Honors Summer Snapshots: Collin

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Instead of doing “traditional” blog posts this summer, Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their summer routines via photos. Collin Powell has spent the summer in Germany – studying abroad, taking a month long language course, and doing research as an extension of the FHP Mentor Program:

Powell 1

Hi y’all! My name’s Collin and I’m currently abroad in Leipzig, Germany, researching Art in former East Germany (DDR)! Here’s a photo of me in front of some “Art” that has nothing whatsoever to do with my research topic.


Powell 2

Here’s where I sleep. I won’t apologize for the mess because it’s #Artsy. I live on the “Dachgeschoss” (top-floor) of an “Altbau” (old building) and I have a stunning view out over my fellow neighboring apartment buildings.


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You can’t see them all here, but I climb up and down eight flights of these babies to get to my room. They’re nice and squeaky too! Or, to put it professionally: “They have character”.


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Here’s my sweet ride to work everyday! It’s called the Strassenbahn (Number 9 Represent!) and it’s punctually there for me every 10 minutes of the day. They move a bit too fast to get the whole thing in the photo, but I promise it’s more than just me and the driver chillin’ in the front seat.


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This is the entrance to the Bibliotheca Albertina, which is the University of Leipzig’s main library. This is where the majority of my research is done everyday. Don’t let the Parks Library see this or it might get jealous…and we wouldn’t want that.


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This is my office, also known as the Kopierraum. Copy room just sounds so much more official in German. I sit at the overhead scanners and scan all sorts of fun documents, articles and books! It’s actually both really relaxing and mentally stimulating at the same time if that’s even possible.


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Here are a few examples of what I’m scanning. The small orange and brown journals at the top of the stack are year compilations of the DDR’s National Art journal. Everything else beneath that is an East German newspaper or magazine! So basically, I get the opportunity to handle and preserve literary relics of a country that doesn’t even exist anymore and I think that’s pretty awesome.


Powell 8

Alright, let me tell you how awesome Microfilm is! So, Microfilm is exactly what it sounds like. Film, in micro. Usually, Microfilm was used to preserve newspapers or other records before there was “digitalization.” Microfilm saved space and prevented damage to precious documents. However, now that it’s rather outdated we need a special backwards compatible machine to read and scan it.


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When I’m not working at the library, I like to work in this beautiful park in the center of Leipzig. It’s right off the Thomas Church, where J.S. Bach was Cantor, and due to its proximity, you can almost always hear music while you sit there. Plus, there’s a wi-fi hotspot, which I am ALL about.


Powell 10

This is what we call a “döner”. Essentially, it’s a gift from the Food Gods. Döners are practically non-existent in the U.S., but our closest dish would be a gyro, but even that’s stretching it. Just don’t ask where the meat comes from. Trust me, even they don’t know.


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Here I am with Professor Eisman in Dresden! Like Leipzig, Dresden was another important Art center in the DDR as it was and still is home to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden. Behind us you can partly see the Frauenkirche. Note to self: Always instruct fellow tourists that photos can be shot in both portrait and landscape mode……


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A little bit of light reading. “Young Artists in Socialism”. I’m not exactly sure who told them orange and yellow go together buuuuuuuuuut whatever.


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This is a shot of the University of Leipzig’s Main Building. It sort of serves as their Memorial Union and it’s beautiful! If you’re wondering why it looks like a church, that would be because a church used to stand on the same spot until it was torn down during the DDR era. The University’s building pays it homage. The Panorama Tower, or the “wisdom tooth” as the locals call it, can also be seen here! It’s intended to represent a book with pages fanning out as Leipzig has been an international center for publishing and “book culture” for centuries.


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Here’s a snap of the sky after a rainstorm rolled through. I can’t believe I have to leave Leipzig next week, and although I’m very excited to start another great year at ISU, I’ve never felt more at home than I have here in Germany. I’ve learned so much about myself this summer and I now realize just how broad the future can be. Go abroad, and never stop exploring.

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