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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #3
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #3
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2019 #3 | September 9, 2019

Déi Amerikaner Sin Do!

75 Years Since the Liberation of Luxembourg

US Tank in Luxembourg Prince Jean in the crowd after the Liberation of Luxembourg
     ©Hamen_Paul/Photothèque_Ville_de_Luxembourg                                 ©Tony_Krier/Photothèque_Ville_de_Luxembourg
Sign on Hyman Josefson Square American jeep driving through Luxembourg
                                                                                                      Photo Courtesy of RTL Today
75 years ago today, on September 9, 1944 in Pétange, American armored forces entered Luxembourg and were enthusiastically greeted by the people, thus beginning the liberation of the country. The first American solider died in Pétange under the shelling of the retreating Germans. Two years after the liberation Pétange decided to erect a monument in honor of that solider, Hyman Josefson, and named a square after him as well. 

The next day, September 10, the road to Luxembourg City was opened. Prince Felix and Prince Jean, accompanying the US Army, received an unending ovation at the Cercle Municipal, the town hall, the Knudeler (Place Guillaume) and the Cathedral. The long-expected arrival of the US Army started the end phase of the ordeal of World War II for Luxembourg, despite the last German attack at the Battle of the Bulge. The Luxembourgish survivors of September 9 in Petange still remember.
Dr. Emile Haag
Dr. Emile Haag-Professor of History at MUDEC
75th Anniversary of the Liberation Commemoration Events
Today, September 9 18:30-Pétange-Official Commemoration of the Liberation of Pétange in the presence of Grand Duc Henri
September 10 Morning-Luxembourg City-Official Commemoration of the Liberation of Luxembourg City in the presence of Grand Duc Henri and the government
September 10-14-Pétange-Additional events including fireworks on September 14
Waht's Up this week


  • Meet Venelin Ganev
  • Anniversary of Charles the Bold Cake Break
  • Mir Wëlle Bleiwe Wou Mir Sin (We Want to Remain Where We Are)- Corinne Weisgerber


  • SFC Spotlight- Diego Vasquez 
  • Guac Off Recap
  • Travel Misadventures
  • Travel Photos  

Meet Venelin Ganev 

Last week, we caught up with Professor Mila Geneva, who happens to be the wife of this week's faculty interviewee, Venelin Ganev. Like his wife, he is also teaching a sprint course all about the Cold War. Read on to learn more about him and his passion for the study abroad program. 
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you study abroad and if so where?
I was born and raised in Bulgaria, where I obtained a law degree. I moved to the US in 1991 and obtained a MA in political science from the University of South Carolina in 1993 and a PhD in the same discipline from the University of Chicago in 2000. Unfortunately, in the course of my career as a student I have not been able to participate in a study abroad program.

How did you end up working for Miami?
The reason I came to Miami is because it had become the home of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies – an excellent academic institution dedicated to the study of the former Eastern (communist) bloc. It was the Center’s founding director, the great late Karen Dawisha, who recruited my in 2000. Subsequently Karen became my mentor, role-model and friend (and, by the way, one of the first things Karen and I did together was organize a conference on postcommunist politics which was held at the Chateau in 2004!). She passed away last year and I miss her very much.
I know that you are teaching a sprint course? Where are you going on field trips with your class? 
The course I am teaching is on the Cold War, and on September 18th my students and I will visit NATO’s headquarters in Brussels in order to learn more about the founding and the early history of this organization.

What has been your favorite memory of MUDEC so far? 
I truly enjoyed the “scavenger hunt” in Luxembourg my students and I participated in before the beginning of classes. Also, I find the lunches which Chef Stephane prepares for us very delicious.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Watch soccer – as much as I can!

What is a fun fact about you that most people, and especially MUDEC Méinden readers, don’t know?
I possess the largest CD collection in Oxford, Ohio: 5731 items as of today.

                                     Cake Break!

This past Saturday, September 7th, it was exactly 544 years since Charles the Bold spent a night at Differdange Castle before signing the Treaty of Soleuvre with representatives of King Louis XI. That's all it took for ART 188 and ARC 188 classes to celebrate this historic moment by sharing a piece of cake in the garden during the break. 
Cake Break with Students Cake Break with Gerardo
Mir Wëlle Bleiwe Wou Mir Sin
(We Want to Remain Where We Are) 
This week we debut a new column about Luxembourgers who went to study in Oxford and decided to stay in the USA after they finished. The name is a twist on the Luxembourg national motto Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin (we want to remain what we are). 

