Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
Issue No. 38 | University College Roosevelt’s Student Newspaper | March 2013
ARE YOU READY FOR A
BOARD POSITION? >> Page 5
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Project Google Glass
We Apologize for the Inconvenience
Where Does My Food Come From?
Student-Teacher Show Debate
“Delayed because someone jumped in front of the train #thatsjustgreat”, or worse, “#selfish”.
“The food industry’s failure to correctly label and identify food has utterly shaken people’s confidence”.
Ever posted or tweeted anything similar? Get your brain picked on page 3!
What were the underlying reasons behind ‘My Little Pony’-gate?
“Bionda proceeded to highlight that the presence of Dr. Resovsky means that the search for alien life had been successfully concluded”.
“If Google Glass were to contain advertisements, it could dramatically change the way consumers interact with products and brands in several ways”. Find out more about this lean, mean and state-of-the-art Google machinery!
>> Page 2
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Find out how whose arguments kicked (extra-)terrestrial ass!
>> Page 9
Colophon Daily Board
Chair Matthias Maltha Secretary Sabina Weistra Treasurer Charlotte Berends Design Manager Matthijs Geuze
Section Editors Editor in Chief Matthias Maltha Arts & Culture Sabina Weistra Campus Life Mara Braslava Tara Eley Current Affairs Trevor Maloney Entertainment Jochem Gerritsen Opinionated Peter Williamson UCR Sven Kooiman Science Dorothée Grevers Sports Charlotte Berends Middelburg Charlotte Berends
Writers & Contributors
Jaïr van der Stelt Ibtissam Benali Eva Jousset Lonneke de Klerk Lisanne Cheizoo Yvette Lanting Hanna van Leent Jalida Scheuerman Fenne van Loon Dorothée Grevers Marieke Muller Tara Eley Erisa Nuku Annechris Koebrugge Rebeccah Steil Gerd Coenen Remco Zwetsloot Nicolas Castellon Victoria O’Callaghan Lieneke Timpers Bas Tönissen Ruxandra Popescu Douwe van den Berg Inge Zwart
Design Manager Matthijs Geuze Designers Sven Kooiman Trevor Maloney Tom-Martijn Seinen Mara Braslava
University College Roosevelt Lange Noordstraat 1 4331 CB Middelburg email@example.com Disclaimer: Tabula RASA is edited, written, and published entirely by Roosevelt Academy students. It may not reflect or express the official views and opinions of Roosevelt Academy. Any and all mistakes are the responsibility of the Editors. Complaints, comments, and other issues should be e-mailed to the Editorial Team at firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name and link to the university college (ex: student, instructor, etc.). All reasonable e-mails will be dealt with and, so far as space allows, printed.
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
PROJECT GOOGLE GLASS: “Unobtrusive and Liberating” or Simply a Portable Big Brother? yourself using the built-in GPS.
By Dorothée Grevers Writer
It seems like something you would come across in a science fiction novel. At the very least, a gadget which Q could be handing over to James Bond in the next 007 movie. But in fact, you could be carrying your very own pair of these on your very own head and recording your very own life in the very near future. So what possibly potentially revolutionary, profitable, and privacy-invading technological accessory are we talking about? Presenting: Project Google Glass. Google Glass is a project developed by Google X Lab, a facility owned by Google that works on creating cutting-edge technology such as the Google self-driving car, a space elevator, and the Google Brain project which involves the setting up of a grandscale artificial neural network. Google X Lab first presented a prototype of the Google Glass in 2011 and since then the product has been redesigned and further developed into what is likely to be launched some time next year. Even though it is not available for public buying yet, it has already won TIME’s Best Inventions of 2012. So what exactly is the project about? Google Glass (a.k.a. GLASS) was developed with the aim of bringing augmented reality wearable computing nearer to the public. It is a headmounted display that allows the user to access the internet and record their daily life simply using a small prism display connected to a glasses frame. It features a video camera that can be used to take pictures as well as record video and includes a microphone whose vocal input issues voice commands, enabling the wearer to activate features such as searching for photos, language translation, sending messages and email, providing information about the weather, products, and other services, searching Google, receiving directions, and much more. Although the device doesn’t have Skype, Google+ Hangout is used instead for web cam conversations and sharing with others what you see around you. Other applications, such as Google Maps, help you navigate
Google has been filing hundreds of patents for the technology used in their product. While the prism displays the visual information, sound is transmitted via bone conduction instead of via headphones. This entails vibrations generated by the metal plates in the hinges of the frame sent to the skull close to the ear, allowing you to also still hear what is going on around you. Another component is a virtual touch pad which allows the user to insert commands using a laser-induced touch pad beamed onto their palm. Finger movements are then detected by the camera and interpreted by the internal processor.
sumers and integral part of the advertising process. Concretely speaking, when asking for directions, Google Glass could point out offers and items on sale at nearby restaurants and shops. Ads could be even more personalised with Google having access to all of your whereabouts, the things you see, what you do, and who you interact with. Google’s access to and collection of user data is one of the main concerns critics have. The operating system of Google Glass is Android and all data is immediately uploaded online to your (you’ve guessed it) Google account. Google already harvests much of the personal
...from Google’s perspective this is Google’s best deal yet.”
However, much debate has been stirred and questions have been raised about possible privacy concerns. After all, Google is not a philanthropic company eager to provide people with the latest technology without collecting their data in order to target them with advertising that makes up well over 90% of Google’s revenue. Even though Google has repeated stated that the device will not include ads, there are still those who wonder to what extent this will not (entirely) be the case. Several videos, such as ‘ADmented Reality’, are parodies of the promotional video Google released on April 4th, 2012.
information and browsing data of its users and using these glasses would give Google even more personal information. All you see through the glasses while they are on, all the calls you make, all the information you access, and much, much more could all be accessible to Google. Although Google frequently promises it does not use user data in malicious ways but merely for advertorial purposes, the company has been heavily questioned by several critics who are doubtful of not only Google’s hidden aspirations, but also of how the US government may have access to this information as well.
The founder of the H(app)athon Project, John Havens, said in response to the statement of “Stop thinking of [augmented reality] as a business. It’s a browser,” that “If this was 1992 and I told you there was something called a web browser that was going to change advertising, would you believe me? Yet that’s what happened.” If Google Glass were to contain advertisements, it could dramatically change the way consumers interact with products and brands in several ways. Because of the ease with which the device could record videos, users can video themselves using and/or products, whether it is at their discretion or because a company paid them to “act”, thereby making regular con-
Nevertheless, countless people, including celebrities, have been trying out the new Google Glass. Fashion designer Diane
von Furstenberg had all her models wear the device during New York Fashion Week in order to give others an inside view into what goes on behind the scenes and what the models see as they strut down the catwalk. Numerous videos by other individuals testing the product have been uploaded online. Google’s Sergey Brin wore and presented Google Glass at the 2013 TED conference. So, can’t wait to get your hands on a pair of these “glasses” as well? You can either dish out a hefty $1,500 for the developer version (unfortunately the deadline for the Glass Explorer competition has already passed) or you will have to wait for the public release in 2014 when you will be able to purchase them for the price of the average smartphone, approximately $750. The device weighs less than the average pair of sunglasses, can be worn over your own existing glasses, and will come in five different colours marketed as Sky (blue), Shale (grey), Tangerine (orange), Cotton (white), and Charcoal (black). While you are busy contemplating whether you should pay the institutional fee or instead boycott it and save up for Google Glass, you may want to consider giving up the idea of paying for your tuition fee altogether and instead put the money aside for Google’s other current project: Google’s Talking Shoe (no, we’re not kidding – Google has already uploaded a video of the concept to YouTube.) All in all, considering all the data you will be providing to Google in exchange and all the money you will now ‘save’ as a result of all the handy-dandy offers and advertisements, we argue that from Google’s perspective this is Google’s best deal yet..
