Students

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program..

On our trip into Mexico City last weekend our guide mentioned we would be learning about xoloitzcuintli (pronounced soloit-squint-le) at the Dolores Olmedo Museum. Until we got there I had no idea what the heck a xoloitzcuintli was. Turns out, it's a dog - a hairless dog, to be precise.

We first saw them as we passed the converted chapel that serves as the main museum, which features the work of famed artist Diego Rivera. Next to this is the building that served as Dolores Olmedo's home on the hacienda she purchased in the 60's. Dozens of peacocks and peahens with chicks freely roam the grounds, and until we saw the dogs (okay, and the museums), they were the main event.

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Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program..

We've been studying the culture and civilizations of Mexico and Meso-America in our grammar class. Our instructor, Lorena, mentioned that the Aztecs used the bark of the amate tree as an early form of paper. She mentioned our interest in amate to our conversation instructor, Rufi. He asked if we wanted to see an amate tree, and off we went on an impromptu excursion to Barranca de Amanalco, or Amanalco Gully.

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Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program. Look for more posts from students in the Cuernavaca program soon.

Before coming to Mexico, I didn't realize the how many archaeological treasures could be found here. Teotihuacan is an archaeological site near Mexico City where you can find the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Built as part of a great city later called Teotihuacan, these pyramids were only part of what was the 6th largest city in the world, back in its hey-day around 200-600 A.D, with an estimated population of 125,000. After the demise of the Teotihuacan civilization, the city was discovered by later civilizations who called it the “City where gods are born”, the translation of “Teotihuacan” from Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Mexico which we're learning about in conversation class. We don't know what the builders of the city called it, or what language they actually spoke. We do know later civilizations such as the Aztecs saw the value of the city and its location and used it as their own.

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Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program. Look for more posts from students in the Cuernavaca program soon.

In our conversation class at Kulkucan we made a quick trip down to the mercado, or market. It was crowded, with many things and many people in a small area. I appreciated having our teacher there as a guide to explain what we were seeing as we moved through the different sections.

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Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program. Look for more posts from students in the Cuernavaca program soon.

Went to see the Xochicalco (pronounced Sochikallko) archeological site Saturday with a group from Kukulcan. The guide explained that to build the temples the Mixtecas carried the stones on their backs with a strap under the stone and around their foreheads. In order to prevent the high priests on top from seeing their face or their backs (a grave offense), they would walk up the steps sideways. That's why the steps are so high yet shallow. When we tried walking up the next set of stairs sideways it was much easier. Going down was still a little scary; those steps were steep!

IAS student Marisa Petrich spent two weeks in Moscow with a group of student journalists.

Moscow—Our last weekend in Moscow was just as full and fun as the first. In fact, I’ve had such a great time here that leaving will be bittersweet. Friday we visited some Russian media outlets—a local radio station and Russia Today, a local TV network—but that was just a warm-up.

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IAS student Marisa Petrich spent two weeks in Moscow with a group of student journalists.

Moscow, Russia—Our days in Moscow have been absolutely jam-packed, as our perfect hosts attempt to show us every inch of the city as we simultaneously work to finish our magazine.

This morning we saw Vladimir Lenin.

No, really.

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IAS student Marisa Petrich spent two weeks in Moscow with a group of student journalists.

Volokolamsk, Russia—On our first weekend in Russia, we did as the Russians do and got out of the city. Today we visited a working Orthodox monastery and had lunch at our new friend Oksana’s country house.

We met up with Oksana and her mother and a few of the other Russian students early in the morning and headed off to Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery. Oksana’s mom began feeding us immediately—“piroshki” (delicious pastries filled with meat and vegetables), juice, and a sweet called “pastila” were waiting for us in the cars.

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IAS student Marisa Petrich spent two weeks in Moscow with a group of student journalists.

Moscow—I started out my first morning in Moscow navigating the subway system at rush hour. Sometimes it’s disappointing to spend so much time traveling underneath a city, but the Metro stations are a sight worth seeing all on their own.

Like the rest of the city, they’re showing their age—but in spite of being worn around the edges, the stations are incredible. Each station is decorated with Soviet-era statues or mosaics, decorative moldings, even the occasional bust of Pushkin (if you leave Moscow without being able to recognize Pushkin, you’ve done something wrong).

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Senior Marisa Petrich (IAS '10) is traveling to Russia to write for The Journalist, a news magazine jointly produced by students at UW Tacoma and Moscow State University. She left for Russia on September 16, 2009.

Tell us a bit about the program and its purpose. Who's going?
Each year students from the two universities travel to the host school (last year it was UW Tacoma) to collaborate on a new issue of The Journalist. This year UW Tacoma is sending more students to Moscow than ever—a total of four—along with Chris Demaske, assistant professor in IAS.

Can we see the magazine?
Most years the magazine is in print. Last year we produced an online edition.

What will you be doing/learning?
Mostly we’ll be writing, researching and copy-editing articles. The trip runs from September 16 to the 28th, so it can be pretty fast-paced.

Have you been there before?
Never, but I worked on the project when the Russian students came to UW Tacoma last November (read more about this here).

How did you get involved in this? Why are you interested?
I applied to go to Moscow last spring. I take just about any excuse to write and travel I can find—this program puts them together, so it was perfect! I was also wanted to continue being involved with the project after last fall.

Any special trips/activities you'll do in Russia?
Usually students from UW Tacoma get to tour the offices of Russian media outlets (TV, radio and print) and do as much sightseeing as possible.