26 September 2006

Pilates, Brother, Wollstonecraft

Today I had quite a busy day, but I’ll start with telling about yesterday. I went to work, as usual, and I worked with my new colleague. She was already there, just for one day, because she’ll start officially next week. I had to explain a lot to her, but she understood most of it (I hope) and I had fun working with her. I told her a lot more than I intended to tell her, especially on our first day of working together, but she asked for most of the things and I just answered her questions basically. I’m glad she’s going to be my new colleague.
Today I started with Pilates. We had Pilates with the ball again, which is always fun. My teacher didn’t even mention me not being in class last Saturday; she only said that I had to take another class someday.
Then I went home, I had some lunch and I went to the supermarket to buy dinner for tonight.
At 2 pm I had an appointment with one of the Brothers. It was a really nice meeting. He told me that I need to talk to my priest and ask him if he’s all right with me being guided by a brother and then having the sacrament in the church. We also started with the studying a bit as we looked at the beginning of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I was really happy after this meeting. The Brother is really nice and he really listens to me and it seems that he understands me.
The only thing is that I just saw on the website of my church that next Saturday they’re starting a course for people – young adults and adults - who have to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It takes like 8 Saturdays and then the Confirmation will take place in November. That’s about the speed that I want for me as well. I guess I’m gonna have to call my church administration tomorrow and discuss this with them. I’m not sure at the moment what will be the right way to choose.
Tonight I had Linguistics and Literature classes. I was late for the first class, because some fool left a suitcase at a suspicious place and all trains were stopped so the police could investigate what was in it. I arrived in Leiden too late and was like 10 minutes late for the first lesson. Luckily the teacher wasn’t mad or anything, he didn’t even say anything, so that’s good. I didn’t really like the Literature class. We were discussing Mary Wollstonecraft and I read the literature fairly well, also because I liked her style of writing. This woman had a very turbulent life and as a result of that felt pretty lonely and depressed some of the time. So when she went to Norway and Denmark and looked at the nature there, she was really impressed by it and wrote this down in a romantic manner, which was her timeframe. But, when my teacher discussed these passages in class, he made it sound really funny and the whole class laughed at it. I didn’t think this was fair, but I didn’t dare speak up either. As a person, I could relate to Mary Wollstonecraft and I understood why she would feel this way. And it might be a bit overdone, over the top and melodramatic, but sometimes you just feel that way. I felt like the whole class was ridiculing her and I didn’t like that. They also couldn’t understand why a feminist like her could cling on to a very bad relationship with an unfaithful, disloyal man. I’m convinced that she was in love and that she wanted to establish a family with this man. She even had his baby. I just didn’t agree with the tenor of the class.
Tomorrow I’ll have to work and if there’s time I’m gonna call the church probably.

25 September 2006

Last week

It’s already quite late here and I should have been in bed already, but I’ll still give you a small update.
Friday night I went to the youth group again. It wasn’t as spectacular as the previous nights, but I still really enjoyed it. We had a Catechesis lesson about many subjects. I can’t really summarize it, but I did make notes so I can read through it again. I was really tired Friday. I was happy to have attended, but I was also happy to be at home again.
I should have gone to Pilates the next morning, on Saturday morning, but I didn’t. I was really tired and in a way it was only an extra lesson, so I turned my alarm off and I went back to sleep. I feel a bit bad about it, especially since I do have to go to the Pilates class on Tuesday, but I’ll get through it. It felt like the right decision at that moment, and that’s important. Martijn and I went to the city on Saturday afternoon and I bought a new mouse. It’s a new laser mouse and it’s ergonomically shaped. I really like it. I also bought a USB stick, 512 MB for € 11,11.
And for the unprepared class on Thursday, nothing too special happened. A lot of people hadn’t prepared it, because they didn’t know they should have downloaded a file. We’ll discuss the vocabulary this week. That’s fine with me.
This morning I overslept. I woke up at 10 am, exactly when the mass begins. I was really angry with myself. I got up and watched mass on TV, but that isn’t anything near actually being in church. I did some homework the rest of the day and I played some Guild Wars. I’m actually the leader of the guild now. I don’t really know what to do with that. I want to set up a website for the guild, probably just a blogspot website, but I don’t know when I’ll have the time to do it. On the picture it's me together with Xo, the actual leader of the guild. I’ll have to work tomorrow and on Tuesday I have Pilates and I have the meeting with the Brother.

