Share Your Story #7: Josie Huffman

August 26, 2019

image © Wunderbar Together

In celebration of German-American friendship, we’re featuring stories from people like you!

Do you have a story to share with us about your German-American experience? Whether you are of German heritage or are someone who loves all things German, we want to hear from you! Send us a brief example of a time you enjoyed engaging with Germany in some way and we’ll publish the best contributions on our blog during the campaign!

What does “Wunderbar Together” mean to you? Stories can be anything from funny to heartwarming and highlight intercultural experiences studying, living, and working in the United States or Germany. Be creative!

Visit our homepage to submit your story!

This week’s story was written by Josie Huffman about her experience learning German in high school.

My best German-American experience would have to be my German class in high school. Over the four years that I was in the class, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the German language and culture. We celebrated German holidays, became involved in German cultural events near us, and even got to host a group of German students traveling in the United States. All four years I was fortunate enough to be involved with the German Club and was even the president during my senior year. This club gave students the chance to become even more involved with German Culture and participate in amazing events.

One of my favorite events was always the Three Rivers German Day held by Washington and Jefferson college. At this event, students would have the chance to compete in various activities relating to culture, language, and art. A trivia bowl was held to test students’ language skills and knowledge of German culture, and German songs and poems would be performed by students. This was always one of our favorite events of the year.

One of our other favorite events was always the Gateway Clipper. At this event, we would join other schools’ German Clubs on the Gateway Clipper boat and enjoy traditional German food and music. We would start the night with a buffet of traditional German foods and desserts. My favorites were always schnitzel and chocolate cake. Dinner was always followed by German dancers showing traditional German dances and teaching the students how to follow along. The younger students always had a lot of fun learning traditional dances and listening to the traditional music. After the traditional activities the dance floor would open up for everyone to dance and enjoy the rest of the night with friends. These events were also great for meeting new people and getting to know more about the other students in your own German Club.

There were so many things that my high school German classes taught me. Of course, I learned German language skills and about another culture, but I also learned a lot about myself. I was able to get to know more about my own German heritage, and I am very grateful for that. I truly believe that I would be in a very different position without these classes. I became very close with my teacher over these four years, and I met a lot of amazing students. I would definitely recommend that every student that wants to have an amazing cultural experience takes a German course.

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