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!
Purple rain will fall tomorrow, on Purple Friday, from the TU/e chimney stack, so that everyone can see that the university recognizes and celebrates diversity in sexual orientation. But as President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers emphasizes: “Our support is more than symbolic.” University secretary Nicole Ummelen is calling on the LGBTU/e community: “Please be our role models - and let us know if there are matters we can facilitate.”
The Department of the Built Environment has been in existence for fifty years. Yesterday evening this milestone was celebrated in grand style with a festive dinner at Plaza Vertigo attended by more than 350 people followed by a party. Speeches and performances enlivened the evening. Departmental Dean Elphi Nelissen made her speech during the eight-course meal. Live music was provided by Laura Eshuis and Eleven Dirty, while the Superstijl DJs worked the turntables.
Forget about Antwerp, London and Cologne. The only Christmas market worth its salt this year may well be right on your doorstep. It will have everything - from a hearty hotpot and a cup of steaming mulled wine to live Christmas music and the new tradition of firing a Christmas tree from a cannon - and will be right here in MetaForum's market hall from December 11 through 21.
The first TU/e Christmas market could hardly have got off to a more Christmassy start on Monday, in a 'market hall' surrounded by a thick blanket of snow. The firing of Christmas trees from a cannon, the promised opening activity, unfortunately suffered some initial delay - but for anyone who missed it, there was another chance to see it on Tuesday afternoon.
In 2018 the students of TU/e will be represented on the University Council by three parties. The provisional results indicate that newcomer DAS Eindhoven will have two seats, Groep-één remains the largest presence with four seats, and the Eindhoven Student Council (ESR) takes three. For the first time in years, staff faction PUR includes a professor; Anton Darhuber of Applied Physics.