First day back at school!


New class, new teacher and a new name tag! Once again we are playing intro games and trying to remember everybody’s name as much as the vocab! Just like the first block, our class is filled with people studying Dutch for a range of reasons. This time we have more people wanting to live and work in the Netherlands, study the language in order to help their existing studies, people wanting to study at various universities in the Netherlands and those with Dutch relatives who wish to be able to converse with them in their native tongue!

Following the intros we jump straight into it. Today’s lesson, the first class of A1/A2, was definitely a step up from the beginner level. We started to learn the imperfectum tense (past tense). Combined with a different tempo and more difficult material within the lesson (which is by no means a bad thing!), I in all honesty I left the class a little bewildered!  How could I have suddenly fallen so behind? Maybe my chilled weekend in Groningen was ill spent and I should have studied studied studied! Throughout the first two weeks I thought I had managed to throw out all my moments of self-doubt and learned to take it easy and approach things one at a time. But knowing it was silly to get in a tizz almost wound me up more. Time for a bike ride. After I had ridden into Westerbork for some much needed grocery shopping and returned, the weight had lifted once more off my shoulders – I swear cycling cures all worries and successfully clears the mind!

I went over some of the #dutchgrammar videos that I had previously skimmed over and the lesson began to fall into place. I along with my new roommates sat and tackled our homework the best that we could and managed to get a grip of the things that eluded me in class. My homework naturally took forever (I seem to work for 30 minutes and potter around for 20) so I had slowly come to an end around 10pm. Keeping in mind that I did not sit down to study until 4:30pm! However, as I keep saying to myself, the whole Dutch language will not be learnt overnight and in some ways it would be a shame if it could. So onwards and upwards! I may not have the entire vocab list fastened tight under my belt but I have learnt from today’s lesson and will be entering the next with plenty of questions and my pen and paper at the ready.


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