Just as the second half of the Saturday night football game began – under the lights and in the pouring rain – Friederike Jandewerth stepped on Boswell Field to have her photo taken at her first football game, that is, American football game.
The Foreign Language Teaching Assistant in the German Area Studies Department is a graduate student at the Universität Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany. This year, Jandewerth is teaching introductory and intermediate German language classes at Hobart and William Smith. Until Saturday’s game, in which Hobart won against Ithaca College 23-3, she had never attended a football game – although she recognized that the sport represents an important part of American culture.
“American football is becoming a really big fascination in Germany,” says Jandewerth, whose prior experience with the game was staying up until 1 a.m. in Germany to catch the NFL Super Bowl halftime show.
For Jandewerth, the enthusiasm for the game – the big turnout of fans, coordinated cheers, and all of the purple and orange being worn to support the team, “that’s the really cool part.”
“I really love the atmosphere. Even though I don’t understand the rules yet, all the cheering, shouting and spirit makes it very fun.”
The football games, and other events from the beginning of the year until graduation, are a significant part of what makes HWS a place for students to want to live and learn, she says.
“If I were a student at Hobart and William Smith, I would very much want to live on campus,” Friederike says. “There is always some event going on, whether it is a lecture or a game.”
Up next, Jandewerth intends to plan a pretzel party for the German Area Studies Department to share her culture with the HWS campus.