Nan and Walt's 1999 - 2000 Sabbatical
Report #3 - Part 1, July 8, 1999


Life goes on for us in Europe.  Nan's been working some with Gerald Hilderink at the University of Twente, where we did our sabbatical seven years ago.  Other friends have returned from vacation in Spain so we've been able to meet their children.  The Roebbers are pictured above:  Papa Herman, Mama Ira, Willem and Nina. And, we've also met Erik's niece Sonja.


Erik, our host, has been working very hard finishing a project at Philips.  On a rare free weekend day, we visited Bergen op Zoom and its Markiezenhof palace.  The palace had a beautiful interior and a lovely exterior as well.



The town is also interesting. The stadhuis (city hall) is pictured along with a photo of Erik's hobby. (We couldn't resist!)


Nan attended the (SIGCSE/SIGCUE) ITiCSE conference, held in Cracow, Poland.  We broke up our 18 hour drive to Cracow with a day's layover in Dresden, Germany.  Nan's been  fascinated with Dresden ever since she heard about the 1945 fire storm, caused by (unnecessary?) US bombing, in a geology class at the University of Buffalo in 1965.  The center of the city was flattened and more than 35,000 people killed.  Some of the restoration continues today.  Here is the Frauenkirche which was originally left unrepaired as a monument to the war, but is currently undergoing reconstruction.

It is interesting to see the blend of original and replacement stone in the reconstruction process.  Notice the accumulation above of original stone to be used in the church's reconstruction and the coloration differences the stonework in the reconstructed Kreuzkirche below:

Dresden is beautiful.  Pictured below are views from around the Bruehlsche Terrace:


Another unique experience for us in Dresden was trying to type on a German keyboard in an internet cafe.  The 'y' and 'z' are in opposite positions from an "qwerty" keyboard that we're used to.  We hadn't realized how often the letter 'y' occurs in the English language.  In consulting with Birgit Bischof though, whose been typing her thesis with an "American" keyboard, we find that the opposite is true for the German language, i.e., 'z' occurs much more frequently than 'y'.

Nan's mother was in the hospital again with congestive heart failure and had finally agreed to consider surgery to help the situation.  When Nan tried to call to find out how things were going, she discovered that the IDT access phone number in Germany no longer worked, nor did her MCI card!  What had happened with MCI was that MCI had terminated service to BOTH home phone lines rather than just the second line as had been requested.  Furthermore, the phone operators were unable to restore service to the state it had been in; a trip to MCI's web site was required.  Alas, no phone card, no phone in room, etc., led us to the internet cafe and the challenge of typing with the 'z' and 'y' positions interchanged on the keyboard.


We also visited the Weesenstein Castle, located about 20 km south of Dresden.  It was a bit tricky to find and we got there just as the museum was closing, but were able to walk around outside.  Perhaps we'll get back there again sometime and really get to explore it.  Here are some shots of the grounds.


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Nan C. Schaller / Walter J. Bankes
Rochester Institute of Technology
Computer Science Department / Electrical, Computer, and Telecommunications Engineering Technology
102 / 78 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623-5608 / 5604
telephone: +1.585.475.2139 / 6108
fax: +1.585.475.7100 / 2178
e-mail: / e-mail:
13 July, 1999