Winter in Germany

by Nicole Crashell on January 16, 2017

When people ask me what I did over winter break, I have a hard time answering. On the one hand, I spent most of my time hanging out at home and playing with my dogs. On the other, for the first two weeks I was doing so much that it seems impossible to capture with words, and I was across the ocean—in Berlin, Germany, to be precise.

In the fall term of 2016, I was lucky enough to take GER 389: Experiencing Great Cities, a cross-listed course in German and Global Studies, which focuses on Berlin. For ten weeks our seven-student class read short stories, historical non-fiction, and discussions of architecture centered on the capital of Germany—some in English, and some in German—discussing them three times a week and gradually building an understanding of what that city was like. We also were each assigned a walking tour of Berlin, which we routed, researched, and presented briefly to the class through Google Earth. Finally, we picked topics of American culture and researched them thoroughly through interviews and observations, turning in a five-page essay at the end of the term—all of this before we’d even left campus.

And then the fun began. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we had all met up in Berlin, and we each led the class on our respective tours. As for what we saw on those tours—where do I start? We saw the Berlin Wall, of course, and the Holocaust Memorial, and the Berliner Tor. We visited museums, such as the Jewish Museum and the Museum of Communication. But we also saw smaller things: the ruins of the original outer city wall from the 12th century, a candy shop with chocolate models of famous German landmarks, and the old St. Mary’s Church, just a few blocks from our hostel. And because we were all Lawrentians, having read “Life of Galileo” in Freshman Studies, we could all appreciate the significance in finding Bertolt Brecht’s grave in a cemetery off of Chausseestraße.

For a history nerd like me, it was a dream come true. I loved getting a chance to see all the places I’d read about come to life around me—to be able to walk across an intersection that is, unbeknownst to most pedestrians, the oldest square in the city, and which still bears the original name, Molkenmarkt. My classmates and I had late afternoons and evenings to ourselves, and I loved being able to have these wonderful experiences with the friends I’d made during the term. We visited multiple Christmas markets, a staple of the holiday season in Germany, and explored the city’s nightlife together. All the while, we helped each other research for the second parts of our comparative papers, which ranged from customer service to beer to chocolate.

All too soon, however, it was time for us to go our separate ways—some flying straight back to the US, and others, myself included, heading elsewhere. I spent a weekend in Frankfurt with my host family from high school. But eventually I too was going through customs, readjusting to a country where everyone spoke my language, and putting my nose back to the grindstone by finishing up my comparative paper.

To be honest, the trip to Berlin was brutal—we didn’t see sunlight until halfway through the first week, and we walked several miles each day, often in rain or biting wind. Almost everyone came down with a cold at some point. But we were all there together, and for more than just a grade: we gained a lot of confidence, faced entirely new experiences, and learned to appreciate a different culture in a way that I don’t think we could have, had the schedule been any less rigorous. Since I’ve returned for the winter term, it’s been great to have people on campus that I can connect with so deeply, and I will always have Lawrence to thank for taking me on the adventure of a lifetime.

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“Be an athletic supporter”

by Charlotte Noble on January 10, 2017

Confession hour: I’m no good at sports. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very active person (hiking, biking, water skiing and other water-based activities), but the type of things you see in the Olympics or on ESPN aren’t my forte. If there was a sport that didn’t involving running, catching a ball, throwing a ball, hand eye coordination, maybe I’d have something going for me. But in this world, I will remain a singer whose physical activity is at the gym, not the field.

That being said: I ADORE watching sports. Sitting on the sidelines, cheering my friends or just the celebrities I admire (looking at you Aaron Rodgers, Clay Mathews, Jordy Nelson aka any Packer)  and I consider myself very lucky that, while it’s no college game day, Lawrence does have many opportunities for, as my athlete friends call me, NARP’s (Non-Athletic Regular Person) to be a part of the action.

In the past few months I was fortunate enough to get close to some people on the Football team (okay honesty hour, it’s my boyfriend) and in the spirit of supporting loved ones, and seriously missing high school games, I decided to attend as many home games as I could. Since my freshman year, I had only watched half an LU football game, so this was a little new for me. On multiple Saturdays, I made the walk over to the Banta Bowl, expecting to find the regular Lawrence half-filled seats. Don’t get me wrong, people here support the teams, but with the ever busy life of the average Lawrentian, it’s sometimes easier to coop yourself up in your dorm with yet another project due Monday.

Nicky Ulloa (’17 Defensive Back) and I after an LU football win!

However, as the season progressed, I saw little shimmers of how we get our cheer on for those on the fields and courts. Unlike the half a game I watched my freshman year, game days greeted me with the pep band, a group of conies (Conservatory students) who devote half their day to ramping up the energy in the bleachers. I also had the pleasure of enjoying the Lawrence Dance Team half time shows. Although not exactly one of our D3 sports, they received just as much support from the crowd, some attending the whole game because their roommate or friend filled the half time. Buses of students I didn’t expect to see there also arrived, as the shuttle between the Wriston turn-around and the Bowl faithfully made its rounds. There have also been new programs connecting the many sides of LU, including the ACE (aka the LUCC Athletic and Conservatory Engagement Committee). These wonderful people get musicians and athletes alike to attend each other’s functions, and show love for their differing talents.

Couple of bestie celebrating on the field! Couple of besties celebrating on the field!

Often when I mention Lawrence sports, my relatives and friends back home respond with “Lawrence has a ____ team???” not believing our little Liberal arts paradise would have time for such affairs. But, as we gladly announce in every call, Lawrence boasts of our 22 varsity sports. No, we’re not D1 teams that get press and highlight reels shown on sportscenter, but the athletes here train hard, and put 100% into every game day, and it’s our honor to cheer them on. Even us NARPs can get involved in tons of ways, showing our pride for this great school, and every piece of it.

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The Lawrence Difference

November 22, 2016

Going to Lawrence means there are certain classes that you need to take to graduate. For some this may seem like a burden, when in reality it is an eye opening experience, immersing you in different subjects you wouldn’t normally be learning about. As a math major, I don’t feel like I’m just swimming in math […]

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NATS: A wild weekend for the Vocalists of LU

November 14, 2016

This past Thursday a bus-load of anxious and excited Lawrence classical and musical theatre singers headed to Milwaukee for an event that was weeks in the making. What could warrant such an affair? The Wisconsin chapter of the NATS competition. While the title may evoke feelings of small bugs that fly into your mouth on an evening bike […]

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See Ya Next Year, Lawrence!

June 9, 2016

As I write this between lots of 10th/finals week confusion and craziness, papers, math, lots of study guides and PACKING, it is a nice study break to reflect on the last few weeks of my sophomore year because it has seemed like a blur. A few weekends ago we got to have our sorority’s formal! […]

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