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

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

“A chipped glass is ruined forever”

Could you imagine giving away your child? To some stranger you’ve never met? In a completely different country? With a different language which your child doesn’t speak? Completely impossible for a parent, right?

Or from a child’s perspective: could you imagine leaving your parents in order to head off to a new country with a language you don’t speak? Meeting some strangers that will look after you and possibly keep you safe? You wouldn’t know if or when you’d see your parents again. Could you imagine such a thing?

Flashbacks

1_kleinOn stage, we meet a mother and her child; the mother is teaching her daughter to sew a button on her coat. The girl is about to leave – without her parents. And she’s only nine years old. She doesn’t want to leave, but the mother promises to join her later. “When is later?” “In a month, or two…”

The light fades and another part of the stage becomes the focus. A mother and daughter enter the attic; the young woman is about to move out. Her mother tries to convince the young adult to take this and that, crystal glasses (only eleven, as one of them has a little damage and “A chipped glass is ruined forever”), cups and so on. We, the audience, can sense some slight disagreement between the two: things unspoken, stories untold. As the story on the stage unfolds, we are introduced to all the things that are happening now and all the untold secrets from many years ago, in a well-hidden past.

The first pair we meet are Eva Schlesinger (Lotte Albrecht) and her mother Helga (Mel Schuster). The second pair are Faith (Jorid Kretzschmar) and her mother, Evelyn (Anna Hilbl). But Evelyn IS Eva. She has been adopted by her foster mom, Lil, (Nika 2_kleinKriss), has been given a naturalisation certificate and changed her name as well as her birthday. She has got rid of her past as a Jewish-German child that was sent away to England for safety reasons. Her daughter, Faith, didn’t know about her mother’s past and by chance finds out about it while she’s rummaging through her own childhood treasures in the attic.

Lots of emotions

The play is about the individual struggles of a child who is sent away because of the Holocaust. There are lots of stories about the children transport that mainly the British organised to help save at least some of the children in danger. Between 1938 and 1939 ten thousand children were taken to Great Britain. When we read about this Refugee Children Movement, we usually get information about their safety or that they more often than not were the only members of their families to survive and consequently most of them never saw their parents again.

What we don’t read about are the struggles and their individual stories of suffering and distress that must have come with being relocated in another country, with people they had never met before, and having to adjust to the new environment. The hardships they went through, growing up and not knowing about their families.

Great teamwork

TitelbildThe AnglistenTheater has succeeded in bringing these struggles to life in the flashbacks during the play between the “now” and “then”. They take the audience on a journey through the life of a young girl who is developing into a woman that at some point has developed into the mother we see in the “now”. To a great extent, this is director Rudolf Beck’s achievement, of course. But there is so much more that makes this production an outstanding experience. Both the stage and costume designs as well as the light and sound help to draw you right into the story; the actors’ marvellous skills make everything absolutely believable. They all played their parts extremely well and if I had to choose, I couldn’t say which performance I liked best. But I imagine that it must have been very difficult to play the young Eva and the grown-up Evelyn in such a convincing way that you can almost feel all the emotions yourself.

Go watch it!

3_kleinWhat I especially liked was the great sound design (Josef Demling). For example, when the ratcatcher (Ian Steffy) – a recurring figure in the play – makes his first appearance by sneaking in from behind the audience, a beautiful but at the same time eerie melody accompanies the action. We hear this lovely, dazzling tune during all his appearances. Whenever you hear it, it feels like it’s hitting something deep inside you and almost makes you want to jump up and follow the ratcatcher and his flute.

Considering the topic of the play it is obvious that it is rather strong stuff to digest, but it is well worth watching. So go and see Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport produced by the AnglistenTheater! There are still three more shows: Mon, 11th | Tue, 12th | Thu, 14th, all starting at 8 pm in lecture hall II (Hörsaal II) in building C.

Text: Angie Czygann
Fotos: Klaus Satzinger-Viel
Cover picture: AnglistenTheater

Torn between two worlds

The weekend’s near! You’re already planning your days off. You’re probably going to study. Maybe you’ll go on a day trip or just stay in Augsburg and spend your time here? Most likely, the weekend is something you don’t plan very precisely. Well, when you go home each weekend, things don’t work like this. Even though they probably shouldn’t, your plans already take shape on Monday, eventually forcing you to rethink your situation:

This Friday, I’ll hope to get the earlier train

Of course, you’ve tried to outsmart Digicampus and get Friday off. But sometimes this doesn’t work, so you have to attend uni on Friday and hope to get your tram to the train station in time. And even if your train trip only takes one and a half hours, getting the later train will mean that you’ll have less time with your family in the evening.

