In The Spotlight: Teaching and Learning Society and Geographical Society Roosevelt

By Florentina Mion
Staff Writer

“When all else fails, become a teacher” is what some people say to Liberal Arts and Science students. Many people do not understand that with our type of education we are actually more than likely to get a decent job, but somehow teaching is always seen as a plan B for many university students that are unable to find work in their line of study. The Teaching and Learning Society (TLS) is here to prove all of those people wrong!

They are concerned with anything that has to do with teaching. Their motto: “We teach to learn and we learn to teach” (that’s quite a brain-breaker huh?!). This new society has some very exciting plans for this year. For example, they organise the Knowledge Cafés, an exciting collaboration with the Zeeuwse Library here in Middelburg. Every month, there is a Knowledge Café on a certain topic. Now for all the Dutch people, this Knowledge Café takes the shape of De Wereld Draait Door. For all the non-Dutch people (or the Dutch people that just do not know De Wereld Draait Door) this is an informative TV-show where a host and sidekick try to facilitate a platform for discussion and debate. As for the Knowledge Cafés, these are all organised by students (with help from the Zeeuwse Library of course). The editorial team will decide on a topic, they invite professionals to appear on the show, they do the research and create a script so the host knows what to say, and they deal with the rest of the organisational details (e.g. the hotel for the guests and such). This editorial team will converse in English, however the actual Knowledge Cafés are in Dutch. The TLS is actually trying to get it aired on Omroep Zeeland!

The second exciting activity that they are working on at the moment is their lectures and workshops at a secondary school in Goes. They actually go out and teach secondary school students that are following Bilingual Education. They organise workshops about teaching and teaching methods for UCR students who want to participate in this project. These workshops are actually given by professionals! This project is completely in English so perfect for UCR students that have a passion for teaching.

Now these activities are meant for everyone who is interested but they do also require some input and participation from you guys! If you have become interested you can join the Facebook group or send the society an email ([email protected]).

Geography Society Board
Geography Society Board. From left to right: Sophie Rijnaard (secretary), Miriam Broeks (chair), Yvette Lanting (treasurer).

Another new society is the Geographical Society Roosevelt. This society is meant for everybody who is interested in human geography (not physical geography). They are concerned with social issues embedded in space and spatiality to raise awareness about the relevance of human geography in our everyday life. This activity-based society organises lectures and field trips for anyone who is interested and you do not necessarily have to take human geography courses.

Now for those who do not know exactly what human geography is, I have asked for some clarification. Physical geography deals with the earth, and is something like earth system science, where human geography focusses entirely on humanity, society, and the space in which we live. Think about social exclusion as a widely discussed issue but also economics and how this affects spatiality. Remember: it always has to do with space!

Everyone is welcome to join and if you want to be put on the mailing list, send an email to [email protected] or become friends with the Geographical Society Roosevelt on Facebook.

Hopefully this article has given you some more ideas about how to spend your free time. So get off that couch and start participating!

Florentina Mion, class of 2015, is a Literature and Art History major from Bladel, the Netherlands.

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