Studying. All day. With a few breaks.
The reality that study abroad requires studying has set in. The German 102 class is exempted from much of the activities today, however, many of us chose to join in on the Reichstag tour (because it's the Reichstag).
*Edit: Going from the Reichstag in Germany to the Capitol Building in the U.S. within a matter of a week was amazing. Differences in architecture is one thing, but looking at what renovations and updates do and do not get done speaks volumes on the culture of the government. I.e. Germany has fleshed out their building with glass throughout. You can view voting members from almost all sides. On the other hand, I can only see half of the Senate floor even with staff-level security clearance. Physical transparency in parliament buildings and capitol buildings is both a physical and, often times, a metaphorical symbol of how transparent a government is. Interesting.
The final report is due in just two days. Luckily I found my memorial: The Missing House. It's truly a unique memorial, as it uses empty space to convey themes of intrusion and portray the effects of the Holocaust.
Click below to see my full picture album on The Missing House.
Mentally and physically exhausted, I came back and fell asleep for about half the day. A few students and our German 1 professor took a short day trip to Poland, but that was out of the question for me.
Calm weekend, but I needed the weekend to rest and catch up on work. Spent a good amount of time relaxing in the hotel room.
Update on classes:
German 1: By this point we have learned enough vocab to start making decent conversation. We spent the last week heavily focussing on grammar and different verb tenses. There is no exam on Monday, as our next exam will be the final on Friday. Many students have started studying this weekend and are spacing out their vocab memorization time.
German 102: Big themes for the Berlin section of this class: WWII, The Holocaust, and memorials. While we still spend time studying art, memorials and how their audiences interact with them along with their cultural and societal implications are now the big points. Subsequently, my second project is to do a written report on a memorial. I have still not selected my memorial, but I plan to do that tomorrow.
Recuperated from yesterday’s rest day, a few of us went to Bocci 79, a design exhibition in a former Berlin courthouse. By far one of the most aesthetically pleasing experiences of the trip. Just take a look at the pictures. This might be one of my favorite experiences so far.
Next we went around the Kurfürstendamm mall and got tappas.
We did a four-hour walking tour led by Professor Tokofsky. We saw many important memorials and were given hints to what we could do our projects on and even a few final answer leads.
We walked alongside the path that the Berlin Wall once used to stand. In all my history classes of my educational life, I’ve always shrugged off the significance of the Berlin Wall and its effect on history. However, being in it’s actual former location made me notice the massive effect it had on East and West Berlin.
Jessica, Taylor, Emily, Katy, and I stopped by Alexander-Platz, one of the more touristy areas, for some gnocchi and crepes and we dispersed from there.
Elaine and I met at the hotel to go do laundry after. Laundry is a pain here. Try to be efficient with your outfits.
As I write today’s entry, I notice that the days left in this insane program are coming to a close. Mildly sad yet mildly excited to make the most of these last two-ish weeks.
Today is the last between cities travel day. The next travel day will be, for many of us, a return back to the US.
We spent some time walking around Dresden’s Old Town and sat at a few cafés, and then quickly got on to the bus to Berlin. However, 15 minutes after we got on the bus, we stopped at a war museum (Militärhistorisches Museum). One of the most thorough and comprehensive war museums I have ever visited in my life and a perfect precursor to Berlin. After arriving in Berlin, our final destination, checked in to the 4-star Victor Hotel, grabbed dinner, and went to sleep.
Berlin is exciting. It’s packed with so much to do, and I’m extremely excited to explore it. Unfortunately, I have my second chapter test tomorrow for German 1. But after a brief hiatus of excitement, we can resume again.
Interesting things noticed at dinner: