Mr.Nadler started off explaining why he had chosen this country. The old history and the culture were very appealing to him. His grandparents actually being from Germany was also another pull. These were all major components to his choice. However, he faced a problem: he was not familiar with the German language. This was easily solved for him when he made contact with one of his friends--Henry. Henry was a name somewhat familiar with the audience since he was mentioned in last year’s presentation about New Zealand. Randy and Henry are good friends, (they even bungee jumped together) and Henry was seen as a very valuable friend to Mr.Nadler since he is fluent in German. So, this trip became a trip for two.
Next, Randy showed the students the map of the world. He explained that by plane it takes about a day to get to Germany, including transfers. Once landed in Cologne, where cologne is said to be originally invented, Mr.Nadler took a train to Henry’s small hometown, right on the border of France. Moving on, there was brief talk on the history of Adolf Hitler’s control and the lead up to WWII. Also mentioned was the rise and fall of the Berlin wall and the unity that came as the people started to rebuild. Speaking of buildings, a famous landmark in Germany is the Brandenburg Gate. Mr. Nadler took few pictures of the actual gate, and in those pictures, many other people were taking “selfies” with the famous landmark.
Transportation was the next topic discussed. Germans use different transportation, along with cars. Trains are a very popular choice. People of all ages use them. Many ride bicycles, and with the pictures Randy Nadler provided, many could see that there were all sort of bikes. There were even bikes shown that hold a place in the back for people to lay down while a man peddled for the riders! Not everyone has just a bike or train to rely on. Germany, as many know, is the source of many well-known car brands, such as the Mercedes-Benz, Rolls Royce, and BMW. One particular point of interest when it comes to driving a car in Germany is the Autobahn highway. This highway only holds some speed limits. Mr.Nadler showed a video of Henry and himself driving a safe speed of 65, while others zoomed past them very quickly.
Mr.Nadler then continued to discuss some of Germany's interests, historical artifacts, and sights. It’s common in Germany ,as it is in the United States, to have fast food restaurants like Subway and McDonalds. They love their traditional foods as well, like brats, pizza, and pretzels. Popular there is orange soda, and the sport of futbol, or as the Americans would say, soccer! After showing their popular interests, Nadler explained that many of the trends we have in America are similar to those in Germany.
Mr.Nadler also went to Bartholdi Colmar’s hometown. Bartholdi Colmar is the man that designed the Statue of Liberty. Also while visiting there, Randy and Henry both heard the myth that if a stork makes his nest atop of your house, it will bring good luck.
Also shown by Randy Nadler was Beethoven’s front door and backyard. Beethoven’s home is located in Bann, Germany. He was actually born in the top room of his house. This great composer of music became widely known, and in honor of his life, the townspeople put a statue of him in his backyard. Another composer of the area was Johann Sebastian Bach. After playing a recording of a piece of his music, Randy Nadler presented the students his tombstone, which is actually at the front altar in a church.
Hamburg was next on the route, and it proved to hold a lot of fun sights. Mr.Nadler showed the Beatles Platform where they first started playing, though they were originally from England. Also visited was the Mini Museum in which the whole world is shown in a diorama. After that, a visit to the beach was deemed necessary. The pictures shown consisted of beach volleyball, mud fights in the water, and seagulls that seemed to be a little too comfortable with human contact.
The next two cities mentioned were Bavaria, which Randy Nadler claimed to be his favorite, and Munich. The carnival was the main event happening in Bavaria when Mr.Nadler was visiting. At the carnival, all the people dress-up: men in their lederhosen and women in their festival dresses and hairstyles. At the carnival many pretzels are sold, which makes sense since Bavaria is known to hold the “the best pretzels in the world.”
Next, Mr.Nadler mentioned the Swanteen castle, which is known for being the outline for Mr. Disney’s idea of the actual “Disney Castle.” Tourists often take the thirty-minute tour of this castle with the scary chance that if one minute late for the tour, they must forfeit their ticket. Besides castles in Germany, another intricately built and famous item is the cuckoo clock. This clock is based off the cuckoo bird’s sound and actually made from the wood in the Black Forest, where these birds live. Mr. Schneider was a new acquaintance for Mr. Nadler. He made a bargain with Mr. Nadler that if he let him take pictures of his clocks, he must show his house in his presentations. Mr.Schneider does not live in any ordinary home, though, in fact, he built it into the largest cuckoo clock in the world.
After covering all these amazing sights, Mr.Nadler ended with his traditional photo of a sunset from the place he had visited and asked the students for questions. One question was asked by Bethany Schenck: “How did you start?” Mr.Nadler’s response was, “Well, I ended college with a Biology degree, and I was asked by a photographer to go into the Amazon with him for pictures. The photographer’s main point was to bring back all the pictures to educate students like yourself.” One other question asked of Randy Nadler was from Jared Horstmann, “When do you plan to stop all of this?” Mr. Nadler actually responded initially with, “Why, do you want it?” which received chuckles from the crowd. However, he said he has at least six more years of presenting left.
Mr.Nadler’s presentation was very much appreciated, as it is every year. New Haven School District thanks Mr. Nadler, and though he says six more years, we hope to see those sunsets for a while longer.
-by Tenille Duessler