Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Settling in at Delft, intro week, and lecturing

It's been a week and a half since my arrival in the Netherlands, and an eventful time even beyond the usual drama of changing countries/cultures.

Less than a day after arriving at the university, I was whisked away to the countryside in Zeeland to participate in and support faculty during their Management of Technology (MOT) and Engineering and Policy Analysis (EPA) introduction week. During this retreat, our activities included lectures on innovation, intercultural communication, workshops on simulations and serious games, and some good old exercise (whether it be sumo wrestling, milking cows, or table tennis!). For this very international crowd, spending time in a Dutch fishing village was definitely unexpected and an ultimately nice change of pace for everyone. It was a way to get to know those who we would be seeing in and around campus for the rest of the year (or for many, two years) and a wonderful coincidence for my first week there. Spotty Internet access wasn't all bad in the end!

Once back in Delft, the surreal nature of the previous week collided with the pragmatics of actual relocation (it could only be deferred for so long, after all). Settling in to any place (and dealing with the agencies one is able to escape as a tourist;) can be alienating so I'm trying to keep positive. Bureaucracy can be immensely crippling, but in general individuals are very willing to help and I've been lucky with that.

In the meantime, things at the university are getting sorted out one by one and I'm getting mesmerized by all the bicycles sailing by, especially during peak times. I will be getting an address to call my own before the week is done, and then it will be time to see about getting a "fiets" as well!

And, wasting no time, I'll be giving my first guest lecture here bright and early Friday morning to some of the aforementioned lovely students who are taking the cross-cultural management course. Looking forward to it!

For some pictures taken this week, see my flickr set here>>

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