Keukenhof Kapers!

29 04 2013

Today was a beautiful afternoon and evening in Utrecht! Although the weather started off a bit nasty, it turned into a beautiful day that was ideal as many, many people started preparing for Queensnight and Queensday! Tomorrow, Queen Beatrix will abdicate her throne to her son, Willem-Alexander in Amsterdam. I am super excited! But I decided to show everyone something ‘typically Dutch’ that everyone loves: flowers!

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Emma, Marissa and I had wanted to see the infamous tulips of the Netherlands for quite some time. The tricky part is picking the week when they are in bloom and luckily, yesterday was a good decision! We left Utrecht around noon and arrived at Schiphol around 1:30ish, much later than it normally takes to get to the airport! Once there, we bought tickets and boarded the bus to Keukenhof. It took approximately 30 minutes on the bus to get to Keukenhof.

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Now, I was under the impression that Keukenhof was a town where the flowers grew. I expected long rows of tulips in fields as far as the IMG_0938eye could see. Although we did see fields, Keukenhof is much more like a theme park than anything else. Imagine Dollywood without the rides and just tons of flowers, walking and rivers, and you’ve got Kuekenhof, which is located in Lisse.

However, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The park was gorgeous. There were over nine miles of pathway to walk and see the different varieties of flowers. However, much like Dollywood, the park was incredibly touristy, much more touristy than I would have thought! This could be attributed to Queen’s Day/Abdication this week as well as just a beautiful day in Holland’s often unreliable weather. This didn’t stop us from IMG_0888enjoying the great day. We didn’t get to go out into the tulip fields much to my dismay, but the day was still incredibly nice and very enjoyable!

I leave for Prague in three days! Oh my! I’ve planned and planned and am certain I will be having a very good trip! Tot ziens!


ECEJ Report Card

25 04 2013

comm and journAnyone who knows me even a little knows that when it comes to my grades, I like to be the best. Let’s be real here. South Greene was a constant competition between all 10 of us valedictorians and college is no different. But coming to Utrecht was a big slap in the face.

First off, getting A’s (by America’s standards) is incredibly hard to do here. They don’t just hand them out (not that they do in America, but when I look at the A’s I got at home and the A I got here, it’s depressing). Secondly, the teaching, assignments and grade scale in general is completely different, and adjusting has been rough to say the least.

So, in order to celebrate the end of the “educational” portion of the program (and to make myself feel better about my less-than-self-satisfactory grades), I’ve decided to grade the program!

This is somewhat complicated, since there are many different parts, but I’ll do the best I can to convert ECTS to hours (sorry, European friends) and make it as accurate as possible.

First, we’ll start with the actual classes that we had for eight weeks.

European History of Art: 4 ECTS/2 Hours

Now, I am not completely closed off to the idea that history and art can be fun. This was proven to me by Dr. Rubenstein last semester, my phenomenal Western Civ. Teacher who made class interesting and entertaining for us students. And evident by my use of the knowledge here, I learned quite a bit in that class. Not because I like history or art (because I really, really don’t), but because the teacher made it fun to learn. Even the TA was entertaining and knew how to get us to understand the material.

That did not happen in this class. In its defense, fans of history and art in the class loved the material and were intrigued, but I often found it difficult to focus and eventually would tune out completely. I was never interested and never invited to be interested. Although Arie (the teacher) knew his stuff and could probably talk for quite a while about the information, that’s exactly the problem. He talked it, never really taught it.

I probably could have loved this class (much like Western Civ.) if the curriculum was taught in a more hands-on or at least fun manner, but it wasn’t.

Art Grade: C

European Cities: 4 ECTS/2 Hours

The same could go for this class as it did for History of Art. I never really learned anything in this class and often tuned out. But, I’m sure it could have been interesting, granted the material were presented in a different, more stimulating manner. Much like Arie, Marcel (cities teacher) knew his stuff and could talk for hours about it, if you let him. But I feel there is a significant difference between being very knowledgeable about a topic and being able to present that information in a way that make 27 young adults interested in what you are saying. And as for me, I was rarely intrigued to learn more.

