by Josie Verchomin
High: My high for April would have to be Easter Weekend. I spent Easter in Galway with two of my good friends from Smith and one new friend I made while abroad. Many of my friends and my flat mates all went on a two week long trip to Italy and Greece, but I chose to stay in Galway. I made a great decision. The weather over Easter weekend was amazing. It didn’t rain, it was sunny and breezy, perfect weather to walk around Galway in and bike around Inis Morr. Brady, Mel, Julia and I had the entire apartment to ourselves. We cooked, drank tea, ate ice-cream and watched a movie. We planned little outings and managed to pick the best day to go to the biggest Aran Island, Inis Morr. Even though Inis Morr is the “biggest” it is still an island and when we reached possibly the tallest point on the island we could see where the ocean met the islands beaches and cliffs. We all got Aran sweaters and became those four American Girls in Aran Sweaters roaming around Galway. Several people said we looked absolutely grand and one woman even took our picture for her Instagram.
Low: My low during April hit when I received…complicated news from the home. My close friend, who I call my brother, was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I realize now, after thinking about this a lot, that I was devastated at first because I grew up with the diagnosis of Cancer as being a diagnosis of death. Hearing this news about one of my dear friends, who is only 21, hit me hard. The Doctors say he has a really, really good chance of beating this thing but it is scary non-the-less. A few weeks after hearing about him Baltimore, my hometown, began to rise up against injustice. Media reports blew the violence and rioting out of proportion and the time I spent reading about what was happening was emotional and hard to comprehend. April became a month of traveling, finishing school, and dealing with the thoughts of going home. I guess I had this idea that leaving for 4 months wouldn’t mean that things would change back in the states, that I would come home and everything would be the same. Now I see that things have changed, and there is more change to come. I have also come to realize that I have changed and that this change is good.
Glitter: It is hard to say what my Glitter is for the month. I had so many wonderful experiences. However with out a doubt visiting my dear friend Christopher Mergen at Cambridge in England was absolutely wonderful. I had this trip planned for quite a while. I knew I wanted to visit him since I found out I was studying abroad and he was going to Cambridge University for undergrad. I know Christopher from the school I went to for twelve years. I had been having a hard time with everything going on at home and visiting a good friend from home was just what I needed. Cambridge is absolutely gorgeous. Many buildings are very old and the University campus features many, many green spaces. I felt like I was at Hogwarts sometimes, and let me say Harry Potter was my childhood, so going to Hall in a robe and eating dinner was definitely a highlight. I also got to see Cat on A Hot Tin Roof , by Tennessee Williams. All in all visiting Christopher was amazing and calming, just what I needed to finish the month.
I am a junior at Smith College studying at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) this spring. At Smith I am working towards a theatre major, psych minor and Native American and indigenous studies certificate. While in Ireland I hope to explore the culture, and history, as well as the local theatre life.