And finally we meet...
For months, Sylvia and I planned this exchange via email, and one very long telephone converstaion. During the exchange, Sylvia worked from my office along side my colleagues, while I took her place on the Heerlen campus -- she was meeting my colleagues while I met hers. And after two weeks of living each other's lives, we finally met! It was surprising to both of us how similar we are in many ways.
The exchange experience was meaningful and productive in ways that neither of us imagined during the germination days of the idea.
Maarten, with the participants of his first successful international faculty exchange.
Two who've been there
Below are Egon, Jerone and I. When they attended NW, people they didn't even know would wave hello to "the Dutch boys!!" Here, we met at the Shamrock in Old Town Maastricht, where a NW t-shirt hangs on the wall.
Aachen by bus
Today I took a quick trip to Aachen, Germany. It's about 50 minutes by bus. Click the apple struedel photo below to see even more photos of this very nice city.
The Hogeschool Zuyd scene
Now that I've been here at the school for a full week, it's safe to say that I'm part of the scene here! The atmosphere feels very high-tech, thanks first to the modern architecture, and next to the equipment throughout the building. Not only does the school house teaching facilities for computer design, but also for mechanical engineering, plastics, and many other technological disciplines.
I've spent my time in office D 1.224 where it seems about seven faculty members teaching in the CMD program come and go all day. It's a pleaseure for me to interact with so many people with specialized skills in marketing, design, audio/video, theories, etc. In fact, it's turned out that I don't work much in the office, but I talk a lot and learn a lot more.
These photos give an overview of the school, but click here for a full array.
Today I received a lesson on the various ways to say "Thank you!"
The first day
In roughly one hour, Maarten Shrevel will pick me up here at the villa and deliver me not only to Hogeschool Zuyd, but probably directly to my temporary office.
The school is about a 30-minute drive, on weekedays, from Maastricht, where the villa is located. Even though Maarten has generously offered to drive me to work every day, I think I will try my hand at the train system. This really means I want to try my hand at getting up early enough to walk 25 minutes to the station, figure out how to pay with the automatic ticket machines, figure out how to purchase the correct ticket, and then try to board the proper train!
The subjects I'll be teaching, Search Engine Optimization/Driving Traffic to Web Sites, and Social Publishing and building blogs, I've covered many times at my home institution, Northwest Missouri State University. However, as is my nature, I've become nervous. I am overcompensating, as is my nature, by spending hours and hours preparing.
Today, I only teach one 45-minute lecture. A light load by most standards. But tomorrow is quite a different story!
Hogeschool Zuyd is housing me, and all its guests for that matter, at a beautiful home in central Maastricht, just minutes from the old town center.