This is a picture of the infamous East German innovation known as the Trabant – affectionately referred to as the Trabi. I chose this image as a representation of one of the themes we have already explored in this course – the costs and benefits of technological advancement. This car was produced by East Germany for East Germany. The name of the car, means ‘satellite’ or ‘companion’ and was inspired by the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik – a Russian word with the same meaning. The Trabi has gone down in history as one of the 50 worst cars ever made! With its inefficient two-stroke engine it was in production in East Germany for 30 years without any significant changes to its design or performance.
As I read our introductory course material, the Trabi came to mind as a prime example of a failed technology – one that did nothing to significantly benefit society. I first came to learn about the Trabi when I began my teaching career in Berlin, Germany and learned the history of the DDR and how this car actually came to symbolize the fall of East Germany as many East Germans streamed into West Berlin in their Trabis with the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
My name is Sheza Naqi and this is my seventh MET course. I am taking one other course this term – ETEC512. I am especially excited about this course as I have a background in both English and History and it seems that we will be exploring subject matter in both these fields through our course content this term. I am a secondary school teacher in Markham, Ontario (which is actually known as Canada’s Hi-Tech Capital, believe it or not!), and this is my third year teaching. I spent two and a half years teaching abroad, starting off in Berlin, then moving onto Istanbul and finally finishing my time abroad in the U.K.. I returned to Toronto this spring and am working at a private school teaching Canadian History, ESL, Literacy and International Business this term.
It will surely be a busy but exciting term and I look forward to working with all of you!