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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!