Tag Archives: Augsburg

Questions to the Augsburg Magazine eMAG

  1. What exactly is the course called and how does it fit into the study program? What English skills are being covered? And how do you learn the required writing skills?

The course has a rather unspectacular name: it goes by Integrated Language Skills (LPO 2012) / Integrated Language Skills 2 (LPO 2008) (eMag). eMAG is part of a module that consists of three courses, the other two being Effective Writing and Übersetzung Englisch-Deutsch (1). eMAG fits in here as an opportunity for students to put the skills they have learned in those other courses to practical use in an authentic, english-speaking environment. The eMAG course itself is there to improve students’ writing skills outside of the usual term paper style. We try to convey a more informal writing style in general.

  • eMAG has a very project-based way of practising writing skills. Would you say this is more promising for participants than a traditional class?

I’m going to go with the diplomatic route here and say that a good mix between a theoretical approach and a practical one is very useful. You can’t learn a language simply by reading about it. You have to use it to actual get better at it. And a part of that certainly is writing, too, in all its forms. But at the same time, it’s also necessary to have a good foundation to start working on a project like eMAG. You need to have some basic understanding of how to structure your writing, that there are differences between writing in German and English – and that does include formal differences. And that is something we wouldn’t be able to do in just one term with one session a week. In a nutshell, I’d say that eMAG is a great opportunity if you have the necessary foundations.

  • For us, organisational tasks took up a lot of time and it wasn’t quite clear who was responsible for what. Also, what presented a bit of a struggle was that our course is supposed to teach writing skills before all else but the magazine focus didn’t allow much time for that. How do you handle organizational tasks within a writing course?

It’s good to see that similar projects are struggling with similar problems. There is no way around it and I was lucky enough to join the course at a time when a lot of these issues had already been dealt with and solved. There already was a good routine that people before me had set up. The trick is to give the course a real project structure with different layers of who would be responsible for what – teams for layouting and media and advertisement to just name a few. Within these groups, the regular members, who take the course for credit points, will mostly focus on writing and only take on smaller tasks to help create the final magazine. The experienced staff, on the other hand, get clear assignments on what needs to be done. In the end, the editor-in-chief has the fun task of managing and overseeing all those groups and bringing everything together.

  • Who is eligible to join the class, i.e. students of what semester or year of the study program? How many are you in total and what is the ratio between students who do the course voluntarily and those who do it for credit points? Do both of these groups participate in the same way?

There is no real condition set for joining the class, especially if you’re studying English: if you need the credit points, who are we to tell you you can’t come? We do prefer for the people to have completed the writing part of the module beforehand, or at least to be taking that class in the same term, but we can’t enforce that. Naturally, though, most people are doing it this way because following the module structure makes the most sense. In turn, that means that most new members are in or around their 3rd semester. In terms of how many people join, there’s some fluctuation: there are usually more participants during winter terms, but it’s roughly 20-25 people in general. Only few of these aren’t English students – although I wouldn’t say there’s a difference in participation. On top of that, there is my team which consists of seven people at the moment. These tend to be people who have participated before and can’t get any more credit points. They are just there for a good time.

  • In our course, we tried to assign different roles to different people. However, we didn’t define clearly enough what each role’s job was, leading to the point where some people did much more work than others. What roles do you have within your team? And what tasks does each role involve? Is the work distributed in a rather even way, or are there also differences between the work load of different people?

I think this little chart from our guidelines does a better job at visualizing this than I could in words:
The new members are being split into either working on layouts or promoting the magazine, apart from working on their articles. Both teams are supervised by team leaders who know how everything is supposed to be structured and help out wherever necessary. If even they don’t know the solution, it’s usually my part to figure something out. Problem solver would probably be one of the better descriptions for what I do. There is a lot of organizing things behind the scenes, too, of course: finding printers, organizing everything to be in line with our university and making decisions on how to go forward or cutting inappropriate articles, though we do try to avoid that at all costs. Nonetheless, it happens every once in a while.

We struggled a lot to find a good balance between the workload of the layout team compared to the media team. Layouting is just such a time-consuming but necessary part of it all that it makes it difficult to cut down on it, yet the media team usually doesn’t face quite as many tasks throughout the term. Last term we struck a good balance by giving each member of the Media team the task to write one additional article which would be published on our website while the layout team didn’t get that assignment. This lead to the workload being evened out for the most part.

Apart from that, there’s Writing Support, a team that consists of three experienced eMAGgers. Their job is to correct early drafts and give feedback, before the final draft goes to the course coordinator.

  • What does your lecturer do exactly? What is their role in the production of each magazine? And how do they grade each person’s work?

