Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hello hello!

I've been out of Germany for some time now, but I haven't stopped travelling!  You can follow my travels in Thailand at I'd love to keep in touch!

Monday, June 28, 2010


While we`re on the subject of football, I may as well go right on to talking about patriotism- in Germany the two go hand-in-hand. 

Germany is not a very patriotic country.  It's just not.  I've been here almost a year now and couldn't sing more than a few words of the German national anthem.  In regular times, it's not uncommon to go a few days without seeing a single German flag.  Germany doesn't have a collection of hymns and songs praising its purple mountains majesties, it's grand ol' flag, it fields of grain, pilgrim's pride, its Redwood forests... well, you get the point.

For the last few weeks, though, that's been completely different.

I think it's refreshing.  I think it's quite important to love one's country- I don't mean the Germans don't love Germany, just that they don't show it as much.  Sure, plenty of Germans think that America's pride is excessive and uncalled for, but I really do believe that a sense of 'team spirit' is healthy for a country.

I guess it has something to do with Germany's history- unfortunately, the name of the country still is a little stigmatic, and excessive national pride could be percieved as recoursive.  Germans are much more proud of their region or city- city pride is quite present.

Because of the world cup, though, there are German flags everywhere- on every corner, on every car, worn as capes, on beer cans, in store windows... it's a nice reminder to me not to take the chance of living in a foreign country for granted.



I was actually going to write about baseball, but I should probably write about baseball first...

We played "baseball" in Gym the other day... it was pretty funny.  Our gym teacher explained the rules in great detail:

1.  There are to be four bases.  There will be no home base.  The runner must run to first, second, third, and fourth (where third base usually is), and then he has scored a point.  The runner must not return to his starting position.
2.  The ball shall be white.  A field hockey ball will suffice.
3.  The bat may or may not be a novelty miniature bat- if it says "baseball", it qualifies.
4.  The catcher is a third party.  The catcher shall not belong to a team.
5.  There shall be no strikes, fouls, or balls.  Batters shall have three attempts.
6.  A batter will be out when hit with a ball.  Teams will switch after a batter has been hit with a ball.  Throwing is acceptable.
7.  A batter may run around the bases as often as he wishes.

These are the official baseball rules.

That being said, Germans can play soccer!

America recently lost to Ghana.  It wasn`t a bad game, though- 2-1, and lost in the second overtime.  Not a bad deal, all things considered!

Germany won yesterday against England, 4-1- that was a very good game.  I had expected Germany to win, but not by so large a margin. As I was saying to the lovely Soraya, I made a few observations:

1. Short after your first goal, England shot a second goal that wasn't counted. It was in though, England was gypped. That being said, the US shot a goal on England in the group stage that wasn't counted, either...
2. England played terrible in the first and last 20 or 30 minutes. In between, though, they looked really good.
3. Germany really did play better. Germany's guys are also REALLY fast....
4. Props to England for being the only country loud enough to out-sing the vuvuzelas.

Germany will be playing Argentina (who beat Mexico yesterday) next Saturday.  I think Germany will win, but they'll need a little luck- Germany scores its points on break-aways, not in planned plays.  I think it will be a high-scoring match, too- Argentina has great strikers.  

I'm not going to pretend to be a soccer expert (I've never interested myself in soccer before this year), but I'd say either the winner of this match or Brazil will win the World Cup.

Some scattered updates...

Alright, I'm going to throw in a few scattered updates here- don't bother reading them all, or break them up into a few days- I do use this blog as a journal just as much as a blog, so these are mostly just for me.

First off- mein Abschlussbericht.  I won't lie, I do not write this well.  A friend of mine offered to proofread it, and she did a nice job.  That being said, the whole thing is a little scatterbrained and disorganized.... na ja.  In any case:

Wenn ich auf das zweite Halbjahr zurückblicke, kann ich kaum glauben wie schnell es vorbei ging. Es scheint mir als es gestern gewesen wäre, als ich letztens hier in diesem Stuhl saß und mein Halbzeitbericht schrieb. Genau wie damals, schreibe ich jetzt mit Bedauern- ich bin traurig, dass das Jahr zuende geht.

Natürlich freue ich mich auf meine Famille und Freunde zuhause, aber trotzdem werde ich meine Zeit hier in Deutschland vermissen. Als ich hierher gekommen bin, hatte ich feste Pläne wieder in die USA zu fliegen- meine Familie war einen Anker, sozusagen. Aber jetzt ist nichts fest- natürlich werde ich nach Deutschland zurückkommen, aber höchstwahrscheinlich werde ich viele von meinen guten Freunden hier in Deutschland nicht wieder sehen.

Na ja. Manche Dinge kann man nicht ändern. Zum Glück habe ich viele Erinnerungen gesammelt, die ich nicht vergessen werde.

Im zweiten Halbjahr habe ich ziemlich viel Zeit mit meinen Freunden verbracht. Ich habe auch mehr mit anderen Amerikanern zu tun gehabt- im ersten Halbjahr habe ich dies vermieden, sodass ich besser Deutsch lernen würde.

Ein merkwürdiges Wochenende war vor ein paar Monaten- ich bin nach Köthen, in Sachsen-Anhalt, mit Todd gefahren. Dort haben wir bei einer Solarenergiekonferenz in der Universität Sachsen-Anhalt teilgenommen. Ich fand es eine besonders tolle Gelegenheit, weil es Ingenieurwissenschaften, mein gewünschte Studiumfach, und Reisen durch Deutschland einbezog. Es war interessant, einen Überblick über Alternativeenergie in Deutschland zu bekommen.

