“You’ll get out what you put in.” The veracity of this statement’s sentiment is undeniable – I can only truly reap benefits from the opportunities with which I’m presented if I invest myself in them. I’ve tried to participate in a wide array of activities over my time at OU, and because of this, I’ve allowed opportunities to enhance my German language and cultural fluency pass me by.
Throughout my time at OU, the German Club has supported, hosted, and advertised numerous events dedicated to providing OU students with the opportunity to experience facets of German-speaking cultures. I first had Vanillekipferle (an Austrian cookie) at a German Club event, I’ve seen performances of Kafka’s “The Trial” and Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” and I’ve attended lectures on German’s political climate. Events like these have deepened my appreciation for the German language and culture and enhanced my knowledge of Germany’s present society. While I missed many events this past year, I managed to attend one event this semester, a screening in the Union of the early-2000s German film “The Edukators.” Viewing this film reminded me of the many aspects of these events that I deeply appreciate. First, films, TV shows, and other media offer accessible, approachable, and engaging opportunities to enhance my German language comprehension. Although I had minimal exposure to German for the last year and a half, I was shocked at how rapidly I was able to pick up words, phrases, and ideas from the film using only German subtitles. Second, many of the German films I’ve seen deviate stylistically from typical American films and TV shows. “The Edukators,” a film about anti-capitalistic revolutionaries, is refreshing both for its variance from traditional American protagonists and its intimate story setting. Third, these events add context to the “hard” skills that I’ve cultivated while at OU. While my time at OU has resulted in increased mathematical competency or German fluency, events like the screening of “The Edukators” increase my cultural appreciation and fluency, ultimately enhancing my appreciation for the world at large and my university experience.
P.S. If you’ve taken Design and Manufacturing Processes II with Dr. Raman, this title might mean something to you. IYKYK.