A Shift in Focus

01/23/2011

My first final is five days from now, and even though I’m not that worried about that specific one, the fact that its so close is rather scary. Its my finals on the 31st and the 9th of February however that have me rather worried. I dont even know if I’ll be allowed a dictionary on that last one. I need a dictionary. We shall see.

With all this coming up, plus the writing of two 15 page papers, the majority of my free time is spent studying, reading, or writing. I just sit down at my desk here, turn on my lamp and study. This kind of thing really doesnt make for an interesting blog. At least this week I took some pictures though.

Thursday in my discussion section for my borders class we took a tour of the military archive here in Freiburg. Basically it is a collection of maps and paperwork that have to do with pretty much every aspect of every German military campaign since 1865. The only thing they dont have is a lot of stuff from East Germany which is apparently still in Russia.

It was really interesting to see an actual archive though, and to see original maps from Operation Barbarossa (WW2 Russian campaign). Though the military is not exactly my focus, I can easily imagine myself holed up in the normal archives in Berlin for weeks on end doing research for books. I cant wait.

Friday night we had another traditional dinner, this time it was cooked by my two friends from Norway. They made some sort of porridge thing from sour cream that youre supposed to top with cinnamon and sugar. Apparently they eat it on national holidays and such. It was interesting, but definitely and acquired taste.

Bottom right corner of the photo are these roll things with lox and parsley and such. It was actually really good which is still somewhat surprising to me because I’ve always hated fish. This isnt the first time here that I’ve had lox and liked it though, maybe there’s hope for me yet.

I love dinners like this because we’re all from such different backgrounds, with different native languages and cultures and traditions. Some of my friends speak hardly any English at all, and yet you put the 12 of us around a table and its a really great time.

After dinner, we played mafia, which was rather amusing to me simply because I hadnt played it since I was like 12. Also the fact that it wasnt just Minnesotan or American was rather surprising. You really never know.

Last night my friend Danija and I played in another Beer Pong tournament at the bar in my apartment complex. We got second place again. Although with 11 teams, I guess that’s pretty good. Dont worry though, we didnt play 11 games, we only played like 5 (which was honestly about 3 too many). That photo is of the line up for the games, we (the Blondinen) made it to the very last bracket. Lovely.

It was a fun night though, after the game we went downstairs to the bar and just hung out. I like living in StuSie (my apartment complex, short for Studentensiedlung).

Sometimes I catch myself still thinking that I’m still a minor and not allowed to buy alcohol. When I got here, German kids my age had already been able to buy beer and wine for 4 years which made going to a bar wholly unremarkable. Going to someones flat with bottles of beer or wine still feels weird to me. Like I half expect a policeman to come up to me and ask to see my id. They dont even id when I buy liquor at the grocery store.

I feel like I’m gonna come back to the States, turn 21 a month later and just not be phased at all. I mean its nice to be able to go out and buy a drink, and I’ll still be excited to turn 21 so I dont have to be sneaky, but it’s really not that big of a deal anymore. While everyone is freaking out about finally being able to go to the bar, I’ll be sitting there going yea, its nice, but its really not that exciting. Which is a lie, because it kind of is. Dont get me wrong, the first time I went to a bar here and got a drink, I was secretly really excited. But you know what I mean.

Sorry if this blog doesnt really fit together all that well. I feel like I just jumped from one topic to the next without any transition, but I honestly cant be bothered to spend the time editing. Tell you what, once finals are over in two weeks, the quality of these blogs will improve dramatically. Plus, I’ll be much more interesting.

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