Glücklicherweise durfte ich noch ein paar Reisen machen- mit meiner Familie bin ich an Ostern nach Schweden gefahren, mit Todd bin ich vor einem Monat nach Braunschweig gefahren, und kürzlich bin ich mit PPP nach Berlin gereist.

Natürlich, waren alle meine Reisen zwischen Schule und Alltagsleben in Lübeck. Schule ist immer noch eine Hauptsache, und ich lerne fleißig weiter. Wir hatten in den letzten paar Monaten die Fächer Chemie und Physik, die mir besonders gut gefallen haben. Gerade jetzt arbeiten wir an unserem Klassenspiel für nächstes Jahr- obwohl ich nicht mitspielen darf, schaue ich zu und helfe bei den Produktionen gerne.

Letzten Monat hatte ich auch die einzigartige Gelegenheit ein Praktikum zu machen. Ich arbeitete bei GABLER, eine U-Boot Firma hier in Lübeck.

Ich hatte die Gelegenheit mehere Abteilungen von der Firma zu sehen. In meiner ersten Woche war ich in dem PR, Marketing, und danach in Auftragsabwicklung / Versand gewsen. Meiner zweiten Woche habe ich in der Qualitätskontrolle verbracht, und ich habe mein Praktikum diese Woche in der Montage beendete.

Jetzt bin ich jedoch wieder in die Schule. Da das Wetter wieder schön ist, machen wir jetzt Sport draußen- ich fand es super witzig wenn unsere Sportlehrerin versuchte Baseball zu erklären, und noch witziger als die Deutschen versucht haben es zu spielen. Davon abgesehen, spiele ich ab und zu Fußball mit meinen Freunden und ich bin wirklich furchtbar schlecht.

Fußball ist auch etwas merkwürdiges- ich bin froh, dass ich die Weltmeisterschaft hier in Deutschland erleben darf. Die Stimmung ist einzigartig, die Spiele sind lustig und ich habe eine ganz neue Wertschätzung von Fußball bekommen.

In Bezug auf meine Hobbys, spiele ich immer noch in einer Bigband, habe an einem fortgeschrittenen Tanzkurs teilgenommen und übe ich weiter Klavier. Mit der Bigband hatte ich ein paar echt tolle Konzerte in den letzten paar Wochen und ich bin mehr als zufrieden mit den Fortschritten die ich in meinen Tanzkurs gemacht habe.

Im Großen und Ganzen, habe ich definitiv ganz viel hier in Deutschland gelernt: Deutsch sprechen, Klavier spielen, Tanzen, sogar Fußball zu mögen (obwohl nicht ganz so viel wie Football) und vieles mehr. Genau so wichtig sind jedoch die Beziehungen die ich aufgebaut habe, die Kultur, die ich ein bisschen kennen gelernt habe, und die Erinnerungen, die ich nie vergessen werde.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm just going to repost something right out of Claire's blog- it's a good piece of writing, and what she says is worth taking note of.  Thanks Claire!

Tonight was one of those times that you tell yourself "Don't forget this". So I thought I'd write about it. Short and quick before I get into bed.

Today a family friend, Saskia, came back from a year in the US. A group of about 20 of us waited to greet her at the airport.

But before she came out...A teen guy walked out with the same look I did on my first day. His host family was waiting to meet him for the first time. I was in aww. At first I smiled and laughed, as if watching a family movie of myself. But my smile quickly faded. Realizing that seeing him was confronting me with my year. That was me. That was a scared young girl arriving in the first foreign country in her life. That was me arriving at a huge train station after dark and looking around frantically to where my host family may be waiting. There was me 10 months ago.

Then Saskia came out. Flabergasted and unable to speak German, she didn't know how to react to leaving one life for the next. In a matter of minutes, I saw my year flash in front of me. I saw my first moment in Germany. And through Saskia, I saw my last.

We all headed to Saskias house for a welcoming party. But my head was a blur. I cried in my host Moms and sisters arms knowing this party made me realize how close I am to the end. I realized my year has flashed behind me.

The party ended up being amazing. But coming home at 11, riding in the dark of the countryside with my family, seeing the planes fly over and the trains pass where all you could make out was lit up windows, I realized how much moments like that mean to me. Simple moments where I think with all my heart "I'm happy"- as easy as that. The end is coming, and its sad, but the ride is so enjoyable that one just has to close their eyes and act like the end isn't coming.

I've begun to count my own "simple moments"- the kind words, the caring glances, the simple gestures of my friends; the beauty of the German country, the charm of Luebeck, the warm summer evening that ends just too well- over and over again I'm reminded of my astounding luck.  The little things may be little, but they make a world of a difference.

I'm happy to be here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

America Won!

America won!

Quite unlike America, people actually care about soccer in Germany, and America just won in the last minute against Algeria!  That means we'll be moving on to the next round.

The German game starts in a few hours- if they win, they'll be moving on as well!  Hoorah!

Edit:  Germany won against Ghana, too!  That means they're moving along as well.  Next up:  Germany v. England and America v. Ghana!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Berlin Photopost!

So I'm a terrible photographer.  I really don't like taking pictures at all.  I bring my camera just about everywhere with me, but I never actually pull it out of my pocket.

Thankfully, everyone has a camera these days, and there are websites like Facebook.  Almost all of the photos that I'm putting here come from either Erin, Rachel, or Mariah's albums.  Thanks girls!