Monday, April 26, 2010

Again, I'm sure I'm the worst blogger ever.

So it's been exactly 4 months and 1 day since my last post. Shit! I am the worst blogger in the world. Alright, my bad guys. I don't even know if anyone reads this. Anyway, so much has happened in the last 4 months and 1 day. I started my internship with the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (the Bavarian State Conservation Office for you English speakers haha) on the 1st of April. I LOVE it there! The people I work with are so nice to me and it's really chill and laidback there. I come in basically when I can and I'm pretty much in charge of what I do. If I don't have anything to do then I find someone and just ask them what there is to be done. It's great. I hear and speak German all day with actual Germans so it's really helpful. Lately I've been archiving all these slides from archaeological excavations; I like it. So...what else should I highlight about what's been going on in D'land? Hm...well last month (March) Starkbierfest occured during Lent and that was cool. I went to Paulaner am Nockherberg 3 times during Starkbierfest and let me tell you, that Starkbier is Stark! I only had 2 Maß and I was fine and dandy. The last time I went my friend Shannyn came with me and we ended up making friends with an older Bavaria couple who shared their radishes with us and talked to us the whole time. They were adorable. And then Frühlingsfest began on the 16th and I went the day it opened. I finally bought a Dirndl so I wore that and I looked adorable and so very Bavarian of course. I went into the Augustiner tent and it was so much fun. It's basically a smaller version of Oktoberfest but it's much calmer and there are hardly any tourists which is great. However the day that I went there just so happened to be three big groups of loud, obnoxious Americans around us; they ended up breaking about 6 Maß-Krugs and one Weißbier glass. Ridiculous.

I also started my second semester (finally, I know haha) on the 19th. As of now I'm going to 9 classes (I know, I know, that's a ton of classes) but I'm only taking 4 for credit; I'm going to the others for the sake of learning some interesting, new things. The weather has finally become very nice (well except for today; it rained). I've definitely noticed a change in the demeanor of the people all around me because of the weather; everyone is much happier. It makes sense that nice weather makes people happy. During my 2 month (yes, 2 month!!) Semesterferien (semester break) I traveled to Cork and Dublin, Ireland; Budapest, Hungary; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Those were my three big trips during the break. I also took a day trip to Rothenburg which is a lovely and cute medieval city in the northern part of Bavaria. I also booked a trip to London in July; I'm going there about 3 weeks before I fly back to the U.S.A. I'm super excited because I'm planning on visiting the Sutton Hoo site and seeing the finds from that site at the British Museum. I know, I'm such a nerd. :)

I've made some friends with the Sommer Semester JYMers; they got here towards the end of March I think. They're really cool; yay for more friends! Hm...what else can I say? I don't feel like going into every single, little detail of what I've been up to because I'm lazy and that would take forever. I've kept up with my journal so at least I've written everything down somewhere haha. I really can't believe that I've been here for a little moe than 7 months; I only have about 3 months left - sehr traurig! This experience has flown by; it's crazy! I'm planning on getting one of the two tattoos that I've planned to get here in Munich next month; the second will be in June. I'm really excited for them because I've wanted more tattoos ever since I got my first one. I need to check out this one tattoo place called Medusa; a friend told me about it - it's where she's getting her's. They look pretty legit; hopefully my tats won't be super expensive but even if they are I'm still getting them. They aren't that detailed or big but we'll see. Well, I'm done with the updates. Again, I'm just living my life, doing my thing, and things are going great. I'm going to make the best of my last 3 months here because I know it's going to be so hard to leave. Ciao!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I fail.

So I am quite possibly one of the laziest people ever. With that being said I officially FAIL in this whole having a blog thing and updating it regularly. I just realized that I have written a THING on here since October. Wow. BIIIIG time gap there. It is now January 25, 2010. Oy. I've been writing regularly in my actualy journal but I just can't bring myself to get the motivation to update this blog regularly. SOOOOO much has happened since I last wrote. I looked back on my last blog post and I realized that I didn't even finish talking about my first week in Munich! How pathetic!! Like I said I have it all written down in my journal and amazingly I'm able to update that regularly but when it comes to sitting down and typing out a blog I just can't seem to get the motivation. Weird.

