Back to the Roots

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As we near the end of the semester, a chance to take a quick trip back to the beginning was handed to me through one of the many assignments that pave the way toward summer break.

Do you still remember how it all began, how I was introduced to Quinnipiac?

Right, the marvelous summer of 2007. My very first trip to the U.S was indeed marvelous and life changing. From Newark airport, I began a slow descent into the heart of Manhattan. I could probably have walked without losing any time, but the bus ride I had chosen brought me to Grand Central eventually.

Despite some 15 hours in transit, I felt energized when I sensed the pulsating streets of downtown Manhattan under my feet.

But I hadn’t reached my destination yet. Registering all the wonders of life around me, I headed for Grand Central Terminal. The train ride to New Haven gave me a first chance to observe life in America.

I stood in front of Ezra Stiles College at Yale University a good two hours later. This was it – I realized in that moment that the adventure had begun.

The six weeks in the Elm City impacted me much more than I would have dreamed when I first thought about applying.

Just a few minutes after a taxi had dropped me off at 19 Tower Parkway – yes, I still remember the exact address –, I met the young man who would become my roommate and a dear friend.

I had thought I was arriving late (flight delayed three hours, bus ride took another three instead of 40 minutes), but a few more people arrived around the same late hour. The five or six of us were escorted to the housing office. Somewhere on the campus, another student arrived and added himself to the group.

Iván was his name as I learned when we heard that we would share a room and received our keys. We walked through the quiet summer night to the place that was supposed to become our home for the summer – Pierson College.

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The short glimpse of the city that I was able to catch during those few minutes sufficed to make me see the beauty New England had to offer. This feeling quadrupled the moment I saw Pierson’s red-bricked façade.

The weeks flew by. Similar to this experience here at Quinnipiac, the beginning was the hardest part. I recall that – after the cheerfulness of being at such a prestigious university had passed – the differences to home started to sink in. I was glad that it was just a six-week program.

But my feelings changed again. I enjoyed the program, the academic challenges, the exploration of the English language, and the atmosphere on campus. In fact, I was sad when it was time to say good-bye.

I hadn’t seen Quinnipiac in person when I had made the decision to come. But my impressions from that summer, together with the warm words I had heard about the school from my professors at Yale, sufficed to make me comfortable with the idea to spend this next chapter of my life there.

I’ve seen bits and bobs of both New Haven and Yale since I’ve arrived – especially in the beginning. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I rediscovered the love for them both.

I was surprised how uncomplicated the process of finding a story for my final project for Broadcast Journalism was. Coming from three similar projects throughout the semester, I had anticipated to get denied access to events and people at least once.

But when I found the Yale Sustainable Food Project, everything went smoothly. Except for the weather forecast. The warning that there might be rain in the air throughout the afternoon made me nervous about the shoot on their farm – an outdoor location.

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It was cold and windy, but there was no rain. Seeing the cherry blossoms enriching the landscape of the city and the old houses in that neighborhood brought that feeling of the summer of 2007 back. The two and a half hours on that farm, exploring what they do, shooting video, and meeting new people made that day special.

With Joe back at home to be there for his mom, my usual “partner in crime”, I was glad and relieved at the same time to hear that another classmate was willing to help me get all the equipment to the desired location.

There was something for everyone. Kathy had no experience with operating a camera and saw what she might have to get used to in the future. And her company and the chance to share this experience with someone made it both easier and more fun for me. A big thank you!

In-between all the final projects, I just wanted to get this one out of my way. Now, I might even have found an idea for my master’s project. Maybe it just took a chance to leave the library once in a while and get out there, maybe it was the reminder on 2007, maybe it was a combination, but I’ve reached a point where I feel about Quinnipiac the way I felt (and still do) about Yale back in 2007.

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