08 November 2012

A bit about academics...

I have decided I will talk a bit about academics today, because I feel like I haven't really done that yet.  My schedule this semester is German 201, Spanish 321, Psych 101 and Nutrition (a chemistry class that mostly non-majors take). I really enjoy all of my classes.

I will start with my Psych class. I think everyone should take Psych 101 if possible. Not only is it extremely interesting but in this class I have also learned a lot about myself and how my brain works. The last assignment we had, and what we have been talking about in class, has been a lot to do with learning and memory. I won't go in to too many details here, because I think the professor does a much better job with that, but basically after having taken this class I have learned a lot of skills that will be able to help me with my studies in general and in life in general. For example, taking this class has taught me exactly the way in which I should study, based on how our memory works and why that is. So even if you are not planning on becoming a psychology major, I think this class is helpful to all students. Also, interestingly, your brain makes up half of what you see. 

In German we are learning a lot about German culture, in addition to focusing on a lot of grammar.  We have movie thursdays where we watch about 15 minutes of a movie and then have a discussion of it in German to practice our speaking skills. The first movie we watched was Goodbye, Lenin and we have just begun to watch Die Weiße Rose (The White Rose). I really like this movie because it is about a student resistance group during World War II in Munich, Germany who wrote and distributed letters outright opposing Adolf Hitler's regime. This was extremely significant because most Germans were too scared to speak out at the time. I definitely recommend watching it if you are interested in German history!

What I am really excited about is that this whole resistance group was based at LMU, which is the university to which Lewis & Clark sends their students that are studying abroad in Germany. At LMU they have a whole museum based on die Weiße Rose, with letters and the history etc. I am very excited to go next year and see it all first hand!

In Spanish we have been reading a lot of poems written by a varied group of hispanic poets, such as Mario Benedetti, Lope de Vega and Rubén Darío. Mario Benedetti is probably one of my favorite poets so far. What I thought was really neat though, was that one of our assignments was to write our own sonnet. This was extremely hard for me because I never write poetry, let alone in english. Sonnets have to rhyme in a certain way as well as have exactly 11 syllables in each line. So writing this took me a lot longer than just reading a poem and analyzing it would have, but writing the sonnet ended up being extremely rewarding when I finished and I had the whole poem written. 

This is one of my favorite Mario Benedetti poems:

Mi táctica es 
aprender como sos 
quererte como sos 

mi táctica es 
y escucharte 
construir con palabras 
un puente indestructible 

mi táctica es 
quedarme en tu recuerdo 
no sé cómo ni sé 
con qué pretexto 
pero quedarme en vos 

mi táctica es 
ser franco 
y saber que sos franca 
y que no nos vendamos 
para que entre los dos 
no haya telón 
ni abismos 

mi estrategia es 
en cambio 
más profunda y más 

mi estrategia es 
que un día cualquiera 
no sé cómo ni sé 
con qué pretexto 
por fin me necesites

My tactic is to look at you
To learn how you are
Love you as you are

My tactic is to talk to you
And listen to you
And construct with words
An indestructible bridge

My tactic is to stay in your memory, 
I don't know how 
Nor with what pretext 
But stay within you 

My tactic is to be honest 
And know you are too 
And that we don't sell each other illusions 
So that between us there is no curtain or abyss

My strategy instead is
Deeper and simpler.
My strategy is that some day
I don't know how, nor with what pretext
That finally you need me.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and weekend. As always feel free to contact me if you would like at drussosavage@lclark.edu