So my first semester here ends on February 11th; so in less than 3 weeks. 17 days to be exact. CRAZY!! And then my Semesterferien begins and during that time I am doing quite a number of things. I'm going to Ireland from Feb. 12th to the 17th, Amsterdam from March 25th to the 29th, and Budapest from March 8th to the 12th. As of now those seem to all be my big trips I suppose. One of my best friends is coming to visit me from March 1st to the 15th so she'll be joining me in Budapest, as are 2 of my other friends here. I'm going to Ireland with just one of my friends; same with Amsterdam. I found out today that I have a test in one of my classes on Wednesday. What a wonderful surprise. I haven't read anything for class so it'll certainly be an interesting test. This past Tuesday, the 19th, I had an interview with the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege and I ended up getting an internship that starts April 1st and ends July 15th. VERY exciting!! This will be my first college internship. Plus it's in Germany which makes it even better. I'm not sure what I'll be doing yet nor am I sure of the eact details of the internship but I'm sure it'll be awesome. I can already tell that this blog really isn't going to have any sort of structure to it; it's just a stream of consciousness type post. Oh well. I just don't feel like structuring it. I'm writing just whatever comes to mind.

I went to Prague with 3 of my friends here from December 18th to the 21st and that was definitely an AWESOME trip. And then way back in October I went to Paris with another friend and that was, again, amazing. Um, let's see what else...oh yea next semester the JYM program is getting 48 new people. FOURTY-EIGHT NEW PEOPLE ADDED TO OUR ALREADY THIRTY-SOMETHING GROUP. That will put the number of participants over 70 people. Oy vey. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Mostly I don't care because next semester I'm going to be at JYM as little as possible. I'm required to take the next level of the Advanced German Language class so I'm thinking that that will be my only class at JYM. The rest will hopefully be LMU classes. My internship will be worth 6 credits so that means that I have to register for 3 more classes (4 if I wanna be super busy and have no life and take 18 credits). I might take the Art in Munich class that JYM is offering just because it sounds very interesting but who knows. I know that I want to take at least one Art History and Archaeology course at LMU. I NEED to experience Art History and Archaeology classes while I'm here. It's just a must.

So let's see, what other major happenings can I put here. I know, I know, this is definitely not a good continuation of my last blog but oh well. I'm hoping that from now on I will be able to be motivated enough to update this thing at least once a week. I can't guarantee that I will post pictures on here. That's asking way too much of my lazy self. Haha. But all of my pictures are on Facebook and let me tell you, I have taken a crazy amount of pictures since I've been here. Like probably over 1,500. Crazy, right? My friends here always know that I will be the one documenting EVERYTHING I possibly can and they've come to expect me to take an insane amount of pictures where ever I go. And I definitely do. So my niece, Mackenzie Lee Patterson, was born on October 17th. She's definitely the cutest baby I've ever seen in my life. No lie. I'm going to teach her German, it's gonna be great. I got to spend Thanksgiving in a castle and have a knight's dinner; that was wild. And then Christmas and New Year's was fun too. I watched Munich erupt in a sea of fireworks from the roof of the green house here in StuSta. It was an incredible sight. Of course I experience Oktoberfest too. Not that I remember most of it. Haha. I'm pretty sure I'm doing well in all of my classes and I do hope I get good grades even if only my credits transfer back to Hood. I still try very hard in my classes despite that fact. I know my German has improved a great deal, especially my understanding of it. It's definitely not where I want it to be though. I'm speaking way too much English and I'm really just hurting myself by doing that. The whole point of being here is to become really, really good in German and if I keep going down this path of speaking mostly English, that's definitely not going to happen. I need to really be committed to speaking German 24/7, even if my fellow JYM-ers respond and talk to me in English. Hm...what else can I write about? I hope to be able to travel around Germany as much as possible too. One of my friends here and I want to try out hitch-hiking and couch surfing at one point while we're here. Hitch-hiking in Germany is supposed to be super easy and really safe so it would definitely be an experience that would be fun to try out!

