Category Archives: Campus & Local

My personal hell

We all dread that moment at the beginning of term when the lecturer says this magic word that creates a wave of desperation in the room: “presentations”. Yes, we all hate them. Not even all lecturers are convinced of these infamous presentations, as after them the presenters will be the only ones to know about the topic. We all try to be nice and not look too annoyed. But don’t we all feel the same? Or, at least most of us? Rumour has it that there are indeed some people out there who like presentations. Anyway, what’s even more dreadful for most of us is the lecturer telling us: “Work in groups of two or three.” Yay, exactly what I didn’t want to do. Let’s face it – we’re all much too different, some even misanthropic, to be able to really like this kind of work. There are so many types of group members that you wouldn’t want to come across that it seems almost impossible to be lucky for once and find THE partner that really is a joy to work with.

So, what kind of team players will you come across when doing presentations in a group? Let’s have a look at some of them…

The one that never has time

Just after the topics and partners have been assigned, you try to approach each other carefully and swap numbers to keep in touch. It’s clear that you’ve got to meet at least once. Rarely will you be able to do everything just online. It’s possible, but only with very few topics. So, the first hurdle is to find a time when you could meet.

Of course, you all assure each other that you’re flexible enough and will meet anytime there’s no other lecture. You start with Monday – doesn’t work, the sister’s friend’s cousin needs help attending their garden. Okay, how about Tuesday? Nah, doesn’t work, as there’s a shift at work. Sure, what’s with Wednesday? Uh, classes all day. Thursday? Your partner’s grandmother needs help with the cat’s appointment at the vet’s. Friday? Leaving for the whole weekend. Next week? Same procedure ….. “But I’m really flexible. I’m free almost every day.” Uhm, yeah. If you say so.

The one that decides everything

Hi, nice to meet you. I saw you in that lecture last term. You seem to be nice. That’s cool. Let’s get started. What’s your number? I know this topic. I’ve already done the research. How about we meet tomorrow morning at 7 am? Yes? Cool. Okay, I’ll do the Powerpoint. Well, I even started. I can send you the material. Found everything at the library and scanned it. I’ll send it to your mail. What’s your mail address? Oh, and I have a great source. We’re gonna use it. This will be so cool. You’ll see – the lecturer will be impressed. I’m really experienced with this. Oh, and don’t worry about the handout. I’ll do it. I’ve got a template. And I even prepared the outline of our presentation.” And you end up standing there, having done almost nothing for the presentation, not liking how it looks, not knowing what it’s even supposed to be about and trying to mumble a few words while your partner eagerly talks for thirty minutes straight.

The one that is a ghost

Sometimes you don’t get to choose who to work with. It’s a name you’ve come across several times, but you can’t seem to remember the corresponding face. Well, you figure you could just call out the name at the end of class. No answer, just people looking bewildered. Okay, contact the person on Digicampus. After your first message you receive no answer. You send another one the following week (there was another no-show in class) and – again – receive no answer. Your third mail gets you a short answer telling you that the person has been out of town and will gladly work with you. The time comes round and you wait where you wanted to meet. But you’re stood up. Next attempt – it’s just two weeks left until the presentation is due – yet again, another no-show. Now’s the time to get worried. You approach the lecturer and try to explain the situation. Mostly they show sympathy, but in the end you’ll just do the presentation on your own. Your partner’s identity shall forever remain a mystery.

Concept: Tobias Lorenz & Angie Czygann
Text: Angie Czygann
Picture: Niklas Schmidt

eMAG’s Facebook dilemma

So, turns out Facebook might be a shady company. I know. Who’da thunk? While private users have begun to jump ship or at the very least to post memes about Mark Zuckerberg’s peculiar way to drink water, public pages – like eMAG – are having to make a pretty tough decision.

