On campus, you often come across people quietly reading a book, but people who are reading their book starting at the back and working forwards are rarer. Yet they do exist. The Biotechnology Master’s student Jorien Hattink (23) reads manga, Japanese comic books. You read them from right to left. ‘I do read books going the right way too, though.’
photo Anne van der Heijden
‘Manga books are a kind of fantasy that sometimes go way over the top,’ explains Hattink. She usually prefers fantasy when she reads normal books as well. ‘It’s just nice to lose yourself in a book and discover an entirely new world. That’s easy with fantasy.’
Reading is not the only thing this student does in her free time. ‘You could call me a typical geek,’ she laughs as she lists her hobbies. In addition to reading, she likes gaming, writing stories and making fusion bead objects. Lots of people used to arrange little plastic beads in a pattern and melt them together with an iron when they were kids. Hattink has never stopped. ‘I find designs on the internet and adapt them to suit my own tastes or my client’s.’
She incorporates a lot of references to pop culture in her art, for example by creating characters from Pokémon or Marvel. ‘My biggest work was a vocaloid 50 centimetres tall — that was quite something.’ A vocaloid is a cartoon figure that can make music and puts on hologram concerts.
Fusion bead craft takes up a lot of Hattink’s time but her degree comes first. Before she started her Master’s in Wageningen she spent four years at a university of applied sciences. ‘This is where I wanted to eventually end up and it’s what suits me.’ On biotechnology, she says: ‘I think it’s the future.’ She has also thought about her own future. ‘I wouldn’t want to spend every day in the lab; I’d prefer a management position. I would also like to get my fusion bead work off the ground.’