Category Archives: Campus & Local

Review Trend & Food and Street Food Festival 2016

Augsburg really seems to be becoming a food city. In 2016, the city had three food events. Trend & Food Augsburg, which took place at the Kongress am Park between April 15 and 17, was the first. It really had a lot to offer: bars, food trucks, candy, hors d’oeuvre, vegan 20160416_133415options and much more. And even though the Kongresshalle isn’t that big, there were a lot of different booths and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. Whiskey, liquor and moonshine tasting were some of the fun booze-related activities you could indulge in. How about some tiny but delicious cupcakes? Sure! At some – if not most – of the booths, you could use the vouchers you got for paying to get in. This way you basically got all your money back and theoretically the entrance was free (with the early bird ticket at least).

Trend & Food was pretty small, but the bigger event was the Street Food Markt, which took place in May andCIMG8428.JPG between September 23 and 25, 2016 at the Gögginger Festplatz. Compared to 2015, there were almost twice as many booths and almost no waiting time at all. Everybody seemed to be crazy about those potato spiral thingies – they were delicious, but we couldn’t figure out if there were bread crumbs on them or not. The smoothie booth was a nice touch. I actually ordered the first Green Bull of the day. The pies, a ton of different versions of hot dogs, BBQ, pizza, Israeli and vegan booths also gave visitors an opportunity to try something new. One of my favorites was definitely the donuts: they looked, smelled and tasted like heaven! And if you were there early, you could easily get a very nice spot on a deckchair and enjoy the sun while nibbling on something yummy and drinking a cocktail, beer, smoothie or just plain water.

So… you might like to consider going to one of those festivals. It’s definitely worth it!CIMG8420.JPG

Author & Pictures: Susi Tallmadge

Things that happen on the tram

Monday, 7.40 AM. Fog pours into the streets and the square starts to fill up as another workday has just begun. People are accumulating on the platform, ready to fight. Yes, fight. Some of them are quietly staring at their smartphones, but expectation is hanging in the air. Then there’s a light chime. With its awaited, growing rustle, the tram appears at the beginning of the platform. The heads turn and follow automatically that cable-driven truck, everybody hoping to be the lucky guy who finds themselves in front of the sliding door. The tram stops. Time stops. The doors open and the melee pushes inside, grumbling and trying to reach the most longed goal at that moment: a free seat. After less than a minute of catch-as-catch-can each passenger has found their place in this little ecosystem on rails.

Equilibrium principlestram2

More than any other ecosystem, the tram needs to maintain a certain equilibrium during its urban rollercoaster ride. The public transport in Augsburg (aka AVV Racing Team) provides a unique service of balance training, thanks to sudden accelerations and abrupt braking, no matter if you’re sitting or standing. Grasping on to any possible object in the tram is the basic rule of such peculiar environment; it could be a pole, a strap or…another passenger. The latest extreme example of savage desperation to find the right equilibrium was a short woman who leant against another one’s breasts during the whole ride to Kö. No, the two women didn’t even know each other.

Fighting without referee

As we’ve already seen, the tram is a very “physical” space. A place where all kinds of dangerous studs-up tackles and nudges will never be subject to a yellow or red card. But not only body parts are involved. The most life-threatening weapon in this case is the backpack. These self-propelled bags are kind of their own life form, with the owner apparently not knowing the real bulk of what they’re carrying. Thousands of victims suffer on a daily basis: innocent noses, shoulders and backs which can’t even seek justice as what happens on the tram, stays on the tram!

tram1Riding into freedom

In some ways this is the secret beauty of the tram: anyone is free to do what they want during the ride. You can listen to a wide variety of languages spoken by passengers, whether they are tourists or foreign inhabitants, or you can turn on you MP3-player and pretend to be in a music video. You can chat with interesting urban philosophers or chat on your smartphone, keeping an eye on your neighbor who is probably craning his neck to snoop your messages. You can look out of the window or steal a glance at other passengers… Oh no. That old man’s wearing tight shorts…Without underpants… I must get off. “Ding dong. Next stop: Cathedral”. Thank God!

Author & Pictures: Veronica Armellini

A whole zoo at university

This term in class we’ve been observing different types of students’ behaviour. This might be of special interest to those of you who are going to become teachers. Of course, we don’t want to dissuade you from becoming a teacher, but it’s always good to be aware in advance, right?  And please don’t feel offended! The descriptions are slightly exaggerated and/or ironic. So have a laugh  – with us, at us, at yourself  – and have fun!

