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Entries for December 2012

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The story: Teenager Piscine (Pi) Patel is the only human survivor of a disaster at sea and finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Pious Pi begins a struggle for life that will prove a serious test of his faith. Based on Yann Martel's bestseller.   Judgment of Solomon according to Mark Vluggen: In Life...

One in four students is a problem drinker

One in four students is a problem drinker

A beer to socialise, wine with the dinner, large amounts of alcohol at the numerous parties – students obviously drink a lot. But what are the implications of our drinking behaviour for our health? This is the third instalment in the series ‘Science of Student Life’.

FaSoS council: Squabbling about the Dutch term PhD student

Council members from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are worried about the term ‘PhD student’ that has been included in the Dutch version of the draft regulation for obtaining one's doctoral degree by the new Graduate School FaSoS. “This could lead to a situation in which doctoral students are allowed in on a large sca...

Erasmus

Erasmus

While messaging a friend recently, I accidentally invented a new word. I wanted to say that I felt happy and sad at the same time, but then I made a typo and wrote “saddy”. From then on, we established that ‘saddy’ is that emotion you feel when you ought to be happy about the outcome of events but are also a little bit disap...

No personal responsibility

No personal responsibility

Who: Wim Groot, professor of Health Economics and Evidence Based Education Book: Heart of a Dog, Mikhail Bulgakov Target group: Economics students

“No ad hoc student policy, but an integral plan”

That the Maastricht city council should communicate more in English with foreign students, is supported by almost all fractions of the Maastricht city council. But they have a problem with the timing of the Christian Democrats' (CDA) proposal. That’s why it was removed from the agenda of the city council meeting last Tuesday.

Sunburnt and full of prawns

It may be the jetlag talking, but it seems my country is 0.18 points better than yours. Because let’s face it, the Economist doesn’t lie. In its where-to-be-born in 2013 index, the Economist measures ‘which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life’. Australia comes in 2nd place, beh...

FaSoS students want exchange and interaction

Monthly meetings where students, staff and alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences can discuss subjects that they have chosen, take workshops and/or listen to lectures. This is a proposal put forward by the student representatives. With this initiative they hope to strengthen the bond between the students from the various FaSoS programm...

Exploring Europe in weekend trips

Exploring Europe in weekend trips

Martin Frost (30), an Australian postdoc at cognitive neuroscience who has visited 11 per cent of the world In 2004, Martin Frost came from Sydney to Maastricht to start a PhD. “I had never been here before. Actually I hadn’t travelled that much at all.” Something he has made up for since living in Europe. “I’ve been ...

Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: happy holidays.
More contact between students and neighbourhood

More contact between students and neighbourhood

Two students will represent the inhabitants of the new guesthouse on the Professor Pieter Willemsstraat. “We will have a meeting with them in the new year, just to get to know each other,” says Edwin Bruijnzeels, contact person for the group of Wijckerpoort Central residents. The idea of representatives emerged after local residents had...

Traveling

Traveling

After talking about it for weeks, three friends and I had finally succeeded in going away for the weekend. My diet for the two days consisted of chocolate, candy, fries, waffles, pancakes, tea, hot chocolate and seafood—that’s right, I spent the weekend in exotic Belgium, gorging myself on these delicacies in Bruges and Oostende. Thankf...

No, not the Board of Deans

The story: Scriptwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) is struggling with alcohol and writer’s block. His new film script is no more than a title: Seven Psychopaths. Fortunately for him, there is his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), an oddball actor who has a sideline as a dognapper and also has a well-developed network of psychopaths around him. Things g...

The social pressure to be normal

The social pressure to be normal

Who: Gerjo Kok, social psychologist Book: Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin Target audience: psychology students

Council members want a plan for house parties

Where will students go and have their parties now, since The Highlander has been closed? This question was put before mayor Onno Hoes by political parties D66, PvdA and Groen Links (Democrats 66, Labour Party and Green Left). The Highlander pub was shut down last week for a period of six months, after drugs had been found on the premises. And right...

The party must go on

Some things I am very good at. Plausibly avoiding my PhD supervisor for months on end. Spending as much time fiddling with bibliographical formatting as doing actual research. Pottering about with programming languages. This year I even learnt to ‘do statistics’ (read: locate people who are prepared to do my statistics with – for?...