Meet Corinne Weisgerber
Tell us a bit about yourself from your pre-Miami days growing up in Luxembourg.
I grew up in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg’s second largest city located right on the border to France. I started playing basketball when I was around ten and that pretty quickly became my passion. In the early 90s, Luxembourg opened a “basketball school” at the National Institute of Sports (INS) and I was part of the first cohort to enroll in that program. This meant that twice a week after school got out, I would take the train to Luxembourg City, hop on a bus to get to the basketball school and then practice and study until the evening. On the weekends we had games. So I guess I spent most of my teenage years either in school, traveling between my school and basketball school, practicing, or having games. Maybe my fascination for the U.S. started with my love of basketball – a truly American sport.

How did you end up studying at Miami? What are some of your favorite memories about studying in Oxford?
I was always a bit of an Americanophile and when a high school teacher told us about the summer scholarship program, I knew I had to apply. I made it past the essay writing part of the scholarship competition  and was invited to a second-round interview with Dr. Stiller and some of the MUDEC staff. So here’s the embarrassing part: when I went in for that interview, I was convinced I was headed to Florida (ok, stop your snickering, we did not yet have the Internet back then!). It never even occurred to me to question that assumption. In my defense, the signs for Miami University in Luxembourg say “Université de Miami” which technically translates into University of Miami!

I remember Dr. Stiller repeatedly referring to Ohio during the interview and that’s what finally clued me in. After the interview, I headed straight to our school library, pulled out an atlas (oh, the old days!), looked up Ohio, and located Oxford. I don’t think Dr. Stiller ever realized I had no idea where Miami University was located! I was awarded the summer scholarship and while auditing classes at Miami in the summer of 93, I found out about the scholarship program that eventually brought me to Miami for my B.A. degree. 

One of my favorite memories is the story of my induction into Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a co-ed service fraternity. The activation ceremony was held at the beautiful Kumler Chapel on West Campus and at some point during the ceremony the inductees were supposed to recite the pledge of allegiance. Since the APO leaders did not want to be culturally insensitive and require me to pledge allegiance to the US flag, they surprised me and informed me that they had secured a flag of Luxembourg (borrowed from the study-abroad office) and that I would be given a chance to recite my own pledge of allegiance. I was so moved by this thoughtful gesture that I didn’t have the heart to tell them that there is no pledge of allegiance in Luxembourg! So when time came for me to pledge allegiance to the Luxembourg flag, I cobbled together a few lines from the national anthem and from a hymn! Not bad for 10 minutes advance notice! Plus, I was the only one in the room who understood Luxembourgish anyways.
At what point did you decide to stay in the US and how did that end up happening? 
Well, that wasn’t the original plan! The plan was to get my degree and then return to Europe. To make a long story short, my husband is what happened! After I graduated from Miami, I moved to Penn State for my doctoral studies. And that’s where I met my husband Shannan. We were both graduate students in the same degree program in Communication Arts & Sciences. It’s a great story because what better place to meet the love of your life than in a town called Happy Valley?

Since you have been living in the US, what are the biggest changes you have noticed there and what are the biggest changes you have noticed when you come back to Luxembourg?
When I first came to the US, I was fascinated by a lot little things: some stores staying open 24/7; the overabundance of fast food restaurants; the size of their cars, homes, and malls; the emphasis on customer service. These things used to stand out, and I noticed them even more so when I returned to Luxembourg. Nowadays, I tend not to notice these things any longer. Maybe part of the reason is that Luxembourg has adopted a lot of these things: grocery stores stay open later now; you can shop on Sundays now; we are building US-Sized malls, etc.

What is something unusual, unexpected or just fun about you that other people may not know?
My husband and I are licensed foster parents. For a while we fostered a beautiful one-year old baby girl.

Can you still speak Luxembourgish????
Majo secher! Seng Mammensprooch verléiert een ni! (for sure, you never lose your native language!)