Cities Grade: C

Contemporary European Film & Literature: 4 ECTS/2 Hours

This class was actually pretty interesting for a number of reasons. First, the teacher, Brian, was from NYC and could always clearly articulate what he was saying. Second, I am an English/literature fan, which probably made the course more interesting from the start. Each class, a film was shown, and although the film was not always the most interesting of films, at least it was something. Who doesn’t love movies in class? Not to mention, the discussions were intriguing, inviting and everyone could interject because often, Brian was asking for opinions, not facts. Not to mention Brian’s very awkward, but hilarious sense of humor.

Everything in this class was more interesting than the other two combined. Even though this was not the best class I have ever had (by a long shot), it was always a relief to go to.

Lit Grade: B+

European and Islamic Culture: 4 ECTS/2 Hours

I didn’t think I would be too excited for this course, to be perfectly honest. I had a crash course last semester in Western Civ. about the history/spread/meaning of Islam and hadn’t thought I had retained that much about it. But little did I know I had retained a lot more than I had thought. This class was much more educational than discussion and honestly, if I had not taken that history class last semester, I might have been giving the class a grade much like Cities and Art. However, I actually knew and could answer many of Ruud’s questions.

However, there were some disadvantages to this class that I would prefer to not delve into, but it does affect its grading. Overall, it was a good class, even though I didn’t really learn anything that I didn’t already know.

Islam Grade: B-

European Culture, Media and Lifestyle: 2 ECTS/1 Hour

Although there are many ways this could be put, the simplest is that this class didn’t really benefit me much. Many of the lessons were scrambled and confusing. Although the assignments were half-way decent, they could have been misinterpreted for Welcome Week assignments as opposed to journalism-honing assignments. Not to mention the criteria for comparing medias was so confusing that oftentimes it took several guesses to figure out what to write that eventually ended in being wrong anyway.

If the curriculum for this class were completely rebuilt, it could be useful, but in its current state, I was often confused about what was expected and I don’t believe it is doing much good.

Culture Grade: D

Research, Report & Travel Phase: 12 ECTS/6 Hours

Although I’ve only been through about half this section of the program, I’ve decided to go ahead and give it a grade.

The Research phase (we’ll give 2 hours) was not what I expected it to be. I expected hardcore workshops and expert level guidance on what was expected of us, but instead, I wasted hours sitting in classrooms relearning things I learned in JEM 200. And as the youngest one out of the class, I am going to assume that if I knew a lot at my training, everyone else was already aware of most things that we were being told as well. In addition, the guidance I was receiving was uncomfortable and scattered when compared with my JEM guidance back home. Although the rundowns we had to do each week did benefit me by making me think about my story, it wasn’t enough to save this part of the program.

Research Phase: F

The travel phase is probably one of my favorite parts of the program. Not only does it make you see and travel Europe, but you are forced into the role of journalist/foreign correspondent by going somewhere by yourself and writing stories. Even though this could be many journalists’ dreams, I am terrified, but I can’t wait to check it off my things of journalistic accomplishments. Even if things go wrong during my trip, the idea is great and actually benefits the journalist.

Travel Phase: A

The report phase is also called the ‘newsroom’ phase and is started upon our return. Essentially, this part of the program is editing and publishing our stories, which done efficiently, could be accomplished in a week. Two, at the most. But instead, this process is drug out into four weeks of what the syllabus says is more workshops and meetings. I’m already not looking forward to it.

Psychic Report Phase: C

After plugging this into my handy, dandy GPA calculator, the end grade of the European Culture and European Journalism program is: 2.2/4.0.

For my European friends, this comes out to EXACTLY, 5.5/10 (or enough points to BARELY pass).

I find this incredibly fitting for the program. It’s quite disorganized (probably because it wasn’t made for 27 PEOPLE), but I digress. More than anything, it was for the experience, and boy was it an experience! Maybe I will be surprised and the report phase may be more exciting than what my spidey-senses are telling me, but so far I have been correct in my assumptions, so no point in stopping now!

April Showers Bring…

22 04 2013

time in the parkMay flowers! Or so goes the saying. But luckily, Utrecht has been rain-free for a good few days and it has been absolutely gorgeous! Springtime in the Netherlands makes everything much more worthwhile, and for that I am thankful. Today, after a meeting with one of my teachers, I enjoyed a nice lunch outside with a good 100 other HU students basking in the nice weather. Afterwards, I biked to and spent well over an hour in a park close to the downtown area watching the people enjoy the lovely weather and writing the Berlin update that just went up! It was so relaxing and definitely what I needed. It is safe to say I could get used to the great weather that is slowly infecting the Netherlands!

