Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fertig!

SO today I finished the last of my three Stanford essays.

Actually only two are completely done, but the other one is mostly done.  So that's good.

I still need to write the Common App essay for Stanford, though.  It goes on.


Today's a Wednesday, which means no Deutsche als Fremdsprache schule, so today I was at the Waldorfschule all day.  First period we learned about the history of Israel, which was interesting, seeing as I haven't had a world history class in years.  Then Math, which I can actually follow, and Religion, but I did the math challenge problems in Religion.  Then was Deutsche, which is terrible because it's a real lecture, and it's about German politics, so I can't follow much of anything.  Then English, which was a test that I think I did well on, and finally Ceramics.

That's not very exciting, though.

What is exciting is that on Monday I was invited to Marios' Geburtstag, and yesterday some girls invited me to the disko this weekend with them.  Unfortunately, I'll be taking an SAT during the Geburstag and I'll be at an AFS camp this weekend.  Typical.  BUT it's nice to have some friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dienstag...

SO.

Today was rainy in the morning, but then it got sunny!  Hoorah!

Monday was gloomy all day, but it never rained.

Today I had a bigband rehearsal- we played I Wish, Thieves in the Temple, Bluesy Basie, and Misty.

Yesterday I played badminton.

Badminton is always really fun.

Tomorrow I have a full school day.

Today I had just sport, and we played Volleyball.

Germans call Volleyball "wallyball"

My band director called Stevie Wonder "Stevie Vonda"

I think that's funny.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Travemunde Strand

SO.

Today Vincent and Geo and I went to the Strand (beach) in Travemunde.  Travemunde actually has an umlaut over the "u", but umlauts are a real pain to put into text with an Amerikanisch computer.  Quite literally, Travemunde means "Mouth of the Trave".  The Trave is one of two rivers, the other being the Wakenitz, that surround Lübeck.  See, Lübeck is actually an island, squished in between the rivers.  Here's a pretty picture:


While we're at it, and just for the record, here's a map, showing where exactly Lübeck is:


The pink area is Schleswig-Holstein, the state Lübeck is in, and the red is me.

Anyway.  Back to Travemunde.  Travemunde is a borough of Lubeck, and it was formed by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, to defend the Trave river.  It was later fortified by the Danes, and in 1329 it passed into the possession of the Free City of Lübeck.  It's the largest German port on the Baltic Sea, and is home to- this one is for you, Grandma Ree- the oldest lighthouse on the Baltic coast.



Well, anyway.  That's enough history for now.  Vincent and Geo and I met at the ZOB and took a bus to Travemunde.  We walked along the beach there, people watched, ate some Brats, drank König Pilsener,  but we just called it Kopi because that's better.  Here are some photos:




 I thought it was really funny how the clock tower on the Bahnhof had a really pretty old analog clock, and then big fat numbers underneath it.



The new lighthouse



Geo on the beach



This is Europe.




The public trampoline... we need some of these.


Lunch!

And last but not least... Vincent!



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mimi ist sechs!

So.

I really like that word- the Germans say it alot- because S's are Z's here, so it's more like Zo.  And it's very emphatic, too: ZO.

S's are Z's, and Z's are ts's, and W's are V's, and V's are F's, and E's are actually pronounced.  Always.  It's very confusing.

Well anyway.  Today was Mimi's birthday- she turned six.  In the morning we had a big breakfast, and then she opened some gifts- she got a cool new bike!  She also got some fun clothes for her babydoll and some bike stuff.

I left around 11 to go see my bigband- they were playing in the square by the Rathaus, or the City Hall.  This is the first time I've gotten to hear them play, aside from the one rehearsal I've been to so far.  I was really impressed, they're very good.  It's like Lexington High Jazz Ensemble, but older.  That was fun.  I also ate some delicious nuts.  They were delicious.

Mimi had some friends over for her party, and they played a bunch of games and ate cake and vegetables.





