After arriving in Düsseldorf, Hans-Werner Gessmann picked us up from the airport. Then we drove to the PIB center in Duisburg. On the way, we visited beautiful landscapes. A prepared chicken fricassee with mushrooms, asparagus, peas, and natural rice awaited us for lunch in the PIB center. Hans-Werner is a talented cook :-). After a rest we got to know some sights of Duisburg-Zentrum in the evening: the City-Palais with the concert hall and a much-visited casino and numerous small restaurants, a huge modern shopping center, the old Salvatorkirche and the town hall from the 16th century. After a delicious ice cream with fruits, we relaxed in the Botanical Garden of the city. During a thriller on television in the evening, our eyes slowly closed.
Wir lernten den Sonderpädagogen Markus Färber kennen, der uns über die Besonderheiten der deutschen Sonderschulen erzählte. Es war sehr interessant zu erfahren, wie die besonderen Bedingungen sind, unter denen bestimmte Kinder in die Sonderschule aufgenommen werden. Wir konnten erfahren, dass es sehr viele verschiedene Sonderschultypen gibt, zum Beispiel die Sonderschule für soziales und emotionales Lernen für Kinder, die Defizite in ihrer Verhaltensentwicklung haben. Die Lehrer in der Sonderschulen arbeiten mit individuellen Entwicklungs- und Förderplänen, welche auf jedes Kind einzeln ausgerichtet sind.
Nach einer Gemüsepfanne mit Vollkornnudeln und viel frischem Obst besuchten wir den Duisburger Zoo, einer der größten Tierparks Deutschlands. Eine Attraktion dieses Zoos ist ein Delphinarium, in dem wir eine Vorstellung der Delphindressur gesehen haben. Auch die Koala-Bären haben uns gut gefallen. Sie fressen jeden Tag nur eine bestimmte Sorte Eukalyptusblätter und sind bei der Geburt nur zwei Zentimeter groß.
In the morning we had English lessons: We read an exciting crime story. At noon we were impressed by the Küppermühle Museum in Duisburg’s inner harbour.
The inner harbour in Duisburg, which has an area of 89 hectares, was the central port and trading centre of the Ruhr area city for over a century during the heyday of the industrial revolution. Since the mid-1960s, the harbour has lost its importance and lay fallow for 20 years before a structural change began at the inner harbour. But now the inner harbour plays an important role in the life of Duisburg because it is one of the most important economic places in Germany.
The Küppersmühle Museum – a renovated old building of the former old harbour – now houses works by modern artists such as Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Rebecca Horn. All the paintings are thought-provoking.
In the evening we saw a film about psychotherapeutic work with children, in which the methods of humanistic psychodrama were used. So far we have thought that it is very difficult to work with children with the help of psychodrama. But now we see: Everything depends on the ability of the psychodramatist.
There are so many beautiful big cities in Germany. One of them is Düsseldorf, which we visited on this day. It is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. After a walk through the old town we reached the restored inner harbour. In the old town we could have a look at old houses and churches and afterwards the we examined the special architecture of the buildings in the inner harbour.
After we took the elevator to the 200 meter high television tower, we could see everything from above. Between the many buildings of the ministries, the parliament and the city gate are especially noticeable. They have a very modern architecture and look splendid.
On the way back to Duisburg we met the well-known psychologist Mariele Gessmann, who uses the technique of tapping acupuncture in her work. This was a new experience for us. Mrs. Gessmann is a very nice woman who told us a lot about her work in Germany.
On Saturday this year’s Loveparade took place in Duisburg. This is a festival of techno music. From many countries 1.5 million young people came together to dance and celebrate a huge party. Many people were dressed up very unusually, like at a carnival. The overall mood was very good, and the people very peaceful. We had the opportunity to study different group dynamic processes because the crowd of people was something special. Unfortunately there was an accident in the evening, which overshadowed this actually beautiful day very much.
Today was dedicated to working on the KTMS test. The KTMS is an aptitude test for medical studies that is being developed by us at Nekrasov University.
Many terms from the field of test construction were explained to us by Hans-Werner Gessmann. Then we discussed the further work on the test and started the realization of our plans.
Work on the KTMS continued. We got to know many new terms such as selectivity, selection parameter, homogeneity. We dealt with the meaning of these terms for the development of psychological tests. The test construction is a very interesting area of psychology, where we still have a lot of new information to obtain.
On this day we wanted to visit the landscape park north of Duisburg, but on the way, we found out that the roads there were closed, so we decided to go to a museum in Oberhausen. At the moment there is an excellent exhibition “Sternstunden” in the Gasometer of this city. It was simply wonderful that we could see all the planets with our own eyes, and we even had the opportunity to sit next to the moon and hear mysterious sounds of the universe. With an elevator, we could go up to the roof of the Gasometer. From up there, we had a great view over all the neighboring cities of Oberhausen.
The landscapes of Germany are mostly of an extraordinary beauty. We are becoming more and more convinced of this fact. Today we visited the Eifel, where there are many volcanic lakes. For the first time in our lives we saw a lake in a volcanic crater. One such lake is called Maar. We even managed to make a boat trip through this lake.
Not far from the lake is the monastery “Maria Laach”. Maria Laach Abbey belongs to the approximately 60 Benedictine male and female monasteries in Germany. More than 50 monks live in the abbey according to the rules of Saint Benedict.
Today we had the opportunity to visit the district court of Oberhausen and watch the trial of a young man who drove several times without a driving license. Then we met with Birgit Althoff, the head of the “Bewährungshilfe Oberhausen”, who told us in her office a lot of new information about the work of this institution.
It was completely new for us that there are three main areas in the work of this organization in Germany, namely probation, supervision and judicial assistance. Parole assistance is provided to the persons so that they do not relapse. The leadership supervision is the help for the people who are released from a psychiatric prison or those who are dangerous for the general public. The court help is a help for the court to get information for a fair judgment.
Today we got to know another employee of the PIB Centre – Jörg Plesse. He is responsible for the liaison with the DAAD. Jörg Plesse gave us a lot of new information about his work. We didn’t know very much about the cooperation between German universities and the DAAD. In this context, the PIB cooperates with the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.
In the evening, Hans-Werner invited us to his apartment, where we saw an informative film about Germany. The films were mostly taken from an airplane and showed the biggest cities of Germany from above. Afterwards there was a special dinner, which Hans-Werner had prepared for us. Many of the specialties we ate for the first time in our lives, e.g. ostrich meat. It is very tasty and once again gave us the opportunity to convince ourselves that Hans-Werner is a talented cook.