Spring Break in Berlin

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

Traveling 4,000 miles from home on an education abroad trip is not something I would have considered when I first started my life as a Buckeye at The Ohio State University at Newark. Now it’s at the top of my recommendation list.

I spent spring break walking through history as I toured Berlin, Germany. For the in-class component of this education abroad, I’m working with a partner researching German architecture and how the city and surrounded towns were affected by the World Wars.

Alex Kirarly and I took day trips to Potsdam and Quedlinburg as part of our research. Potsdam Park is home to the Sanssoucci and New Palace (Neues Palais) of Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia from 1740-1786. We toured the inside of both buildings and gaped at the towering ceilings and endless marble halls. Quedlinburg, a town just north of the Harz mountains, is a three-hour train ride from Berlin. We managed to travel to and explore these towns on our own, with no German language other than basic greetings.

As a class, we took a walking tour of Berlin where we saw Hitler’s Bunker, cathedrals, the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the TV tower, the Konzerthaus Berlin and Bebelplatz, the site of one of the Nazi book burning ceremonies where students from Humboldt University and others gathered to listen to Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

We toured the Reichstag, the seat of the German Parliament as well the Stasi Museum and Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the Berliner Untervelten (Berlin Underground), and the Berlin Wall. I especially enjoyed the Berlin Underground, Stasi prison, and the Berlin Wall because of our studies before the trip. The underground consisted of air raid bunkers and the conditions people had to survive during bombings. The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is a museum that was formerly a prison for the East German Communist Ministry of State Security, or the Stasi. During this tour, we saw firsthand the conditions of prisoners and the excruciating physical and psychological pain they endured during their years in prison.

In our free time, some of us went to a cabaret-like performance, similar to those we’d studied in class and visited the Olmpiastadion where Jesse Owens, track star and student at The Ohio State University, made history in 1936 by winning four gold medals while Adolf Hitler proclaimed the superiority of the Aryan race. We sampled German chocolate from local shops in the city and snacked on döner kebabs while we walked. A group of us hiked up Teufelsberg, a man-made hill with rubble and the incomplete Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnishe Fakultät) buried underneath. Today, people gather on the top for picnics and the great view of the city below. Most of us went to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, an especially powerful site. We walked the same paths of former prisoners and stood where thousands were executed or forced to enter a gas chamber.

There are some notable differences between the United States and Berlin, Germany. Most obviously is the language barrier, but don’t let this keep you from going. I didn’t know a single word of German before the trip and still managed to maneuver my way to and around two cities outside of Berlin. Many people speak enough English to understand simple questions and you will inevitably learn a little bit while abroad.

The transit system is another major difference. You’re used to getting in your car and driving somewhere, but in Berlin people jump on the tram or walk. The city has a series of trams, both under and above ground, and it can be intimidating at first, but you quickly pick up on the major stops and which trams to get on. Don’t worry about not being able to find anything to eat. I found out quickly the Germans love Italian food. Our first group meal was at an Italian restaurant and we went to at least two other Italian restaurants on our own. There is also vegetarian and vegan food, so if you know how to handle your dietary restrictions you won’t have a problem.

The friends I made on this trip are ones I will cherish forever. We conquered a city together. We experienced history, learned about a new culture and had the chance to explore a new place. I am grateful to Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., and Stephen Evans for taking us on this life changing trip.

Check out @OhioStateNewark on Instagram for more photos from Berlin.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Use Your Resources

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

The Writer’s Studio at The Ohio State University at Newark’s goal is to help students become better writers and communicators. It has also had a major impact on my life as a student and a student employee.

Like many first year students, I was aware that tutoring resources were available but never took the time or effort to use them to my advantage. I had no interest in working on campus until one of my professors recommended that I take the pre-requisite training class to work in the Writer’s Studio.

I trained in the Writer’s Studio as part of English 3467S: Issues and Methods in Tutoring Writing for the autumn 2016 semester until I was able to officially work in the Studio. Through my work, the other tutors have become friends that are always challenging me to appreciate new things and consider a variety of opinions. They teach me something new every day and encourage me to be the best that I can be.

Also, the students I work with have also taught me with their insight or way of thinking. Because I work with such a wide range of students, each one brings something to our session that makes it unlike any other. There is no one way to help someone. You have to get to know them and find a way that works for both of you. Since our writing sessions are only 30 minutes, this can be difficult at first, but you quickly learn to identify what is most beneficial for the student. We do care that they do well in class, but what we really strive for is helping them improve their writing skills.

All the tutoring opportunities through the university are already paid for in your tuition dollars, but many students still don’t take advantage of them. You’re paying for your education and to get help with that education, use the resources that are being provided to you. You can get help with multiple subjects or request a tutor through the Center for Student Success. The Tutoring Center in the Warner Center offers a multitude of tutors for a variety of subjects for both Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College students. Check out their weekly schedule of tutors or request a tutor for a different subject if it’s not listed.

