Jordan in Germany

Jordan is a junior President’s Scholar and a triple major in music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and anthropology and history in Dedman College, with minors in human rights and European studies. In Summer 2009, she is participating in SMU-in-Germany and the Global Leadership Program in Prague and Berlin, which trains students to become community, business and political leaders through university courses, cultural activities and community service.

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Munich and a taste of art and culture

4426_1078881767895_1101780034_30206670_7032754_n.jpgLearning German: Not an impossible task

I think I will start this time with a little update about my classes. As I mentioned, I’m taking the CF German Culture in Weimar and German 1401. In the CF, we have read The Sorrows of Young Werther, Faust I, Woyzeck, and German history up to World War I. So I would definitely say that we are moving quickly! The class is both lecture and discussion, and there is tons of information and ideas to absorb.

In German, we are moving impossibly fast. We’ve learned so much in so little time. We are learning the basics and conversation skills, plus the functional grammar. Even though it is a lot of work, it really does pay off when I can order in German at the restaurants or when I wrote a two-page essay in a language that I knew only a handful of words in two weeks ago. We will also be going on field trips in the next few weeks like movie showings, plays, and even puppet theater, which will allow us to gain more experience with the language.

4.jpgTo gain even more experience with German, I have purchased some small children’s books of German fairy tales, so I can practice reading on a simple level. I also purchased a German book and its audio book, so I listen to that and follow along in the book. I don’t really understand much, but occasionally I can figure it out.

Group trip to Munich

This weekend we went to Munich, which is south Germany (Bavaria). The Bavarian culture is very different from the Thuringia (the state Weimar is located) culture. The Bavarian culture is like the quintessential German stereotype with the sauerkraut, bratwurst, pretzels, lederhosen, etc. It’s really fun to see all of it, especially when people on the streets are dressed up in the traditional garb. This was especially true on Saturday night, because there were a lot of parties (I’m assuming bachelor and bachelorette parties) with everyone all dressed up. I also think that it is some kind of tradition (don’t ask me what kind), which seems comparable to things that fraternities do, where the men dress up in the female beer garden girl dress.

2.jpgIn Munich, we saw a lot of tourists, especially college-aged boys who made the stop because of the infamous beer gardens. The SMU group even visited the Hofbrauhaus for some Bavarian cultural experience. We also took a tour of Munich, visited the over-priced but amazing market, and the Residenz, which was an amazing museum of the Bavarian royal family. There were 90 rooms decorated with collections: furniture, paintings, sculptures, rugs, etc., from the family. The entire palace was breathtaking.

3.jpgOn Sunday we took a tour of the modern art museum, which is neat because I got to learn quite a bit about modern art, but on the other hand I wish I could have just roamed around and looked at everything by myself. One interesting thing about this museum was that there were sensors in front of all of the paintings, so if you got within four inches of any of the walls, this annoying beeping would go off. Basically they were going off constantly, because people would accidentally get too close. After our tour, we had to hurry to the train station to get back to Weimar. Once back in Weimar we had some Turkish food, checked the internet, and did homework.

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