It is been a week since my last report. That is not because nothing has happened, but rather because they keep me very busy here.
Let me first spend a short note on last week’s reception. It was at John Stephen’s and Evelyne Huber’s house as you might remember. At the beginning of the party I was rather intimidated being in the room with so many of the researchers whose work I have read and admired and with bright young students who got into the TAM program. But a few minutes later we got our food from the same table and our drinks from the same bar and we mingled (or sort of, I didn’t dare walking up to John Stephens and Milada Vachudova was busy taking care of her baby). I met the TAM students who will come to the VU next year and their Dutch professor with whom I talked Dutch for the first time in three days. He explained to me that he came to study Dutch and Dutch Culture and Politics because he liked the Dutch approach to politics; practical and not too polarized. I did not ask him when he studied.
I was also introduced to a Carolina specialty: Key Lime Pie. This desert is similar to a Limburgse vlaai with lemon flavour and topped off with whipped cream. I must say it is quite delicious. Nobody could, however, explain to me what kind of keys gave their name to the pie.
The rest of the weekend I spend searching for a supermarket, finishing my research proposal and doing my Math homework for the Statistics course. It had been some time since I had to simplify and fraction equations and although I had never before ‘completed the square’ and the quadratic formula looked only slightly familiar, I decided to drop this course and challenge myself a bit more by entering the Time Series Analysis course. I have had my first class and I will have plenty to do the following weeks!