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Downright Me

A blog about all and nothing

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Education

The Language Barrier

We’ve been living in Zurich/ Switzerland for quite a while now, so my husband and I decided that it might be time to give Swiss German a try, to be able to connect better with the people here. We both are German so one might think that it would not be too difficult for us since it the languages must be similar, right?

Ok, in some ways it is easy and I am already quite good at understanding, but speaking Swiss German is a whole other story. The pronunciation and accentuation of words as well as the Grammar is very distinct from German. In our first class we learned some enlightening facts. For example the people that live in different regions of the country all speak a different version of the language. Sometimes even so diverse that people from various cantons can’t understand each other. I think that is excellent news for me – the foreigner. Learning this language will be a piece of cake then. Continue reading “The Language Barrier”

Step up to a new challenge

Photography is one of my mayor interests and I am always interested in learning new thing so I started my third photography related online course. This time I enrolled in the Coursera Course about Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR on Feb 8th created by Michigan State University. It is a spezialization class consisting of five modules. The teachers are photographer Peter Glendinning and Mark Sullivan  (music composer and photographer). The videos are very informative although the sound is not allways great, sometimes it’s a little hard to understand the teacher’s voices.

I have successfully finished the first three modules and although I am not totally inexperienced I have learned a couple of new things. It is not just about technique and equipment. I like the fact that the emphasis is on the individual approach to photography, about emotion, purpose and personal interest. The assignments are very different each time and the peer review is very helpful in understanding how a viewer might interpret my work. I gained some new ideas about how to convey my goals. We also have to review the work of fellow students, to see their particular point of view and their way of how to approach a subject.

I am eager to continue my classes and start my Capstone project (last module).  I will have to use the knowledge I have gained to develop a meaningful project of 10 well composed photographs based on my special interests. So far I think the money for this course was well spent.

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