Category Archives: Campus & Local

Let’s walk with King Julien

Since 2008 visitors to the zoo in Augsburg have been able to walk with a ring-tailed lemur. This lovely creature will accompany you in one of the most beautiful experiences in your life. These creatures are really friendly with people, they jump and run free and, with some luck, they will land on your back or shoulders. But don’t try to touch them! As beautiful and smooth as they seem to be, they’re wild animals and can bite.

lemurThe origin

These animals are part of the family of strepsirrhine primates and are extremely vocal and have unique calls to warn about predator species, for group communication, for location, feeding and being lost. Their vocalizations consist of meows, clicks, yaps, screams, purring, squeaks and moans: as you will see in the zoo, the Augsburg lemurs are very communicative. They spend a lot of time sunbathing and playing with the other members of the group. Unfortunately, their conservation status is considered endangered by the IUCN Red List (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/11496/0), the main threat to their population being habitat destruction.

The origin of the name and popular legends

Their name refers to the Latin word lemurum, meaning spirit. Because of their name, they play a part in legends in Roman mythology. People believed that the animals were the restless spirits of the undead. They thought proper burial of their loved ones would help to prevent this. Seeing a lemur was often viewed as an omen that something terrible was going to happen. It’s also because of the popular origin of such stories, though, that their very existence is threatened, as villagers hunt and trap them. They also take money from hunters that come for the thrill of killing the legendary lemurs of Madagascar.

Ring-tailed lemurs become famous: the film Madagascar

These little animals have become familiar to us after the film, Madagascar, which introduced the figure of the lemur, King Julien. After this, many people began to be interested in the creatures. Then a big research project worldwide about these creatures came into being, and in many zoos in the world you can walk with them and study their behaviour as if they were in the wild. Therefore, although these animated films are fun and delightful, they don’t depict the true nature of lemurs, of course, but, if seen in combination with other animated films and documentaries, they’re a useful tool for educating people about the needs of the species.

Author & Picture: Althea Mandelli

Are you a ‘Faschingsmuffel’?

fachingI always feel like a stranger in my hometown Füssen in the Allgäu. The reason for this is simple: Fasching, the traditional carnival in southern Germany. But thankfully, the Fasching euphoria in Füssen is rather moderate compared to the villages surrounding it, like Buching, Hopferau and so on, which you most certainly don’t know if you’re not from the area.

Reasons to dislike Fasching

But why is that? I simply don’t get it. Okay, some of the costumes at the parades are in fact quite funny but – in my opinion – the majority aren’t. Most of the costumes are even worse! Hordes of badly-dressed cowboys and Indians! For every creative costume produced after hours and hours of work, there are hundreds of boring Wild West reenactments. And then there’s the horrible music. Every year, the same tasteless Schlager playlists penetrate my ears and leave me speech- and breathless (“Atemlos”…)! But for most people at Fasching, it doesn’t matter, since the majority of people just need a reason to get drunk and – even fasching.worse – they can’t cope with being drunk and behave aggressively.

Any chance of escape?

You might be wondering if it’s possible to escape from this madness. Well, if you’re living in one of these previously-mentioned Fasching strongholds, there’s only one way to do so: build yourself a soundproof air-raid shelter. Sorry. If you’re lucky and you live a safe distance away from these danger areas, take advantage – stay away and let the others have their fun. Tastes differ and so do ideas about what a good party looks like.

By the way, in case you have to hand in a seminar paper or something similar by the end of February, see the positive side of it: in the library, you’re safe from drunkards in fancy dress and Helene Fischer.