Word_CloudThe chatterer

Yeah, you all know them – those students who can’t keep their mouth shut for one minute. They just have to talk all the time, usually not about the topic being discussed, and in the case of a language course, not necessarily in the language in question!

The “churchmouse”

Church and university are different, of course, but a “churchmouse” is the opposite of the chatterer: a student who doesn’t say a word in class, at least not voluntarily.

Teacher’s pet

If teachers don’t have a pet at home, they may well have one in class. The so-called teacher’s pet hangs on a teacher’s lips, always does the homework and maybe even some extra reading, knows the answer to practically every question in class, and, naturally, does well in the final exam (grrr!).

The show-off

This is a student whose hobby is trying to impress fellow students, but especially the teacher, by either asking super-intelligent questions or permanently challenging the other students’ comments.

The techie

Jodel, Facebook, WhatsApp and whatever… the opportunities provided by modern technology are highly recommendable to all those students who love to distract themselves in class. Fortunately, the documents on Digicampus are still available after all, so there is yet another excuse to use technical devices in class…

The distraction seeker

How can students avoid boredom in lectures, without using any technical devices? Some are quite creative, and think of great activities, maybe taking a low-tech step back in time: writing poems, translating song lyrics, knitting or whatever else they might do to keep themselves busy while (more or less) pretending to listen to the lecturer.

Of course, the list could be continued endlessly.  Recognise yourself? Or is your type of student still missing? Maybe you can think of others. Observe your fellow students – we promise that it’ll be fun (certainly an entertaining activity for distraction seekers – maybe this was how we got the idea of writing this article in the first place)!

Authors: Anita Hauzenberger & Philipp Soballa
Picture: created with tagul.com

Tout un symbole

A l’heure où certaines volontés de repli identitaire au niveau européen se font de plus en plus entendre, où certains responsables politiques, surfant sur les vagues de peurs engendrées par une soi-disant crise de l’immigration sur le sol européen, ont de plus en plus voix au chapitre, à l’heure où l’Union européenne connaît sa première crise identitaire, incarnée par le tout récent Brexit, l’eMAG a choisi de prendre le contre-pied en s’ouvrant aux autres langues. Tout un symbole : un geste d’ouverture, de partage, d’unité dans la diversité des langues du Sprachenzentrum.

Unis (pas uniformisés !) dans la diversité, c’est bien là le plus grand défi de l’Union européenne. Au sortir de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, la construction d’une union des États européens est apparue comme étant LA solution afin d’assurer la paix, la croissance économique, la promotion des libertés, et ce de manière durable. Mais l’union européenne devait se faire rapidement, et c’est la voie économico-politique qui a été préférée : la possibilité d’une union d’abord humaine, sociale et culturelle aurait demandé beaucoup trop de temps. Or, c’est de cette dernière dont, à mon avis, le manque se fait le plus sentir et dont l’UE a le plus besoin actuellement.

A eux seuls, les rapprochements économiques et politiques ne peuvent pas construire une identité européenne, même s’ils peuvent apporter un élan aux volontés de complémentarité et d’ententes. A mon sens, la construction d’une identité européenne a besoin de « temps long » couplé à des actions quotidiennes venant des citoyens européens eux-mêmes. L’identité européenne doit venir « du bas », de ses fondations : ainsi, les manifestations Pulse of Europe, par exemple, se multiplient.

Mouvement européen citoyen, au-dessus des partis, les manifestations Pulse of Europe, dont le but est de défendre les valeurs démocratiques et de promouvoir le projet d’une UE forte, ont lieu chaque dimanche dans de nombreuses villes européennes. Augsbourg a d’ailleurs accueilli Pulse of Europe le 2 avril, pour la première fois, et continuera à être le témoin de ces rassemblements tous les dimanches sur la place de l’Hôtel de ville. C’est, pour vous, Européens convaincus, l’occasion d’aller échanger et proposer vos solutions en prenant la parole publiquement : donner de la voix et manifester son attachement à l’UE, comme il est écrit sur le site pulseofeurope.eu.

Ouvrir l’eMAG aux autres langues et cultures du Sprachenzentrum contribue d’une certaine manière à construire l’Europe. Et si, à l’image du geste de l’eMAG, l’université devenait finalement le lieu privilégié de l’intégration et de la construction européenne ? Et si les 20 millions d’étudiants environ, actuellement sur les bancs des universités européennes, devenaient finalement 20 millions d’ambassadeurs potentiels des valeurs européennes à travers l’Espace européen de l’enseignement supérieur ?

Author: Christophe Lips

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