Published on: 26 July 2020
Written by: Jamie Aartsen

Introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Elizardo, I live in Boxmeer with my parents which is half an hour away from Nijmegen by public transport I am a second year bachelor student. I will be in the board next year and am currently in the OrC and AlmanaC.

How did you end up studying AI in Nijmegen?

I went to one of the open days of Radboud and signed up for the presentations of 3 studies. AI was the last study I still had  to go to and I really did not feel like going there anymore. I just really felt like going home, but my father told me to go there since I already signed up and since it might be a very nice study. So, eventually we went there and listened to Franc’s presentations which showed how much fun AI is. I thought it sounded quite fancy and was certainly interested, but also decided to keep on looking for other things I might like. However, I just kept thinking about AI and then asked myself if you keep thinking about it why not just do it, so that is how I ended up here. In other words, if I did not have my father telling me to go, I wouldn’t have been here.

Well it is a good thing that your father convinced you then 😊. What do you like the most about AI?

I like that everything surrounding AI is still so unclear right know. This gives me the opportunity to still be able to choose between such a lot of different paths within the subject. Psychology for instance already has lots of theories you should kinda hold on to, with AI this is just less the case. It is more up to us to figure out what to do, which I enjoy.

There is definitely still a lot to figure out indeed. Moving away a bit from AI: what are your hobbies?

If I have any spare time left I like to join parties from friends in Boxmeer which happens quite often. Next to that, I play the flute, I am trying to learn myself to play the violin and I have a piano downstairs which I sometimes try to play stuff on. I also do theater plays and musicals.

Nice, a lot of musicality! Besides all those hobbies you obviously as already mentioned before are also quite active within CognAC, how did that start?

I started by becoming a member of the 1C. My subcommittee decided to organize a themed party. Unfortunately,  it turned out that there were already too many parties around that time, so we last minutely had to come up with something new. We decided to go for a Netflix and Cringe movie night, which consisted of purely bad movies. One of them was the Dutch movie “Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden”. I got ambitious and decided to make English subtitles for it as I thought it would not take much time. In the end it took up way too much time and I even got my boyfriend to help me. It was certainly fun to make though. I also put some inside jokes, so really enjoyed watching the actual movie in the end with my subtitles. Although most people most likely did not get the jokes.

It is really nice that you are willing to put so much time in your tasks! How did you go from being an ambitious 1C member to becoming really active in the AlmanaC and OrC?

I joined the AlmanaC around April last year when the new committee started, so I got to take part in the whole process. I am secretary in this committee which is really nice, so shoutout to the secretaries, especially to Noa and Maike!

You know there is always a shoutout question at the end of the AI* interview right?

Yes, but I just really enjoy doing random stuff. You should know me better than that by now Jamie.


Anyways, next to the AlmanaC I am also currently in the OrC. The story behind joining that committee is quite funny. We had the Active Members Activity at the end of the academic year 2018-2019 and the very lovely Jamie figured out that she had too little committee members so came up to me to ask whether I wanted to join (Actually the idea to ask Elizardo came mostly from Marleen and Hannah, so since we are already giving shoutouts anyway, shoutout to them!). I was like sure and so I joined the OrC like one or two months before the orientation. I really enjoyed it and so I decided to stay in the committee and take the secretary function upon me this year. I am doing a little bit of everything within the committee and mainly trying to help out Marleen, the chair, with her tasks. I am really looking forward to next orientation, hopefully it will still be fun with all the COVID-19 measures we had to take into account.

I am really glad I asked you to join the OrC back in the day and I’m sure that due to your and the rest of OrCs huge efforts the orientation will be amazing once again. Are there still any committees on your to-do list?

Absolutely, I would really like to do the WebC next year, that one seems really nice to me. Other than that there are still a lot of committees I want to do. I think all CognAC committees are fun, I am just not sure if every committee fits me. AC and DAtA really seem fun to me for instance, but not sure whether my style matches with their way of working. The CTC and LoLCo also seem to be really nice. Other than that joining the TraC and WkC also would be cool, but they are kinda settled right now as committees and joining them after their next activities might be a little bit too late for me. I’m also currently not doing any more committees because I would make my life to busy otherwise, which is something I am really good at.

Makes sense since you already named around half of CognAC’s committees in this question anyway.

Classic me, well I guess it is a good thing I get to be Chief of Internal Affairs next year, then I can experience a little bit of every committee.

Yes, you definitely have the right function for that haha 😊. Do you have a favourite CognAC related memory that you gained over the past two years?

I have two: one was when my bike got stolen and one was when I was kinda crying while sitting on stairs, you can choose one!