A breakfast feast!

  

Brötchen ist German bread- it's harder than American bread.  Germans like their bread hard.  There's also Croissants in there.  Those are soft.

  

Mimi and her new bike!


Delicious nuts.


  The Pirate Party was campaigning near the Rathaus.  That's right.  We have a Pirate Party.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ein neuer Federballschläger

So.

Today is Friday!  This week went by so fast, I can't believe it.  Deutsche als Fremdsprache in the morning, and then I went to the Waldorfschule but I didn't have class so I went into Lübeck- I needed to buy a badminton racket.

There's a big sport store in Lübeck called Karlstadt Sport. There's a bunch of other Karlstadt stores, I guess it's some sort of chain.  Anyway, there were like, twenty different kinds of rackets here.  In the US, it's impossible to find anything but toy badminton anything- rackets, birdies, whichever.  It was nice to be able to find something.

I also picked up a side-by-side English & Deutsche book of short stories.  We'll see how that goes.

And I have some pictures today!

Here's a German bus- I ride one of these every day, several times a day.




and here are Amerikanisch Kleidungs...

a pretty epic backdrop, if you ask me

me, riding my bike home.


and one of the pretty bridges I get to pass on my way to and from school every day.

That's all for now! Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

oh no Karl!

So today wir haben good news and bad news.  The good news is mine, the bad news is not mine.  I guess I lucked out this time.

The bad news first: Karlchen ist kaput.

Mia's cat is named Karlchen, or Karl for short.  Karl is a very nice cat that mostly keeps to himself and likes to be petted, like most cats.  The Baake's have another cat, too, but he mostly lives next door.

This morning Hannes went out to feet Karl, but noticed something was wrong.  He got Anke, who brought Karl inside, amid a string of very mild obscenities that were very well deserved: poor Karl was a mess- he was all bloody, one leg was completely crushed, and he was crying.  Poor cat.

We think he was hit by a car, and it's lucky that he survived.  Anyway, Anke took him to the animal doctor, where he was operated on.  He just came home earlier today, minus one leg.  Anke und Alex set up a nice little corner for him to stay in, but he likes sitting on the chair more.  I don't blame him, it's a nice chair.


The good news is that I got my visa!  I'm a legal resident of Germany now, until July 14.  Hooray!



(that's my visa photo.  exciting, huh?)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Die Bell

When somebody is behind you on a bike and they'd like to pass, they ring their bell.  This sounds very normal, but we don't actually do it in the US.  Sometimes kids get horns on their bikes, but more often than not there is nothing, and the rider just yells "passing" or something.

But in the morning, when you haven't quite woken up, bells are very nice.  They're not mean, they aren't saying "you're in my way", they're just saying "hallo, be careful"!  I think that they're much more friendly.  And they're pretty too.  It's nice to hear bells in the morning.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Musik

So today I went to my first jazz band rehearsal.  They call it "bigband", because saying brass band refers to Bavairan music.  Anyway.  It's a very mixed group, but it's all cool.  There's around three trumpet players, four trombone players, a bunch of saxes, and a regular rhythm section.  I'm the youngest one in the group, and the oldest is probably 70.  All in all, the median age is probably 35, but there are two or three university-aged students there, too.

But the music is great!  It's my level, which is good- I'll admit, I was really nervous going in, especially when I saw that (mostly) everyone was older.  We played some songs that I had played before- Night in Tunisia, Cute, Bluesy Basie- and a bunch of new ones- Chicken, Misty, Jailbird-something, and more.  It was really good to get the horn moving again, I'm really glad that Anke found this group.  They have a concert on Saturday that I think I'll go to, but not play in, but then after that I can rehearse with them every Tuesday.  We have a gig in November.

While talking about music, Mia has been practicing her Cello and the piece that she's playing is always, unconditionally, without question stuck in my head.  Or stuck in my ear, as the Germans would say.  I think everyone in this house has it memorized by now.  At least it's a pretty piece.

