Every time I go to a new place I try to learn something new and connect it to what I
Every foreigner knows the U.S. for being the “land of the free and home of the brave”. Although the U.S.
I came to Cleveland with a very ambitious project in mind. I wanted to write a compelling article about abortion.
“Shame and tragedy in America; the photographs accuse; the crime in Kent remains unpunished…” Originally published by Izvestia, a Soviet
On Monday, May 4th in 1970 some students went out to gather by the bell despite the threat of tanks on their campus and being surrounded by the National Guard. They were asked to leave for their own safety, but they didn’t move until they were attacked with tear gas. They threw tear gas canisters as well as rocks back at the armed men that were advancing towards them. Once there, several of them got down and aimed their guns at those protesters who were the bravest and most vocal. The National Guard ended up the gathering and leaving and the students believed that they had won. They didn’t get a chance to celebrate for long, because out of nowhere a group of the guard looked back at the students, turned themselves around without provocation, and began to fire.
Every time I step outside to walk through the Kent State University campus, I am on the lookout with my camera close by. In 1961 ten cages containing black squirrels from Ontario Park in London were brought to KSU. They were released on the campus and it became their home. The most unexpected thing was that the black squirrels could mate with the local gray squirrels and the black gene dominated which helped the population grow. The students and staff at the university took a liking to the cute black fur-balls right away and started the annual Black Squirrel Festival, the Black Squirrel Run, the Black Squirrel Radio and many more Black Squirrel Somethings.
No one from our group of twelve had problems at any airport security checkpoints or got even close to being sent back to Prague on our long journey to Cleveland through London and Chicago. This was especially surprising seeing our diverse nationalities, religions, frustrating visa requirements or the confusing nature of our university trip that required a tourist visa rather than a student one. Many of us were sweating bullets over the possibility of having problems with our transit visa in London and about the intimidating officers at the U.S. passport control. Ironically enough, those were only parts of the entire journey that actually went through as planned.
Kicking and screaming on a cold winter’s day in 1996 was how I reacted when my parents first introduced me to Prague. The city looked no more appealing than an endless dark pit through my three-and-a-half-year-old eyes, and I feared that I would never stop falling. I missed Kiev and I cried through my several months at the Prague British School and then at a Czech School, and I didn’t stop until I walked through the doors of the rainbow-logoed International School of Prague in 1998. I became quiet as soon as I walked through the door, and left with a smile. I realized that I was finally home.