Back to School (Again)

Being in Germany has been mostly a positive experience so far, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit of stress and nervousness for the presentations that we would be giving today.  Each group had to present for about 20 minutes and answer questions for an estimated 10 minutes.  With seven people, it was only about three minutes of presenting for each person, but the information for these three minutes had to be presented swiftly and confidently, something that unnerved me in the days leading up to presentation day.

I woke up and ate my morning sandwich a little later than usual today.  Getting sleep was important today; it would be an exhausting day of work before our presentation.  The American half of our group left the hotel at 10am to meet the other half of the group at the university.  They had put in a lot more work since we last met two days ago, and they continued to work after we arrived.  Their work ethic was incredible to me; they weren’t satisfied with a presentation that only met the requirements.  They wanted to go above and beyond expectations, and I feel that we did just that beginning with our preparations.

I was very excited to take a break and go to lunch, again at the University of Augsburg’s equivalent of Pitt’s Market Central.  Today, I ate their Greek meal, which consisted of meat, rice, and what I believe was a cucumber sauce.  I preferred the first lunch I had here over a week ago, but I was still happy with my lunch today.  After eating, we put the finishing touches on our PowerPoint and began practicing.  This practice lasted for a couple hours until we felt we were ready to present.

We watched three other groups present before us, each doing well enough to make me more nervous about our presentation.  However, I think we did a good job teaching our classmates about KUKA’s past, present, and future, and when they asked questions for fifteen minutes after, I feel that we answered each question thoroughly.  I’m proud of the German students in my group, the other American students in my group, and of myself.  I believe that our teamwork and will to succeed really helped us to do even better on this presentation than on the first.

I went back to the hotel to shower and later met a friend in the lobby before leaving to find food.  On the way, our streetcar stopped at one stop, and everyone had to get off.  We got on the next one that arrived, but we were told to get off that one too.  We decided walking might be the better option, but as soon as we had walked to the next stop, another (working) streetcar arrived, so we took that to our final destination.  My friend wanted to try McDonald’s to see if it was different than those in America.  I was also curious, so I had no problem going to McDonald’s while in a foreign country.  I was disappointed to find that the only difference between the fast food restaurant in the two countries is that they serve fewer chicken nuggets per meal in Germany.  Still, I was too happy from my successful presentation earlier to be bothered by it.  The rest of the trip was going to be stress-free.

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