Hannes also plays Cello, so sometimes we fool around with duets- Cello is also (usually) bass clef, so I can read along.  It's fun.

I'd write more, but I'm really tired... so now I'm going to sleep.  Maybe tomorrow.

Gute nacht, everybody.

Monday, September 21, 2009

El Layout

Sorry to anyone who is only reading the auto-notes on Facebook of this blog, this post won't make sense. If you'd like to see the real blog, it's at afstim.blogspot.com.

Well anyway, I think I like this layout now. It's wider, so it lets you see all of most of my photos... while I think the last layout looked a little cleaner, this one is more functional. So I think I'm done fooling around with that... also, I think the visitor counter with country codes is really cool- I borrowed that from your blog, Mike, so thanks for that.

Anyway.

Today was pretty chill- I rode my bike to the Waldorfschule, and then dropped it off there and took the bus to my Deutsche Fremdsprache (German as a foreign language) class. I'm taking the bus to that class every day now- it's about a 40 minute commute when I make the connection at Kaufhof (I think that's the name of the station) and a 60 minute commute when I don't.

The Deutsche Fremdsprache was it for classes, though- I'm not sure why there wasn't class at the Waldorfschule in the afternoon, but there wasn't. Herr Wiegant was kind enough to relay that message to Anke who then relayed it to me. Instead of going right to class I toured Lubeck for a while, and then took a bus back to Schule so I could ride my Fahrrad (bike) home. I didn't have my camera, so no pictures today.

If I did have my camera, though, the picture I would have posted would have been of my meal! I ate at a small little restaurant in downtown Lübeck, and it was damned good. It's weird- food in supermarkets is generally a little more expensive, but at restaurants- or at least, regular, not superfancy restaurants- it's cheaper. My lovely meal today was champignons with beef gravy, carrots and kartoffel (potatoes- but kartoffel is a much more fun word) with chicken, a side salad, and a rum pastry for desert. With that came a bottle of Bionade, a non-alcoholic carbonated fermented drink. And the total? 5.20 euro.

Now you might want start to say that I could get a five-dolla footlong for less than that. That's true, but could I get a drink? Or maybe you'd say I could get a KFC combo meal, with a drink, for less. That's true too, but my meal came with real silverware, a fancy white plate, and it wasn't made out of fried dead babies. Mine wins, sorry KFC.

Anyway. Food is cheaper here. A slice of cheesecake is .85, in the US it'd be 4.50. Ja.

After lunch I took the bus back to the Waldorfschule, and then rode my bike home.

Sort of.

I actually rode my bike everywhere but home for two hours, and then suddenly I was there. I couldn't retrace my path now if I tried.

It's really okay being lost here, though, as long as you don't have too much of a schedule- everything is so pretty, I wouldn't have minded being lost for five hours. The bike path runs along the river, and it's just gorgeous.

Another thing I really like- I don't know if they have this in the US, but if they do I haven't heard of it- garden lots. What I mean by that is this: supposing somebody lives in a flat or an apartment here and doesn't have yardspace of their own to grow things, they can lease a lot from the town and plant things there. All along the bike trail there are these gardens- the river is on one side, the gardens on the other. And they're all very cute; they each have a nice little one-room cottage and are nicely cared for, with flowers and vegetables and trees and shrubs. They're very nice.

Anyway. Biking is fun.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Die Gute Liste

Some FANTASTISCH things about Germany:

1. Keine Moskitos
2. Busse
3. Fahrrad-freundliche Straßen
4. Brot

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Apfel & Diesel


Today was pretty low-key. I got to wake up late and then laze around, and had hot pumpkin soup for lunch.

Soup is a great word. Equally great is the German word: Suppe. They're both just fun to say. Soup... suppe... soup! Kürbis Suppe!

