There are so many positive aspects to living in Germany. I think that I could go on about it forever. The most important advantage, for me, anyway, is the fact that I feel so at ease here. It is a feeling that I never really felt when I lived in Michigan. I loved my time at MSU, but even that didn’t give me the feeling that living in Germany does.
It’s not always easy to live here. When I get sick, I have to take care of myself. I don’t get to go home for Sunday dinner. Hell, I can’t even go home for the weekend. I’m slowly building a circle of friends, but that takes a lot of time. I have people I love in Ludwigshafen, and I’m finding people I really like in Mainz.
One of the things that I’ve found to be the hardest about moving to a foreign country is missing all the really important things in important people’s lives. For example, my cousin got married in February, and I couldn’t go because I had to work the next day and had exams that week. If it had been a week later, I could have gone.
I’m about to miss another wedding. One of my closest friends through middle school, high school, and college is getting married in November, and I probably cannot go. Even if I could afford the plane ticket, I have school. I also have to fly home again just over a month later for my sister’s wedding. It is just not practical for me to go, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go. That doesn’t make me any less disappointed that I won’t be there.
When people ask me what I miss the most about being in the US, this is it. By November, I will have missed three weddings. Bummed out.
So I’ve been tutoring for the past two weeks now for the student I inherited from E, and it’s been going well.
Last weekend, they asked if I’d help paint her room because they’re remodeling, and the room is actually quite large.
I can help with English, math, and science homework. Then, I go and paint a room. I am my father’s daughter. I’m also pleased that I don’t leave their house every night looking like an albino avatar; most of the paint stayed on the wall and didn’t get on me.
This has been keeping me pretty busy for the past few days. Yesterday, I got there at 3:30pm and I’s dad drove me home at 10pm.
I’ve actually been enjoying it quite a bit. And my bike fund is well stocked, and I’m ready to start looking.
I’m glad I slept until noon today because I don’t have any breakfast food. I can skip straight to lunch and make spaghetti.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”—From the family of Neil Armstrong, full statement here (via visceralconnection)
I’ve lost my mind. I’m sitting here watching a spider make a web on my window frame. When I shut the window, the spider will be on the other side, where it belongs, but yep, I’m just being entertained by this spider spinning it’s little web.
When I completely lose all mental faculties, please tell German Mom to call American Mom.
For years and years and years, I’ve thought about studying law, but I’ve never really done anything about it. Mostly it was because I was afraid to give up German; I always say that if I can find a man I love as much as I love German/Germany, then I’ll be all set.
So because I was afraid to give up what I’d worked for years to become good at, I stuck with teaching, which was fine. I have some wonderful memories of teaching. I have developed some stellar lesson plans, and I certainly made an impression on some young minds. I made a difference in my students’ lives: I am certain about that. I taught a spectacular lesson on present perfect and had a teaching face plant when it came to will future. Teachers I love and respect have all agreed with my decision to become a teacher, and that, in some way, validated my choices.
However, I have always thought about studying law, and last summer, when I was applying to study at Uni Mainz, I wanted to apply to study law, but I didn’t. I didn’t apply to study law because my friend told me they might not accept me because I’m not a German citizen. I didn’t want to disappoint German Mom. So I stuck with English education.
When it comes time to buy books each semester, I stand in the bookstore and stare longingly at the law books. I pick them up and flip through them, fascinated by the content. I’m fascinated by the logic of the law. Ever since my dad graduated from law school 12 years ago, and ever since I started helping him type court documents, I have been fascinated by law. And I personally adore the U.S. Constitution. That is really an amazing document. It’s 223 years old, and it has only been changed 27 times. Granted, I will be studying German law, but I am relatively sure that the German Constitution (Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is equally as fascinating and worthy of my respect.
All I can think about doing right now is studying law and the prospect of being able to do that. I have some research to do, and now I actually have time to do that research because my summer teaching is over.
I mentioned this plan to my friend Nick the other day, and he told me that he could see me studying law. He said it best, and I think friends often do. He told me, “You’re good at teaching, and I think you enjoy it. But I don’t think it’s your passion.” I think he’s right, and it’s utterly unfair of me to go into something like teaching when my heart is not fully in it. It’s unfair to my future students; they’ll deserve something better than this. Teaching English free lance at a university to pay my bills is much different than making teaching my permanent career.
I came to Germany to start over at 25, and now I’m 26 (almost 27), and I haven’t really started over yet; I’ve continued in the same vein that I’ve been in since 2006. It’s time to shift Gears and really start over. After all, I have the privilege of starting over at 26, and I need to make something of it.
Waiting for my laundry to be done so I can go to bed.
Have to get up at 6am (which will turn into 6:30) so I can teach. Can’t wait until I can sleep in on Saturday! :)
I’m still sick, but I think my magical plant antibiotics have helped me get better a bit. I don’t feel so dead right now. My throat still hurts, but I took it easy today: movie with minimal talking required on my part.
My major accomplishment for the day was that I finally collected enough bonus point stickers from my grocery store that I can get glassware at a discounted price. I just have to decide whether I want bowls or glasses. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
I also got to come home early today because there was a fire at a Styrofoam factory directly next to our campus. There was also poison gas as a result of the fire, so we had to shut our windows. Eventually, we ended up sending everyone home early. Then we left an hour later. I got back just in time to get my package from Amazon.
I’m really sad that people were seriously injured today and that there was a huge loss of property, but I am not sad that I got to leave early - especially now that I am feeling sick.
I don’t think it’s from the poison gas though; I felt crappy when I got up this morning.
I’m still excited about my glassware.
Off to drink some hot lemonade and watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
In just five days, I am finished with my summer teaching job! While I’ve enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, I will be very happy when it’s finished.
It’s just stressful to teach six days a week and have only one day off for planning - especially when you don’t get home until 7pm nearly every night. Friday, I got home before 6pm, which was a small miracle.
The first two weeks were the most stressful; week three should be relatively easy because we’re not responsible for teaching the same thing in every lesson. We each are teaching our own thing, so we won’t have to count out copies at the end of each day and make sure we’re all on the same page for the next day.
We’ll have to discuss the presentation at the end of the week, but that shouldn’t be so bad. Plus, the one member of our team who wasn’t pulling his weight is not teaching this week. So that’s good.
I’m off to tutor a middle school student in a few minutes. I like being in a house with a family once and a while. I love my roommates, but being in a house with real people, with non-students is always nice once and a while. Let’s face it, a single family home is much more comfortable than a shared apartment.
Oh, and I also have to drop of a paper to Boy I (Used to) Like… I’m a moron. More on that later.
I’m so tired right now, and I think I might be getting sick. I hope not. I really do not have time to be sick and cannot go to the doctor until at least Thursday. I will rest up and see how I feel in the morning.
In the meantime, I’ve just consumed the magical German beverage: heiße Zitrone (hot lemonade). I got it at the drugstore for .99€, and it is packed with vitamin C. Hopefully, that’ll fight off whatever is coming my way. ARGH.
However! I just ordered two books from amazon.com! I am excited that I was able to order some books for fun. :) Yay!