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MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #12
MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #12
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Spring 2020 #12-Solitary Confinement Edition

 April 13, 2020

A Diamond Is Forever & So Is The Kuerf

Empty Easter Basket Box of chocolate Easter eggs

A few weeks ago you read about the Luxembourg tradition of Bretzelsonnden, where girls offer guys (since it's Leap Year) sweet pretzels in hopes of gaining their favor, with the guys having 3 weeks until Easter to give a response. Yesterday. the guys had two choices:

Accept the proposal and give her chocolate Easter eggs in return... 


Give her the Kuerf (empty basket), so both you can move on to hopefully greener pastures.

T-shirt store
You will also remember from a couple weeks ago the classic Luxembourgish phrase “engem de Kuerf gin,” meaning to give someone the basket (i.e. breaking up with them.) There is another great Luxembourgish language lesson around Easter. In non-Corona years, starting the Thursday before Easter, young people walk around with a rattle called a Klibber, which was originally to take the place of the church bells which according to legend had flown off to Rome to receive the Pope’s blessing on Maundy Thursday. This tradition has led to the classic Luxembourg phrase “klibber mech,” which literally means rattle me. Figuratively it means something along the lines of “whatever,” or if you prefer, something a lot stronger than that...

So ladies, if a guy gave you the Kuerf on Sunday an appropriate response back, in my humble opinion, would be “klibber mech!”

Digital Eimaischen
Last but not least, in the world of Luxembourgish Easter traditions, today is the famous Éimaischen pottery market, which usually takes place in Luxembourg City and also in the village of Nospelt. The most famous part of the day is the sale of the Péckvillercher, terra cotta bird whistles that sound like cuckoos. This being Luxembourg, there would also have been plenty of food stalls and entertainment as well, but due to the Corona pandemic, this year everything is digital and whistles are only available online.

You can read more about these traditions here: Easter and Éimaischen, as well as the digital version this year here: Digital Éimasichen. To test how much you've learned about the Éimaischen, or the accuracy of this article, take the Éimaischen online quiz.

  • MUDEC Faculty Profile- Jeannie Ducher 
    • MUDEC Internship Profile- Macayla Temple
    • Thank You, Luxembourg-Chapter 3: Study
    • Thank You, Luxembourg Profile: Sarah Sax
    • The Corona Column

    MUDEC Faculty Profile:

    Meet Jeannie Ducher

    Jeannie Ducher

    Jeannie Ducher has been teaching at MUDEC the entire year so we wanted to catch up with her again to get her impressions having been in Luxembourg for a much longer period now.
    1. Tell us a little bit about about yourself. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you study abroad, if so, where (or where is your favorite place to go)? How did you end up working for Miami?
    I earned a Master's degree in literary translation (English to French) from the University of Paris VII (Jussieu) before coming to the US and the University of South Florida as an exchange student - I wanted to improve my English so as to teach it in France. After teaching French for a year at USF, I decided I liked living in Florida, got a job teaching Spanish and French at a private school in Tampa - it was a lot simpler to get a working visa at that time. After a while I went back to school for my doctoral degree at USF, after which I applied for an opening at Miami University as the Department of Teacher Education wanted to start a TESOL program. 

    2. What has your experience been like in teaching both semesters at MUDEC? How does the fall 2019 semester compare to the 2020 spring semester (differences, similarities)? What have you most enjoyed from staying the whole year at MUDEC rather than one semester?

    I must say that the two semesters have been very different. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know my fall students fairly well, especially through the study tour that we took in Copenhagen. This was really the highlight of my fall. Inversely, this spring has been characterized by a physical, social, and academic distancing that is making it a little more arduous to create a safe and socially rewarding teaching/learning environment. Our students left so suddenly that it has felt very much like withdrawal - I miss them, I miss their quirkinesses, I miss the bond that was developing in our interactions and understandings, which is what makes teaching fun for me. 

    One thing is for sure: this year at MUDEC will remain with me for a long time, as a fantastic experience that I was privileged to share not only with special students (as I kept telling my students, it takes a particular type of person to go study abroad, go you!) but with exceptional faculty and staff. And, of course, the coronavirus pandemic...

