Friday, October 30, 2009

Sozialpolitik

[ Social Politics ]

Today was my first lecture that was completely in German – I have decided to take [through somewhat random selection and a bit of curiosity] a course called der Staat und die Socialpolitik. It is a course discussing the functions of a state [country/government] through sociology and political science. Sounds neat – but I got the wake-up call that whereas I may be able to have a nice, grammatically incorrect chat with friends over dinner in German, I can’t fluently follow a university level social science course.

I was able to get the gist of what was going on – imagine understanding 40% or so of the words… but then there is just the problem with what they all have to do with each other in the sentence to make sense…

The syllabus came around and there seems to be a lot of reading, but ironically some of the materials are in English since they are about Britain or the US, so maybe at least some of the lectures –even if they are still discussed in German – will make some sense to me.

[ A view in the streets of Göttingen ]

We will see how this goes. As of now I have 6 classes – 3 in English [about European or American culture/government] 2 in German [this social science course and my German as a foreign language course] and 1 in Deutschanese [My Japanese course taught with German explanations of Grammar].

I have set myself up for an interesting few months.

My first German class consisted of me tuning in for a few minutes trying to translate, then minutes later catching myself day dreaming, and then a few minutes later realizing on the syllabus that the lecture is 2.5 hours long… This will be something to look forward to everyweek…

The class finally ended with the students knocking their knuckles on the desks – I guess in place of clapping for the professor. I guess this is a German thing, because my Erasmus friends are just as confused – we just do as the Germans do and flow with it.

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