I can definitely feel myself suffering from an Art History and Archaeology withdrawal. I went to the Alte Pinakothek a couple of weeks ago and I found it quite difficult to recall names of artists and art styles which made me sad. So I'm definitely looking forward to taking at least one Art History and one Archaeology course next semester so that I can get my groove back haha. Alrighty, well I'm gonna stop writing for now and like I said before, I will really try this time around to update this thing at least once a week. Tchüss!! :D

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A small update...finally!!!

Alright, so I've been in Deutschland for a little more than 3 weeks now and I went (until today of course) that entire 3 weeks without internet in my room and let me tell you, that was a very frustrating time. My only contact with people back home is through E-mail, Facebook, etc. and while my friends here let me use their internet just about whenever I needed to, it sucked not having my own internet connection. But anyway, enough about that, I'm over it now.

So, these past three weeks have been filled with lots of different types of activities. The first couple of days were filled with lots of information and I felt a little overwhelmed at first because my German isn't great and it was difficult understanding everything that was said. So we arrived in D-land at 7 something in the morning on Wednesday, September 16th and we were met by the Resident Director and the Academic Coordinator of the JYM program, Hans-Peter Söder and Sommer Sherrit. We then loaded all of our stuff into a nice bus and headed to the Studentenstadt which is our home for the next year. We then had a few hours to ourselves to sort of unpack, nap, etc. and then we had to meet at the JYM building at around 12:30 in the afternoon for food and information about the next day. After that we could do whatever we wanted and I ended up just going around some parts of the city with one of the girls from the program, Kate. So we went by the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, some of the university buildings, and other random places. We went by Karstadt which is a popular department store here so that I could buy a towel and an alarm clock since I didn't have my packages that I bought yet. Then we walked through the Englischer Garten and then I honestly can't remember what I did after that because so much has happened that it's all blended together unfortunately.

So the next day we had to meet at JYM again at around 9:30 in the morning for a nice breakfast made up of lots of good breakfast foods like bread, cheese, meat, yogurt, coffee, juice, water, milk, granola bars, etc. Then after the breakfast came an immense amount of important information and paperwork that we had to fill out, including the forms for our residency permits and other important bureaucratic things. After all that came lunch at the Löwenbräukeller, which was really good. I don't remember the name of what I got but I did take a picture haha! Then after that came a tour of the surrounding area which was given by the awesome Hans-Peter Söder. After that we had free time until the packages that people purchased, including me, came. The guy who delivered them came about 30-40 minutes late and by the time he got there it was raining pretty steadily so we had to unload all the packages in the rain. By everyone helped each other and while I was really soaked, it went by quicker because we all helped each other out.

The next day we had a light breakfast at JYM and then we had to complete a placement exam to determine our level of language competency. This test was very hard for me, especially the hearing comprehension part. The reading and writing wasn't all bad and I did end up doing better in the reading and writing sections than I did in the other parts. So I'm in the B1 level. From that test they split us up into two separate groups and for the first two Moduls (I'll explain that later) we took the Moduls separately. Anyway, that day (Friday, September 18th) we ate lunch in the Mensa, which is a student cafeteria-type thing which has decent and cheap food so it was good. Then later in the evening we had a tour of StuSta which was helpful in orientating ourselves with our new home.

I'm sorry if this post was boring and a little repetitive (especially with all of the "and then..." statements). I'm trying to catch myself up so I will write more tomorrow (hopefully) but it's 12:15 in the morning and I'm tired and I have orientation stuff at 9:30 in the morning so bis später my friends!! Oh and I'll try and post pictures too. :D

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the eve of my departure...

