Two hours stolen

Yesterday my collague needed the bureau and I was simply in the way. So I took the car to the garage for a minor repair and when this was done quick I had some time over. I decided to drive overland, see some villages I know and so on.
It was marvellous, all green, blue sky, white and yellow dreams standing on meadows – this spring I feel more intense than the years before.

I looked at the villages and noticed the things that changed – there a new road surface, this farm in new colour, newly built houses. And there were a lot of new houses and new living-quarters – what made me wonder, because I just heared in the news that the house-building-industrie was complaing about the high costs and that nobody would build a house these days – maybe they were talking about another area …

I look at these newly livingquaters with mixed feelings. This are build dreams. Dreams of living on the countryside, with a happy family (two children), a shiny car and holidays in the summer … In the evening these areas look creepy, because the people often close their “Jalousie”, shutters – especially in fall or winter it looks like ghosttown. Hopefully in the summer it will get better.
But these dreams, or better this try of realizing them is fragile. These people are in dept for the rest of their lifes and if something goes wrong their dreams and life-concepts burst like the bubbles they are. And mostly the men have not learned to react to this, to re-adapt, to change – some use violence as solution. In the second half of 2006 nearly every month in Bavaria one of them turned mad, killed the family and afterwards himself. In the news it is usually called a family-drama.

But it is simply too beautiful a day to think of family-killing. Later I will take photographs – there is a cherry I could adore, I could cry because of the pure beauty of this tree. I do not believe that I will be able to express that in a picture – but at least I try. And that’s what we all do, trying to be.
Have a peaceful weekend!

Caramel

„Erudite“ austere wrote.
The word „eruditio“ literally means to bring someone out of his/her raw state; „rudis“ meaning „raw“ and „red“, the praefix „e(x)“ out and the suffix „ditio“ from „dare“, what in this combination can be thought of as our „to do“ – literally to give or to bring. In summa: to bring out of the raw. The erudite is a refined person, an educated one. Am I this?

Yesterday I attended the first meeting for the new semester in a small university. We were more teaching personal (the head, her assistant, two temporary lecturers (a collegue and me, Lehrbeauftragte), two students as tutors: 6 persons) than students (5, two coming by after nearly an hour) – they gathered in the cafes in the old town centre …
I met a young man whom I know to be near the end of his studying. I asked him whether he has a theme for his final work. He asked me about a certain area in the northern part of Bavaria and – being born there – I could tell him that it was terra incognita, because after the war the inner-german border put this area to nowhere – the world had an end there and no ethnological research was done for at least 40 years.
He smiled and told me that he would specialize in this area and pick some „material“ theme, like house-building or clothes or something like that, because these theoretical, scientific ideas would be too „unmaterial“ for him.


At this moment I felt like a relic, a remnant, something left over from a feast. Old. He will become a specialist, he will do good work because he learned the trade, what means that he attended the seminars and learned the methods, got an insight in the literature and learned to help himself within „the business“. He will finish his study, get the degree and he will „get a job“, maybe at a museum in the area. Do not get me wrong: I am delighted for him, he does nothing wrong, he will make a living from what he studied.
That’s not it.
It is all different from my idea of studying, from my life and everything I have done. It is absolutly different from my idea of science, especially from a science that deals with something like „culture“, „Vergleichende Kulturwissenschaft“ (Comparing science of culture) as some modernists once called the good old „Volkskunde“ – all is today summarized in the „European Ethnology“.
I studied because I fell in love with thinking – and I am still. I have no regular job and I am living on the brink of bankerot. I am no specialist for a certain geographical area or for something like – pottery.
I know how to lead a museum, a group, a project – I have done this – and I know how NOT to do this. I know a lot about authority. It is given to one and if it is used for betrayal once it is gone for ever. I can use it. I never wanted these experiences. I always wanted to read and write and think. Give a lecture from time to time. About the 16th and 17th century in Europe, geistes- und kulturwissenschaftliche Abteilung. Again: Do not get me wrong: I do not complain or lament. Things happen.
But this young man … Clean, polished, smooth, self-confident, awake – yes … Taking his alcoven, finding his nieche: He will be a good craftsman.

Arrogance is one of the deadly sins. I know.

At official appointments I am the one in the caramel suit.

What is Culture to you?

http://whatisculturetoyou.blogspot.com/

I invite everybody to drop by the “culture-blog” to leave a comment, a thought, what ever answer to the question:
What is culture to you?

I set it up today, because I will have the first session of a seminar dealing with “cultural theories” in the late afternoon and thought it to be a good idea to ask the (blogging-)world about its idea of “culture”.

I would like you to help me to make this site known by linking it and posting a notice on your blog – let us see what comes out of it!

Return to normal

Easter full of sun, blossoms and scents, what a joy to be alive.
Back to the desk, reading, writing, going on.
Now I am an official resident of this community, I was handed the village-calendar. On one of the photographs I found the house I live in. Playing with “google earth” I could find the car I used on the parking lot.
Back to work, searching other people’s ancestors.