Saturday, November 17, 2012

Classes and Birthdays!




 Sebastian, Svenja, Michael, and me!

Whew! What a title! It just suggests an overload of the senses! But I will try my best to keep it simple, clean, and wonderful! :)

                                                                First off, my classes for this semester:
The slide in the movie theater!
I am currently taking 5 classes! YES 5!!!! All but one are in German. The first is the basic Deutschkurs 2 which is the German language course for intermediate-beginners. It is really simple and we do not actually do a lot of learning of the language. It is more of "do your homework in class while I watch you and then comment on it". It is excruciatingly repetitive and it makes it very difficult to make myself get out of bed (8am) and go to a 4 hour class.  But alas, I go to it and try to squeeze some information and learning in it.

       Another class is Wozu ein Filmkanon (Why is there a Film Canon). This class is so-so. It is also a 4 hour class but the first 2 hours are just sit and discuss the previous weeks film and go over the details as to the acting, camera angles, lighting, etc. It has been a long stretch but I am now beginning to be able to keep up with the listening of the ideas and discussions going around. The last 2 hours of the class are for watching a movie (in German of course). We're watching some pretty neat and good movies so far!


    The next class I take is Arc├Ąologie von Weser-Ems (Archaeology of the Weser-Ems). This class is really fun for me because I love Archaeology and learning about new areas. The Weser-Ems is a geographical area near and around Oldenburg and Bremen. The class offers a lot of insight into the history of Europe in particulars to this region. In fact, just last week I was able to go to the Archaeological offices here and see some of the current artifacts that they have found!



    The 4th class is Sociolinguistics. Technically it is a Masters course so I am not taking it for any credit but only going for fun. It is the only class that I have that is being taught in English. It is a very interesting class but I will spare you the details since the name of the class covers it all! The last class is Kunst und Migration (Art and Migration) This one is pretty simple as well in that it goes over the migration patterns of Germans through works of art and vise versa. I absolutely love this class because everyone speaks slow enough so that I can understand! Soon, I will be able to participate in the conversations! Cross your fingers!

Next portion of this post: MY BIRTHDAY!

As you all know I am now 22! Woot! And I had a wonderful party to celebrate. There were about 30+ people jammed into my tiny little flat and everyone was having a blast. There was tons of music, food, and booze to go around. Ashley and Rebecca made this delicious Kaluha Cake, my buddy Svenja made this really awesome cake (I forget the name) that was chocolate with coconut creme and bananas! It was so messy and good! Finally, my flatmate Katja made a Hazelnut Cake, it was sooo good and there were even leftovers for me to eat the next morning as a "hangover breakfast" (She also made me coffee the next day). Also I received TONS of gifts (and thanks to all who gave them to me!) We partied for a few hours in my flat before the *YIKES* polizei showed up and said we were being too loud! But said as long as we kept it down then there is no problem! WHEW! Go figure it would happen on MY birthday at MY party.... But alas, I am now (and my parties) are now considered LEGENDARY! Thats right, I've made it to legendary status! From there I cleaned up the flat (and thanks to those who helped) and went out to finish partying. But, however, I fell and hit my head somewhere along the way so I eventually went home because of the headache. BOO!

All of my presents! (Almost)

So that is my summary for the past few weeks (hehe, more to come later, I PROMISE) I hope you all enjoyed it and keep in touch!

Travel Tips:

1. If it is someones birthday and you have NO idea what to get them (or where), a sentimental card and a bottle of wine always works! (I like it at least).

2. Make your favorite foods from home OFTEN. I cannot tell you how much these little "food moments" made me feel so much better knowing that I have a home to go to in case anything goes bad, or someone to talk to when I am upset.

3. When planning big trips go to the travel agencies in the city or in the train stations/airports. They are the best at getting your fare tickets, accommodations, and they usually can get it to you at a cheap price. OR you can ask the people around you for what they use to book trips (Ryanair.com, Airbnb.com, couchsurfing.com, etc) 




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Classes, Norderney, Amsterdam Oh My!


Beautiful shot of Amsterdam from a boat.

