Snapshots of Heidelberg

This summer I had to present at a conference in Heidelberg, Germany. Because I had no other holiday plans, I decided together with a friend that it would be a nice idea to attach a holiday to this conference trip. After being in Heidelberg for a while, we went to Prague, Vienna and Bratislava. In this post I will show you our highlights of Heidelberg.

1. The Old Bridge

The Old Bridge

The Old Bridge

heidelberg dag 1-6

Locks on the bridge

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Oxford Prep: Choosing Courses

Yesterday, I sent in my options for the two C-Courses I will be taking the coming year. One in the first term, Michaelmas, and one in the second, Hilary. While my A- and B-Courses in both terms are set, Topics in English Language (History, Structure and Use) and Research Skills respectively, the C-Courses are special options that your can choose according to your interests.

So yes, according to my interests. This is where the problem starts. As some of you may know and as is reinforced by my Liberal Arts and Sciences background, my interests are very broad. Thus, having to choose between (for one term) about thirty  courses (I can choose courses from all strands in the English department) wasn’t an easy task.

Also, an important question I needed to ask myself was: what do I want to focus on? What might be useful courses, thinking ahead of my dissertation?

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What I Have Been Reading Lately (2)

Besides being busy with academic reading, I always try to continue reading non-academic books as well (not sure how to phrase it exactly – can’t say fiction because I also read non-fiction, can’t say books that I read for fun because I consider (some of) my academic reads also fun). So what have I been reading lately?

At the moment I am reading Tonio: Een requiemroman by A.F.Th. van der Heijden. This is a Dutch non-fiction work about the author’s loss of his son. I have only read about a hundred pages or so yet (out of 600), but it definitely seems a very promising read.

Other books that I have finished in the last 1,5 month are the following:

1. Jonathan Franzen’s
Freedom – After having heard multiple stories from a friend about how great Franzen’s works are, I finally picked up one as well. I was very excited when I started reading the novel, because the friend that recommended the book usually likes the same kind of stories as I do, so I had high hopes. And oh boy, she was right. Freedom is a story about a family in our contemporary world and is written in a very engaging manner. All I can say is: Jonathan, you are my new friend. Definitely going to read more of his books.


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Fear, Panic and Excitement

In less than a month I will be moving to the UK. In October I will be starting the MSt programme in English Language at the University of Oxford. As you might expect, starting this adventure does come with quite some preparations. Besides the organizational preparations concerning housing, healthcare, my college and more, I also already have to start preparing for my MSt.

A little over a week ago I received an email from the English department containing a detailed programme description, including reading lists of my courses. My reaction was something like the following: “This is so cool – wow, this is quite a lot of work – that’s some awesome reading – how I am going to read all those books? – oh wait you only have to read those books indicated with an asterisks – hmm, almost all books have an asterisk in front of them – this is so exciting – this is so scary – Time To Panic”

demotivational poster FEAR, PANIC AND EXCITEMENT

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Marlon zat in zijn luiers al in de tijgerkooi

Circus Belly Wien staat sinds woensdag in Cadzand en is het enige circus in Nederland dat nog wilde dieren heeft. Benieuwd hoe het er achter de schermen aan toegaat? Buiten de showtijden om mag iedereen een kijkje nemen op het terrein.


Een aantal kinderen staat dicht tegen het hek geklemd dat om de tijgerkooi staat. Nadat de tijgers een tijdje in de schaduw hebben gelegen, zijn ze nu in beweging. “Kijk, er zijn kleintjes.” Eén van de kinderen wijst naar de kooi. Arnold, de verzorger van de kleine tijgertjes, aait ze door de tralies heen. Eentje geeft kopjes terug en een ander gaat lui bovenop zijn moeder liggen. “Meneer, meneer, zijn ze nou heel zacht?”, roept één van de kinderen. “Dat zijn ze zeker”, vertelt hij trots.

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Lola, Tara en Bimba spinnen net als katten

Bij Neeltje Jans hebben ze drie zeeleeuwen: Lola, Tara en Bimba. Het trio geeft in de zomer elke dag een aantal shows voor publiek. Voor degene die ze wat beter willen leren kennen, kun je ook zwemmen met de zeeleeuwen. Een bijzondere ervaring.

Maartje gaat met Tara langs alle deelnemers, zodat zij kunnen voelen hoe zacht een zeeleeuw is.

Maartje gaat met Tara langs alle deelnemers, zodat zij kunnen voelen hoe zacht een zeeleeuw is.

Voel Tara’s vacht maar eens”, zegt zeeleeuwentrainster Maartje Jongen (31). Ze staat samen met alle acht deelnemers in het waterbassin. Maartje houdt de zeeleeuw in haar armen vast en loopt langs de deelnemers die op een rijtje staan. Iedereen aait Tara zachtjes over haar rug. “Wow, dat is echt zacht”, roept een jonge deelnemer enthousiast. “Veel mensen verwachten niet dat de zeeleeuwen zo’n zachte vacht hebben”, vertelt Maartje aan de groep.

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