Saturday, December 10, 2016

My first year (2015-2016) at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS)

I was asked to write my overall impression, in more or less 400 words, of my first year working as a lecturer at THUAS. Here it is:

My first time going to De Haagse Hogeschool (HHS) meant threading the open space that gulfs between Den Haag HS station and the school. I noticed that this open space is apportioned with gutters and pavements alternately. As I ventured towards HHS, my focus was on each step I made to avoid a gutter. I was not paying attention to those who were walking along with me or those walking in opposite direction. Everyone was on the move and mindful of their action, either getting closer to the school or getting away from it. To me, it was all about not stepping onto a gutter.
My work started like that – focused and mindful about the gutter. I know that, literally and in many respects, there is a wide gulf between the Philippines where I come from and the Netherlands where I am now. When I made my initial step to work in the Netherlands, it was more of a decision to get closer to a culture different from mine, and less of getting away from a culture that is mine. Working in a multicultural environment nurtures my disposition to broaden my field and horizon one step at a time.
After nine months here, I still walk on that open space every now and then and still try to avoid to step onto the gutter. But this time, it’s more than that. This time I walk with people, am mindful of my direction, and getting closer to school and its people. This time, when I am on that open space, I am able to look up and see the sky that connects and engulfs me into a grand parade of life’s journeys. To me, teaching is like connecting experiences with my specialized field of studies and bringing this connection to classroom discussions. As a Filipino sociologist, I become mindful of the things that connect me with others, with my surrounding, and with what’s ahead and left behind in time and space.

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