Authors: Thomas Kienast, Sebastian Reimann
Pictures: Noemi Hehl

“Mir schwätzat Schwäbisch” on International Mother Language Day

Herz-Schwäbisch“I hol mer zerscht mol en Kaffee in dr Kafede, sonschd schlof I glei wieder ei.” If you hear this at university in the morning, you might not understand it as a non-Swabian. Of course, there’s a wide spectrum of dialects in Germany, some of which aren’t easy for outsiders. Since our noble institution is located in the Swabian part of Bavaria, some of the residents speak Bavarian varieties (“Boarisch“), whereas others „schwätzat Schwäbisch“, with the river Lech as a linguistic border. Augsburg, as the capital of Swabia, has its own Swabian variety: Augschburgerisch. In fact, you will be easily detected as a „Zuazogner“, if you say Augsburg instead of Augschburg.

Regional dialects mix due to people moving within Germany and Augsburg is a city with a lot of transition, which, in turn, contributes to an individual’s own dialect, or idiolect. For example, I didn’t like hearing the answer „A Ebbserl und a Nixerl“, after coming home from school and asking what my father had prepared for lunch – as it literally means „ein Etwas und ein Nichts“, therefore nothing.

As a student of the University of Augschburg, the following sentences might be useful and help you not to be detected as a “Zuazogner” in the first place. When asked to take part in a Saturday afternoon class, every Augschburger teacher will accept the excuse “Do ka I leider eda, am Samschdag spielt dr FCA dohoim”. Other important sentences are “D Schdroßabah isch leider zspät komma” or “Auf dr B17 war mol wieder die Hölle los” to excuse yourself for being late.

Unfortunately, dialects are nowadays often smiled at or its speakers ridiculed. The Swabian dialect, because of the foreign and strange quality some people perceive in it, is particularly favoured for parodies of popular films (e.g. Star Wars: check out Virales Marketing im Todesstern on YouTube, where the Swabian dialect of the Imperial officers is infused with Business English) or even a new synchronisation of meetings of the Bundestag.

Held annually on 21 February, the International Mother Language Day was announced in 2000 by UNESCO “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world“. As dialects are varieties of a language, which differ in vocabulary, pronunciation and even grammar, they can sometimes be difficult to understand, even for native speakers. So we invite everyone in Augschburg to protect their local dialect and the words that are special in their own family! Dialects are something we inherit, they’re part of our cultural identity; we learn them from our parents and grandparents, neighbours and friends, so we should do anything to keep the tradition, even if it’s just a “bissle”.

Authors: Ariane Scheuer & Elena Mayr
Picture: Elena Mayr

How to survive end-of-term exams

exams

At the moment, Im in the middle of the worst phase of the semester: yes, you got it, the exam phase. But I have a few ideas about how to survive!  Read on!

1. Take care of yourself

Try to eat nutritious food! Of course, a bar of chocolate can lift your mood and kick-start the brain; nevertheless, you shouldn’t eat too unhealthily, as this’ll just make you sluggish and tired. Eating nutritious foods will energize you and improve your concentration and memory.  Another way to keep the brain awake, to relieve stress and to burn off the extra calories is exercising! Go for a jog in the park, do some yoga, play basketball or go to the fitness centre. However, everyone knows that time, usually around three or four o’clock in the afternoon, when you just can’t cram any more information into your brain. Your motivation has taken a turn for the worse, you’ve been reading the same page for an hour and you just seem to be stuck. So you slowly start to panic because you’re afraid you won’t finish or that you’ll fail. My tip: close the book, sit down, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. But the most important factor is sleep! Staying up all night is never a good idea. If you do, make sure you have time to take a power nap. Such sleep will improve the quality and effectiveness of your studying.

2. Talk to friends but ignore the panic

Talking to other students and friends about your feelings may help to reduce your stress levels, since most of them have “been there, done that”. But for some courses in which hundreds of students are preparing for the same test, they might cause “panic”. The origin of this panic is usually a lack of knowledge about the actual content of the exam and questions that could come up. Don’t listen to any theories spread on social media!

3. Experiment with different study methods

Research has shown that the human brain isn’t designed to focus on one specific topic for a long time. So work on a particular subject for an hour or two and then switch to another. And try to find out which learning type you are. Is it easier for you to remember stuff you have read, heard, watched or written?