No exit for 800 km

No exit for 800 km

Bart Heijnen, a Dutch PhD student at Pharmacology who has seen 12 per cent of the world A good combination of culture and nature is what constitutes a perfect trip for Bart Heijnen. “I don’t want to spend ten days lying on the beach.” What makes it even better is when some of the travelling expenses are reimbursed because he is a...

Do we need cycling lessons for foreign students?

After an hour of theory, some practical manoeuvres on a square, it is time for a trip around Groningen. Foreign students in Groningen have been receiving free cycling lessons as of the beginning of this academic year. Whether it's hilarious or necessary, is point for discussion. Maastricht University hasn’t copied the initiative yet. Han...

Thousands take part in silent march in protest at football violence

Some 12,000 people gathered in Almere on Sunday for a silent march to commemorate the amateur football linesman who died after being attacked by a group of teenagers a week ago. The crowd carried torches and banners and some wore armbands featuring ladybirds, the symbol of the Dutch campaign against senseless violence. The crowd fell silent as it...

Bitterballen

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: bitterballen

No pub on Annadal premises

The Maastricht D66 party fraction thinks that a pub on the former Annadal hospital grounds could limit the disturbance caused by students. “It would put an end to the night-time returns from the city to the Guesthouse,” says council member Richard Schoffeleers. It is not a new plan and it is not feasible, according to Maurice Evers, hea...
Vanillekipferln

Vanillekipferln

December in the Netherlands means Sinterklaas, the proliferation of Christmas markets, and way too many calories in all the different baked goods. It also means cheesy, unbearable Christmas music played on repeat and excessive shopping and consumerism, just like everywhere. But despite all that, December is still my favorite month because of Adven...

An adulteress in high society

The story: Russia, 1874. The spirited Anna (Keira Knightley) feels trapped in her loveless marriage to the highly placed official Alexei Karenin (Jude Law). Forgoing all social convention, Anna embarks on a passionate affair with Count Vronsky, with tragic consequences. The film is based on the book by Tolstoy (for younger readers: a sort of 19th c...

Feel it in your bones

Feel it in your bones

Who: Wiebe Nauta, sociologist and anthropologist Book: The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga Target group: FASOS and UCM students
Mayor closes Highlander

Mayor closes Highlander

Mayor Hoes closed The Highlander pub on Tuesday afternoon at 16:00hrs. The pub on the Hertogsingel is especially popular among foreign students. What in the Netherlands are called ´soft drugs´ were found on the premises. The apartment in the same building was also closed, after the police had found both hard and soft drugs. The Highland...

That time of year

The end of the year is fast approaching and it’s busy busy busy. Druk druk druk. You know you’re too busy when you start to feel like the Dutch word for ‘busy’ is infinitely more – ok, twice as – economical as the English word, since it has half the syllables. When you start to scrap all non-essential tasks. Laun...

Meeting the locals

Meeting the locals

Jennifer Sellin, a Dutch PhD student at the department of International and European Law who has seen 12 per cent of the world   One of the advantages of her job is that she can travel abroad regularly. Jennifer Sellin carried out research in countries such as South Africa, Uganda and India, and taught in China. “I try to combine ...

My first Dutch Sinterklaas

My first Dutch Sinterklaas

Wrapping paper all over the floor, crumbs strewn across the couch and a bunch of students excited about presents and chocolate letters – what is a common Sinterklaas scenario for most Dutch students can be strange and unusual for many international students, even if they are from just across the German border. On 5 December, Sinterklaas is c...

Linesman dies after attack by teenage football players

The 41-year-old linesman reportedly beaten up by three boys aged 15 and 16 after a football match in Almere at the weekend has died. Richard Nieuwenhuizen was chased and attacked by the youths from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten after an amateur football match between the Amsterdammers and Almere club Buitenboys. He became ill a couple of hours afte...

Verkleinwoorden

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: verkleinwoorden (dimunitives)

Viva Con Agua

On Friday the 7th of December the Viva Con Agua party is in d'n Hiemel. All the profits of the event will go directly to Viva Con Agua, an organisation that helps to give access to clean drinking water for people in developing countries. The party starts at 19.30 until 03.00 in the morning. It will include a liveband, as well as ...