Observations on Germany #13

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Today was my last day of teaching in my first semester at the LMU. I taught an undergrad course on Neoplatonism and an MA course on ancient epistemology. Both were rather sparsely attended because the courses were announced late in the day, but the students I did have were outstanding - very interested in the material and sharp. Next semester I'm teaching a big lecture on ancient philosophy so that should be a chance for students to find out I exist, at least. The teaching system here is, as it was in London actually, in flux: they are going from the old Magister system (which I thought was great, to be honest) to a new BA system very like the one in the UK. So at least I'm used to that. Also a lot of debate here about eliminating student fees, which has already happened in many German states (so here we have the opposite of what has happened in the UK). It's all been very interesting. The main challenge has been teaching in German, which I'm able to do but it's frustrating to feel that one isn't in total control of the language, especially when trying to do philosophy! (I always think that instead of choosing from 10 ways of saying what I want to say, I just have to say it the way I know how to say it.) By the way the graduate education here is really top class so I would encourage anyone to apply to the LMU to do MA's or PhD's... especially in ancient or Islamic philosophy!

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