Why German?

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been asked that. You also wouldn’t believe how many stifled sniggers there were from the other people in the tour groups at university open days when the guides asked which subjects we were applying for; the temptation to play up to what they expect and start goose-stepping around like Basil Fawlty was quite something!

Anyway, the reason I do German is essentially down to 1 man – Robert Nicholls. He’s probably the most inspirational teacher I’ve ever had and he fostered my love of the language since day 1, way back in year 9. I still use the songs, rhymes and hand actions that he used to teach us the basics even now, 7 years down the line (just ask anybody in my university grammar class who’s seen the DRAM prepositions routine). To give you an idea of what the man’s like, he’s just retired from teaching and is off to spend 2 years as a volunteer…in South Sudan. You can think of any job, or any place conceivable, and he’ll tell you about how he’s worked there or had a close shave with armed rebels there, and so on and so forth, for many lessons of stories instead of coursework or whatever. You can read his blog about his adventures in South Sudan here.

Having said all that, my German degree only serves as my backup plan; what I’d love to do (and have done since I was about 3) as a career is be a commercial pilot. I’ve already tried my luck once with British Airways and they’ve asked me to try again after my degree, so with a bit of luck this blog will eventually lead onto a blog about pilot training and a career with the best office view in the world!


3 thoughts on “Why German?

  1. Thought I’d have a nosey through your blog as I plan to follow your exciting year abroad (I’ve saved it as a favourite on my laptop already) and just had to tell you how much I love this post in particular. It’s brilliant! I hope Nicholls reads this! 🙂

  2. Just read your blog from way back. Really touched.Thank you for your very kind comments.
    I loved teaching at BW and your A-level group, and the one that followed you, were the best fun to teach.
    I enjoyed your comment about your own teaching style with your students in Leipzig and how important it it that students enjoy the lessons. Going off the topic and exploring areas that have nothing to do with the lesson are all part and parcel of teaching as far as i am concerned. OFSTED, I am sure, would never agree. “Lesson plan? What lesson plan? Learning objective? What learning objective?”
    I’m just amazed I got away with it for so long and didn’t get sacked!

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