The entire course is supposed to be run by students. But as we wouldn’t be allowed to give people credit, Mr. Jehle is the one who’s in charge officially. Until last term, it was Mr. James, who founded eMAG. The lecturer’s job is to organise exams and talk to the higher-ups of our university in case there are issues we couldn’t solve by ourselves. They also correct final article drafts so we do get some professional feedback.


As for grading, that’s a mystery, even to me. I think it’s really just magic… Ideally, though, we would love to be able to grade the work during the course and skip the exam entirely, but as we are part of the entire three-part module structure, we have to offer an exam which is also created by our course coordinator. Since the class takes up more time than a regular course, though, we try not to put additional work on participants for exam preparation. The aim is to create an exam that can be answered relatively easily by any regular class member.

  • We heard that your editors are meeting every week with the lecturer – what is being discussed in those weekly meetings?

Another rather boring answer: it’s just to catch up on things that are going on. Making sure nothing’s being overlooked or forgotten about. Mr. James’ experience in this matter was invaluable. He didn’t encounter most problems for the first time, so he knew how to handle things if something went awry. And there tends to be at least one thing each term that does.

  • How do you organize the advertisement for your magazine?

At this point, we have a few contract partners that have been advertising in eMAG for a long time, which makes the process a lot easier: they know exactly what needs to be done once we come around and ask if they’re still interested. The process consists of two steps: first off, we need to get the contracts signed by our partners who then in turn will send us their ad. This ad is then being handled like a regular magazine page and copied into inDesign. After that, we need to deal with the entire bureaucratic process of handing in the contracts to our university. The people in charge then check if they are all legally printable and if any mistakes have been made. If everything is found to be in order, they write the bill.

  • Our first magazine didn’t have a general topic, and everyone just wrote about whatever they were interested in. However, we think it will be better if our magazine has that kind of topic for each semester’s edition from now on. How do you decide on a topic for each term?

That’s one of the funnier parts of class! During one of the last sessions each term we dedicate one hour to brainstorming ideas on what could be interesting as a topic. It must be a topic that hasn’t been covered yet, of course. Once we have a list of potential topics, everyone gets to vote on what will be the Main Topic for the following issue. We usually go with that decision, but I remember a few terms ago when more than 90% of people voted on a topic that we ended up not taking. My deputy and I decided on the topic Misfits instead, although that topic only had two votes, coming from the both of us. Guess that’s one of the few perks of being editor-in-chief.

  1. How do you manage a deadline as early in the semester as one month after it started? And what do you do afterwards?

For everything to go as smoothly as possible, the team and I sit down during the term break to plan everything out with a very strict schedule. Experience, of course, already plays into this, so we kind of know how well some deadlines will work out or how much time you really need to give people with certain assignments to get reasonable results. Then, one week before the term actually starts, I write an e-mail to the course and give the participants all the details, so everyone is already well-prepared and know what’s coming. That method has been working out for us pretty well.

  1. Do some of your Lehramt students plan on using the skills and ideas from your magazine project later on, in the school classroom?

As I’m not going to become a teacher, I can only make assumptions here, but I think working in a team project like eMAG definitely makes organizing a bit easier later on, when you want to get anything done with a horde of 30 pupils. I look at it realistically, though, and say that it’s most likely not going to be a magazine in and of itself. What is useful, I would imagine, is the skills you learn without even noticing for the most part: Working in a team, problem solving, time management. Skills that are becoming more and more important in our society. So maybe that is our little contribution to the development of our students in the course. I, at least, hope so and, most importantly, that it’s a fun time for everyone in what’s otherwise often a very monotonous university day.

Fridays for OUR future

“We’re on a planet. That has a problem. We’ve got to solve it, get involved. And do it now, now, now. We need to build a better future. And we need to start right now.” – Read that part again, with the melody of “Bella Ciao” in mind and imagine being surrounded by hundreds: then you’ll catch a glimpse of how a Fridays for Future protest looks and feels.


May 24: In more than 2000 cities (about 200 of them in Germany), young people once more took to the streets, to fight for climate justice. But I’m not writing this article to tell you to stop wasting food, go vegan, quit flying or whatsoever – not again! You’re old enough to know that you should change your lifestyle to help our environment. Instead, I’ll try to share the feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of people that fight for the same goal.

The demonstration

One of the demonstrations started on Friday at 11:30 in Kempten. Pupils from a range of about 50 km had come to protest. First, everything was quiet as we gathered. As you looked around, you tried to read the other signs. Those beautiful, sarcastic but also terrifying signs: One said: “This planet is getting hotter than young Leonardo DiCaprio!”, another one read: “Wake up Humans! You’re endangered, too!“. They’d have been funny, but as the topic is so relevant, they were simply sad and scary. You could already hear strident whistling everywhere. A lot of pupils had brought whistles and started to sing: “Wir sind hier! Wir sind laut, weil ihr uns die Zukunft klaut!” (We are here! We are loud! Because you’re stealing our future!) Everyone else joined. And it was getting louder. We wanted to make (fucking) noise. We wanted to be (fucking) heard. So we screamed our heads off.

