UW Germanics Welcomes New and Visiting Graduate Students

Submitted by Ellwood Wiggins on

The Department of Germanics at UW is delighted to welcome its class of new and visiting graduate students for 2012-13.  They bring a wealth of varied interests, backgrounds, and intellectual commitments to the Germanics community.   (Pictured, left to right: Vera Pohland; Thiti Owlarn; Sven Kliem; Nathan Bates; Kristina Pilz)

They hail from three different continents (Asia, Europe, and North America) and pursue research through four centuries (18th - 21st), but are united in bringing lively interest and rigorous analysis to their studies in German literature and culture. You can read about their scholarly projects and accomplishments on their individual webpages (see links below).  For now, we asked them to share a little something about themselves that you won't find on their academic profiles. 

Vera Pohland:

"Besides my studies in the Department of Germanics, I am still in the midst of exploring
this wonderful Northwestern metropolis. Seattle is a great city to live in and, by the way,
people talk more about it being rainier than it actually is. But shhh, don’t tell anybody."

Thiti Owlarn:

"Hello everyone! I’m very glad to be a part of the Germanics Department here at UW. Here are a few random facts about me that you ought to know:

1. I come from Thailand, but have become so westernized that I speak Thai with a slight accent. Many of my compatriots falsely assume that I grew up in America.

2. I am an avid listener to classical music and it pretty much dominates my life -- my alarm clock is set to play the ‘Carmen Suite’ every morning and you’ll never catch me cooking without the accompaniment of Italian opera.

3. When I was a little kid, I wanted to become a computer programmer. Nowadays, I’m so useless with technology that I hardly know how to make a Power Point presentation or use an iPhone.

4. Tea or coffee? Coffee. Cats or dogs? Dogs. Half-full or half-empty?  Neither -- it’s just 50% volume to me. BVB Borussia Dortmund or FC Bayern München? Dortmund. Definitely, Dortmund.

5. Biggest regret in life: not being able to play a musical instrument!"

"I am not a soccer fan, don't like beer and I don't eat meat.
Doesn't sound very German to you? 
But it is...because my love for nature, music and the fine arts is 100% made in Germany.
Made in Dresden, Germany!"

"By way of introduction, I want to tell you about what I like to do outside of the German department. In order to do so, I’m going to give you ten things about myself. Two of which will be total lies—utter deceptions beyond description and it’s your job to figure out which ones.

1.      Gardening and yard work—I can’t get enough of it!

2.      I love being silly with my nieces and nephews; it’s a good counterbalance to the general gravitas of studying Germany.

3.      Growing up, I never went skiing, but while studying in Utah, I went skiing every chance I could get.

4.      Hiking is one of my great passions. In the summer I hiked 45 miles in less than 5 days in the Pasayten Wilderness in the Northern Cascades.

5.      I’m very much a Sci-Fi TV nerd. I enjoy Star Trek, Star Wars, and even Doctor Who.

6.      My iTunes has about 30 days’ worth of music, of which 90% is classical.

7.      I’m a very religious person. I enjoy discussing meaning in church and, as it turns out, I do the same thing at work.

8.      Watching funny commercials (esp. from the Superbowl) is a favorite pastime of mine.

9.      My wife Emily and I enjoy reading young adult fiction together. In fact, Emily is an aspiring author and is currently working on three novels.

10.  I love baseball. I grew up in a family of sports enthusiasts, but baseball is the only sport I truly love. There is something so American about it.

Okay, that’s it. See if you can guess which two are totally false!"

"My time at university had been mainly spent on American Studies and Economics before I came to Seattle, and now I am still in the process of finding out how little I actually know about my own culture. Therefore I think a quote that I first read when I was six years old, written on the wall in my elementary school at the first day of my lifelong education, is a good fit here:

„Lernen ist wie Rudern gegen den Strom. Hört man damit auf, treibt man zurück.“ - Laotse

I am from Germany but do not drink beer; my dad worked at Coca-Cola so I enjoy a Coke from time to time.
I am living in Seattle but do not drink coffee; I will not say no to a good cup of tea though.

And if you are considering studying at UW - do it. It is a great school in an amazing area - I don't even own an umbrella, so don't believe in all that rain-talk =)"


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