Everyone was tired from the Wine Festival the night before, and we had a long bus ride to Dresden. On the way there, we stopped at the previous border between East and West Germany, watched a video, and ate currywursts (bratwursts smothered in curry sauce).
After a quick stop at the hostel in Dresden, we went on a walking tour of Dresden’s old town, got a Czech dinner courtesy of UCLA, and went back to the hostel to rest for another day of travel.
What’s been going on in last week’s classes:
German 1: We had our first test on Monday. We’ve started to learn tremendous amounts of vocabulary and also how to finally start to piece together sentences.
German 102: Munich was very much the starting point for Adolf Hitler. We learned about his rise to power and how The Weimar Republic came as well as the artistic movements that followed it.
Pretty busy day. Professor decided to have a shortened class, because much of our class was spent learning on the go:
Today we visited the Dachau Memorial, the site of a former concentration camp. At this memorial, almost all the structures from WWII were preserved. A big part of recent German history revolves around WWII, and our curriculum definitely covers it, as a lot of art and culture has subsequently emerged due to the tensions of WWII. As students who have gone through the American education system, we’ve all spent ample time learning about WWII and the Holocaust, but nothing has ever hit me this hard. Actually walking through the physical camp that prisoners were kept in was an experience I will not forget. Reading about it, watching movies about it, and hearing lectures about it do not compare.
Now that the first test was out of the day, we were able to start focussing on the fun again. Since we were in Munich, we started to learn about Kandinsky and artists that were surprised by The Weimar Republic. Right after class, we went to see some of these works in real life.
After we visited several museums and analyzed plenty of art, the group dispersed.
A few of us visited the BMW Museum which I had been eagerly anticipating. Absolutely breathtaking. The phrase “German engineering” is not said without reason.
When we got back we watched a movie about Sophie Scholl, a woman who was killed for speaking against the Nazi regime. It was in preparation for tomorrow’s visit.
The test was hard. Should’ve spent more of my free time studying.
Last Monday, Professor Tokofsky took some time at the beginning of class to go over the various things we can do in Vienna. Today he went over what to see in Munich and a list of activities that we definitely would not be able to finish in our limited free time.
The first exam is tomorrow. Since a 10-week course is being condensed into 4 weeks, things move quickly, and there was a lot of information to memorize. However, there was a group hike up to Kloster Andechs, a monastery which was turned into a brewery. I didn’t want to miss out, so I woke up early to go on the hike.
The hike was gorgeous, the cathedral even more beautiful, and the view absolutely breathtaking. There is a beer-garden at the very top where we ate lunch and enjoyed the view. David and I quickly found at that Carl Orff, composer of Carmina Burana, was buried in the very site we were in.
What was supposed to be a “short hike” turned into a day’s worth of hiking. After 10 miles of hiking and too much food and ice cream, we got back at around 8 PM and immediately fell asleep. Little studying was done for the exam tomorrow, but the day was busy and well spent. This seems like it might be a an ongoing trend.