Well, they both are not really answers I would expect when talking about a positive favourite memory haha.

Fair, but the bike one is kinda funny. It took place during my orientation. One evening we went to a  party and I forgot to lock my bike. Obviously it was gone once I returned and I had no hope in finding it back. The next day we had Nimma44 and while walking through a park, I saw a group of guys who I think where quite a bit older than me and one of them had what seemed to be my bike. So, I went up to them and asked the guy whether the bike was his. He asked me why I asked the question. I answered that bike looked quite a lot like mine, which clearly made the guy agitated. He just started continuously saying “take it if it’s yours” in a threatening kind of way. I remained calm and I asked whether I could take it with me and whether I could have the keys, and he just furiously said that the keys were still in the bike and that I should take it. At this point Aline came to check upon me since she was guiding my group and asked me what was going on, so I just very calmly told her I found my bike. Then another guy that was with the angry dude told me to take the bike and leave and so I did and still wished them a good day. Aline was clueless about what was going on. I only realized afterwards that it could have ended much worse given that they were quite a bit older and stronger than me, but hey at least I got my bike back. I by the way did all of this wearing a panda onesie.

That certainly is memorable story! Hopefully the memories you will make in the future are less dangerous though, haha. Talking about the future, what are you looking most forward to in your board year?

Definitely helping out people with organizing things. So, making sure everything goes alright, that people learn something from the committees, but most importantly that people enjoy doing committee work. A committee should be fun and if it is not for some people, I really want to do something about it and make them feel happy.

That is a true Chief of Internal Affairs mentality right there. Now that we have covered most of your CognAC experience, lets focus a bit more on you again. Since you are quite musical, what kind of music do you usually listen to?

I lately tend to listen to Indie pop and songs from musicals and sometimes I really enjoy listening to more typical Dutch songs, e.g. from BLØF, my music taste just changes quite often. One song I really like at the moment is Must Have Been the Wind from Alec Benjamin. I think most of Alec’s songs are quite beautiful although they mostly are not about positive things at all. Do you want to hear something more positive?

Yes, sure.

Okay, I will look up a musical song, do you want a British or American one?

Uhh, British?

Then I will go with I Say No from Heathers the Musical.

We proceed to listen to the songs for a while after which we continue the interview.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I tend to have quite some late night sessions at the McDonalds. Whenever I am hungry in the evening, I just ask whether Jordy (Elizardo’s boyfriend) is up for it and quite sometimes we end up going.

Funfact 1: just a few days before this interview Elizardo and I were planning to go to get a drink at a café in the evening but instead ended up sitting in the Mac until we got kicked out around 1:30AM because they were closing up, oops.

Is there a life motto you live by?

Yes, something I try to live by is “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”, which is a quote from Mother Teresa. I hate it when people do not feel good or when something bothers them. I really want to be the person which is always available for people to talk to when they feel like it. I don’t even necessarily want to give advice just being a listening ear is also already great as long as the other person starts to feel better.

Fun fact 2: the same evening that we went to the Mac, Elizardo nearly asked me every 2 minutes whether I was alright because he noticed that I was very tired. So, I can definitely tell that he is a caring kind of person😊.

What is your biggest achievement in life?

I’d say graduating high school. This really may not sound like a huge achievement as nearly everyone here achieved this at some point in their lives. However, I dealt with a glandular fever for an entire year, so I missed most of my classes and still managed to graduate with a passing grade for all my courses. Next to that I am also very proud of a musical I played in it is called 'Lèvesloop en Trug' and is about the evacuation of a small village nearby during Second World War bombardments. I learned a lot about myself during that time and participating gave me much satisfaction.

You can see the entire musical here! It is unfortunately in Dutch, but still very much enjoyable and interesting :)

Those are amazing achievements indeed! Time to throw in a classic AI* interview question: what pet should CognAC have?

Either a cat or a hamster. A hamster would be easily portable so you can actually take it to CognAC evenings and such. Also, they are very cute. A cat is very nice as well and is more autonomous. So, you still kinda need to take care of them, but they do mind their own business, such that the CognAC members and board also still have time to invest in our association.

And obviously there is one thing left to ask: do you have any shoutouts?

Well, next tot the ones I already gave during the interview, big shoutout to OrC, they are all doing an amazing job, despite us having to change plans continuously because of COVID. Also, special shoutout to Marleen, the chair of the OrC, you are doing very well! Shoutout to the AlmanaC, who have been working very hard the last few weeks to be able to finish the almanac in time. Shoutout to my new board, looking forward to next year! And lastly, shoutout to the whole of CognAC, because CognAC is amazing!

That is definitely a good way to end it. Thanks for the interview Elizardo!