March 10, 2008

Taking the weekend off

I spent a really lovely long weekend in Portland, Oregon with some good friends. It was great to see Portland start to come to life with flowers blooming, sunny skies, and clear views of the mountains.

As I continue to look into my options and try to get a real answer on the visa and traveling situation, I'm feeling much more relaxed about the whole situation. The situation with the job in Amsterdam has moved in a good direction, (maybe) isn't such a long shot after all. I have met with two people - one who runs the NYC office, and one who runs the Portland office (and frequently travels to Amsterdam). The more I get to know about the company the better it seems, and the people who work there are absolutely great - any interview that includes using the word "fuck" at least ten times and bitching about the US health care system is the type of interview that makes me happy. Working for them would be a great career move, I would get to be in a creative environment, put my hands on some really great technology, and continue working in post. Just the fact that this option is even on the table at all feels great. Having one meeting in Amsterdam means gaining one contact.. and from one contact comes another.. and so on. I was actually offered work in Portland if I wanted to stick around, and as tempting (and flattering) as that is, I'm sticking to my Amsterdam plan. But I won't forget how happy I was in Portland, and that city goes on the "Places I could live happily" list. Just like in Amsterdam, I couldn't stop myself from taking pictures of all the great bikes...

Still, that job is just a possibility, so I'm continuing to think more seriously about other options (keeping in mind that the Binger application has already gone out, but I think it's a long shot that I would make it in). Several days ago, I wrote a pretty informal email to the International School at the University of Amsterdam, saying that there were two programs I was interested in and wondering if I should apply to both or pick one - and I was surprised that someone actually took the time to email me back and throughly answer my questions. The first program is a Master of Arts in European Studies: Identity and Integration, the other is Master of Science degree in Communication Science, with a specialization in European Communication Studies. The Communication Science/Studies degree relates very closely to my undergraduate education, so it makes sense for me to go that route - though I think I'm more interested in the courses offered in the European Studies degree. It turns out I can apply to both programs if I want (and only pay one application fee), though I have to chose a preference. I have time to think about it and gather opinions (and change my mind), since there's no way I'll meet the April 1 deadline for the September 2008 semester. I actually briefly considered trying to get it done in time for the deadline before I realized I might actually lose my mind if I take on one more project like that. Plus, it might be nice to actually visit the school first before I go trying to get accepted.

For the next few weeks, my spare time will be filled with putting together a new video project, making some changes to my website, and best of all... playing with my new mac! That was another highlight of my Portland trip - I am now the proud owner of a brand new 2.4GHz Macbook, along with a few new accessories that I couldn't resist while I was in the store (and getting hooked up with a discount).

New computer, great potential job meeting, great food, good friends - a very lovely weekend all around. Now, back to work.


James said...

Hi Tamara. If you want to try and get in to the UVA program for the Fall semester, don't let a deadline stop you...really. You should just inquire about putting in your application "as soon as possible." Maybe something like up to 1 month delayed. They can and do make exceptions to the rule. My partner went to UVA. It is a very good school, high-ranking according to US News & World Report and their college rankings...Just ask. It doesn't hurt to ask. It is a great school. He did his Masters in Accouting there. All classes are taught in English--at least his program. You will LOVE Amsterdam. I sure do...There are some downsides, but hey, just like everything in life, right?
I have lived in Amsterdam now for 1 year and a half. If you want to email me with any questions, feel free to do so. I can even show you around if you'd like sometime. Just to let you know, my partner and I bought our new apartment and get the keys April 1st. We are moving in probably mid-April so we will be kinda busy in April...but feel free to e-mail me any questions. I see you have linked to my blog on your's. Thanks. I last lived in San Francisco...but you may already know that. Take care. Good luck with everything. Really, don't stress. Amsterdam and the Dutch are very laid back, friendly people. (for the most part--of course there are assholes everywhere in the world.) ;) Take care, James in Amsterdam.

Another American Expat said...

James - thank you so much for the comment, pushing the deadline for the UvA application was something I was actually just wondering about yesterday! April 1 is the deadline for non-EU, but May 1 is the deadline for everyone else... so it does seem I have some wiggle room.

I've been keeping up with your blog for several months now, and it would be a pleasure to meet you when I arrive! Congratulations on your new place, and good luck moving.

I have had only incredibly positive experiences dealing with Dutch people. I'm sure that's bound to change, but I plan to keep my rose-tinted glasses on for as long as possible. :)

Bicyclemark said...

dude. Youre thinking about going to my school and doing the program I did. Youre also communicating with the very offices I worked in, and still do work in, for the last 4 years. ?? Just tell me what you need, you know I always answer!
Regarding the dutch.. They are bureacratic, callous bitches, and that's just the telecom companies for starters.

Another American Expat said...

well shit dude, you'll be getting an email from me soon. I thought your MA program was Journalism, and I didn't realize you still worked for the school. You are like... exactly who I should be talking to. Thanks!

Bureaucratic, callous bitches are everywhere. I'm sure I'll find them in Holland, but they'll have a lot to compete with to get the prize of MOST bureaucratic and callous.