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Profiles: Lauren Davis
Name Lauren Davis
College Northwestern University, University of Houston
Degree B.A. German/European Studies, M.A. World Cultures & Literatures in German
Current job title High School German Teacher
Employer Spring Branch ISD
Location Houston, TX

Why did you first start learning German?
I started learning French in 7th grade and really enjoyed learning a new language. My older sister took German and said I’d be a fool to graduate high school without taking at least a year of German—because she really loved her German teacher. This German teacher became my mentor, and when she retired a decade after I graduated, I actually took over her position.

What did you get out of your German studies?
Where do I start? Studying German was how I learned that there are other ways to see the world and to live your life. Traveling to Germany and living there allowed me to feel what it was like to really be an outsider, and learning the language has helped me blend in and navigate an interesting intercultural space. Studying humanities taught me how to think critically, especially with regards to lifestyle and consumption, and a lot of other contemporary issues. I’ve made friends, traveled, and gotten job opportunities I never would have without German.

What influence did German have on your career choices?
It was the biggest influencing factor! I knew I loved it and didn’t want to let it go. From my first job in college as a research assistant to my first internships out of college and then my first "real jobs," my ability to speak German was always what got me in the door. My critical thinking and communication skills helped me excel, even though the jobs were all so different from one another and required such different strengths. To make ends meet during my internships, I tutored and privately taught German. This was the kind of work I always enjoyed most, so I finally decided to get certified to teach and this is my second year in the classroom.

How do you use German today at home or in your work?
Every day, at work and socially! I became a German teacher to carry on the torch. Promoting cultural exchange and foreign language acquisition is really important to me. I want to set an example for students and show them that it’s possible to make something you love or are passionate about into a way to "make a living", even if your journey isn’t a direct one. I never would’ve thought when I declared my major that I’d end up teaching, but I am so happy here. I could not have done this without the support of all the amazing German teachers and professors who helped me identify my strengths and encouraged confidence.

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