15 April 2008

Recreating Normal, New Conversation and of course a little Travel

I know I have been MIA lately. It feels like a whirlwind right now and I am not really sure how I am suppose to be feeling. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm depressed, I'm happy, anxious, lonely, enthusiastic, probably pretty much all the emotions you can think of. I probably need to explain.

I have been back in Germany from my mentally exhausting, unexpected trip to the US. I was excited to get life back to normal even though after everything, it will never go back to the "real normal" I am used to knowing. But I must keep moving, before I get left behind.

Its seems like English Conversation could not get off the ground and to actually fly. But we are finally on a regular schedule. This semester will prove to be my most difficult yet. Even though there is not as many classes, they are complete opposites. I have whole classes that are so enthusiastic and eager to talk that sometimes it's hard to keep it under an hour. Then there is what my professor likes to call my 'tight-lipped' group. They just don't speak. But look at me, with a defeated type stare. The problem is they know enough English and they are all so great with language but lack the self confidence of talking with a native speaker. (I am so guilty with this in German but I only know 6 months worth of the language haha!!!). So if any of you guys out there have any "new" ideas about how to get my quiet students talking....please help!!!

I have came across another what seems like massive challenge, in one class I have a Polish guy who doesn't know much German and must communicate in English (rather good, makes lots of mistakes but can work them out on his own and loves to talk), a guy who's mom is South African (basically half native speaker with half native speaker ability), girl who studied in America for one year (love talking in English), a girl who's mom is an English teacher and then mixed with them.....two of the most shy German girls I have ever met who are so intimidated by the others that would rather cut off their finger then speak a word. They are sweet girls and I look forward to see them progress.... So Conversation has returned...finally!!!

So in desperation to get back to normal and to give my emotions a little break.....right after I got back to Germany I went to Dresden. An Easter Roadtrip weekend with some of my most favorite Germans, Caro, Rudi and Thomas. We really missed the others but these three (even if they don't know it) helped me "recreate" normal again. Surrounded by people who mean alot to me and doing something I love soo fiercely....travel.

Dresden is an lively, exciting city with a very unique history. We learned the 'Altstadt' (old city) was completely destroyed by Allied bombings in 1945 which leveled 75% of the city and killed 40,000 Dresdeners. Depressing I know. But the city bounded back and is now fully reconstructed. The most impressive is the Frauenkirche. The massive cathedral laid in ruins from 1945 until 1994 when they started in reconstructed. It's amazing. In 2005 it was reopened in the public to see. Ironically, a British guy put the church back together, the funny thing about its that this guy's Dad was actually part of the RAF raid in 1945 that destroyed it. We also saw art and an medieval armor display in the Zwinger, a baroque palace from Saxon ruler August the Strong, the Semper-Oper (Opera House) and of course the Elbe and several Castles. We stayed at a fun hostel in the Neustadt (New city) and hit up the Dresden nightife after seeing the sites all day. The only bummer about the trip is that it snowed the entire time hahahahaha. But hey I am a South Dakota, a little snow doesn't bother me....

I totally forgot to mention this, the weekend before my Grandma died, my friend Roman and I took the train up for a day in Hamburg. Its the biggest port city in Germany. I overlooked my spontaneous, fun trip but I truly had a great time. I talked to my Grandma on the phone the night before and I so looked forward to telling her all about it. The harbor was magnificent. Massive cargo ships!! Seriously never seen anything so big!! We had the best time...I love just going somewhere unexpected just to feed the travel bug with a little appetizer.

On top of getting back to normal, restarting Conversation and getting some mileage across Germany....I am graduating!!! In three short weeks. So trying, but seems like not succeeding to finish my portfolios, complete my English Research project and of course starting to think about the future....for the first time, the world is really at my fingertips and I don't know where to go next or where to start first...making me feel a bit lost hhahahahaha.......

So when in Germany....keep moving forward, oh and make sure you go to Dresden...I hope it's not snowing for you...and of course Hamburg...most preferably with great friends...its not the place it's the people.

Oh I am soo excited....starting to plan major Italian Eurotrip in June.....for sure bring you some details later!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

The way you talk about your travels makes me want to move Germany up on the "Places to Go" list. I look forward to seeing pictures when you get back home.
Sandy Z

Anonymous said...

Hi Honey! I know we talked about Dresdan, but after reading your account I want to visit! The pixs were fun! Good luck with the shy girls! Love & Miss ya!