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE By Fenne van Loon Writer
Suddenly, the train stopped. After a short pause, the following announcement was made: “Ladies and gentlemen we have had a collision with a person. We will try our best to continue our journey as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience”. This “collision with a person” meant someone jumped in front of the train. Someone had just killed him or herself. I looked around me and saw that people were annoyed. They grabbed their phones to let others know about their delay, or they saw the opportunity to update their Facebook status or Twitter. “Delayed because someone jumped in front of the train #thatsjustgreat”, or worse, “#selfish”. Searching for “suicide” on Twitter gives me numerous tweets,
at least twenty during my initial search while I am writing this article. Just two of them: “People who jump in front of the tube to commit suicide are selfish wankers. Jump off a bridge so it doesn’t delay anyone’s day” and “Committing suicide by jumping in front of a train during rush hour is in my opinion an extremely selfish thing to do”. The addition of ‘rush hour’ is appalling. “Can’t these selfish people who simply have to commit suicide at least wait until rush hour is over? Don’t they realise how much inconvenience this causes everyone?”. These kind of responses also appear on my newsfeed weekly. It frightens me how people can simply diminish someone’s death to an annoyance. This is the attitude people have nowadays: jumping in front of a train is an inconvenience. It “disrupts the transportation of innocent people”. This particular comment on suicide cuts to the core of the problem. We, the people
in the train, are the innocent people. They, the people who commit suicide, are the selfish Others. They are strangers, not part of our world. By diminishing their deaths to an inconvenience, they can no longer be seen as human beings. They are not only excluded from our society, but also from humanity. They are not one of us which is why people can laugh when
The general attitude towards suicide is very negative. Apparently, we do not want to hear, see or think about the problems of others. Share all your happiness on Facebook, but do not bother us with your problems. Keep your suicidal thoughts to yourself. And when you have to commit suicide, be discrete about it. “Go kill yourself, it’s a free country, but just do it by
It frightens me how people can simply diminish someone’s death to an annoyance.
Jeremy Clarkson (presenter Top Gear) ‘jokingly’ states that trains should just continue after a suicide. “Get the train moving as soon as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away and hard to find”.
jumping off a ferry in the North Sea in the middle of the night, go without fuss and affecting anyone else with your selfish actions” (comment on suicide article). If we do not have to see it, it does not affect us. And if it does affect us, it is selfish. Fact is,
however, suicide does affect us, and we should start looking at it. By referring to suicide as “selfish” or as an “inconvenience” we are closing our eyes for the real problem. The CBS (Centraal Bureau voor Statistieken) raises some alarming facts about suicide. Why is the suicide rate in the Netherlands steadily increasing? Why is jumping in front of a train the most popular choice of suicide for young people? Why can only half of all suicides be put aside with the easy “psychological disorder” label? Why is the rate of suicide higher for ethnic minorities? What does the suicide rate, and the response to suicide, tell us about our contemporary society? What if they, the people committing suicide, are not all that different from us? We all live in the same society. Next time, the person jumping in front of the train might just be the same person normally sitting in the train with you.
Experiences of Racism By Jalida Scheuerman Writer
A few years ago someone asked me what it was like to experience racism. I remember at the time telling them in a detached style the story of how in primary school children used to make me choose between the “white” or the “black” crowd since my “mixed skin colour” could not choose for me. “Rationalizing” in my mind what had happened was simple enough in that I could pass it off as “playground politics”. However, I am a métissage with multiple voices in my head fighting to come out and express themselves, so while ‘Rationale’ stepped over the others to capture my tongue, ‘Oppressed’ whispered in the corner: “I do not wish to look into
your eyes, afraid that they shall not mirror that which strangles me inside. I pass you everyday. We brush knees, shoulders and fingers, our breaths mingling at passing moments of the day. Yet, you remain the stranger that I fear…that I do not understand. The silences oppress me and I feel myself leave my body behind wishing not to be in this moment but another”.
the flesh and bones, just like a punch in the stomach by another living being is felt. When I ask my mum about her encounters with racism what I am asking of her is not only to transport herself to kabla jua ime waka (before the sun rose) but further even to a community she was and is part of through her body and memories.... “Whenever I am confronted I get really angry
You have lost your way. Your body is ‘dis-located’.”
To my mum Joyce, racism is a “matter of the senses” by which she means that it is a being you engage with “in and through the body”. Racism is not just about words that are said or attitudes that are played out, but is felt in
to the point I can start sweating or get a headache. There are times I get that violent feeling “like I can get physical” with the person putting me through this. At times, I become abusive or very abusive out of anger.
Most of the times I react like this because I feel victimised by a system I was not party to from the beginning and because I recognise (in and through my body) the pain of those who underwent racism at the extreme those early days...” I recognised that pain and anger in that encounter at the playground that day. It was in my trembling hands, my knotted stomach, the tears burning my eyes, my racing heart. The shock to my body was akin to an unexpected fall brought on by a jutting rock in the cobble path that I had not seen or expected leaving me confused. You look around trying to understand what has happened, trying to find your bearings because at this moment the worst has happened and your shoulder has lost its way. You have lost your way. Your body is “dis-located”.
The reason I share with you these personal stories is neither to point fingers nor to cause guilt, but to show you that experiences of racism are not simply events we can “rationalize” by saying “well, they are just racist and only see colour so that’s their own problem to deal with”. My body, my mother’s body and many other bodies were taken over by emotions, at times a loss of control. My body has been tattooed with the memories of these encounters. Not mine alone. Those few years ago I was not ready to speak of my anger, my pain, my sorrow, my loss from fear of not belonging and of being “dis-located”. But I am not alone and today I am ready to speak. The question remains: are we ready to listen?
THE OSCARS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Marieke Muller Writer
You may not have noticed, but a few weeks ago the Oscars came and went. I was probably one of the few here at UCR who watched the entire ceremony live. Starting with the red/ cayenne-colored carpet. For me, that only means one thing: DRESSES. There were some big failures (I’m looking at you, Jane Fonda), some that could blow you away, and everything in between. Being able to see it all happen, the celebrity interviews, the paparazzi, the idols and heroes, all brought to my laptop from halfway across the world: it got me quite ecstatic. The 85th annual Academy Awards were hosted by Seth MacFarlane this year (who is known to most as the voice behind many of the characters in Family Guy).
Most critics agree that MacFarlane could not live up to Hugh Jackman’s 2009 performance as host (the standard these days). For example, in his opening monologue MacFarlane simply insulted some major celebs, some ethnic groups, and basically the intelligence of everybody watching. Luckily, there were some guest performances that could wash the bad taste away. Shirley Bassey gave away a very impressive rendition of Goldfinger, and Adele even outdid her with her Skyfall (although the orchestra almost got the best of her during the choruses). There was a roundup of the decade’s musical movies, including the premiere of the Les Misérablescast, singing all together on one stage. Initially, because of James Bond’s 50th anniversary, there had been rumors that all six Bond-actors would provide a similar premiere. Instead, all
the Academy could manage was a low-effort compilation video (which was after the awards immediately overshadowed by the creation of a Dutch 19-year-old student – no, it wasn’t me – featured on most of the prestigious film-following websites).
