Tori Moore, a junior at Lakeside High School, said her favorite thing about German culture is the food, especially the potatoes.
“They have these round potatoes that they cook with gravy and spargel, which is German white asparagus—it’s so good and soft and easy to eat,” Moore said.
Recently, Moore was chosen to represent Georgia as a finalist in the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Pedagogical Exchange Study Trip. After she took a test, completed an essay and an interview with three German professors from across the state, her name was pooled with several hundred other students from across the nation.
“All of my scores were sent to the national group and they’re just going to narrow it down and decide. So, it’s out of my hands now,” Moore said.
Each year the AATG awards scholarships to 39 students in the United States, to study in Germany over the summer.
“I just took the test to see what happened but I’m very hopeful. I’d love to go to Germany,” Moore said.
Moore has only been studying German for two years. Last year she took German I, then studied German II during her summer break, and is now in German III. She plans to study AP German during her senior year.
“It’s pretty similar to English and kind of easier to pick up than a Romance language like Spanish. I also really like German culture so I was interested in it from the beginning,” Moore said.
Moore’s father was stationed in Germany in the United States Air Force, and when she was younger her family visited all of those places in Germany. She attributes her love of German culture to this.
At first, Moore said she struggled with jumping to German III so quickly. She said she skipped some of the things she might learn in a normal school year because it went by so fast.
“When I was new at German III and didn’t know a lot of German II, I said to myself, ‘this is a mistake, I shouldn’t be in this level; I’m not ready for it yet.’ But as the year progressed I realized I knew more than I thought. I just needed to get comfortable and believe in myself,” Moore said.
Moore said her German teacher, Jennifer Schultz, helped her when she was struggling by giving her extra worksheets and encouraging her not to give up if she didn’t know something.
“She really wants to know the grammar and she’s really organized. For a lot of kids, the reason why they struggle is because they couldn’t get the grammar, so they would get so hung up when they were speaking,” Schultz said.
When she graduates high school, Moore said she wants to become a broadcast journalist and go to school somewhere in the Northeast, possibly Boston College. She also said she has looked into programs where she could use her German skills by interning at a German language newspaper.
“You just have to work hard but it’s a good experience, so if you want it, you have to devote yourself and be really determined,” Moore said of learning a second language.
Moore also is active in many of the extracurricular activities the German Club participates in year round. Each year the club performs a German play, and Schultz said for the past two years Moore has played the lead role.
“It’s because of doing all of those extra things that she was chosen, because they want a student who is going to be able to go over there and interact with the family and the culture,” Schultz said.