The Dutch course is over now, and I'm please to say I passed. I'm afraid to say however that this blog post is mainly going to be a moan about the way the school grades exam results.
The UvA grades Dutch language course exam results on the following scale:
- very poor
After 72 hours of Dutch practice in only 6 weeks, this scheme seems a little unfair but this scoring scheme turns out to be typically Dutch.
To be "excellent" in the Netherlands is to be "uitstekend", literally translated into "sticking out", or in other words "freakish". To be different from everyone else, surprisingly, is frowned upon here. I'm amazed by the contradiction in Dutch society which is supposedly one of the most liberal and open-minded in the world, but yet hates to see people achieving above the norm. Doing just enough to pass has become the accepted way to be in the Netherlands. And I worry for the nation I really do. Don't they realise that the rest of the world, especially the developing world, is trying very hard to be outstanding (a.k.a competitive). I can see the Netherlands slipping down a well greased slope unless they pull their socks up, try harder and forget their inhibitions about being uitstekend.