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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2020 #6
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2020 #6
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2020 #6

 September 28, 2020

My MUDEC Commencement

by Editor Andy Adams
This week's MUDEC Méinden will be my last edition as Editor, as I will be leaving MUDEC at the end of September to take on a new challenge building an alumni network for the University of Luxembourg.
To say I didn't know what I was getting myself into with this newsletter when I started working at MUDEC in January 2019 is an understatement. I knew that Carli Williams had transformed the newsletter into an online format the semester before, the semester of the 50th Anniversary, and I remembered that she had asked me to write an article for it as a MUDEC alumnus living in Luxembourg. But beyond that? I received the newsletter each week but am not sure how much of it I actually read.
I went back to the newsletter archives and found the article that I wrote for the October 1, 2018 version of the Méindes Blatt, as the newsletter was then called. The title of my article was "Where Do You See Yourself in 32 Years?". I was in full job-search mode at the time and hated being asked the dreaded "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question in interviews. My MUDEC experience as a student in Fall 1986 was supposed to be 3-4 months and then home for Christmas. The idea that I would be living in Luxembourg 32 years later was just unimaginable, yet that is exactly what happened.
Fast-forward to now. Find 32 replace with 34, and The Story Remains the Same, to paraphrase the best band in the history of rock. If you had told me on October 1, 2018 that I would be starting a job at the University of Luxembourg 2 years later to the day, I would have found that curious, but at least plausible. If you had told me that I would have been working at MUDEC again from January 2019-September 2020 I would have laughed in your face. We now see who would have gotten the last laugh...
The gist of the article was to say that it was very hard for most people to see where they would be in 5 years, and it was best to take care of business in the present, do one's best, and that would open the doors to your future. A direct quote from my article two years ago: "What happened to me during my first month as a student in Luxembourg set off a chain of events, several of them Sliding Doors-style (see the movie and you’ll understand what I mean), that completely changed my life."
What happened in October 2018 was déjà vu all over again, when I missed out at the last minute on the job I was supposed to be starting that November and when Carli Williams resigned after the 50th to move to Italy to be with her future husband. I offered to help out at MUDEC for a semester since I had no job plan B at the time (message to self: do as I tell the students to do and have a plan B and C, not as I do myself), which would give me time to re-start my job search and for MUDEC to have more time to hire Carli's replacement. As things worked out, my second stint at MUDEC lasted longer than originally foreseen and opened the door to my new job. Special thanks go to Thierry Leterre for bringing me back on board and to the entire MUDEC staff for welcoming back an old dog, although one who was ready for new tricks. It is amazing to think that I have now worked for the last 4 Directors at MUDEC (Lakos, Stiller, Leterre, Manes).
After all of my time in around MUDEC, it has been really an eye-opening experience engaging with the MUDEC community every week through the newsletter. I was blown away when I got back to MUDEC last year with all of the amazing things that MUDEC students experience, but also with the fact that even as an alumnus living close by in Luxembourg, I had no clue about a lot of it. Through the newsletter, we try to tell the MUDEC story as best as we can every week, so that you all (y'all?) know that this place is just as amazing as, if not moreso than, it ever has been.
And amazing describes the Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020 students. You can read all you want about Generation this that and the other thing but interacting with all of the students on a day-to-day basis has given me hope that we will be in a much better place when they get out into the world and start shaping it in their images. I can't wait to see what you all will accomplish!
Amazing also describes the number of misadventures over the last two years, echoing one of my favorite columns in the newsletter, Epic Travel Misadventures (although it may have to be re-branded to Pencil Misadventures after last week's epic Riley Farrell tale). From Airbnbs catching on fire, to restaurants on a class trip being reserved in a completely different city, to getting blackamailed by a bus driver requesting EUR 2,000 in cash, to getting my phone stolen out of my pocket on a study tour, to gluten-free and gluten not free packaging being exactly the same at breakfast in a hotel, the past two years have been full of misadventures too. And don't get me started about COVID-19. No one expected that Spanish Inquisition! But dealing with all of that is what makes us all MUDECers, doesn't it?
As I bid you all farewell, or Äddi a Merci in the parlance of our (Lux) times, thanks to each and every one of you for reading the newsletter, for your contributions and comments, and for making this newsletter live up to its byline: "Weekly news by the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community".
Man with mask with castle ground in the background
Andy Adams, wearing an appropriate mask, at Bouillon Castle on the recent Discovery Tour
  • Study Tour Previews
  • MGT Class Zoom call with former Procter & Gamble CEO John Pepper
  • ART Class Trip to Villa Vauban
  • Lecture-Eugène Prim: Creating a European Orchestra from Scratch
  • Social Media Intern John Strozsak
  • SFC Events of the Week
  • Discovery Tour Pictures-Trier
Study Tour Previews
Next week (October 4-10) is Study Tour week. Below you can read about each of the Study Tours and don't forget to follow the MUDEC Instagram account as each class will be doing an Instagram takeover from their respective Study Tours.
3 men in polyester suits
Why Walk Like an Egyptian when you can Dress Like an East German?

