Sunday, September 19

Letter to Myself

I just got back from Proclamation night, a tradition here at UR for freshmen and senior women. The freshmen wear white dresses and senior their black graduation robes. We take class pictures, hear a couple speaches and the freshment girls sign the honor code. Freshmen also get to write a letter to themselves and seniors get back the letters they wrote freshmen year. The following is the letter I got back tonight:

Dear Self 2004,
Where do I begin? I feel so overwhelmed. It's only been two weeks but it feels as though high school was a million years ago. I miss it so much. I miss Alexis and Chelsea. I miss my teachers, classes and the feeling of accomplishment I had my senior year. I hope that I will have the same feeling my senior year at UR. I hope that I will have friends that I can't imagine life without, but I also hope that my high school friendships will still be a part of my life. I hope that I have professors that I love and activities that I have become involved in and taken leadership positions in.
Already my first two weeks here I am begining to imagin the next four years. I think that Jackie and I will grow closer as friends. I hope that I am also still close with the "B-Basement-Babes". I've had fun at a couple apartment parties, but I realize taht "girls night" in the dorm or going to a movie with a few friends is often mor memorable than parties. I've enjoyed talking to Grant since I've been here. I'm sure that if nothing else [ :) ] we will still be friends in three years.
I'm begining to not feel so lonely, but I still miss the people who know me inside and out.
My classes have been ok so far, but I think they will become more stimulating as the years go on.

A few memories I've made:
-Talking with Jackie on the Westhampton lawn
-Talking with Grant on the Bridge
-Going to Legally Blond and Wallmart with Grant and Jackie
-Kereoke, sining American Pie with Jackie and Kelly
- IMing accross the desk with Margret

-Make the dean's list
-take a leadership posistion
-Be in a play
-Kiss a boy!!!
-Start something/ organize something
-Be dedicated in Synchro and go to Nationals
-Spend a Semester in Germany
-Keep in touch with high school friends and teachers
-Have an LLC reunion
-Stay close to my parents

-Bob will be going to school in California
-Scott will be nearly as tall as I am
-Aaron and Chelsea will be engaged
-Jessica will be married

I see ahead of me a blank canvas and it scared me and excites me. I only hope that I can look back and smile at funny memories and feel that sense of accomplishment. Enjoy your senior year!

Best of Luck. I love you no matter what you have and haven't done!

Anne, 2001

Wednesday, September 15

I wrote a blog post Monday night but Blogger decided it wasn't good enough and erased it all instead. Oh well, it probably wasn't very entertaining, you'll just have to ask me if you want to hear about last weekend... I'm pretty sure there are some parts that I don't really want to be remembered forever in cyberspace history anyway.

Let me tell you how much I detest application essays. they are such a load of BS and everyone who's ever written one knows it. So why do organizations continue to require them? I'm currently struggling to write an application essay for the fullbright teaching assistant program in Germany. I really just want to live in Europe again for a year before deciding on any more serious plans for my life. Is that such a bad thing? Why do I have to come up with sappy crap about cultural understanding for this essay? Of course I would be excited abut getting to teach high school english. I love english! I would also be more than happy to keep taking universtiy courses at a Cerman school and researching in my spare time. I'm a dork, I love researching stuff... especailly when I'm not required to actually have anything to show for it at the end. and and and... I just want to go to Germany! is that enough? can I just write that? No... of course not, I need and eleoquently worded essays that will bring tears to the eyes of the fulbright commity and convince them that sending me to Germany for a year will without a doubt to to world peace. Gag me.

oh well. here goes.

Wednesday, September 8

Today I went grocery shopping because... it was a crappy day and looking at food makes me happy... and they had my favorite cereal on sale! yay! It's Kashi Go Lean! cereal and I'm convinced that it was my key to weight loss success last year and will therefore be key in my re-weightloss success this fall. right. so we'll see how that goes.

So about the crappyness... what's left of Francis is currently chilling out over UR. actually it feels more like it's sweating it out over UR. It's HOT and HUMID and it keeps raining and raining and I feel like everything is damp and it's gross.

And that's why God made air conditioning. Thanks God for making my apartment cool and comfortable!

My day perked up after the grocery shopping. and a long nap on the couch.
I went to a little coffe thing for people returning from abroad that was fun. It was kind nice to be in a group with a bunch of other people just getting back and to talk about culture shock and hear stories and stuff. There are things that are frustrating about coming back. And it's hard when talking about it makes you sound stuck up about it, like , oh, I was ABROAD, you weren't... you wouldn't get it... It was neat to hear some stories too, there were people all over, tialand, Korea, Africa, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, Denmark, Austrailia, Italy... so there were lots of different experiences. I want to meet more of the international students here. Especially now that I've been one and I know how excited I was every time a German student even aknowledged my exsistance. But it's not like they walk around wearing big signs... so I guess I should go out of my way to find them and meet people. I can do that.

I also went to the weekly APO meeting. I volunteered our apartment to be part of a progressive dinner for Rushees next week. I asked my apartment mates and they said, OK, as long as we have the dessert part and we get to eat too :) I love my apartment!!!!

Tuesday, September 7

Hmm, ingenious title on that last blog, huh? right. Lets see, the rest of my weekend was... uneventful. Yestuday was way too full of stuff. I started working again as a tutor for student athletes. Yesturday I helped a soccer player write an outline for her first Core paper.... oh the memories. Today I had my fun classes and we did a critique of our first Photoshop project. The prof was really harsh! I gotta say, i wasn't expecting this to be a serious art class, but he was really grilling a few people on how what they did was personal expression and so on, it was a little nerve wracking. he didn't have to much to say about mine, but I was at the end. I hope he isn't a harsh grader!

I went to open swim today and I'm wiped out, I have a lot of work to do on my synchro skills... a year away from it really makes a difference even though I was working out, it's a whole different set of skills you need for synchro. But I'm excited. I like having a physical challenge. It's good for releasing stress and having something to focus on other than school. When I get in the pool I tend to lose track of time and I could swim laps or work on synchro figures until my muscles gave out. Except that open swim is only an hour long... probably for the best.

ok, that's all. Nothing exciting, I'm just putting off going to work on my german paper again. yes, I'm still not done, shhh. I like using the language lab because it has german settings for the keyboard and spell check, but it flooded last week and it's still a little musty smelling. ick.

What's left of Francis should be getting here soon which means more rain. fun fun. You all probably have seen satalite pictures of the storm and seen footage of the winds and all the damage. It's absolutely unbelievable. Apparently there's another headed toward the carribean.

I'm moving back to the midwest, nestled safely in the middle of the continent....

Sunday, September 5

Stuff I'm thinking right now

It's 12:30am or so, I just got back to my room and my roomate is already asleep. I'm about to go to sleep myself so that I can wake up and head back to the library to waste another day of my life staring at my german paper.... arg. I actually got some done today at least, I just need to finish it. I have too much other stuff I should be working on. I don't even really mind that I'm going to bed before 1am on a saturday or that I'll be working tomorrow. What else would I be doing? I guess I'm old, or have just come to peace with my inner dorkyness, but I don't care. I don't want to go to loud crowded apartment parties and drink gross beer or dance with cheesey frat boys. gross. I'm so over it, the whole thing. I like living in an apartment. I like being an adult. I eat broccoli and spinach even though no one tells me to! I haven't even turned 21 yet and I already don't think drinking is exciting anymore. Maybe being going to bars or clubs would be a little more fun. I enjoyed bars in Germany. Going "out" is just so silly on campus. there's always somehow pressure when you're out to do something cool... something you can tell people about the next day. How was your night, did you go out? What apartments did you go to? Was so and so. there? Was it a good party? blah. sick of it.

Eric came up last night. I made Fajitas and we saw the Borne Supremacy, and lots of it takes place in Berlin. I think Eric got a little sick of me wispering, "We were there!" during the movie :-P Anyway, it was a really nice night, I miss having him around. And he gave me pretty earings :)

I talked to one of my german professors about my senior thesis paper. I don't have to write it until next semester, but since the topic will probably require reading a few novels I want to get started. I'm writing about a literary theory proposed by Delueze and Guittari in thier book, "Kafka, toward a minor literature". I'm writing about how they drew it from Kafka's experience as a Jew in Prague writing in german and then I'm going to see what happens when i apply it to Native american writers in the US. It's kinda heavy on the theory, and my German prof wants me to do more with german literature, like write about other minority writers in Germany or something, but I don't want to. I'm interested in the theory and working it out with Native writers. I like literary theory. Because I am cool.

Anyway, I need to get started on that soon... as soon as I finish the paper for germany. And then write my Fulbright application essays. I'm applying for a Fulbright teaching grant by the way. It's for a position as an assistant high school english teacher in germany. It's not as competetive as a research grant, there are 80 spots and last year 160 people applied. So, I need to write a compelling essay and hopefully I'll get it. I would love love to go back to Europe for a year. i would also love to have the oportunity to teach high school for a year before I decide if I want to get a teaching lisence and masters degree in education back here in the states.

See, so many things to think about, how can people be out getting drunk? So that they don't have to think about it I suppose...

My answer to that is... go to bed! I find sleep to be more effective than drinking.


Wednesday, September 1

I am woman hear me ROAR

I'm feeling a little fiesty today. Like I just really want to yell at everone about everything. Not sure why. Today in my psych class we were talking about a text we read about the narrative self and there was a part that addressed women and minorities and how some psychologists feel that we don't know how to asses their narritives because they have been largely ignored by western psychology. And this guy in my class was like, when was this written? isn't this kind of outdated? and I really wanted to jump up and yell at him. No it's NOT outdated!!! So maybe psychologists and intelectuals in lots of other fields have begun to pay more attention to women and minorities in the last twenty years or so, but we're talking about twenty years out of the last couple thousand years here. All of the narrative theories we read about were based on western models and created by men. It kills me when people think that racisim and sexism don't exist anymore and that anyone who says it does is just being whiny or something. As though we live in a perfect world. right. You chovenist PIG!!! ok, so I didn't say that last part, and was generally passive about it, and I don't think that he's a pig, just misguided. And I'm not usually a big defender of womens rights or anything, I feel like I'm lucky to be living now and not 50 years ago and I think that at some point it does become just whining, but I also wouldn't sit and let someone say that we live in a society of perfect eaquality. That class is so boring, no one argues anything! I know they are psych majors and used to being lectured to or something, but come on people, think a little, question, argue! So yeah. I'm not usually quite that ardent about things, but if you get me going....

