Final Year

Final year is supposed to be pretty intense, right? Well, let me tell you, after the summer of madness I am expecting the university routine to be thoroughly restful!

Okay, I might be joking just a little there. But you get my drift.

Coming back to The Netherlands after so long has meant that my social calendar is pretty full. I’m not complaining about that at all! It’s absolutely amazing to see people who I have not seen in quite a long time. Some people, like my neighbour Robbert and my darling friend Sonja, had been abroad for the prior semester. It had been way too long! Last night, for the first time in approximately nine months, we managed to get my main university social group all together in one room. Dinner and a nighttime walk, yep, I have missed these people. Actually, Ellie (my roommate from the Krakow camp) was also over last week and she and her boyfriend kindly let me intrude on their holiday and join them for a drink. So yep, I’m quite happy with my socialising right now!

As for the studying part of university (you know, the main bit)…there was a bit of a mess up this semester and I struggled to get into the classes I would have chosen. There were a lot of timetable clashes and, frankly, not enough was scheduled in my areas of specialisation anyway. That aside, here comes my usual little post of what I will be doing and what my initial impressions are.

I had promised myself never to willingly schedule a first thing on a Monday morning class ever again and yet this is exactly what I’ve done. That said, I guess it wasn’t exactly willing as Media and Communication was basically the only class I could fit into my timetable that looked vaguely useful to me. It’s a first year course that aims to survey different theories regarding media and communication and people I know have spoken highly of the course and of the teacher. The course hasn’t captured me as of yet because it all seems to be bits that I’ve picked up from other higher level courses. No surprise really. The teacher is lovely though. So, this one might not be the most scintillating course I’ve ever enrolled in but I think it should be quite pleasant. And it is still the first week – plenty of time to pick up.

After that it’s Photograph as a Socio Political Document which is my only art history course this semester. As you can probably guess from the title, and the fact that it deals with photography, it’s focusing on art a little later than my own personal interest areas.  However, it’s more of a social/political course, from what I’ve understood, and that does interest me. We’ve spent the first few sessions defining a photograph and the idea of documentary so we’ve not really got onto the nitty gritty, so to speak, but the course manual does look really interesting.

On Tuesdays, I start the day with Literature of Social Exclusion and, as of yet, this is seriously my favourite course of this semester. If it keeps this up then it’s going to be one of my favourite courses at AUC overall, I think! Again, the course title is pretty self explanatory. This looks at literature that explores, resists or incites social hatreds, exclusions, and discrimination. I think it’s going to be a mentally and emotionally challenging course but so very worthwhile. It’s also got an exceptionally enabling teacher which is one of the most important things.

Literature of Social Exclusion is followed by Cultural Memory Studies which looks at the way in which we form memories and, basically, create a history. At the moment, I am finding this subject quite hard to explain because I’m not completely sure of the scope. The lessons, and reading, so far have been really theory heavy so I’m hoping that it does broaden out into something a bit more applicable soon. Indeed, the topics look really interesting and it’s taught by someone I have been taught by before and know is awesome. This is one of the courses I have been looking forward to taking for quite some while so it’s got a lot to live up to!

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