Yet another Facebook scandal

Alright, let’s start with a very brief, by no means, complete summary. Facebook is collecting user data, and this goes quite a bit deeper than what some people like to admit. Call logs, contact lists, even where people live. Pretty useful stuff, one might say. Would come in handy if you were to – oh, I don’t know – create ads to sway people’s opinion on stuff like the 2016 Brexit vote or certain presidential candidates in the US. Well, Cambridge Analytica found a way to collect this data and sold it to customers who in turn used it for… You can do the math. Of course, Mark Zuckerberg distanced himself from these practices in the senate hearing last month, but whether his company will change its data-guzzling ways is more than doubtful.

The convenience of networks

And this is where we all come in, actively this time. The development of Facebook’s user base hasn’t really changed all that much following the latest scandal, but a number of influential personalities have openly encouraged people to delete their account, for example Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X. So there is at least a chance that the already sub-optimal public opinion about Facebook could lead to people leaving. The problem is, where to?

You see, people have been concerned about Facebook for a long time, but we’re all so invested in its ecosystem that moving on from it seems like a huge step. You’d have to find services that can do everything you’ve found in Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. And ideally, they should have a user base as all-encompassing as these apps, too. Facebook is all about being convenient. Looking for capable alternatives and convincing your family, friends and colleagues to actually use them is anything but that.

Ties that bind

For eMAG the issue is similar, but with a slight twist. For us Facebook’s massive reach means that we can use those existing networks to get word going when we have a promotion event, a new article ready, or our latest issue around the corner. People who are interested share it and all of a sudden 200 people most of our team members have never seen know our release date. That’s just neat! But doesn’t that also mean that we encourage people to stick around on a platform that has done enough shady stuff to deserve being shunned indefinitely?

We’re not pretending that we’re as big as Kanye, but this definitely is a problem that every influencer and page administrator on Facebook needs to be aware of. If you use Facebook for promotion, you bind people to that system and it’s gotten really tough to justify that now.

To leave or not to leave…

So, this is where we’re at. If we quit Facebook, we take the moral high ground. We also throw away most of the promotion work we’ve done since the magazine’s inception. If we stay, we are able to reach a modest, but ever-growing number of readers and can hope to reach people outside the campus on a regular basis.

If you know of any alternatives, please drop us a line, through Facebook, if need be. Every social network has to start with just a handful of users. Maybe you are one of them. We’re definitely open for a service that respects its users.

Text & Picture: Andreas Böhm

Once upon a time …

At our promotion event last week, we had people at our booth contribute to fun short stories. Contributors only were able to see the last sentence or phrase and were asked to continue the story. See what we got out of it. Maybe you’d even like to add to the last one that’s still unfinished. Join us on Facebook and continue the story in the comments’ section.

Once upon a time…

There were seven clueless losers sitting in front of the Hörsaal I waiting for their plane to arrive, they realized they forgot their child at the check-in. The time they arrived at their hotel in Malaga it was already time for breakfast. Obviously Batman didn’t like Blueberry Pancakes, but it always served as an excuse to use that cool helicopter. Sadly he never landed anywhere. So he called Batman, his Bro. He opened a bottle of ‘Brosé’ and cheered “NO HOMO BRO!!” and then he got eaten by the giant shark that jumped on board, luckily I was saved by my pet velociraptor.

Once upon a time..

In a galaxy far far away people had to breathe GLUTEN instead of air which was unfortunate for people who who were gluten-intolerant. That’s why they invented a gluten-filtering mask. Philosophy professors instantly started asking themselves is this meaning of life? And if it was, would it help them discover a way to live forever? Cuz if we live forever we will get in trouble! Or we shouldn’t reproduce anymore. Yes, That’s actually a good idea! But how can we get there? The answer is: birds. They are like living airplanes. But suddenly Spider-man shows up! And behold, he looked at the rising sun, and he smiled.

Once upon a time..

There was an English student who did not know what to write. She thought about it for hours when suddenly something very strange happened: A bright light appeared in the sky. Somehow it put a smile on my face.. and my cookie turned into a unicorn and the unicorn was glittering&pink. It was flying through the clouds. I had imagined the clouds to be soft and fluffy but the marshmallowness exceeded his wildest dreams. I saw a unicorn on the of the land. It was pink. It danced on a rainbow. And that unicorn had a huuuge d*ck which was why the one-eyed pirate was painting at it.

