International Pub Chat

It's hard to believe, but today marks the half-way point of my time in Cambridge. My first two classes finished today, so my Sonnets professor met with our class at a pub this afternoon. My friend Kimberly and I had a great time chatting with a woman from Germany, also a teacher. I learned a lot about the way education in Germany works, including that Germany is currently undergoing the process of removing year 13 from its secondary education system.

Even more interesting though, we got to talk with her about World War II and the Holocaust and how it is taught in German schools. She said that it is presented very much as Germany's fault and that she thinks German people still really struggle with a lot of guilt for it. She believes that it's made Germans as individuals and as a country much more humble and sensitive to prejudice and discrimination.

We also got to chat with Judith, a history scholar from the UK who is now studying literature, about the Gunpowder Plot and its role in British history and perhaps Shakespeare's consciousness. It's so fascinating to me to learn about these aspects of history and culture that are not emphasized in America, to realize that while we're learning about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, students in other countries are learning about a whole host of other events. It definitely makes me realize how much there is to learn.