During my trip to Central Europe with the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir last year, and especially while we were in Vienna, I started trying to pick up some German. I continued to work at it over the summer and eventually enrolled in Beginning German. Joining the OU German Club, which exists to celebrate the German language and culture, seemed a natural choice for me.
As part of German Club, I’ve attended Stammtisch, a Thursday get-together at Second Wind. Soon after arriving at my first Stammtisch, I realized quickly that my reading and writing abilities are far better than my speaking ability — I needed more practice. There were several students who had already spent semesters in Berlin and spoke fluently, and a few beginners, like me, in their first and second semesters who had no idea what was going on. Even though I had no response to most of the professor’s and older students’ questions, Stammtisch provides me with extra motivation to practice speaking.
German Club offers several presentations and lectures throughout the semester. One of them is the lecture on German dialects I’ve posted about earlier. Another was an informational session on the summer program at the University of Leipzig. Even though I probably won’t be going to Germany this summer, I enjoyed hearing from the students who went last summer talk about their classes and adventures around the city. Their pictures and stories really made me want to hang out in Leipzig for a few days or weeks or forever.
Next semester, I’m hoping my work schedule won’t conflict with Poesieabend or the Big Stammtisch, the German Club’s main events, and that my class schedule allows me to attend Stammtisch on a regular basis. But I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had in German Club so far and look forward to practicing the language and experiencing/eating German culture even more.