Former Blog Assistants

Friederike Fischer

My passion is – and has always been – writing. Recently, my mother proudly showed me an old pile of dusty sheets of paper she found in her desk. The Little Water Sprite was written on the first page. I loved this book when I was a child. I obviously loved it so much that I knew it by heart in no time and started writing it down. Just from memory. But now I prefer to write my own non-fiction pieces.

My second passion is – and has always been – teaching. In 2009, I decided to study at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. My courses of study are Social Education and English. Once I complete my Master’s Degree, I will be teaching both subjects in German schools. After attending a creative writing as well as a life-writing seminar, I am now very happy and grateful for the wonderful chance to write for the American Studies Blog.

Blog posts by Friederike Fischer

Maike Newman

I am a traveler, a culture enthusiast, a teaching devotee, and a newcomer to blogging.

Coming from a culturally diverse family, I benefited from various experiences when growing up, one of which was visiting the United States and Canada. For as long as I can remember, this chance to see the world has left me filled with both familiarity and curiosity. Traveling has therefore always been a part of my life.

I am studying teacher training for vocational schools with an emphasis on social pedagogy and English at Leuphana University in Lüneburg with one semester to go before I finish my Master’s. With all the academic writing during my years of study, nothing had prepared me for one particular seminar last year: Tasks such as writing personal essays, monologues, and vignettes on your life left me both challenged and inspired.

I am thrilled about the amazing opportunity to be part of the American Studies Blog, as it gives me the chance to embrace all of my passions in a very interesting and inspiring environment of enthusiastic and gifted individuals.

Blog posts by Maike Newman

Daria Radler

Ever since I started to travel at a young age, I have learned to look at a world of possibilities and believe that nothing is impossible as long as you really want it. Due to my interest in foreign cultures and my passion for writing, I am currently studying Cultural Studies in Lüneburg where my main subjects are Literature as well as Media and Communication Studies. While taking creative writing classes at Leuphana University and writing my own blog in my spare time, I try to creatively test the boundaries of my own comfort zone. I am very happy to continue pursuing my passions as a new member of the team of the American Studies Blog.

Blog posts by Daria Radler

Christopher Rieckman
Christopher Rieckmann
Ever since I started traveling in 2008, I can’t stop thinking about where to go next. Spending six months in New Zealand on a working holiday visa was about the best thing that could have happened in my life. Six years and quite a number of countries and experiences later, I decided to study Teacher Training with a focus on English as a Foreign Language. This is what brought me here. As a student at Leuphana University, I get the opportunity to work for the American Studies Blog Crew and help out with filming, editing, and video production. Furthermore, I would like to use my technical knowledge for upcoming projects and maybe even write a blog entry or two. This will also help me to prepare for a semester abroad, which I can hopefully do in the U.S. You might even hear from me from over there.

Lisa Seidel

While participating in an exchange program with a high school in the beautiful state of New York, I discovered my passion for American language, culture, and nature. My host family introduced me to various aspects of the American way of life: Drama Club, football games, and spirit week. Showing me around included an exhausting hike in the gorge, which was later rewarded with a stunning view of Niagara Falls. I went back in 2012 to see even more unique and exciting places this diverse country has to offer. Starting with my ‘happy place,’ NYC, and visiting my host family again for my friend’s graduation, I then flew over to see some West Coast classics: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. This fascinating country certainly left a lasting impression on me. After that trip, I started studying Business Psychology and Digital Media at Leuphana University. Looking for a way to combine my interests in North America with my studies, I found the lovely team of the American Studies Blog and am very happy to be part of their technical support team now.

Blog posts by Lisa Seidel

Wiebke Fischer

Ever since I started studying English, I developed a distinct passion and a huge curiosity about the United States. I always knew I’d eventually end up in the U.S. – at least for some time. During high school? No, I felt too young to go abroad for a longer time. After high school graduation? No, the pressure to do something ‘sensible’ towards my future career was too dominant. That’s why I ended up studying business administration and starting vocational training as an industrial clerk at the same time. Was that fun? Not really.

Instead, I decided to become a vocational school teacher for business and – what a surprise – study English as a Foreign Language at Leuphana University. That’s when I finally seized the opportunity to go abroad. For one year, I worked as a teaching assistant for German as a Foreign Language at a tiny university in Ohio. Finally, I was able to mingle and – to some extent – become part of American culture. “Ms. Fischer, I assume you misspelled your name? Why is there a ‘c’ in your last name?” some of my students would ask. If the first thing that strikes my students is my ‘misspelled’ American name, I’m all happy. One letter does (not) make a difference.

Now I have two more semesters to go before I finish up with my graduate program. I feel honored and excited to join the American Studies Blog team and to discover more about America.

Blog posts by Wiebke Fischer

Paula Schöllknecht

Back in 2016, I started studying Cultural Studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg to become a “culture-related-kind-of-person” with a “media-related” job. I wanted to do something different, something exciting, something no one in my family had ever done before. It took me a year to figure out that this wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. Something was missing, and deep inside I knew that I had tried to force myself into a mold made for a person that wasn’t me. So I took a step back, took a deep breath, and started to think about what I really wanted for myself.

I was one of those kids who actually enjoyed being in school. Although I had some awful teachers, most of them were great – especially my English and German teachers who helped me develop a passion for those two languages. That’s why I decided to become a language teacher. I want to show my future students that learning a language isn’t boring and difficult, but adventurous and fun.

When I’m not at the university, I love writing short stories or planning entire novels. I find escaping from your own life and traveling through time and space fascinating. The written word opens up another level of communication and expression that I love to explore. Therefore, I consider being an American Studies Blog assistant a wonderful, inspiring opportunity. America was always a fascinating country to me that I’m looking forward to visit one day.

Sebastian Reimann

Since 2015, I’ve been studying environmental sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg, and I’m absolutely fascinated by the diversity of topics this subjects entails. Through my studies, I’ve noticed that everything is intertwined and that culture and ecology cannot be addressed separately.

Before coming to Lüneburg, I studied to be a teacher for German and English in the beautiful city of Dresden. Even though I changed my major to environmental sciences, my passion for language and cultural diversity has stayed with me ever since. Fifteen months of travelling in between studies has greatly enriched my perspectives on life. But as much as I love being abroad, I also need a place to come home to and do the things I love: read, write, watch good movies, take a walk in the woods, and get involved in projects that make the world a little more sustainable.  And when I’m not doing any of the above, I’m tech support for the American Studies Blog.

Kai-Arne Zimny
Writing allows us to create entire universes basically for free. I guess that’s what has fascinated me about reading and writing fiction from a very young age. I grew up with one foot in Germany and the other in Norway, having two places to call “home,” yet never truly at home anywhere. History, philosophy, fiction as well as far-away places and times have always been “homes” of mine, creating a deep sensation of longing and a strange form of nostalgia for times and places I’ve never experienced personally. The United States of America is just one of many examples: I’ve never been there, yet I’m fascinated by this country!

In 2012 I started studying Cultural Studies in Lüneburg with Cultural Theory and Analysis and Media and Communication Studies as my main subjects and Philosophy as my minor. In the following years, I gained insights into a variety of viewpoints and approaches affiliated with the broad term of “culture” and learned that studying culture can be a very personal experience. As is writing, which has become a personal passion of mine that has grown with the number of semesters passing. However, it wasn’t until recently that I got the opportunity to contribute to the American Studies Blog, which I see as a potential merging and solidification of many fields of personal interest: the USA, writing fiction, journalistic writing and involving myself in various artistic, media, historical, sociological and philosophical topics from the perspective of a writer who has something to share.

Blog posts by Kai-Arne Zimny