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Part 5: Old Art and a Freaky Robot

If you haven’t done so, check out the beginning of my journey:

Part 1: First Day Jitters in Amsterdam

Part 2: Surviving the First Week

Part 3: Farm Life and Hague Life

Part 4: Taking in the Culture

Within days, I went from learning about the Dutch Golden Age of art in the 1650’s to modern day technology. During the beginning of the week, I biked to Waterlooplein to learn about Rembrandt’s art with my class. We walked through his home and learned that the rooms were designed differently based on who would be going through it. The main floor looked grand compared to the basic wooden style on the second floor. My classmates and I were lucky that we had someone to explain the process of the making, pricing, and the differences in the paints that Rembrandt used. No one had asked him questions beforehand and when I came back with my mom (about five weeks later) I was the only one- at the time- to ask about the paints. Slowly, more people began to gather to learn more about Rembrandt that they couldn’t before. For anyone else thinking of traveling, never be afraid to ask any question. You never know what they will tell you and how much you can learn from simply taking the initiative to ask.

From there we walked to the Jewish Synagogue to learn more about what they did during their ceremonies. My classmates and I walked to the second level where the women used to sit during the procession because (according to my professor) they would be too distracting to the men in the church. 

Compared to the outside, the inside of the Synagogue was gorgeous. Beautiful chandeliers hung from the ceiling with a fine wood finish on their pews. Before going to Europe, I had participated in Catholic masses and seen a Greek Orthodox church. Seeing and learning about another religious procession added to the adventure that I had already been a part of so far. I never felt that I stopped learning and I didn’t want to. 

Within a day, I went from learning about art styles in the 17th century to seeing robots and current issues. The Tropenmuseum was drastically different than the other museums I had been to so far, because it dealt with different nations and races rather than art. The museum was vast with many sections and there was a lot to learn about the people they represented.

One of the freakiest things I saw was in the Japanese section of the museum. It wasn’t until I walked up that it began to move away from me and I jumped out of my skin! It moved smoothly and taught me how advanced other countries are with robotic technology in comparison to the United States. It was incredible to learn how limited my mind was until took the chance to study abroad and was open to different perspectives I may not have known about before.

This week of my trip was less eventful, because I was focused on school work and preparing for my overnight trip to Tessel, but that story is for another day.

Jessica Manly

Augustana '21

I am passionate about making others happy, problem-solving, and leading others to success with strong communication skills, ambitiously taking the initiative, and am adaptable to new situations. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in English and Communication Studies and Associate's Degrees in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication as well as Classical Studies. Life is not always easy, but our perseverance and vulnerability help guide us to success.