21 September 2006

New Internet, New Hair

Well, it’s Wednesday and here’s an update from me late at night. Yes, I do have Internet again! The connection isn’t yet as quick as I hoped, but that might have to do with the people we download from as well. I mean, if the maximum download speed is 2 mbit and my connection is 15 mbit, that doesn’t do any good. We’ll see what happens and how it turns out.
It’s really late already and I should’ve been in bed by now. I also should have done some studying and studied the vocabulary I needed to learn for tomorrow. Connecting the Internet was more important to me tonight. I did get the connection working all by myself. I’m a bit proud of that. I only didn’t connect the phone line correctly, because I didn’t know how to do that. But Martijn fixed it and now all works all right.
Yesterday I’ve been to the hair dresser, and in stead of being blond, I’m now a brunette. I’m really happy with the result. I had in mind that I wanted it a bit darker than the light blond colour that I had, but when my hair dresser suggested to colour it dark brown, I was OK with that as well. I really like the way it looks.
Well, tomorrow there’s work and after that an unprepared class. Looking forward to it already.

16 September 2006

Last Week, Bad Cold, Youth Group, Internet

It’s harder than I thought to update a blog without an Internet connection at home. I can’t really write anything at work, because it’s much too busy for that. And I don’t really like writing it at home and then putting it on the blog a day later at work, because then there’s a big delay and some of the information may not be relevant anymore. But now I’m at home, writing this offline and I’ll go online briefly to post this.
Last week hasn’t been too spectacular. I’ve been to work, I’ve had my first classes and I’m having a terrible cold. I feel really bad and sick. Well, maybe that’s a little bit exaggerated, but I feel like I need to be pitied. Yesterday I had a sore throat and today I’ve been sniffing and sneezing and blowing my nose all day long. I just hope it’ll go away quickly.
Tonight I’ve been to the Youth Group again. I was at home between work and the group for half an hour to eat and I doubted whether or not I should go. I felt really tired and sick because of my cold and because I’ve worked 3 days in a row. I just decided to go, because I felt so good about it last week and I wanted to see if I could experience that again. Tonight we had a night of Praise. We sang some Praise songs together in an improvised little chapel and we had Eucharistic Adoration for about half an hour and one of the Brothers talked to us about Mary, because it’s one of her feast days.
After the adoration we went back to our own room and talked to each other and had a few drinks. I just sat down on a chair somewhere, just listening to some conversations when Brother Ignatius came and sat down next to me. He started talking to me, first about my parish and then some more about me etc. I showed him the book that I am reading (“We Believe” – A Survey of the Catholic Faith) and we talked some more. I told him that I was looking for someone to help me and guide me in my development as a Catholic. I also told him that the pastor of my parish is involved in the Neo-Catechumenal Way and that I am unsure whether that is something for me. I also told him that I have the materials for the ‘Alpha Course’, but that the contents of that are too shallow for me. He really seemed to understand me very well. Then he said that the Brothers might be of some help to me. They can also guide people in their development towards the Holy Communion. So I made an appointment with him over 2 weeks. I’m really excited about it. My Language Lab teacher said we’re not allowed to call things or people ‘nice’ anymore, but that we need to describe it in another way, so let’s try. He’s a really sweet guy (the Brother, not the LL teacher), he’s not too old (not yet 40 at least), he’s from Austria and he speaks German, French and Dutch fluently, as far as I know. We had a really nice (whoops) conversation tonight and I feel like he kind of understands what I need. I explained to him that I know a lot about Christianity and the Church already, I just don’t know a lot about the Catholic Faith, the depths of it yet. I really hope this is going to work out and that they’ll be able to help me and get me started somewhat. I feel like God didn’t want me to choose and just gave me another option and that this is kind of the answer to my prayers.
I have some other great news as well. If all goes well, and that means nothing can go wrong, then we will have Internet again by next Wednesday. There’s still a lot that could go wrong. We still need to receive the modem, they need to activate our ADSL line by Wednesday and there are probably a whole lot of other problems I can’t even think of right now. But we might have Internet by Wednesday, or I hope at latest at Friday, if we can fix all the problems by then. I really hope it’s going to work out and that we will have Internet again, and a really fast connection too. That would be so awesome.