I just got back from the library where I picked out a monolog to read in my acting class tomorrow and I'm kind of pumped because I found one from the play I saw in London, Oleana, the one I saw with Julia Styles. In the monologues she's completely bashing the professor for being an elitest, for conforming to the sexist and classist norms of society. I went through lots of other ones before I stumbled on this one and all of them I was like, oh, I can't do that, you have to cry, or you have to yell, or you have to be sad, or happy, or angry. Because I'm not really the acting type... so I was trying to avoid over the top emotions that I don't even often show in real life. BUT I'm doing this one even though it involves passionate yelling and anger and stuff because, a) I really like it, and b) I want to be able to yell at people like that. I want to be able to raise my voice and speak up strongly and passionately for what I believe to be right or wrong. I'm generally laid back and open minded, and I think those are good qualities, but sometimes I'm just wishy washy, and that is not a good quality at all. So my goal for acting class is to learn how to yell at people. :-P

Monday, August 30

My pictures are online! Not organized or anything, but there they are if you feel like sorting through.

Off to class, Ciao!

Sunday, August 29

Hi. I'm trying to start writing my first assignement for my "writing creative nonfiction" class, but I'm feeling a bit too distracted so I though I'd write here first. My classes are all really interesting. The writing one should be fun, I haven't been in a creative writing class since high school, but on our first day of class we did the same excersize from the same book by Anne Lammont that we did on my first day of creative writing in high school with Mr. Mahn. I miss that man. I'm in a basics of acting class too, which also reminds me of course of Mr. Mahn since he was the director of the most of the musicals I worked on lighting for. Acting will be fun, I figured it can't hurt me to force myself to get up and talk in front of people more often...

My other "senior slacker" class is digital artmaking. We get to use the coolest brand new computer lab with fancy new Mac computers and a "Smart board" which the prof can project his computer onto and then actually use the board as a giant touch screen to move the mouse and operate the computer. It's so cool! It should be usefull to learn more about photoshop and some other programs, plus digital artmaking is a fairly controversial new genre of the art world that I'd like to learn a bit more about. That and Dad's been trying to get me to take a computer science class forever, and this is as close as I would get :-P it's interesting though, there are a lot of scientist and mathmetitions turned digital artist, even my dad has gotten into it wether he thought of it that way or not (see link to snow sculptures to the left)

This weekend hasn't been too thrilling. Eric was going to come on friday but couldn't because his car is in the shop :-( so I was kinda bummed. I watched movies with my apartmentmates. Elisabeth has been on duty just about every night since we've gotten here. So I get to hear about all the apartment parties... somehow I don't feel like I'm missing out. Last night Jackie and I watched a german movie. Thank goodness for friends who take german so that I don't forget it completely! I still have to finish my paper! ahh!

Still working on what to write in here... I don't exactly have all the time in the world these days. It's taking a bit of adjusting to get used to the packed schedule I always have here, but shurely I can still think creative thoughts and come up with things to write. I don't know, I just like writing this and don't particularily care how good it is. There could very well be novel material in here someday, so I'm just going ot keep writing whatever comes to the top of my head, drivel though it may be.

Thursday, August 26

Gruess aus Richmond

Well hello there, long time no see! yes I am alive and well in Richmond, VA. I manage to survive the twenty some hour car trip from MN, but let me tell you about culture shock... come back from a semester traveling by train around Europe and then drive your car halfway accross the US. Gargantuan rest stops... fast food... toll roads... truckers... oiy. I did stop in Chicago and had a lovely evening with Karen eating Chicago style stuffed pizza and walking down to sit my lake Michigan. Chicago is cool, I could live there. Then I drove though Indiana, Ohio, Pensilvania through big mountains- the first rest stop in Pennsylvania had a Sheetz! then I drove down and down and when I saw the first sign for a Waffle house I bounced around in my car a bit and said, yay! I'm in the south! I probably sang a little song about it too... I'd been alone for quite a while at that point. Then I got onto UR campus and there were all these little people walking around talking and yelling and wearing trashy tube tops and I was like, what on earth is going on? Oh yeah.... college...saturday night...freshmen. Whoa. Side note: in one of my classes a boy was wearing yellow shorts with little blue fish on them and a blue polo shirt... oh my good Lord... I go to school here? Anyway. So thankfully my roomate was home to let me in and I drifted peacefully off to sleep as soon as I could get my sheets on the bed. After a mad all day shopping spree at Wallmart and Target I have managed to aquire the essentials for my appartment and am somewhat settled in. I LOVE living in an apartment!

Right now I'm going to go for a run, but I will write more later, about... something. I'm not sure what the future of the blog holds, I haven't decided. Now that it isn't so much going to be a log of my travels I don't know what to write and it would be silly to write poinless drivel about my day every day. So we'll see. I'll try to come up with more witty oberservations or or stimulating academic discourse, or.... something.
Pictures are coming! really and truly.

Wednesday, August 18

Life in the fast lane

Ahh! My e-mail account is filling up with school related stuff. A meeting for my tutor job, a meeting for study abroad, a meeting for synchro... Do I have to go back? Of, course, yes, I do, and I want to. there's certainly no need to sit around here, it's too easy to slip into my bad unproductive habits at home... and I don't ever want to repeat last winter! Never again. So... it's time to get moving, get packing, get driving, and get back to the fast track- the american way. Time to finish some papers and write some new ones, to show the world, or at least the academic world what I can do. To get back in shape, stop eating crap, and take off this recently aquired vacation weight. and to get swimming! yay synchro! Time to help plan a lovely prom for the senior citizens of the Richmond area. To catch up with old friends, and my boyfriend! It's going to be a good year.

I learned a lot this semester. There were some bad days, I didn't always feel particularily confident, I didn't always want to get up and go out and face a different world of mean germans and strange surroundings, but I managed. I did it, I made friends, I took classes, I traveled, I had fun. There are some things I wish I had done differntly or changed my attitude about, but after living there, in a place I didn't know, living at UR should be a breeze. I'm a pro at Richmond college life! I know exacly what I'm doing and the best way to do it. I should be able to accomplish anything I want there. I know how to manage my time and prioritize. I can handle being busy as long as I feel in control. I am in control of my life! I CAN DO IT!

My brother Bob left for school this morning at University of Southern California. About as far away from me as he could possilbly get! He's going to love it though I'm sure, freshman year was so exciting and a little scary. But he's definitely got the whole typical freshman know it all attitude. Hopefully proffs and upperclassmen will knock that out of him pretty quick. I never had confidence like that, but I'm glad that he does. I still have to write motivational speaches to myself in my journal :-P

Monday, August 16

hello and goodbye

Here I am! American, land of the free, home of the brave. Suburbs, big cars, gigantic grocerie stores. There are so many weird things... I drove my car all over running errands today, it's all so spread out and it felt so strange to be alone in my little car running around. So...quite and solitary. No wonder americans are so polite and friendly to strangers, we're all just craving human contact! When you are crammed on a train with a hundred other germans everyday there's no need to chat, you're always surrounded by people. Even on a bike, it's not so closed off. I just couldn't get over being alone in my car driving accross town, it seemed like a waste, like I should try to pick up a few other people going my way. And yet, it was so convinient! As is everything here. I could go buy groceries RIGHT NOW if I wanted to. It's open! But yeah. America.

I just had a nice little gathering with my friends. Everyone that still lives in the area at least. It was nice. Alexis is leaving for Venezuela in the morning! :-( I got to see her for like... a couple hours. boo. But I know that she is going to have such a great experience there, I'm a little jelouse I want to do it all again, to be just setting off instead of just getting back.

But it's nice to be back of course. Yesturday my family went up to my grandparents farm. Did a little fishing, a little BBQing, saw my little cousins and aunts and uncles. It was nice. My family is great.

My grandpa asked me what I was going to do after I finish college this year, "so, are you going to be a nurse or a teacher? You'd make a good nurse I think." Great. Well, it's good that I have so many options to ocupy my time until I can snag myself a husband to take care of me....

I want to go back to Europe! I really do. I've already been looking at things I could do next year, there's a fullbright grant to help teach english in germany.

Oh! Spain!! Malaga was wonderful, it was just about as perfect as I could have imagined. i sat on the beach, saw a bit of the town and met some nice at the hostel I was at. There are so many cool people just traveling around Europe. One semester is certainly not long enough.

Ok, I need to sleep, I'm still a bit off. that and I wake up at like 6 in the morning having strange dreams where I think that I need to get up and go somewhere, like to another country, like I haven't gotten home yet. And then I realize that I am in fact here and have a few days before a leave again. And just having to go to richmond feels like a relief because it's not accross any oceans.

Sunday, August 8

Aufwiedersehen Münster!

One last german lesson, "Aufwiedersehen" is actually made up of three words, "Auf -wieder-Sehen" which is something like, "on again seeing", so basically its until we meet again, and not just goodbye.

So, last day in Münster... I can't believe it's over. one minute I'm so glad and the next I'm so sad. I just finally feel like my German is getting better... and I finally know my way around the city and the university and the train system and everything else and now I'm leaving! I can't be done, I haven't learned enough yet, I need more! I'm going to miss speaking german with people, it was nice just chatting in the kitchen in german. And meeting people just around and speaking german and hearing it everywhere. Or even breking into a bit of german when talking to Elena. No one will understand me now when I say a german word because I can't think of the right one in English, and that seems to be happening more and more often. But my german isn't good enough yet and now I'm afraid it will never get any better. sigh. I guess you never know, I could use it again. I'll only say Aufwiedersehen to Germany, I may see her again yet.

