Berlin

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Once-in-a-lifetime. I never thought I would get to see Berlin. Two wonderfully nice German students were our guides, and brought us to the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, a part of the Berlin Wall that is now an art gallery, and …

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Soil Sampling

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While the other students took a field trip, I went to a research field with two of the Polish professors. We spent the morning collecting surface soil samples. The weather was perfect and I learned a lot about Polish soil …

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The Meat Lab

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There is a meat science department at Tarleton, but I have never visited it, despite being interested in finding out what they do in there. The first thing I noticed is how clean everything is in the laboratory. Not like …

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Cracow life

After experiencing such sadness and horror at Auschwitz-Birkenau, I didn’t think I could be cheerful again, but once again the Polish people came to my rescue, with smiles and dancing and laughter. I made wonderful friends in short order. Within …

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Sad history of Cracow

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On Corpus Christi, the shops were all closed, and the city’s many Catholics came together to worship. It was an amazing sight, and I wish there had been more time for me to participate, but instead I elected to explore …

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Wildlife field trip

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When we arrived in the morning, we met one of the teachers who would accompany us to a hunting facility in Brodnica. It was a surprise to see him dressed in head-to-toe camo! I didn’t know what to expect. Wildlife is …

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Civilized wildlife

Monday’s lecture on wildlife and hunting included a lively discussion about hunting’s ethics and merits. What constitutes cruelty in hunting? What is the purpose of hunting? Are hunters perceived in an unfair way? What about tradition? Is it right to …

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Research Station

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This week’s field trip took us to a couple of agricultural research stations outside of Bydgoszcz. After a pretty nice breakfast, we learned about the type of research they do and spent some quality time attempting to convert decitons per …

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Mycotoxins and PCR

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We had some lectures on fungus, which can infest and ruin crops. Some of them, like ergot, I had heard of, and some were new. We looked at some of them under the microscope, which was really cool and gross. …

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Plants

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We had some lectures with different teachers this week. There was some interesting information about the differences between Poland and Texas agriculture: planting times, crops, climate differences, pests. We saw this small garden where some different crops are grown for …

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Copernicus House and Torun Castle

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The train to Torun was only about an hour, and very worth it. In just a few short hours, I had seen the birthplace of Nicholas Copernicus and Torun Castle. Both places illustrate some things about Poland. Copernicus is a …

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Field Day 2

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Today we piled into a van and traveled to a place outside of Bydgoszcz to check out some soils. We spent the morning characterizing a soil pit that had multiple buried E and B horizons, due to the area’s history …

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Field Day

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Today we started our class in a different building, which we actually found without trouble. At first we thought it was a NATO base due to the security and the, uh, jet airplane sitting behind the building. We made it …

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Soils Lab Day

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Monday was our first day of classes, and week 1 is “soil week”. I couldn’t be more excited. We were led into the classroom building, an old Benedictine monastery. The labs are so neat and organized! There are paintings of …

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Public Transportation

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I think all our students are native Texans. Some of them have experience with public transit in Austin and Dallas, and I am fairly confident about getting around on city buses in Portland, ME and on Boston’s T. Since arriving in …

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Getting ready

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This is a photo of my suitcase a couple of weeks ago. I had been throwing random items into it as I decided what to bring. It was not a very good system but I was so busy with school …

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