Looking back # 1: university and the benefits of method

December 18, 2011

After secondary school I went to university – I guess it was in the line of things. I began at Saint-Louis in Brussels with a broad combination of philosophy, social and political sciences and economics in the tradition of the Jesuit canon who was at its head at the time. The BA curriculum postponed the need for specialisation, a good thing when one is still so young

Two years of ‘licence’ followed at the French-speaking Catholic University of Louvain, which was still located in its ancient surroundings at the time before moving to a new campus outside of Brussels. My Master’s subject was international relations, including a final paper about the differences and analogies between the Benelux treaty and the Nordec treaty, an aborted  economic union between the Scandinavian countries.

For a long time I thought these years had been interesting but pretty useless as I preferred working with my hands and trying to make art. However, the research I’m now doing for my books has made me see that I was wrong and that a certain extent of ‘method’ is probably the main benefit I’ve had from an academic training.