Friday, October 21

back to school

Thursday at school: Yet another discussion on American high schools. I've got the whole rutine down pat now for any teacher who asks me to come to their class and talk about American high schools. I start by asking them what they know about American high schools and we make a mind map on the board (teachers here are crazy about mind maps, and they call them "mind maps" in english, it's funny), the first things they usually say are that we have school uniforms, I don't know where they got that from, I have to explain that only some private schools have uniforms. Then they usually say that we have cafeterias, which I explain is because we are in school all day until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Here most of them are done at 1pm, so they go home for lunch. Then dances come up, prom, homecoming, prom king and queen, social stuff like that. Then of course sports, football and cheerleaders. So, in case you were wondering, those are the defining aspects of "American High school" according to German high school students.

In my conversation class, which, incidentally is all girls around 15 years old, I had asked them to bring along an item for show and tell. It was a good excersize. We ended up talking about vacations, because several of their items had to do with places they had traveled. I knew before that the schools I'm working at are in pretty posh areas, but I hadn't realized quite how posh... most of their families had a second house in Italy or somewhere and they had traveled all over, Greece, Croatia, Sylt (an island in northern Germany near Hamburg), London, Irland, far more traveled than I was at that age. My family usually just drove to Ohio to visit my Grandparents, or a couple times to California also to visit relatives. I guess the distances are conperable, but still. I was a little suprised by just how affluent their families are. One girl's father is friends with the president of Egypt and they're going to visit him for the upcoming fall break! At the end of class I busted out electronic Catch Phrase which was a huge hit (Thanks Mom for sending it!).

Today I went to school as a student! Being a student is so much easier than being a teacher. You just have to show up and play along, teaching involves soooo much preparation. Anyway, first I went to an incredibly boring lecture on romantic poetry, I don't think I'll be going back to that one. I don't quite see the point in Vorlesungs, Lecture courses, it's just one hour once a week of listening to the professor read off their note cards. Blah, if I want to know about romantic poets I'll read a book, thank you very much. Next I went to a seminar on Animan figures in romantic literature. I think I might stick with that one. It would be hard for me, being that it's in German, but I don't have to get credit or anything, so I should be ok. And the reading is interesting, I've always wanted to read Puss and Boots in German :) Next I went to an English-German translation course for non-native speakers. Holy Brittish and Irish people... heaps and heaps of them. Also a couple american girls here doing Junior year abroad. I'm looking forward to the class, the teacher is cool and it will be great for improving my really terrible German grammar!

Tonight I went for a great run in the woods and now I'm quite contentedly staying in my room for the night. It's been an exahsting week and tomorrow I'm booked solid, babysitting in the morning, then synchro practice then one of the student teachers from my school invited me to go out with her and her friends. Yay german friends!

Geez.. .so much to do... it's like I actually live here or something....

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