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Postcards: the rock-climber from Prague

October 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Matej 1 

Name: Matěj Jungwirth’15

Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic.

Why Beloit? Rolling deadline, generous financial aid, and faculty-student ratio.

Matej 2 

What is your favorite place in Beloit? Rock Cut State park—it is a little far from Beloit, but certainly one of the best parks in the vicinity. We do our long easy Sunday cross country runs there, and it is simply stunning in the fall. The trees are colored beautifully, the weather is still warm enough for a plain shirt, and there are usually very few people around.

Matej 4 

What do you miss most from home? Many things: Family and friends, Czech craft beers on tap, my soccer team Real Hagrid, and rock-climbing. Rock-climbing in the Czech Republic is so much more than a sport, for it is a one-of-a-kind lifestyle that is incomprehensible to an outsider. It is about being in the Czech outdoors on a beautiful day, pushing the limits of your strength and mind and earning a unique view of the bucolic Czech landscape. But most importantly, it is all about your climbing buddies on the other side of the rope whom you entrust with your safety and with whom you brag about the past day at the campfire until the early morning hours. Rock climbing is both a cult and an addiction. My ongoing rehab in the shape of mountain-less Wisconsin is really tough.

Matej 3 

What are the three most important things you packed in your suitcase? A book, the latest issue of The Economist, and my laptop. With these three, I can entertain myself for hours, which is pretty much the case with overnight flights.

What's the best meal you've had abroad? Burger from TK Burger. TK Burger is a surfer-operated venue right on the seashore in Redondo Beach, Calif., that offers the very best burgers I have ever had. Once again, it is a sensation that cannot be conveyed through words; you need to eat it yourself.

What is the most unexpected thing you've encountered so far in the U.S.? Squishy melted marshmallows on top of the Thanksgiving apple pie. Seriously?

What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad? There are certainly more of those, but the most recent one occurred last Wednesday when I co-organized a tremendously successful Disability Awareness event during which seven Beloit students, many of them for the first time at college, shared the stories of their disability and coping with it.