Monthly Archives: September 2012


Today, we had a short tour of Madrid’s main attractions. We had the privilege of seeing el Palacio Real (Royal Palace), which we found out has 6,500 rooms! Yes, I said 6,500 rooms. Does the royal family live there, you ask? Nope. Not anymore. So the twelve of us are tempted to spend the night there … how can they refuse us? It isn’t like they have a lack of space :) Across from the palacio is the city’s main cathedral. Our guide was not impressed by it, saying el catedral in Toledo is más hermoso (basically, way prettier!). I have to agree. We then walked up to the Plaza del Sol. It was the main marketplace back in the day, and [...]

2012-09-14T20:07:15+00:00 September 7th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Lessons in pirates and history

Naval Military Police with weapons confiscated from pirates. Immediately after I got back from my trip to Hamburg, I repacked and got on a bus to head to Western Denmark with my classmates. This week at DIS is core course week —students travel to some part of Denmark with their core class. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, core classes are related to the various programs in which student enroll. Since I am enrolled in the Justice & Human Rights program, this meant I get to spend a whole week with my Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict classmates and professors. Although the week is not over yet, the past four days have been quite enjoyable. There is [...]

2012-09-07T17:18:53+00:00 September 7th, 2012|Roza, Copenhagen|

Speakers’ Corner

An update from Amie at the Democratic National Convention:  Who would've known that downtown Charlotte would temporarily turn into Speakers' Corner? Protests show the power of freedom of speech, as I have witnessed them on an SMU study abroad trip to London, as well as this week at the Democratic National Convention. Free speech, in the form of protests that emphasize debate and discussion, are much more prevalent in the United Kingdom than in the United States. Areas such as Hyde Park in London are solely dedicated to the showcasing of all interests, and debate is welcomed and expected. From women protesting the bank bailouts dressed in pink satin boas and carrying champagne flutes to adolescents passing out brochures on [...]

2012-09-06T18:42:48+00:00 September 6th, 2012|Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012|

Security at the convention

An update from Amie at the Democratic National Convention: Working at the Democratic National Convention that includes the President, Vice President, First Lady and countless Congressmen and women has given me many jaw-dropping experiences, especially with security. Our credentials On our first day, the security perimeter was already in existence, and the Secret Service conducted a security sweep of the arena that lasted over twelve hours and forced the relocation of many pre-Convention operations. Snipers have been spotted, motorcades are frequent, and it is the norm to see Secret Service agents with their distinct lapel pins on their left suit collar. Our credentials, which include passes on our lanyards to grant us access to multiple areas throughout the [...]

2012-09-06T18:36:50+00:00 September 6th, 2012|Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012|

The power of The Shirt

An update from Devin at the Democratic National Convention: Being a runner for CNN has its benefits. Aside from the unparalleled learning experience and the incredible access I have to the political process, I also get to wear a navy blue T-shirt emblazoned with “CNN” on the front and “RUNNER” on the back in large white letters. There is certainly something to be said about the amount of amusement the shirt provides while out running messages for various CNN journalists.  Here are some experiences my fellow runners and I have had (with a touch of sarcasm) while sporting what will henceforth be dubbed “The Shirt:” During a protest march, a protestor pushed pamphlets in my face, looking to recruit a [...]

2012-09-06T18:28:15+00:00 September 6th, 2012|Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012|

Talking with history

An update from Lauren at the Democratic National Convention: A few nights ago, I was allowed the privilege to hear first lady Michelle Obama’s history-making convention speech. From where I stood in the CNN press box, I was able to clearly hear the powerful words she spoke about the value of family and hard work. As a young African-American woman, I was touched by how warmly she was received by the enthusiastic delegates who packed the arena. No matter one’s political beliefs, the strength and grace that emanated from her onstage was inspiring, and I felt so proud of her. As I watched, I couldn’t help but reflect on the road that led her to this point and how the [...]

2012-09-06T18:18:37+00:00 September 6th, 2012|Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012|

Face to face with genocide

My professor speaking at Neuengamme concentration camp This past weekend I spent time in Hamburg, Germany, with my Holocaust and Genocide class. In Hamburg we got to immerse ourselves in a little bit of Holocaust history by visiting the Bullenhuser Damm School as well as Neuengamme Concentration Camp. I can’t think of a better time to visit these places after just spending my summer learning about these sites in Dr. Halperin’s human rights class. It is one thing to sit in the classroom and hear the horrifying statistics of the number of individuals killed at these sites, but to touch the buildings and have a moment to reflect brings the issue even closer than I could have ever [...]

2012-09-07T17:04:20+00:00 September 6th, 2012|Roza, Copenhagen|

Field trip to Toledo

Mi Escuela La Fundación José Ortega y Gasset. It is a small and very beautiful campus in Madrid. About a 20-minute walk from my home, and a quick jaunt on el autobus. Escuela (L) Toledo (R) Toledo I was just blessed with the opportunity to spend the last two days in the city of Toledo. Toledo is about an hour outside Madrid and was the capital of Spain. It is a medieval city set atop a rock surrounded by a river; essentially, it is una fortaleza, or fortress.  The streets are a labyrinth, modeled after many Muslim cities, narrow and cobblestone, and so very cool! Our group of twelve students stayed in la Fundación’s satellite campus. It is tucked [...]

2012-09-14T20:04:53+00:00 September 5th, 2012|Megan in Spain|


My housemate, Margaret, and I at the airport. ¡Buen Viaje! After an uneventful flight we landed in Madrid, and the adventure began. I stepped into a world of Spanish, and quickly realized the pace at which I would be learning. It is exciting! I have learned mucho already. Sofía, the granddaughter of my host mom, or Abuela, taught my housemate, Margaret, and me a new phrase of “cool” or “that’s cool”: “que guay.” I can’t wait to use it! We had a quick view of the city while driving from the airport, but the exploring will begin tomorrow before we head to Toledo for our orientation. Abuela cooked some delicious spaghetti and offered Margaret and I some delicious [...]

2012-09-14T19:57:48+00:00 September 4th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

!Buen Viaje!

Today I embark on my adventure! I am saying goodbye to Carlsbad until December and head off to Dallas before it’s buen viaje y !Hola Madrid! on Saturday. I am beside myself with excitement, anticipation … and, well, a little fear. Mi gran aventura lies ahead and I’m ready to tackle it with confidence: so many questions, so many opportunities and so many blessings. I plan on learning a lot, and hopefully y’all will see that when I return! I’m so excited to share this adventure with y’all. Goodbye for now!

2012-09-14T19:56:39+00:00 September 3rd, 2012|Megan in Spain|
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