University of Washington

Summer A Term 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Daily Diary June 28 & 29

Our first Friday as a group was a very long day of three lectures. After our final breakfast at Die Fabrik, we took our usual S-Bahn route to Humboldt for our 10 o’clock lecture. Dr. Viola B. Georgi spoke about how history is taught in multicultural classrooms. It was interesting to discuss how history is personal: through living it, learning about, or caring about it. I could relate to the quotes by students who found it hard to care about history that does not represent their own narrative. We had a lunch break on our own, and then reconvened for our second guest lecture. Dr. Reinhadt Isensee, of the Humboldt American Studies department, talked to us about the German education system. He explained the system of gymnasiums, including his own perspective as a parent, as well as the differences between German and American universities. He also invited us to attend his classes, one of which is called “The World According to Disney and Pixar” and needs to be offered at the UW in my opinion. Our final lecture was from Rainer Ohliger. We started with group activity in which we learned that American students are impatient, self-absorbed, entitled, and interested in technology and sports while Europeans students are intelligent, fashionable, multilingual, independent, and culture. Obviously our group of wonderful people is an exception to the stereotypes. He then talked about youth unemployment around Europe. Unfortunately the day had worn down our attention spans, but we made it through and all headed back to the hostel around 6pm for a dinner and a nap before our free evening.

Saturday was a free day and most of us slept in. A few adventurous souls however, left at 7 am for a day trip to Poland. I spent the day exploring Tiergarten, German for animal garden, with Jessica. The park is in central Berlin and spans 520 acres. We took shelter at the Victory Column during a short burst of rain which unfortunately made our pictures less than impressive. The column, built in the late 19th century, marks the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War.

On our way back to the Bahn, we discovered a playground that would not have been allowed in the United States. In addition to the usual swings and slide, there was a zip line, a stand-up see-saw, a trampoline, and a very tall climbing structure.   

In the evening, most of the group met up for a boat tour on the Spree River. It was still a bit chilly so we had the boat almost to ourselves. We were able to see a lot of Berlin’s main sights and landmarks.

We split up again for dinner, but the common desire was for a warm, sit down dinner, so many of us headed for the Indian restaurant near our hostel. We all headed to our warm beds, hoping for a warmer end to our weekend and looking forward to next week.

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