In nine days, I leave for an 11-day reporting trip to Prague! Where has the time gone? I have booked my flight, my room and made contact with people associated with my stories and I am quite excited for this trip. Besides writing stories and gaining experience, I will be completely by myself, which is somewhat scary. But I am hoping everything goes according to plan and I have a ton of fun! I’ll have my computer with me during this time, so I’ll try to update as much as I can while in Prague! As for now, that is all the major news I have! Tot ziens!

The Creative City: Part Two

22 04 2013

This blog update was written in a very pretty park, courtesy of Utrecht’s lovely spring weather!IMG_0473

Friday morning came all too quick and with it, another early morning with a delicious breakfast. After we ate and had another short break, we made our way towards the metro with our creative leaders, Arie and Marcel, towards the Berlin Cathedral. We had a little time before we were supposed to be at a museum, so Arie told us some history of the church and parts of the surrounding areas. Right behind the cathedral, the city of Berlin is rebuilding the old palace, so Arie and Marcel were eager to tell us all about it. Unfortunately,  we didn’t get to go into the cathedral because it cost money. Soon our time had passed and we walked towards the museum we were to see.

All the more important museums are on an ‘island’ called Museum Island [very creative, huh?]. The museum we went to housed many of more ‘classically Berlin’ pieces. We were split into two groups and given short tours of the pieces Arie wanted us to see. Probably my favorite were the Friedrich’s ‘Monk by the Sea’ and ‘The Abbey in the Oakwood’. We had seen them in class and seeing them in person made all the IMG_0484difference. Of course, we did see some of the more famous painters as well [van Gogh, Manet, Monet], but Friedrich was definitely my favorite. After the tour, we were given about 30 minutes to roam, which I quickly made my way through the museum. Although there were some very beautiful pieces, none really caught my fancy. Once we had all gathered up again, we made our way towards a second museum where we were to see a six-piece exhibit by Daniel Richter. The art was much more modern and contemporary, but I did find a favorite in the exhibit! It was interesting and intriguing, to say the least. Once we had finished there, we started walking towards the square Arik and I had been at the day before to see the main museum. However, Arie overshot the entrance and we ended up walking much further than we had needed to. By the time we had reached the end of the street, I told Arie that the entrance to the square was quite a ways back, but by that, we decided to just let us go. Of course, our first priority was food. While the group was trying to decide where to go, Marissa and I decided to break off and go to a IMG_0492Mexican restaurant that she had seen a few days before. It wasn’t bad by any means, but let’s face it: no one can compete with Monterrey, in my heart. After we had finished, we broke off to go do our own things. On my agenda was to see the Jewish Museum, the Typography of Terror and the Kennedy Museum. But before all this, I got a good cup of Starbucks coffee. Yum!

This was the first time I can say I really ‘maneuvered’ around a city by myself. Luckily, Arik and I had gotten a ton of experience the previous day with the metro, so I was pretty sure what to expect. My first goal was to see the Jewish museum. With my phone app in hand, I made my way through the metro to the designated stop. Unfortunately, the phone app can only get you so far. I ended up walking up and down a street for about 45 minutes before I stopped someone and found out I was supposed to go one street over. Once I did, the Jewish Museum greeted me.

After getting my ticket and waiting quite a while to check my coat, I made my way in. The Jewish Museum is set up different than most other museums. It is full of nooks and crannies. The designer wanted the whole building to be disorienting and unstable, which did its IMG_0520job beautifully. The two places that stood out for me the most were the Holocaust Tower and the Memory Void. The Holocaust Tower is one of the first rooms you encounter in the museum. What looks like an emergency exit is soon realize to be something I can only describe as what the gas chambers might have been like. The room is over 20 meters high with no heating or air conditioning and one sliver of light coming from the outside at the top of the room. It is cold. It is dark. It is terrifying. I had to go back once I had finished going through the rest of the museum just to make sure I had an understanding of the feeling it gave me. Almost haunting, unnerving and sick. I can hardly describe the feeling. Although the Holocaust is an important part of German Jewish history, the museum went through the entire history of the Jews in Germany. It was actually pretty interesting and I learned quite a bit. One of the coolest things about the museum was that it was interactive. Many time you could and were encouraged to touch, listen and interact with exhibits. At one point, I even got to hang a wish on a wishing tree! [I am sad to report that as of yet, my wish hasn’t come true.]IMG_0541

The second part of the museum that had an impact on me was the Memory Void, a crevice hidden in the middle of the building. The ‘room’ has no roof, natural lighting, no air or heat, and over 10,000 metal faces on the floor that you can walk on. The faces are all fairly simple with harsh frowns to signify the innocent lost in the Holocaust. The horrifying sounds of the metal clinking together when one walks on them is indescribable and something I never want to do again.

