Week 7: Volker
Is it possible to say that a “place” has inspired me this summer? Throughout my time in the Lorke lab, my professor, my supervisor, and all the other master students and Ph.D. students have been instrumental in helping me enjoy my time in Germany. Through their collective kindness, I’ve had the opportunity to actually become part of the lab and part of this “graduate” school culture where there are constant jokes about the amount of coffee they drink. But, alas, I should stick with one person that has really inspired me this summer. I thought about it for a long time, and I decided that I would pick someone not from the lab. Instead, I want to talk about Volker (http://ffindr.com/en/player/germany/volker-gruen), an amazing ultimate Frisbee player who I had the pleasure of playing with on the Duisburg Frisbee team (Du bist Frisbee).
I respected him so much, and I didn’t even know a thing about him. The reason why Volker has had such a great influence on me though is the way he carries himself, and just the amount of attention and mentorship he gave me. In addition to being a great leader and playing to each individual’s strengths during scrimmages, he has a way of watching you play out of the corner of his eye and picks up on everything. After every point, he would tell me what I was doing right, what I could improve on. During drills, he was the first one to recognize my weakness in throwing fakes at the opponent, and immediately stopped the drill (mind you, he isn’t the trainer) to give me a push of motivation and just enough strictness to make me improve, almost
I felt so honored to be able to play with someone like him who has had so much experience playing the sport. For someone like him to have the kind of patience he has with more unseasoned players like me is really phenomenal. I only started playing in college, and I sometimes get a little frustrated with less experienced players, but it seemed like Volker never got frustrated. He was always ready to teach us and help us grow.
I have to say that out of my whole summer, he has taught me not only how to play better Frisbee but also how to carry myself as a leader, a teacher, and a student. It was the little things he did on the field that have left the greatest impression on me, and what I’ve learned from his kindness is the type of thing that I can adopt into any discipline, from being in the lab teaching
the newcomer how to use the lab apparatus to working and learning with my supervisor. Thanks Volker!
About the Blogger
Pin-Wen Wang is majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard (class of 2014). This summer Pin-WenPin-Wen will be studying light’s affect/effect on Nanoparticles at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. When she's not trying to figure out why there are so many e's in "engineer", Pin-Wen likes to play frisbee, cook, and try new foods from all over the world. Her favorite color is orange, and it's unlikely you'll forget that when you see her walking across Harvard Yard in the winter with her bright orange puffer jacket.