As of this week, I am officially a Master’s student. After a semester of “prep,” the University of Amsterdam has deemed me qualified to work toward a Master’s in Sociology. Never mind the fact that the somewhat disorganized University hasn’t provided me with a new id card and my residency permit is currently in limbo (let’s all pray to the spirits that I don’t get kicked out of the country before someone figures out how to process paperwork).
Last semester felt like a valuable warm-up. Sort of like a Taebo work-out after not lifting more than a glass of wine for the past eight years. And now I’m getting ready for capoeira (something that I’ve always wanted to do – both in and out of metaphor). Now I have three classes: one on social theory, another on qualitative research methodology (beginning with ethnography), and finally migration and integration (my concentration). Anyone have any well-written, academic papers I can buy? I kid, of course. I’m almost positive I can handle this.
I’m not as nervous. My apartment is furnished. Dutch no longer sounds like complete gibberish (except when I try to speak it). I’ve met some great new people. And I know the differences between Weber and Durkheim. If that doesn’t make me a future master of something, I don’t know what will.
But this is it. I basically have nine more months before real life picks up again. So while I’m studying this semester, and preparing to write my thesis next semester, I will be thinking and planning for the future. A source of income, a place to live, and a way to turn the ideas in my head into something real. After this, I’m not sure how many do-overs I’ll be granted. So I need to make this time count.
And if you’re wondering, returning to the States (to live) is nowhere in the plan.