So I was posting a little sporadically for the last two weeks (as in barely at all) and I’m sorry about that. So much stuff was happening that I lost track of the last time I had posted and before I knew it, 10 or so days had gone by. But now I have some time to sit down and update you about what happened for those past few days.
So, like I said, after the trip to Cesky Krumlov there was a little bit more of a connection between a lot of the CET students here. Travelling really does pull people together and I could still see the effects of our little weekend trip days after we had already returned. The class schedule was fairly more complete and concrete than last week – CET’s been having some issues concerning everything from which student should be in what class, which teachers should be teaching when, and everything in between for the first three weeks at least – so we got to see who would actually be in our classes with us for the majority of the semester.
And, perhaps most important was that we finally separated into groups. The whole point of this program was to make a professional (or at least professional-looking) narrative film, and, in order to do that, students were supposed to split up into self-made groups of three or four and work together. I’m a little foggy on the details of how these groups are actually going to work – there are still a few kinks to work out concerning the communication between CET, FAMU (the university we’re studying at), and the actual students in the program – but I’m glad to finally have the weight off my chest. The deadline for making groups was February 12th and, as you can imagine, there was some tension running through the program as students tried to ensure that they formed or got into good groups and/or weren’t left out completely. A few students here even ended up organizing a few get togethers so that people could network and find potential team members without being distracted by class or other obligations. It’s a huge relief now to be over and done with it, but it was definitely interesting at the time to see what other people were thinking and to watch groups form based on similar interests, similar working styles, or something altogether different.
But the really fun details of what’s been going on here involve our trip to Berlin last weekend for the film festival. It was so fun! We left Prague in the early afternoon – almost everyone on the same bus naturally – and got to Berlin just in time to check into our hostels and get dinner. Just a tip for people travelling in big groups. Stay in the same hostel. Me and my roommate were only 10 minutes away from Circus Hostel where most of the other CET students were and I can definitely say that, if I were to do it again, I would have stayed at Circus just out of convenience. Saturday we took a free tour in the morning where we got a very informative overview of Berlin from our amazing tour guide Rochale, explored the city, ate some delicious Indian food, took pictures by the Berlin wall, watched Boris without Beatrice (a Berlin Film Festival movie) and got together for a group dinner. Then yesterday we walked around some more – visiting a flea market where I got my first souvenir (a Switzerland World War 2 jacket that I’m absolutely in love with), got lost on our way to Museum Island, ended up watching another movie from the film festival (The Tenth Man this time), ate, and finally collapsed into our seats on the bus ride back. We walked around for a total of 11 hours or so and by the time we finally got on the bus, we were so tired we could barely keep our eyes open. But it was amazing and I would definitely do the entire trip all over again if I had the chance. It was such an informative experience, and it’s definitely interesting to see the way your city compares to other European cities. Berlin was much less compact than Prague – and a little less photogenic if I’m being honest – but there was a lot under the surface there and I’m glad that I got to be there even for such a short amount of time.
The only thing that I really wanted to do but didn’t have the time for was the concentration camp tour. It was 5+ hours and I couldn’t afford to make that trip on Sunday, what with everything else we were doing, but I would recommend that anyone else that’s planning on coming to Europe set aside some time to visit a concentration camp. I regretted not going to the one in Berlin but there’s one in the Czech Republic too and I’m planning a day trip to go visit it as we speak.
But that’s all for updates so far. I tried to condense it so that I could get in everything that happened but I’m sure there are plenty of things I missed. More updates soon to come!