The worldwide Augustana College experience

Classes auf Deutsch

Three days of classes have already passed.

I am taking a Luther class, which looks at the historical aspects surrounding the Reformation. For example, today we learned of the three kingdoms Germany has had. 800-1806 was the first Reich. 1871-1918 was the second Reich. And 1933-1945 was the—you guessed it—the third Reich. How does this relate to the Reformation you ask? Well, we were discussing Charles the V, the newly elected Kaiser of Germany during Luther’s time.

Then I’m taking a German conversation class. We’re reading a wonderful novel called Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. or The New Sorrows of Young W. It’s about a young man living in East Germany who has had enough and runs away from his life, living in this garden house. The novel is basically a collaboration of The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe and The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. And get this—both are mentioned in this novel! The main character, Edgar, has read Salinger, with whom he can relate. And he comes across this book about this Werther character, and he ends up using the text to describe his life on tapes to his friend Willi. The parallels bring out the mega nerd in me, so if we ever start talking about Werther or Salinger or my time in Germany, look out. You have been warned.

The third class I’m taking is called Landeskunde, which is a combination of things. Right now we’re learning the geography of Germany. Today I had to prepare a project for tomorrow. I had to research the state Niedersachsen—Lower Saxony—and I have to give an oral presentation auf Deutsch on it. I won’t be the only one giving a presentation, since everyone had to do this project, so if I find myself stumbling over my words, I won’t feel all that bad.

Going to class has been fun, though sometimes difficult. I’m listening to German constantly, and most of the time I have to respond in German, too. Don’t get me wrong—I think I’m improving, but I really have to pay close attention, otherwise I can get lost. I carry around a dictionary, which has come in handy so many times.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is my last day of class for this week and I end my academic day at 12:30. Why? Because I have Fridays off, mainly so I can travel. This weekend, I’m chilling in Wittenberg. I’m planning on biking around, seeing an outdoor movie in one of Cranach’s courtyards, and going to a choir concert, to hear Mendelssohn, Bach, and other (I’m so excited for that!!).

Oh, before I forget: yesterday I went shopping with Missie to get some food. For approximately seven meals, we spent about 10 Euros each, which is awesome, considering we went to a delicious albeit expensive Indian restaurant, which cost about 12 Euros. The only thing we forgot while shopping was saran wrap for our sandwiches, but the dorm has a surplus of napkins we can use.

Well, I’m off to finish homework and to get some socialization in me, since I’ve been doing homework all night. Writing this blog post has been a good break.

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