German Club throws ‘super sweet’ party, meets regularly

by Amy Hubner

The Simpson College German Club is planning a wide variety of events for the future.

The student-led group is relatively small now, but it’s hoping to get more students interested.

Recently the group celebrated “The PC (Patricia Calkins) Birthday Bash” which included authentic food cooked by the students as well as German games.

Junior Nate Ruhland attended the event.

“The party was super sweet,” Ruhland said. “We had great food made by all of us.”

Patricia Calkins, associate professor of German, is the main sponsor for the group. Whlie German Club receives some money from the Student Government Association, but many of its expenses are covered by Calkins.

“I started the group when I first got here in 1997 and I do not mind financially supporting the group,” Calkins said.

According to Calkins, German Club helps broaden students’ view of the world.

“The club is a chance to learn about the country outside of the classroom and become familiar with a culture other than our own,” Calkins said. “Anyone can join; you don’t even have to speak German.”

Karin Glock, an exchange student from Germany, is an assistant to the group.

“The students come up with the ideas and mostly organize them themselves,” Glock said. “I just try to help with the organization, make sure everybody gets all the information, sometimes bring up some ideas and provide authentic material that I brought from home.”

The main project in the club’s future is an “Essenfest.” It’s a food festival during the spring, and German-Club members plan on inviting the whole campus.

“We will have Wiener schnitzel, Kartoffelsalat [German potato salad], Spaetzle, Schweinsbraten [pork], Knoedel [dumplings], Sauerkraut and a lot of sweet dishes like Sachertorte [the famous Austrian chocolate cake],” Glock said.

Other regular club activities include showing German movies and listening to German music. The last meeting, themed “Share Your German Experience,” allowed students to talk about their personal experiences in a German-speaking country.

The group also plans to visit German-related places within Iowa.

“We go to the Hessen Haus in Des Moines for German food and we may travel to the Amana Colonies, which was founded by Germans,” Calkins said.

In December the group will hold a Christmas session and discuss German Christmas traditions.

“We will talk about St. Nikolaus, who fills children’s [shoes] with candy or Brataepfel [baked sweet apples],” Glock said.

Glock is able to provide German Club with firsthand knowledge of German culture.

“The best part of German Club, for me, is that it’s a place where I can share my culture and introduce other students to it,” Glock said. “I want to help get them interested in it and have them try it out as authentic[ally] as possible and then compare it to their own culture.”

There are many benefits from the group, Ruhland said.

“The group reminds me of my trip to Germany last year,” Ruhland said. “I love the country and the language so it is an opportunity for me to experience it again.”