LEARN THE TIGER TANGO – welcome to the University of Missouri

Many different things happened on the campus last week and this time I will focusing more on the social events.

The main occurrence last week was: The University of Missouri president and chancellor step down. African-American students at Missouri have complained of inaction on the part of school leaders in dealing with racism on the campus. Black student leaders have conveyed their displeasure over students openly using racial slurs and other incidents. Several University of Missouri organizations, including the football team and the student association, had called the president and the chancellor to step down. It was very impressive to see all the students and the journalists waiting for a statement of the president and chancellor. Everywhere I went to I heared people talking about this and my personal opinion is, that it is a strong sign that students will not accept racism in any form.

If you like to start a talk with people e.g. about politics, history or whatever you want – there is a very special peaceful place to do this at the campus: Speaker’s Circle (Conley Avenue, University of Missouri). Since I arrived at the university I saw such discussions at Speaker’s Circle twice. The first talk I listened to was initialised by students who want to reunite North Dakota and South Dakota. The second talk was organised by some Christians who talked about the position of men and women in our society. You see some talks are funny and others are dealing with more serious topics. But you are always invited to talk with them.

Speaker's Circle Speaker's Circle

Last Thursday was my official “Orientations Session” at the MU International Office. It was a workshop for new scholarships at Mizzou and I met some nice Ph.D. students from China. We had a briefing about all documents we should always have with us (DS-2019; visa, passport, I-94) and we talked about the possibility to travel to another state or going e.g. to Mexico. If you plan to visit another state or fly to another country you should talk with your international student adviser, because it is not so easy to travel around with a J-1 Visa, maybe you have to change the visa. And if you plan to buy or rent a car for the time you are in Missouri you should ask the international student adviser for help, because to rent or buy a car you need an international driving licence, a social security card with your unique social security number and a car insurance for the state of Missouri – every state has its own insurance and people who are coming from outside the USA have to pay more.

Memorial Union  Memorial Union  A.P. Green Chapel  Hitt street

Before I forget, of course I have worked on my Ph.D. thesis too 🙂 Prof. Dr. Johannes Strobel and I worked on my questionnaire for my survey. The expert knowledge of Johannes was very helpful and let me see things in a different point of view (change something, cancel some questions and work on it). Until the end of the week I will work on my survey questions, because next week I will get the chance to meet Dr. Rose Mara and Dr. Isa Jahnke, Associate Professors of Learning Technologies from the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, and present them my survey – I am pretty excited. They are experts for:

  • Engineering education
  • Recruiting and retaining women and underrepresented minorities in engineering, science, technology and mathematics
  • Evaluation research
  • Innovative use of technology (e.g., tablets, wearables, smart glasses, …)
  • Technology-enhanced Designs for Learning Expeditions
  • Exploring Designs for Learning through Reflective Making

Furthermore, we got a positive response from the Research Office of Mizzou relating to our study on teachers’ perceptions on engineering and teaching engineering. We will start contacting some colleagues from Prof. Dr. Strobel and ask them to tell their students about the survey, hang out some postings with information about our survey and how pre-service teachers can participate on it. Keep your fingers crossed that many students will take part in our study.

Here some advice after a loooooong day of work: you will find the best coffee on campus at Ellis Library! And it is true: in America is everything bigger – a 16 OZ (473ml) cup of coffee is heavenly 🙂

Ellis Library  Entrance Ellis Library

Best coffee on campus at Ellis Library

But there is so much more going on at Mizzou campus. The University of Missouri has some really good museums and galleries (e.g. Museum of Anthropology; reptile exhibit at Stewart Hall; George Caleb Bingham Gallery; …). On the website “stufftodo” in Mizzou I found some interesting events (academic, arts, athletics, concerts, films . . .). And don’t be shy when you get an invitation – accept it! Saying yes to something small (like going to concert downtown after a day of work) can lead to doing something extraordinary. Things don’t just fall into our laps, we have to make them happen. So join that club or go on that trip because you never know what “yes” will open. There is more going on at the university than just studying and you will make more rememberable memories.


With that in mind: I am in a hurry, in a few minutes’ starts a Tiger-Tango-Course at Stotler Lounge Memorial Union. Bye




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