4. Live!

No matter how ambitious you are and how much you want to have an A in the exam, don’t forget to live! Don’t give up on your passions and hobbies. Seek a healthy life balance.

5. TURN IT OFF!!

I’m not kidding. You know it needs to be done, so just do it. Turning off your social media for an entire week may not be realistic. But try to use it as a reward. At the same time, be careful with the “just for a moment” syndrome. We all know that “only reading a headline” can lead to watching crazy kitten videos and reading celebrity gossip for hours.

Author & Picture: Sarah Hilbich

On air

We’re going to be on the radio! This thought was as exciting as it was scary for us eMAGers who are used to having all the time in the world to create beautiful sentences with sophisticated syntax and impressive vocabulary. So the prospect of having to come up with elaborate statements in a matter of seconds was somewhat intimidating.

Who’s behind Kanal C?

Ronja and Laura from the Kanal C student radio made us feel very comfortable in their ‘base camp’ at the Alte Universität. It was quite obvious from the start that everyone’s welcome at Kanal C, so we weren’t surprised when the two girls told us that their team was made up of students from all kinds of programs. Some get involved with Kanal C to gain experience in producing and hosting radio shows, while others are there just for the fun of it. And we can’t deny we got the impression that the Kanal C team does have lots of fun producing their shows.

Kanal-C-Logo-Rund.jpg

Just another radio station?

Before we were interviewed, we were allowed to have a look at the recording studio. Here, Kanal C records passages that are later played in the show, which is broadcast both from the studios and on the frequency of Radio Fantasy (93.4 MHz). Each show is hosted by an anchor who’s supported by a co-anchor. Before you start hosting the live shows you need to practice and get an overview of all tasks that are involved in producing a show. Reports have to be written and recorded, including local and global news that always have to be up to date. Just like every radio station Kanal C offers traffic reports and weather forecasts, but also information about current events in Augsburg or at university. And, of course, Kanal C focuses on its young listeners and updates you on new apps, games and movies in the theaters. If you’re an indie, alternative or hip hop fan, Kanal C is the perfect radio station for you. They played Milky Chance and X Ambassadors long before they conquered the charts and they keep an eye on the local music scene, interview young bands and artists and report from the Modular Festival.

IMAG0532Listen in or become a radio celebrity yourself!

It’s obvious that the Kanal C team puts a lot of time and effort into their shows, but with up to 7,000 listeners their effort certainly isn’t in vain and twenty successful years also speak for themselves! So why not listen to the radio at 9:50pm next Monday? And don’t worry – if you can’t make it, you’ve still got the chance to listen to their podcast on https://kanal-c.net/. We’ll definitely be glued to the radio next Monday when they’re airing their show!

Oh and by the way: if you feel like hearing your voice on the radio, just send the team an email (info@kanal-c.de) or drop by during one of their team meetings on Tuesdays at 8pm at the Alte Universität. They’re always on the lookout for potential new members and they promised us they don’t bite! 😉

Authors: Noemi Hehl & Henrike Wilhelm
Pictures: Noemi Hehl & Kanal C

At 4.48 when sanity visits…

Since today’s the last chance to see the University of Augsburg  “Anglisten Theater” perform “4.48 Psychosis”, I thought I’d share my experience of the premiere last Thursday (December 8th).  It’s the last play written by its author Sarah Kane, and tells the story of a young, mentally ill, woman.

atI actually can’t sum it up in more detail, since the main point of this play is that what you see isn’t 100% clear. For example, if you watch A Mid-summer Night’s Dream, you have a clear storyline to follow (they’re in love, they flee, chaos ensues, they get back together, happy end). You also have clearly defined characters with their own traits, which you discover while watching or reading. But 4.48 Psychosis doesn’t provide you with such things. Personally, I wasn’t entirely sure about anything. I was constantly wondering. I was wondering if the doctors really treat her like that, or if it’s just how she sees them treating her. I was wondering if some scenes actually happened, or if they were just a product of the patient’s imagination or even dreams. I was wondering what might have caused her to feel so bad in the first place…

