2 years ago
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
just don't expect the good people of this country to respect it if "university degree, regardless of subject" is not in the list of job requirements. My favorite German often bemoans the idea that if you want to do anything in Deutschland, you can't just show up and fill out an application. You are supposed to have a 1-3 year apprenticeship education completed in the particular field you wish to work in. This Includes retail clerks, waiters and waitresses, tour guides, and so forth. (University is of course also an option if you are interested in more theoretical or academic disciplines). Like every situation, there is a positive and a negative side to this. The negative being that you can't always just show up and start a servin' after you prove you can breathe and carry a tray of food (well, not entirely true. I worked at a shady Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin for several weeks...although I guess they did take into account the fact that I had serving experience on my resume). The positive is that the types of jobs requiring such apprenticeships are better paid and elicit more general respect than their American equivalents. MFG's perspective is that many Americans already have a four year degree behind them at age 22 or 23 whereas Germans have an extra year of high school and dink around in between and maybe in their late twenties/early thirties earn a degree or a completed apprenticeship. This American "get'er done and pop out on the other side sprinting for a career" idea about higher education seemed more logical to him. I guess the realistic way to look at it is this: Ewald, leader of our "wine experts seminar" Monday night (highly recommended by yours truly, thanks bruth!) mused about the two different vintages he was presenting. "It's not like one wine is better zan ze ozzer. Zey are just...different." Expect further musings in cultural comparison as my brain mulls them over in the basement while shredded man-thermal dresses emerge in slow succession and run-on sentences reverberate...
Posted by Caitlin at Wednesday, January 07, 2009