As we started to walk, the one big chant developed into more smaller chants in smaller groups. We were followed by disapproving glances of people. But we didn’t care. I mean, why should we? They apparently don’t care about our future, so I don’t give a fuck if I jar on their nerves. After an hour of walking, we topped at a little square. And the speaker started to sing the recasted “Bella Ciao” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zemK3S79tpU). Then, he talked about the European Elections. And I would like to do the same thing now.

There’s no excuse for today!


I know as a student it might be hard to participate in those projects because of work or other obligations. But there is no possibly accepted excuse for not voting today. You can change the world. You can make a difference. You can make the difference this world needs so desperately. I plead you: Don’t let your vote be wasted because you are too lazy after a boozy night.

Author: Leyla Bayraktar

Picture: Ela Bayraktar

Sympathy for a killer


The lights come on and in a nightgown Ruth Ellis (Lotte Albrecht) enters the stage to the bittersweet Blues of Billie Holiday, which immediately draws the audience into the stylish, but flawed version of the 1950s that forms the backdrop for the story preceding Ruth’s death. On 13 July 1955, at the age of 28 she is hanged, the last woman in Britain to suffer this fate. Her crime: she shot her lover in cold blood. What drove this young, beautiful woman over the edge? Why did she not even attempt to defend herself? These are some of the questions “The Thrill of Love” by Amanda Whittington aims to explore.

An emotional rollercoaster

The story is told in flashbacks through the perspective of Inspector Jack Gale (Jack Sigel). During his investigation he reconstructs a selection of events that give us an insight into the seedy world of gentlemen’s clubs and the women working the nights. Always present on bar room stage, he is a constant reminder that even the happiest moments in the lives of the women there are nothing but stepping stones on the path to the grim future we already know. However, these scenes of joy are one of the greatest feats of the play: it’s all too easy to get lost in the hopelessness and sadness that is usually associated with the story of Ruth Ellis. The playful banter between the women is a welcome break and allows the actresses to display their perfect timing and quick delivery. Thanks to these moments the characters become more than just parts of a tragic story. We become invested in their hopes and dreams, although we should know full well that they are unlikely at best. When this realization finally kicks in during the second half of the play, it hits that much harder.

Powerful performances

There are no extras in “The Thrill of Love”. Every character has his or her moments. The club’s manager Sylvia Shaw (Lucie Marchand) appears to be all business, but she cares deeply about all the women who work for her. The charwoman Doris (Anna Hilbel) often puts her needs behind those of others, even if it puts her own happiness at risk. The young Vicky Martin (Sara Steffes) hopes to meet powerful men and become a star on the big screen. Even Inspector Gale, cold as he may seem, turns out to be motivated by more than the mere desire to solve a case.

An unforgettable evening

“The Thrill of Love” is a powerful experience. The crew surrounding Rudolf Beck has managed to create a captivating atmosphere that lingers long after the curtain closes. We may know the outcome from the very beginning, but we don’t know the story behind it. In finding out, it’s difficult not to feel somewhat like a voyeur. Personal tragedies happen in silence. It’s when they emerge that we start to care.

 

Performances:

Thursday 6th December
Friday 7th December
Tuesday 11th December
Thursday 13th December

8 p.m., Hörsaal II

 

Author & Poster: Andreas Böhm

Questions of a reading worker

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?

In the books you find the names of kings.

Was it the kings who hauled the rocks?

And Babylon, repeatedly destroyed.

Who rebuilt it so many times? Which houses

Of golden-gleaming Lima did the workers live in?

The evening the Great Wall of China was completed,

where did the masons go? Imperial Rome

Is full of triumphal arches. Who

Did the Caesars triumph over? Did Byzantium, much extolled,

Offer only palaces to its people? Even in mythical Atlantis,

The night the ocean swallowed it, the drowning screamed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.

He on his own?

Ceasar beat the Gauls.

Didn’t he at least have a cook with him?

Phillipp of Spain wept when his fleet had sunk.

Was he the only one to weep?

Frederic the Second prevailed in the Seven Years’ War. Other than him,

Who else prevailed?

Every page a victory.

Who cooked the the victors’ feast?

Every ten years a great man.

Who paid for the expenses?


So many reports.

So many questions.

 

If you like Brecht, be sure to check out this year’s Brechfestival, which will be held from February 23rd to March 4th! For further information visit https://brechtfestival.de/programm

 

Author: Bertolt Brecht | Translation: Maria Diamantopoulou

Bretzel, birra e rock’n roll

Il 4 ottobre 2017 è stato per molte persone un giorno come tanti altri, ma per me ha rappresentato un nuovo inizio. Alle 15:30 di quel giorno io, papà e mamma siamo arrivati ad Augsburg dopo ben dieci ore di viaggio in macchina e lì ha avuto inizio per me quella bellissima avventura chiamata Erasmus.

