Monday, March 9th 2015
In my Organization Decision Making and Change course, we did an exercise where we were split into groups of three. Each person represented either a florist, a grocery store owner or a bakery owner. We had to debate and work together to set up a small shopping center with each of our own different priorities. You got points for how well your group decided based on what you prefer. I got the highest score in the entire class! Watch out world, next great negotiator here!
Tuesday, March 10th 2015
I have very much enjoyed being in a house of Belgian students. It gives me the ability to get to know and chat with lots of Belgian students and really experience how they live and not just the exchange student experience. Tonight they were all drinking in the kitchen, so I joined them for awhile just to hang out and chat. Most of the talking is in Dutch, so I often zone out or stop paying attention, but I like being in the environment.
Wednesday, March 11th 2015
After my Economics of Education course, I jumped onto a train to take me to Mechelen. I am going to meet with the department heads of some of the engineering majors at Thomas Moore. Jan picked me up at the train station and we ate our lunches and caught up. You can read more about the meeting itself in my education blog. After the meeting, Jan took me swimming! We swam laps in a normal pool, but it was great exercise and very enjoyable. I do have to apologize to my parents and say the years of swim lessons didn’t pay off, because I’m a terrible swimmer, but I was able to swim plenty of laps. I decided to walk around Mechelen before heading home. I walked through a park on the way to get there, which was quite nice. There was a little river running through it, and lots of bridges to walk over. It is quite a pretty city, with another very nice Grote Mrkt and cute streets.
Thursday, March 12th 2015
We made our way back to the center and went to the museum. There was a special exhibit on Vikings that was pretty cool. I met up with Dom and Duncan (her boyfriend) in the exhibit. We played an old Viking game, which was actually really fun. I would totally play it again. We then saw the Roman exhibit. The coolest part was a video that showed how they make the pottery. It reminded me of my pottery experiences and made me miss it a little.
After a break in a café in the Grote Markt, we wandered around the begijnhof (the area where the nuns lived). We ended the day in an Italian restaurant. It was a great time to share a bottle of wine with a group of friends and eat some delicious risotto.
Friday, March 13th 2015
Saturday, March 14th 2015
That night, we had a little picnic on my floor of cheeses. Deborah (yes, from America) and Maxim came to join us. It was like a little party in my room! I had never had so many guests before! It was great and really weird.
We went to the Oude Markt to meet up with Jens. We spent the night chatting in Eclipse (the bar Jens works at) and catching up! We went to a few of the other bars to dance before calling it a night.
Sunday, March 15th 2015
Monday, March 16th 2015
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This morning I went to the library! For the first time! Except not to study but to climb the bell tower. First of all, the library is gorgeous. It has beautiful study rooms and the balconies of books. We climbed to the top of the tower, learning about the history of the library on the way. At the top, the bell was so large! No wonder why I can hear it all the way in my kot. There is also the carillon which was cool to see. The view was spectacular. We had a 360 view of all of Leuven and the surrounding areas! After the lovely morning, I ran off to give a presentation to Inge, Jeroen, Chrisje and Maartje. It is an amazing feeling to give a presentation and then have the response be how do we implement what Jamie just proposed. I truly feel like I am making a large impact here and the work that I am doing is making a difference. I then went to class. Walking home from class, I ran into two people I knew on the street! That is when I knew that I felt at home in Leuven. I have become so comfortable here and can actually recognize some people around me.
Tuesday, March 17th 2015
Bettina and I mastered riding on the bike with an extra passenger as I took her to the last store to buy her gifts for her family and friends. I went off to class and met her back at my kot. We walked to the train station, only stopping to see the beautiful view of the Grote Markt from the station, my favorite view in the whole city. The sun was setting and it made for a gorgeous sky and sunset over the town hall. We gave our final hugs goodbye and raced onto the train. We promised to meet up again in ten years, because no matter how far apart we are, this is a truly lasting friendship.
That night I had Frisbee practice. We split up into an advanced group and beginner group. I was one of the only two girls in the advanced group. It was fantastic. We scrimmaged and the play was at a very high level, there was a lot of experience on the field. I really did play up to it as well, I was scoring points and throwing good passes. I am quite proud of my performance in fact. Overall a great practice with a ton of great energy and play.