Fortunately I can't let my german go quite yet when I get to the US because I still have half a german paper about Kafka to write. Weee. That will be fun to do once I'm at UR and taking other classes as well. Oh well, it won't take too much longer.

This weekend I went with Elena to Dusseldorf, we had fun doing some shopping and walking around the city. Saturday I dropped her off at the airport :-( now I'm all alone! But it's ok, Frau Henzel is picking me up to take me to the Bahnhof in the morning and then I'm off to Spain! And I'm thouroughly set and determined to have a wonderful few days by myself seeing a new city and enjoying the beach. and not having anything to worry about! I need to destress before I can handle going back to Richmond!

So. My room is just about all packed up, my whole life from the last 5 months packed up into two very heavy suitcases. I think I just have time for a nice run and to try to turn whatever food is left in my cubbord into dinner. Then I have a few hours to sleep before I get up super early and begin my travels once again. My next post will probably be from MN... or possibly VA, at any rate, it will be from the good old USofA.

Tuesday, August 3

Worries of an Exchange Student

hello lovely people. How are you? I'm doing ok, plugging along. This week is kinda tough. I don't do very well when faced with so much change in such a short time period. I've gotten some outlining/writting done on my paper, but I'm just so not in the mood! everyday I have to say goodbye to someone else. I didn't know there were so many people I'd come to care about, but yesturday was really kinda sad. Elena and I went over to Frau Hensels one last time and ate dinner in her garden while we watched the night flowers open. It was nice, she's so sweet! I don't want to say goodbye! at least I know I'll keep in touch and hopefully she'll make it over to the US sometime again soon. Then I said goodbye to Ko who lives on my floor. He's from Japan but gre up until age 10 in Texas. And he's just about the nicest boy I've ever met. He gave me is web site address, it's great and in three languages! You can see some nice pictures of Münster in his "life in Germany" section. Someday I too will have such an organized site with pictures on it... someday.

I'm really feeling kind of stressed and nervouse about going back... I can't explain why exactly. Part of it is just that I have so little time at home and have to rush off to Richmond. But it's also just being back... did things change? did I change? Did other people change? What is senior year going to be like? can I do everything I need to this year? How am I going to feel about UR? about the US? about what I want to do with my life? It doesn't make sense I know, I'm going to be the same person three weeks from now that I am today, and yet somehow I'm afraid I won't be. I'm going to be in such a completely different environment with whole new things to do and think about.

But right now I just need to get through all the rest that I need to think about here. It doesn't help that I can't really completely finish things here, I have to e-mail my paper to my professor from the US, a couple profs have to send me my credits through the mail so I won't get them until september or something. But at least I can mostly finish writing the paper and of course I have to finish packing, there's no way of getting around that. sigh.

Focus Anne! Focus!

Sunday, August 1

I want to go home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 31


I got stung by a bee today! While out jogging with Elena today one got me right on my side on my rib cage. it hurts! boo hoo! Its somewhat ironic, just yesturday a friend here was telling me that he was out the other day with friends and two of them got stung within a matter of hours and that he had read a newspaper article that there is a huge overpopulation of bees in Münster this year and as a result they are extra aggressive. But I was like, Nah... there aren't so many, they haven't bothered me! So I guess I got what was comming to me for doubting the ferocity of those little guys. there are really a lot, probably ten or so come in and out of my room each day, I just have been ignoring them or gently shooing them out the window. Anyway, I think I'll survive, it didn't even leave the stinger in there and it doesn't seem too swollen yet, it just hurts! And I didn't have any ice so I had to sit around with a frozen piece of fish on my side for a while. hopefully I don't smell too bad....

Other than bee stings things in Münster are generally comming to a close. I hate all this saying goodbye to people, especially the people that I won't ever see again and won't keep in touch with. Its just so awkward to be like... well, have a safe trip home... and yeah, have a nice life. Some people I will keep in touch with I hope. Elena of course since she'll be at William and Mary and we already have plans to go to VA beach together. And other people I will e-mail with and hopefully encounter in furtur travels, its always good to know people all over the world! Tonight is our last floor party, most people leave this weekend so it will be pretty quiet and empty next week. But thats good for writing papers, plus, more refridgerator space for me! Later today Elena and I are going on a bike ride and over to dinner with Herr Kushneros, the head of the German Americn society. He's a somewhat creepy old man... but I think we'll get through it. Tomorrow I MUST begin the actual writing phase of my paper. The researching and thinking through prosses cannot go on any longer, its time to get it over with so that I have time to pack and go to Dusseldorf to next weekend with Elena before she flys out of the airport there. Its all so short and yet so long. Aah!

Ok... outlining time. ciao.

Watch out for bees!!!!!

Thursday, July 29

S-M-R-T, I mean... S-M-A-R-T

I'm so wound up right now!  Yesturday I finished everything I needed to do to get my participation credit in one of my seminars... and then the last session was cancelled!  I e-mailed it all to her so it doesn't matter anyway, and it was certainly nice to have the afternoon off.  The weather is great this week!  Maybe I can even sit in the sun a bit so that my pasty white skin doesn't burn and die when I get to spain.  Anyway... I also have gotten my two Scheins for my lecture classes!  woo!  (A schein in the little piece of paper they give you to get credit for the class).  And I will probably be able to get Scheins for two of my seminars before I leave.  So all that's left to be done is writing my Kafka paper, which I will try to finish here but might end up e-mailing her from the US so I won't be getting that Schein for a little bit. 

OH man, I went and talked to the prof yesturday about my paper topic and there were about 15 people waiting outside her door so she brought in all three from the Kafka class at once and the two other girls were SO DUMB!  seriously, they were also going to ask about their paper topic but obviously hadn't thought about it too much.  The first girl's ingenious idea was... umm, something about the Metaphorphesis... maybe, like, if it's really a metamorphosis, because, like, he's kinda like a bug before hand, and, yeah....    So clearly the professor shot that down in two seconds, and then the other girl had talked to her once already and had proposed that SAME IDEA the last time and been shot down, so now she had some vague idea that was exactly something that we did in class, also about The Metamorphosis.  Seriously, I know they all had to read that in high school... would it kill them to maybe read something else Kafka wrote?  Or think about a topic for more than five minutes?  They have a whole freaking two months to write this paper.  Of course, at least one of the girls told me she is going to Italy with her boyfriend next week and not planning on doing anythingn till she gets back.  Good thing the german school system provides to much time for independant research.  Needless to say, when I proposed my well thought out and researched topic that has nothing to do with the Metamorphosis she was like, That sounds great!  even though I was nervous to talk to her in german and I'm sure wasn't very articulate.  I realize now how extreamly low her standards are... she seems to think that because my german isn't great that I can't think or something.  So I'm pretty sure that even if my grammar is not perfect that I can still impress her will a well thought out and interesting paper.  I CAN DO IT!!!

I have to give a presentation in two hours!! eek!  good thing I'm so pumped up and confident.  Its not a really big deal, its a group presentation about the reading for today, and today is the last class so I'm pretty sure no one is going to pay much attention.  But I know I'm going to horribly mispronounce things and sound dumb.  But thats ok.... they're all dumb too.  :-P  And after this class... no more classes!  YAY!  it feels weird to be finishing a semester right now... its hard to enjoy it when there is so much to think about.. getting back to the US and then getting to UR and everything.  Plus school starts again for me in, what, like three weeks or something.  Oh well, I'm still excited to go home, its just a lot to deal with all at once, but you know what?  I CAN DO IT!!!!

Sunday, July 25

I love the Java Jive and it loves me....

Hello beautiful people.  I don't atually have much to write about today but I had to take a break from my studies so here I am!  Today I found a great little coffe shop in Münster.  I was in search of somewhere other that my room to study in and no University buildings are open on Sundays so I decided to check out this place that Heike told me about and it was indeed quite nice.  I got lots of work done and sat there for a long long time.  I should possibly not go there too often as I ended up drinking TWO lattes and eating a cookie.... but it was yummy!  and they actually played good music!  Which can be tough to find here in germany.  They even played a Guster song, and Jack Johnson AND Jason Mraz, three of my favorites that are rarely heard in germany.  Friday night I went to Grand Cafe with Elena for a sort of goodbye gathering for some of the other internationals, mostly the Brits.  I was reminded once again of the really really horrible music they play in clubs here.  The Jackson Five, Grease, Tom Jones, the Jitterbug... the list goes on.  Anyway, it was fun enough though I don't regret not having gone there more this semester even though the British students went every weekend.  We had much more fun last night having a little BBQ by the lake with Heike and Silke, and we were right by a playground so we got to play and take cute pictures together :)  I can't believe they're both leaving next weekend!  Then Elena leaves the weekend after that and I leave for Spain.  Most everyone on my hall is leaving this weekend too, I feel bad for the one German girl, she's so sweet and seemed so sad that everyone is going and won't be back next year!  Sigh, what a short semester it has been.  But there's still a lot to do in the next two weeks and I gotta go get crackin' on my paper! 


Friday, July 23

Lust auf Urlaub?

I'm going to Spain!  Costa del Sol!   specifically the city of Malaga on the southern coast of spain.  I read up about it a little, sounds nice, hot and it has a beach :)  and I already found a great and super friendly youth hostel that said they can squeeze me in for a few nights for just around €20 a night!  woo hoo! 

I also finished one of my smaller assignments today!  woo hoo again!  that just leaves one more short paper and then the big Kafka one, and a whole two weeks to get it done and pack my room.  no sweat.  I'll save the sweating for the beach ;)


Thursday, July 22

Tropical day dreaming

Ok, so, tell me if I'm crazy but I think I might do something a little spontaneous... I got an e-mail today from Germanwings airline about a promotion they are having this weekend.  You can book a flight for some time in august to a suprise destination and the price is guarenteed to be between €40-€80 round trip.  The booking has to be made between after 8 tonight and before midnight on Monday.  You can choose either a suprise beach or a suprise city.  The possible suprise beach destinations flying out from Köln are: Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Lissabon, Nizza, Athen, Palma, Ibiza, Split, Faro oder Malaga.  As you know I have a free week or so before my flight home when no one will be left in Münster... so.... I think I might do this!  Am I crazy or is this the greatest idea ever?  because just the thought of going to any one of those very sunny warm and beachy destinations is making me feel giddy right now!  Just to have three or four days all by myself on warm sunny beach in Greece, Spain, Italy... wherever.... eeeeeeeeee! 