By Bungel van Gilse Writer
Yeah, you read that right. I’m coming out. I will say it now, and end the discussion once and for all: Entertainment news is news. There, I said it. As a writer for Tabula Rasa, I usually write about politics, economics, and a variety of current events. In other words, the boring stuff everyone skips over. So, you can imagine my reaction when I was approached to write an article for the entertainment section. I thought to myself, “Why should I spend time writing about the follies and les faux pas of celebrities, or the inconsequential happenings of the entertainment world at large?” Well, as it turns out, I was indeed a little entertainment news-curious, so I took to the interwebs! I googled for the latest celebrity news and found some interesting things. I came across an article called “Over It” by Liat Kornowski of the Huffington Post. She was writing about a “celebrity epidemic” called ‘the Sideboob’. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that moment when our revealing clothing ends up revealing too much of the outer-boob. I had no idea that celebrities were experiencing these problems too! There’s
I searched further to see what was happening over at TMZ. Did you know that Honey Boo Boo (or ‘HBB’ as we all know her) is not allowed to sell Girls Scout cookies?! According to TMZ, a representative of Girl Scouts of the USA shut down HBB’s online cookies operation. Who do they think they are? Isn’t it HBB’s right to sell cookies to whomever she wants? This re-
Lawrence tripped on her dress when climbing the stairs to the stage. When this happened, the embodiment of Prince Charming, all-round knight-in-shining-armor, and hero-on-white horse, a.k.a. Hugh Jackman, rushed to the stage to help her out. Unfortunately, when he got to the stage, his services were no longer needed, but Tum-
It was good that it wasn’t just these guest performances that provided some welcome distraction from MacFarlane’s antics, as the Oscar-winners themselves were more than willing to help out too. When Life Of Pi won Best Visual Effects, the team tried to speak about the troubling economic situation of the sector. In response, the Academy tried to get them off stage by playing the Jawstheme. In the end, they even resorted to turning off their microphones!
minds me of the U.S. government piously saying that Russia should not be allowed to sell arms and ammunition to Syria. Well, who made them the dictator? I was under the impression that it was Russia’s right as a sovereign country to be able to sell whatever they want! These events, and many more like them is what compelled me to be a voice for celebrities, and all those who are overlooked and under-appreciated in the entertainment industry. As I said before, entertainment news is news, and we should all commit to keeping ourselves informed.
blr still exploded over the incident. Even more so because this wasn’t Jennifer Lawrence’s only instant of awkwardness over the course of that evening. Her encounters with Jack Nicholson and Anne Hathaway were notable too. Being an Arts & Humanitiesmajor, I couldn’t help but note the behavior of all these people. Jennifer Lawrence’s reactions were so relatable, Hugh Jackman was so lovable, and Seth MacFarlane was bordering on the unacceptable. All in all, these 2013 Oscars were certainly memorable, even if it wasn’t always for the right reasons. WINNERS Best picture: Argo Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, (Lincoln) Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence, (Silver Linings Playbook) Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) Best director: Ang Lee (Life Of Pi)
The winner for Best Actress also managed to contribute to the already colorful evening: Jennifer
I’M COMING OUT virtually no difference between this and the influenza epidemic hitting the United States, yet sadly, there wasn’t even close to equal news coverage. It was at that moment when I knew I had to commit to writing this article.
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
Visit www.oscar.go.com for more!
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
DOUGH BROWNIES By Hanna van Leent
Writer – Cooking Society
BROWNIE 4 ounces unsweetened choco late, finely chopped 1 cup salted butter, melted 2 cups light brown sugar, packed 4 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips COOKIE DOUGH 3/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 3/4 cup granulated white sugar 3 tablespoons milk 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup semisweet chips + 1 teaspoon shortening for drizzle, optional INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare the brownie dough - Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. - Grease a pan (size 23x33cm). - Melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly. - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and brown sugar. - Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Mix in melted chocolate. - Whisk in the flour and mix just until combined (don’t over-mix) and stir in the chocolate chips. - Spread batter into prepared pan. - Bake 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. 2. Prepare the cookie dough - In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. - Mix in milk and vanilla. - Mix in flour just until combined. - Stir in chocolate chips. 3. Put it all together - Spread cookie dough over the cooled brownies. - Refrigerate until the dough is quite firm. - Use a sharp knife to cut the brownies. 4. Add even more If you’d like to add chocolate drizzle on top, - Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening - Stir until smooth. - Drizzle the chocolate on top of each brownie. - Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top, if desired. Enjoy your yummy tasty chocolate chip cookie dough brownies!
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
DIARY OF A QUITTER By Lonneke de Klerk Writer
In the Netherlands, of all people older than 15, one in five is a smoker. In some EU countries, this percentage is even higher, ranging from 23 to 39%. And yet, the number of smokers is slowly decreasing. Every day people quit smoking. Or at least, they try to quit. In our UCR community, there’s a vast amount of people that smoke, whether it’s regularly or just for the ‘gezelligheid’. Just walk by Eleanor between classes or visit Bagijnhof on a Tuesday night and see how many people, even in the freezing cold, rain and snow, sneak out their backdoors for a little tobacco indulgence. But even students are quitting. Many are terrified of even trying. Letting go of the cigarettes that save you from boredom, help you procrastinate or are
your only friends, can be frightening. Are you wondering what it’s like to become independent again? Here’s the diary of a quitter. Day One. Went clubbing in Amsterdam yesterday. I’m so hung-over I don’t even feel like smoking. Perhaps if I sleep all day I won’t get any cravings. It’s a shame the “do you have a lighter?”-pick up line won’t work anymore though. Day Two. On my way from Amsterdam back to Middelburg. I think NS knows about my quitting as they’ve decided to keep me locked up in this train for 4 excruciating hours! It’s the waiting that kills me, I always smoke while I’m waiting. Chewing gum is my only savior right now. I just keep telling myself I can do this. I have to! Day Three. This is literally the worst day of my life. I can feel
the nicotine slipping out of my body and it’s a horrible feeling. I just wrote myself a letter to remind the Future Me why I hate smoking. That’s the thing, I’ve tried to quit once before and relapsed only after six months. At that point I thought: were cigarettes really that bad for me? Because the answer wasn’t clear, smoking crept back into my life, one cigarette at a time… Wham! Two packs a day. This is why I wrote the letter, to warn my future-self. Dear cigarettes, I hate you from the bottom of my heart. Leave me alone, you stink. Day Four. We just took house pictures for the yearbook, they’re hilarious! One downside though: everyone was drinking. And as soon as I take one beer, I need a cigarette to go with that. It’s not just the nicotine that I’ve abandoned, it’s a temporary break from alcohol too. Also, I’ve started coughing
really bad. It feels like I’m giving birth through my lungs to a creature made of tar and slime. Disgusting. Day Five. It’s amazing how fast your body recovers from being polluted to the bone. My taste buds are growing back, who knew food tasted this good? No wonder people get fat when they quit. But not me! I’ve bought new trainers and I exchange nicotine for adrenaline. Sweat instead of smoke, not much of a difference, right? Day Six. My hair is shiny and my skin is becoming actual bright skin-tone instead of the grey zombie-like look. My breath is fresh, I smell like flowers and red raspberries, according to the shampoo bottle. At a party yesterday, the ultimate test took place. I didn’t smoke for the entire evening and when someone put a cigarette in my mouth it tasted absolutely horrible, so I threw it out the window. Honestly, I’ve never felt this healthy in my life. It’s like being reborn
as a clean being from a smoky swamp. Day Seven. Today I had my first craving since the nicotine left my body. It was right after school and I was hungry, but instead of lighting one up I took a carrot stick! I’m very proud of myself. I’m confident the letter to Future Me will stay unopened, because I’ve totally had it with smoking. There are myriad aids to help you quit smoking. Patches, fake-cigarettes, chewing gum, you name it. But when it comes down to it, there’s only one thing you need to succeed: willpower. And of course, showing the world you’re quitting by the means of a newspaper article also prevents you from giving up!
Expressing Yourself on the Interwebs By Tara Eley Writer
After reading this title, one might wonder: what is a meme? The original definition of the word in Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene is: ‘an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other
non-genetic means.’ But if you think that’s what most people mean with that word nowadays then: Memes are an internet phenomenon that truly reflects the hyper-connective medium that they have sprung from. New memes can become popular worldwide in days, their brevity making them easy to share. Often generated on the message board ‘4chan’, memes mutate, transform and merge as they spread throughout the internet via sites such as Reddit, Tumblr and ultimately Facebook and 9gag ( although I have been told the latter is where memes come to die). This happens by chance, commentary or parody. They are the internet’s running jokes. Although phrases such as ‘May the odds be ever in your favour’
can also be classified as memes, popularised as they are via the internet, the most common are images which stand for archetypal caricatures. Examples are the ‘Forever Alone’, or ‘Socially Awkward Penguin’. The former is a so-called ‘Rage Face’ char-
acter, and the other an Animal Advice type; both are incredibly popular series of memes (and have been combined in true meme-evolution fashion). They started out as one-panel (image macros) and four-panel comics that described everyday situations. Memes often make references to popular culture (or are derived from it), which they subvert in funny and sometimes insightful ways. Millions of different versions have been made and there are whole blogs dedicated to gathering all the
different variants of one meme together in one place. Other websites catalogue the origin and meaning of all memes; see for example www.knowyourmeme.com. The whole point of a meme is that it immediately becomes clear what is meant with one through its combination of text and image. Yet the memes develop their own built-in context
for the jokes they feature as they become more widespread. The image begins to encompass an idea. The ‘Troll’ rage face is an example of this, as it is now generally used to express the intent to purposely frustrate or provoke another or indicate that somebody is up to general mischief, even without an accompanying comic or punch line. Its meaning can be inferred from its appearance and the situations it is paired with. Memes that relate to a certain fandom (a community of fans of a common interest) are not always universally understandable but require a fan’s frame of reference to understand the joke. A perfect example is the Professor Oak meme. The meme mocks all the improbable and illogical events in the Pokémon games.
