Chapter 1 – Introduction
To me, it seems that writing a blog, just like writing in general, requires a certain set of skills of the text’s composer. Fundamentally, these would probably be: a general desire or drive to express one’s thoughts in a specific style, a basic capability to form a somewhat coherent narrative or argumentative concept and the finesse to encase this within a verbalization that, in one way or another, is appealing. Quintessential to and connecting these aspects is also an idea of what to write about. Now, I know these are just underlying and very imprecise categories and they might be nurtured, developed and shaped by many factors. Nevertheless, they pose a set of challenges for me.
For one thing, me expressing myself to an audience is two quite different faces of a same coin. There is a legendary and often cited story about a teacher comforting a group of fellow students. They had to prepare a presentation with a following discussion and his advice was: “In case nobody wants to contribute anything, just look at Max long enough, and he will come up with something to say.” In other words, in university and concerning topics I have an opinion about, I have a reputation to be an honest know-it-all. (This term, of course, has been imposed on me. I prefer to humbly view myself as a valuable contributor.) The other side is different. Although in certain conversational scenarios I tend to be quite outspoken, in some I am not. There is only a very elite circle of people who get uncensored, unadulterated, raw me. If you can’t make heads or tails of what the point of me telling you is, don’t worry we will get there.
Then again, there is the question of what to write about. As you might have guessed, a personal blog full of revelations about myself is not my thing to do. As explained by Barry Schwartz, for many, the task to “just write about what you want” does not make you do that. In fact, it left me considering all kinds of topics, one less satisfying than the other. Personally not too deep, but still relateble; regarding content not too specific, but neither banal; informative, but not a research paper. So in the end, what I came up with is to do exactly what I was initially asked to do. And just like this, “Been there, done that” will be about exactly what the title suggests.
The main focus of this blog will be places and activities I have recently enjoyed. I can’t promise, but many of those will somehow be linked to Rostock. In addition I’d like to share some thoughts I have been contemplating, to maybe reveal a bit of myself.