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Thursday
Aug062009

Winding Down by Christine Parcells

Interviews are over (save one in Germany at the very end) and now it’s time to get all the interviews typed up. I have so much information; it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ve been visiting cafes around Prague, spending a few hours here and there throughout the days typing and making notes. Sometimes it amazes me the way the world is connected now. It’s not difficult to find a café with WiFi and most of the hostels are fully equipped with the service also. Well, it may not always be free, but at least it’s there. I’m so thankful to have a small notebook; I can’t imagine lugging around my normal 15in laptop.

It is such a small world and one can find Minnesota connections anywhere it seems. I have met a Charles University graduate student who will be coming to UMN in the fall to do research of her own. Not unlike that of SPAN, she is designing her own project to help write her thesis, which will be on Multicultural education. It was really interesting to hear her Czech perspectives, as I have been learning some about multicultural education in my classes. I also met a UMN student on the train—maybe she’ll even read this at some point since she knows I’m in SPAN and think, hey that’s me! I had been sitting in another compartment on the way back from Berlin and decided to move to one that had no reserved seats. I asked her where she was from and when she said Minnesota I could hardly believe it. It makes you wonder how often something like this could happen and you never know it’s right next to you.

As my trip winds down, the 8 weeks of research over, I have some time to take a break and clear my head. A highlight of my trip happened this week—I went to an outdoor concert in a “beach” bar complex (complete with sand and volley ball court) where I saw a modern folk Czech band and Suzanne Vega play. Shortly into the concert, my friend points out that Václav Havel (the first Czech president) is walking by. It was great night by the river and hard to believe I was in the middle of a major city.

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    Winding Down by Christine Parcells - European Union 2009 - The Student Project for Amity among Nations: SPAN
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