Once upon a time..

there was free campus-coffee but behold! It was poisoned by a giant purple dragon’s claws. The wizard managed to destroy it. Out of thin air a beautifully-glittering fairy appeared and started rapping drake and got crazy about it because her grandma used to do that because she was the most badass woman he ever met because she’s fond of adventures …. [continue for us on FB]

Ready Editor One

A new term – a new eMAG. New faces everywhere, coupled with the familiar ones. Yet, this term’s editors (Player 1 and Player 2) of our beloved magazine are sitting in front of their computers while everybody else is out playing in the sun. In case you haven’t heard of us, we’re the people who run after you at the end of every term with a bunch of magazines in our hands – by students for students, you know?

The position of Player 1 changes every term, so every new term a new sucker is challenged by being chief editor and trying to figure out how the hell everything works and how s/he is going to publish something readable at the end of term. Luckily, Player 1 is not alone. S/He has his trusty deputy (Player 2) at hand. Player two is, for those of you who like Game of Thrones, the Hand of the King. In this case, Hand to the Editor: advising, shadowing and helping the editor in his/her daily tasks. “But it’s just a magazine – why do you take on so much without getting any credit?” Player 1 is bound to hear that sentence a million times whilst whining about how much s/he has to do. But it’s the product. The finished magazine that fuels our desires and motivates us enough not to go completely insane over the course of time.

So what do we actually do?

Feedback on my own article

This means work… and a lot of it. Not only during class. No, mainly outside of class. You think we sit at a bar all Friday night drinking tequila. Yeah we would love that, actually. Unfortunately, we’re too damn busy. For instance, we have to rewrite a shitload of stuff, draft a million emails and worry about our little sheep that are in the course. You slowly start to realize this can’t be accomplished by a single person or you’ll lose your mind. Also, every game becomes more fun in multiplayer.

Get to know our team

You’ve already heard about the deputy, saving our Player 1 from forgetting appointments but we’re talking about finishing an entire magazine! You need more than co-operation for that. Not an issue, I tell you, because there are enough crazy people here at university to fill those roles. The greedy House Advertising, for example, always looking for the best deal and trying to make enough profit to print the bloody thing, while House Promotion is the one that bugs you at least once a term right in front of the Alte Cafete. Seriously, I would not

Feedback on my own article

recommend messing with them, so just take your copy and leave in peace. Now that you own your very own copy, have a look inside, look how colourful it looks! That was House Layout that will work their (tech) magic to create this clash of text and pictures. Or you know, you’re a freshman, have had no opportunity to meet any of us yet. Too sad, you think, but you’re in luck: you can head over to the realm of House Website… right here: emag-augsburg.de (basically where you are right now so the first step is done.. now click that shiny button saying “print”… go ahead. Dooooooo it.) and have a look at aaaaaaall the magazines (back to #17) that have been printed so far.

You have better stuff to do than to sit in front of your computer and stare at old eMAGs? Why not have a look and judge afterwards, hm? Also, if you want to meet us in person, you should mark the following dates on your calendar:
• Wed, 25.04.2018 – Promotion event for eMAG Website
• Wed, 13.06.2018 – International Day

Where? Hörsaalzentrum. Why? Because we can. So be there and get your mind blown by our amazingness. You better be there!

Author & Pictures: Lea Toleranza

Everything new in summer 2018?

KursraumA large room that fits forty or more people, about 8-10 people squeeze into the tightly arranged rows. Friends sit together; the group is spread around the room, though, leaving a couple of rows empty as no one wants to sit in the first row. An exhausted lecturer scurries in quickly. It’s mid-summer and hot. He had to walk quite the distance from his office to the oversized lecture hall where the small group will spend the next one and a half hours – or maybe even three.

Well, this is how a future Language Centre class might look. If you think about it, it does seem kind of surreal. But what’s the issue? There’s a room. There’s a lecturer. There are students. Everything’s fine then, right? Let’s have a look at what happened during the last few months or years first…

SprachenzentrumWhat happened?

