Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany


Tomorrow is Mantelsonntag- literally translated as “Jacket Sunday”. In Germany, all of the stores are closed on Sundays, but on this one, the stores will be open with special discounts on coats, winter clothing, and most clothing in general. I should be receiving my monthly stipend money any day now so needless to say, I’m pretty excited for tomorrow. In other news, this week has been great, probably the best so far (and here’s why):

The Weather: YES we are back into fall and momentarily taking a break from winter! The trees have changed to colors other than just green or a weird yellow, the temperature has been in the 50s sometimes even the 60s the past few days, and this weekend the market square is full of vendors. Since Halloween isn’t really celebrated here (and I’m really bummed about that) they tend to focus on All Saint’s Day (Nov 1). So there’s no school/work on Monday and the market this weekend is in celebration of that holiday.

Lacrosse: There’s a men’s team here in W├╝rzburg, but no women’s team. However, the guys have been really great in helping me trying to get a team started. Monday was student activities day at the university. Somehow our table ended up in a not-so-prime location: in the corner with all of the Wohngemeinschaften (living communities which are usually religiously affiliated or conservative). However, we still drew a good amount of people over including lots of girls! Each one of the guys likes to think he’s solely responsible for this but I beg to differ… Anyways after about 10 minutes I finally had my ‘student activities day’ speech down which went something like this: Hi are you interested in lacrosse? Have you heard of it? Well it’s a sport and we don’t exactly have a women’s team here but I’m trying to start one. Here’s a list of our practice times/places and you should come try it out! No pressure, we have extra equipment for you to borrow’ and the other person was usually somewhat interested, somewhat confused. But, come practice Wednesday I had 5 other girls there! I think my first day as a coach went well, but I definitely have some vocab to work on. I’m trying to get established here as the official coach of the team, which is a little intimidating, but hopefully works out. Two of the girls are making flyers to hang around the university and once we can field at least a full team (12 people) then the real work begins. Wish me luck!

Market stall

Apartment: I finally got one! I don’t get to move in until February, but that’s fine by me. I’m renting the room of a girl who’s going to study abroad in Denmark next semester, and she’s leaving me her bed, dresser, tv, and dvd collection (yesss)

Friends: With the university finally starting up, the British teaching assistants getting settled in town, and the lacrosse project, it’s much easier to meet people/hang out. There are two British teaching assistants in my town; I’ve only met one so far but he’s really nice and we’ve hung out a few times. At student activities day I met a Canadian girl, and we actually went out to lunch Friday at this amazing Indian restaurant with a mutual friend of ours. The lunch buffet, complete with the best curry and vegetables I’ve had, was 7 Euros.

Travel! On Tuesday I leave for Cairo to see one of my roommates from BC for 5 days and I couldn’t be more excited! Expect a really exciting update (and great pictures) after I get back

In other news… I applied too late to receive an absentee ballot for the elections Tuesday, but everyone else should go vote! I’m actually kinda glad I get to sit this one out. The campaigns for governor of Illinois have been (unsurprisingly) dirty and perfect examples of why I think a two-party system doesn’t offer enough choices. So, fellow Illini, choose who you deem the lesser of two evils and hopefully things will start to look up.

Teaching is going pretty well at school, and we’re oh-so-slowly nearing the units on North America. We’ve just finished with Australia in the 8th grade and did a few days on the Rabbit Proof Fence (a film I actually had to watch for one of my sociology classes), and I’ve had some really interesting discussions with my students regarding fair trade and boarding school. I’m trying not to get frustrated when students say they wouldn’t pay more for items, even if the money went directly to the workers, or other things I may disagree with, and so far I’m succeeding. What I found really interesting, was the complaint from the majority of my students that they find their class sizes too large. Ideally, they think it should be somewhere around 15 students. They would like to talk more in class, not just read, and are envious of close student-teacher relationships, as seen in the article. They were amazed at the fact that we could email our teachers in high school for help, weren’t afraid to go talk to them, or even had the chance to get to know them better through co-curricular opportunities. I definitely took those things for granted, and I know as a high schooler, I wasn’t too concerned about things like that- I thought only parents worried about that stuff. (yes my dad was the one asking all of the questions on college tours about things no one seemed to care about- libraries, class size, etc). Turns out I was pretty lucky with the high school teachers I had after all.


October 30, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment