What could you do without in 2011? The question isn’t that difficult, because it seems that there’s always something to find ridiculous, annoying or useless. Even the smallest things, like the traffic light around the corner, can be upsetting. Observant asked two students, and a PhD student wrote a personal story.
Thinking about tomorrow
“I could do without people who voice their opinion being held in captivity. Like the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.” Patrick Ganter – half German, half Dutch – is a third-year student of International Business. “I hate that people who fight for a good cause are repressed. We need freedom of speech; it’s important for the development of a country. People like Liu Xiaobo show the world what’s going wrong in their countries.
“On a personal level, for now I could do without the pressure of thinking about the future. I’m about to go to Hong Kong for half a year, to study. After that I’ll go to Berlin for an internship in fashion. I find that world quite fascinating. So for the next year I’m set, I don’t want to think about what to do in 2012. I’m sure I’ll then apply for another internship and in 2012 I’ll have to choose a master’s programme, but those are decisions I want to make later. Not now. I could do without the frustration of not having a clear path for the future.” (RJ)
Not well structured
It’s past 15.10 when the German Sabrina Mohren, sitting in the Coffee Corner of the School of Business and Economics, closes her laptop. Her tutorial will start at any moment. The education is generally well structured, says the second-year student of International Business.
But not always. “It was annoying how the course International Marketing, a few weeks ago, was organised. We had to do a research project about an insurance company, according to a procedure as explained in the course book. The course coordinator, not very well structured himself, advised us to start writing the report early, so not in week 4 but in week 1. But then, at some point it emerged that we hadn’t received all the information. So, all the work we’d done had to be revised. It costs us a whole day. My tutorial class was very angry.”
Will she quit her studies at SBE? She laughs: “No, not at all. In general the staff care about their students.” (MT)
Wow, wow, Chinees, Chinees! by Yixuan Zhang, PhD in cardiology
The beginning of these ‘interesting’ things is that from the phenotypic point view, I am so obviously Chinese. Yes, I am. And I am very proud of my pure blood. Or perhaps it’s like my Dutch friend says: that in every European’s eyes, every Asian is Chinese. Once when I was wearing a bikini, quietly rowing my boat in the canal and enjoying the sunshine with friends on a lovely summer’s day like ordinary Dutch people do, a group of young Dutch guys stared at us, and one of them shouted ‘China sex’ and his mates laughed loudly. Why? When I was quietly passing the crowds in the city centre on a Saturday afternoon, a teenager suddenly jumped out, blocked my way and yelled ‘Wow, wow, Chinees, Chinees!’ Funny? When I was buying my curtains in Praxis and listening to a nice clerk’s English introductions, a couple passed by and heard us speaking English, and the lady said very loudly ‘Look at that Chinese’ in Dutch. Respectable? I’m very sorry, but although I don’t speak this language, I do understand! In the faculty, just before starting a meeting, a colleague asked ‘Shall we use English?’ I said yes. During the meeting, he went out to do some copying and left me in the office. Outside he was chatting with another guy in Dutch and laughing at me about one thing he couldn’t explain clearly: ‘Chinese people don’t even know this!’ Fair enough? I can live with all of these instances. But of course, I could do without them as well.
Riki Janssen, Maurice Timmermans