Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

January in a nutshell

So I realize that in using other people to write for my blog I’ve grown increasingly lazy and haven’t updated in a while. This will just be a short post since I’m off on an overnight class field trip to Weimar tomorrow, followed by a weekend in England.

Christmas break was obviously great, and after that I went to stay with a friend of mine from the lacrosse team for a few days. It was really nice to be in a home and we made the most of the rainy weather by installing her family’s new tv and watching lots of movies. Since getting back to school I’ve done a bit more teaching, some on the American school system but the big topic has been the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords from Arizona. In the older grades we’ve read some articles on the event which led to discussions about gun control laws in the US. Here in Germany it’s pretty simple: hand guns are illegal. In fact, the only guns allowed are for hunting and even then there’s a debate going on regarding whether the guns need to be kept at a shooting range instead of locked up in the home. It’s been interesting to criticize and defend my own culture from the outside, especially when required to explain the history behind the need for the 2nd amendment (had to look that one up). Outside of the classroom, I went with a few teachers from the English department to see the University theater group put on a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”. I’ve never read the play by Oscar Wilde, but really enjoyed the show and thought the actors did a great job, especially as English wasn’t anyone’s native language.

Aside from school, I finally moved into my new apartment! It’s beyond wonderful (especially in comparison to my prior living arrangements). My room came fully furnished as I’m only a sub-letter, and my roommate is super nice. Not to mention that she’s German which requires me to practice my German even more. Now that I’ve got a fully functional kitchen my goal is to learn how to cook, but don’t cross your fingers.

Last weekend I went to Heidelberg with my friend Nadiya who, as you loyal readers surely remember, is on a Fulbright up in Kiel.

view of Heidelberg from the castle

There was the Fulbright “winter ball” which in my opinion, was a little too expensive for an average dinner. But we did meet a really nice couple who sat at our table for dinner and had actually met at the Fulbright winter ball six years earlier (they were both German. The Fulbright commission also provides scholarships for those from other countries to come to the US either to study, teach, or act as a teaching assistant in their native language).

Nadiya and I took advantage of our time in Heidelberg (where Nadiya studied abroad during her time at BC) and I got a full city tour, complete with walking up to the Schloss (castle) and over the oldest bridge in Germany.

 

To end, I want to thank everyone who’s been asking about Jessie in Cairo and say that she’s safely back in the US now. Before she left she did partake in a few of the protests, get some great pictures, and get interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN:

Let’s hope the country continues to listen to what the people want and support them as they demand change.

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February 8, 2011 - Posted by | Germany | , , , , ,

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