Dore Fischer| Deutschlehrerin, TU Dublin
Three happy memories
The Goethe-Institute Dublin has been intrinsically intertwined with my life in Ireland and my friendship with it has stretched over more than 40 years and is still going strong! For me the GI has always been a wonderful addition to Dublin’s cultural life.
The number of events which I attended at the GI are countless and very diverse. There were many cultural events in the Merrrion Square quarters: readings and book launches, art and photography exhibitions, films and concerts. There were also many professional development seminars in the Language Department on Fitzwilliam Square. And last but not least there were the very generous social events, like, Christmas parties, elections parties, and many receptions that the Goethe Institute has hosted. Here one could talk about god and the world, make new contacts and catch up with old friends. There too many names of the friendly and helpful Goethe-Institute staff to mention them here.
Here are three of my many happy memories:
My first contact with the GI was in the late 1970s when I came to Ireland as a student. In those days it wasn’t always easy to find a warm and dry place in Dublin. For taking a break from a hectic student life, the “Lesesaal” in Merrion Square offered a quiet and warm hide-away, where one could sit for hours and read the Spiegel and other German newspapers. Also occasional mild bouts of homesickness could be remedied by a quick visit to the GI with its strangely familiar atmosphere and a short chat with the friendly frontline staff.
When in the 1980s the demand for learning German took off in Ireland, the Language Department organised a working group for third level lecturers who spent many hours of discussing and designing courses in “Fachsprache Deutsch” (German for Specific Purposes). Our hard work culminated in a trip to Düsseldorf in the summer of 1988 where we met with German companies and business organisations. Needless to say that we had a great time! But it wasn’t all just fun and beer. A large body of teaching materials were produced as a result of this trip from which many teachers and lecturers would benefit over a number of years.
After my retirement a few years ago, my life-long love affair with literature found a new home in the Goethe Institute’s Book Clubs. Both the local and the international book clubs give their participants many inspirations to read old and new books and to exchange their views in conversations. This is often accompanied by hot discussions and also plenty of laughs. While normally the meetings were held in the beautifully restored library, over the last year and a half they had to move online for the obvious reason. These book clubs were often rays of light in darker times, like sparks of light and colour in a black and white movie.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, liebes Goethe-Institut, und vielen Dank für alles!