Student Faculty Council Spotlight-Diego Sanchez-Vazquez

Now that the SFC is in place, each member is excited to get started. Over the next few weeks each member of the council will be presenting their role and what they wish to accomplish with their time on SFC.
Diego Sanchez- Vasquez
Hey, I'm Diego and I will be the Student Co-Chair this semester and I hope to establish a good line of communication between the student body and our faculty. I look forward to listening to your questions and concerns and help in any way I can, and I'm excited to get to know everyone in our class, learn everyone's name, and maybe even remember a fun fact or two about each one.

The role of the Student Co-Chair is to help where needed and to reach out to the faculty with questions regarding classes, requirements, expectations, money, etc. as well as deliver speeches representing the student body during formal events. I am beyond excited to work with you all, as well as the other SFC members, to the benefit of our time in Lux!
SFC Guac-Off
Last week's first SFC event was a Guac-Off! 17 teams participated and a jury of 5 selected the winners. Each team described their guacamole with three characteristics and the judges then rated each team's guac based on how well the guac reflected the three characteristics as well as the overall texture.
In an unexpected turn of events, the judges rated three teams equally and therefore each team was a co-winner. Winners received a fast pass for the lunch line for the entire week!
students making guacamole students making guacamole
judges deliberating One winning team with their skip the line passes
another winning team two students making guacamole

Travel Misadventures

On the first day we all went to Lux city as a group, Abby Platteter and I decided to go home early so we could get a good nights rest. We had never taken the train from Lux city back to Differdange before and were a little nervous about making sure we were on the right one, so we asked some locals to be sure. They told us we were definitely headed onto the right one so we got on board! After about an hour of not recognizing anything around us we started to get the feeling we were on the wrong line, so we decided to get off on the next stop so we could get WiFi and figure out what was going on. Then we got texts from our phone companies saying "Welcome to Belgium!" and realized things had gone horribly wrong. Had to ride that train to the end of the line in Belgium then wait for it to go back to Lux city then wait to catch the next train to Differdange.

Weekend Pictures from Lisbon and Amsterdam

Indepedent travel season is in full swing and here are some pictures from this past weekend.
Alec and Jack in Amsterdam Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal
Canal in Amsterdam Students on a cliff at the coast in Portugal

~Birthdays This Week~ 

Wishing a very Happy Birthday (and belated birthdays) to: 
Abby Platteter- Sept 3rd
Alex Wieland-Ducher- Sept 8th
Alexa Hansen- Sept 9th
Isabella Tersigni- Sept 15th

We wish you the best birthday yet! Cheers to another wonderful year! 

This Week's Schedule

Monday: Classes

18:30 (6:30 pm) 75th Anniversary of the Liberation in Pétange

Tuesday: Classes

18:30 (6:30 pm) Safe Travel Talk with the US Embassy Luxembourg in the Grand Hall-Mandatory Integration activity!
Wednesday: Classes
Thursday: Classes
Friday: No Classes
Château & Administrative Hours

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00 Friday: 8:00-17:00                Saturday- Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

Odds and Ends

MUDEC Méinden Audience Participation-Tell YOUR Story!

Audience Participation picture
MUDEC Méinden is the newsletter by the MUDEC Community for the MUDEC Community. You can update your profile, or subscribe directly if you are not currently subscribed, at MUDEC Méinden subscriptions.
If you ever miss an issue of the MUDEC Méinden, you can always find previous issues on the MUDEC Méinden web archive.
Audience participation is what makes this newsletter special, so if you would like to contribute an article or have any other ideas or suggestions, please write to us at 
Recurring columns where we are looking for contributions, or where we will be looking for contributions once we start, are:
1. We Are Families (Host Family interviews)
2. Travel Misadventures (MUDEC students and alumni sharing their travel mishaps) 
3. MUDEC Changed My Life (Alumni stories about what MUDEC did for them)
4. Mir Wëlle Bleiwen Wou Mir Sin (Luxembourgers who studied in Oxford and never came back from the US)
5. MUDEC Mergers (do I need to explain?)
6. MUDEC Alumni Newsletter Takeovers (a MUDEC class takes over an entire edition of the newsletter and makes it their own!)
7. It's a Small World After All (random MUDEC or Miami encounters from your time at MUDEC)
Don't be shy, we want to hear from you!

Quiz Me!

You will find answers to last week's quiz questions below
Question 1: What is a doughboy and where does the term come from? Doughboy was the nickname used for American troops in World War I. There are several explanations as to the origins of the term.
Question 2: What colors are on the flag of the House of Vianden? Red and White. 

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