After what felt like a never-ending vacation, classes finally started today. I walked to the classroom over the weekend so I knew exactly where it was. Located near Dam Square, it’s about a 30 minute walk from my dorm. Next week, I’m going to try to bike there but to be safe, I decided to walk with a classmate today. The forecast had predicted rain but it turned out to be a beautiful day (*On a side note, never trust weather.com…the weather here changes so quickly that it’s almost pointless to try to predict it). However, the 9 and 14 tram practically take me to my classroom so I have a rainy/snowy day strategy already planned for when those winter days come.
Ironically, my first class in Amsterdam was titled “The American Western and its Impact on Global Film Culture.” At first, I wasn’t too excited to get this class. I had signed up for all the film classes and The American Western was the only one that had enough space. However, after reading the syllabus, I realized that most of the films we are watching are adaptations of the Western in different countries, such as Italy and Japan. I haven’t seen many foreign films so I’m excited to broaden my taste. Although the class is four hours long, it only meets once a week. In addition, the first two hours are taken up by the movie screening. After a short break, the professor gives a lecture on the film we just watched.
While, I’m glad that school is finally starting, this class is definitely making me a little nervous. First off, we were supposed to read six articles for class today…I read none. I’ve never had assignments due on the the first day of class. I’m definitely going to have to get used to checking the Blackboard website instead of getting a paper syllabus. The lecture style is also new to me. I go to a small liberal arts college where the average class is under 30 people. While my class in Amsterdam isn’t too large, it’s much less discussion-based. I’m not quite sure how the professor will even know who I am by the end of the semester. Finally, I have never taken a film class before. A lot of the terminology is new to me. Moreover, for assignments, we are expected to write about non-American movies that haven’t been shown in class. As I mentioned before, I think I have seen maybe three foreign films in my entire life and none of them fit into the “Western” category. However, I realize that today was just the first class and that I shouldn’t freak out quite yet. Luckily, the rest of my classes don’t start until next week. I plan on using this week to catch up on my readings and start watching European films. Let me know if you have any recommendations!Name: Olivia
Semester: Fall 2012
Homeschool: Amherst College
All pictures by Olivia. Read more of Olivia's blog at http://asianinamsterdam.tumblr.com.