Germany smells nice. The Baake's have at least a half dozen apple trees on their property, probably more. Many of the apples have fallen, and on warm days the whole yard smells sweet. It's very pleasant.

I mowed the lawn today- Nicko would be jealous, meine familie has an old riding-mower. Mowing the lawn is sort of relaxing, I think. It's productive, but you don't actually do anything. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.

We went down to the lake today, too, which was very pretty. Here are a few pics.


Eine Woche

It's officially been one week here in Germany.

That seems so small, compared to a year. One week. It's seemed so much longer!

That being said, this week has been great. I think that many potential foreign exchange students are intimidated more by that first week than by anything else, and the idea is daunting: not only a new school and new home, but a new family, and a new language- that's intense.

To be honest, though, the transition was not hard. This week was a very pleasant surprise- everyone is nice, living with my family comes naturally, the school is welcoming. No, I can't speak the language, and no, I don't understand most of what is happening around me, but it's okay- as long as you can go with the flow, falling into a new life is not too hard.

Or maybe I just have it easy.

I got a haircut today! The haircutter didn't speak English, but with the little deutsch I know and some charades we figured it out.

A few things to consider...




















Here are Bruna and Cesar, other AFSers. We're all on the train to Hamburg.

















The Rathaus? I think that's how we spell it.

















My German class... fun!






















Sorry for the crappy photo... in Germany, playing the Cello cool enough to land a cigarette ad! I think that's pretty sweet.

More later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Facebook

Okay. I had originally said that I would keep off Facebook for two months, so that I could more completely immerse myself in Deutschland.

It's been a week.

BUT I do have an excuse! The reason that I think it would be better if I did log onto facebook again is not to talk to people back home (sorry, that sounds mean, but you know what I mean), but, rather, because people use Facebook here, too, to communicate and plan events. If I don't use Facebook, I'm closing the door on that many more opportunities to meet other AFSers and also people here in Lubeck. So... basically, what I'm saying is that Facebook will help me to more totally immerse myself. I think.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I nearly forgot!

The word for "forgot" sounds like "fergessen", but it probably has a v and maybe a u. I'm not very good at spelling here. I need to write this, though, because, ironically, I always forget forgot.

Anyway, I said yesterday I'd have pictures. Here they are.

EDIT: some pictures get cut-off by the layout- all of them are clickable, though, for a more complete image. Also, here's the album: http://picasaweb.google.com/home

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The girls are my host sisters, Mimi and Stine. The single house (not the row of house) is where I'm living, and the last picture is of a light switch. All the lightswitches are like that. They're kind of cool.

Okay, gute nacht!

Busy busy busy

Actually, contrary to the title, today wasn't actually that busy. It was productive, though. I unlocked my phone, set it up with simyo, a German phone network, figured out my debit card, got a bike (actually Anke got the bike for me) and more!

There was German Klasse again today in the morning, but no Waldorfshule after that. There are a few kids in my German Klasse who are also here mit AFS:

Kittaporn, Thailand- Kitta and I are carpooling together often, because we both go to the Waldorfschule. Kitta is staying with Johanna, one of Lotta's friends.

Vincent, China- Vincent speak very good English, but he's having a hard time with Deutsch. I think English is much more compatible with Deutsch that Chinese is, I'm lucky.

Bruna, Paraguay- I haven't talked to Bruna too much, but she's nice.

Cesar, Uruguay- Cesar was in our German Klasse, but he was too good, so he moved up a level. German will be his sixth language- the kid is crazy.

Anyway, we're all going to try to go to Hamburg tomorrow- I have HKTU at the Waldorfschule after German (sculpting again), but after that Vincent and Kitta and I will take a train into Hamburg and meet Bruna and Cesar there. Hopefully.

Mein Gastfamilie ordered a simcard from simyo, a pay-as-you-go phone company, for me. I had to unlock my phone before it worked with the simcard, though, and AT&T was just not being nice. Eventually the internets provided good enough, though, and I figured out what I needed to do.