A meme is a simple, visual way to convey ideas and tell short stories and jokes. If you are not, in fact, new to the internet, then you might have come across this form of creative individual expression and revolutionary collective mutation before and actually integrated memes into your daily life. Whenever I experience something profoundly awkward, I relate the incident to my friends with the words: ‘I
had an Awkward Penguin Moment.’ So, next time you’re sitting behind your computer, take a look at the history of your favourite memes (even popularity over time graphs are provided), check which have made it to ‘god’-status; make your own at www.memegenerator.net; and add to the creative hotchpotch that is internet culture. Your meme might one day grace the walls and dashboards of your friends! For a while.
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
WHERE DOES MY FOOD COME FROM? By Erisa Nuku Writer
If you regularly consume meat, and even if you do not, you are probably aware of the horse meat scandal that has hit Europe. In January, the Food Standards Agency in the U.K. discovered that some hamburgers contained horse DNA. Further investigation of the matter eventually led to the discovery of food fraud on an internationa scale Large retailers such as Tesco, Aldi, Findus and even IKEA pulled some of their products out of the shelves due to the potential presence of horse meat in their products.
ing to maximize profits through unscrupulous means.
identify food has utterly shaken people’s confidence.
Yet, the most essential aspect of it is that it reveals the complex nature of our food system and the inability to track down the origins of the products on our dinner table.
If one goes to the Albert Heijn and reads the label on the meat, it usually says “produced in the Netherlands”. However, when trying to determine who was responsible for the horse meat scandal, the supermarkets blamed the suppliers, who on the other hand accused the retailers and so forth. At the moment, no one is being held accountable for this mas-
Food labels serve as a measure for caution, informing consumers which foods are indeed safe to consume. The food industry’s failure to correctly label and
sive fraud. The reason why it was so difficult to assign the responsibility was that the horses did some extensive traveling before ending up on our table. They were sent from Romania to Maison Spanghero in the south west of France, where they were butchered. Spanghero sent them to Comigel in northern France where the meat was finally processed, prepared into frozen products and delivered to the European markets.
However, these measures are yet to be taken. In order to prevent similar happenings, inspections need to be carried out systematically, and government regulations need to be more efficient. There is not much that we as consumers can do other than hope that the outbreak of this scandal will raise greater awareness and lead to more effective policies.
Employment Woes Writer
Looking for a job? Good luck. According to the numbers presented by the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen), which is a Dutch agency that helps the unemployed find work, it is now even harder to find a job as a young adult in the Netherlands, even if you are highly educated. The unemployment rate for people under the age of twenty seven with a university level degree has doubled, and constitutes now 11% of the total youth unemployment rate. The UWV reported that there was an increase of 16,000 unemployed young adults in 2012 compared to 2011. With 71,000 freshly graduated competitors on the
Due to the financial crisis, food prices have constantly been soaring while the consumers’ budget has been reduced. The horse meat labelled as beef has been at a significantly lower price, which has led many people to buy it. The desire for inexpensive products and companies’ desire for greater revenues are two of the factors behind this controversial issue. While discussing the matter in one of their plenary meetings, members of the European Parliament demanded for stricter regulation measures from the European Commission.
While eating horse meat is seen as a taboo in Great Britain and in the U.S., this is not the case in countries, such as France or Belgium, where horse meat outsells other types of meat. Scientifically speaking, horse meat has proven to be healthier than beef due to greater nutritional values. However, according to recent studies, consumers who may be repulsed by it have been unconsciously eating it. Although it may not possess a health risk, the ethical implications of this matter should not be ignored; this is a food fraud scandal, and there is a widespread belief that it comes as a result of the food industry seek-
By Ibtissam Benali
Furthermore, many believe that financial profit is what lies behind the fraud. The scandal has led many consumers into believing that the food industry is profit driven rather than concerned with the quality of its products.
labour market, finding employment is increasingly more difficult. It should be borne in mind that many young adults do not register themselves as unemployed. This points to the worrying fact that the situation must be even worse than presented by the UWV. On March 1 2013, the Dutch cabinet requested to have an ambassador whose goal it is to address the problem of youth unemployment and try to minimize the gap between graduation and the labour market. The problem of youth unemployment is widespread in the EU, and thus calls for a more comprehensive approach. The European Union wants to grant young adults the possibility to be helped within four months after graduation or being unem-
ployed. This help could come in the form of a job, an internship, or a chance to go back to school to improve skills to fit the labour market better. The EU members are not obliged to follow this arrangement, but the European Commission strongly emphasizes to do so. This non-compulsory arrangement focuses mainly on those regions that have a youth unemployment rate of over 25%. While governments are taking steps to deal with youth unemployment, it is a problem that is unlikely to be fully and adequately addressed. As the problem of youth unemployment is widespread in the EU, it forms a complex economic problem that could only be solved by full commitment of all EU-countries.
de Drvkkery Markt 51 | Middelburg
Roosevelt Academy’s official academic bookstore We offer books and all sorts of other material you need for your courses. But also nice food and drinks in our Brasserie. In addition, de Drvkkery is involved in a wide range of academic/ RA events.
C. A. & Sports
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
IN FOCUS: ESTHER VERGEER
THE WORLD’S MOST DOMINANT ATHLETE By Annechris Koebrugge Writer
I truly hope that some of you recognised the name mentioned in the title. The reason I write about Esther Vergeer is not because she happens to be a citizen of my hometown Woerden, but because she happens to have won seven Olympic gold medals. Last month, after having completely dominated the wheelchair tennis sport for more than a decade, she announced her retirement. This was an announcement that deserves some attention. To honour her career and her work for the sport, I will inform you a little bit about her achievements.
more. After another operation, she was left paralysed and she ended up in a wheelchair. During rehabilitation, she learned how to play basketball and tennis in the wheelchair. She excelled in both sports. After winning the European Championships with the National Dutch Basketball team in 1997, she switched to playing tennis full time . A very wise decision in hindsight, because now we know she became the greatest player of all time.
To give you an indication of what this woman has achieved during her tennis career of eighteen years, I will give you a short overview of her fantastic career. Vergeer has participated in four consecutive Paralympics games (2000-2012), winning seven gold medals. To put this in perspective, there is not one single Olympic athlete in Dutch history that has so many gold medals as she has won during her career. What is also worth mention-
ing is that Vergeer has won the Australian Open nine times, the French Open (Roland Garros) six times and the US Open six times. These tournaments are called ‘Grand Slams’, and are together with Wimbledon the most important tournaments in the tennis world. Winning twenty-one of these tournaments is an exceptional achievement. Players like Roger Federer and Martina Navrátilová have respectively won seventeen and eighteen grand slams. By winning all these tourna-
Esther Vergeer was born in 1981, in a small (and lovely) town called Woerden, the Netherlands. She had some very serious health issues during her childhood, and in 1990, after a nine-hour operation, she was not able to move her legs any-
SOMETHING TO DRONE ON ABOUT By Rebeccah Steil Writer
When you think of the word drones, you probably picture the dystopian state of Panem from the sci-fi Hunger Games trilogy. In that setting, drones were used as weapons by the totalitarian government to spy on citizens and to capture them in the case of escape. Despite their role in fiction, drones are a reality that is growing in popularity every year.
