Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Struggling for coherence after the thought of snow

         Ok, formally reporting from Utrecht now, feeling truly happy I finally got to move to the city I fell in love with months ago. If you see me I'll probably behave like  a 3 year old, just looking at every winkel (shop) and cafe in order to memorise my surroundings and locate important spots. It will  be fun to discover this city, walking around it, dodging bikes and investigating who bakes the best poffertjes.

          I am pretty sure everyone is familiar with the whole Christmas sensation we are feeling here, It's not something you can easily miss...there are sparkling lights in every gallery, and lamps hanging across the streets. It is truly an amazing view you could stare at all night...but of course you don't, because you soon realise you are actually freezing (although the dutch argue that ‘this isn't cold yet’ ). My brains insist we are heading to summer, and I'm trying to make it understand we are not getting a bikini for Christmas, but a nice warm hat and colourful socks. There is hope building inside of me… as I was told that when the days start to get colder, a rumour spreads in the Netherlands: Maybe this year canals will be closed and water could freeze enough to skate on it. Can you imagine? I really have to fight the urge to act like a child, and avoid bouncing around when I hear the word ‘snow’, but this is too much to take.

            Today we start week number 2 of the new subjects, and so far European Competition Law seems to leave a bittersweet feeling, as I know I will have to study a lot, but the topics are just too interesting to ignore. That's what is different in this Master, everything we are learning is happening right here and right now. As I mentioned in my first blog entry, I have a Law bachelor, and I'm used to reading legal texts and Codes that sometimes don't really relate to what happens in reality. People’s conduct is in constant change, and sometimes can even be erratic, completely unexpected. That's why it is said that Law is a bit slower, as it takes longer for it to adapt to human behaviour. But here everything is different, probably because of the economics influence, that injects more speed to the topics discussed. It's the first time I'm studying something that is happening as we are learning it, and that makes you feel a bit insecure, but also this leads to ‘thinking outside the box’, proposing alternative solutions. This new freedom gives you confidence in your studies, as you don't have to memorise, but learn to use the texts as a new tool in order to argument and defend your stance.

            Last week some classmates and I were having a chat with one of our former professors from last term, and after discussing briefly a couple of subjects, he said something interesting: ‘ Not everything we teach is meant to be in an exam question, sometimes we show you certain things for your own knowledge’. That got me thinking...Why is it that we only focus on the questions we are going to be tested? I guess is a bad habit some of us have since high school or even before that. It is hard to hear a lecturer say, ‘ you should know this by now’, but, to be honest, there is certain amount of time you need to invest in this, classes are not enough to cover everything, commitment is key...as hard as it may be. It’s just another step towards the life that awaits beyond university.


It's November, I got my hat, nice winter jacket and gloves. Winter, bring that ice, because I'm ready…. to be pointed at and land-elegantly-on the ground. Till next time! Tot ziens! (Always say that when you exit a shop, it gives the false impression you can actually manage to babble some words in dutch). 

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