Ross School - Senior Projects 2011
Mentor: Lisa DelÕFavero
Domain(s): English, Media
Title: Netherlands, Travels in the Lowlands
Netherlands is a book about the history of that country, as well as a narrative of my time spent there last summer. I combine both aspects, as well as a good number of photographs and newspaper clippings, to paint a picture of both historical and modern aspects of the Netherlands. The twelve provinces of the Netherlands (not thirteen as some books would have you believe) are organized into four groups, by a combination of culture and geographic location. Hopefully the book will shed some light into the rainy world of the lowlands!
Book (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60)
My process was pretty hectic. I only began to think about writing a book at all right before the summer vacation, and realized that I wanted to write about the Netherlands immediately prior to our family trip there. After about a month in the country, I thought (or hoped) I had enough firsthand material and began writing.
I started writing in August, but that whole draft (it was only about 10 pages long) was scrapped because I really had lost focus and the piece didnÕt fit together in any way at all. I reorganized the project geographically and put a stronger emphasis on the background I felt that readers were missing in my first draft. My outside consultant, Vanessa Sellers is an art-historian and really helped with this aspect of the process.
After a grueling four chapters on the cultural and historical context of the country, I wrote a fifth and final chapter about the people, culture and customs of the Netherlands as a country. I feel so at home there, with these things going on around me, that figuring out what to put in took a good amount of soul-searching.
Alongside the writing, I took a good number of pictures in the country, both of places IÕd been before and areas new to me. I wanted images, because no matter how well I convey the atmosphere and look of the Netherlands pictures will always do more justice to certain parts of it.
After editing my writing and selecting my pictures I settled down to put them into Blurb and created a book. This part of my process went quickly, despite the tedium and lack of automation of the program I was working in. I think the book turned out great.
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2. Bell, Brian. Holland. Singapore: APA Publications, 2008. Print.
3. Blokker, Jan. Als De Wereld Vergaat, Ga Ik Naar Nederland: De Vaderlandse Geschiedenis in 40 Uitspraken En Meer. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2007. Print.
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9. Harmans, Gerard M. L., Max Alexander, Hilbert Bolland, and Jane Hanson. The
Netherlands. London [etc.: Dorling Kindersley, 2008. Print.
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20. White, Colin, and Laurie Boucke. The UnDutchables: an Observation of the
Netherlands : Its Culture and Its Inhabitants. Lafayette, CO: White-Boucke Pub.,
21. "Zeehondencrèche Lenie 't Hart." Zeehondencreche Lenie 't Hart. Web. 16 Dec.
Vanessa Bezemer Sellers
Art Historian, specializes in recreating antique Dutch Gardens, and wrote quite a lengthy work on that herself. She knows an almost impossible amount about Dutch History, and was a great backup to the websites I used for research.