Twelve Heritage High School upper level German students traveled to Estes Park for an annual event entitled Sprachbad, a language immersion experience over the weekend of January 21-23, 2016.
“I had an absolute blast! It was sort of difficult speaking that much German, but it was nice because everyone was at the same difficulty level,” said Kat Whitmore ’17.
Two students represented the German III class, Grace Conolly ’17 and Andrew Pera ’17, seven represented German IV, Daria Davidoff ’17, Hannah Keeley ’16, Michael Neave ’16, Dani Norton ’17, Blake Smith ’17, Andrea Smith ’16 and Whitmore, and three represented the AP level class, Juli Cox ’16, Megan Johnston ’16 and Alyssa Meier ’17.
“Having gone to Sprachbad last year speaking German was easier because I knew more,” said Cox.
Students from all over the state of Colorado came to Estes Park during the weekend.
“It’s fun making new friends and keeping in touch with them throughout the year,” said Cox.
Students were to speak as much German as they could the entire weekend, the teachers and instructors only spoke and explained the activities in German so students needed to rely on each other and assist each other when needed.
“It got easier the more we did it because after a day or two of hardly hearing any English your brain starts to automatically think things you want to say in German,” said Whitmore. “It made texting friends surprisingly challenging.”
The students embarked on many adventures, from playing games and learning songs to filming trailers in groups of six from a mixture of schools.
“The best part of filming was trying to come up with creative scenes with my group,” said Cox.
The groups all chose a different movie from index cards to create their one-minute trailer. Choices ranged from 007 to Star Wars, The Lion King to Forrest Gump. They had two hours to plan their film and then one hour to actually film their trailer.
“I loved filming because we got to meet all these other kids who speak German. Heritage is the school in our district with a German class so it feels lonely, but seeing so many people my age in the same class was very reassuring,” said Whitmore.
There were three awards up for grabs from the films, best German, best story (best representation of the story with resources available) and best film overall. A pair of Heritage students was in each of the films that won one of the awards. Hannah Keeley and Michael Neave won best German, Daria Davidoff and Kat Whitmore won best story and Blake Smith and Alyssa Meier won best overall film.
“Winning an award for our movie was really cool because we won best story. Our movie was The Lion King so we took key scenes from it to make a dramatic trailer,” said Whitmore. “The awards were little sparkly deer because in Germany instead of having the Oscars they have the Bambi Awards.”by