I was wondering so many things that I was enticed into the play. Even though such “heavy” theatre isn’t usually to my taste at all – I was sad when it was over. Actually, I could’ve kept on watching it for quite a while, and left the theater (or in our case Hörsaal 2) with a bit of a heavy heart.

uniBut the fascination I experienced was not only as a result of the play itself. Because, as we all know, no matter how good a play is, if you have bad actors, it’s worth nothing at all. Fortunately, the university has some amazingly talented students. They were all brilliant, especially Anna Hilbel, who did a fantastic job in the lead role. The amount of text she had to learn was incredible (trust me – there’s  a ton of really long, hard monologues in this one), and I was amazed by the feelings she puts into her performance. I believed EVERYTHING. I believed her anger, her despair, her love… everything. At this point, I really have to give credit to Mr. Beck as well, for directing and coaching. The play allows every director a lot of freedom to make it theirs – and he nailed it.

So if you’re still unsure…. then I don’t know what else I can say without giving away too much. Just take my advice. Go see it. You won’t regret it. And, for my part, I can’t wait to see what they’ll be doing next semester.

4.48. Psychosis, is performed for the last time on Thursday December 15th 2016, 8 p.m., Hörsaal 2, Augsburg University.

See http://www.student.uni-augsburg.de/de/gruppen/anglistentheater

Author: Michaela Lappler
Pictures: Rudolf Beck

An interview with Lotte and Anna from the AnglistenTheater

On Thursday 8th December, the AnglistenTheater will premiere their latest play: 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. eMAG visited their final rehearsal and had a chat with Anna – who plays a young mentally ill lady – and Lotte, who plays one of her doctors.

So this is your last rehearsal before the premiere. Are you nervous yet?

Anna: Not in an apocalyptical way, but a little bit. Actually, I just avoid thinking about that at all.

Lotte: Not really. Even if I forgot my text, I bet no one would notice because of the way the play is structured. I’d actually say I’m more tired than nervous. We’ve had a lot of rehearsals, which gets quite exhausting.

Is it your first time working with the AnglistenTheater?

A: It’s already my third time.

L: For me it’s the second time.

And are you thinking about coming back again next semester?

A: Yes, but maybe just for a small role or as part of the “behind the scenes” team. It is fun, but it’s still work which takes up a lot of time for rehearsals and learning your text.

L: It’s actually the same with me. I’d love to come back, but I’ll be working on my bachelor thesis, so I’m not quite sure whether I’ll have the time.

Since the play is really… let’s say “special”, the way it’s written, was it harder to learn the text than an “ordinary” play?

A: Well, it doesn’t have a lot of dialogue and it doesn’t even really have strictly divided characters and the plot is a bit… hard to find. I’d say it is definitely different from what we see as a “normal” play. The lack of dialogue makes it a bit harder because, for example, if you’ve forgotten a line, there’s no one there to help you, but in the end it’s just text which can be learned by heart like any other play.

L: I don’t really mind it, since I’m particularly interested in poetry.

I’ve read that the play mainly focuses on mental illness and psychiatric treatment. Did that affect you?

A: It was kind of depressing for everybody. After rehearsal we were really drained emotionally.

L: It was definitely exhausting because it’s just not a happy play. If you see it, you don’t leave the theater going like “Haha, that was super funny to watch!”. But overall that’s not a problem, since I’m fully aware that it’s just a play.

I wish you the best of luck, but do you have a personal worst-case scenario for the premiere?

A: I’m afraid of self-fulfilling prophecies, so I’m not gonna answer this! (laughs)

L: Maybe standing on stage and getting laughed at.

Author: Michaela Lappler
Picture: AnglistenTheater/Verena Kandler