Marea Colombo '13
Freshman orientation is frightening from the get go. Not only do new students struggle to navigate themselves around an unknown campus, try to make new friends, and worry about the next four years, they must go through Course Registration. This title does not encompass the stress associated with this event. Freshman students file into Kenyan in groups and run around to tables trying to sign up for their freshman fall classes.
During my course registration, I pulled the short straw and was in the final group to enter Kenyan. I ran around and table after table told me their classes were full. I finally found three classes and decided I only needed a language to complete my registration. I started with Arabic which was the class I had initially wanted to take, but it was full. I then tried Russian but that class coincided with another class. Attempt after attempt was another full class or clash. Finally I decided to try French but once again this class was full.
I was about to give up when a voice from the table next to me said "take German." Beside me was a group of teachers, all smiling, and telling me about all the fantastic aspects about German. The class had space, and the time worked so I decided to take German, unsure about how long I would take the class for, or if I would even enjoy class.
I have now completed an entire semester of German and I can officially say that taking German was one of the best "mistakes." On the one hand I really enjoy the language, and the fascinating culture and history associated with Germany. On the other hand, however, my love of German comes down to the German Department. My teacher, Florence, is not only a brilliant teacher but an extremely caring and nice person. The entire German department helps students succeed. They support us at language tables, they come to our "coffee-hour" and engage students in conversation, and they are always willing to answer questions. I am sure that no matter what class I had signed up for I would have enjoyed it, but I am so glad that I ended up in German.
Hannah Parker, '10
Red flashes before your eyes; bandits dash out of sight. A lady of the night dances a tango with Mack the Knife. No, you are not in the streets of London or even in the theaters of New York or Paris--you're attending the Middlebury College German Theater Company's production of Bertolt Brecht's classic operetta, Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera.) Staging one to two major works every year, the MCGTC gives students with a passion for German and acting the opportunity to perform exciting and challenging repertoire from diverse periods in history. Whether a tragic story of Faustian downfall, or a lively fin-de-siecle comedy, the productions selected by troupe director Prof. Bettina Matthias find favor with audiences and actors alike.
When it comes to German Theater at Middlebury, there is always a surprise in store, even for the actor! After years of playing love-struck innamorati-parts in high school, I felt quite at home in the role of Polly Peachum as a freshman in my first production with MCGTC. Indeed, everyone seemed to be cast perfectly, as our production earned us first prize at Mount Holyoke's Annual German Theater Festival & Competition. Little did I imagine that the next year I would exchange Polly's soprano solos for devilish explosions and red leather as Mephistopheles in Faust. That is what I cherish most about my experience in the troupe; you have a unique chance to step out of your own skin, shed the stress of tests and papers, and become someone else for awhile. Wondering what characters might be inside of you? Come join us and find out.