Sunday, August 16, 2009

Über mich[igan]

[ About me / About Michigan ]

Our American presentation was just as diverse as the people that make up our group. We all prepared slides about our own states and collaborated it together, and fortunately, the presentation turned out nicely. I introduced the group, and I tried to speak as decent in German as I could. I mentioned our current president, our capital and introduced our presentation of our collaboration of states. We only were allotted around 10 minutes, so for the 15 of us, that meant less a minute per person. It probably was over, but each person crammed some landmarks of their state, a little bit about themselves as well as some things that are well known from their state and spoke what they could in German.

[ This slide about my family and college had the pun which is the title of this post.
Über mich means "about me" and I tweaked it to mean "about Michigan" as well. It got some good laughs " ]

It was very difficult to cram everything I love to share about Michigan and Detroit into a few short sentences. If you know me well, it wouldn't surprise you that I started my portion by holding up my hand and pointing near the southeastern part of my handy map.

It is something that I proudly share as a Michigander [ that, and my UofM shirt that I proudly wore for the occasion! ]. My second slide was about the great lakes, and the beautiful places we have around our peninsulas [ also getting some ooh's and ah's from those not expecting it ].

The next slides I had a little bit of fun:

Wer isst Kellog's cereal für Frühstück?
Who eats Kellog's for Breakfast?

Wer kennt Eminem?
who knows Eminem?

Wer kennt Madonna?

Wer kennt Motown musik?

I enjoyed getting the hands raised around the room. There is a lot that comes from Michigan, and we have a lot of great people and places there. Being able to share the America table, but also share everything I love about my homecity, family, university and state is something I was so happy to do.

Wrapping up the presentation, we had one little addition to add. We made a little slide about baseball, something just as American as our Apple pie, and we got the audience to participate. With a little cheat sheet to help me with some of the German, I explained the tradition of the 7th inning stretch. It was a long night and I think that everyone needed one. After that we had the whole room singing "Take me out to the ball game" which I think was enjoyably cheesy, and a good way to share the fun-natured culture from America.

After the evening was over, everyone was mingling some more. One man from the Congo actually came up to chat with me. He had been to Michigan before on business. My German is not that great yet, but somehow we held a conversation for well over 20 minutes in German talking about ourselves, why we are in Saarland, and where we are from. It was something that I was really proud of when I thought about it afterwards. We exchanged emails and maybe I'll hear from him again.

The evening wrapped up with some music playing and us Americans definitely starting the party. We were all dancing right in the CDC cafeteria to a mix of music from all the countries. For the Americans, Argentineans and Brazilians, the night was young. All of us still went out to a club for the Friday night to dance way into the night, kicking off a great weekend.

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