Monday, November 23, 2009

Kate Hartmann, CSB/SJU '05, tells about her wonderful experiences in Germany and Austria since graduation

Kate is a 2005 German major and graduate of St. Ben's, having spent a semester in Salzburg in 2003. She found out about this volunteer opportunity through researching various programs combining education and the German language. After this volunteer program, Kate is looking forward to a career path combining her passion for language, education, and travel. Kate is currently participating in a volunteer program through the Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners, an organization based in Karlsruhe, Germany promoting Waldorf Education. Kate is spending the 2009-2010 school year at the Freie Waldorfschule Hof, working with sixth grade Gartenbau, Hauptunterricht, and Werken, as well as elementary and high school English and afternoon care for the first through sixth grade class.

Hi Father Mark!

I would love to tell you all a little about what I've been doing with this volunteer program. It is actually pretty amazing how this whole opportunity came about for me. I had been working in the corporate world in the legal department of a mortgage company since college, pining away for some amazing opportunity such as the one I am involved with now. Over this past summer, I did a lot of research on various programs combining the German language and education and kept coming back to the organization I am currently with, the Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners. Knowing that the deadline for acceptance was almost over, I sent in my application to see if there were any openings for the coming volunteer year. The organization replied and said that they had just received an email that day that a position had just opened up at a Waldorf school in Hof, Germany, starting in about two weeks (the position was formerly filled by a volunteer who was not able to go at the last minute)! I was completely amazed as this was exactly what I wanted, and I knew that volunteer positions in schools are few and far between (at least with this organization). So, I quit my job, packed up my things, and two weeks later I was in Germany! It was amazing how everything worked out for me. So, with that, here is what I have for you as far as what I've been doing with this organization. Please feel free to edit as you see fit. Thanks and hope you are doing well!