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Texas is our state of choice, the Dallas/Fort Worth area is our residence of choice. We are bi-lingual and bi-cultural, and Education is our profession:

 
 
Gabriele Barwig
 
M. Ed., National Louis University, Heidelberg, Germany
B. S. Liberal Arts, Sociology & Psychology, Regents College, New York, USA
Certified Translator of English/German, Darmstadt, Germany

 

I am holding a Masters's Degree in Education from National-Louis University in Heidelberg, Germany (former name: National Teacher's College), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts with majors in Sociology and Psychology from Excelsior College, New York (former name: Regents College). I am a member in good standing of the American Association of Teachers of German.

Since 1999 I am teaching German language at Keller High School in Keller, Texas. By the Texas State Board for Educator Certification I am certified to teach German language, Psychology and Sociology. I am authorized by the German Government as a "Certified Translator of the German and English Language", and I hold a Certificate of Proficiency in English from the University of Cambridge, Great Britain.

I am a native German speaker and in addition to the language knowledge, I bring with me to the classroom the knowledge of the German culture that I was born and raised into, and that the German language is embedded in. It is not easy to convey to my students, that in contrast to American thinking, there are differing cultural concepts in this world, and that the European culture and European thinking differs far more from the American culture and American thinking than my students had come to learn:

  • At Keller High School, I am the sponsor of the German Club, where I expose my students to the customs of this foreign country and this foreign culture.

  • Once a year, I take my best German students on a trip to the town of Fredericksburg, Texas, which was founded by Germans, and we visit the town museum, which harbors traces and artefacts of the German influence and the German attitude towards farming and community living.

  • In my Summer break I take a small group of my students on an individual trip to my homeland Germany and visit the German Black Forest town of Loffenau that I spent my childhood in. My goal is to provide the students as much of human contact and exposure to the foreign culture and foreign thinking as possible. Instead of staying in hotels we are staying in youth hostels, which allow for peer contact with German nationals the same age as my students. In our travel through the major German cities of Frankfurt, Fritzlar, Kassel, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Heidelberg, and in the exposure to the German cultural heritage as at Deutsche Maerchenstrasse, Kassel Wilhelmshoehe, Castle Hohenzollern, I hope to convey to my students a sense of German culture and German thought.

 

Before teaching High School, I worked as a free-lance Translator for the languages German and English and I gained experience in Adult Education:

  • From 1991-1999 I taught classes in German language, as well as Functional Academic Skills in English language and Remedial Mathematics, at the U.S. Army Education Center in Darmstadt, Germany.
  • From 1990-1994 I taught basic and advanced German language courses at Big Bend Community College in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.
  • From 1987-1994 I taught classes in English language at the German Volkshochschule in Darmstadt, Germany.

 

 

 
Wolfgang Barwig
 
IRS Enrolled Agent, admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service
B. S. Liberal Arts with majors in Psychology and Sociology, Excelsior College, Albany, NY
 
Certified Computing Professional (CCP), ICCP, Des Plaines, IL

 

I am grateful to the United States for inviting us to stay, for giving us the opportunity to participate as an equal in public life, and for ultimately granting us the certificate of naturalization. When we decided on moving to the United States in 1998 I asked myself the questions every aspiring immigrant should ask himself/herself: "How will I justify us wanting to come to this country? What are our assets? What do we bring to the table, in what way can we contribute to this country of our choice?" In my retirement I show my gratitude to this country by participating in the education of our next generation in a low-paying capacity as substitute teacher and by the assistance of my fellow citizens as an Enrolled Agent in the preparation of their income taxes free of charge.

  • I find great pleasure in participating in the educational process of the American upper middle class youth. This pleasure is the result of interacting with securely attached students who share similar values, needs, and wants with me, and of my work ethic being similar to the work ethic of my student's parents. I know how these students learn best, and I know what examples, metaphors and values have the most meaning to them. It is also a pleasure to participate in a cooperative teaching staff and to enjoy the company of my younger peers as a substitute teacher.

  • Since 2009 I am admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Agent (EA), recognized as a professional engaged in the preparation of Individual and Business Income Taxes. As an Enrolled Agent (EA), I am authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Professional Responsibility, to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in all 50 states. I am bound by the IRS Code of Ethics in Circular 230 (USC Title 31 Section 10: Practice Before The Internal Revenue Service), and by the continuing education standards of the Office of Professional Responsibility. As an Enrolled Agent I use my expertise to provide high-quality tax assistance at no cost to low- and moderate-income clients and the elderly. From 2010 on I volunteer for the IRS programs Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) as a tax preparer and quality reviewer.

 

From 1973 to 1999 I worked as a computer scientist at the German National Research Center for Information Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. My professional emphasis was on portability of software, on compatibility between computer systems, and I continue to view and support the "World Wide Web" concept as a set of open, global, independent, portable specifications that were never intended to be abused and perverted by certain software and hardware manufacturers. I am a certified Certified Computing Professional (CCP) with 28 years of experience with computers and software. I hold ICCP proficiency certificates for Business Information Systems and for the programming languages BASIC, COBOL, PASCAL, and C++.

 


 

Scientists are curious, question everything, including themselves. As a scientist I take nothing for granted, nothing is set in stone, no written or unwritten laws are untouchable - and with my move to another country and another culture came the opportunity to question myself and to question all the "truths" that were taken for granted and that I have unquestioningly (Wiktionary: "Without asking questions or having doubts. With complete obedience and without making any opposition.") incorporated in my thinking during my first 48 years living in Germany.

During my professional life I read and worked with hundreds of scientific papers. I experienced closely the games our unconscious minds play with us when creating and assessing scientific theories: We are human beings who want to be "right"; we are prone to unconsciously "tweak" the results and modify our original thesis to make it fit to the collected data; we want to make it look "good". As an author of a thesis we are biased choosing supporting evidence, and we have a hard time straying away from our beliefs originating in and based on our native country's value system and on our social class' value system.

After moving from Germany to the United States in 1999 I spent a decade researching the cultural differences between the two countries and thoroughly learning the cultural value system of my new country-of-choice. In my studies I found that both countries suffer from Ethnocentrism (judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture) and Sociocentrism (elevating the value of middle class values to the standard).

A subtle and least detectable way of masking ethnocentrism is by creating scientific theories favoring and solidifying our own cultural values. Scientists unconsciously assume their values are the gold standard, and even go so far in creating scientific theories that value their own cultural values as good and worthy goals and value opposing viewpoints as sick, as damaged and as in need for a cure. Since most scientists belong to the upper middle class, they unconsciously assume the values of the upper middle class in their scientific theories.

I found the most helpful way to understand the cultural differences between Germany and the United States is the study of the ethnocentric scientific concept of Attachment Theory. Defined by British/United States' scientists, Attachment Theory implies a certain way of raising children. I found that the prevalent attachment mode in a country dictates the core of the country's value system and the country's prevalent behavioral standards. See also 2000 paper: "Attachment and Culture - Security in the United States and Japan" by Fred Rothbaum, John Weisz, Martha Pott, Kazuo Miyake, Gilda Morelli.

 

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