Day 11: The Culmination of All Our Hard Work

Wednesday, May 16

We had a later start than normal today, but the first and only activity for that day would not take place until 5:30 PM: the final presentation.

The majority of us went to the university, first to eat lunch in the Mensa, then to work on last-minute details of the presentations that afternoon. The Germans of our BMW group had reserved a room in the library at 2:00, so when we finished lunch the four of us headed over to meet them.

The process of getting into the library itself was a bit complicated. We were not permitted to take our backpacks inside. Instead, we had to take out the materials we needed and put them in shopping-basket-like carriers, locking the rest of our things away in lockers located in the hallway. I’m not sure why this was necessary, but for security reasons one might think that if any country were to not allow backpacks into a library, it would be America!

We stayed in that room right up until the presentation time. We did some last-minute slide rearranging, made notes for ourselves on paper, and practiced the heck out of this thing while timing ourselves. I am a person that gets extremely nervous for presentations, regardless of how much I have prepared. I normally get butterflies in the stomach, shaking hands, a racing heart, the whole nine yards. But I noticed that this time, the symptoms were much less pronounced. I felt ready. I felt confident in our presentation and in my fellow group members. I knew what I was going to talk about, and I knew it well.

We waited until about 5:15 to actually leave, because the building where we would be giving the presentations was right next door. Turns out, after going through the whole process to get our bags back, we were just fashionably on-time for our presentation, which was going first!

The target time was 20 minutes, without going over. We hit 19 minutes 55 seconds, according to the presentation timer. Pretty spot-on!

It was such a relief to get it out of the way first. The remaining presentations were very interesting, and it was clear that everyone put in such hard work to pull it off.

After everyone was finished, we were free to go. We all took a street car back to Königsplatz, changed into more comfortable clothes, and headed to the same restaurant for dinner that we had been on May 11, where I again ate Currywurst. After that, I walked by myself around the city for a bit to get my step count up before turning in for a relatively early night. The biggest source of stress had been eliminated.

Step count: 10,287

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