I spent over two hours in the permanent exhibitions of the Jewish Museum, and although I wanted to go to the temporary exhibit, I decided against it to leave time to hopefully make it to the Typography of Terror. So once again, I made my way to the Metro to hopefully find the Gestapo headquarters. I got off at the right stop and had to guess the direction the Typography was in, but luckily, I saw a bus that indicated I was going the right direction. UnbeknownstIMG_0537 to me, I ended up walking right by the museum and down the street. Again, I stopped someone and, although he wasn’t from Berlin, was kind enough to look it up on his phone. By this point, it was nearing 5-6 p.m. I walked down the Berlin Wall Monument and simultaneously reading some of the history of the Gestapo. I decided to go inside to the free museum and ended up running into Silvia and Arik.  I spent about 45 minutes walking and reading the history of the Holocaust and the Nazi’s rise and demise. Some of the most powerful photographs detailed corpses in mass graves, liberation photos of horrible conditions and suicide photos of famous Nazi employees. They were rattling. After finishing up there, it had gotten dark out and I decided to call it a night. I maneuvered my way back to the hostel.IMG_0563

The whole day had a significant impact on me. In sixth grade, when I first became interested in the Holocaust [and my idol, Anne Frank], the representations could only show so much of the impact it had on the world. But being there, in person, and seeing all that history in such a short period of time overwhelmed me. Let’s face it: I’m a sensitive person. But I wouldn’t be surprised if many people had the same reaction and felt the same things I did when going through these two exhibitions.

Enter Saturday! Most people had decided to depart on Saturday, but I [along with a few others] decided to stay until Sunday. We woke up, had the last day of our delicious breakfast and said our goodbyes to the ones departing that day. I went back to the hostel after breakfast and got ready because I was determined to see this Kennedy Museum.

By myself, I made my way to the Pariser Platz where my Berlin app told me the IMG_0580museum was. However, a rally had formed in the center of the Platz, so I went up to someone behind the fence in the protest to ask what they were protesting. Although I don’t remember exactly what he told me the protest was over, it was something to do with the treatment of Muslims in the Middle East. I walked over the square several time and couldn’t find the Kennedy Museum. Frustrated, I went into the Starbucks to get a coffee and go online to see where I had went wrong. It seems as though back in December, the museum had made a move across town. Hurridly, I made my way to the metro to catch the subway, see the museum and hopefully make it back to Pariser Platz in time to meet Marissa at 2. By some miracle of God, by Google Maps app was working at led me right to the museum. It was a photography museum detailing the lives of the Kennedy family [in particular, JFK]. I was pretty interested in it, seeing the history of one of our greatest presidents. They also had some JFK memorabilia and an entire room dedicated to his IMG_0652visit to Berlin where he said his famous phrase, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” It was a good museum to go to and interesting to see how Berlin interpreted the Kennedy family. I didn’t get to spend too long in the museum, however, because I was to meet Marissa at 2 to do one of the most important things you can do: shopping!

This part of the trip probably isn’t the most exciting. To make a long story short, we spent around 3-4 hours going around Berlin trying on clothes and buying things. After we finished our shopping escapade, we decided to eat dinner around our hostel. Marissa already had a place in mind, so we departed and made our way back. The place we ended up going to was called Houdini, an Indian restaurant about a minute away from our hostel. I had never had Indian food, but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it! After eating, we went back to the hostel to take a break before going out that night with the remaining ECEJ’ers. Although there were some unforeseen twists and turns, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night with some very great people [i.e. Marissa, Arik and Thomas P.].

The next morning, I awoke much too early at 7:30 a.m. to start packing for home. My flight was leaving at 12:10 from Berlin Tegel and luckily, Marissa had helped map out my metro stops before we went to sleep. It was actually much easier than I had originally anticipated and made it to the airport with well IMG_0682over an hour to spare. For most of the time I waited, I was just trying to not fall asleep. I was pretty exhausted and was hoping I could make it to the plane before dozing off. We boarded and not long after take-off, I drifted off to sleep [even though it was barely an hour flight]. I woke up about ten minutes before landing in Amsterdam made my way home without trouble. Even went to the grocery store once I was home!

