciplinary perspectives on current gender studies issues, and getting to know the rest of the students I will be working with for the next three months. Once I get settled in and find a good coffee shop to write at there will be much more to come!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Donna McGuire says:

    Hello Sweetheart. So delighted that you’re finally there. By now I presume you’ve met your compatriots, you’ve attended some lectures and that you’re much smarter now than you were a week ago. Hope you’ve been able to find a friend(s) with whom you’ll be able to share this awesome adventure.

    I’m sitting in my chair, sipping my first cup of coffee of the day and watching the two feeders that I can observe from my chair perch. I’ve already had a wee skirmish with our “smarter than we are” squirrel. He (she, they) like to position the feeder directly over the deck rail, tip it so the seeds flow out onto the railing and dine at leisure—all while laughing manically and flipping us the finger! The male hummingbirds are tanking up for their southern migration by doubling their weight from 3 to 6 grams. GRAMS! The females will depart sometime after the males leave. I’m always a little bit sad when they leave because it means that winter is out there, lurking in the shadows, just waiting for it’s chance to pounce. On the other hand it means that you’ll soon be back on US soil.

    We think and speak of you often, trying to imagine exactly what you may be doing and where you may be doing it. You are in our hearts. And by all means send your playlist and commentary . Until next time…….

    Love, Nana

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