International Seminar Professor Warren
Matthias Haufe 09/20/2003
An Essay of self-introduction. Coming to a new place and meeting a lot of new people naturally includes introducing oneself for quite a number of times. But as Fyodor Dostoyevsky lets his narrator in the Letters from the Underworld say: “By the way, what is it that all respectable men talk about most readily? Answer – about themselves. So I too will talk about myself.”1 So I will join in and as I have done for a hundred times this past week I will happily introduce myself another time, this time in writing and in essay style. My name is Matthias Haufe and I am from Erlangen, a beautiful town in the northern part of Bavaria, Germany. The surrounding region is known as Frankonia, which I mention, because quite a few people there pride themselves as being Frankonians rather than Bavarians. There I spent the past thirteen years of my life, going to school, doing my civil service and later attending university. Before that I had lived in a small German village for six years and in Tokyo, Japan for four years. So if one takes all the aforementioned numbers they amount to 23, which is also my age. Having mentioned university, the question immediately arising is of course that of what I study. I major in English and Religion and minor in History and before I came here I had just finished the fifth semester of my studies. The goal of my studies is to become a teacher in a German “Gymnasium“, which roughly corresponds to an American high school. So much about my identity. “But how does it come that you are in Kalamazoo now? Why Kalamazoo?“ is probably the question that would arise next. Right on the very first day of my studies in Germany all the language students were highly recommended by the professors to spend at least some time abroad, with the aim to gain experience in the language they learn and also to get to know the culture of that country. I considered that a good idea and formed the plan in...
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