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