German Club Offers Fun, Exploration of German Culture


Vit Nosek, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

German Club has been a part of Notre Dame Academy for a long time, and Mrs. Jennie Laaksonen has passionately created and advised the popular club for many years.

German culture wasn’t anything exciting for Laaksonen (Frau to everyone at NDA) until her sophomore year at high school. A natural curiosity and passion for different languages gave her the inspiration to become a teacher.

“I felt like learning the language was getting a peek into a different world,” said the club adviser. Over the course of years, Frau’s learning skills were improved by reading as well as watching and listening to interesting content in German.

Mrs. Laaksonen has been the German teacher at Notre Dame for 21 years and gives thanks to Sister Pat, who played an important role at the very beginning of her tenure here.

As a new member of the NDA family, Frau and a group of students re-established a floundering club. Their goal was to make it viable again for as many students as possible.

The German Club currently has 54 participants. All students who desire to become a member and learn about a different society are invited. There is no requirement to take  German as a foreign language.

Frau emphasized the mission of the German Club:  “NDA German Club shall be an organization whose purpose shall be to maintain a club for social enjoyment, to assist in the development and education of its members, foster the German language for cultural purposes and other activities which contribute to the sense of in communio.”

A regular session is planned at least once a month, but it depends on other school activities and the weather, especially in recent weeks.

Many activities make the club unique. Sessions at school, such as this week’s “cheese” game day with cheese curds and cheese dip, typically pack 30 or so members into Frau’s classroom.

Over the course of past several years, Frau has experienced many wonderful moments with her students.

“My favourite memory was when German Club members decided to organize a dodge ball tournament for De La Baie Fest, and it is now a fantastically popular part of the day,” she said.

Frau’s vision for upcoming years is to keep offering a place where all feel welcome and hopefully the non-German speakers learn a little German, even if it is just from their shirts.