The internets did fail me though! I had really hoped that I could call AT&T and my bank with Skype, but I couldn't. For some reason I though calls to businesses were free. Guess not.

Anyway, now that my phone and debit are taken care of I should be all set. More importantly, I shouldn't need to make any more long-distance calls. I feel bad making calls to the US on the family's phone, but the phone card I have (simplink passport) doesn't work at all. Which is a shame.

Anke had put an ad in the school newspaper asking for a bike, which was very nice of her. My family has really been super- they've thought of everything. In addition to getting the bike and the phone, they labeled everything in the house with sticky notes before I code here (komode, tisch, stuhl, hocker, fenster, bad, tür, etc.) and made a big Wilkommen sign for me. I really couldn't ask for a nicer home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waldorfschule

Hallo! Today there was no German class, so I spent the whole day at the Waldorfschule. My schedule looked something like this:

Deutsche stunde
Religion
Mathe
Englisch
Deutsche
Mittagessen (Lunch)
Sculpting

Some things to thing about:

1. My grade is about 20 people, in big classes we are all together and in small classes we are split into zwei oder drei groups.
2. There is at least a fifteen minute break between every class.
3. The campus is open; students can leave during breaks, at lunch, or when they have no more classes.
4. My sculpting teacher was a kliene-Doc O
5. Germans dress essentially the same way as Americans, but with straight leg jeans instead of boot cut.
6. Everyone rides their bike to schule, there is no parking lot because students don't have cars.
7. All grades 1-13 are in the same building.
8. The school has a garden and woolpigs!
9. Woolpigs are pigs with wool. Go figure.
10. In Englisch class we played the board game Scotland Yard, so that we could learn about London.

Yesterday I had Sportwahld (I think that's how it was spelled)- Gym. Gym is optional, though, so there were only four people. We played two-on-two basketball, it was very fun. It was a really good workout.

I bought new batteries today! Tomorrow I will take some pictures for you.

But now it's late. Gute nacht!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mein neues Leben

Hallo! I've been in my new home for several days now, and I'm very happy here. Germany is very beautiful- everything is so open and bright and green. Today it rained, but even then it was pretty- after the rain the skies opened up and there was a perfect rainbow.

My camera batteries died, so I cannot share more pictures until I find some new batteries. In the meantime, though, here is my new room:


I have zwei große Fenster und eine tolle Hängematte. I like my Hängematte.

In Germany there are no in-wall closets- instead, there are big wardrobes, like this:

So for the next couple weeks I'm taking German class at a community-college type of place, and then when that is over I go to the Waldorfschule for an hour or so. Today was easy, because the last-period class at the Waldorfschule is English.

The Waldorfschule is so cool! There's a full forge for smithing and a full workshop for carpentry. I really hope I get to use the forge this year- you walk into the room and everything is metal, and there are big anvils and crucibles and it's so cool!

There are zwei kleine Mädchen (two small girls) in mein Gastfamilie, Mimi und Stine, who are just adorable. They always help me out, because when I say "Was ist das?" it's like a game to them, and they're eager to answer. Das ist ein Fische! Das ist ein Buch! They're good kids.

Clara, these pictures are for you- There ein Hund here, her name is Lise, and she's the prettiest dog I've ever seen. I've never been a big animal person, but Lise is an exception.

Well, anyway, once I get ahold of some AA batteries I'll have more for you. Life is good! Tschüß!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Germany

So yesterday was a really long day, and by the time I got home it was time to sleep, not to write. We flew overnight into Frankfurt, where we met around probably one hundred other AFS students from around the world- Brazil, Turkey, Hungary, China, Taiwan, you name it. The flight over was good- some kids were afraid, given the date-, Sept. 11, but it was uneventful, thank goodness. Rachel basically died on the plane, but by the time we landed she was fixed. Patrick sat next to me and we had fun, with this or that. Darren made fun of people. It was all cool.

