German Academy Christmas Celebration and Field Trip Adventures!

An Update from the German Academy

July 13, 2016

In the third week of the program, our students have adjusted to Middlebury Interactive Languages Summer Academy life, and the German Academy has become a tight-knit community. It is amazing to see and hear the progress of the students’ language skills. 

Last Saturday, the students created their own Fasching event. In German-speaking countries, Fasching takes place before Ash Wednesday and is alternatively known as Karneval or Fastnacht. The biggest celebrations occur in Mainz, Dusseldorf, and the “King of Karneval,” Cologne. For our Fasching, the students dressed up in costumes and transformed our classrooms into decorated festival halls. Everyone enjoyed Krapfen-a jelly doughnut that is the typical Fasching food. The cooking club provided us with a hot-spiced drink, known as Glühwein. The music club performed the 2012 Karneval anthem, Pirate by Kasalla. Students also competed against one another in various party games and received awards for best costume.

Sunday was a very special day for the students as they competed in the first ever Middlebury Interactive Languages Pan-Academy Field Day. Not only did the German Academy compete against the Spanish and Arabic academies, but the GMC Summer Academy students traveled to Saint Michael’s College to compete against the French and Chinese academies. While the weather was less than ideal with scattered rain, the students continued to cheer on one another in events such as basketball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, a Sudoku challenge and a relay race. It was an unforgettable opportunity to be surrounded by five different languages and to build team spirit within the Academy!

Our field trip to St. Michael’s College was not the only excursion of the week. On Wednesday, the students spent the day at Bromley Adventure Park. We began the day by hiking up Bromley Mountain in order to have a gorgeous view of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Even though it was a taxing climb, the students were rewarded on the return with the opportunity to take one of three different Alpine Slides instead of wandering back down the mountain. Many of the students rode the Alpine Slide as many as six times and enjoyed other fun activities including rock-climbing, mini-golf, water slides and other rides.

Upon returning to campus that evening, the students assembled into their clubs. The music club learned a new song and continued perfecting Pirate, which they will perform at the World Expo during the last week of the program. The cooking club whipped up a delicious cucumber salad, and the art club crafted Christmas decorations for our weekend event. The video club started filming scenes to use for their music video that will be shown at the World Expo as well. 

Other notable events included Goodbye Lenin as the weekly film and another exciting Friday evening presentation by the students of what they learned in class. Herr Kuchta’s class showed off their “survival kits” of important facts for future Summer Academy students. Frau C’s class did a speed-dating role play where pairs of students gave each other compliments. Finally, Frau Roper’s class explained what is culturally polite and impolite to do in Germany. The students in the architecture class shared their constructions, while the students from the fairy tale group gave dramatic readings of their own tales.

To wrap up this entertaining, fast-paced week, the students began their Saturday morning in clubs. The nature club spent time identifying different trees and plants and the sports club faced off in a game of soccer. Cooking club prepared potato pancakes, while press club edited the German Academy’s Instagram account that all are welcome to follow at @deutscheakademie. 

Saturday night’s closing theme was Christmas in July. Students learned about the traditions of Krampus and St. Nikolaus while enjoying tasty Christmas desserts such as gingerbread cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. Carols were sung while decorating a Christmas tree outside of our academic building. It’s unbelievable that the fourth week is upon us, but there remains much to look forward to for our German students!