09 September 2006

Youth Group, My Catholic Future

Here’s a small update by me. We have no more Internet. Since last Thursday we have been disconnected, and I can assure you: it’s not much fun without it. I can’t check my e-mail every minute like I’m used to, I can’t look up things on the Internet, because it takes too much time. It basically stinks. In the best-case scenario we will be reconnected in 4 weeks. I really hope that’ll work out.
Yesterday evening I went to the youth group here in The Hague. I was really nervous about what was going to happen, because I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. There were 14 youngsters, ages ranging from 19 to 31. Lots of them have birthdays in September and October, but that’s not too interesting :) The group is led by a Brother of the Brothers of Sint Jan. He’s a really nice guy. First we introduced ourselves to one another. I had to talk a lot about myself, but I was a bit nervous so I don’t think my story made any sense and I told a lot which was quite redundant. Then we read in the Gospel of John together and the Brother talked about it and explained about what the story said. He also included some basic Christian lessons, like about sin and the Holy Spirit. After about an hour we went upstairs to a chapel and we had half an hour of adoration before the Holy Eucharist, together with another group of people. That was really cool. We prayed together and we sang together and we just sat there in the presence of the Eucharist. I really enjoyed it a lot. After that the meeting was over, but we just hang around some more and I talked with some of the people there. I was really impressed by the evening and also by the other young people. I think it is amazing that these young people are all Catholics and believe in the same things as I believe in and are able to talk about it and do these activities together. I’m really looking forward to next week.
This meeting with these people really got me thinking. Because I really want to join the church, but I feel like I haven’t found the right person to guide me in that process yet. I know I should make another appointment with the priest from the other church, but I’m somehow not too comfortable with that idea. I read the material he gave me and that we are supposed to study together, but I feel like I knew this already. There’s not much news in it and it’s not what I want to learn. I need some personal guidance, but at my level. I need to learn more about the specifics of the Catholic Church and how I can join the church and receive the Holy Eucharist. I’m in serious doubt whether I should contact the other priest or if I should contact the priest of my current church and make an appointment with him to see if he can help me. That would mean I would have to cancel the arrangement I made with the other priest, but it might mean that I could get what I really want. I’m just very much confused and I don’t really know what to do.
At least I’ll be going to mass tomorrow and I’m going to see the bishop. I’m looking forward to that :)

06 September 2006

No More Internet, Yesterday, My Future and English

Wow, this is the last update via the Scarlet Internet connection. Tomorrow we will be disconnected for a long long time… That’s at least how it will feel to me. I wish they would find a way to accelerate the process somehow.
Yesterday I had a very relaxing day. Somehow I woke up before 6 in the morning without no particular reason. I was really tired the rest of the day. I went to Pilates, when I got home I did some Philology homework, and after that I went to bed. I watched some TV, some more TV (Animal Planet), my friend called me for a couple of hours, and then I took a shower, did some groceries, cooked dinner and went back to bed to watch some more television. A really busy day it was…
Today I worked with my boss. Sometimes I really had to keep my patience. I just had to think and keep calm and not say anything I’m going to regret later on. One of the children she baby-sits was there and I’m really fond of him. He’s so cute and so fun to talk to; he’s 5 years old. That made up for a lot of things.
The last few days I have been thinking of my future education. Next year I’ll have to choose what subject I want to follow and what kind of emphasis I want to put on my education. The two main courses of this education are that you either become a teacher, which I really don’t want, or that you become a translator. The last few days I have been thinking of this option. It would mean that I can go to work straight after I leave the university and that I will have pretty good chances for a job. That’s what’s really important to me right now. I mailed the study-coordinator with some questions, so I hope she’ll write back soon. I’ll probably discard these ideas in a few weeks or months, but for now I like to ponder on them for a while. After all, I need to decide this year and a year goes by faster than you think. I’ll keep you posted…