I swear that I'm getting work done, really I am.  I have it all planned out so that the paper and other things will be finished and my room will be packed in time to leave for an exotic local... I just read about that promotion and for a moment there all thoughts of anything german flew right out of my head and were replaced by palm trees, fruity drinks, and a gorgeos tan!  I know that I was thinking about going to sothern germany, seeing some castles, lederhosen, mountains, all that good stuff... but..........but........Ibiza!  Athens!  Nice!  For less than €80 round trip?! I think I'm going to have to go to a computer tonight and buy a ticket, if I do I would find out next week sometime where it's to.

Ok, I'm really going to finish editing this paper before class now! 

Tuesday, July 20

This year summer was a Monday

Yep, I think yesturday was it, one day of nice weather, I even laid out in the sun for a bit.  And today.... rain, cold, miserable, wet, cloudy.   Sigh.  At least it will still be warm when I get to Virginia, and you better believe that I will be driving to Virginia beach at my earliest convienience, and it won't just be to see Eric... I need sun!   I need to get out of here!  Just four more weeks... less than that even, next week is the last week of classes and then I can hopefully write my big paper in the following week and possibly hop a train somewhere fun for a week before I fly back on the 14th.  For anyone interested I will be arriving in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul international airport on Saturday August 14th at 5:55pm.  Everyone is invited to come welcome me home :)  It may be your only chance to see me in MN as I have to be in Richmond by the 21st to check in to my apartment and driving there is going to take a bit and I'll probably stop over in Chicago and/or Cincinnati on the way.  
Can you tell that I'm having trouble concentrating on my present tasks?  Yeah.... it'll all get done... somehow.  I just have to write a couple short things- in german... give a presentation- in german- in front of the entire class.  No sweat.  Right.   Maybe I'll just start looking into where I could go from the 7th to the 14th.... I hear there are beaches in Hamburg....

Saturday, July 17

I was just about to write about what a nice hot sunny summery day it is today when I head a crash of thunder and looked out the window to see a full out downpour!  Ahh... Münster...   Anywho.  Not terribly much exciting news to report I've felt entirely sleepy and lazy since getting back, so now I'm here in the computer lab where I can supposedly get some work done.  Yes.  I feel like whining about how I don't want to do school work but I'm sure you all don't want to hear it and will remind me that I've spent the last several months tripping around Europe with hardly a care in the world and probably shouldn't whine about having to write a few papers.  I can hardly believe that I only have two weeks of classes left and then fly home two weeks after that.  I can't wait to be home!  and even to be back and richmond and moving into a new apartment, yay!  I got an e-mail from the Husing office at UR today.  New this year, they are going to provide a cleaning service for apartment bathrooms once a week!  While I think its somewhat silly that we aren't resposible enough to keep them clean ourselves... I'm certainly not complaining.  Although it is a shame a won't be in Marsh Hall anymore because accordign to the list of renovations they have aparently "Provided exterior benches for outdoor enjoyment".  Gotta love those administrators, always looking out for the general joy of the student body! 
Ok, I'm going to attempt to get something done now so that I can go to the English theater departments production of "Harvey" tonight.  Can't wait to see germans acting in English!

Wednesday, July 14

And, as I am and honest Puck...

Ah... a weekend in London with my parents... what to say first! I suppose I should start with Münster where my parents arrived on Thursday night. It was so nice to see them again! even though I often go all of spring semester without seeing my family, I always miss them. Friday I got to show them around my little town and the little life I've made here, I feel so grown up! We had coffe at Frau Hensels with Elena and she took us on an Auto tour (should have been with bikes, but it was rainging... of course) to a little town nearby with a small chapel with a statue of the Piete that is a ´pilgrimage spot for Catholics. Then we all went out to dinner together. Saturday I drove with my parents to Köln where we saw the cathedral and went to the chocolate museum... which that much chocolate its bound to be a good trip, and we certainly stocked up in the gift shop. Then we flew to Gatwick airport in London where I managed to navigate us by train and underground to out hotel despite my mothers qualms about public transportation. London is very very BIG. And more spread out as far as sites go than the other cities I've been in. We stayed in a really fancy hotel where my mom was part of a Project Management conference. At first they put us in this super fancy sweet... and then realized that the girl at the desk has misread our name, but we still got to stay in it for one night and we definitely ate the entire complementary fruit basket and bottle of wine :)

Our first day in london we headed first to the National Gallery where we saw some of the big name older art work, Michealangelo, DeVinci, Rembrandt, Renior, Van Gohg, etc. We didn't even make it around the whole place, its quite big. Then we saw Buckingham Palace... Fancy Stuff! we just saw it from outside and took pictures of the guards and stuff. We walked through a bit of Hyde park too and then went to the London Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Which might not exactly be traditional english fare but they gave me a huge diet coke with ice and free refills, just like home! so I was pretty happy. and I got a shirt :) Then we walked a bit more and saw Big Ben and parliment and Westminster Abby and we crossed the river and went on this big cool 'London Eye' observation wheel. It looked like a big ferris wheel but each car is a whole room for like ten people and it goes super high and moves really slow so you get a great view of the city. It was nifty.

On Monday Mom went to some of her conference stuff in the morning so it was Dad and my job to go to the half price theater tickets counter in the morning. Which we did and got tickets to a play called Oleanna, which I mostly wanted to see because it was with Julia Styles! But more about that later. First, we went to the Orangery at Kensington palace for lunch and tea where we had fancy food and fancier desserts. Then we walked to the ever fancy Harrods department store. I must say, its not a terribly pleasant place to shop. It's HUGE and PACKED with tourists. The food halls were pretty cool and they haves tons of overpriced designer clothes and what not. My mom and I did manage to find some jewelry for ourselves though :) Then we headed over to China Town near the theater where we had a big huge Chinese meal before the play. Dad and I had decided in the morning to go to a place with ducks hanging in the window, which we did and the duck was indeed tasty. Then... the play. It was quite short and just had two actors, Julia Styles and.... I forget the guys name but he was in Possesion with Gwenyth Paltrow and was the love interest motercycle guy in Erin Brockovitch, and I'm sure that Alexis can tell you who it is ;) It was set on a college campus, in a preffessor's office. The girl goes in to ask him to help her pass his class and ends up filing a complaint against him for being sexist and eliteist. He askes her back twice more and each time she has more grounds for complaint. Its supposed to say something about political correctess on campus. It did make you think, she seemed to be way exaggerating, and yet she was somehow still right, it just didn't feel logical. Anyway, I liked it, I'm not sure that my parents were impressed, it certainly was the big London Musical type piece.

Tuesday... Dad and I slept late while mom was busy being the important person that she is and then we all walked to 'Ye Old Cheshire Cheese' for an English pub lunch. Apparently it was one of Dicken's favorite pubs. Then we went to the Tower of London where we took a fun tour with one of the 'Beefeaters' as the guards are called and leanded about all the beheadings and murders and what not. And we saw the crown jewels and lots and lots of weapons. From there we walked to the Tate Modern Gallery to take in some modern art. My mother was unipressed, but Dad seemed interested and I always enjoy looking at a bit of the bazaar and questionable things called art. True, a plain blue canvas doesn't exacly move me, but niether do fifty painting of the same bible scene, and there was some good and interesting stuff in the Tate gallery too. Pollock, Rothko, Picasso, Warhol, Cezane, etc. At any rate, the moderness of the art gallery was certainly made up for by the play we saw that evening... A Midsumer Nights Dream (hence the blog title). We saw it in an outdoor theater in Regency park which was really cool. It was a really nice venue and its the perfect play to stage outside in a forest setting, it was very very well done.

So, that was the London trip. That with lots of walking and figuring out the Underground and such in between. London felt more to me like the US than the rest of Europe, big and bustling and lots of people workign and living there, not just tourists. And of course the english speaking helps, also there is still always the feeling that they will know you are forigne as soon as you open your mouth. It was a very fun trip and even nicer to do it with my parents to to have them come over here and share some European adventures with me. A bit of me wished I could fly back with them to the US instead of back here... but I think that was mostly the bit of me that doesn't want to write papers! I know I have things to finish up here and there's more fun to be had. No more big trips planned unless I make it to Munich and the town my grandma grew up in. We'll see, right now I have to try to get into academic gear again and delve into this Kafka paper like never before... woo hoo!

yeah. So.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

Tuesday, July 6

Oh say can you seeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

Hello beautiful people. I am once again feeling baffled by the nonsensical german university system. I managed to renew my computer pasword to use University computers, but there is some other card I need to be able to use these during night and weekend hours, but everyone I'm supposed to go to seems to have a four hour lunch break around now... bah. Ah well, gives me a bit of time to blog. I had a very enjoyable weekend. Saturday Herr Pushnover, the head of the German American Society, along with a couple other members took some of us American students to a musical in a little town near by. We saw 'Kiss me Kate', auf Duetsche, natürlich. It was in an outdoor theater so luckily the rain stopped just before it started and all was well, just a bit chilly. The musical was actually suprisingly good. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much in german but I didn't have trouble following in and the lead actors were all really great. The costumes, staging, dancing, everything was really professional, and all in this itty bitty town that trains don't even run to! It was a funny show and even more comical for me hearing an american musical translated into German.

Sunday we had our all american 4th of July cook out. The weather was extreamly crappy, but we had a good time anyway at Frau Hensel's garden and afterwords sang the star spangled banner badly and loudly while riding our bikes back to her house. Yay America! Oh how I miss you so....

