Reflections on Four Years at Goucher College: Travel

"A storm blows through the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina Monday, January 18, 2010."

Some of the best experiences Goucher College made possible for me were ones that happened thousands of miles away. Given Goucher’s international sensibility and study abroad requirement, I had many opportunities for travel, both nationally and internationally.

To fulfill my requirement, I studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina in January 2010 for a four-week intensive Spanish language program. What a trip. Living with a wonderful host family during my stay there, I was immersed in Argentine culture and learned the value of living without some of the luxuries that are easy to take for granted back home. I also left with a group of close friends from around the United States.

In retrospect, I wish I had been able to go abroad for an entire semester. It would have been impossible to do without missing a tennis season, but had I stayed there for three or four months, I’m confident that I would have achieved fluency in Spanish. That still remains a goal of mine.

I also visited a good friend of mine in Germany, traveled to Poland and the Czech Republic, and participated in a Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel this past January.

Finally, tennis team Spring break training trips took me to Virginia, North Carolina, and California, and I had many shorter visits to other parts of the country throughout the past four years. 

There’s always lots of discussion about Goucher’s abroad requirements. There are certainly challenges to working around 1,400 plus students’ travel plans. In my view, though, this is one of the best things Goucher has going for it. 

2009-2010: My Year In Photographs.

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My external hard drive fell off a table in the middle of this past semester, causing me to temporarily be without some 49,000 photographs that I had taken over the years. Luckily, a genius at a tiny computer store was able to recover all of them.

Getting all those images back right before the new year, I thought this would be a great opportunity to look back on what I’ve done this past year.

It’s been an amazing year and I’m thankful for everyone who has made it so special.

This slideshow isn’t meant to be a portfolio. Rather, it’s a collection of my favorite images from my most memorable and enjoyable moments this year.

Happy New Year!

Issue 7 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 7 - December 10, 2010 - Front Page"

The Quindecim published its seventh issue of the year last Friday, completing an unprecedented semester for this publication.

Last week also happened to be the week before finals, so we were all swamped with essays, presentations, projects, and exams to prepare for. I’m not quire sure how we pulled this together by deadline time on top of all that, but we did. What’s more, the content is just as strong as any other issue we’ve put out this semester.

In fact, thinking back, it’s amazing that we got these newspapers out so regularly, given our busy schedules.

Hitting these deadlines cost me lots of lost sleep and added stress, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. The lessons I’ve learned have been incredibly valuable, and it’s exciting to think about continuing next semester.

The Four Lokos.

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Four Loko PSA, posted with vodpod

I took a Video Production class this semester. In light of the huge number of vandalisms and alcohol or drug related incidents on campus this semester, our final project for the class was to create a video public service announcement addressing one issue of the problem.

We decided to shoot a 30 second spot advising people to abstain from drinking Four Loko, the popular alcoholic energy beverage that has recently been banned in several states including Maryland.

We had four people in our group, so we decided to dress as “The Four Lokos” ourselves. We also wanted to mimic the style of John Landis’ 1986 film, “The Three Amigos.”

I think we did a fine job, considering our tight budget which was strictly dedicated to those ridiculous sombreros and mustaches.

New York City.


"Cars whiz around Columbus Circle as rush hour begins in New York City, New York Thursday, December 2, 2010."

I’m told that when I saw New York City for the first time as a little boy, I looked out the window and said something along the lines of, “What is this pile of junk?”

Obviously, my thoughts have changed since then.

Yesterday I was sent to New York City to speak on a panel for Goucher College. The reception was at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle.

Amidst the crazy schedule I had, I found a few moments to walk through the streets with my camera. I wish I could have stayed out there and shot all night. The city is so alive. It’s got an energy that I sometimes feel Baltimore lacks.

So, I take it back. New York City is definitely not a pile of junk.

The Marriage Of Figaro.


"Nora Roxie Dennehy '13 performs during a dress rehearsal of 'The Marriage of Figaro' in Merrick Hall at Goucher College Tuesday, November 30, 2010. The opera is produced by Goucher's Opera Workshop."

I was only able to shoot the first half of this dress rehearsal, which I was pretty upset about because it seemed like the second half was going to make for photographs that were much more visually interesting.

Which is not to say that the first half wasn’t visually interesting. It really was. The costumes were elaborate and the lighting was dramatic. I just couldn’t seem to shoot much that I was that happy with.

It being the end of the semester, I’m working on a lot of things right now. I’ve also been feeling under the weather this week, which hasn’t helped. I don’t think my head was totally into this shoot last night.

I did like this frame, though.

21 Years.


"A bicycle rests against a lightpost in the academic quad at Goucher College Monday, November 22, 2010."

If someone had taken this exact photograph 21 years ago to date, the ground would have been covered in snow and the leaves would have all been gone.

My mom reminded me this year that, on the day after I was born, she could see snow on the ground outside her hospital window as she ate Thanksgiving dinner.

I wanted to snap this photograph so I had a record of what a beautiful day it was on my birthday this year.

It’s been a great 21 years!

Mr. Raymond West.


"Raymond West, a member of the Facilities Management Services team at Goucher College poses for a headshot Monday, November 22, 2010."

In light of the recent increase in alcohol and drug-related incidents on campus at Goucher College this year, there’s been lots of dialogue on how to improve the situation.

One suggestion that I’ve heard many times is to build a better relationship between students and Facilities Management Services (FMS), as they’re the ones cleaning up the messes that are being made so much.

We decided to run a profile in The Quindecim on Mr. Raymond West, the one who is on-call round the clock every weekend. He gets called to campus regularly, at all hours of the night, to come clean up a student’s vomit, repair something that’s been broken, or pick up trash that people have left behind.

My hope is that with this upcoming article and a nice photograph like this one, we as students think about those who are taking care of us a bit more. If we actually know who people like Mr. West are, I think we’d be less likely to commit so many of these senseless acts.

Issue 6 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 6 - November 19, 2010 - Front Page"

We published another great issue of The Quindecim today. It’s twenty pages of accurate, relevant, and interesting content. We also hit our deadline under immense pressure as the end of the semester rapidly approaches.

For me, this issue was physically and emotionally draining. It took a lot out of me. What matters, though, is that seeing 1,500 copies of the newspaper being delivered to our newsroom today made all the hard work worthwhile.

I’ll write more after we publish our seventh issue, the final one of this incredible semester!

Prospects For Peace.

"Dr. Robert O. Freedman, the Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Baltimore Hebrew University, discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in the Hyman Forum of the Athenaeum at Goucher College. Freedman was one of four panelists who participated in 'Trying Again: Prospects for Peace in the Middle East.'"

I shot this event at the end of a rough day. I also had to leave my favorite class early to make sure I got these photographs.

But, as it always seems to do, my camera made me feel better. Sometimes, the world confined within my viewfinder is a lot more simple than the world we actually live in.