05 September 2006

My 24th Birthday!

Today was my 24th birthday. I didn’t really feel birthdayish today. The Dutch word for having your birthday is ‘jarig’, but I don’t think there’s an English equivalent to it. The first one to congratulate me this morning was the train conductor who checked my ticket and saw my birthday on it. I had a lot of luck this morning. I went to the tram, but there was no current, so I had to walk to another tram, where they didn’t have current as well, so I had to go to yet another tram. I was just in time at work.
When the boss and his wife arrived they gave me my presents. I got two bed spreads (for 1-person beds while we have 2-persons). I also got 6 coffee cups and a set of a shawl, gloves and a cap. I’m glad they thought of me, but they weren’t the best gifts ever. I didn’t say so of course and I shouldn’t comment upon gifts given to me.
It was really busy at work today. We had lots and lots of films to develop and lots of work. My boss wanted to send me home by 5 o’clock because it’s my birthday, but it was just impossible. I worked till 6:15 pm and then I went home.
When I got home, Martijn had the pancakes ready for me. I had ordered them as special birthday food. He made my special apple-raisin-cinnamon-sugar pancakes. I really love those. That was really great. His birthday gift to me was a big bag of candy and the DVD of Lost, the second season first part. I had asked for this and I’m really happy with it. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen in the series.
Oh, and Fr Roderick is back from his holiday. I’m really happy with that, because finally I have a new Daily Breakfast to listen to. I also watched the show tonight in which he stars: ‘Dat zal ze leren’. I really enjoyed it. I also watched ‘Holland’s Next Top Model’, but I didn’t really like it. It looks so simple with Dutch people and it doesn’t have the special feeling of the American version. We’ll see how it turns out.

03 September 2006

University, Last Day, Church

Thursday evening was the first night I had to go back to the university. I had some mixed feelings about it. I want to go back to study and learn more, but doing nothing and just relaxing is also something I can get used to. I wasn’t really happy to see my classmates again. I mean, it’s nice to have someone to talk to while there, but I know these people talk about me behind my back and I could feel that while I was talking to them again. The night itself wasn’t that spectacular. We received our new curriculum and I bought a new reader. We got some really disturbing news. I knew that the teacher that I had last year in the first semester for Language Acquisition was very ill, I heard the rumours at the end of last semester, but I didn’t know what had happened to her. I mean, for as far as I knew, she could have a broken leg or something. Now we were told that she has Acute Leukaemia. I was very shocked by that news. She’s a young woman with three children, she can’t be older than 40. I was pretty upset.
Friday was the last day my colleague worked with us. She got me a great birthday gift, I was very much surprised, and pleasantly surprised. She gave me the latest Harry Potter DVD! I hadn’t bought it yet, but I really wanted to have it. I’m really pleased with that gift. We worked together all day, but we didn’t have a very upsetting goodbye or something. She’s starting her new education tomorrow and I really hope this is something she likes and something she can finish.
Yesterday we did our groceries and we did little else. We just relaxed and watched some TV and I played some Guild Wars.
This morning I went to church. My own priest wasn’t there, so some other man led the mass, but it felt a bit strange. Next week the mass will be led by the bishop and I’m really looking forward to that. The link to our church is at: http://www.sintagnes.com Today we did the dished together, we cleaned the kitchen and we did the laundry. I played some Guild Wars and I guess I’m going to bed soon.

Profile for charda