The days are flying by as we've now finished our second week of classes! It's becoming increasingly important to find a balance between working hard and exploring this city; the pressure is on! We've still managed to take some time out to shop, wander, drink and eat out, but it's been surprisingly difficult to find establishments that accommodate to vegetarians!
It's amazing to see how positive psychology is rapidly gaining momentum and becoming integrated within clinical psychology. One of my favourite aspects of the program is that I can directly apply what I'm learning to my everyday life. We explored positive emotions and motivation this week and practiced some introspective exercises to induce optimism and positive affect, such as the 'best possible self' visualization and writing task. Some might think that this sounds like typical self-help jargon, but there's a strong theoretical basis behind all the content that we're learning.
This weekend we spent a much needed night off in Brussels, Belgium. We all stayed in a big hotel and it was incredible to sleep in a soft comfortable bed and not have to wear thongs in the shower, it's all about the little things! We were given an excellent tour of the city by a knowledgeable guide which included an obligatory stop past Maneken-Pis!
I also saw the building in the main square where Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto. In the 1860's (when the book was written) it was a working class pub, it's now one of the fanciest restaurants in Brussels. Even though I didn't go inside or see anything that formally commemorated this, it was a pretty special moment for me because it's one of my favourite pieces of writing.
We were given some free time in the afternoon so we made the most of it by visiting the Musical Instrument Museum where we saw instruments from all over the world, dating back from BC to the 1970's. We were given headphones and scanning devices that allowed us to walk around and hear samples of the instruments and pieces of music featuring collections of instruments from similar countries. There was even an exhibition commemorating 200 years since Adolph Sax invented the saxophone. This was so much fun! After hiding out until the rain died down, we went to Delirium where they had 2000+ different kinds of beer, and we had modest 9.5% alcohol content beers which are considered weak by their standards! To end the night I had a life changing experience disguised as a freshly cooked waffle with Nutella. Oh my wow.
The next morning we joined our fellow class mates for a buffet breakfast at the hotel with an incredible view of the city before learning about the production of chocolate and eventually making our way to Leuven for a tour of the city on a quiet, ridiculously cold Sunday.
Next weekend we're going to Amsterdam, I'm so excited! Tot zeins
Read more about my first week experience in "Don't Worry Be Happy" in Maastricht! Part #1