By Linda van Wilpen
Recap on NCHC Denver
I went to Denver with a personal mission and a mission for the HUH association. I wanted to get more information on honours associations and their statements. Furthermore I wanted to make some contacts for international collaboration. As an honours student I aimed to meet other honours students and compare our programs, outcomes and motivations. I never thought I would get so much more out of these ambitious one week goals.
I arrived a couple of days before our week started and stayed over with friends I made in New Zealand. It was very interesting to experience the real American culture, other than just stay in a hotel and assuming that things go the way they go. Some stereotypical American things (what they would like to call ‘’Americana’’) are true, some are not. We went up to the Rocky Mountains, had an amazing view and visited South Park.
The intensive week started off with a HU dinner. It was fun getting to know teachers I had not actually met before. Monday we went to Regis University, which was a huge and beautiful university. The slogan on the university banners ‘’some people go to school to put off the real world. Others go to change it’’ was a great start off.
At Regis University I learned a lot about community service and service learning, which I would love to integrate in our association. I feel it’s our duty to give back to the society. Furthermore I have found valuable contacts for cooperation with international honours associations and not to forget, the honours battle.
Tuesday we had the great opportunity to meet Ken Wilber. Like a real celebrity came in fashionably late, inspired us with his thoughts, then left fashionably short after. I think I had an complete other experience than the honours teachers did. Some faculty members noticed me a bit daydreaming, since Ken Wilber went off topic completely. And yes, I can proudly say I did. Ken Wilber got me thinking. Ken stated: ‘Teachers are crippling students since they only teach what they think is important.’ Well, who says it is true? What do we, the students, want to be taught? I for example missed the international aspect in my courses.
Wednesday we went to visit the Denver University. Since our association doesn’t involve making courses, I found it not so relevant. What I did think was interesting is the fact that Denver University has its own ‘’honours cave’’. A place for honoursstudents to hang out sounds great for our university. Hmm, we are actually getting a new university building right? Dibs on the basement!! 😉 Furthermore we had the opportunity to have lunch with an honours student. I the ‘’all-you-can-eat’’ cafeteria me and Marca Wolfensberger made some plans to spread the word about our association. To be continued…. But I can tell I am really excited about this one!
Thursday was the start of the NCHC conference. I started with a dance workshop, which was not a typical dance workshop. I faced the fact that my inner self is inhibited but wants to have control off everything, now I had to let go. After that we did City as Text, which was awesome! It’s actually hard to explain the experience, but since we are organizing it next year you have to chance to experience it yourself as well! Then we attended the international reception and after that the welcome reception. Pfft, an honours students life is hard. 😉 We ended the day with a student party. At least now we know how to ‘’wobble’’. I tend to say that is Americana, hihi.
Friday was our last day in Denver. I attended several workshops, including our Dutch Didactics. I know that it’s about pedagogy, but that workshop is really going to help with my thesis. How? By going back to the roots of a question. Why do we want to ask the question anyway? After that I have attended some other workshops, such as standing out in today’s competitive market. We ended the day by doing a recap with our HU Honours attendees.
I had so much fun networking and learning about other ways to excel, therefore I’m about to make a video about our experiences. In that way we keep the incredible feeling of the conference alive, go honours!