The end of every block is always a bit strange to me. After around seven weeks or so, there is always an assessment moment, where we ought to produce some work that can show the skills we have acquired over the course of all the lectures and seminars. As musicologists this mostly boils down to the task of producing a substantial body of text which we commonly refer to as a paper or essay. But then, what happens if you hand in the essay in week eight and sit back and relax? This is always a bit of a struggle for me.
University life always gives me some direction in my week and when that suddenly disappears, I am left with no more structure. The period which ends a block, the so-called ‘reflection week’, is for me just a short holiday. It always takes some days to accept that idea and then most of the time ideas begin flowing again. I start writing again daily on my latest composition or I’ll visit a museum, which actually both happened during the “holiday”.
With my museum card I was able to visit three (!) museums over the course of a weekend and the reflection week. Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Mesdag Collection (also in Den Haag) and lastly Hermitage in Amsterdam. All three are very different museums, but what holds them together is their main focus on paintings, albeit not from the same period. Kunstmuseum Den Haag is very much focused on more contemporary works, whilst the Mesdag Collection is more geared towards romantic art of the nineteenth century. Hermitage Amsterdam was a beautiful mix of the two, and there they also focused on the origins of the city of Amsterdam.
The “holiday” was quite long for me. Fortunately, I tried to do some activities which shaped my day, such as early morning walks, composing, practicing some Bach on my marimba and obviously the museums I visited. For next reflection week I’ll try to catch up on some social activities as well, as they can bring much joy to an otherwise rather empty week.