Humans of FASoS

Patrick Bijsmans; the ‘warm weather diver’

Patrick had just returned from a two-week holiday when I spoke to him via Zoom. His destination? Dutch Caribbean island Curaçao.

“With the pandemic ongoing, the possibilities to travel were somewhat limited. We did not want to go anywhere where the situation was more critical than it was in the Netherlands. The plan was to go to Bonaire, but when the Dutch government marked Bonaire as an ‘orange area’, we went to Curaçao instead,” Patrick says.

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Elsje Fourie or Elsje Foodie?

When we were still able to visit the office several days a week, the Humans of FASoS interview could still be held at our beloved Banditos.

Last week, I met Elsje Fourie, assistant professor in Globalisation and Development Studies. We drank coffee and Elsje enjoyed a croissant for breakfast. Should that have given away what our conversation would be about?

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Maud Oostindie is engaged!

She grew up in Walem, Limburg, studied in Utrecht, Maastricht and Coimbra, Portugal. Her brother is shepherd and I share my birthday with her. To top it off, Maud Oostindie, teaching assistant at FASoS, got engaged!

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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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