bunnyfish adventures

Hoe heet jij?
January 29, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Dutch culture, school | Tags:

I started taking Dutch classes this week.  Nederlands voor buitenlanders (foreigners), using the Delftse Methode (“Delft Method,” woo-hoo).  This is the third thing I’ve found Delft to be known for, following (1) pottery, and (2) the technical university.

The strange thing is that the “method” is just self-study based on memorization.  They want you to read the text with the audio recording so often that you know it without the book.  We have class two times a week, with a computer test before each class that is based off of software from 2001, and the test feels just as old and inflexible.  I got 0 out of 4 words correct on one question, because I entered in a telephone number with the wrong formatting.

The class, at least, is for conversation.  At tonight’s class, the teacher was already speaking all Dutch.  I wouldn’t feel so bad if this Polish guy didn’t already start improvising and carrying on conversations with the teacher during class.  The balance is tipped out of place: I thought the class would be a safe haven to practice with people who are equally shitty at the language.  I think I would be happier if we did something normal like split up in pairs to practice.

The “method” also seems to emphasize how small children don’t need lessons or tapes to learn a language, that they just listen and figure it out.  This means we haven’t learned any grammar, nor did they go over pronunciations.  I bought a different book before coming here that was immensely helpful by just deconstructing the pronunciations.  Look, you can stop rubbing it in that “kleine kinderen luisteren wel goed,” and “ze leren zonder lessen en zonder cassettes,” but maybe my brain works a little differently now that I’m 20 years older.  I already looked up a language tree before starting, all the other languages I have tried to learn (Spanish, Mandarin) are farther away from Dutch than English.  Unfortunate.

And I’m wondering if what they decide to teach you reflects anything.  We’ve learned about introducing our names, where we’re from, how old we are, where we live, the days of the week, when we have class, explaining why we want to learn Dutch and how, and that children kick our asses in learning new languages…  But not a simple “How are you?”


academic update
January 27, 2009, 1:07 am
Filed under: Delft, school | Tags: ,

For those who know that I’m in the Netherlands, but don’t really know what I’m doing.

Wait, I don’t know what I’m doing either.  Classes haven’t been nailed down yet for next quarter, that starts next week, and I’m on the reserve list for drawing classes I wanted to take.

Required classes for the semester: Applied Research Methods & Techniques in Design, Life Cycle Engineering and Design, Advanced Design Support, and Project Advanced Products.

Unfortunately, I am more interested in my electives (I’m on the reserve list for some of these): Modeling and prototyping free product shapes, SolidWorks, Multisensory Design, Anatomy and Surgical Techniques for Engineers, Basic Colour Skills, Drawing the Human Figure, Visual Communication Design, Diverse Drawing Techniques, and Environment and Design in Business.

And I will officially start trying to learn Dutch as of tomorrow for my Dutch conversation class.

And on a bright side, Philips ranked my concept 2nd in my category (so… out of 15 or so) for Domestic Appliances, so maybe it means they’ll pick up my idea and make it.  We’ll see how things go in the next few months.

Xin nian kuai le!
January 27, 2009, 12:48 am
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Happy Chinese New Year!

On Saturday I went to a celebration held by a bunch of Taiwanese students.  There was a lot of food!  I made and brought scallion pancakes.

We also had to bring a small gift to play a twisted gift exchange game where everyone (40 people) stands in a circle, and there’s a giant die that is rolled to determine if gifts are shifted clockwise or counter-clockwise, or if you get “punished.”  There was a bag of tiles that then said how many people also get punished with you.  The hosts seemed really keen on punishing, since by the end I think 4 out of the 6 sides were devoted to punishment.

But what was punishment, really?  One was that you and the people next to you get drawn on your faces with ink.  Another that was kind of scandalous was that you and one other have to strap on cookware (one being a metal ladle, the other a pot) and one has to hit the other three times by swinging the ladle with your body.  Of course this is the one I end up with, and of course I get stuck with the provocative ladle.  Thankfully as a girl, one can get by with making the motions less suggestive.

And of course the night winded down after the game to karaoke and mahjong.  Wow.  It was probably the most Asian event I’ve ever attended anywhere.  (But it was fun!)

Pictures here are from Nadia, a Greek Erasmus exchange student notorious for always having her camera.  Thanks, Nadia!

MIT bunnyfish is dead
January 23, 2009, 12:12 am
Filed under: uncategorized | Tags: ,

bunnyfish.mit.edu is dead

and so is my email account

four years and yet email seems to be the most important documentation of what I actually did?  lame.

when all this finals crap blows over, expect to see some website stuff migrate over to here.

the fruit
January 21, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , , ,


Go see a music video my brother did for Deerhoof.

It’s a great way to start the day!

whistle while you work

Work has been all I’ve been up to since I got back to Delft last Sunday.  The semester doesn’t end until the end of the month, and I took an extra week of break to be at home.

It was great!  I had an awesome break.  I took a crapload of pictures and my net luggage was one 42-pound check-in.  (Granted, I was carrying some things back from the US as a favor to some friends.)  So far I just have pictures of my trip to the Creation Museum.

Creation Museum

Regarding the new year, I had three mental resolutions while on the flight back:
1) Don’t be lazy.
2) Be less self-conscious and shy.
3) Be less negative.

Shit.  Let me start over.

1) Do more!
2) Be more confident!
3) Be more positive!

That’s the spirit.  They’re resolutions that aren’t really new, but it’s nice to actually make them.

I haven’t been sharing a lot of schoolwork on here because there wasn’t much to show visually.  I’m still learning what is expected here, and while classes are starting to wrap up, I need to start making things.  We have a viewing of our Domestic Appliances videos on Wednesday, where there will be prizes and voting and all that fun stuff.  More updates to come.

I’m not dead yet
January 6, 2009, 7:19 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Unfortunately for you, this is not a full update.  I’m still in Cincinnati until Saturday, and then it’s back to Delft and back to work.  Usually I surreptitiously add blogroll links, but this time I’ll push some new ones:

Frank Espinosa’s NUEVO MUNDI – blog of an inspiring teacher I had last year for animation/comics.  His site has a better (more concise) bio than I can come up with at the moment.

Aggressively Uninformed – a high school/college friend’s communal blog on politics.  Just a touch liberal.