What is a drone? They are remotely controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are used for surveillance and targeted killings. Currently, they are being used by the USA to fight Al Qaeda predominantly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Drones functioned as a surveillance device up until 2004, when they started being used to fire missiles. According to ex-CIA Director Panetta, the reason why are being used is because, “very frank-
ly, it’s the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al Qaeda leadership”. The Obama administration has supported the use of drones, which has caused outrage within the United States and abroad. Americans are afraid drones will be used on US soil on innocent men, while international spectators are worried about how often these attacks take place and who they target in the Middle East. Drone strikes are being brought
up now in the U.S., because President Obama nominated John Brennan, an ex-White House counterterrorism advisor, to become Director of the CIA. He is set to replace David Petraues, most famous for his extramarital affair with his biographer last year, which caused him to resign. During Brennan’s nomination, he was investigated by the Senate Intelligence Committee for the use of drones within the US and their role in the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. This killing was particularly controversial because although al-Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric and top Al Qaeda planner, he was an American citizen. To show his opposition to the drone program, a United States Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, held a thirteen hour long filibuster on March 6th. Filibusters are a tactic used by the minority party in the Senate in order to wield leverage over the legislating process. In the old process of a filibuster, a senator would have to stand and talk for as long as he could. Senator Paul wanted clarification on the White House drone policy in regard to killing noncombatant American citizens on US soil. In a letter to Senator
ments, Vergeer has been at the top of the player rankings since 1999. She maintained this spot until her retirement last month. Since 2003, she had not lost one single match.While writing this overview of her career, I am again stunned by the fact how little attention ‘handicapped’ athletes actually get. Everyone knows the huge celebrities of tennis such as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. Vergeer, on the other hand, is still able to live in Woerden, without being constantly surrounded by thousands of fans. During her career, Vergeer has been working really hard to improve the image of wheelchair tennis. She became the face of the sport, and a role model for thousands of handicapped athletes around the world. She spread the message that having a disability does not mean one is not able to play, enjoy and/ or be successful in sports. She even set up her own foundation to encourage children with a handicap to play sports. Major sport evens like the Paralympics are increasing in popularity thanks to athletes like Vergeer, simply because a success story like hers cannot go unnoticed.
Paul, the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, assured the Senator that the US would carry out no such attacks. The Attorney General also emphasized that an imminent threat “incorporates considerations of the relevant window of opportunity to act, the possible harm that missing the window would cause to civilians, and the likelihood of heading off future disastrous attacks against the United States”. The next day, on March 7th, Senator Paul lifted his objections and Brennan was confirmed as the next CIA Director. With the dramatic confirmation of Brennan finally concluded and the necessity of ending the long war in the Middle East has caused Americans to view the efficient Drone program positively. Despite some international dissent, the U.S. will continue the use of drones as weapons in the Middle East. The possible use of drones on U.S. soil however – either as weapons or surveillance tools - are sure to still be a controversial issue.
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Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
ARE YOU READY FOR A
BOARD POSITION? By Gerd Coenen, Nicolas Castellon & Remco Zwetsloot RASA, HAC, AAC
RASA If you ask any previous RASA board member about their experience in the board, chances are that they, at the very least, will tell you it was “different” from what they had expected. Everyone knew it was going to be hard work, but none expected the close to 24/7 dedication HAC The Green Board Show up to a campus location at night, hear the student’s problems, get someone on the phone, delegate to the floor elders- then we flash you with our Neuralyzers and you forget you ever had a problem. We are the Men in Green. What to expect being in the HAC board? Expect the unexpected. Issues related to campuses, facilities, and Woongoed are spontaneous and unforeseen. It’s valuable experience though! You will learn to deal with housing issues at the UCR administrative level, you will know more about the inner workings of Woongoed, you will have a say in the Middelburg inner-city council, and you will get to coordinate the floor/ AAC Everyone running for a board position has certain ideas in mind – something that we still miss at UCR or that could be improved, and the message is simple: “if you vote for me you will make this happen”. But working together with four other people to try to improve the academic life of UCR students requires a lot of patience, and, as every board learns year after year, sometimes it is impossible to achieve everything you wanted to accomplish. Still, a position in a board can be very satisfying, and a lot of fun. For us, the last two semesters were one great adventure of learning, mainly from each other. We became not only a board able to achieve most of what we set out to do, but all of us also gained four good friends. In our weekly meetings, we shared many laughs while also discussing a lot of important issues – switching between who did
required to make everything run smoothly and on time. Everyone guessed they were going to bear responsibilities, but none foresaw the pressure and headaches they can cause. Everyone thought they would have to have regular meetings, but none suspected the eventual four hour discussions. That said, most of them will also tell you that they would have never imagined how close they could get to each other within the board, that they would have never anticipated their per-
sonal growth and development to be so great due to being in the board, that they had never imagined it could be so special to take part in this adventure, and that they would certainly do it again.
and monitoring – of societies and teams and their activities, events, and development; and evaluation and transition – to make sure improvements in your student lives are continuous.
The tasks of the RASA board can be divided roughly into four categories: meetings - with committees, the Dean and Managing director, external parties, HAC, AAC, and the Common House board; organization – of events such as the Intraweek or the RASA birthday; facilitating
In the end, there is only one way you will be able to know exactly what it is and how it feels, and that is by being part of the board. Come to the information sessions to find out more about the RASA board, what we do exactly, and what it takes to be in it!
house/street elder system. You will also be able to coordinate great events like the Bagijnhof Christmas Market and the Campus Olympics, as well as house clean-up and energy saving competitions.
THE ADVENTURES OF AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT By Victoria O’Callaghan
If anything were to happen on campus, that’s up your alleybut don’t worry- it does not mean you are campus police! If phone companies want to install an antenna on your roof’s building, it’s the HAC’s job to make sure people’s opinions are heard. When Woongoed says parties in Bagijnhof are no longer allowed- it’s the HAC’s job to make sure students get to party in their own campus locations. Your work will sometimes remain in the background, but students will most definitely feel the difference!
what at last week’s party and what we thought about having a pilot for the capstone course. The AAC does several very visible things, such as the guides, academic-related workshops, and the Future Fair. A lot of our work, however, is behindthe-scenes: attending Board of Studies meetings, cooperating with other UC’s through the UCSRN, regular meetings with the Dean to give input on anything academics-related, and so forth. These kinds of activities are not only important but also incredibly educational for the board members. In short, being in the AAC enables you to help other students as well as learn a lot that you otherwise would never know about. Interested in running? Come to our information session or talk to us in person – either way, we hope to see you soon!
The other day I was sitting, chatting with friends and all of a sudden... ping! A part of my braces snapped. After rushing around looking for a way to fix it, I realised it was time to ring the dentist. Now, this might sound quite straightforward for you Dutch folk, but trust me, for us international students, it’s a challenge! First things first, I had to find an dentist. I used Google and came across a couple of websites which I thought looked OK, although they were of course all in Dutch (and yes, my Dutch vocabulary is extremely limited). So how do I know which dentist to choose? What if one’s a fake and I go to it? What if I choose the most expensive? What if they don’t speak English?! After choosing one (they had lots of pink elephants on their website, so it had to be ok), I rang them and made an appointment. They managed to fit me in that very same day! I was thrilled of course, and hurried along. The nice dentist quickly fixed my brace, and I was so relieved that I had completely forgotten the next problem that I was about to face: money. Do I have to pay? How much do I pay? Now that I’ve finally got some Dutch health insurance, how do I use it? I still don’t know the answer to all of these questions, and am awaiting my bill in the post. The whole finding a dentist, going to a Dutch dentist, and
working out how to pay things freaked me out even more than actually being in the dentist’s chair, which I absolutely loathe. Sadly this was not just an oneoff occurrence for me though. Getting Dutch health insurance for a start was confusing and difficult, as you really have to search around for the best and cheapest, which proved to be tricky. But wait, isn’t there a grant for health insurance? How do I know where to get this? And then there’s the process of opening a Dutch bank account, getting a loan for the tuition fees, the housing grant, and the list goes on. Is there a guide about such things for international students? Well, there will be soon! I am currently compiling lots of useful stuff to help other people with the same issues. You will find information to help you live a wonderfully happy and stressfree life here in Holland, so keep your eyes peeled as it will be online soon! Of course, I don’t have all the answers. I am sure other nonDutch EU students have experiences they can share or questions they need answered. Naturally ,my best source of information is my group of Dutch friends who can help me understand the different systems and who can translate the official letters in Dutch. So I need help to compile my guide. Whether you’re Dutch or non-Dutch, if you’re wiling to help or have any suggestions on how to make this information available, please do get in touch by sending me a message on Facebook. All help will be greatly appreciated!
