Monday, March 8, 2010

Neu Praktikant im Grünen Zentrum

[ New Intern at the Green Party central office ]

Within my first week at working at the office I had already written my little biography and was on the office webpage. I was excited to see my photo next to my Bio written in German. It really made the entire phase of working as a Praktikant begin with a good start.

Neu Praktikant im Grünen Zentrum


ich bin Chris, Stipendiat des 26. Parlamentarischen Patenschafts Programmes aus Michigan in den Vereinigten Staaten. Während dieses Programmes als ein „PPPler" lebe ich für ein Jahr in Deutschland, wohne bei einer Gastfamilie und besuche eine deutsche Universität, um meine Studien fortzusetzen und um meine deutschen Sprachekenntnisse zu verbessern.

Während die ersten Monate des PPPs habe ich ein Semester an der Georg August Universität Göttingen Politikwissenschaften studiert. Jetzt beginne ich meine Praktikumsphase, zuerst ein 6 Wochen-Praktikum im Grünen Zentrum. Ich hoffe bei dieser Gelegenheit viel über die deutsche Politikarbeitswelt zu lernen, meine Erfahrungen über deutsche Kultur und Lebensweise zu vertiefen und politisch aktive Menschen zu treffen.

Ich komme aus Metro-Detroit und studiere Rechtsordnung [Public Policy] an der University of Michigan, Ann Arbor [wo das Wetter ähnlich wie Göttingen jetzt ist und die Kälte ist für mich normal, aber ich freue mich auch auf schönes Frühlingswetter in Deutschland ohne Herbstregen oder diesen kalten Winter!].

Ich bin jetzt ein halbes Jahr in Deutschland. Ich fühle mich in Göttingen und seiner Universität sehr wohl, wohne bei einer netten Gastfamilie und auch schon viele deutsche Freunde gefunden. Gerade bin ich 20 Jahre alt und meine Praktikumserfahrungen sind wenig, trotzdem freue ich mich auf meine Erfahrungen beim deutschen Arbeit mit meine Beobachtungen von Amerika zu vergleichen.

Erstens, kann ich von dem Haus meiner Gastfamilie hier in Göttingen bis zum Büro in 15 Minuten zum Fuß gehen. Als ich in Zentral-Detroit ein Praktikum mit Stadtentwicklung gemacht habe, bin ich etwa halb Stunde mit dem Auto von Hause gefahren [Soll ich dass sagen bei einer Partei, die die Grüne Partei heißt? ]. Leben ist definitiv unterschiedlich in Deutschland, hauptsächlich die kleinen Dinge des Alltags.

Allerdings ändert meine Erfahrung hier in Deutschland auch meine Sicht auf Dinge in Amerika.

Christopher Crachiola


my own English Translation :


My name is Chris, and I am a participant in the 26th Parlamentarisches Patenshaft Programm [CBYX] from Michigan in the United States. Through this program as a “PPP” participant I am living in Germany for one year, living with a guest family and attending a semester at a German university to continue my studies and improve my knowledge of the German language.

During the first months of the the CBYX program I have completed one Semester studying political science at Georg August Universität Göttingen. Now I am in my internship phase, spending my first 6 weeks working in the Green Party office. I hope that I can learn much about the German political world through this opportunity, deepen my understanding of German culture and daily life, and meet active people in the German political sphere.

I am from the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan and I study Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. [ Where the weather is the same as Göttingen and the cold is normal for me, but I can’t wait for beautiful spring weather in Germany without fall rain or this cold winter!].

I have now been in Germany for over half a year. I have truly enjoyed my experiences in Göttingen and at its university, living by a friendly guest family and also finding many new German friends. I have just turned 20 years old, and my internship experiences may be minimal, however, I look forward to my opportunity while working in a German office to compare my observations to America.

For starters, I can walk from my guest family’s house here in Göttingen to the office in about 15 minutes by foot. When I worked in downtown Detroit as an intern at a community development non-profit, I had to drive at least half an hour with a car to work [Should I say something like that at a political party called… the Greens?] Life is definitely different in Germany, mainly the small things of everyday life.

Not only am I learning about Germany, but I am learning about America as well through all of my experiences.

-Christopher Crachiola

die Grünen

[ The Green Party ]

Walking to the office was cold - the temperatures outside are apparently unexpectedly cold for February negative celcius degrees. Maybe it felt a little colder though just because of my nerves. A few months ago, before the rapid weeks of the holidays, program seminars in Cologne and then final semester projects and tests at the university flew by, I had sealed some envelopes with my resume and cover letter in German and with some help from my local area advisor found some offices in the area, mainly political parties, to apply as a Praktikant - an intern. I can only hope that since then my German has become better, but I did manage to pass my semester with all B's [ ok, shame on me for not having perfect scores in my few classes that WERE in English, but I normally wouldn't brag... but wow, I just passed college classes in German?!] so hopefully I am ready to be a proactive assistant in the office.

My first internship experience is with the Green Party - die Grünen - and their office is located right in the middle of Göttingen, walking distance from home. I arrived a bit early, wanting to make sure everything was going to go smoothly, and as I arrived to a greeting handshake from my boss, I was led to the office to complete a few things before I started a normal day. This was my little crash course introduction signaling that this was a German office and my days were going to be auf Deutsch. First I had to sign some simple documents - normal German procedure from what I understood, just the "Datenschutzverpflichtung" and the "Bundesdatenschutzgesetz", - turning out to be documents observing the privacy policies of the office and legal connections to it.

Sure everything was a bit intimidating, however, I have my own desk to work at, and starting off it seems that I will be organizing photos and articles on the website, and also writing small paragraphs about events when I can - I better brush up on my grammar [der, die, das... akusativ, dativ... oof, genativ...]. As I have written earlier this year on my first impressions of the political parties during the election season, die Grünen by namesake is the environmentally oriented political party in German. Their logo is a bright yellow sunflower garnered by a green background, and our small office in Göttingen follows suit.

Namely, the lights are all off, the office seems to function with the hazy overcast winter skies illuminating the rooms with natural light. I also noticed on the papers I signed that the paper had the light off-gray tint of undeniably recycled paper. The rooms are admittedly a bit chilly, but upon observing all of these things, my parents always seemed to be on my case for "reading without a light on" or "why is your window open in the winter!" and I am pretty frugal, even with scraps of paper to jots notes on - so maybe when it comes down to it, the Greens are the right place for me to have an internship. So it is now understood that my hands weren't cold from nerves, however I must say that after Herr Rordorf told me that I was to answer the phone when he wasn't at his desk, my stomach would lurch anytime I herd it ring... saying "Chris Crachiola, Göttingen Grünen" wasn't that bad... but it was all the possibilities after that which could make an intern with low confidence in speaking German on the phone weak at the knees.

This was only day one too, and I have several weeks to go, but I can already tell that I have many learning experiences coming my way - except now this isn't an intensive Deutschkurs, or a regular monday lecture at the Univeristy - this is the real deal, the big leagues, phase-three-work-world auf Deutsch experiences. The real second half of my year is just beginning.