So there you have it! All of Berlin jam-packed into four days of fun and craziness!

Springtime in Utrecht

19 04 2013

spring 2

spring 1 spring 4 spring 3

I am pleased to report that springtime has visited the Netherlands! It’s been pretty nasty since my arrival, but lately it has been getting fairly warm and I am so glad! Spring and fall are probably my favorite times of the year (still cool; but incredibly pretty) so I was so excited to see the flowers blooming that I had to stop and take pictures!

Berlin update part two is coming soon!

Berlin Highlight

18 04 2013

Berlin Highlight

This is from a graffiti alleyway in Berlin. This is outside of a hip-hop bar/club that we ended up going to on Saturday night. It was incredible in person and I can only imagine how long it took!

The Creative City: Part One

18 04 2013

Berlin time! Unfortunately, it seems that because I like every detail to be in my blog updates, I shall be splitting this update up as well!

The unique thing about my trip to Germany is that it was coordinated through my program. In other words, my whole class was there, which was pretty cool! Although, at times, it was inconvenient to have 29 people maneuvering though Berlin. But hey.

IMG_0388I departed for Berlin on Wednesday morning, making my way to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to catch the 12:30 to Berlin. Most of the people from my class were going by train, but I’ve found I take much better to flying. I got there quite early (because the last thing I needed was to miss my flight) so I sat for a while. However, while sitting, I saw three people from my class coming my way. Turns out that Sam, Ane and Silvia were also on my flight to Berlin, which was a great relief to me! We boarded the plane and took off towards Berlin. The flight was only supposed to last approximately as hour, but as we were nearing the Berlin Tegel, the captain announced that a ‘suspicious explosive device’ had been found in the airport and we weren’t cleared to land. Uhm, what?!

We ended up circling the airport for about 20 minutes until we were cleared to land. Imagine our uneasy relief. We quickly collected our bags and made our way towards the buses to brave Berlin’s massive public transit system. We bought days tickets and made our way to some bus towards Alexanderplatz, the ‘main’ station. After getting there, we rushed towards the U2 [subway] towards the stop [which I cannot remember] that would take us close to our hostel. We rushed on and immediately panicked that we had gotten on the subway going the opposite direction, but luckily we had gotten on the right one. We rode the few stops to the one near our hostel [which I still can’t remember] and got off to begin our walk [hopefully] towards the hostel. We ended up guessing the initial direction to go in and started walking. Eventually, we came to find we were going the right direction and, within a few short minutes, arrived at our hostel, Lette’m Sleep Hostel.IMG_0337

I’m not going to lie, this hostel wasn’t great. At all. I guess I wouldn’t be the best judge of where it ranks on niceness of hostels, but I can guess that if I had the option to choose, that would not have been my initial choice. Or secondary choice, for that matter. But it was a bed to sleep in and a place to get clean, so I guess it did its job correctly.

Once we arrived and settled, it was right back out again with our group towards the Pariser Platz, where the Brandenburg Gate stands [Reagan’s famous speech], the Hotel Adlon [M.J. dangling his baby out the window], and the U.S. Embassy [Holla!]. One of the groups from our Art History class gave the final presentation about the square and we all took some photos like the crazy touristic group we were. Afterwards, we walked back behind the Brandenburg Gate and saw where the Berlin Wall used to run. It was hard to imagine a wall like that, dividing East and West Germany. We made our way back towards the Reichstag building which houses the parliament. We were to climb the Reichstag dome [a glass dome that gives a 360 degree view of Berlin and looks directly into the main hall of the parliament], which terrified me at first until I saw it and realized it wasn’t another narrow staircase. The dome is beautiful, to say the least, and the fact we were there near sunset made it ten times better. There is also a large glass centerpiece in the center of the dome that was amazingly beautiful.

IMG_0369We stayed there for an hour then departed to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The piece of architecture is many rows upon rows of varying height concrete slabs, ranging from waist height to high above your head. Walking through it gave me such a disorienting, uneasy feeling. It’s indescribable. The monument does its job incredibly well and it’s definitely possible to get lost in thought as well as step amidst walking through the concrete cemetery.  However, we didn’t stay too long as I found myself one of the last people out.

