One day when I was about 11 or 12 years old and back in school, I have no memory of what the weather outside the class was. Either because in Mumbai the average temperatures throughout the year are between 20-34 degrees (anything beyond the range is climate change), or because the season in class was much different from the one outside. We were in the English Literature class, and the poem discussed was 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', better known as 'Daffodils', by William Wordsworth.
Ever dream of colored jellybeans you can make disappear by the row, like dominoes? Do you ever see the world scrolling by automatically after playing several hours of Guitar Hero? Or do you sometimes feel, watching the soccer highlights on Sunday, you can help Luuk de Jong play a perfect through ball by moving your right thumb, because you played FIFA all afternoon?
In the past months, as I was cycling past ‘Parkview’, the new student housing building on our TU/e-Science Park, I’ve seen the building rise at the high speed of one floor a week. The weeks passed by until the 13th week when much to my surprise construction suddenly stopped. I counted and recounted the numbers of levels, indeed thirteen (13), no more and no less. I immediately wondered who would like to live on the 13th floor of a housing building here in the Netherlands.
Interim exam scores make up at least thirty percent of the course grade in the Bachelor College. From upcoming academic year, the thirty percent rule will not hold any more in the second and third year. But, it will still be the same for the first year courses. However, until courses start, students have no clue when the interim exams will take place.
Have you ever found yourself seated in the silent carriage of a Dutch train (‘de stiltecoupé)? Chances are, it wasn’t silent at all, in spite of all the signs and agitated people in the carriage. The Dutch Railways are bothered by this and announced a pilot to remind passengers to keep silent. Soon, middle-aged couples sitting opposite of you can not only cough relentlessly if you dare to make a sound, but also point to a sign printed on the headrest of their seats.
PhD student Elles Raaijmakers always tries to see the funny side of things and reproduces this in cartoons and comics. This time: in a galaxy far, far away...
3TU is a collaboration of three technical universities. It includes TU Delft, University of Twente, and of course TU/e. At last New Year's reception it was announced that the fourth uni (Wageningen University) is on the verge of joining 3TU, as a result of which the name would change to 4TU. But how would the inclusion of Wageningen University turn ‘3TU’ into ‘4TU’?
Alaaf vs nihao… was the choice I had to make regarding these two major cultural events that were back to back and overlapped this year. Indeed, the Chinese Spring Festival a.k.a. The Lunar New Year met Carnival a.k.a. Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras last week. But choosing was easy because Carnival has never meant much for me (not my culture… and I don’t like beer), whereas Chinese festivities as a whole trigger my curiosity and nourish my intercultural hunger. So I quickly decided to devote my time and energy to participating in the Chinese Spring Festival.
PhD student Elles Raaijmakers always tries to see the funny side of things and reproduces this in cartoons and comics. This time: playing outside isn't just for kids.
The upcoming carnival season poses a significant threat to all. No, I do not allude to drunk Dutch or sexually repressed men dressed up as clowns, waddling around in an awkward polonaise. Instead, we are at risk of being ‘attacked’ by an ‘earworm’. This phenomenon, also known as involuntary musical imagery, concerns the ongoing repetition of one or more lines of music, stuck in one’s head.
In my latest column in January, I described the cultural differences in greetings (bowing, kissing or shaking hands) around the world, and we saw that the Dutch and the French, for example, practice greetings or express wishes in different ways. Now let’s go deeper into the topic and examine habits in the more intimate, romantic and passionate kissing, a.k.a. French kissing.
PhD student Elles Raaijmakers always tries to see the funny side of things and reproduces this in cartoons and comics. This time: Ronnie gets caught illegally downloading software.
Most people must have heard of it by now, TU/e will start making use of evening hours for lectures from quartile 3 and 4 of this academic year. What’s going on?
Examination period. A few individuals spend these two weeks in total rest and certainty, while most are grinding away many a tense hour behind their books. Uncertainty or the awareness that it might have been better to start studying the subject matter earlier cause many students to keep studying late, burning the midnight oil. Don’t do it!
PhD student Elles Raaijmakers always tries to see the funny side of things and reproduces this in cartoons and comics. This time: meanwhile, during an evening lecture...
“What’s in a name?”, said Shakespeare once famously. While the philosophical debate continues, I often ask people, “what does it mean!?”. In response comes a confused reply - “What do you mean?”. Yes, your name, it would have a meaning in your culture or language, right?
We have four children, and each one is growing fast. Pants are too short in no time, and jackets fit too snugly before you know it. It always comes as a surprise, but we can’t but accept: I never try to convince them short is the new black, nor do I urge them to wear their jackets on their left arm and right arm alternately. I just buy them new clothes.
These forms of greetings are actually the title of a book that reviews various business practices and greeting forms in about 60 countries. Needless to say, such general informative books are quickly outdated. But not so when it comes to greeting practices, the topic I want to tackle in this first column at the beginning of this new year 2016.
Around dinner time my wife and I always like to watch Australian Master Chef, while knocking together our own food during the commercial breaks. A well-known item from this popular cooking contest is the Mystery Box – a box containing a very limited set of ingredients that the contestants have to cook with. And then it turns out that you can compose the nicest dishes with licorice, fennel, sesame seed and red port. On some occasions the contestants are given an empty box. Then they have a free rein and can go ahead using their own imagination to the full. At such moments a number of candidates completely lose it and literally and figuratively make a complete mess of it. Out-of-the-box thinking is by no means easy.
Societies can be individually or collectively oriented. During a discussion with drinks, we started talking about Albert Heijn, because this Dutch chain of supermarkets often is a topic of discussion. And why not: this is where the country sources its bread and butter, or cheese rather. So at a point I said with disdain: ‘AH decides what the majority of us students eat, based on the Bonus card’. To which my Dutch friend reacted: ‘So what is the problem? Didn’t your parents decide for you what to eat when you were younger?’ My reaction: ‘No, I could say what I wanted to eat.’ My friends’ reaction: ‘Nooo, you could say what you would like to eat and you would get it?’
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At this university there are students who are not taking any classes, but they are still forced to pay the full sum of their tuition fee. How is that? When you take a look at what they are doing instead of following courses, their reasons become clear. They form one of the most important cornerstones of the TU/e, they are the student board members and part of student teams.