There’s a city that wants to become a metropolis. There’s a hospital that wants to become a Uni-Klinik (teaching hospital). There’s a university that wants to have a medical faculty. All these desires aren’t so bad in themselves, even though you might well be wondering if all this really is necessary to improve the region. But I’ll leave that debate to others who know about this kind of stuff.

However, what I do know and what I do see is how all this affects life on campus and our studies. Our university is known for having just one campus for all the faculties. Students definitely like it that way – there are even quite a number of students who have chosen Augsburg over other places, this being one of the most important reasons. Rumour has it that officials want to have the medical faculty on campus as well – at least some of the offices.

Issues

There are just a couple of teeny-tiny issues with all this. So, here are some random thoughts that occurred to me when thinking about the status quo, history of events, plans, and possible prospects:

  • Medical students will study near the hospital; they’ll get their own campus (Medicine freshmen in Augsburg in 2019).
  • The Registrar’s office will be on campus, which means that medical students will have to travel across the whole city just for every single tiny little thing that can’t be organized online.
  • Strictly speaking, there’s not enough room for another faculty on the campus, even if it’s only the offices for organizational stuff.
  • To make room, the Language Centre has to move – after all, it’s neither a faculty nor a chair, so who’s gonna need it anyway, right?
  • Last year there was an uproar caused by the idea that the Language Centre should move. There was a long discussion about where it was going to move. The decision at one point was that ‘they’d’ make do without the move. However, during the summer break this decision was changed again and the first rooms of the Language Centre were emptied
  • Language Centre lecturers will have to travel from the BCM building near the Messe to lecture halls and rooms on campus.
  • Students will have to travel from the campus to the BCM building in order to meet lecturers for their office hours. Or will there be conference rooms to use for this kind of stuff? Well, I don’t think so.
  • Even more lecturers will probably use a lot of their work time just to travel back and forth. Or are they supposed to count this as their ‘breaks’ and won’t even get paid for it? Either way, if I were a lecturer, I wouldn’t be happy about it.

Well, these are a lot of thoughts and they’re not even all there is to think of. Obviously, the Language Centre move doesn’t affect many students, does it? If you think of it, most University of Augsburg’s students will indeed be affected by it. Even if you don’t study English or any of the Romance languages, you’re bound to attend at least one of the language classes for most degrees. What would a Global Business Manager do without at least having studied Business English? English in particular is needed in many degrees, but all the other languages as well can be studied as part of their electives.

IMG_3521What’s the outcome?

To sum up, almost every student will be affected by these changes. The incoming medical students will be affected by these organisational decisions as well. Many lecturers will be affected. What about the teaching itself? Will all these hassles affect the quality of teaching in the long run? The lecturers that I know are very engaged and try very hard to give us the best possible lessons. But maybe we will all have to pay the toll sooner or later anyway. We will have to wait and see.

Text & Pictures: Angie Czygann

Medicine freshmen in Augsburg in 2019

Great news! The University of Augsburg is getting a medical faculty! Wait, that’s not really… news. But first of all it’s great and what’s new is that future medicine students might have to improvise a bit. Why’s that?

Nickl_&_Partner_Medicine_Faculty
© Nickl & Partner Architekten AG

Within the blink of an eye

In 2009 Horst Seehofer promised the university hospital. And on 26th June 2017 the topping-out ceremony for the hospital extension was celebrated. But there is much more work to be done. The future students don’t have a proper campus yet and they start studying in 2019! You could say, well, they still have heaps of time left to build a new campus but in these circumstances two years will go by in the blink of an eye.

