I'm Jake VanderKolk (or van der Kolk or Vander Kolk, depending on who spells it). I'm an Adjunct Instructor at Susquehanna University, where I teach German language and culture. I am also a finishing doctoral student at Penn State University, where I study German Literature and Culture, with specific interests in aesthetic theory and modernism, especially from the early 20th Century. I'm currently writing my dissertation on the novel Der Tod des Vergil (The Death of Virgil, 1945) by Austrian author Hermann Broch. My dissertation examines how this stream-of-consciousness novel attempts to interact with its readers in unique ways.
I came to German studies accidentally. I first studied the language as an undergraduate at Michigan State University to satisfy my language requirement (and to eventually learn Dutch, the language of my great-grandparents). I got hooked instantly, however, and kept taking more and more classes until I finally just added German as a major. Within two years of learning my first word, I had finished my basic course work for the B.A. degree, had studied abroad in Western Germany, and had begun my first graduate seminar in German literature. I still haven't learned Dutch.
Since then, I have continued my studies at Penn State, where I have carried on my passion for German literature and culture alongside my other passion, philosophy. I have also spent a lot of time in Germany, including an academic year at the Phillips-Universität Marburg, where I finished my graduate course work, and a research semester at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. I plan becoming a professor of German in the future.
I have also greatly enjoyed teaching German language, history, and culture through the Penn State Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, in both online and classroom settings. While in Marburg, I also taught English language, culture, and academic practices at that university's Language Center. I am currently also an instructor for the Department of Modern Languages at Susquehanna University, where I will be teaching the intermediate levels of German language and culture over the 2012-2013 academic year.
In my free time, I dabble in open source computing Linux, and some scripting and markup programming.
Thanks for stopping by,