The Past Year

It’s been a terribly, terribly long time since I have posted. But then, it’s been a crazy busy, fun-filled year.

I’d say this is the best spot to start this blog anew — almost. That is, I’ll be posting a lot more, with what I hope will be some interesting content (DIYs, trying out recipes from my vintage cocktail book, the week’s reads).

But first, I think a look back on this year should be done — since it’s been packed full of trips, events, and other great things. Since historians work in time lines (how many times have I heard that in my four years at UW-Eau Claire? Too many times to count.), why don’t I start at the beginning of last summer:

On May 28 of last year I flew off to start an amazing adventure in central Europe. It was a month long odyssey of history, architecture, and getting told to stay off the grass. Of course, it started off with a little rough patch — I picked up some illness from my niece on the day I left, and is my luck, spent the whole plane ride to Germany sick. This caused me to have some complications (I have a heart defect), and landed me in this nice West Berlin hospital for three days.

A great view of Berlin looking East, taken from my hospital floor (yep, you read that right. Hospital).
A great view of Berlin looking East, taken from my hospital floor (yep, you read that right. Hospital).

Once I got out, though, I was ready to go. I don’t think there was an ounce of homesickness in my body after that ordeal.

We visited the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on my twenty-first birthday.
We visited the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on my twenty-first birthday.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
One of my favorite parts was seeing this astronomical clock in Prague.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
We took a trip to the outskirts of Krakow to see Nowa Huta.

This past year was also my senior year of college — which means the last year I was on the Spectator staff. I can’t say how much I loved being in that group of co-workers and friends. We definitely had some interesting times.

Over spring break I took another trip through my university — this time to study the Russian-American community in San Francisco. San Francisco is a city that I have always wanted to go to (I think this stems from the television show Monk, which took place there. I love this show as a kid). We met some interesting people, and saw some really great places, and ate a whole lot of food.

We ate so much Russian food I thought I was going to die. ... but it was delicious.
We ate so much Russian food I thought I was going to die. … but it was delicious.
City Lights Books was one place we stopped at -- at the request of a lot of us book-lovers.
City Lights Books was one place we stopped at — at the request of a lot of us book-lovers.
We spent some of our free time exploring China Town. I bought a postcard that is almost  this exact picture!
We spent some of our free time exploring China Town. I bought a postcard that is almost this exact picture!

I do have to admit, though, that I almost got into an argument about politics with some of the Russian-Americans. Luckily, I was able to hold my tongue.

In early April UW-Eau Claire has the largest Viennese ball outside of Vienna. The Spectator photo editor covers it every year for our “Student Life” page — meaning that the whole back page of the paper is covered with my photos of the event. And I got in free with my press pass, a major bonus.

One of the photos I used for the Viennese Ball page in The Spectator. The nice thing about the student center at UW-Eau Claire is that we have multiple ball rooms for events like this.
One of the photos I used for the Viennese Ball page in The Spectator. The nice thing about the student center at UW-Eau Claire is that we have multiple ball rooms for events like this.
The whole student center was decked out. Here is a chandelier hung above the main staircase. It certainly didn't look like the usually freshman filled student center.
The whole student center was decked out. Here is a chandelier hung above the main staircase. It certainly didn’t look like the usually freshman filled student center.

One of the more important events, even though it lasted only two days, was the Eastern European Symposium that my university (and one of my favorite professors) puts on every other year. The event brings together about a half-dozen diplomats and professors from Eastern European countries. This year the topic of discussion was (of course) Ukraine and Russia. And while most of the speakers had the same opinions, it was still really interesting to hear them speak.

Valdis Krastins was one of the speakers on Friday afternoon.
Valdis Krastins was one of the speakers on Friday afternoon.
We had a packed house for the first few speeches at the Eastern European Symposium -- something none of us had expected.
We had a packed house for the first few speeches at the Eastern European Symposium — something none of us had expected.

Planning for the event lasted for the majority of us about a month. I worked on posters and getting the word out to the media that the event was happening. I also was assigned to transportation, which gave me early, personal access to some of the speakers.

And, in true Wisconsin meets East Europe fashion, a few of the “coordinating committee” students and two of the younger speakers went out to the best bar in Eau Claire, and the second to worst bar in Eau Claire (in my opinion).

And then, finally, there was graduation — and being accepted into the history Master’s degree program at Eau Claire!

New graduate!
New graduate! And random guy on his phone behind me!

And so now I’m off into a summer that I plan to fill with work (as the photo intern at the local paper), writing (which I plan to do every day), and hopefully some new adventures.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s