   The past few weeks have been a bit on the hectic side. First with classes starting, my trip to Norderney (Emily briefed over it, but I will go into some details), and my trip to Amsterdam. I know I just let you know what is going on in this post right of the bat, so why read it? I’ll tell you, because I am going to explain what is going on with me, yes that right I am just that important. ;)
  My first three weeks have been amazing. The German university system is different from the States system. The seminars only meet once a week and there is really no homework! It is awesome, but very very strange since the professors have so little time to teach/ lecture us.  Two of my classes had waiting lists (they still let me attend as if I’m not on the waiting list) and that makes me very say. Luckily, I’ve been able to get into one of my classes. I’m still waiting on the other class. The professor lets me attend and participate so all is well for now. My other two classes are with the same professor. She is pretty awesome too.
    She is my German grammar and reading teacher. She speaks clear and if we really don’t understand what  is going on she explains slower, then slower, and finally will find out what word we are not understanding  and say it in quickly in English. I love her! She is strict and doesn’t take any crap, but still understands we are learning and sometimes we don’t understand everything. Not only do I enjoy my professor in these classes, but my classmates. I know over half of them from orientation, but the others have been here for a while.  I get to hear so many different accents and I realize I am not the only one who is learning, and possibly having troubles, German.
On the beach. Such a lovely day.
     I do get a break from my German classes twice a week though. One is my Dialectology and we are studying American dialects! I get to see what Germans think of our dialects and accents. I’m in this class with another American and the professor asks us for our opinion on the dialects. The class is in for a surprise from us. My other class is History of the English language. I love love love this class! We don’t learn too much about our language besides grammar. I can tell you that English has a huge and long history.  I can’t wait to learn more in this class. I am just really sad that the class only meets once a week and only for 90 minutes. This is a class that could meet 4 days a week and I would attend. The professor needs the extra time too. He is like my anthropology professor back home, that’s for you my anthro people.
Told ya I poked one. Also, isn't that a pretty shade of blue?
    Now on to the trip to Norderney! As Emily mentioned in the past post, the trip was postponed to the next day. Miss Emily didn’t go because she was very sick. =( I went and had a blast. I got to know a few more students better. I also got to ride on a boat! Emma, one of the internationals, found this funny because I even played the song to go with it. Once on the island we did a lot of walking. So much that I had to cave to my urges and buy an ice cream cone. The Spanish kids couldn’t believe I was eating ice cream because they thought it was cold. It was about 50, nothin’ big ya know.  After walking around and eating my ice cream we ended up on the beach. On the beach I got to see my first jellyfish. I kicked, poked, flipped, and took pictures of almost every single jelly fish I could see. Again, Emma laughed and yelled at me to stop kicking the bloody things.  It was such a blast. I hope to go back sometime, maybe with Emily.
Stretchin' after a long bus ride. ;)
    The weekend after the trip to Norderney I went to Amsterdam for the day. This trip was so much fun. I went with a bunch of international students, as always. We only went for the day, but that wasn’t enough. I want to go back for the weekend to see more. The city is simply amazing! So many bridges, canals, and people! I hate huge crowds, but I sucked it up for the chance to see so many amazing sights. Most of the girls went to the Ann Frank Museum, while Alex and I just walked around and explored a few things. When we all met up we found this nifty little pancake restaurant. I had some pretty epic pancakes. I think I told Alex that they were “life changing pancakes”. They were that awesome.
     As I said before I want to come back for longer than a day. There is just so much to do that one day doesn’t do it justice. I could go on for hours about Amsterdam, but I won’t. I might go into more detail when I go back.  I will stop here for now. Sorry for the late update and brief descriptions of what I’ve been up to. It has just been really busy and what not. I hope you enjoyed! Have a fun and safe weekend/week. Make good choices. ;)

Tante Ashley  (thanks to Rebecca for calling me this now)

Oh before I forget, my tips:
  
     Don’t over think what you want to say in your host language. I tend to over think what I want to say, don’t.  Learn from my mistakes. Except today I took my own advice! I ended up using slang without realizing it, because I just let it flow.

As much as home seems awesome take in the beauty that surrounds you. I love Michigan, but Oldenburg/Germany is just as awesome. I think I’m going to have to make room in my heart for another place. 

   Smile. Never forget this. It brightens up the darkest corners. I smile everyday even when I just want to crawl under a blanket and hide from the world. Just. Smile. 


Here are some photos I couldn't make fit into the text! Enjoy!!!
  
Even though I am tired I am still smilin'. Such a beautiful city.
Any day that isn't a full on down pour is a good day
These leaves are bigger than my face!
Another view from the boat in Amsterdam.
See I am a good student!
The beauty of fall on Wallstra├če, Wall stret, aka Bar street!