Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

Back to school to prove to Dad I’m not a fool

And so ends my first full week teaching at school. Phew. It wasn’t bad at all and the kids are great. I’m a huge hit with the 10th grade girls who begged to get out of class to talk to me. I felt like a celebrity. Most of the teachers have me taking small groups out of the room to work on English conversational skills, but others have me working on grammar and lessons in class. The 8th graders are learning about Australia so I’m pretty useless there, but I have to come up with a lesson regarding the Pope’s latest visit to Britain for Wednesday so that should be challenging, to say the least.

I’m in 12 different classes per week, ranging anywhere from 6th to 13th grade. The German school system is really different than ours, and I’m at a Gymnasium, which most resembles a typical American high school. Except they end every day by 1pm. And they don’t have nearly as many clubs or sports teams as we do- it’s almost as if they have more time to just hang out and be kids. It’s kind of nice. It turns out that my school isn’t just a music school, but also a language school (fear #1 put to rest) and most of the kids live in the town or nearby so very few students board (fear #2 gone too). So Germany is trying to convert its education system more to an American one (distinguish between Bachelors/Masters and so on), so they’re making 12th grade the last year in high school, instead of 13th. But it’s a transition process so this year both the 12th and 13th grades will be taking their “abitur”, the exam they must pass to graduate. The 13th grade will take it in February so they have the option to enroll at a university for the 2nd semester (which starts in April) so the universities won’t be overflowing with recent graduates next fall.

So I think at this point I’ve pretty much seen all of the major sights here in Würzburg. I took a tour of the Marienberg fortress last weekend- it’s 100m up a hill, the highest point in the city, and therefore has a really great view. And I swear the weather is perfect every time I bring my camera out to take pictures but it’s not like this all the time. The fortress was originally built by Celtic people when they were in the area and was then rebuilt by the German Prince-Bishops who lived their for safety from the Würzburg people. The people wanted to get rid of him and only pay taxes to the emperor (long complicated history) but it all worked out in the end. The fortress I believe is the largest in Europe and was finished being restored in the 1990s after it was nearly destroyed in the bombings at the end of WWII. (for the history buffs, a little bit more info:

View of Würzburg from the Fortress

So I think the only thing I have left to do then is go on a tour of the vineyards (that shouldnt be too difficult to do) and still find an apartment. I thought I was going to get one, I even had an interview, but the girl was only leaving for 6 months and I need something for longer.

Inside the first quad of the fortress

I tried to get a picture in front of the city (I found some British tourists) but it wasnt a point and shoot camera so I came out completely dark. In other news I tried to find a ‘sprachpartner’- someone who speaks German and wants to better their English, so we met up for drinks last night and he definitely thought it was a date. And had no respect for any personal space boundaries. So that was interesting. But my friend Nadiya from BC is coming here tomorrow and then we’re off to Oktoberfest on Saturday!!

gardens, vineyard, and part of the town

PS mom- Ive decided youll want someone to get married at the Fortress. It has all of the qualities of your other 3 wedding destinations:

1. Napa Valley- there’s obviously wine here

2. Mackinac Island Grand Hotel- it’s a fortress

3. Botanic Gardens- hellooooo gardens

And a great backdrop for pictures.

PPS if you click on the pictures, they’ll load in their original full size (which is way bigger and better)

PPPS I added a link to my friend Pat’s blog on the side. He went to BC and is doing a Fulbright in Russia this year


September 23, 2010 - Posted by | Germany | , , , , , ,


  1. hellloo place cala is getting married! thanks for finding it. though I wanted to get married at the baha’i temple and mom vetoed that real quick because “it’s not a catholic church” (its a spritual place of worship, close enough) so unless the pope wants to come I don’t know if this will cut it. sorry you had a creepy date. so glad your best friends are 16 year olds, at least you have some part of home with you (aka moe).

    Comment by Cala | September 26, 2010

  2. hey! i’ve been waiting to see how your teaching is going. sounds like you having a blast. i am glad you have such great kids!! and thanks for the publicity. as soon as I learn how to do links, i’ll link mine to yours, too. My germans friends left town, so I have no-one left to drink beer with. Funny story about the sprachpartner!! haha

    Talk to you soon!!

    Comment by pjpassarelli | September 28, 2010

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