Attendees enjoy German pep rally

Attendees enjoy German pep rally

Melissa Irish, Features Editor

On Oct. 6, in honor of National German Week, German teacher Amanda Messerschmitt held a German pep rally during GPS in the South gym.

“It’s this week in particular because of a couple special days,” German teacher Amanda Messerschmitt said. “On October third is German Unity Day, or Tag der Deutschen Einheit, and they celebrate East and West Germany coming back together again.  October sixth is National German American Day, and that had been established by President Reagan back in 1987.”

Messerschmitt was inspired to teach German by her German-speaking relatives who lived in Poland.  She taught German classes at Omaha South starting in 2003, and then started teaching at Bellevue West and Bellevue East in 2006.  In addition to teaching classes, she operates the German clubs at East and West.

“My very first year right when I came to Bellevue West High School, I right away started doing German Club activities,” Messerschmitt said.

Some of the actions the German Club has taken within the past year have been caroling at nursing homes, attending a German and French symphony, and presenting projects at Nebraska’s annual German Convention.

“I hope for a positive impact on the community with events such as our German Carnival,” Messerschmitt said.

The aforementioned carnival will be Oct. 28th at 6 PM at the high school.  Messerschmitt hoped for a repeat of the German pep rally’s success at this next event.

“I think [the pep rally] turned out really well,” senior Tesa Weddle said.  “We had more people than we did last year, which is awesome.  I think we got more involved in the student body this year.”

Weddle lived in Germany when she was young, and the memory of being unable to say she wanted “only pickles” in the German language helped to motivate her to pick German for her foreign language.  After she joined the class, she became part of the club, of which she is now co-president.

“I joined German Club because my mom wanted me to be more involved in school,” Weddle said.  “I didn’t really like any of the other clubs, so I was like, heck, let’s try German Club.  So I joined it, and I fell in love with it.”

On the Wednesday before the German pep rally, students in German club held a “Pokemon Go Day.”  Ever since Messerschmitt learned about the game, she wanted to incorporate it into a German club event, and she decided that German Week would be a good time to do that.

“When it came to Pokemon Go day, we had so many more people,” Weddle said.  “I think it peaked a lot of different peoples’ interests.”

On that day, students collected “German Pokeballs” from a table at lunch, then went to students with pictures of Pokemon pinned to their shirts to receive cards with the Pokemon on them.  At the rally, the person with the most cards won a stuffed Pikachu or Meowth plush.

“I wanted some German chocolate and the Pikachu honestly,” sophomore Emily Luft said regarding why she attended the pep rally.

Along with the two plush toys, small Pokemon figurines and various food related to Germany- such as Nutella and candy corn- were offered as prizes.

“I thought the choice of prizes was fantastic, especially the bottle of ketchup,” junior Tori Davis said.

Weddle believed that future German pep rallies could be improved by larger attendance.  She suggested that the German Club get out into the community more, and Luft mentioned that more advertising could also help.  Davis also felt that the rally could be improved.

“Just a little more pep,” Davis said.