HST 250-Comparative Cold War Childhoods

HST 250 will travel to the most geographically significant site of the long Cold War: Berlin. We will capture the sensory experience of growing up in very close proximity to the other side of the Iron Curtain, with all of the promise and foreboding that it represented for the mutually constructed propaganda machines of East and West. Highlights include the Berlin Wall Memorial, biking around the city to find vestiges of an abandoned East German children’s camp, an escape-style game circa 1984, a specially curated museum talk at the wonderful DDR Museum, a visit to a former DDR youth detention camp, and a magical treetop surprise with multiple historically-significant layers.
Thatchwork buildings next to a river
Why Walk Like an Egyptian when you Dress Like an East German?

SOC 337-European Cultures

With the tiny rivers and narrow alleys, extraordinarily varied architecture and the poetry which emerges from the magnificent historical centre, the Alsatian capital is simply delightful. A rich cuisine, a plentiful cultural life and position in the heart of Europe are also important parts of the city's identity. Both in winter and summer, Strasbourg, which is classified as a world heritage site by the United Nations, is one of France’s most attractive and romantic destinations.

The historical centre, surrounded by the charming river Ill, is the real marvel of Strasbourg. It comprises the "Petite France," "la place Kléber" and the cathedral area, which are all perfect places for strolling, improving one’s mind, shopping, relaxing outside cafés or even having parties.
Portrait of Bach
J.S. Bach

MUS 189 – Johann Sebastian Bach's World in Germany

The MUS 189 class will be traveling to the areas of Germany which were the key locations in Johann Sebastian Bach's world. We will start off in Eisenach, the city where Bach was born in 1685. Afterwards, we will head to Erfurt. In addition to visiting Erfurt itself, we will make excursions to Arnstadt, where Bach was first hired as an organist at the age of eighteen, and Dornheim and Muhlhausen, villages which were important in Bach's personal life. Students will have the chance to listen to an organ recital in Mulhhausen.
For the rest of the week, we will be visiting the key cultural cities of Erfurt and Weimar, including a stop at the site of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. Expanding beyond Bach, we will also visit Handel's birth house in Halle, before ending the week in Kothen, in whose castle Bach worked, and Leipzig, where Bach lived and worked for the last 27 years of his life.

MGT 291 Zoom with former P&G CEO John Pepper

Man's face on computer screen with students in foreground
“Deeply listening, I submit to you, is the greatest respect you can give another human being.” 

John Pepper Jr. , 2020
Last Monday, students in Professor Michael Schweiger’s MGT291L class had the amazing opportunity to interview former P&G CEO, John Pepper Jr. In addition to his decades of work at P&G, he was also on the board of directors for Disney until 2012, and was the CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (among other accomplishments). At 83 years old, Mr. Pepper is a kind, wise, humorous, and well spoken man; as well as an extremely tactful business man. After he graduated from Yale, he ended up “flat broke” in Cincinnati, where he slowly worked his way to the top of the business world with sheer hard work and determination. Mr. Pepper gave students advice on how to grow as strong, well rounded people, and how to succeed in life. He discussed openly his views on life, business, culture, and even gave students his European travel recommendations. Mr. Pepper left students with a lot to think about, and the MGT 291L class of MUDEC sends its warmest regards to him for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with them.
ART 188 Class Visit to Villa Vauban
10 students in a museum with paintings behind

Lecture-Eugène Prim
30 Years Solistes Européens Luxembourg: From Zero to a Top European Orchestra

Man in front of bookshelf
Eugène Prim-Director General of the Solistes Européens Luxembourg
Thanks to the coordination by Professor Backes and the generosity of the Solistes Européens Luxembourg (SEL), MUDEC students have had the opportunity to attend SEL concerts at the Philharmonie for many years now. Many of us just take for granted that orchestras "exist" when we go to a concert, but they do have to start somewhere. That start for the Solistes Européens happened in 1989, the year that the Berlin Wall fell.
Eugène Prim had a long career in banking and in 1989 also became Co-Founder and First President of the SEL. He has been the Director General since 2016. On Wednesday night at 17:00, he will talk about creating a European Orchestra from scratch and the history and management of the SEL over its 30 years in existence. Students will then have the opportunity to experience an SEL concert first-hand on October 12 at the Philharmonie.

