Since this is my first blog post since May and Explore’s readership has gone WAY UP I feel like I should reintroduce myself.
Hi, I’m J.D. Merrill, a junior Educational Policy Studies from Baltimore, Maryland. I have a deep passion for education and politics, which is why I built my own major here through our Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.
I imagine that it would be natural for me to provide an update of what I did this summer at this point in my blog, but since it’s already Fall and I’ve procrastinated doing so up to this point, I’d rather just tell you about what is going on in my life now.
Since November, I’ve been anxiously waiting for March 15th to roll around wish hopes that I will be named as a 2011-2012 Watson Fellow. The Watson Fellowship is a “one year grant for independent study and travel outside the United States awarded to graduating college students nominated from participating institutions.” If I receive the Watson, I will spend all of next year studying slam poetry communities abroad in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Chile. Now, the day has finally come and I feel like a little kid on Christmas, waiting to see if Santa brought me switches and coal or fun surprises.Philosophically, I’m torn all over the place but the same old Christmas-time question roles around in my head, Have I been good this year? Continue reading
It’s been a strange month, trying to transition back into the Davidson routine. After a semester abroad, it’s almost like I’m a freshman all over again, stumbling into a community of new faces where everyone seems to know each other and I have to rediscover my place on campus. The problem sets, the overscheduling, the work-hard-play-hard atmosphere – this is the Davidson I knew, but reuniting after a long absence is not instantaneous. Continue reading
Barcelona: The land with soccer gods, tons of Americans and American festivities, kebabs, beautiful water, and amazing art.
I got to Barcelona late Friday night so my friends and I hung out and regained our energy for our full day of site seeing on Saturday. We visited the Picasso Museum and saw one of my favorite paintings (his interpretation of Las Meninas)… Continue reading
Look, I know…this semester, I really am living the dream. Who wouldn’t want to travel around Spain and other parts of Europe and learn about history and architecture and other forms of art and literature and pass it off as “school”???? [If you answered no to that, I don't believe you...]
Yes, I’ve been here for two months and I’m just going exploring. Okay let me explain. I’ve been exploring tons of times, but I’ve only really REALLY explored the areas around my house and the university and nearby things. Yesterday, however, me and some of my friends (Spaniards included!) went on a walk around the city to see some of the cool things.
Here’s a list of the coolest 3 things we saw: Continue reading
Kelvin in Cadiz
I thought I’d start with a bit of a detour, and instead of taking you to Geneva, Switzerland, I’ll head south to Cádiz, Spain. Even though this won’t be posted until later this summer, I’m spending five weeks in June and July in Spain on the Davidson in Cádiz program. (I consider it a warmup to my semester abroad.)
Even though most students find a non-Davidson program when they study abroad, Davidson also offers a diverse array of programs, from Ghana to Peru toIndia to Spain. The Davidson in Cádiz program first took us to Madrid for a week of sightseeing and touring, and now we’re in homestays in Cádiz on the southwest coast, living in pairs with local families and taking Spanish language, art, and culture classes for four hours a day. Continue reading
“No, no, I was just wondering if you had any medical adhesive tape. I hurt my toe,” I repeat in Spanish for the fourth time to my host mom.
“Now I understand,” she says in her rapid-fire Andalusían accent. “You mean you need cream. I have it right here. This will help.”
“No, no, it’s inside – the bone; I need tape to… put it together with my other toe.” Why don’t I know how to say attach?
“Oh, esparadrapo! Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” So apparently there’s a single Spanish word for medical adhesive tape. Good to know. Continue reading
Kelvin chills out in the Alps
I’m writing this by hand on a mountainside in the Swiss Alps – when else will I be able to say that? We’ve finally embarked on the KSU Geneva program, which starts with 3 nights in a chalet in Les Mosses, a tiny, picturesque village built into steep hillsides that becomes a popular ski town in the winter months. Now, though, the only snow to be seen is on distant alpine mountaintops, and the hills here are deep green with pastures and forests.