I'm finally starting work on my final papers. I think I might try to get a participation credit in one class so that I just end up having to write one because that I think I can manage before I go and I really don't want to spend my first month of senior year at UR writing german papers. I'm actually kindo f excited about the one paper I started researching. Its been so long since I did something academic other than struggle to understand german. And I feel compelled to make this a good paper to proove to my teacher that I'm not dumb just because I don't speak German well, which seems to be her opinion. I can't wait to be back at UR taking English classes!

I'm going to see Shreck tonight! in English! :)

Ok, I'm going to go see if these people are done with their rediculously long lunch breaks now. Tschüss!

Friday, July 2

Grr. Arg. Spidermail is not working so I hope none of you sent me any urgent messages recently. I feel compelled to write a blog just to justify this visit to a computer now... I made a friend! For a few weeks I've been talking to a girl in my translation class and having coffe with her after class. Last week we finally exchanged phone numbers and she invited me to watch a soccer game with her but it was when shannon was coming in. But yesturday I ran into her while biking home and she invited me over later in the evening! So I went over and we chatted and watched Greece win over the Chez republic in soccer. Germans are happy about this because the Greek coach is German. This sunday is the final match between Creece and Portugal. It is also the 4th of July and I just bought food for making shishkababs to grill. mmm. Ok, das ist alles...nicht so wichtig. Eric I'm glad your home ok, I can't believe you actually yelled at that mother. I think you somehow attract obnoxious children because I am only ever stuck on trains with screaming children when you are there it seems. hmm. Or I just think they're cute and don't notice the screaming. Anyway Tschüss!

Thursday, July 1

Thanks for noticin' me....

Could this day possibly be any gloomier? The weather is really not helping me feel less sad about Eric leaving this morning. Its so hard to say goodbye! Its not for that long really, a couple months till we are both back in Virginia. I just miss my Eric and its kinda sad to be alone in my little room again. But on the bright side... I get the bed to myself again! Its probably good though, I need to be doing more work for my classes so that I can actually get something out of them and I need to get myself together and on track. I need a rutine. All this traveling throws me off so much I never get anything done. Its still fun of course and I can't wait to see my parents next week and go to London with them. But I am also looking forward to the week that I have before then to just hang out in Münster with the great people I've made friends with here but hardly ever get to see because I keep leaving. Ooh, and saturday the president of the German American society is taking a few of us to see Kiss me Kate! I'm not sure if its going to be translated or not, but it will be fun either way. On Tuesday Eric and I went to the movie theater and we were going to see Troy auf Deutsch because they didn'T have any english movies playing, but then I saw that they were showing a special sneak preview in English and got tickets to that instead. It turned out I was dumb and looked at the wrong time and we had to wait like two hours BUT it was all worth it because it was the Stepford Wives which I really wanted to see! The theater was packed, its kind of exciting going to a suprise movie, I think most of the guys there were hoping for spiderman though. Anyway, the movie was good, and even Eric said it wasn't as bad as he expected :)

Ok, I better get back as the rain seems to have paused. Ciao.

Monday, June 28

Lost in Ampsterdam

Hello again. Its time to recount the past week for my loyal readers... it was a fun and exciting one, as usual. First, Shannon came! yay! We met her at the station Wednesday night kinda late. Thursday I had classes most of the day and I actually had a little test in my Kafka class which I was scared about, but then the question I had to answer was really open to literary BSing, which luckily I am good at, even in German :) Shannon and Eric walked around the city a bit I think. We all went shopping after I got home and Shannon go to go to a real German H&M, which are apparently better than German ones. Then we went to the Send, which is a carnival basically that was in Munster for the weekend. They do it three times a year I guess. It was much bigger than I though with a huge farris wheal and other rides, games, food and what not. We met Heike and got a great veiw of a huge rainbow from the top of the ferris wheel. We also went on a couple rides, one in particular was hillarious because there was this maybe 11 year old german kid sitting next to Eric who started cracking up on it, absolutely laughing his head off, then Eric looked at him and started laughing and he saw eric laugh and laughed harder and Shannon and I saw them laughing at each other and started laughing, it was so fun but I can'T even say why, that kid was just so happy it was contagious! Afterwords we just hung out at Cafe Gasoline for a while, which is a cute coffe place and bar. Friday we sat around my room for a while because it was raining. Made, lunch, played card games, nothing thrilling. We went back to the carnival that night and got some carnival food, bratwurst, roasted almonds, cotton candy, all that good stuff and a few german specialties. Then we met Elena and went to Chris's apartment who was having a going away party. It was fun, not too big, just a good size to sit around and laugh and talk and meet people.

Saturday we got up fairly early and took the train to Ampsterdam, finally getting there around 2:30. I hadn't booked a room or anything so we were looking at a map when we got out of the station to find somewhere to go and the nicest old lady came up to help us. She was out handing out cards to warm people about pick pocketers and generally be helpful I guess. She pointed us in the direction of a hostel she thought might have spots. As it turned out the Neatherlands were in football game that night so things were crowded. We ended up at a little hotel, the first one that had space. We dropped our stuff and went out to walk around the city a bit. Its a really nice city with calals running all through it and cute houses squshed together everwhere. We went to the Anne Frank House exhibit which was interesting. Houses in Ampsterdam are crazy, they are tall and skinny so the stair cases are so steep the're closer to ladders than staires. Anyway, it was a good exhibit of her and her families life in that house. Then we walked a bit more around the canals and found dinner at a steak house before going into a bar to watch the soccer game. Its always fun being in a home city to watch the game, people are SO into it. Everyone was wearing crazy orange outfits and had horns and stuff. The game was exciting because there were lots of close shots but no one scored, they had two overtimes and two rounds of shoot out before Holland finally won against Sweden. Naturally the Dutch were a bit excited about this and the streets where crammed with people yelling and cheering and hugging and congratulating each other as though it was a personal accomplishment. We walked around the city taking in the hubub. It was like a city wide party, though I think Ampersterdam is kind of always like that at night. We walked though the redlight district and saw the prostitues in their window rooms. Shannon was completely facinated by this. Its weird because you are walking by lots of prostitutes in underwear and yet it still doesn't feel dirty because its ok for them to do that. And there are "coffe shops" everwhere but its not sketchy at all.

Sunday we went to the Shipping museum and saw lots and lots of model ships and really interesting old maps and paintings of battles. Its easy to dismis the Neatherlands as never having really done much, but they really have. They fought off the Spanish and the English and they traveled and colonized all over. We went on the replica of the ship 'the Ampersterdam' as well. Then we walked accross the city to the Rijkmuseeum which has all the old important Dutch art. There were old dollhouses and and Delft ware which is the blue on white porcelin stuff. And there are some Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings. After that we had lunch and went to the Van Gogh museum which was also good but we had to rush a bit before it closed. They had an interesting exhibit of nautical themes in Manet's paintings and other artists at the time. After that we headed back to catch a train which took us to the last stop in the neatherlands wehre we could get a train to Munster. Only, we found out afer getting on the the second train that it wasn't going all the way to Munster. Luckily there were a couple guys woking for DeutscheBahn on the train who were driving to Munster and gave us a ride. Whew. It was squished in their car but we made it back and had a drink with Shannon at a nearby bar before she caught here train back to the airport.

It was fun to see shannon again, we had a fun weekend seeing new places. What am I going to do when I'm back in the US and can't go to a different country every weekend? Oh well, maybe I can visit Alexis in Venezuela! This week should be a little more relaxing. Eric leaves thursday so then I'll be all on my own in my little room again. This weekend some of my friends are doing an all american 4th of July cookout at Frau Hensel's garden. Other than that... yeah, we'll see.


