University Phi Sigma Iota Merit Scholarship
Charlotte Triggs is our Fourth Annual
Rutgers PHI SIGMA IOTA Merit Scholarship Winner for 2004. Here
is a report that she has filed from Berlin, Germany.
CHARLOTTE TRIGGS on Berlin
heard a lot of interesting things about Berlin
before I came here. A
friend who studied here over the summer told me it was a dirty,
industrialized wasteland (he spent his entire time in the
neighborhood right next to an airport). Others wondered why I would
spend a winter in Berlin, which sits at about the same latitude
Even Matt Damon said in an interview that filming in Berlin in
messes with your mindset, and gets very depressing (The Bourne
depiction of Berlin makes it look like a less friendly place than
But there is something about Berlin that makes it infinitely more
interesting than other West European cities. London and Paris are
expensive and overdeveloped that it is hard to imagine students
to actually live there. Berlin, which of course has a particularly
history of both capitalism and communism, is an interesting case.
Prague, which has been utterly destroyed by tourists who think
they are the
first ones to discover the gothic masterpiece of a city, Berlin
relatively few tourists. I guess when people think of Berlin they
it's a "been there, done that" Western European
I live in a little apartment next to what used to be the border.
the beautiful Kollwitzplatz farmer's market on Saturday mornings,
over the little strip that says "Berliner Mauer 1961-1989" up
to four times
in one day. The newspapers over here constantly talk about the
Kopf" problem - the wall is gone, but the borders still
exist. I would
agree with that. There are two Schlecker pharmacies within 2 blocks
border, and each one has their own neighborhood business.
Strasse to the north (West) and you have modern buildings and huge
supermarkets. South of Bernauer (East), renovated buildings in
Berlin courtyard style stand next to crumbling ones. But as I have
discovered, everything cool is in East Berlin.
There are amazing café bars all throughout my favorite
Prenzlauer Berg. Walk up Rosenthaler Strasse from the touristy
Markt and you might stumble upon a makeshift bar, serving 1 euro
outside in a gazebo to a mixes of techno and Brazilian music. Socialist
nostalgia cafes abound on Kastanien Allee, names like Café Gorki
menu for the "proletariat" and Morgen Rot (Morning
Red) with DDR propaganda
posters are not uncommon. On Sundays lazy Berliners go for immense
breakfasts at 11am at Schwarz Sauer, then to evening erotic poetry
at "An einem Schoenen Sonntag in August" ("On
a nice Sunday in August", and
yes the entire phrase is written on the sign).
You can leave out the beer for me; I'll take the German
candy. It is never
just strawberry, cherry, or grape flavor here. No way. Everything
apricot, pear, red currant, or plum. They have no sour peach rings
Germany, but Sour Red Currants. Yogurts are not just blueberry
strawberry, but Cinnamon-Plum, or Rhubarb-Vanilla. And they even
candies celebrating Germany's most popular non-alcoholic
Apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice). Why is this so interesting
to note? I
don't know, but it seems to show what Germany (and Berlin)
is like -
familiar but exotic.
The application consists of: the above form; a brief
essay; an official copy of the current Rutgers transcript; and
letters of recommendation from language faculty, at least one of
which must address the question of competency in the target language.
All materials should be submitted to Prof. Phyllis Zatlin; Rutgers,
the State University; Dept. of Spanish
& Portuguese; Carpender Hall - DC; 105 George St.; New Brunswick,
Deadline is 5 March 2005.