Saturday is going to be busy.

If your family members live as closely to each other as mine, my Saturday schedule might seem familiar to you: first, you have a late breakfast with your family, already suspecting that the day might turn out to be stressful. At midday, you go get the groceries for your grandparents and spend some time with them, chatting about the past week at uni, a certain president’s failures, and the most recent Bundesliga news. In the evening, you visit your other grandparents to have dinner with them. After dinner, it’s time to finally meet the gang and go out, and depending on how busy Sunday will be, you might, of course stay out a bit longer.

Sunday ain’t fun-day…

train3After an even later breakfast on Sunday, the bags have to be packed. Being tired (and sometimes a bit hungover), you realize what’s coming: a train ride, lasting longer than an eternity; then a tram ride, most often packed with smelly people next to you; an exhausting walk home, because you don’t have one of those trendy suitcases with wheels on them and your bag gets heavier and heavier with each step you take. You’re finally there, so you unpack your bags, put your home-laundered clothes into your wardrobe, and store the food you brought in your fridge. Sleepily, you sink into your bed and as you’re about to fall asleep, you suddenly remember: there was homework due tomorrow!!!

But is it really worth it?

This advice might be helpful, especially if you’re new to being a student: commuting home over the weekend sure is great because you get to see your family, your hometown friends and feel the nostalgic, regional vibe of your home. But if you don’t manage to take one step back from your family responsibilities after moving out, your weekly trip home will be exhausting rather than relaxing. And even though it might hurt in the beginning, you’ll eventually have to focus on one of those two worlds because if you continue like this, homework won’t be the only thing you’ll miss out.

It’s your decision!

Sooner or later, you’ll find out that staying in Augsburg for the weekend more often will benefit you: you’ll be less distracted from your studies, your weekends will be more relaxing, and maybe it’s going to be easier for you to make friends here. This is why, from my personal experience, I can say that for the sake of your student as well as your private life, it’s important to find the right balance between going home and staying in Augsburg. Your family will always be your family, no matter where you are, so they’ll understand. It’s only natural that you’ll have a hard time figuring it out at first, but I’m sure you’ll eventually sort this out and succeed in your new, exciting life, too!

 

Text & Pictures: Marcus Wiesenhofer

Student species

student_About 20,000 students populate the University of Augsburg, which means different people from all over the world, who, at first sight, have almost nothing in common. Well, they’re all students, of course – mammals with particular habits, such as the mass migration from the campus buildings to the Mensa at 1.16 PM. So, as I’ve spent a lot of time in lectures and courses, it’s quite simple to divide the student animal kingdom into three main categories… 

Those who bring food to class

Everybody longs for a snack, above all when you’ve spent the whole day at university and you’re getting a little peckish. A muesli bar, some yoghurt or an apple re the most popular. But not for him. No, the food lover goes big. It’s five p.m., and a pungent odor in the university corridors announces, well in advance, the arrival of BigFood. And here he comes, almost limping, since he’s trying to walk and devour the noodles at the same time. Red sauce all over his mouth and a passion for chopsticks – because eating with a fork is too mainstream. Big food’s ready to contaminate the air of another lecture theatre, usually sitting next to you, and contributing indecipherable questions – his mouth is full! – to the class discussion.

Those who pinch your things

No, I don’t mean your bike, money or smartphone. University thieves don’t aim that high – they just look for your stuff. Innocent copies, pencils and clips, which fall into the hands of those professional thieves. The strategy is always the same: they sit next to you, ask if they can read your copies, and, once the class is over, your marvelous printed sheets have disappeared. After the “Gosh-why-am-I-so-forgetful?” moment, you realize your neighbor has pinched your materials, and sometimes even deprived you of your motivation to study (in the process increasing the number of procrastinators among students as well as Netflix sales).

Those who can’t hold it anymore

Who doesn’t love lectures? Listening to the professor talking away, jotting something down, snoozing in your seat. Not really. Someone in the middle of your row stands up and turns up all the tilt-top desks, as if they were dominoes. The incontinent student faces an obstacle course, with hurdles made of jackets, backpacks and other (unfortunate) students, who are mercilessly attacked by the athlete’s knees. The gymnast finally reaches the door, while the heads follow him, making sure he hasn’t injured himself (or hoping that he has!). Nature is calling and it’s only polite to answer – and go to the loo. Pity that it’s always the same person, sitting in the same place, during the same lecture.

Text: Veronica Armellini
Picture: Daniela Armellini