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yes, I am actually studying here

So, because I got a lot of my school requirements done ahead of time, I had a lot of freedom in picking classes here. So now I am taking really fun and interesting classes. I am taking a Music Class, an Anthropology Class, and a history class.

The history class is an American History class, which is nice because I am already really familiar with all of the things we are talking about, and can try to focus on the European perspective of history. Unfortunately, the only lecturer we have had so far (it will change soon) has very little personality and spends to much time talking about meta-history. Although we do have 3 lectures devoted to American politics and the election and already had a guest lecturer talk about the impact of political blogging on politics. Also, it skips over a lot of events and the whole grade is based on the final exam (which could be a good or bad thing).

My Cultural anthropology class is about Information Technologies, technological development projects and the social implications of technology in society. It is really interesting since it is all stuff that I never knew anything about. We have learned about surveillance and the facial recognition software used at the Beijing Olympics (yes, it's real!), and the OneLaptopPerChild project in developing countries (www.laptop.org). (I thought it would be really cool for an elementary school to raise money and donate/buy laptops with their "give one, get one program.") We also talked about techno-fear and all of the movies, rumors, etc. abut how new technologies will kill you, make you have seizures, or get you in contact with the dead. All very interesting stuff. At the end of the class, I have to come up with my own Development project proposal, so if you have any ideas, let me know.

My favorite class though is my World Music class (I have only had 2 classes so far, though). We are going to learn about all different types of world music from specialists. On Tuesday we did an Indian singing workshop. We all had to sit on the floor with out our shoes and she explained about Indian ragas (a type of mode, for you music people) and we got to sing along with her as she played a tanpura. We also get to do an overtone singing workshop, we will get to play a Balinese gamelan, and we get a flamenco demonstration. And most of our homework is listening to different types of world music and identifying different elements in them.

In other news, I got sick on Sunday but I am mostly better now and my bike's back wheel got bent last week and I am just about to go take it to the repair shop (which has been closed since last Thursday) and pay for repairs on it which could cost more than my bike did.

Posted by erika.w 05:38 Archived in Netherlands

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