What needs to be built:

… the main campus consisting of seven buildings with up to eight floors for research and teaching
… car parks for a few hundred professors, teachers and about 1,500 students
… more buildings towards the living quarters in Stadtbergen for teaching and research with up to five floors
… a single huge building for the Mensa, library etc.
… some more buildings for stores, daycare centers and whatever uni life is in need of
… even more buildings for god knows what

They have 99 problems …

… but money ain’t one. The new medicine campus will be as beautiful as the current campus, which – by the way – is among the most attractive ones in Germany – so a lot of money and effort will be invested in this project and it’s very unlikely that it’ll be finished before 2022/2023. So the students will start studying in 2019 – that’s more or less definite. You see the problem? Where will they be sipping their coffees, listening to lectures and crying before the final exams if not on their new campus? The answer might be a little hard to digest.

As you might know, anatomy is one of the medicine students’ main subjects in their first years. In order to be able to have a look into these dead bodies there has to be space for tables to dissect on. These are only provided in… wait for it… the old pathology rooms. Yay! So hold your breath and don’t let the obnoxious smell of death confuse you!  Seriously, this smell is disgusting. The people working there either have to be very, very good with bad odours or they probably just don’t have a sense of smell at all. But the good thing about it: students who can cope are one step closer to being good doctors in the aftermath.

New from old and a lot of improvisation

Time management is, as we know, kind of a big deal. But when it comes to improvisation and new from old the management of Augsburg is playing ‘first league’ matches. For the first few years, the old hospital for children will provide an accommodation option for future medicine students. But the medical-informatics science students will already be accommodated on the main campus starting in 2018. And what a campus this will be! Almost as huge as a whole district – precise.  That’s insane! But that’s the future. Let’s just wait and see when we can finally go to proper medicine student parties and let them cure our alcohol intoxication.

Text: Eva-Maria Presser, Anna-Lena Tischinger
Picture: © Nickl & Partner Architekten AG

Augsburg’s Christkindlesmarkt

Ah, it’s that time of the year again! The air is full of the scent of gingerbread and mulled wine, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fir trees and Christmas… Wait! Oh gosh, I forgot to buy the last presents! If you recognize yourself in this scenario, don’t panic. I’ve got some ideas that will not only help you to find a last-minute gift but also involve a bit of fun…

The time is running out…

Only four days left until Christmas Eve and you have to buy some last-minute gifts for your family and friends. So it begins… hustling through the crowded shops with thousands of stressed-out shoppers who – yes, you got it – have forgotten to buy them, too. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

Augsburg’s Christmas market – something for everybody

fairy_lights-min

But lucky you, in Augsburg there’s the annual Christmas market, called Christkindlesmarkt by Auxburger. There are plenty of things to do and buy! On entering, you’ll see all kinds of booths which have even more products waiting. There are, for example, some stalls with beautiful ornaments for your Christmas tree, some of them 100 per cent handmade; and if your tree also needs some lighting, there’s another booth which sells fairy lights in various fancy designs. 

If you’re more into decorating a Christmas crib, you won’t be disappointed either! There are a million ways to give your grandma’s old one a complete update. For the more spiritual among us, there are stalls that offer all kinds of angel figurines, too. If you have kids, a trip to the Christmas market will probably make their eyes light up like the star of Bethlehem. At the Moritzplatz tram stop, there’s a tiny children’s Christmas market for your little ones. It even has a little merry-go-round! And at the main market, they can write Santa a letter at the postal office.

Countless ways to satisfy your hunger

After you’re done with your last-food_and_drinks-minminute shopping, you’ll certainly be hungry. No problem, because food is everywhere! So-called Weihnachtsfladen (similar to Lángos), a breadroll filled with sausages, all kinds of sweet dishes and candy are only a few examples of what makes your mouth water when only reading about it. My tip: try out the so-called Dampfnudel, if you haven’t already! The vanilla sauce tastes yummy! The market is also famous for all kinds of hot alcoholic beverages, but the most famous one is mulled wine. As an alternative for the kids and those who don’t drink, children’s punch is a big deal as well!

Let this thoughtful time come to its finest

As you can see, there are many ways to either get your missing gifts or just spend the evening getting into the Christmas spirit. Try not to waste these last few days in a state of exhaustion!

Happy holidays! 😊

Author: Denise Bieber | Pictures: Katharina Dück