Thursday, October 18, 2007

First Week of Classes

Hi all,
I'll get to the title of the post eventually but I have a few other things on my mind first.
So, funny story / observation time!
Christmas Christmas Christmas
Now, I know in the US we seem to have an almost morbid fascination with how quickly the "seasons" change. Not fall or spring, I mean we go from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas season. Well, usually Christmas displays pop up on "black friday" - merely a day after Thanksgiving. However, Halloween isn't really observed here (the bars like to have promotional parties, but that's about it) and obviously Thanksgiving isn't either. For whatever reason, this just made me assume that the Christmas decorations wouldn't pop up until December or so. Wrong. This last week on the bus I noticed, one by one, the shops changing their window fronts. Going from regular displays to shiny, blue and white Christmasy ones. They celebrate St. Nicholas on the 6th and that's when good kids get a present and bad ones don't and then celebrate the more religious Christmas as usual. So they actually separate Christ and St. Nick. (St. Nich?)

Oh Where, Oh Where, Has My Shower Gone?
This is definitely my most embarassing story yet. Last week, I was jolted out of a dead slumber (at 7 AM) by the sounds of doors slamming and a general ruckus. Figuring that my apt mates were running behind or in a hurry, I tossed myself over and managed to somehow drift back off to sleep. I was woken up once again, about 20 minutes later and this time the sound went on for 10 minutes strong. Thoroughly pissed off, and definitely not awake, I Threw my door opened and yelled:
"What the HELL are you doing?!?!?"
To my incredible chagrin, I see a blurry (I didn't have my contacts in...) but distinctively uniform-clad man peek out of the shower room and say "...entschuldigung...?" ( I'm sorry?). Apparently (although we have no idea) one of the showers had been leaking and so when the Hausmeister decided to have the apts cleaned he decided to have them "fix" the shower as well. And by "fix" I mean he had them completely gutted. We had a nice dirt hole in the floor. About 4 days ago they put the bottom porcelain back in, and from the ruckus I'm hearing right now, they're hopefully putting in the glass door. But yeah, that's a story to make me proud. The best part was that at least one of my apt mates was in the kitchen and heard me yell. I would like to note, however, that the service guy did work a lot more quietly after that...

Classes...What Joy.
So, I have had all my classes for the week. As you might have noticed, it is Thursday - yes, I have achieved the impossible and managed to have a longer weekend than school week. I will accept kudos and cash payments in small unmarked bills. My initial schedule only gave me Thursdays off, but in my Monday class I found out that the Friday class I'd signed up for was the first part of the intensive course I already took. So I frantically searched through classes and jumped into a Texts class on Wednesday. My Phonetics class on Monday put me at ease a little, it seems manageable and the teacher seems really nice. It's funny that I've never had a female German teacher before, and this semester all my instructors (so far) have been women.

On Tuesday I had my first English class. We met at this giant black ball in the middle of campus, because the room is apparently in the Chemistry building and hard to find. She was going to take us there, but then brought us to the little pond on campus. This was nice, but won't help me any in finding the classroom next week. Next, she proceeded to conduct the entire class in GERMAN. I was a little freaked out, but it was only because she was going over the Important information and wanted to make sure everyone would understand. Well, I suppose that was good for the German students...I kind of expected her to stick around for a minute or two after "class" (it only lasted a half hour) but she buzzed off with some students that she apparently knew. So that was encouraging.

Wednesday I only had my Texts class this week from 4-6 because the theater class doesn't start until the 24th. The class will definitely be a challenge but I know it'll be good for me because writing is my greatest weakness. The instructor (I keep wanting to type "Professor" but that's not accurate and if you accidentally call them that they can get really pissed off) is from the North and so it was quite a bit easier to understand her, which was very nice.

Well, I have to run to the bank in a little bit (bank card still hasn't come, sigh, and I need to get my Sport Center card today - a long and involved process...) so I should be going. Feel free to leave a comment or just say hi.
Hope all is well with you all,


Matthew G said...

While my cousin, who was an exchange student in Germany also, said that children were actually afraid of St. Nick. He told me that the "bad" kids dont get coal, but a beating with a stick from jolly old saint Nick. (He also said that he dressed up as St.N and made some children cry)

Lois Templin said...

Steph: Mom tried to e-mail you but it bounced back so I copied it below for you. Great blogs! Traveling by train in Germany is always an adventure whether you want it to be or not.

Dear Steph,

I got your addresses from your dad yesterday and am using Lois's computer (with Fritz's help!) Anyway I read your blog and it's fun and interesting. I'm going to send you a snail mail soon but I have a couple of questions,comments. Who is Eric? Who is Christine? We know about the Germans not dancing until late. We went to a wedding in Frankfurt and they gave speeches until 11:00 pm and then started dancing and continued til 3 am. I didn't know know that you took a form of Karate...You're a person of many surprises. If you want to reply after you get my real mail you can send it to this address--the one that should accompany this. Greetings from all at Jack Pines Stable and Kris