Although I haven’t said much the last few months doesn’t mean nothing’s happened. For a while I have considered going back to school, at least to learn German. It took a decent amount of research before deciding upon University of Maryland’s Certificate of German Studies program for a good base knowledge of Germany, its culture and language. And a class started just a few days from when I found out, leaving me in a scramble to get paperwork sorted out.
At the same time, I was approved for a graduate course through my work to advance my knowledge for my career. This was completely online, the first I’ve done a class in this style (I had been avoiding it). So, my two jobs (I am still being detailed into a second position) and my two classes (among many other events) kept me quite busy until a week ago, when the classes ended and I started rehearsals for the upcoming musical (I am so ready for a break).
The Germany Life and Culture course I took was advantageous for living in Germany; we took four study trips – Speyer, Maulbronn, Mainz, and Würzburg – that offered great examples to fit into the discussion topics (all UNESCO heritage sites). The class was much more difficult than the graduate course with all the notes and homework… because of this I haven’t any photos of the places we visited. Also, I am resigned to not partake in an online class again. My professor was excellent, but I need in-person class time for the best experience.
We saw a state museum, the cathedral, and part of the Jewish existence in the city at Speyer. Maulbronn is a former monastery for which we learned about monastic history and lifestyle. The architecture and churches of Mainz, and finally in Würzburg with its very baroque architecture and clear examples of the shift from papal to citizen authority. Every place we visited we experienced beautiful weather with perfect timing to see the best of each city (the best moment was at Maulbronn, in the cloister is a large magnolia tree that was in full bloom… I didn’t want to leave! Especially without pictures); however, our last trip I got too much sun and was miserable for nearly a week after.
Lots more has happened, but that is what has kept me very occupied, and now it is the musical with rehearsals every night. I can honestly say that I had taken on more than I could handle and now cannot wait for a vacation!