By the time we had gotten all of our bags through the airport and into the room where AFS was staying, though, pretty much everyone was dead tired and stinky. We did get to meed other AFS kids, but nobody was really in the mood to talk too much.

On the train from Frankfurt to Hamburg, I met a girl named Chloe, from Belgium. I liked Chloe. We spoke a good deal in French, and a good deal in English- she knew about as much English as I did French, and we both knew equally bad German- with a little give and take, though, we had a good time. We listened to Death Star and CombiChrist, two of her favorite metal bands, and Superbus, one of my bands that she knew. It was really cool, actually using French. I would have fared much more poorly had Chloe been German.

That being said, a boy from Hungary and I had a very, very simple conversation, in German, about our host families (gastfamilie) and real families.

AFS is pretty neat. You should try it sometime.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Orientation!

I'm not going to lie, before I had arrived in Washington DC I didn't see much of a point in an orientation, much less a three day one. It was really good, though: looking back, I'm very happy that the CBYX program included it. I know that I met some great people and made some good friends.

During the orientation, when we got some free time, a bunch of kids and I started an AFS band- we had three trombones (posaune), two saxophones (saxophon), a trumpet (trompete), and a violin (violine). We pulled out the old LHS classics- Chameleon, In the Jungle, and good ole' Saints. It was a lot of fun- especially when we had a singer. In the Jungle was a blast.

I roomed with a kid named Theron, one of the saxophone players. He was wicked cool- we listened to jazz and techno every night. It was cool stuff.

I really am impressed with the camaraderie that was so quickly formed at the orientation. It was only half a day with Patty before there was a definite bond between kids. We played Euker and had dance parties and jammed and chilled and it was cool. Uncle Chris, whenever somebody pulled out the cards I thought of you- I've never seen Euker since you taught it to us, other than this past week.

Our table was called Team Dino (I think I had mentioned that earlier). Our group leader's name was Sydney- she had studied abroad in Germany and France, and was really fun to pick on. Poor Sydney. She knows we love her, though. Especially Matt, he loves her a lot. A super lot.

Also at the orientation was Erin, the trombone superplayer who was at my PDO and my interview at Mt. Ida, Rachel, who is unbelievably short, Claire, who is fun to dance with, a couple Daniels, Mike, who was the trading post guy at Camp Onway, and more!

Anyway. This post is more for me than for you, but it's good to write. I'm glad they had the orientation.
Dude I'm going to GERMANY tomorrow!!!!!!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Washington DC

So today was the day we got to tour the State Department, the German Embassy, and visit our Congressional Representatives. We also had some time to chill out around the city, see the sites, etcetera, etcetera. I also need a haircut, and I'm listening to Secret Garden, which is inspiring.

I DID SEE A BARBERSHOP but it was a $65 haircut. I'm not that desperate.


video

This here is a slideshow, I didn't want to load on a bunch of pictures, so here's the collection in brief. Sorry about the music, I couldn't figure out how to get stuff off my ipod quickly.

The German embassy was sort of cool- I've been on German soil!- and the lady who gave the presentation there was engaging. The State department was a dud, though. A little disappointing there.

On the other hand, we DID get to meet representative Tierney. Not at the State Department. Elsewhere. He was really friendly. I shook his hand, and we took pictures. We're like, bosom buddies now. We're getting coffee tomorrow at noon. And he said he'd be my first-born's Godfather, if I like.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hallo!

Hallooo!

So I didn't post last night because my laptop was all packed up lickety-split with my suitcase and backpack, and also because the day was pretty boring, just packing.

Anyway, I've resolved not to venture onto Facebook unless absolutely necessary- to pull a piece of information, for example- so you will not see me on facebook for two months. I think this blog should sync with Facebook, though, and you'll see blog posts. For those who are just hopping on the bandwagon, this blog can be found in full at afstim.blogspot.com.

