May 10, 2013

Spring has sprung in Saxony

Spring came fast here in Dresden. It seemed like one week there was snow on the ground and the next the crocuses were blooming and the trees were starting to bud.

My favorite part about spring is being able to comfortably go biking here. I ride to school every morning, and there is actually bike traffic between classes. Sometimes it’s really hard to find a parking space amid the hundreds of bikes that surround our biggest academic building. Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised about that since my biggest class has about 600 people in it.

Engineering classes finally started here a week after Spring Break back at Lafayette. On my first day, I was nervous to have a class that was twenty times the size of the biggest class I have had at Lafayette, but my professor is nice and he still creates an interactive experience for the students. On the third day of class, he brought candy and told us that he would throw some to people who found mistakes in his work on the board. Once someone from the middle of the lecture hall answered, he tried to throw them a Twix. It only made it half way to the student. Apparently the Snickers that the professor had used last semester flew better.

The next day we found ourselves making paper planes to learn about coordinate systems. Once we were done, we all threw them up in the air, and the room looked like the end of a graduation ceremony with a cloud of planes flying like hats over a crowd of students. Apparently the Germans don’t have that tradition, and it made me a little homesick for Lafayette. I wish the best to the seniors who will be graduating in a couple weeks, many of whom I will not see again. Coming into spring, I miss walking by the trees behind Colton Chapel and seeing the students flock to the Quad. However, I live only a five minute ride from Dresden’s equivalent of Central Park and fifteen minutes from the beautiful banks of the Elbe.

Over her spring break in Spain, my roommate from last semester and housemate for next year, Haley Garrison ’15, came to visit me. Even though it was already spring then in Madrid, it was still a little snowy here even as the crocuses were springing up around the city.

Haley stands in front of the reconstructed Frauenkirche, which was finished in 2005 for the 800th anniversary of  the founding of Dresden, Germany.

Haley in front of the reconstructed Frauenkirche, which was finished in 2005 for the 800th anniversary of the founding of Dresden.

It was pretty amazing how I could hop on a plane and a few hours later end up in a place with such a different culture and a different language. That doesn’t happen in the US, where everything is so far away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haley is studying in Madrid this semester. While many other students headed to the sunny south of Spain for break, Haley came north to brave the snows of Dresden.

 I really enjoyed bike riding around and getting to see the city. It was interesting to see how so many people get around by bike and how there are bike paths and bike racks everywhere. In Spain (and obviously the US too), hardly anyone rides bikes to get around. Spaniards usually walk or take the metro. There are a lot of motorcycles here though, lined up along the sidewalks, kind of like bicycles there.

Haley Garrison '15 poses on her bicycle in the Großer Garten in front of the Palais in Dresden, Germany.

Haley Garrison ’15 in the Großer Garten in front of the Palais in Dresden, Germany.

While the semester is ending at Lafayette and Haley is heading home from Spain, I’ll be in Dresden until July. We aren’t even to midterms yet.

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