Humans of FASoS

John Parkinson’s quarantine story

It’s 8.00 in the morning when I turn on my laptop and open Zoom. “Good morning”, John Parkinson, Professor of Social & Political Philosophy, says to me, “I just started cooking dinner for my kids”. While it’s 8.00 (in the morning) in Maastricht, it’s 16.00 (in the afternoon) in Brisbane. The story of how John eventually got to Australia is not your typical (Dutch) quarantine story.


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Lana Sirri’s academic activism

Lana Sirri is an assistant professor in gender and religion at FASoS. After completing her BA at Tel Aviv University, she worked as women’s project coordinator at the Arab-Jewish community centre in Yaffa. After a few years of experience in women empowerment, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in gender studies in Berlin, followed by a PhD.


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Ike Kamphof’s cabin in the woods

One of the advantages of having to work from home due to the coronacrisis? Not necessarily the cut in commuting time, Ike Kamphof, assistant professor in philosophy, thinks. Rather, “there is more space for animals. Now that there is less traffic because most people are working from home, you see animals emerge from their safe places located far from humans and start settling near busy roads that are now mostly empty.”

This situation nearly resembles her second home in Yukon, Canada.


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Veerle Spronck fled Maastricht, but returned

Veerle Spronck, PhD candidate at the Philosophy Department, Zooms in at 16.00 on a Wednesday afternoon. Luckily, she only teaches on Tuesdays and Fridays this period, so this was only her second Zoom meeting of the day.

From my quick Google search on Veerle before digitally connecting with her, I learn that Veerle moved away from Maastricht after her high school years, only to return after completing her bachelor’s degree.


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Diënne Hoofs and the best kept secret of Maastricht

“This is different”, I said to Laura Barendregt two weeks ago when I interviewed her for the Humans of FASoS, “I usually meet people at Bandito for the interview, discuss their life over a cup of coffee.”


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Laura Barendregt’s European adventure

Because the Netherlands is in isolation due to the coronacrisis, I am unable to meet my ‘victims’ (as most of them call themselves) for a coffee at Banditos. Rather, I simultaneously drink coffee with them over Skype.

My next victim is originally from Australia but has Dutch roots: teaching assistant Laura Barendregt.


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Geert Somsen is human (and tells stories)

“It’s nice to be considered ‘human’ once in a while”, Geert Somsen writes to me in an email when I invite him to be the next person to be interviewed for the humans of FASoS. When I ask him what he exactly means by that when I meet him at Banditos, he laughs.


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Carnival enthusiast Miranda van den Boorn

Leading up to the Carnival break, I met with FASoS’ true Carnival spirit. She is colourful, musical and creative: study adviser Miranda van den Boorn.


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Vincent Cordewener travels the world

A couple of days ago I met with ‘the other Vincent’, Vincent Cordewener, Facility Manager at FASoS. The one who mistakenly receives emails on library services (which Vincent Lagendijk chairs) while he should be receiving messages on facilities at FASoS.

Coincidentally, we met on his birthday. I promised not to mention what age he had turned, but let’s just say he found the sound of it quite daunting. This turn-of-his-life event was a good opportunity to reflect on the life he had had so far.


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FASoS’ first human to be interviewed: Vincent Lagendijk

Vincent Lagendijk is assistant professor in history at FASoS. What he does in his free time? He goes cycling, running, and occasionally plays basketball (which might not be surprising to those who know him).

I met Vincent for a coffee at Banditos. Once I poured sugar in my cappuccino, Vincent gasped: “why would you do that?” It immediately became clear to me that I had stumbled upon a real coffee lover.


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