As my time in Germany sadly comes to an end, I thought it might be interesting to talk about some aspects of German Culture different from those of US Culture.
One aspect that I found intriguing was the perspective on sports, and staying active. Before you can understand this topic, it is important to know that in Germany, Sports and other Extracurricular Activities are not parts of school, but instead clubs that take place completely separate from Gymnasium.
Now, the main difference in Sports has to do with practices. In the US, most sports have practice five to six times a week, and if you miss a practice, your coach usually wants to know why you weren't there if he even allows you to miss in the first place. In Germany, it is a bit more relaxed, with most sports having practice only two times a week, and a majority of the coaches are lot less strict on missing practices.
At the beginning of the year, I wondered how anyone could possibly improve at a reasonable rate with so few practices. In the US, I run cross-country and it is absolutely critical that we get in our daily run if we wish to be competitive.
The impression that I have received is that the focus here is more long term, focusing more on getting better over the course of a few years instead of just focusing on a single season. Granted, I have a very narrow range of experiences in the subject, having only done Cross-Country or Track in the US and Basketball here.
I think it is interesting to note that most people here in Germany have more activity worked into their daily lives anyways, as a result of bikes as a method of transportation, walking more due to public transportation, and more integration throughout the day rather than being idle for 23 hours of the day and doing intense sport for one hour.
Photo is of my exchange students committee on our ice skating excursion. The rink is in the Planten un Blomen park where in the summer you can find a tremendous array of flowers.
*Please remember that I am talking about my experiences and am making generalizations. Everyone in a country can never be characterized with broad expressions, and there will always be exceptions to such statements.*
I've always liked the idea of a bucket list. However, it seems that for so many people a bucket list is simply a collection of things they think would be cool; a fantasy list. I want to avoid the idea that my goals are something that I would like to do but may never get around to accomplishing. I intend to complete everything on this list, whether that's within the next year or before I die.
I asked my Facebook friends for their suggestions on what to call my non-bucket list. I liked all the ideas, but Dan wins the prize for most comical with "pail plan" and Kel wins for most meaningful with "experiences yet to be had."
I've settled on calling my non-bucket list the Past:Present:Future list to emphasize that each of my goals is something that I've already accomplished, something that I am currently actively pursuing or something that I will actively pursue in the future. Nothing on the list is simply a dream.
Accepting that my goals will change, the list found on this page will remain untouched and serve as an interesting comparison to any future version of the list. The constantly evolving list can be found here and is organized by past, present and future: Past:Present:Future