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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Saturday Reflection

So it's Saturday afternoon, snow falling, brain worn out from reading about brain images (more on that on an another occasion), i. e. the perfect time for a blog entry and some reflection on the course of my Doppelstudium-project (note to me: think of better name for project).

I have decided to switch in my entries between German and English for no particular reason; maybe I want to get some more practice in English in preparation for my upcoming stay in the US. But since I supposedly have none or extremely few readers it's my business anyway (if anyone complains, I might give it another consideration). But enough introductory remarks---let's get to the core of things.

That is, the topic of starting to study an additional subject (there seems to be no direct translation of "Doppelstudium"; I suppose because it is impossible to do something similar in the Anglo-American university system). This project has gotten a bit out of focus for different reasons:
First, I have contacted the office for student guidance of the FU for information on the respective regulations. Contrary to my expectations, I received an immediate response (very immediate, indeed: they called me three hours after I had sent them an e-mail) that was on first sight very positive: at the FU it possible to study one major and have the usually needed second major substituted with another completed diploma (i. e., psychology in my case). For confirmation I will have to contact the Magisterprüfungsbüro at Humboldt, but I suppose they will have similar regulations like the FU. However, something the counselor said made me a bit doubtful: He asked me, if I regarded it necessary to start another, additional subject or if it wouldn't suffice to visit courses in European ethnology and invest my energy in an interdisciplinary Ph. D. thesis. "Collecting same-status diplomas might not be of much use in itself ..." Currently, I am not sure of that and plan to do further inquiries in this direction (Studienstiftung and ...?).
Second, a remark by HS has shown me another perspective: he strongly recommended to try to complete a degree when I will be at Cornell. This will be very difficult, I suppose, but if it is possible it would render the ethnology-plans irrelevant. Anyway, that is something I can only decide when I'm in the US.
A third factor, a very practical one, lies in the reform of studies: in the coming winter term the Institute for European Ethnology will introduce the new BA/MA-system. Maybe it is possible to be admitted to a higher semester (at that time I will have completed a Schein in the Fidgety Philipp-seminar) but if not, my plans are dead. I wouldn't have expected that the BA/MA-crap would have such immediate influence on my studies.

As you can see, things have gotten more plain in some respects but at the same time more complex in others. Therefore, I will try to sort things out as far as I can on the side of the "hard" factors and then decide on that basis.

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