Tuesday, June 22

Ich bin ein Berliner

Germans never tire of chuckling as JFK's gramatical error in that speech, he should have said 'Ich bin Berliner' I think, but what he said actually means that he is a 'Berliner' which is the name of type of jelly dohnut pastry. Har har. Anyways....
Berlin was really great. I wish I could be studying there for a semester instead of little bitty Münster, but at least I get to visit :) Its such a fun city, its so much more modern than most European citys but it has so much history still. It is constanly changing, it already was different from when I was there in high school. Its amazing all that they've done since the reunification. We got there on friday morning and checked into our Hotel in Charlottenburg which is in the west. It was the funniest hotel! We buzzed at the door and as we were walking up the red carpeted stair case we could hear a german woman calling 'Halloooooooooooo....' it is run by these two rather roundish women who spoke english with a funny german accent and were always smiling and jokeing. They were like cartoon charactors or something. The one sho showed us to our rooms chanted 'follow me follow me follow me' in a sing song voice as she took us down the hallway. Even the room itself was kinda funny, the bed was a futon type matress really low to the ground but the cieling was really really high so that I felt like I was lying at the bottom of the grand canyon. It even echoed a bit. We just got lunch and took a nap before heading out. We went toward the city center and ended up at the Sony Center which is a big funky looking glas structure with stores and movie theaters and resturants. Theres a couryard type area food court in the middle where they were about to show a soccer game on the big screen so we sat down there for dinner. It was really fun, there were tons of people including some Bulgarians and some Danish (the two teams playing) who were going crazy cheering for the game and chanting fight songs and what not. Think 'Daneamark Danemark Danemark' to the tune of 'be kind to your web footed friends...' Good times. the area was under heavy security, luckily there were no soccer hooligans about. After the game we headed to the Reichtag, the german capital building. We went in and walked up the glas dome that was built on the top in I think 1997. The origional dome was destroyed in a fire after WWI presumably by the budding Nazi party, but Hitler attributed it to the Jews I think. We read so much german history its hard to keep strait. Anyway, it has a nifty glas dome now that you can walk up and get a nice panorama of the city and read about the history of the building. I did it in high school and the most memorable thing about the view was the amount of construction cranes on the horizon especially in the east. there were still a lot this time, though eaqually on both sides. They are working on a fancy new glas train station to be completed 2007. After that we walked and walked pretty far to Alexanderplatz and the base of the big Fehrnsehturm, television tower, but it wasn't open to go up anymore. We soon the S bahn back to our hotel area and went to a nice little Jazz club where we sat and had a drink and listened to a really good Jazz quartet. Then Saturday we got up early to go wait in line outside the New Galery which is currently housing the MOMA from New York while it undergoes construction in the US. I realize that I could probably have just waited to see in in NY sometime... but I figured as long as we were there... but we ended up waitingin line for a LONG time before we saw it. After that we got a very late lunch and then went to see the remaining part of the Berlin wall which now has an exhibit called 'Topography of Terror' They excavated the basements of some of the Nazi headquarter buildings near the wall and now its filled with pictures and information about atrocities commited by the Nazi regime. It was really interesting. Then we went to the Check point Charlie Museum which is a privatily owned museum focused on the time while the wall was up and houses all sorts of memorabilia such as the make shift hot air balloon one family used to try to get accross and cars specially desigened so that a person could be smuggled accross hidden within somewhere. We went back and had a nice dinner at a spanish resturant near the hotel and watched a bit of another soccer game. Sunday we went first to the Pergamon Museum which is one of my favorite sites in Europe. It has a big reconstructed section of the gates of Babylon and also part of a Greek altar and a Roman marketplace along will a lot of other ancient artifacts. Plus its nice to have a boyfriend who majored in Ancient Civilazions and Greek :) We also went to the Old national galery and saw lots of paintings from the 19th century. Then we took a break in the Lusgarten before heading to the Tempodrom to see NORA JONES!!!!! the concert was really good, she was great to see live. It seems like just sitting at a piano it would get dull, but she was up a lot and the rest of the band is great too. It was fun :) Monday we set out to find the Soviet War Memorial that Eric was interested in seeing. First we walked through the Teirgarten and found a Soviet memeorial, though not the one we were looking for. Then is started POURING. Luckily we were right near a little museum that happened to be showing and exhibit of Charlse Chegal which was really really good. it liked it a lot! After luch we took the train to the big Soviet Memorial which is way way out in East Berlin. It is a huge park area with a giant Stalinesque statue of a Russian soldier rescuring a child in one arm and smashing a swastica with a sword in the other. There are also a set of large freezes along the sides of the park depicting Soviet involvement in the war and how the came in and rescued the germans. It was interesting to see that side of the war. There are something like 50,000 Russian Soldiers burried there. After that we just walked through the shopping area on Kurfursentdam Staße and got some dinner at a nice place by our hotel, picked up our bags and headed to the train station. It was a fun and educational trip. I love Berlin, you should go!

Today is Eric's Birthday!! He's 23! An old man! JK :) The concert was his real present, but I think I'll get him a cake or something today. We're getting together later with a woman who wanted to meet me and practice her English. She spent a year or so in MN and wants to go back to the US.

Tomorrow Shannon is coming!!! Yay! German is also playing the Chez republic so maybe we'll hit up a Fußball party somewhere. Shannon, Eric and I are all going to Ampsterdam this weekend! yikes, so much traveling! Then Eric is leaving next week :( to go home before he goes to England for his program at Oxford (I love my smarty pants boyfriend!) Just two weeks after that I'll be off to London with my parents! After that I'm going to have to finally settle down and get some work done.... right.

Monday, June 14

hello hello. I feel all kinds of mixed up. I'm sad because I feel like I'm missing my summer at home. And now Chelsea is home and everything, and I could have had my cushy nannying job... and I missed my brothers graduation and grad party... and I miss my Scotty... and I didn't do anything all winter but now I have to go to classes and eventually I actually have to write papers and pass them... but I'm in Europe and should not be feeling any regrets because I'm having an amazing experience and seeing so many things and I dont really have to do much work. I feel like I don't deserve it, I should be working and making money instead of spending it all- and I mean all, I need to start budgeting somehow but its hard to travel and not spend a lot. But this is my chance to travel, this is why I picked a scholarship at UR over ND. Its still an educational experience, kind of, and feeling guilty isn't going to do anyone any good so I'm just going to try to relax and enjoy life. This week in Münster is nice, we hang out with Elena and her friend Clarise visiting from Paris and went to Enchide in Hollad yesturday. Everything was closed so it wasn't terribly exciting, but we ate at a really really good Tai resturant. When we got back we got ice cream and went and played on a plyground :)

Oh, and I finally went to the city swimming pool (Stadtbad)! Its kinda crazy. the first time I went on Saturday. First off, you have to pay to get in but its all automated and then theres just one big locker room for men and women with lots of little changing rooms that you have to go through to get in or out, so if none are availible then you're trapped. Then, there is a separate lap pool with a sign that says 'Nur fur Schwimmer' (Only for swimmers) but theres no lifeguard or anyone to enforce this so on saturday it was swarming with little kids playing marco polo and what not. Then today I went back and it was a little better, but there is only one lane marked off where people who actually can swim do laps, the rest of the pool is taken up by all sorts, young, old, male, femal, slowly swimming back and forth doing breaststockes with their heads up, not even get thier hair wet. They look rediculous, like lots of tirtles bobbing their heads around! and they don't stay in lanes they just kind of meander back and forth crossing paths. Once again, i will never understand Germans. At least I managed to get in a decent work out in the one lap lane sharing it with five other frustrated swimmer. oiy.

I'm going to Berlin this weekend! I do actually have to do a resonable amount of homework before then, but I'm going to see Nora Jones! I keep listening to her CD and I can't wait to see her in person!

If you are reading this, I miss you! (unless you are Eric and are here with me :P)


Friday, June 11

Viva Italia!

It's kinda hard to get back into blogging after a long time off... I've done and seen to much to write about everything, and I know you wont read it all anyway, but I'm going to do my best....

Italy was really really wonderful. We left Münster on saturday two weeks again early in the AM- which was rough having been out at a party the night before, but we made it to Köln and had a couple hours there to make a stop and climb up to the top of the cathedral which is still I think the coolest building in Europe. So then we hopped our plane to Rome. FYI, when flying in Europe always get there early because seats are not assigned, at least not on Germanwings. They have assigned movie theater seats but not plane seats, go figure. We took a cab to our hotel -- FYI- do not take a cab in Rome!!! it cost almost as much as the flight there! The hotel was fine, a bit far out of the city, but the bus ran often. We went into the city a little that night and just walked around, saw St. Peters sqare at night and found a resturant.

The next day we decided would be Catholic day, it seemed appropriate for a sunday. We went first to the Vatican museum which closes early on Sunday so we did the typical tourist thing and pushed and crowded our way past all kinds of important artwork to get to the Sistene Chapel... which was well worth it because it is really amazing. We stood in there for a good long time looking at our little guide book and figuring out all the stories. It was PACKED in there and kinda smaller than I expected but its not at all overrated and certainly should be seen. I find it amazing how many people from all over the world were there crowded into that little chapel to see this one amazing painting done some 300 years ago. America was nothing but a bunch of pilgrims living in swamps and Michealangelo was lying there in Italy on his back maticulously painting this glorious cealing. So, after Vatican stuff we hit lots of the other big sights, the major Piazza's, the Trevi fountain, the Parthanon, all cool stuff but packed with tourists. Eventually we made our way all the way to the Roman Forum but kind of by accident and it was a really beutiful sight. It was after it was closed to visitors so it was all empty and it had just stoped raining and the sun came our and hit the ruins and lit them up against the greanery in the background, there were even a couple rainbows, it really looked magical. Eric wanted to jump the fence and go in, but I made him wait until the next day!

And so monday was Roman day and we went to the Forum and Palentine hill and the Colloseum. It was really neat, although not quite as magical with all the tourists during the day. We found a free guided tour going on and taged along to hear the stories behind some of the rubble because nothing is at all marked and they dont give out maps or anything, its just all there, everywhere, all these remains of buildings over 2000 years old, and they still have a beauty all their own. I didn't realize how big of an area they covered or that it was all right in the middle of the city, theres a freeway going right around the Colloseum. We spent the afternoon wandering around everything while Eric told me lots of stuff about the ancient Romans, it was nice :) Then after some pizza and gelato we went on another tour with the same girl from earlier (not free this time) it was neat, we turned out to be the only people who showed up for it, it was a tour of some of the hidden neat stuff in Rome. There were some cool little churches with interesting stories behind them and some Boroque buildings that were built when it was something of a trend to have a collection of roman artifacts so the ruins were stuck into the architecture of the newer building. The guid was really nice and we ended oup in the part of town over the river and she showed us her favorite resutant where we had dinner and the pasta was indeed amazing.

The next day we were off to our next stop in Barga, but first we stopped for a few hours in Pisa, just long enough to see the leaning tower and force Eric to take a picure of me pretending to lean on it... and then preten he didn't know me :P All the other tourists were doing it.... Then we had some Pizza in Pisa and got back on the train to Barga, a small town in Tuscany between Pisa and Florence. We got there after buses had stoped running and ended up having to hike our way up the mountain at night with our bags on this dark windy road, it was a little scary, but we made it eventually. We stayed in little bed and breakfast run by a sweet Brittish couple, it was really nice.

The next day we just explored Barga a bit, its so so cute! There's a really old cathedral at the very top fo the hill and then all the little houses with the tiny narrow roads that make no sense, its exactly like all those paintings and postcards you've seen with the pastel buildings with flower boxes and laundry hanging accross the street. We spend much of the afternoon just relaxing in the room, Rome is really exahsting. The next day we went to nearby Lucca, another mideaval town with a city wall and lots of towers and churches. It was also nice, we went in the art museum too.

Friday we took a day trip to Florence. It wasn't really my favorite city, its really big and crowded and didn't have as much charactor I though. The Duomo is cool and we saw Michealangelo's David which for some reason is in a Museum far away from the center and there's nothing else in it really and it cost 9.50!! So, I don't know that I'd say its a must see, it is big and impressive but nothing astoneshing. The Ufuzzi Galery was better, they have The Birth of Venus by Botecceli and some Leonardo Di Vincci and other impressivie stuff. We didn't see too much else because the last train to Barga was fairly early. So we had to head back there for dinner. Italians dont eat dinner until like 9pm. Resturants don't even open until 8. Crazy Italians.