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
FAITH By Lieneke Timpers Writer
For several weeks now, a rather diverse group of UCR students has gathered every Monday evening for one of UCR’s favourite occupations: discussion (NOT debating, mind you, that’s a very different cup-of-tea). No, this group came together to talk about religion. Or the Christian faith, to be more precise. In a completely un-biased, well-in-
The Student Alpha UCR tentioned, respectful and openminded way (ahem).
In all seriousness. The Student Alpha was started by a few Christian students to provide UCR students with the opportunity of finding out exactly what it is that Christians believe in. The original Alpha course was set up as a short, ten-week introduction to the Christian faith for basically anyone interested in learning more about it. The student version has been shortened to seven weeks with condensed talks and including
flashy video messages.
At UCR, however, we thought we’d be a little more daring, and thought of using free food and a chance of useful procrastination to lure in unsuspecting students, after which we’d proceed to engulf them in brain-washing Bible-rhetoric. Then we improved that idea. So now our awesome and very civilized evenings generally consist of a fun shared meal at Roggeveenhof, a short talk focused on a specific theme, and intense small-group discussions afterwards. Many
lovely people actually decided to hang in there with us, bringing with them backgrounds ranging from atheists to new Christians to theists to agnostics. The discussions therefore do tend to go in a whole bunch of directions, most of the time (really!) related to the theme at hand. The topics discussed range from things like unanswered prayer, faith and the role of the Bible, to discussions on the existence (or non-existence) of sin, heaven and hell, and questions like why Jesus had to die, AND somehow
be resurrected? And seriously, what is up with this Trinity thing?! In other words, having fun and good food while discussing the validity of Christianity’s potential answers to the big questions of life is part of what Student Alpha is about. If this sounds like something you wished you could’ve joined, feel free to contact us and we might set this up again next year!
TEACHERS TAKE HOME THE PRIZES
AT ANNUAL SHOW DEBATE By Jair van der Stelt Writer
On Wednesday February 27th, the Roosevelt Debating Society (RDS) organized the second edition of the Student-Teacher Show Debate. In an exciting battle of argument, four faculty members were put against four of UCR’s debating society’s active members. In the end, both the audience and the ‘professional’ judging panel gave the prizes to the faculty bench. The first Student-Teacher Show Debate was organized last year and was one of the largest events hosted by the Roosevelt student community. Just like last year, the debate was held in an adapted version of the British-Parliamentary format. This format features eight speakers: four in proposition to the motion and four in opposition. All speakers are given five minutes to present their arguments and persuade the judging panel (and, in this case, the audience). The motion for this year’s Show Debate was: “This House should stop the search for extra-terrestrial life”. Students stood in proposition, teachers in opposition. The debate’s host was RDS veteran Willem van den Berg, who introduced all the contestants. Bionda Merckens, Sarah Rust, Sebastian Posthumus Meyes and Jair van der Stelt represented the students. The faculty team consisted of Dr. Herman Lelieveldt (Political Science), Dr. Alexei Karass (Economics), Dr. Joseph Resovsky (Earth Science) and UCR Dean Prof. Dr. Barbara Oomen (Law). The Roosevelt Debating Society had drafted a professional judging panel that contained RASA Chair Gerd
Coenen, RASA Secretary Luuk van Kessel, RDS External Officer Annabelle van Beusekom and European debating Champion Daan Welling (from Leiden University College).
Jair opened the debate for the proposition side by arguing that finding extra-terrestrial life would reawaken particularly annoying strands of postcolonial thought. During the second speech of the debate, Dr. Lelieveldt adequately defended the search for extra-terrestrial life by ridiculing Jair’s academic career. Next, second semester student Sebastian presented his argumentation on how finding extra-terrestrial life would be disruptive for religious adherents. However, Dr. Resovsky’s destructive interruption about 20th century British literature proved too hard for Sebastian to deal with, much to the dismay of the audience. In the second speech for the opposition, Dr. Karass silenced the audience by explaining the progress for humanity that is made when we search for alien life – even if we do not find it. The second half of the debate was opened by Sarah, who won everyone’s support by pointing out that she knows two female students that were attracted to Dr. Karass. The uproar caused by these remarks illustrated that the debate was definitely shifting in favor of the students. Dr. Resovksy, however, restored the balance by employing science-fiction literature to prove that human-alien communication is very well possible. In the debate’s first summary speech, RDS Chair Bionda proceeded to highlight that the presence of Dr. Resovsky means that the search for alien life had been successfully concluded. The debate was closed by Dean Bar-
bara Oomen, who argued that the search for alien life symbolizes all of the deeper intellectual questions that we must attempt to answer. As presenter Willem walked back on stage, the audience applauded once more enthusiastically for all the speakers. Shortly after the debate, the RASA Board counted the votes and announced that the Audience Best Speaker Prize went to Dean Oomen. Yet the judging panel disagreed with the audience and gave the official prize to Dr. Karass for his debate-winning argumentation. Predictably, the teachers ultimately became the winners of the second edition of the Student-Teacher Show Debate. Students, however, have not given up. Next year, they will undoubtedly again seek victory over the faculty in this now well-established RASA tradition.
MAKE SURE TO WRITE THESE EVENTS DOWN IN YOUR AGENDA! FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR AUDITION APPLICATIONS: MUSICSOCIETY@UCR.NL
MUSIC POETRY CANDLELIGHT NIGHT MARCH 21 - 21.00 - KO D’OOOOOR OPEN STAGE MARCH 28 - 20.00 - DE SPOT URC IN CONCERT (CLASSICAL CONCERT) APRIL 23 - 20.00 - BURGERZAAL THE NIGHT OF THE TALENTS MAY 10 - 20.00 - DE SPOT
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PHILOSOPHY STUDENT IN DEFENSE OF IN INTELLECTUAL MASTURBATION By Bas Tönissen Writer
According to Immanuel Kant, philosophy should concern itself with four questions. What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope? And finally, what is man? Any philosophy student eager to tackle these questions, however, is quickly held back by his more sober-minded peers with a new question. This question is much less inscrutable and mysterious, but precisely for that reason demands a clear answer. This question is: ‘what is the point?’ There are good reasons to ask that question, especially in the twenty-first century. Our hopes of definitively answering any of the ‘Big Questions’ have seldom been lower. After millennia of grand philosophical systems, the conclusion coming out of the twentieth century has mostly been that such systems are not possible. It is telling that its two greatest philosophers, Heidegger and Wittgenstein, both saw themselves as putting an end to philosophy altogether. Since then, especially Anglo-Saxon philosophy has
isolated itself into studying the technicalities of logic, while the continental tradition is largely concerned with further deconstructing social realities. In the barren wasteland that is contemporary philosophy, Kant’s questions ring hollow, and the choice to study philosophy at university instead of just doing ‘something more practical’ becomes one that needs serious defence. I still think such a defence is possible, for two reasons. First of all, I think philosophy still has a social role to play. The reason I study old texts from long dead writers is not just that I am a pretentious arse. It is to understand how their views have trickled down into our own culture and mind-world, which has occurred in ways we have never chosen for ourselves. We take our assumptions, mostly inconsistently and haphazardly, from a cultural tradition shaped by philosophy. A philosophy student can recognize such unconscious frameworks and lay them out before you in all their details and implications, leaving you with the question: is this really how I want to think? Can I really simultaneously say that religion is nonsense and
believe firmly in science? Can I affirm gender equality and yet jokingly say ‘woman, get back to the kitchen?’ The point is not necessarily to destroy your beliefs. The point is to create the freedom to decide for yourself whether you want to opt into them – and that can only be done from the distance that philosophical reflection provides. But more importantly, the fact that answers are far away does not mean that questions become less important. Ultimately, the reason I study philosophy is because I cannot put Kant’s questions out of my head. I’ve never been able to. Philosophy has simply given direction to my doubts. It has shown me a vast tradition of people who came up with smarter answers than I ever could on my own. Reading and engaging with them gives me the peace of mind I need to otherwise live an arguably normal life, the alternative being going through life crippled by existential terror. I don’t know of a better excuse for intellectual masturbation. That, and being able to namedrop Plato. Everybody loves it when you namedrop Plato.
