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Tuna Cans

With the allure of all-inclusive cruises and Harmony Korine’s 2013 film “Spring Breakers,” spring break has certainly entered into its own mythological status. So what did BCB students do during their week off in April? We talked to Hanna Bargheer, Lily Cummings, Shua Bauer, and Stella Burke to find out.

Featured songs, in order of appearance:

“Degenerative Eloquence” by Spring Break

“Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

“Berlin Du Bist So Wunderbar” by Kaiserbase

 

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Calvin echoes my sentiments on school. (Credit: Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes comics)

“So what’s the plan after this?”

Whoever you are and wherever you are: If you’re a breathing, barely surviving student, you’ve been asked this question before. I don’t know about you, but every time I start to think about what I want to do post graduation, my heart begins to palpitate at an unusually fast pace, and somehow I end up under my covers, scrolling through Instagram — even though I swear I don’t remember any of that

It’s tough. Life as a student is confusing and disorienting: You spend half your time wondering what the heck you did with that pencil you had in your hand a minute ago, and the other half worrying about who is going to hire you and pay you real money for your services.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to study such a variety of courses, but I often wonder what’s next. Will I be a writer? Maybe I’ll be a teacher. Prime Minister of Djibouti? Art Historian?

I DON’T KNOW! I find myself under my covers and scrolling through Instagram again.

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Graffitti

My first semester at Bard College Berlin just ended and I would like to write about the past few months and draw on my first insight into a liberal arts education.

At first, many people advised me not to study at a liberal arts university. In Germany you usually choose a field of study that is already very fixed in its subjects and then you can specialize after a few years of studying that one thing. As a person who would like to know everything about (nearly) everything, I felt out of place in this system. I was not able to reduce my interests to simply one area. After I graduated from a German school, my only wish was to sit in a library, stay there for hours, and just read every single book that seemed interesting. But of course life happened and it took me one year to make this dream become partly true (in my imagination it was not as exhausting and frustrating to get some reading done as it is in reality sometimes).

A lot of people said: “What do you want to do with this education? We do not need more people who only talk and talk for hours and never act. The world is full of these. Why don’t you study something useful, something with which you can make money and not live in a trash can out of necessity?” What those people do not realize is that the philosopher Diogenes lived in a large ceramic “can” because he believed it was necessary to be independent from material needs and to think beyond social and bodily constraints. But his example was not the reason why I went to Bard College Berlin, despite all the warnings. I always wanted to make the world a better place, but I soon became aware of the fact that one first needs to know about the world, about human nature, and about society before one can claim: “I am going to change the world now!” (Even though I have no idea where to start.) So this is why I am here at Bard College Berlin. I want to know more about myself and the world I live in.

I can still remember my first phone call with my German friends after my first day at the college.

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Indy Bisram (drawing by Lisa Vogel)

Indy Bisram (drawing by Lisa Vogel)

A first-year student at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, Indira “Indy” Bisram decided to spend her first semester with us in Berlin. By the time we sit down for the interview, I have already gotten to know her through the beginner Spanish class that consists only of the two of us. After class on a Monday afternoon, we find ourselves in the common room of Dorm W15, and I can’t help but notice her sparkling enthusiasm when she tells me about her family, school, and, first and foremost, her experiences in Berlin…

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The opening of Socratea House - an Open Mic evening seasoned with tasty desserts and pastries

The opening of Socratea House – an Open Mic evening seasoned with tasty desserts and pastries

No, it is not a philosophers’ hub (although it might well be). Nor the cult of Socrates. Socratea House, playfully named after the first philosopher that Bard College Berlin students are introduced to upon their arrival here, is our first student-run campus café. The café opened on Friday, November 28, in the Student Centre – attracting students, staff and professors alike to a relaxing evening of good coffee, creative (cup)cakes, tea splendors, Glühwein, and brightly colored pastries. The evening was flavored with extra spicy musical performances that kept the first visitors of Socratea House warm on one of Berlin’s first freeeezing late November winter nights. One thing is certain: Socratea House has now become an unmissable stop on the Bard College Berlin campus – and will most likely grow to be the new hip café of Pankow.

View some photos from the opening night!

cat_1This is I, my fellow cats––Freddie. I am just waking up from a nap; naturally, as you all know, my life as a cat is all too fascinating, so I need my breaks. I take one every day now at what I have come to learn is Nadine and Sabine’s office––the center of what I think is a secret human area project for Cat Utopia––Bard College Berlin. Yes, I had my suspicions… and now I have proof.

 

Click here to read about the cat's adventures!

Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something. – Frank Zappa 

… and so sculpted the music beautiful shapes and forms in the air that night, with sublime vocals that gave them voices and beautiful smiles that inspired life in this conjoined sculptural orchestra of musical notes on campus. We often say pictures mean more than words, and as a rather faithful believer in this (cliché) saying, I leave you with the thoughts of musical “air sculptures” and a gallery to feast your eyes with. Enjoy!

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Musical cafe in W16, hosted by Alzbeta and Jimena: February 28, from 8:30 pm

Musical cafe in W16, hosted by Alzbeta and Jimena: February 28, from 8:30 pm

Students at Bard College Berlin tend to entertain themselves with a variety of activities over the weekend: football, mini dorm get-togethers, (over)sleeping, ukulele and guitar sounds (which often travel smoothly through the whole dorm) etc. The diversity of these ventures, as well as the imaginative work put into them, varies as weeks pass by. Nevertheless, once every few weeks, usually when you least expect it, something a little more out of the ordinary happens. One of those college life things you know you will treasure; an unforgettable and ridiculously funny experience, with friends that become your family – even if just for a while.

An experience such as: The Musical Café.

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