We began our walk back to the subway station and walked through the ‘new’ district where the Sony Complex was located. Luckily, we didn’t stop to look at it, mostly because everyone was ravenously starved and ready to eat at wherever Marcel and Arie [our teachers] had chosen for us. We ended up eating at this Italian restaurant (go figure!) and put the one waiter into frenzy. I didn’t get too adventurous and ended up getting tomato soup, which I thought was only popular in the Netherlands, but thank goodness it isn’t!IMG_0349

After dinner, I was pretty wiped and decided to go straight back to the hostel while some others decided to go out. Marissa and I ended up getting *sidetracked* while finding our way back to the hostel, but eventually we found our way.

Enter day two! We woke up Thursday morning to make it to our super early breakfast from 7 to 8 a.m. I was pretty ticked it was so early, but I got up and got ready only to find the best breakfast buffet I’ve had since being in Europe. Obviously, this meant I was happily stuffing my face with food that I didn’t have to prepare myself, and I was pretty psyched about that. We were going to depart at 9 a.m., so I went back to the room to take a short break of nothing other than homework before we were out the door and off to explore the ‘creative’ industry of Berlin. Go figure, we were given a tour by a Dutch man who lives in Berlin. We walked through a lot of Berlin, seeking out the creative districts and being told where is flourishing. We made stops in a practicing studio for bands called Noisy Rooms, a graffiti alleyway with phenomenal artwork and the East Side Gallery. Of course, there were many places in between, but we’ll just keep it at the high notes.

IMG_0399We ended our tour just down the street from the East Side Gallery where we were subsequently left in the middle of Berlin to do whatever we pleased. By then, most of us were starved (we had just walked a good portion of Berlin), so Emma, Marissa, Lisa and I decided to find a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that could please everyone. (FYI – Marissa and Lisa and vegetarians and Emma is allergic to gluten.) So off we went! I had found a place on my phone that seemed credible, so off we walked in a direction we hoped was correct. However, before we found the one I had seen, we stumbled upon a place called Rootz, which also turned out to be vegetarian. Since we had found a place, we decided this was good enough and went in. Lucky for us, they had an English menu and pretty nice choices. I eventually settled on a grilled cheese (specified to American requests!) and some French fries (really Berlin, right?). After the meal, Marissa and I (messily) split a piece of carrot cake and I had a good cup of cappuccino (my new go-to coffee)!  IMG_0355

After finishing our meal, I said my goodbyes to my friends to go meet up with Arik to do an assignment. Our European Cities teacher had asked us to interview someone who is ‘creative’ in the city of Berlin. So, off we began our adventure to find a story (let us note it is around 3 p.m.). Our first plan was to just walk around and hope to see something creative (we hadn’t really planned in advance). Unfortunately after an hour to an hour and a half, we didn’t see anything really story-worthy (although we did see this really neat record shop). So we decided to head to the Berliner Ensemble and try our luck with them. It took a bit of time to find, but once we did, again we were met with a dead end. So, next on our list was the English speaking theatre, but there was no one in the building or in sight. Just as we were about to call it a day, we found a pamphlet advertising for ‘Creative Growth’ (how convenient, right?). It was then that I remembered I had seen something about it earlier than day on my Berlin app but hadn’t looked into because it ran too late into the evening and would interfere with other plans. But desperate for a topic, we decided to backtrack to the destination and hope to find a story.


From Marissa Tiel!

We were in luck. After searching for the square, we ended up walking right by the art gallery several times before realizing it was literally right in front of us. Held in the Galerie ART CRU Berlin, Creative Growth is an art exhibition of psychotherapy patients’ art from Oakland, Cali. It was pretty neat to hear the story from a doctor named Wolfram who seemed pretty eager to talk to us. We snapped a few photos, interviewed a few people, and by the time we were done, it was near 9 p.m.

Since we had finished quite later than we had originally anticipated, we had to go straight from the gallery to our plans later that night: a concert. A Canadian concert. That I went to with three Canadians. Marissa, Emma, Arik and I went to see the Arkells, a Canadian band that I don’t really want to describe in fear of messing up whatever genre they associate themselves with. Although there was some humor in the first few acts, the Arkells were very good and I wouldn’t mind seeing them again! After the concert, we went back to the hostel to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Days Friday, Saturday, and partially Sunday are on their way soon!