TODAY I got up at a super early to get on el airplane to Washington/Dulles airport. The flight was one of the worst I have ever had- I mean, it was short, which was good, and it's not like I'm complaining about actually having to fly- I don't mind that. But it was extremely bumpy and jerky- I've never noticed turns on an airplane so much. I think our pilot was a bit touchy.

Whichever. I arrived in Washington fine and joined up with AFS and we went to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in somewhere in Virginia, where I am now. The CBYX kids and I have a three day orientation here before we fly out to Frankfurt.

Not much was planned for today, and some other kids brought instruments, so we did some impromptu jazz and played two tidbits from trombone trios, which was fun. Then there was a dance/cookie party in room 203 (the Daniels' room, perhaps?). Here's a super quick video, just to see if I can make it work:

video


Anyway, that's cool if that works. We'll see.

There are fifty CBYX kids, a few which I recognize from orientations and interviews here and there. I'd say I'm friends with about half, now, which is pretty cool, and I can name more than half, which isn't bad for just one day. I'm proud of myself, at least.

Mmm... we're all broken up into smaller groups of eight or nine kids. My group is called TEAM DINO, after a the fantastic dino wars that have broken out. So far I'm one for one. His dinosaur was lactose intolerant, my dinosaur was inebriated. Which ever.

We watched a video today, Goodbye Lenin. It was okay. Two stars.

Oh! And I taught my roommate Tharren (?) how to iron a shirt! My mother would be so proud.


Here's a fun picture:

Monday, September 7, 2009

mmmmmmmmmlate night

So I guess technically this blog post is a day late, but I'm going to be sneaky and back-date it so none of you readers will ever know. Sneaky sneaky sneaky.

Today we visited our friends the Mahlings in Chelmsford, who, as it turns out, also happen to be hosting an exchange student. Il s'appelle Alberto and he's from Spain. It was actually kind of revealing for me- Alberto didn't speak much English, so I could picture myself in his situation in a week or so.

How weird is that? Less than a week until I'm situated in Deutschland. Speaking of, here's a fun link for you, I'm pretty sure that that's the house I'll be living in. You can write to me! Send letters to:

Seekrug 1
23627 Groß Sarau
Germany

I promise I'll write back!

So today I learned how to say owl in Spanish: buho. I think. Or at least it sounds something like that. In french it's hibou, but it sounds like ee-boo. Silly French.

I saw Madame the other day and she had a carpet! And la technologie!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yo

So today I actually started packing. I've been telling people that I was just going to throw stuff in a suitcase the night before, but I really don't want to have to iron everything once I get there, so I'm packing nicely.

It's tough, though, because there's a 44 pound luggage restriction. Nicht cool. I've also been throwing out all of the piles of junk in my room, which I don't mind- I've always taken a sort of a perverse pleasure in getting rid of things. I dunno, maybe it's a sort of psychological fixation with streamlining- I like to get rid of stuff I don't need, because it makes me feel like I'm more efficient.

Of course, I'm not. I still spend just as much time goofing off as before, but whichever.

I found out the other day that Clara, my sister, will be moving into my room. Also not cool. I had been under the impression it would become a guest room, like it's always been... oh well.

Today was my last day at Mobil for the rest of forever. It's too bad, because that was a really sweet job. I literally got paid to do whatever I liked for four hours, as long as I stayed near the register. You can't complain about that.

I don't have a comic to share tonight, but here's a nice picture of Triff:

Friday, September 4, 2009

My God, why do colleges need to make things so difficult?

Each college needs separate letters of recommendation from different teachers on different forms in different sized envelopes at a different time and it makes everything such a headache! I'm telling you, it would save everyone a lot of grief if on the student section of the applications there was a part that read:

"Do teachers like you or could you potentially bribe, finagle, or threaten them into saying they like you? Yes or no."

See, then we just circle "yes" and the letters of recommendation are completed. Perfect. Viola. Presto. Finis.