Well technically since it's after midnight it's the day of my departure but I'll just forget the technicalities for now lol. Anyway, I can't exactly describe how I'm feeling right now. I'm tired but I'm too excited and nervous to sleep (which explains this blog). I said goodbye to my best friend today and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Yes, I cried a little but I'm better now because I know she'll be OK and I know that she's happy for me. I know I'll probably get much more emotional at the airport when I say bye to my parents and sister though; I just know that's gonna be hard.

It's so weird that this day has finally come. I remember counting down back in January when it was t-minus 9 months and now it's just a matter of hours. I'm extremely nervous about my level of German as I fear it's not good enough but I'm trying my best to keep positive. I'm really beyond happy and excited about this whole experience but I still have that natural nervousness that comes with this type of thing. I know it's gonna be a huge adjustment at first but I'm gonna just jump in head first and hope I swim if you know what I mean. I know my family and friends will be fine while I'm gone and I know they're all very happy for me so that's comforting. I'm trying to not think about all the things I'll miss (like the birth of my niece and my brothers' graduation for example). I know that this is going to be an amazing experience; one that not many people get to have and I thank God for this opportunity and I know He'll guide me through this successfully and next year I'll come back to America with new experiences to share and a new perspective on the world I'm sure.

So I think I'll attempt to get some sleep. Auf Wiedersehen America. See you in July 2010. Bis dann, much love. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First blog!

I've never been very gifted with the written word so please excuse my lack of creativity and wittiness when it comes to this blog haha. Anyway, the main purpose of this blog is to share my upcoming experiences in Munich, Germany (but I'm sure I'll throw in random blogs here and there too haha).

So I'm leaving for Munich on September 15, 2009 so that makes it 2 months and 15 days until I leave as of now; kinda scary. I'm studying abroad through a program called the Junior Year in Munich and I'll be in Munich until July 28, 2010. I really couldn't be more excited about this but I'm also a little nervous, anxious, and maybe even a little scared. But mostly I'm thrilled. I've dreamed of studying abroad ever since I went to Germany for the first time in 2005.

When I visited Germany in 2005 I was a sophomore in high school. At that time I had only had one year of mediocre high school German so my German was very, very bad. But I had such an amazing time in Germany that I knew I wanted to go back there; I had fallen in love with that place after just 10 days. I wanted so badly to become fluent in German so I continued taking German and by senior year I knew I wanted to major in German in college. Amazingly I placed into Intermediate German but when I stepped into my first college German class I realized just how bad my German was. I thought "how the hell did I place into this class?! I'm totally going to fail!" After my first semester of college German I seriously considered giving up on German. But I stuck it out and my German started to slowly (emphasis on the slow) improve and by the end of my freshman year all thoughts of giving up were gone.

I started to think about study abroad in the very beginning of the first semester of my sophomore year of college. After a couple of meetings with different people to discuss all things study abroad, my German professor advised me that I should consider majoring in German since I wanted to study abroad. By December I decided to double-major in German and Archaeology (after a sudden realization that I no longer wanted to be an International Lawyer and that I wanted nothing to do with politics or law in general) and soon after that decision I declared these subjects as my majors (with Art History as a minor). I began filling out and doing all the things needed for my study abroad application and by the end of December I turned everything in. Then at the end of January I got the letter I had been so desperately waiting for: I had been accepted into the study abroad program!!

I've thought about what life is going to be like in Munich almost every day since I got that acceptance letter. Call me obsessive but I'm just so damn excited! It's so surreal and sometimes it's almost hard to believe that I'm actually going. I know it's gonna be a period of ups and downs (especially in the first couple months) but I'm positive it's going to be an experience of a lifetime.

Oh and just a little side-note about the title of my blog. It was the name of my textbook for my German Lit. class this past spring semester as well as a phrase that was used to describe what Germany was full of in a quote by some German poet. Thus I thought it'd be an appropriate blog title. Until later my friends! :D