     3. What inspires you?

    Seeing people come together when a crisis occurs. I am always reminded that despite our differences in personality, social class, race or culture, there are always, always, more people willing to help others than there are divisive and selfish people. 

    4. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
    Well, nothing of note has really happened recently as we have been on lockdown... But on one of our walks in the woods above the Château before the lockdown, my son Alex and I came upon a wooden statue of a fairy tale character that seems to be making a rude gesture to whoever looks at her... And we looked at her for a while :-) We had a good laugh, but this is a good reminder that what is considered rude in one culture may not be so in another.

    MUDEC Internship Profile:

    Meet Macayla Temple

    Macayla Temple

    MUDEC sophomore Macayla Temple majors in Information Systems and Analytics with a Business Analytics track. Temple is from Bethel, Ohio.

    1. Tell us a little bit about your internship in Luxembourg: where you interned, the location of your internship, what you did when you were there. 

    I currently intern at City Savvy Luxembourg, in the Creative Hub in Differdange, but unfortunately, now from the confinement of my own home. I originally got hired to help with app development, but as the semester progressed, I was able to use my skills in other areas, like web design and article writing.

    2. Why did you want to intern with this company?

    As I started hearing the other interns that work there talk about their experiences interning there, I knew that I wanted to be in that kind of fun and inviting work environment.

    3. Why did you want to intern while abroad?

    I wanted to intern while abroad for a couple reasons. The first is because in order to get a good internship in the States, you need experience. (In my opinion it's pretty ironic that the companies I'm supposed to be getting experience from require me to have prior experience to get an internship there, but that's a whole other story.) The other reason is because I'm used to a busy schedule. When I got to Luxembourg, I didn't have the same busy schedule that I had in Oxford, so I had to fill it with something that would benefit me professionally and help me engage with the community in Luxembourg.

    4. What are you most excited for in your internship?

    I am most excited to take on new projects and put the skills that I've learned in Farmer to practice. I am currently working on projects and jobs that are way out of my major and out of my comfort zone, but I am learning so much from the experience.

    5. Why did you choose to study abroad with MUDEC and what are you looking forward to now that you are back in the United States?
    One of my college bucket list items was to study abroad, and studying abroad with MUDEC was the easiest program to fit in with my four-year plan and my ROTC schedule. The location in Luxembourg was also perfect for travel, and I had heard so many good things about the program from past MUDECers. Now that I'm back in the U.S., I'm mostly looking forward to quarantine being over and the next opportunity to go back to Europe. Our time was cut way too short, and I'd give just about anything to be at the Château chugging coffee before my 8 a.m. instead of being in Ohio.

    6. What is a fun fact that most people don't know about you?

    I always use this as my fun fact (so I'm sorry if some of you already heard it), but in high school, I was a wrestler on an all-boys team and a cheerleader at the same time.

    Thank You, Luxembourg-Chapter 3:


    Dr. Haag teaching History at the Château
    John Dolibois in the Center's Library-1971
    Over the coming weeks, we are going to serialize excerpts from each chapter of the Thank You, Luxembourg 50th Anniversary Book. Today, Chapter 3.
    Emile Haag-Professor of History
    “In desperate need of a history instructor, as the experienced Luxembourg history celebrities shied away from the prospect because English was the working language, the Director ultimately ended up putting his grip on a young fellow who had just finished his final exam as a professor and who, with a reckless audacity close to irresponsibility, accepted to teach European history from the second trimester on, that is from January 1969, after improving his non-existent English-speaking ability at the American School.

    It was a time of close faculty cooperation: political science, English literature and history teachers offered an interdisciplinary course on bourgeois life in the late 19th century. The 3 teachers worked together and with the students, and after class joined their wives for 20th century bourgeois epicurean table delights. Those were the days!

    The Luxembourg faculty at the Center from the early days to the present has thoroughly enjoyed teaching these Americans whose open-mindedness, eagerness and enthusiasm to listen and learn have been a unique experience and a unique gratification right up to the present day."

    Luxembourg Summer Scholarship Program (LSSP)
    "The brainchild of a partnership between Miami University and the U.S. Embassy Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Summer Scholarship Program (LSSP) was a program for Luxembourg students to spend 6 weeks studying at Miami’s Oxford campus for a summer session. The program ran from 1984 to 1998, and during each of those years 10 bright Luxembourgish students were selected.

