Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quickie Update

So I don't really have too much to say, just wanted to check in-

The last two weeks I've been working at Gabler.  Last week I spent time in Marketing, PR, and sales.  I did a lot of translations and some work with databases- I'm pretty sure I talked about that in the last post.

This week I've been in Quality Control.  It's pretty interesting- I've learned the fundamentals of reading schematic diagrams, how to use a dozen different measuring devices, and gotten a good look at the inside of a submarine company.  It's quite impressive- just about every piece is custom built, including screws, nuts, washers, and all the little pieces you'd normally expect to come from stock.

Today I'm going to play volleyball with some friends.

Tomorrow I'll be going to a university in Sachsen-Anhalt to learn about the future of solar energy- there's an overnight conference there, I'll be chilling with Todd.

Saturday I'll be going to Braunschweig!

Okay.  The short post is finished!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'll talk about GABLER in just a second.  First, I want to point out something that's been bothering me.

Why we say, "Should I try and save a spot for you?"  or, "Go and buy me a few turnips?"  Do we actually say these things?  Or are those just bad habits I've picked up?  Especially with try- I don't understand the replacement of "to" with "and", especially considering how ubiquitous the first person + infinitive construction is.  Why should "try" be different?  "Try and do" doesn't make any sense at all, when you really stop to think about it...

Okay.  GABLER.  I started my Praktikum (which, once again, is similar to an internship) on Monday, and I'm working at a firm called GABLER here in Luebeck.  GABLER builds submarines and thermoform machines- machines that make plastic trays, cups, joghurt containers, etc. You can find GABLER's website here.

On Monday and Tuesday I was over in Advertising and PR, yesterday and today I've been in Sales.  I think next week I mosey on to Quality Control, but I'm not sure.

I've actually been doing a lot of translation work here, in several different departments.  People have heard that there's an American in the house and call up 'der Praktikant'.  I don't mind, though- it's nice to be useful.

For the last two days I've been doing a little bit of database management and updating, too- GABLER has three databases and only one is really up to date.  I've been updating prices in the other two.  I wouldn't say it's exciting, but it's not bad work, either.

Today I had even had an extra project- I was given a printout with a bunch of costs and variables and had to duplicate the processes- so, for instance, I'd be given X and Z and have to calculate variable Y which connects the two, and then program it into excel.  That was actually pretty fun, and at the end of the day I had a pretty impressive looking Excel spreadsheet that could calculate revenues, profits, percent profits, total costs, material costs, and human labor from just a few of the variables.  I'm not sure how well I explained that, but in any case, it was rewarding.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Surfin' Safari

Wollen wir zum Strand?
Tja, aber erstmal chillen... ganz entspannt, ne?

I'm not sure how many times I heard that, but it was definitely more than a bajillion.

Nelia told me that Mrs. Janus is mad at me for not updating more often, so I'll put in just one more post tonight before bet.

On Friday we (the Hamburg/Berlin crew) went to another beach and played more volleyball.  This time, though, we went to a big Surf Fest in Pelzerhaken.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of it, but I can tell you it was great.

See, surfing is very popular here in Germany.  Much much more popular than in Boston, in any case.  They don't have any waves, though- the Ostsee is completely flat.  They get around this by windsurfing and kitesurfing.  I could be wrong, but I don't remember either one of these being particularly popular in the US.

In any case, at this surf festival there were at least twenty vendors of boards, sails, and masts.  Everyone could try out all the new products free of charge, and the water was pretty full of surfers.  Personally, I find water pretty wet (and consequently, quite eklig), so I stayed out of it, but it looked like a good time for everyone who was there.

I met up with the other Tim and Anininine, Lasse, Christoph, and Joelle from my class, too.  They're all surfers, but they stopped in for a few rounds of volleyball.  Afterwards we had a quite lovely beach party until early in the morning.  It was one of the most ridiculous, fun times I think I've ever had- I know Annine stole my hat and wouldn't give it back, there was more volleyball, much revelry, shisha (I don't smoke),  music, and at least one existential conversation on the lifeguard tower.  Eventually we were told by the beach security that we weren't allowed on the beach after 8:00 PM, but they were cool and turned a blind eye and let us carry on.

The rest of the crew that I came up with went home around 3:00, I ended up staying there for the night with the others- at four in the morning I didn't see much point in going home.  Luckily, Tim had a seat free in his car.  It wasn't comfortable at all, but at least it was warm.

The next day was definitely a chill-day.  I don't think any of us slept too well in the car, so none of us had much energy.  I got up around 10:00 anyway (I had to stretch out a bit) and wandered the beach, and on the way back was invited to two breakfasts- one from a teacher at our school, the other from some random guy who hadn't quite sobered up from the night before.  Of course, I accepted both offers graciously.  A breakfast isn't something one should give up!

After a third breakfast with Joelli, Tim, and Annine, we spent most of the day in the back of Tim's car.  Like I said, we were pretty exhausted.  We threw open the trunk, folded up the back seat, and threw a bunch of sleeping bags in back an pretty much just sat around listening to Jack Johnson, enjoying the sea breezes and making small talk with the people who passed by- ganz gechillt, ganz entspannt.

Am Strand


Because of Ascension Day, this was a long weekend for Germany (Thursday & Friday schulfrei!).  On Wednesday I went out with a few friends on a quasi-Kneipentour- we started with cocktails at Ohana, went on to the Sternschnuppe, and ended up at Cole Street.  It was a good time! 

It really went down the next day, though- the whole Hamburg/Berlin crew came up to Luebeck.  More specifically, Basti, Simon, David, Sophie, Udo, and Flo from Berlin, and Merle, Jan, and Marie from Hamburg.  Most of these people were either in Hitzacker or Bergwerk or both.

We went to a beach on the Ostsee (Baltic Sea) on Thursday and set up a volleyball net.  It was just a little bit cold, but a lot of fun.  David and Basti are both really great players- they're both in Germany's Vierte Liga- I think that's about the level of the North Shore Spirit baseball team, for comparisons sake, or maybe one better.

Pefect form, in every sense of the word ;)

The nice thing about the sub-perfect weather is that we literally had the beach to ourselves.  And, after playing a little, it was plenty warm enough.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Big News!

So I haven't had much time to post too much here- in the last few weeks I've been on my computer pretty often, doing a lot with colleges and scholarships.  BUT I finally have a decision!

I've registered for the University of Southern California class of 2014.  Hooray! 

Now, it could turn out that UPenn pulls me from the waitlist, in which case I might be going there, but in either case I've got something set up for next year.  That's good!

I had been worrying about this- I didn't receive my aid package from USC until earlier this week, and it was already way past the May 1 SIR deadline... in any case, everything worked out. 

Hopefully I'll get around to write a little more here now... thanks for your patience!