Daniel Spr05

Well as our semester drags on, and most other dickinsonians have been on break for a month now, I’ve been working away at all of my German projects. For every class I have to give a presentation for 20 min or so, and write a paper. To date I have given 3 of 4 presentations and writen 1 of 5 papers. The presentations (called referaten) are rather nerve racking because you’re trying to teach germans in german as they stare at you and make practically no comments. Although I was a little worried because they can be rather impolite while others are giving their presentations, in my classes they were more than attentive (you could hear a pin drop, which still makes it nerve racking, just in a different sense). After my first presentations in German I went to Poland as a reward for the weekend. I visited my “cousin” (a very distant relation) in Poznan which was so beautiful I would reccommend it to anyone (and I’m a tough critic). There I had the best cup of hot chocolate of my life (it was like a melted chocolate bar…German chocolate, not hersheys. We (the other dickinsonians and I) have also taken a trip to Amsterdam. It was very good. That city is also very beautiful. Upon the advice of Johanna’s father we took a canal trip for 6.50, which I would also reccommend for anyone. I myself was a bit skeptical but it was fully worth it. Dickinson just celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. It was occation for me to wear by clogs (that I had bought in Amsterdam). I know I know, but normally I don’t buy anything like that (although i do have a little Eifel Tower that my sister makes fun of me for) but hey, when you find size 13 clogs I feel like it’s a sign. There are only 3 weeks of classes left. That means I better go get writing.

I, being a French major, tried to seek out the French community in Bremen. I still can’t tell how big it is, but there are quite a few Aficans who live in our housing complex. Interestingly enough both of my French profs at the Uni are German but the teacher for my VHS class (which I was warned would be poor quality) is French and delightful. In fact I entered that class having rather low expectations of the level it would be taught at, and, as Johanna can attest to, I could not believe how good the other students French was. There French is SO good. As for my classes at the University almost more than half the students in every french class come from a french speaking country. and in our German history class for foreigners there are 12 or so students from France. Needless to say, I go about in a constant state of perplection because half the time I don’t know what language I’m speaking but I’m sure it will straighten itself out as the semester progresses.

Before I start I’d like to point out that even though Joanna spells her name without an “h” she insists on the German pronouciation of Joanna which is with an “h” so I will continue to spell it Johanna or however I spelled it before. So there Joannah. Anyway Johanna and I managed to go to walmart together last week. I bought a bicycle basket. I also bought a bicycle but not at Walmart, I bought it at a sketchy flea market for 30 euros. This past Friday I ventured out of Bremen once again to Hamelin/Hameln home of the Pide Piper. In this town they painted little rats all over on the sidewalk as a remeberance to all the rats and children that were luered away by the Pide Piper of Hamelin. It was a cute little German town and I spent they day wandering around and ended up climbing a mountain. It started to rain as I was 3/4ths of the way up, but I refused to climb down until I reached the top. As consequence, I spent an hour afterward huddled in a hut reading “The Idiot” until the rain stopped. On Sunday I made Johanna and Becky go with me on a 3 1/2 hour train ride to Schwerin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Former East Germany. There was supposed to be a beautiful castle there, and if there was or not we’ll never know. Well we know that there is a castle there at least but due to construction 1/2 of it was covered up by scafolding. We took a tour of the castle and, like the little pink elephant in the corner that everyone sees but no one mentions, the topic of why there were signs of construction every where and the view was ruined was not mentioned by our guide. We then ventured further east to Guestow…kind of. Actually it was some other small town that was depressing so we left. We took the train back, on which I spent the whole time studying German, whereas Becky and Johanna left me to sit with some German guy who had apparently been at some sort of Rave the night before. Our train smelled bad, but only when it stopped which was curious. At Hamburg we switched trains and I got a wurst and french fries, Becky got fries, and Johanna decided she didn’t want to wait in line so just stole our food.

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