MUDEC Social Media Intern John Strozsak

Man in a street with lanterns between buildings
John Strozsak
Hi, I’m John A. Strozsak, and I’m the Social Media Intern at MUDEC for the Fall 2020 semester. I am a 2nd year student at Miami University, Farmer School of Business. I am a declared Marketing major, and I’m trying to add on the Entrepreneurship Co-Major currently. I grew up in Lakewood, OH, and moved to Avon, OH about 6 years ago, for my Freshman year of high school. I feel really blessed to be able to study abroad in Luxembourg, and I’m really enjoying my time here. Some of my hobbies are beekeeping, longboarding, hiking, cooking, music, video games, and philosophy. I hope to someday be a business owner, or marketing executive for some interesting company somewhere.

The social media intern position at MUDEC keeps me busy with a lot of tasks. I’m constantly taking pictures at events, and thinking about how I’m going to use the photo, or what I want to write about the event. I have to ask other people to send in any interesting pictures they have as well, because I can’t be everywhere at once. I then have to sift through all of the pictures, and pull out what I like and what I think I can use for content. I also came up with the idea for a new project inspired from the traditional study tour Instagram takeovers, called “A Day in the Life”, and have been planning that as well. I have a lot of fun with it, though. It feels less like work, and more like I’m telling a story to someone. I enjoy writing, and I love to tell people stories, so it comes naturally to me I guess.

SFC Week in Review

Two students in front of a bulletin board
Gotcha! initial leader board, courtesy of Julia Daniels and Delaney Hughes
a bulletin board
Gotcha! Current status
Woman floating on air with trainer in background
Corrine McClintock believes she can fly at indoor skydiving
Students with masks in the woods
MUDEC students before starting a wet ziplining course 
And congratulations to Nick Kaneps for winning the Mario Kart tournament in the Cave last Wednesday!
Travel Section Banner

Ancient Rome Right Next Door-Trier Discovery Tour 

Students with a flag in the amphitheater
Roman Amphitheater
Roman basilica with baroque palace in front of it
Electoral Palace with Constantine's Basilica behind
Students in front of Roman gate
Porta Nigra
Students with flag next to a statue with palace and basilica behind
Electoral Palace garden
Odds and Ends

MUDEC Fall 2020 Class and Faculty Photos

Students in the courtyard of the château jumping
Needless to say, everyone was jumping for joy when we found out in July that there actually would be a MUDEC 2020 Fall semester. And that joy has not diminished 5 weeks into the semester.
While the Professors (below) are not jumping, there is no doubt of their joy of being able to teach MUDEC students face-to-face this semester.
Professors in the courtyard of the château
Dog with birthday hat


Two and a Half Birthdays this week. Aileen O'Connor will be celebrating on the 29th, Kala Mansfield on October 1, and MUDEC Social Media Intern John Stroszak will celebrate his half-birthday on October 5. As we say in Luxembourgish, "Vill Gléck fir däi Geburtsdag", or "Alles Guddes" for the shorter version!
This Week's Schedule graphic
  • Classes
  • Classes
  • Classes
  • 17:00 Lecture by Eugène Prim and Dinner
  • Classes
  • Classes (a.m.)
  • GIC 101 visit to Chiche! to meet former refugee workers
  • 14:00 Service Learning visit to Mutferter Haff horse farm
  • Student Teachers Cohort arrives
  • Escape to Luxembourg City Discovery Day 
  • Study Tours Depart 
Château & Administrative Hours
Aerial view of the Château de Differdange, where Miami's Luxembourg campus, the John E. Dolibois European Center, often abbreviated to MUDEC, is located

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00

Friday:                     8:00-17:00
Saturday, Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours
Monday-Friday:  8:30-12:30

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