I GOT THE MUSIC IN ME By Yvette Lanting Tabula RASA
The Performing Arts (PA) program is a highly unique program offered by University College Roosevelt. University College Roosevelt is actually the only University College in the Netherlands, which offers a music program. In comparison to the rest of continental Europe, it is the only institution that offers these courses in English. However, what does PA exactly entail? What motivates students to follow these courses? Every student who wants to take music performance courses needs to audition. PA is a conservatory program, which applies the admission requirements as listed by Fontys (Tilburg conservatory) and Codarts (Rotterdam conservatory). The auditions at UCR differ in scale from the auditions held by regular conservatories. My audition, for example, took place in Theodore 2 with professor Clem-
ent and my (prospective) singing professor as audience. In total, four girls auditioned for the signing department of the PA program. Compared to the hundreds of people auditioning in Rotterdam or Tilburg, one could call the PA auditions at UCR very open and personal, which holds for the PA program in general. The PA program focuses specifically on the needs of the student and thus is different for every student. From my personal experience, I would say such personal attention is highly beneficial for every student’s musical progress. The program exists of two different tracks: the music performance track (the actual music lessons) and the musicology track (including music history and music theory courses). Enrolling in the PA program means that you have to take courses in both tracks. In addition, since this semester, a composition course is also being offered as one of the PA program electives. It is important to keep in mind that the music performance track consists of six courses,
while all other tracks consist of three courses (100-, 200and 300-level). Each level consists of two courses. In order to complete the 100-level music performance, you need to have done two courses in music performance. That means that only when you have taken six music performance courses (each providing you with 7.5 ECTS), you finish the track. Some music performance students (e.g. piano and vocals) are taught in Middelburg, for example, at the Zeeuwse Muziekschool or at UCR itself, while others have to go to Tilburg. As opposed to other UCR courses, the music performance courses are not taught twice a week, but instead you have weekly lessons of thirty to sixty minutes. This does not mean that the study load is lower in comparison to other UCR courses. Musical excellence requires practice! As mentioned before, students enrolled in the PA program have to take musicology courses in addition to their performance courses. Jn essence, for every music performance course you
take, you have to take a musicology course as well. The musicology courses, however, do not have specific prerequisites. This means that you do not have to be a PA student to take the courses. UCR offers musicology courses in music history and theory. Music theory focuses on the way music pieces are composed, e.g. what type of chords composers use and the reason they are placed in the specific order. Music history studies the great composers and their musical achievements. Noortje Andriesse, who is currently enrolled in the PA program, describes the 200-level Music in Context course as very interesting due to its interactive and diverse program. During the course, the students visited a violin builder, climbed the Lange Jan to visit the carillon and frequently listened to guest speakers. PA graduate Sanne Thierens stresses that she has learned a lot from these guest speakers. She now studies musicology at King’s College London. Looking back in retrospect, she
says ‘I sometimes have the feeling that I miss some of the historical knowledge as we quickly went over music history, and focused more on skills. The music theory courses were intense though’. Also enrolled in the PA program, Eline Smit thinks that the music track is the ideal combination of playing piano, and her academic interest in music. What Noortje above all values the most is the personal aspect of the performance track. ‘It’s just you and the teacher’. A PA student is also expected to join the Roosevelt College Choir for at least two semesters. Similar to the musicology courses, one does not need to be a PA student to sing in the choir. An important aspect of the choir course is that every student is trained in solfège, which is a technique that allows you to recognise intervals and to pitch (perfect). If you are interested in joining the choir, keep an eye on the UCR website or Intranet to see when they have auditions! The PA program offers a unique opportunity to anyone interested in music at UCR. I hope I have made you enthusiastic to check out one of these courses, and otherwise, just come listen to the PA students!
Arts & Culture
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
MY EMPIRE OF DIRT: THE RETURN OF NINE INCH NAILS By Eva Jousset Writer
“I got my head but my head is unraveling, can’t keep control can’t keep track of where it’s traveling.” Gloomy words that were whispered by Trent Reznor (lead singer of Nine Inch Nails) on the 1997 track “The Perfect Drug”. Nine Inch Nails has been reputed for their compositions dripping with despair, painted with traces of loss and selfloathing and has been praised repeatedly for their quintessential albums Broken (1992) and the Downward Spiral (1994). This summer, spiritual darkness and existentialism will be in order once again: the band that brought you “Closer”, “The Perfect Drug” and “The Hand That Feeds” has returned for a world tour with a fresh lineup.
After having had numerous conflicts with record companies, birthing an instrumental album, and having their masterpiece Hurt graced by a Johnny Cash cover, these Grammy award winning musicians will be redefining industrial rock for a new generation in the year
This summer, spiritual darkness and existentialism will be in order once again”
2013. Since their Wave Goodbye Tour in 2009, NIN disappeared into the shadows for about four years. Until recently, as Trent Reznor has assembled a new league of extraordinary gentlemen to resuscitate the machine. Reznor himself has been work-
Missing someone can devour you from inside out. The longer you wait, the harder it gets and there is nothing that can stop the pain except him. Every song reminds you of that moment
when he held you in his arms and that kiss that made you forget about the past or future and kept you in a continuous present. I wrote this a few days back inspired by a song that made me think of snow, a fireplace, a comfy blanket and an easel on which he was painting himself rising from the ashes.
Știai ce și cum să zici Ca să mă faci să stau aici Îngândurată.
Furniture You knew what and how to say As to make me wanna stay Musing.
By Ruxandra Popescu Writer
Știai ce și cum s-atingi Ca să mă faci să tremur Deodată. Știai de câte ori trebuie să-mi șoptești Ca să mă faci să simt Iubire în ureche. Știai de câte ori m-am descălțat de vise Ca să te caut în bucăți desprinse și Să-mi devii pereche Încă o dată. M-ai corupt și m-ai ucis, Mi-ai luat inocența (aparent de neînvins) Și mi-ai furat o gură M-ai ținut închisă-n fericire Și nu m-ai lăsat să mă aștept la murire Sau la ideea că lumea fură Iubire. M-ai lăsat să mă încred în tine Fermecându-mi sângele din vine Uitându-mă, fumând În sufragerie.
ing on film soundtracks in the past few years, such as the Social Network (2010) and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)) and has recently formed another side project “How to Destroy Angels” alongside his wife Mariqueen Maandig (album released this March). The
You knew what and how to touch As to make me tremble much All of a sudden. You knew how many times to whisper In order to make me feel Love in my ear. You knew how many times I undressed myself of dreams As to look for you in every piece With no fear. You corrupted and killed Took my innocence (repeat) And stole a kiss. Kept me locked in happiness Not letting me dream of nothingness Or at the idea that people steal Bliss. You allowed me to trust Enthralling my blood’s veins Forgetting me, smoking In the past.
was “reinventing itself from scratch” and that they are planning some “extensive touring” to match their new lineup. So far, they will be playing at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, the Ansan Valley Festival in South Korea and the Rock ‘n’ Heim Festival in Germany.
