With this blog post I want to highlight some of the events of The Long Night Against Procrastination Across Germany. When browsing Twitter with hashtag #lndah, I came across a tweet by Dennis Fassing, who mixed tweets, posters and images with his own commentary in a stori-fy compilation. Although the texts are in German, I think that readers from around the globe will appreciate the many faces and forms this event took on this year on or around March 5, 2015.
If someone has a little more time they should search twitter with the hashtag #lndah themselves to find many more tweets and links to resources and publicity. I was impressed with the many ways public television or print media reported on the event. The picture to the left shows a tweet to an article by SPIEGEL, a German weekly, that has an online version dedicated to higher education issues called UNISPIEGEL. The author of this particular article called “Hausarbeiten-Dilemma: Schenk mir diese eine Nacht” (my translation: “The dilemma of seminar papers: Gift me this one night”) describes first their perceptions and observations of the event at the University of Hamburg before they use the event to discuss some of the difficulties students face when the instructor of a seminar does not set firm deadlines or provide enough writing support, for example. Overall, the tweet highlights the success of the event even though the built-in translation app on the twitter screen replaces the term “seminar paper” with “chore.” And maybe for some, this term exactly describes how some students perceive the writing and research process to be.
The following two tweets are linking to public television shows and online content on their respective websites. Both stations cover local, state and international news. The rbb is a public tv station serving the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and thus it highlights the event in both states. The article first reports on the beginnings of “The Long Night against Procrastination” as it was initiated for the first time at Viadrina University in Frankfurt/Oder (located east of Berlin in the state of Brandenburg) in 2010. It also describes how the various writing centers for all Berlin Universities, organized by the “Studentenwerk” (The Office of Housing and Residential Life), participates in this year’s event by offering workshops and individual consultations. The article ends with tips from a psychologist on how to best prepare and plan for such a complex writing project. Moving on down south.
The public mdr tv station covers three states: Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia, all located south of the state of Brandenburg. The article entitled: “Aufhoeren mit Aufschieben,” or in English: “Stop Procrastinating,” begins with an overview of the event and lists three universities involved this year: Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Technical University Dresden, and Technical University Chemnitz. Since the article was published before the #lndah ended, the authors include an interview with Dr. Peter Braun from Jena who points to issues that contribute to procrastination: Students are not receiving the writing support they need in order to complete the seminar papers and they also do not enjoy writing anymore. In his view, students experience academic writing as an exercise in which they have to take on a different voice, and they also have not been trained appropriately in high school or in the college classroom to understand and practice the steps and strategies necessary to master the complexity of the writing process. He appeals to high school and college instructors to instruct writing alongside content and to share with their students about their own writing experiences to demonstrate that writing can enrich professional and private lives.
Perhaps others around the world can add, how local and state-wide media covered their #lndah events in 2015. we would love to hear from you all.