Thursday, 22 December 2011


To update my blog completely I will now write a bit of my return here in Holland.
I directly went to the family birthday in Eindhoven (my birthplace) and stayed over at an uncle to celebrate Saint Nicolas the other day. Lovely to see all my family again, but I need to admit I felt pretty broken and exhausted. Had a wonderfully good Saint Nicolas (Thanks Koen for the practical joke!) after which I finally headed home. I was insane with joy to see my cats (and I like to think they were too ^^) and to get into my well-deserved 10 day sleep-a-thon.

Since then I met up with a few friends, had Sushi with Jerome, got Microsoft Office on my laptop, went back to my old school and unexpectedly ran into my friend from the beginning of primary school! She is now getting experience by learning from MY old German teachers. Small world.
I've been playing an amazing amount of piano and finally I was able to satisfy my urge to read literature (I have just read one book during term : Desiderata)
To my biggest disappointment and most of all enormous frustration there was a little boy of 12 years old who, at the high school performance I went to watch to see my sister sing beautifully, just casually played 2 piano pieces on which I had been struggling the past 3 days in a row. I was NOT AMUSED. That little prick...

On the program atm is seeing my primary school friend tomorrow and going out to dinner tomorrow. Then Christmas with family here, a party at the house of 4 friends who study in Eindhoven, a sauna day with my sis and a week of snowboarding before returning back to Keble!!!!
Oh yeah, somewhere in between I need to do lots of revision, and write a Christmas essay.

Well, I already notice the difference between my blogs about Oxford and back here. Life back home is relatively boring compared to Keble. Actually my main occupation has been missing my friends and Keble so much that I started counting down the days the day after Saint Nicolas. These superlong holidays are not that great in my opinion. Luckily I have survived more than half already, so my return is in sight =)

For everyone I have not been able to meet yet : I am still here till the 30th of December. Else I do think and miss you guys too, and hope your new lives are good!
A personal message to a few:
Simon I miss your hairdrier
I cannot see cheese without thinking of you Bea!
Calypso, where is that angel in my life?
What would I be without my conscience and literary adviser Tylor?
I became quite attached to the midnight tea  with my husband which I am missing..
Sometimes I find myself knocking on my wall to discover that you're not there Maeve =O
Missing the calm harbour of James'  room where I could stress out
Richard I need your expertise with my piano!
Sasha I just generally miss you
A world without Jack is just so much more boring.

That's it for now. I will try to write something during/after snowboarding and then I hope (so don't pin me down on it!) that I will be able to make weekly posts about Keble-life. My goals for next term are namely: being more effective with time-management, getting a decent amount of sleep overall, do not fall asleep during lectures/tutorials, getting all the work done nicely in time and filing everything straight away. So that should leave me some time to keep this blog a bit more alive.

PS: It felt so good writing English again!

Survived Michaelmas!

Hey everyone!

I know I am not a very faithful updater, but occasionally I find myself in the mood to write about me (I cannot believe how egocentric that sounds). Especially now that English has been missing in my normal daily life I kinda feel a want to stay connected to my Oxford life.
That's right, I am back in Dutchland with the cows, meadows, but especially bad weather and nasty wind preventing me from advancing a single inch on my bike..

But first, the end of Michaelmas (that's how they call the first term).
The last 2 weeks were in short: hectic and unbelievably exhausting.
All the work I had pushed ahead needed to be finished and they added another tutorial per week to our schedule. Besides that I was not really diminishing the time I spend doing other stuff, resulting in a really big time problem. The last week I hardly slept 3 nights in a row to be able to hand in my essays on time and finish the math problems before the deadline.
To be honest, this was the moment where I started to question if I was maybe not able to cope with the workload and should perhaps just give up. I really started to feel a bit desperate.. Luckily, all the lovely people around me cheered me up and motivated me to get through it! I still thank you guys for that with all my heart! Also, the fact that I was not the only sufferer (Andrei & Greta who do biomed as well in Keble) of the massive amount of work made it more bearable.

It wasn't all that bad. Our labs were getting very interesting! They were about measuring different properties of different muscle types. Basically, they suspended a muscle in a solution and we got to add all kinds of drugs to it and see what it did to its contraction. Then ofcourse, we needed to crack our brains to divine how that drug worked exactly.

Now on to the fun stuff! In Oxford, since we do not really spend Christmas being in College, they celebrate Oxmas (no need for explanation I hope) with a real Oxmas dinner and a real Oxmas service in Chapel. Since there's loads of people, there was a Sunday and Monday Oxmas dinner. Only, I couldn't decide on which day to go since on both days friends of mine booked in. Therefore I went to both =) When you arrive, you get a cracker (looks like a huuuuuge candyrol which you pull open and it makes a very big banging sound) with a little crap-plastic gift and a paper crown. During the whole evening they serve a 3 course meal (with stuffed turkey and a disgusting brandy cake) and wine. The most special thing is the choir singing carols all along the evening and walking amongst the tables. Makes everything incredibly cozy and cheery! We even had our own Santa Claus (thanks Leonard =)) Unluckily for me I couldn't linger too long since essay-duty was calling..

The Oxmas service is also quite unique. You get a burning candle and almost everyone knows the carols which are sung (except me ofcourse -.-) There was a little girl in front of me who was obviously uninterested in the service so decided to play with her candle, so cute.

At the end of 7th week I went to my first ball in Oxford : RAG Ball. All the money they make goes to charity as well, which made me feel better about spending all that money on a ticket. It was quite an experience! Everyone all dressed up and pretty and when you arrive at the Ball you immediately are greeted with a glass of champagne. The whole evening there are plenty of things to do and drinks/food to get. They even had a stand with G&D's icecream and chocolate fountains and all. There were also oa photobooth, swings, silent disco, string quartet, belly dancers and so on! It starts off as a real evening in style! All Oxford students are able to get hold of a ticket, so that you are likely to also bump into friends of other colleges for once.

Also on the wednesday of 8th week we had another College BOP. I am not sure if I already explained what it is, so if I did just scroll down a few lines ;). It is a fancy dress party with a theme. The goal is to come up with an original costume in the Bar that night and have a good time within College. Our theme was Christmas ofcourse, and since I already had to pack all my belongings and my room was sadly empty I just went as a present by tying a scarf around my dress. Other people had gone all out and there were some pretty original ones!

3 days later it was time to go again. Luckily I travelled  back with Arthur from Wadham College (just 1 minute away or so) so that it wasn't all that sad. I do learn from all this living on your own : I made a huge mistake in picking the bag to bring back. The only luggage I was to transport were the books & notes I need for revision and catching up (and those 20 books I bought in a very strange moment in a nice bookshop). The bag was HEAVY. I was TIRED. Not a good combination.
To  make it worse, the bag started to snap at the bottom! I already pictured myself walking in London when suddenly my whole bag would just break down and I would be standing there with all those books unable to transport them and needing to leave it all behind after which I would get into loads of trouble for losing library books and my own work and more bills to pay.. This bag was also not a rolling type, but one you need to carry over one shoulder (my poor shoulders =()
Luckily it survived the journey barely, and I have learned a wise lesson.

That was my first term in Oxford. I can't believe it myself to be honest. Looking back it seems as if it all has been a dream (and NOT just cause I haven't slept enough!)

PS: I also have a boyfriend called Sasha ^^ (as many of you already seem to know). Makes the holiday seem eternally long (which it actually really is).