Curiouser and Curiouser

01/30/2011

I really should be studying right now.

I had my first final Friday afternoon, and even though I studied a lot, not one thing I studied was a part of the final. Actually, nothing that was covered in class was on the final either, but you’ll never guess why that is.

All us international students had a special oral final with him instead of the multiple choice test that the normal German students took. It didnt help that he danced around the question when I asked him what sort of questions he was going to ask me. I was completely in the dark, so I studied everything. Now I understand.

The first thing he said when I walked into his office Friday afternoon was “I wont be asking you any questions today, we’re just going to sit and chat for a little and then I’ll give you your credits and you can go.” Apparently, he and some of his colleagues in the history department think that we international students should be rewarded for showing so much interest in Germany and that we are willing to risk getting worse grades because of taking classes and exams in a foreign language. And that reward is having no final. I was rather shocked when he explained that to me. In fact, I would quite like to have seen my face transform from poorly disguised nervousness to poorly disguised excitement.

We talked about my interest in history and how I want to be a professor. He was really interesting to talk to and I will definitely be taking the lecture he’s offering next semester, not because of the lack of final, but because he’s honestly a really good professor. Its too bad that I’m not here for a degree, I bet he’d write a really nice recommendation letter for Grad School.

Needless to say, I’m writing him a thank you note.

I have a final tomorrow however, that I know will be difficult. I can do this.

On to the fun stuff, yea?

Tuesday night we had a French dinner cooked by my two friends from France. If Tuesday seems random, its because my French friend Sarah is going home later this week. Sarah made Quiche and a savory cake with olives, cheese and speck while Valentin brought a bunch of cured meat from home (he’s from Orleans) and 1/4 a wheel of cheese for dessert. Oh, and wine. And Baguettes. And these really good pickles that apparently Valentin found here but I cant find them anywhere. They were delish.

Last night french Sarah had a going away party at her friend’s flat here in StuSie. Sarah (roommate from England Sarah) made flapjacks which are not the country western thing you’re thinking of, but rather like a sweet granola bar thing. I made onion rings.

Actually, I really cant say that I made them, because it turned into a team effort about halfway in. I would dip the onion slices in the batter, Sarah would roll them in the breadcrumbs and then put them back into the batter and then we’d fry them. They were a little doughy, and our apartment still smells like onions and oil, but they disappeared at the party in a flash.

You’ll never guess what I had to use as a substitute for breadcrumbs… crushed up Matzoh.  Not only was it not kosher for passover however, but not kosher at all. This raises the question, do non-Jews actually eat Matzoh as a cracker? Weird.

Anyways, the going away party was really fun, there were some people there I havent seen since September and it was nice just to be able to forget about finals for a while. After a couple drinks at the flat, we headed over to StuSie bar to go dancing.

I have no pictures from last night because my camera was dead, sorry about that.

Well, that’s pretty much it I guess. Today is just me sitting here at my desk doing some last minute studying for tomorrow with the soundtrack to the Prince of Egypt playing in the background. How exciting.

Oh, one more quick thing that makes me really happy. Apparently, I must look pretty European because I’m asked rather frequently if I am French, or Spanish, but the best is definitely being asked if I’m German. Especially because this has happened more than once, and even after I’ve opened my mouth and said something in German.

Even though being mistaken for a German only comes from other International students, its still exciting. There’s nothing wrong with being seen as an American, dont get me wrong, but living here and trying to be as much a part of the culture around me as I can means these comparisons are really nice to hear. Plus lets be honest here, Europeans in general look so much classier than Americans do.

There’s this expectation here, not that you need to dress up every day, but that you need to simply dress. No sweatpants or jeans and a T-shirt, but actually put a moment of effort into picking out what you’re going to wear every day. Its nice to have everyone look put together. The difference is most remarkable with the guys, they wear nice shoes and jeans and scarves. Its nice.

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2 Responses to “Curiouser and Curiouser”

  1. Robyn Says:

    That’s so great about the final (or lack thereof). But I’ll bet you would have aced it anyway.

  2. Samantha Says:

    Sarah, I totally eat Matzoh as a cracker. For the longest time I thought there was no other way to eat it, but that was also before I figured out it was Matzoh. My mom raids the Passover section after Passover. Yeah, we’re odd. Also, I had no idea that there was an actual Orleans! I mean, like, duh “NEW Orleans,” there must be an “OLD Orleans.” I feel silly.


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