First Weekend at Kasteel Well

We landed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Thursday, around 7:30AM.
The castle is a wonder.
I have to write a play inspired by my time here.

A photo posted by travis (@heytravistravis) on


For future Castle-dwellers, I packed with:
I've spent three full days living at Emerson's Kasteel Well.

Our first and second days were focused on orientation, with some time to make expeditions around the town of Well.

Saturday Night

A harp and violin duo came to the castle and played for us, which was a really fantastic. The songs ranged from Baroque to Celtic, with a cover of My Favorite Things thrown in. Here's a video of them performing. A couple of years ago I (and I imagine others) would have balked at the classical music played for us; but in this lounge, evoking a romantic intellectual soiree, I leaned in.

Previous Kasteel Well residents usually and sincerely describe their semester here as "a life-changing experience"

My plan is to keep expectations low and enjoy every moment, no attachments. That's close to my life's MO.

Sunday

I woke up and biked with my friends for a bit. To save money, myself and eight other people are sharing five bikes and using a Facebook group chat to keep us all accountable for bike usage. The bike I usually grab makes me happy because the handlebars turn towards you, like Pee-Wee Herman's bike. In our adventure, we came across gorgeous, bright flowers in large fields.

A photo posted by travis (@heytravistravis) on

In the afternoon all the students had a meeting with Dulcia Meijers, the executive director of Kasteel Well. Her presence was like nothing I've experienced in an administrator. Although mostly reiterating the rules we had heard that weekend, but without a slideshow so she could engaged so deeply, walk around the room, and make direct eye contact. Never talking down to us, we learned from her three decades of experience how we would make this experience we want. Her attitudes on drinking struck me: in the states she says, the attitude is drinking to get drunk. In the Netherlands, drinking is a social activity, to get rid of inhibitions, and often appreciate the taste of wine. Approximately her point was, "I don't have a problem with alcohol consumption, but I hate alcohol abuse". A new perspective.

Planning

Built into the curriculum of the castle, is planning/budgeting/adventuring. Over the next three months I have to build on these skills, to see all I can see, and appreciate it all. To keep track of it all, I'm using Airtable (which is AWESOME. Highly recommend for all sorts of database-making), to create a three sheet database. Here is the main view, which links to the "Cities to Visit" and "Things I've Bought" Tab.


Planning is stressful. Classes start tomorrow.


Location: Well, Kasteelaan 20, 5855 Well, Netherlands
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