    In addition to improving their English through their summer school classes, students also traveled to Cincinnati, Kentucky, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York
    City, experiencing America’s diverse cities and states. Students saw first-hand what it was like to be a student at an American University, learned to play American base- ball, and were hosted by former MUDEC students living in Chicago and Washington, D.C. At the end of the summer, lifelong friendships were formed on both sides of the Atlantic."
    Luxembourg Summer Scholarship students in Oxford with John and Winnie Dolibois 1988
    Luxembourg Summer Scholarship students in Oxford in 1988 with Profesor Graham Irwin and his wife Gaby, along with John and Winnie Dolibois

    Thank You, Luxembourg Co-Editor Profile:

    Meet Sarah Sax

    Sarah Sax
    MUDEC alum, and senior, Sarah Sax majors in Interdisciplinary Business Management with an International Business track and minors in Interactive Media Studies. Sax is from St. Louis, Missouri. Last week you heard directly from her about her experience working on the 50th Anniversary book and this week you'll find out a little more about the co-editor herself.
    1. As a MUDEC alum, can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to study abroad in Luxembourg?
    I was looking for a semester-long program in Europe, and the Luxembourg program met both those requirements. The reason I chose the MUDEC program specifically was because the deadline had passed to sign up for other Miami study abroad programs (lol), and it was the most reasonable option financially.
    2. How many people constructed MUDEC's 50th Anniversary book and why did you want to help write it? 
    Dean Leterre and Carli Williams were the ones that started the project and headed it. Before I started working on it, there were two girls that studied abroad the semester prior to me that had helped interview and write pieces for the book. Once Carli left, Andy Adams (along with the Dean) have helped review content when they had availability. Other than that, it's been just me since Fall 2018! 
    When I first became involved with this project, I never once had the desire to help write any portion of the book. I consider myself a designer, and writing was one of my least favorite activities. However, throughout my semester abroad, I became more and more invested in the project. Learning about the history of MUDEC and hearing all of the alumni stories made this program have so much more depth; I realized how special this program has been for 50 years, and saw its effect beyond my personal semester experience. When my semester abroad was wrapping up but there was still a lot of work to be done on the book, it seemed logical that I should continue working on it - I had already spent way too many hours on it and I wanted to see it through to completion.
    3. What was your favorite part about writing a chapter for the Anniversary book?
    Overall, I really enjoyed reading all of the stories from alumni and figuring out how to organize all of the content into a cohesive book. I actually didn't do a ton of the writing upfront (I mostly edited and revised content), but I have loved getting to know all of the people that have been a part of the MUDEC program, whether through direct interviews or simply reading stories about them. Also, it feels great looking at the finished book and remembering that when I started working on this project, this book was just a couple of Google Docs. 

    4. If you could go back in time to when you first started helping with the Anniversary book, is there anything that you would do differently? Why so?
    If I had known all of the work that I was going to be doing on this book when I got back to Oxford, I would've taken more advantage of my position in Luxembourg. Although we made it work, it would've been a lot easier and more effective for me to do interviews in person versus over email, and I would've had access to resources that are only at the Château.
    Travel Section Banner

    The Corona Column

    Welcome to the Corona Column, the section of the MUDEC Méinden that features students' independent travel throughout the semester. This week, we will be traveling to various basements, homes and quarantined places around the United States because of, well, Corona.
    Kayla Jones' dog, Candy, enjoying the warm weather.
     Kayla Jones' dog, Candy, enjoying the warm weather. 
    Burnt and exploded eggs
    When cooking during quarantine takes an egg-splosive turn.
    Odds and Ends
    Birthdays This Week 
    Have a Corona-tastic birthday! Wishing you a happy year ahead!
    Maggie Hands (Monday April 13)
    Maggie Hands
    Maggie Hands (pictured left)
    This Week's Schedule

    Monday: Easter Monday, No Classes

    Tuesday-Thursday: Online Classes

    Tuesday at 2pm Oxford time: The Big Fat Lux Pub Quiz Online 
    Friday: No Classes
    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

    Administrative Hours

    Monday: Closed

    Tuesday-Friday: 8:00-12:00

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