Back to School in Dutch

The leaves are falling, the temps are dropping (a little), and the sun is too lazy to come up early in the morning. It must be Fall (or Autumn for you non-US speakers). And you know what that means – Back to School.

It was back to school for me last night when my latest Dutch class started. I say “latest” because I’ve taken 3 classes previously, although it’s been 18 months since the last one ended. You’d think I’d be fluent by now, but nooooooo I still spend most of my time speaking English, reading English and thinking in English. Although the other day I couldn’t think of the English word for “loopband” which had my mom laughing.

My new classes are with the Volksuniversiteit which is a place for adult education where you can learn to paint portraits, to wire your house, to appreciate Italian architecture, take historical walks through Amersterdam, or learn languages, just to name a few classes on offer. I’m doing the NT2 (Nederlands als Tweede Taal – Dutch as a second language) course, which requires an itake interview of an hour to see what level you should be in. I ended up right smack in the middle of 9 levels. This basically means that over the 18 months that I didn’t take any classes I skipped a level upwards. I guess hanging out with DB has had some positive effect. If I continue improving I can one day take the NT2 test, which I don’t really have to do, but I’d like to do. Looks good on a cv/resume.

The other classes I took were at the UVA. I decided to try a different school because the UVA classes are overcrowded and I was less than impressed with the teachers I had. So far, after one night with the new school, I’m pleasantly surprised.

What did we learn in Day 1?
Today, 19 September, is Prinsjesdag. The Queen will arrive in Den Haag in her golden coach to deliver a speech and to present the government’s direction for the coming year. This is somewhat ironic since the present government is limping along with a broken coalition. New elections will be held on 22 November to decide the makeup of the Tweede Kaamer and the new government and new Prime Minister. Harry Potter might be on his way out!

All this and more we discussed in Dutch class last night, all in Dutch of course. We also discussed various forms of government around the world.
And then we did grammar exercises.

Now, my question to those ROC administrators, who are charged with creating and delivering the inburgerings curses, is, WHY DON’T YOU TEACH THIS IN THE INBURGERINGS CURSES? I learned more in one night of a Dutch language course than I ever did in the foreigners integration course that is required by law for all newcomers. What a joke this is. Rita Verdonk, you have no clue do you?

Favorite expression learned last night: Nederland is klein maar fijn.

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