US stadium tour dates are to come, and touring will branch into 2014. Additional dates will be announced on their website in the coming weeks as adepts of their music wait for the ball to drop. Are you ready to let the Nails sink into your soul? Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates on www.nin.com .
ever changing lineup of NIN now consists of a few bits and pieces from other bands including Eric Avery from Jane’s Addiction, Josh Eustis from Telefon Tel Aviv and Adrian Belew of King Crimson. Reznor recently announced that the band
HIPSTERS LOVE 90s
THAN THEY LOVE PRETENDING NOT TO LOVE ANYTHING By Lisanne Cheizoo Writer
If you were to walk onto some of the lower-level Roggeveen floors any time soon, the odds are high that you will hear some vaguely familiar tunes. Imagine songs by bands like the Backstreet Boys, Westlife and the Spice Girls combined with Eurodance songs like Haddaway’s “What Is Love?” and you may get a fairly good grasp of what is infecting these hallways: 90’s fever! Of course, some of you might argue that we are not old enough to have some sort of nostalgia at all, but let’s face it: we are! Although most of the things we remember are more from the late 90s, they are still nostalgia-worthy. Remember the days when Avril Lavigne rolled around on a skateboard singing how complicated life is (and we did not have a clue what complicated meant)? Remember how Justin Timberlake got back at Britney Spears after they broke up by singing “Cry Me A River”? Remember Cher’s song “Believe” which was seen as the ideal workout song and played at every gym? All this awesomeness was produced in the 90s. Unfortunately, the 90s do not seem to be that much appreci-
ated by most people. It is not unusual to hear people proclaiming that they would have preferred to have lived in the 70s, because ‘everything was better’ back then. Contrarily, you rarely hear anyone wish that the 90s were back again. Why is this? Is it because some things in the 90s were so bad that we have literally erased them from our minds? Or is it because secretly we all long
you could finally watch the Lion King again was always a pain. Constantly replacing your batteries when your disc-man had run out of power again when playing your favorite song was no fun either.
back to the time when hair scrunchies were hip and everybody was playing Pokémon on their Gameboy Color? It is true that some particular things from the 90s are not so memorable. For instance, the 90s are notoriously known for their bad fashion statements. People were walking around in overalls with one or both straps down, neon windbreakers and slap bracelets, all of this in the most clashing colors available. Moreover, technology was a mess: countless times of endless rewinding your videotape before
by hand instead of animated by computer. The time when Will Smith was a badass teenager in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The time when bad Eurodance music, like Barbie Girl, topped the charts. It is not a shame to long for these things to return. Turn up the Backstreet Boys in your hallway or house and get the 90s vibe going, before you know “Backstreet’s back, alright”!
However, I still think we should cherish this beautiful age in which we have had the privilege of growing up. The time when Disney movies were still drawn
*In need for some 90s music after reading this article? Listen to the eponymous playlist on 8tracks.com.
Tabula RASA February 2013 University College Roosevelt
INTERVIEW: TONNIE DIELEMAN By Douwe & Inge Writers
You may have seen Tonnie Dieleman either during living room concerts, at an event in De Spot or on television. Most of you will know him as the manager of De Spot, the concert venue of Middelburg, where occasionally UCR events are held as well. He is also a well known singer songwriter. Through his work, he is in contact with UCR and its students in several ways. In this interview, we asked him about living in Middelburg, experiences with UCR’s students and the Common House. Tonnie Dieleman grew up in Axel, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, at the other side of the Schelde. He finished his studies in social work and he had a job in that field when he was twenty. Ten years ago he moved to Middelburg for a job as a social worker. When De Spot opened five years later, he became the manager. He not only found a job in Middelburg, but also love, resulting in a marriage and two daughters. Besides this, Tonnie is also a musician, under the name of Broeder Dieleman, singing about his upbringing in Axel, his connection to ZeeuwsVlaanderen and his relationship with Christianity. When asked how it was to move to Middelburg, Tonnie explains that the people here are more reserved than he was used to
and that he had difficulties in the beginning to find his way. For example, you can notice this reserved attitude when there are new bands playing. In his hometown, it would not matter whether the band was good or not, as people would stand in the front and enjoy it. In Middelburg, people stand in the back and are a bit more hesitant to join. Tonnie also said that people in Middelburg like to complain about new things
he is interviewed by two UCR students. De Spot and UCR students have been working together from the very beginning and this has always been a pleasant experience, although the constant change of students sometimes formed an obstacle. Luckily, this is improving. In his opinion, UCR and its students contribute to the liveliness of the city. He enjoys seeing more young people and hearing different languages on the streets.
I do not own the truth, no one owns the truth.”
a lot. At this point, he adds that we should not write too much of this down, so he will not come across like someone who is complaining all the time. There are also many positive things in Middelburg and he enjoys living here. Tonnie especially likes the many cultural activities “ranging from N8vdN8 to the Dance Parade and concerts in cafes”. As a music event-programmer, he experiences some complaining from inhabitants of Middelburg, but according to him that is inevitable. Tonnie was already living in Middelburg at the start of RA/ UCR. As manager of De Spot, he often came in contact with the students. Naturally, we asked Tonnie about his experiences with and opinions about UCR, although we realised there might be some bias because
Tonnie lives between a bar and student housing and often people are causing nuisance or trouble in his street. However, he would like to stress that it was never-ever a student causing it. He mentions that UCR students are very well-mannered, almost boring. He was much wilder, when he was our age. Tonnie has supported the Common House from the beginning. He thinks the posters around the Lange Noordstraat are provoking and even repulsive. Tonnie relativized the expected noise complaints by bringing up the former military barrack that used to be at the end of the street. Soldiers returning home brought a lot more noise than the students will. Although he is a supporter, he also thinks that the students might have underestimated the size of the
project. To keep it running will be a difficult task. He wonders if the neighbours may have the same worries and are therefore protesting. He ends with saying that the students in charge are handling it very neatly.
We asked him whether he still had some wisdom to share with the students. He replies that he does not, because “I do not own the truth, no one owns the truth”. He apparently did.
land’). The history books would later on describe this discovery as one of the most important Dutch discoveries of land. He failed, however, to find Terra Australis. Once he returned to the Netherlands, Roggeveen returned to Middelburg where the news of his return was met with reluctance. Roggeveen stayed in Middelburg until his death in 1729 and after his death, his body was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk (the Lange Jan).
of a student flat and the claim that his grave is somewhere in the Nieuwe Kerk. However, it is possible to visit Jacob Roggeveen’s former house in Middelburg. Being a fairly successful gentleman, Roggeveen was able to purchase a house in a prosperous neighbourhood. He bought a house called ‘De Pyramide’ in the Noordstraat, which can be found in the Lange Noordstraat, number 37. If you ever walk towards Eleanor from Bagijnhof and Roggeveenhof, you will see his house at the right side of the street, towards the end.
HIDDEN GEMS TWO OF MIDDELBURG PART
By Lisanne Cheizoo Writer
A big, looming building stands just outside Middelburg’s old city defense waters. Seven stories high, made out of brick and dating back to the 70s. The building I am talking about of course is the Jacob Roggeveenhof. This campus location, which is home to roughly one third of our student population, previously served as a elderly home and was named after Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutch doctor of law and an explorer. Born in 1659 in Middelburg, Jacob Roggeveen grew up in a fairly wealthy family. He became notary of Middelburg in 1683
All there is left of Jacob Roggeveen is his name in several history books...”
and developed a growing interest in travelling and merchandise, which led him to join the Dutch East Indies Company in 1706. After doing so, Roggeveen started preparing for an expedition in order to find Terra Australis (a hypothetical landmass based on the assumption that the Northern Continent had to be balanced out by a Southern Continent). Meanwhile, Roggeveen had also started to publish a series of books. However, the municipality of Middelburg was not pleased with the content of Roggeveen’s writings (it was
too liberal to their taste) and publicly burned all of his copies. After this, Roggeveen was not welcome in both Middelburg and Vlissingen anymore, which forced him to move. He moved to Arnemuiden where he stayed for a while until he decided to try his luck elsewhere. In 1721, he started an expedition with three ships to find Terra Australis: the Arend, the Thienhoven, and Afrikaansche Galey. After six months of sailing, Roggeveen set foot ashore on Easter Island on Easter Sunday, 1722 (hence the name ‘Easter Is-
Nowadays, all there is left of Jacob Roggeveen is his name in several history books, the name