Dopo essere arrivati allo Studentenwohnheim Göggingen e aver sistemato i bagagli nella mia camera, io e i miei genitori abbiamo passato alcune giornate insieme tra Wurst, Bretzel, Kartoffeln e giri nei posti più importanti di Augsburg e in particolare ci sono piaciuti molto il Rathaus e la Fuggerei, il primo complesso di case popolari nella storia. Il 7 ottobre abbiamo passato un’intera giornata a Monaco e il giorno dopo, dopo gli abbracci e la classica lacrimuccia, i miei genitori sono partiti per tornare in Italia. Ed è proprio dopo la loro partenza che sono sorte le prime insicurezze…

Quello ad Augsburg rappresenta il secondo semestre Erasmus della mia vita, dato che nel 2014 avevo passato sei mesi a León, in Spagna. Ma mentre lì mi sono ritrovato in un paese di cui conoscevo e parlavo bene la lingua e ho potuto fin da subito comunicare con la gente del posto, l’inizio del mio Erasmus ad Augsburg non è stato altrettanto facile. Non studiavo il tedesco da circa quattro anni e all’inizio non capivo niente di quello che dicevano i professori a lezione. Inoltre, quando mi trovavo a parlare coi miei compagni di corso tedeschi, facevo fatica anche a formulare frasi semplici come „Wie geht’s dir?“.

Molte persone si sarebbero perse d’animo, ma io non sono il tipo che si demoralizza alla prima difficoltà. Fin da subito mi sono rimboccato le maniche ed è andando a lezione di Deutsch als Fremdsprache e parlando con molti studenti tedeschi (tra cui la mia bravissima tutor Alexandra e alcuni ragazzi di ESN, l‘Erasmus Student Network) che sono riuscito a raggiungere un buon livello. Adesso riesco a sostenere una conversazione in lingua tedesca senza grossi problemi e questo è senza dubbio il traguardo più bello che potessi raggiungere.

Oltre a conoscere tanti ragazzi tedeschi a lezione o al Göggingen, ho stretto amicizia con molti italiani e con ragazzi provenienti da paesi come Grecia, USA, Spagna, Francia e Irlanda e questo mi ha permesso di fare pratica anche con le altre lingue straniere che conosco (inglese, spagnolo e francese) e di conoscere meglio altre culture. Coi miei amici, che non ringrazierò mai abbastanza per il solo fatto che mi sopportano, ho condiviso tante serate nella Bierstube del Goggingen e in locali di Augsburg come Mahagoni Bar, Peaches, Nachtcafé e Mo Club e tra una birra e l’altra mi sono sempre divertito tantissimo.

Party in Albertus Magnus Studentenwohnheim. Credit: Chayangkoon Mangkornkarn
Party in Albertus Magnus Studentenwohnheim. Credit: Chayangkoon Mangkornkarn

Ma coi miei amici non ho condiviso solo serate di festa. In più occasioni abbiamo deciso di avventurarci al di fuori di Augsburg per scoprire città nuove e questa voglia di viaggiare ci ha portati fino a città come Nürnberg, Berlino (dove abbiamo partecipato allo Spree Break organizzato da ESN Deutschland), Lindau (col suo bellissimo mercatino di Natale) e Dachau (dove abbiamo visitato il campo di concentramento). Grazie a queste gite abbiamo potuto apprezzare il grande impegno dei ragazzi di ESN, i quali hanno organizzato per noi studenti Erasmus anche numerosi eventi di ogni genere tra cui un allenamento di Wheelchair Basketball, la visita al birrificio Brauhaus Riegele e serate sulla pista di pattinaggio.

Me in Berlin.
In Berlin.

L’Erasmus ad Augsburg è divertimento, viaggiare e „Bretzel, birra e rock ´n roll“, ma c’è anche altro. Essendo ancora uno studente, ho trascorso la maggior parte del semestre all’università e devo dire che mi sono trovato molto bene. Il campus è un bellissimo mix di natura ed edifici moderni e all’avanguardia e l’organizzazione è davvero ottima. I professori dei corsi a cui ho partecipato sono molto gentili e disponibili e le lezioni sono state tutte molto interessanti e coinvolgenti. In Italia c’è grande distacco tra studenti e professori e questo mi ha fatto apprezzare ancor di più l’approccio dei docenti dell’Università di Augsburg.

Conoscere gente fantastica da ogni parte del mondo, esplorare luoghi nuovi, parlare e imparare una o più lingue straniere, vivere esperienze nuove, confrontarsi con un mondo nuovo e arricchire le mie conoscenze.

Author & Pictures (except the one from the party): Alessandro Palma

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