Dan05-06


early, early morning greetings everybody,

I haven’t exactly been Mr. Diligent when it comes to writing on this blog. I did, though, make sure to make one more post before i head back home. That is, by the way, today. In about 16 hours and 20 minutes I’ll board a plane and begin my journey home. My journey to Germany last September terrified me. I was to fly from Philly to Frankfurt and board a train to travel to Freiburg with two stuffed suitcases and a backpack packed to the brim!?! Honestly I felt like I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the culture, for the language, for the independence.

A lot changes in a year! I’m about to make a similar trip home (Bremen-Hamburg-London-NYC-PA) and this time I’m not scared at all. Even better, last time I travelled with 2 companions, and this time I’m alone. I’m not fluent in German, but a year has given me confidence in the skills I have to travel all over this country, alone, and feel fine.

Going home is definitely bittersweet. The idea of being in a country where everybody speaks my language seems odd. As cliche as it sounds, I’ve grown accustomed to the way people interact, the pace of life, the whole system. I like it. Not that I don’t like how it is at home, I just felt proud after I was able to get this system feeling natural to me. The first few weeks in Freiburg I could do nothing but think of how much better things were in the U.S. Then a few months later I could do nothing but think of how much things were in Germany. It’s not so easy anymore, and I’m glad I’ve learned to like certain aspects of each society/nation.

The year is up, and it will take me a lot longer to realize all the ways in which I have changed during the duration (if I ever do realize all the ways). I’m looking forward to a good 4 week stay at home, and then getting right back into the swing of things for my senior year at Dickinson. It’ll be really good to be back.

If anybody has questions about the program, or Bremen, or Germany…and wants to talk to a guy who likes both Bremen and Germany (and will give an honest answer) you can feel free to contact me at pattleyd@dickinson.edu.

I’m glad to be going home, but I’ll be back. I know that much.

Take care, and of course, mach’s gut

mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Daniel Pattley ‘07

Well readers, I have realized that I am really lazy…and should be updating more. The past few weeks have been a lot of fun though. Sean and Jen arrived, completing the group and raising our number to an intimidating 6. Sarah and Caroline celebrated their birthdays, and we had a huge dinner out downtown…with a bunch of dickinson students, Bremen students, students that have studied abroad at dickinson…it was a lot of fun.

Last week we took our group trip to Wien (Vienna)…and man was that a blast. Dr. Stollmann booked us in this really nice hotel right in the middle of downtown. We were a few minute’s walk from countless historical and cultured sites. During we week we got to visit the Hofburg palalce, Schoenbrunn palace, the imperial Habsburg Vaults, where the bodies of the royal family are buried, great gothic and baroque cathedrals, the natural history and art history museums, the national library, a few operas, a few theatre plays, Freud’s house, Mozart’s house, coffee houses, cafes, restaurants, pubs…the list goes on and on. Every day was full of activities. Wien was absoluetly gorgeous. The architecture had the same charm as paris, and i found it to be more spread out. The accents there were really interesting…not really difficult to understand (usually), but definately distinguishable from the dialect up here in Bremen. I think we got a good chance to get to know Dr. Stollmann a bit more, and I hope he had as much fun as we did.

I also will be moving in next door to Herr Stollmann on April 1!!! I will be able to spend the last 4 months of my trip with a host family, and I am really excited. Now I will have partial experience in a german dormitory and also with a family. I’ll be closer to the downtown area, but farther from the University, so it is a tradeoff. In any event, I am looking forward to moving in with them, and will very soon contact my future family and introduce myself. I should get going and cook dinner/ get some work done. Talk to you all later. Take care, and for those of you stateside on the East coast…enjoy all that snow. I haven’t seen too much this year and do miss it.

freundlichen Gruessen,

Dan

So, I am an awful blog-updater and have not added anything to this in a loooong time. Well, I will give you all a shout out to let people know, yes we are all, indeed, alive and well here in Bremen. Winter is still in full-force, and right now there is a slippery coat of ice and a small amount of snow in many places. It has been cold, but nothing more than I expected, and nothing more than can be handled (but then again that is just me). I don’t think it is any colder than Carlisle (normally) but it is rainier in the winter (hard to believe I know).

Classes are winding down to an end, but the Wintersemester will still be going until the end of March. I have an exam for my Deutschland in Europa seminar on Wednesday, a paper for my Einführung in der Sozialstruktur Deutschlands due at the end of March, a paper for my Soziologische Theorie 1 course due sometime, and a paper/Exam for my Soziologie der Armut course due at some point, I am still waiting to hear back from that professor. I am really looking forward to the break between semesters because I will be able to do a little travelling and also a few friends from home are coming to visit. I won’t be able to travel as much as I initially hoped and planned to during the break because of the papers, but it doesn’t really matter, I will still be able to relax over the break without classes.

Our group will be complete soon. Sean arrives Tuesday morning, and Jen gets here on Saturday (just in time for Sarah’s birthday) and I am really looking forward to that. Then, next monday-friday we will be in Wien (Vienna) as a group with Dr. Stollmann, and I am looking forward to that as well. According to Dr. Stollmann he has us booked for some good stuff…like perhaps operas/theatre/concerts/museums/ the whole shebang. It should be nifty.

Well, actually, I do need to make this one short so that I can head back home and cook some dinner. I gotta take the bus now because the pedal on my bike snapped off. That is not to say I don’t like taking the bus, I just enjoy riding my bike…it gives me some guaranteed exercise time 4 or 5 days a week riding too, and from the Uni. Take care, everybody, and I’ll hopefully post something again real soon.

Tschüß, und dann, und auch mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Dan

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