MeetUS at Naunhof
by Moritz R. Orlowski
Last week, Thursday the 21 September 2023 at 10 am to 11.20 am, Mr. David Panetti, Public Affairs Officer (PAO) at the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, visited the FGN, a school in Naunhof (Germany). He held a presentation about himself, his job and the U.S.A., followed by a Q&A session for the pupils of year 8 in the eatery of the school.
This event took place to learn something about the U.S.A. and Mr. David Panetti’s job, to reduce stereotypes and practice English skills. At the beginning he told us that he had been in Leipzig für 6 weeks now and that his job was to represent the United States of America in Leipzig. Before he had come to Germany he worked in 5 other countries over a period of 12 years. His home-state is Minnesota where he worked as a high school teacher.
The main part was the Q&A in which we asked a lot of questions. A really interesting question was what he thought about the gun law in America. He stuttered a little bit but answered that he didn’t think it was bad at all but that it was too easy for bad people to purchase a gun or something. Another question was if racism was still such a big problem in the U.S.A. At that point he said that sadly it still was a problem but mostly one of older people. He said that young people for the most part did not care of the race or look of a person. We also asked what his opinion on the age restriction of 21 to buy alcohol was. He answered that he liked this law and in connection with this question he mentioned that teenagers were allowed to drive a car at 15, this fact really impressed all of us. After that we talked a bit about food and drinks and asked him what his favorite German food was. He laughed and said that he liked ‚Bratwurst‘. To the question what his favorite sport was he answered baseball and said that he usually played baseball in his backyard with his kids.
Overall I think it was a phenomenal and extremely interesting event. It really reduced stereotypes and I think that I also improved my English skills. I can really recommend talking to a real American because one can really learn a lot from it.
The FGN is very grateful for this great opportunity and we are looking forward to further cooperation.
Interested to learn more?
Read the newspaper report about our MeetUS project on the 2020 U.S. elections here.