The next day we were off once again to Verona. We stopped shortly in Bologna which we didn't see much of, but did catch a bit of a peach parade of some sort. Then we got to our Bed and breakfast in Verona. It was a bit out in the suburbs run by an italian guy who was nice but a little weird. It was nice enough, we didn't end up seeing any of Verona really, the next day we were kinda tired and it was rainy so we mostly stayed in and just walked to the nearby town for dinner.

Then on Monday we went to Venice which I LOVED. Its so pretty! I spent the first our walking around saying Look! its water! right there! Its a really nice place to just wander all the little narrown streets with pretty canals and bridges. The main areas like San Marco are packed with tourists and also cool to see but when you go back into the neihborhoods it feels empty and quiet. We went to the Peggy Guganhime house to see some modern art, it was fun to walk around together commenting on what we thought of all the pieces. We walked around and I got us a bit lost and we finally ended up way down at the end of the island where there are some parks. On the other side we walked over the brigde to another little mostly fishing island where we saw a lesser known leaning tower in front of the chuch there. Eric was looking for the church in Venice that appears in one of the Indiana Jones movies, but it turns out there are A LOT of churches with white marble facades so we may or may not have seen it. We stayed pretty late and got dinner before going back to Verona for the night.

Then the next day it was back to the train station and off to Milan where we didn't have any kind of hotel reserved. We asked at tourist information for a cheap place and ended up in the ickyest seedyest little hotel ever. eww. We went into the city in the evening to find an I cafe and bookstore and see the Duomo. We walked a long long way looking for a resturant but eventually ended up at a really good Pizzaria run by three Chinese men, it was great! Eric had decided that eating our in italy was a long and drawn out process much like dying of thirst, it often took up to half an hour to get our check at the end of a meal, but these Chinese guys were super quick! We got very little sleep in the seedy hotel room before waking up at 5 to get to the airport. We made it back to Münster in time for me to go strait to my class, which turned out to be cancelled anyway, oh well. Germans are so different from italians. It was nice to get back to the always reliable german train sytem!

Wow, that was really long, and yet I feel like a shortened as much as possible, so you'll have to deal with it. It was a really great trip and it was so fun to do it with Eric. Now we have a week or so to hang our in Munster which is also fun. Its nice to be back and relax a bit. Yesturday we went over to Heike and Silke's place and made Taco's, mmm. Germans don't do mexican food very well so it was fun to make our own good stuff! Tonight we're hopefully grilling out at Frau hensel's garden if it doesn't rain. There's also some kind of festival going on the seekend with bands and stuff we might go to tonight. Yay for Europe :) allright, I gotta go get some Bratwurst for tonight. Ciao!

Tuesday, May 25

Ich fühle mich ganz optimistisch

I like my brother's away message right now:
"Fire this friday
Meezer concert June 4th
graduation party June 13th (4 - 8)
Leave for USC August 18th
purchase first island 2016"

Ah that feeling when you graduate high school, the summer is yours to fill with parties and friends and the future is yours to conquer. Having things like that to look forward to makes anything seem possible.. if I already know that I'm going to Italy and Berlin and Ampsterdam and London... and then to UR and graduating college, then there must be even greater things after that, purchasing islands doesn't seem so out of the question. Today a celebration and tomorrow an adventure. Its a good outlook on life. This week I'm celebrating my wonderful boyfriend who flew halfway around the globe to see me :) and I couldn't be happier. Elena's boyfriend is here as well, he just finished a semester in Scotland, so the boys can hang out while we're at classes and we can do some double dating. I'm going to have to teach Eric some german though, I can't just hang out with Americans ALL the time. This week we're just enjoying each other's company in Münster before leaving for our adventures in Italy on Saturday. Life is Grand :)

Thursday, May 20

Hier, Da, Irgendwo

wow this computer is going slow today....

Allrighty, lets rewind a few days shall we? Highlights of last weekends trip:
Seeing Stacy again
Checking another country off the list of places to go
Super nice Hostel, if you're ever in Prague I recomend Sir Toby's
Talking to some guys from Michigan on the night train and seeing tons of other American tourists, and being one :P
Wandering around Prague with Stacy, doing lots of shopping and lots of getting lost.
Having our own 'Pub tour' with really good Czech beer
Trying Czech food... and then making fun of how bad it is-- if you're ever in Prague don't bother trying the dumplings- they're just soggy bread
Going on 'The Ultimate Walking Tour' with people from all over the world, including a very boisterous group of middle aged english men. oiy.
Seeing all of the amazingly beautiful buildings, both walking and from a boat.
Going to a Marienette show, and then laughing over dinner and imitating the pupets wiggling their heads along to Italian operas.
Walking around the city after dark and peeking into the empty jewish graveyard where bodies are burried 12 deep. Creepy!
Going to the very pretty Chatue Troy outside the city on our last day and learning everything you ever wanted to know and so much more about Czech landscape painters of the ealy 1800s.
Meeting the super sweet little kids that Stacy nannies. Seuß!
Touring Dresden and being awed by how beutiful it is and how much has been rebuilt since the war.
Going to the spring market in the main square and getting some quality German food and Dresden brewed beer... and more shopping of course :)
Actually begining to get used to night trains and sleeping on them.

So as you can see, it was a fun trip :) I haven't stopped traveling since actually... yesturday I went to Elena and her friend Emily to Köln for a super short trip, we were there for less than two hours, which is as long as it takes to get there :P but it was fun and Elena wanted Emily to see some more of germany. We went in the Dom and sat at a cafe on the Rhine and then came back. But I still had one unmarked day on my railpass that would have expired today, so it was a free trip. Then today I went on another free trip, with the German American Society. They rented a bus and we went to Bonn, which is right next to Köln. We got to go in the Post Tower, which is a super fancy new sky scraper thats all made of glass. Normaly they don't let tourists in, but we have connections. Then we went to a museum of german history since 1945 which was a really interesting museum, very well put together. It was a nice little day trip. Today is 'Christi Himmelfahrt' (Assention) so there were no classes and everything is closed. Lazy Catholics ;) So now I'm looking forward to just staying in Münster for a bit. I'm whiped out. And Eric is coming!!!! :-D and we have some time to relax before italy. This semester already seems to be flying by. sigh. Ok, if this computer doesn't give out on me I need to try to book a hotel in Berlin... Bis Später!

Tuesday, May 18

Die Heimat ist worin das Herz legt

That's my attempt at translating 'Home is where the heart is', I'm sure there's a german phrase, but I'm not good with idiums auf Deutsch. I was just thinking about home related things, its something we always talked about in German classes at UR and even in high school, I guess because germans have a lot of identity crisis issues when it comes to their homeland. But anyway, we always talk about where we are from and what we consider to be 'home'. And I was thinking... I can't really say that I'm sure anymore where home is. MN with my family of course will always be home, and yet, I don't particularily want to live there anymore, so that can't really be home can it? And I am kind of looking forward to going back to UR for a bit but I deffinitely am glad that I only have one year left there, so that's not really home. I guess it doesn't matter so much, I was just thinking about it today when I got back to Münster and was suprised at how nice it felt to be back here. Prague and Dresden was really really nice, and seeing Stacy was a lot of fun, but coming back here was nice too. Stacy is living with such a nice family, and even for two days in Prague she said she missed Dresden and was thinking about the kids all the time. Its amazing how quickly we can become attatched to a place. All I know is that I'm glad to be here, I can't wait to get back to my building and find Elena and find out how her B-day party was and meet her friend visiting from the US, and I was glad to say hi to everyone on my hall again. And today in my translation class I met a german girl, she needed copies of some worksheets so I lent her mine and went to the copie shop with her and then we got coffee together :) She was really nice. It helps of course that its sunny today... and that I just ate a chocolate bar I think :P I think a big part of it is that Eric will be here this sunday :) and my little room won't seem so empty. AND Shannon is coming at the end of June! :) So she can see Münster and the three of us will Go to Ampsterdam together :) Yay for visitors! Hopefully Stacy will be able to visit before she leaves too. I wish I had enough money to buy every one of you who actually takes the time to read this a plane ticket over here so that you could see my nice little home town... its little and rainy... but its home for now :) I know that I still have to write all about my trip to Prague and Dresden and I promise that I will... but thats just what was on my mind at the moment and right now its too nice out to sit in here... not to mention that I haven't showered since sleeping on a train :P

Thursday, May 13

Nachtzug here I come :)

Arg, blogspot isn't letting me post and I just lost my whole entry. It was something about how I was in a bad mood last time because of evil german bike theives but am feeling much better now and am super excited about all my upcoming travels. I just got a travel guide to western Europe and have been reading about all the bazillions of things to see in almost every city. And Eric is coming on the 23rd :) and we're going to Rome :) and Berlin :) and my parents are coming in July :) and we're going to London and staying in a fancy hotel :) and tonight I'm taking the Nachtzug (night train) to Dresden :) and I'm happy and life is good :)

Heute Abend fahre ich nach Dresden und Prague :)

I'm going to assume that you all can figure out what that title means. So, last time I wrote I was in a somewhat bad mood after the theft of my bike which I then took out on all Germans in general for the rest of the day, disliking everyone who walked by me without smiling, and bumped into my, and rang their stupid little bike bell at me... But I got over it and and feeling friendlier toward germans today. Yesturday I didn't have class until 2 because I decided to drop 'Playwrites of the Enlightenment' which was a GREAT decision. I did my laundry, read my assignment for today AND went running all before heading off to classes. I bought a travel book on Western Europe the other day so I was reading that last night before watching some german crime shows with Elena. I read about the cities in Italy we're going to and about Berlin and other cities we could visit nearby. There's so much to see in Europe! it seems like every city hase a bazillion monuments and museums and so much history! The US is so boring in comparison. I'm so excited to see Rome! and Prague! and Dresden! And Eric is coming :-D the 23rd, a week and a half! Ah, to be in Rome with the love of my life.... why am I getting down about stupid bike thieves? I'm the luckiest girl in the world. And my parents are coming in july and I get to go to London with them and stay in a fancy hotel! which will be nice considering Eric and I will probably be in one star hotels or hostels most of the time. I'm going to sound like shannon now.... I love my life! My next entry will detail my future adventures this weekend in Dresden and Prague with Stacy... stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 11


