It’s nice to be back in the classroom after a week-long trip to Berlin!
Even though teaching is one of the most challenging jobs I’ve done so far, I honestly miss my students when I’m away for long.
The Fulbright program, which is the American program which sent me here, held a wonderful conference for us in the capitol. It was nice, although a bit overwhelming, to spend time with 500 other native speakers. Considering how spread out we are, I think most of us wind up communicating mainly with Germans. That meant we were all foaming at the mouth with excitement to speak with our fellow compatriots, and “networking” was the word of the week.
Unfortunately, I got sick at the beginning of the trip, so I couldn’t really enjoy the conference as much as I would have otherwise (I was so tired that slept through a few events), but it was a really excellent conference nevertheless. Not only did I get to see a lot of the city (and wow–is there a lot to do in Berlin!), but I also met some wonderful, intelligent, and talented people.
One of my favorite events was a panel discussion about the future of European immigration. The panelists were all clearly experts in their fields, so some of the information was a bit over my head (that is, I didn’t quite comprehend it), but the implications of their claims were overwhelming. We heard about the future of the Euro, different ways to handle the Euro crisis and the results of these strategies, and also the the future of the European Union as a whole. It was a challenging discussion, and I really enjoyed hearing information presented that one wouldn’t find in the press.
I also got a chance to revisit my favorite museum in the world: the Pergamon Museum. I have been to many museums since I arrived in Europe, but I think the one that has made the greatest impression on me has been the Pergamon Museum. They have recreated a Greek temple from Pergamon inside of the building, and they also have the Ishtar Gates, and some other amazing architectural feats of the ancients. I highly recommend the museum, even if you are not so interested in architecture–because it might change your mind! The audio guide is also great, as there is a lot of new information
Now I’m looking forward to spring break (in America we call Osterferien “spring break,” because Easter is a religious holiday which not everyone celebrates), in which I plan to spend a week in Barcelona and a few days in Paris. I hope you all have a great holiday as well, and look for more updates to come on my adventures over the holidays!