|Reflection by Jonathon Lim
|Reflection by Nishant Kumar
|Reflection by Chani Hodonsky
|It was a beautiful day in the fall of 2001 when I first moved into the collegiate and buzzing dormitory of East Quad. I did not know a single person,not my neightbor, not even my roomate. Even to me, an adventerous seventeen year old who just spent a year solo in the Netherlands, the college experience was terrifying. It was not until my 10 AM German lesson, that I finally felt
comfortable, engaged, with a puropse. I remember the moment well, well actually
it was an answer: "Ich finde Deutsch schön" ("I think German is beautiful"). The
question, our professor asked, "Why are you taking German?" Professor Shier,
applauded my genuine answer. My worries? Vanquished.
As I begin my fourth year in the RC German program, the encouragment has only continued. Through small classes, hands-on-learning, and the emphasis on community the program has
| There is something insidiously alluring about dormancy - a poisoned protection from a venomous opiate. How utterly futile? How incomparably tragic? A mindless aestivation so charmingly inures one to the intolerable vicissitudes of reality. One sees the vacuous reflections on disinfected marble tiles, the dark eyes where sporadic embers betray buried conflagrations, and the glossy Turkish rug on mossy shattered china - silent demise in a silent mirror. In a sepulchral cocoon I lived enveloped. As a white lie I sought an immortal finality. A death I faced indeed but with it I found my inception. A vital soul wafted into a utilitarian cadaver and a cauterized wound healed embalmed by a European ointment. Through RC German I foraged for a revivification and found a soul - white, black, and grey.
RC German is a wholly sensual experience. Every sense is immersed in an authentic unrelenting process that demands a creation, a vision, and unapologetic passion that reverberates audibly into eternity. It is the most overpowering of addictions - oppressively nourishing and aggressively catalyzing. The department's resolute belief that impasses are impossible and progress inexorable triggers transcendence of self-imposed limiting beliefs, creating the aspiration to taste the bittersweet level of unfathomable personal excellence. RC German fires the desire to evolve in every way a human can evolve, be it emotional, intellectual, social, or spiritual and this is no small feat. The department seeks to understand and then educate. It seeks to learn and then teach. It seeks to contemplate and then preach. It promises an education but it ensures an epiphany.
Being in the Residential College means the world to the students lucky enough to discover the programs within it. The language program, as the most well-known feature of the college, attracted me to the RC initially as a chance to continue studying German. My first experience at the University of Michigan was having the fortune to attend a small, intensive seminar-style German class that tended equally to the needs of students at every level. Our intensive German class focused on the student working together with other classmates and the professors to improve his or her speaking, writing, and listening of the German language through lunchtable discussions, Kaffeestunde every week, and intense class discussions and lectures. This comprehensive approach allowed me to immerse myself in the classes as part of a community within the RC German program, as well as gain access to a group of students who were at different levels in the program to help guide my studies and encourage my efforts. The program builds confidence, in speaking especially, and makes the transition to actually speaking the language in the native country a great experience, as I found out this summer when I travelled to Munich for the first time. I hope to some day be able to contribute to the program that introduced me to speaking German with confidence and grace, intensive language classes, and theater, a tenth of what it has given me thus far in my college career.