My bike is gone. I left it at the train station yesturday and when I got back it was no longer there. Its my fault I suppose because I knew that my lock was rusting and not working properly, but it at least looked locked and who walks around tugging on everones lock? I'm very sad about this. I nearly cried when I couldn't find it. Granted it was also late and I was tired and not having a bike meant I had to walk home, but it also just makes me sad that someone would do that. Don't people think about what they do? Didn't they know how sad it would make me? I really liked that bike, It was reliable and had a light and three gears even, which was enough for me to get over the forest green color of it. Sigh. I'm going to go back today and make sure its not there and I just didn't see it in the Fahrradmeer (sea of bikes) and if its not then I guess I'll look into getting another one. Boo. Anyway, the reason my bike was at the train station all day was that Elena, Heike and I went to Enchide, a town in the netherlands that we can get to for free with our student ticket. It was fun, we just did some shopping and walked around and ate dinner, its not a terribly exciting city, but its fun to hear a different language that sound soo funny with all their double vowels, its close enough to german that we could decipher some signs and plaques but its different enough that I would never understand someone speaking it to me. We plan to go back some day that we have more time and see the museums that they have. I really want to go to Ampsterdam while I'm hear too. The rest of my weekend was not terribly exciting. The costume party on friday was fun. I didn't come up with any specific movie star to be so I just wore a sparkly shirt and sunglasses. There were lots and lots of Englanders there along with some americans a few germans and some others I'm sure. So I was getting my english and german speaking very confused trying to switch back and forth all the time :P Other than that I got all my homework done for the week and read 'Life of Pi' which is quite good, I recomend it. Elena and I have kept up our daily jogging and pilates on the lawn fairly well also. Ok, I'm müde (tired) and I have to WALK to the train station and then home :( Sigh. I'm leaving for Dresden/Prague thursday night! :)

Friday, May 7

Achtung! You will get wet!

That should be the first line of the description of studying abroad in Münster. Yuck. Wet and cold. Right so... it's friday and I have another four day weekend streached out before me... hmm. Last night was fun, going over to a real apartment and hanging out with a few real germans and watching a movie (in english!). They were really nice. Tonight should be fun as well, I should take pictures because I haven't here yet. I shoudl probably actually do lots of reading and homework this weekend too. Yes, tha twould be ideal. Next weekend I'm going to Dresden and Prague!!! yay! I'm excited, and I'll finally have a reason for schedualing all my classes into three days!

I just bought Nora Jones tickets!!! in Berlin June 20th!!! EEEEEEEEEEE!!! I got them on e-bay because they all sold out right away, they are somewhat pricy...but its floor seats and come on... its Nora Jones in Berlin, its once in a life time :) So I'm excited, and Eric has his birthday present since it will be on his birthday weekend :) Now I just have to figure out how I'm supposed to pay for them and get them... I've never done this e-bay thing before.

Alright, i guess its eally not going to stop raining, so I should go. Ciao!

Thursday, May 6

It's raining again :( so I'm going to sit here for a bit and hope it stops... although that seems somewhat unlikely. I found out last week that riding a bike in the rain is much less fun than it sounds, and it doesn't sound very fun. I miss my car!! You know what else I miss? D-hall. Thats right. I want my big huge salad bar with pre chopped veggies and cheese and ranch dressing and I want someone else to cook everthing for me. I'm never going to complain about mean d-hall ladies or mass produced food again. I love d-hall ladies. Our closet sized kitchen shared by 14 people is getting to me... I can't even get in to cook when I'm hungry and I have to go grocery shopping every other day because there's no fridge space. Arg. sorry, ok, I'm going to stop complaining now. I just got out of my Kafka class. I guess the Prosiminar classes are at a lower level than I was expecting, we spent the whole class going over the basics of reading a text... types of narrators, indirect vs. direct diolog. Things that I vaugly remember learning in high school lit classes. But I think we'll get on to more interesting analysis later. Its at least good for me to learn all the german literary terms and a refresher in literary analysis can't do me any harm. So yeah... other than that... I had some classes yesturday too but I wont bore you with further descriptions. I felt really icky last night so I just stayed in. But tonight I'm going with Elena to have a movie night with some girls she knows from class last semester. Should be fun. Friday night Cathy (from England) is having a birthday party, with costumes, we're supposed to dress as movie stars. I guess Chelsea isn't as odd as we thought ;) I have no idea what I'll wear, I don't have much with me, but I'll figure out something. Time to head home, looks like the rain may have stoped and I want to hit the kitchen before the dinner rush!

Monday, May 3

Reading away messages about exams and going home for the summer is making me homesíck... not for UR, or for home, just for that nice feeling of being done for the semester and looking forward to summer. I kinda got a raw deal, spending winter in MN instead of summer. but oh well, summer in Munster should be nice as well, and winter would have been icky. This past saturday was Mai Tag (May Day), which the Germans celebrate, I think they'll just take any excuse for a day of work and a chance to bbq and drink beer all day. The big thing to do is go on a bike tour and for some reason to affix a birch branch to your bike. I joined in the mass of holiday bikers lead by Herr Puschnover, the head of the German american society. He took Elena, Brandon and I out for a spin. A several hour 30Km spin. Good times. And his wife made us dinner after :) Since then I've been doing mostly nothing. Luckily I have Elena to get me out jogging and such. But otherwise I mostly sat in my room all of sunday and read. But it was rainy, so thats ok. A rainy sunday in Munster is an excellent time to do nothing, as there really isn't anything else to do. Four day weekends are nice, but its hard to stay motivated, but I'll be traveling soon enough. The weekend after next I will hopefully be going to Dresden to visit Stacy! yay! She took this year off school to be an Au Pair in germany. So I'm going to see her and then we'll go to Praag for a day or two as well. :) I also just bought flight tickets to Italy!! yay! for my spring break in June with Eric :) Ok, Ich habe Hunger! (I have hunger, thats how they say it here)

Wednesday, April 28

Es war einmal in Münsterland....

generally when I go grocery shopping here I try to avoid or walk very quickly with my eyes on the floor through the snack food/candy section but today I slowed long enough to see a back of something called 'Peanut Flips' which I had to try. They look about like cheesey poofs, but not so orange and taste just like peanut butter! but light and crunchy. mmmm. Now I can't stop eating them. I figure they can't be too unhealthy, the bag says the're 40% peanut. Do these exsist in the US and I just don't know about it? The bag is all in english and has an american flag on it. But then, in germany 'American!' is something of a sales gimmick. Packaged sliced white bread is usually labeled 'American' or 'Californian sandwhich' bread. I don't know where the Californian came from... as far as I know wonderbread is sold nation wide, but ok.

On to other interesting german cultural information... I learned on Sunday that way back when sometime when a lot of people around here were quite poor (I'm not good with history, ok?) the government decided to buy a big plot of land outside the city to divide up and lend out to citizens so that they could grow their own food and not starve. Today these plots of land still excist and can be rented out by citizens living in apartments or whatnot to use as a sort of backyard. Frau Hensel has one of these little gardens and its absolutely adorable. I actually saw a few groups of them from the train on my way here and couldn't figure out what they were, it looked like a trailor park only with really nice landscaping, or maybe a little knome village. Most people build a little cabin on the property and plant lots of flowers and/or Vegatables. We (Elena, Heike, Silke, Brandon and I) went to Frau Helsel's garden on sunday for tea and cake. We walked around and everyone there actually smiled and said hello! I couldn't believe it, I guess germans can be friendly, it just takes a little gardening to bring it out. We also went on a looooong bike ride and toured a couple pretty little old churches. I love that even though I live five min. away from the center of the city I also live five min. away from picturesque german countryside. After some bratwurst for dinner we all went to a german film in a little independant theater nearby. We saw 'Silke gets the blues' About a cute fat old german man who plays the accordian and goes to the US- specifically Texas and Luisiana. Not terribly much happens plot wise, but the charactors were funny. So that was a fun day, I guess when Frau Hensel invites me over for tea I should consider the whole day booked up from now on...

Monday morning I decided it was probably about time to get my act together and get my student Visa, which I did whithout too much trouble. I had to wait a couple hours, but other than that it was fairly painless. So, yay! I'm officially allowed to stay now! Tuesday I continued my productive streak and went to a translation class I wanted to get into and there turned out to be open spaces so I talked to the proffesor and am in! The proff is actually from Virginia and went to UVA, go figure. She's also the third young female professor that I'll have this semester, which seems unuseual to me, most UR english profs tend to be old white men. So, I think I have my classes pretty much set now. I'll be taking that Deutsch/English tranlation class, Theatre of the Enlightenment, Contract situations in Lit and Philosophy, the history of german language, The Artist in texts of the 18-20th century, and Kafka's stories. Those are all rough english translations of the real titels, they're all taught in german with the exception of the translation course. Interesting, no? I can still drop one if I want to, that all adds up to 15 credits and I only need 12. Or I can fail one... but I'll try to avoid that. Only three are seminars which require me to do actual work like reading and writing papers and doing a presentation, the rest are just lectures.

So I'm finally feeling rather settled in here. I've got things somewhat figured out, got my classes, made some friends, know my way around, and I don't feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off anymore. So, all is well in Münsterland :) (The land all around Münster is really called Münsterland, its like the metro area I guess, but it makes me feel like I'm living in a folk tale). Oh, the title of this post means something like 'Once upon a time in Münsterland...' The literal translation would be 'It was one time in...' but at any rate its the way that all the Grim Brothers fairy tales begin.