Research stay in Bielefeld

This summer, I’m studying abroad with funding from the German Academic Exchange Service and the Texas Language Center. (Thank you! We spent all our money on building a house.) For my dissertation, I needed to put together a workshop on drama-based instruction for doctoral students who teach German. I have some great people in my committee for both German and for drama-based pedagogy, but no one combines the two. Elmar got summer funding to put together an online course, which he could do from anywhere thanks to the wonders of technology. So here we are in OWL.

Human foosball at the Uni Bielefeld

Continue reading

Back in Old Germany

Before Elmar and I left for our summer in Germany, a lot of our friends in Texas wished us well on our “European Adventure”. I haven’t been here since 2011, yet it feels too familiar to be an “adventure”. Many Americans see Europe as a luxury destination, but I see it as “home 2.0”.

Elmar checks out the real estate market in Oerlinghausen

Now that our house in Austin is done, Elmar checks out the real estate market in Oerlinghausen

Continue reading

World Cup 2014 and 2006

The last time I was in the US for a soccer World Cup was 2002. I had just graduated from Boston University and was living on Comm Ave. that summer. No one knew why people were driving, honking, and flying the Brazilian flag at 6 am on a Sunday. It turns out Brazil had just won the World Cup against Germany, 2-0, and the time difference to host country, Japan, is 14 hours.

Creative Commons image from

Creative Commons image from

Today, Germany defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup. And Americans were watching. I’ve been surprised at the fervor with which people are following games here in Austin. There are viewing parties in bars and offices. People care. In fact, Elmar even cares here more than he ever did in Germany because it’s been a good way to chat with his students and colleagues at ACC and ITT. While I’ve enjoyed watching games in English and Spanish, my heart is with cheering on Germany at “Public Viewings” in Dresden. Continue reading

studying cacti and culture

A friend of mine from Dresden, Germany just arrived in Austin with his wife and their two daughters (ages: 2 years, 8 weeks). He’s a mechanical engineer researching the structure of cacti for his dissertation. So obviously his path led him to Texas. But it also brings my path full circle. Continue reading