How are things in Philadelphia?21 April 2017
I arrived in the US on Thursday January 26th: six days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, and one day before he signed his infamous travel ban. That made the first few weeks quite intense.
Although my own visa has not been contested, I met people who were detained for hours while trying to cross the border, often without any clarity about why that was the case. I also met lots of students and teachers who went out to protest the new policy. Those from the affected countries are currently facing a choice: if they go home, there is a chance that they will never be allowed to come back and finish their degree, but if they stay here they will not see their families for years.
Even though the political situation becomes more crazy every day, normal life goes on as well. I live at the UPenn campus and enjoy the many things that happen there: lots of activities, sports games, but there are also things like a marching band and a glee club. Everything you’ve seen on TV turns out to be real, and there’s even more than that.
There are many things to do beside student life. Philadelphia is one of the largest and most historic cities in the US, as well as one of the few cities where people walk and bike a lot. That makes it easy to spend my free time seeing the off-campus parts of the city. Next to the large art museums (they have Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting!) and the other tourist attractions, I enjoy typical American things, like Wal Mart or the many 24/7 breakfast restaurants that you seem to have here.
The combination of working at Penn and trying to see and do as much as possible makes the time fly: half of my time here is over already. See you next summer!
For a while now, TU/e student Guido Buntinx and his friend Christophe Westerveld (student of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences) have been attracting a lot of attention with their 'electric beer crates'. Limburg's regional TV station and the TV news program Editie NL also got wind of their creative initiative. The short internet videos showing them riding along on the public highways have been watched multiple times.
The Department of Applied Physics needs to make significant savings: one million euros on a total annual budget of nine million. This was announced last week Wednesday by Departmental Dean Gerrit Kroesen at a staff meeting. The draft reorganization plan must be ready by the end of November and, says Kroesen, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. The Departmental Council is holding talks today with the Departmental Office.
The fourth day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia has come to an end and Solar Team Eindhoven is clearly leading the Cruiser Class. Despite earlier transport problems and the limited window for testing on site, TU/e solar car Stella Vie is performing in the outback “far beyond expectations”. With some 900 kilometers to go, a third world title seems almost a dead cert for the team from Eindhoven - but this is no time for complacency.
For thirty years, Huub Meijer, former Dutch champion and national coach of the Dutch karate team, spent evening after evening in the dojo and the gym of the Student Sports Center working as an instructor. He taught students the intricacies of various martial arts and ran strength-building and circuit training sessions. All the prizes he has won over the years are now stored in plastic bags – ‘they were on show at home for long enough’ – but he looks back on a glittering career with satisfaction, and with even more pleasure on a fine working life as a trainer.
Some rooms in De Plint in Luna are not yet ready to use and so the associations are having to put the brakes on some of their activities. The building contractor has run into delays and current expectations are that everything will be ready by early November. There is evidently so much stuff in the Bunker that it can't all be stored in Luna. Bar Potential hopes to open its doors around New Year's. The cultural associations have just moved from the Bunker to Luna.