Today I am 22. Twenty-two... whew... I feel... rediculously young. This often happens to me on my birthay because I was usually one of the youngest in my class at school, but here in Germany I feel it even more so. They have 13 grades here, so most dont finish high school until they are 19, then most people take a year off, the boys often have to serve in the military for a year and girls often nanny or travel or work or something. Then they get around to going to University, few finish in four year and even after their studies they usually still have a couple year of Praktikum, practical training for their job before they are officially working adults. Gudrun was shocked to learn that in the US there are 22 year olds who can be teachers or can have real paying jobs. Everything is kind of fast tracked in the US. Partially because after paying $30,000 a year for school most american grads are in debt and need to make money, Germans pay little or nothing for University so they aren't forced into the workforce quite as quickly, although that will most likely be changing soon.
Anyway... about me... I can't think of everything that I've done since last time i wrote. I did meet some other exchange students here from all over Europe. I met one Italian boy last weekend, and he's in a language class and living in dorm so he knows lots of the other internationals. So friday? night I went out with some of them to eat Bavarian food and then one of the guys with us who actually lives here had a friend in an acapella group that was performing, so we went. Turned out the performance was called 'acapelle meets improve'. It was a very entertaining evening watching Germans singing acapelle songs and then a group of them did some improve games. Random, but fun. Saturday I went to the Oktoberfest for a little bit in the afternoon, this weekend was Italian weekend. Yikes... I was there at like 2 in the afternoon and there were so many very drunk Italian men. I decided I'd had enough of that pretty quickly, but I did enjoyed walking around soaking up the festive carnival atmousphere. There's even a flea circus there! Today I was out in the Englisher garden and holy nakedness... I guess the other times I went it was a either a weekend when its full of tourists or the weather was bad. But today was nice and sunny and it was the place to be if you enjoy full nudity. Lots of buisness people actually go on their lunchbreak and you see them there, lying on the grass, their suits folden very neatly in a pile next to them. Oh Germans...
Tonight Gudrun is making dinner for me and Frau S. and her family are coming over for my birthday, I think there will be cake involved. Its very sweet of them to do something for me on my B-day. I've been feeling a bit homesick lately, I guess after a few weeks the vacation menatality has worn off and its hitting me that I'm not going home for a long long time. I miss having people around who already know me well and I can just relax with. And people who speak the same language as me... BUT, Grant is coming on Monday! He gets a big prize for being the first to visit me :-) Other things to look forward to... tommorrow is a 'Wandertag' (fieldtrip) for the 5th graders and I get to go along to Schoß Nymphenburg here in Munich which I havn't seen yet. Wednesday I teach my first discussion class all on my own. Wednesday night I'm going to a synchro practice with the masters team here! Thursday evening I might to to a teahers Vollyball league :) Nevermind that I havn't played Vollyball since 8th grade! There are a few other pretty young teaching who are still working on their Praktikum to get their license an they are really nice, so I'm looking forward to it. Saturday... I get my own room... woo hoo! Today I went and got the rental contracts and found out that my room includes an internet connection, YES!!!
Good things. Happy Birthday to me :-)