My time as a student employee in the Writer’s Studio has been rewarding in so many ways. I’ve been able to connect with classmates, network with faculty, meet new people and help students grow into successful college writers, a skill that will assist them in any major they pursue. I encourage students to take advantage of all the tutoring resources available on campus. If you want to help others and have an interest in a certain subject, become a tutor. It will be worth your while.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Finding Fun in Newark and Licking County

Blackhand Gorge

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

At first glance, Newark, Ohio and the Licking County area may not appear to offer much. However, there’s much more beneath the surface, you just have to look. With nature preserves, museums, antique shops and entertainment such as bowling, theatre performances and unique restaurants, there’s something that everyone can enjoy. The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College are right in the middle of it all.

If you’re feeling like an outdoor adventure, check out Blackhand Gorge. It’s one of Ohio’s State Nature Preserves offering beautiful trails and scenery, and it’s the perfect place for an afternoon of friends and fun or peace and relaxation. Take in some of the outdoor history at the Newark Earthworks sites. Visit the Great Circle Earthworks, the Octagon Earthworks or the Wright Earthworks to learn more about the Hopewell tribe that called this area home approximately 2,000 years ago. Also, explore Dawes Arboretum and participate in the nature-related events they have to offer. Don’t forget about the number of golf courses, including miniature, that can be found around campus.

If you prefer the indoors, visit some of the museums, local shops and restaurants. The Works has local history, hands-on activities and classes in glassblowing. Around downtown Newark’s courthouse square, you can find local shops including antique, candy, boutiques and the National Heisey Glass Museum.  Stop for lunch at one of the unique restaurants like Barrel & Boar, The Draft House, or Park Place Bistro. Got a sweet tooth? Try Goumas Candyland or Sweet “23” for hand dipped candies, cupcakes, cream puffs and more. In the winter, the courthouse square lights up in a festive display of lights and decorations complete with a horse drawn carriage.

Downtown Newark is also the home of the Canal Market District, the site of farmer’s markets and arts and craft markets that are open from May through October. Make sure that you try some of the delicious ice cream Licking County has to offer after strolling through the markets. Four states have Whit’s Frozen Custard, but Granville, Ohio is home to the original restaurant. The Dairy Isle has soft serve ice cream and serves burgers, fries and corn dogs. Ye Olde Mill in Utica, Ohio is only a 20-minute drive from campus and is home to the production of Velvet Ice Cream. See how it’s made, take a nature walk, make a wish in the historic mill and have dessert in the Wheel Room Restaurant.

Fun nights with friends don’t have to get repetitive. Change things up and go to the Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena. Skate for fun during a public skate event or attend a figure skating or hockey session. Get a group together for a game of broomball and then head to Rooster’s with a $2 off coupon to grab a bite to eat. Park Lanes Bowling Center offers weekly events and specials such as glow bowling, holiday celebrations and family and friends events. Both the Ice Arena and Park Lanes have teamed up with Student Life and occasionally offer free skating and bowling to students and two guests, so keep an eye on student activity events.

If you’re looking for a watery escape, try the Cherry Valley Lodge’s CoCo Key Water Resort. At a constant 84 degrees and measuring 50,000-square-feet, this aquatic playground is great for a day off with friends. Check for coupons before you head out and show them you liked their Facebook page for $3 off ticket admission.

Theatre enthusiasts will applaud the variety of events the Newark area has to offer. The historic Midland Theatre has performances year round with musical guests, comedians and special movie screenings. Enjoy this beautiful theatre that has made many improvements over the years. The Weathervane Playhouse does live performances of musicals and plays. It began as a barn, but is now an enclosed building with a lobby and main stage. If you’re interested in performing, they hold scheduled auditions for their summer season every winter. Thirty One West is a new music venue that hosts bands and performers from surrounding states, often for free or low-cost ticket prices. Their goal is to bring great art and music to Newark with bands, singers, artists and numerous other events.

Giving back is its own kind of fun and volunteer opportunities can be found throughout Newark and Licking County. The American Red Cross hosts multiple blood drives on campus and offers first aid and classes. The United Way of Licking County, Licking County Humane Society, The Food Pantry Network of Licking County and many more are always in need of a helping hand. Also, the Alexandria, Granville and Newark public libraries offer programs year round to either participate in or volunteer for such as pumpkin carving, gingerbread house making, movies, craft and book clubs and much more. If you’re interested in interning or volunteering, do some research and pursue options on campus to get college credit for an internship.

Newark and Licking County has more to offer than just corn fields and construction. You just have to look beneath the surface and get a little adventurous. It doesn’t take much to find something for everyone, whether you need some fresh air, time with friends, or a new place for lunch, Newark and Licking County really do have it all.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.