Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sommersemester Woche 1, Drew Visits, & Die Wannsee

Whenever I don't update for awhile, one of two things usually happens. First, absolutely nothing happens. Literally, nothing. Orelse the time flies by, I've done so much, and I just don't know where to start. This time, the latter has happened.

To sum it up quickly, my friend Drew from language school came up to visit from Tübingen (near Stuttgart) last week. Last week was also the first week of classes for Sommersemester, which in English would just be known as second semester. On Sunday, Drew left and I went to the Wannsee for a picnic with Rob, Cam, Ashley, Dan, and some kids from Rob & Cam's program. That's the short version of events. Read on if you want to know the longer version.

Drew came up on a whim and didn't know when exactly he was leaving. So I let him stay. During the day, I would go to a few classes and then come back. On Wednesday evening, we went with Ashley to see Dropkick Murphys and Less than Jake in concert. It was pretty chaotic, to say the least. We were up front for Less than Jake and the crowd went wild. We were moshing and ska-dancing around, so much so that I basically pushed Drew over (even though he's at least 5 inches taller than me) and broke my bra. Yes, people, I broke my bra from moshing and yes, it was a first for me. Hey, it happens.

We moved to the back for Dropkick Murphys because you could feel the anxiety in the air to just go crazy. We were pretty beaten up from Less than Jake, and not to mention that there was a creepy bald guy trying to hit on Ashley and me by staring at us with a look he probably thought was seductive. (It was just plain creepy.) The acoustics were pretty crappy, but even so, I sang along to "The Workers' Song" and "Barroom Hero," amongst others. Stiny, if you're reading this: I wish you had been there! You would've had so much fun.

On Friday evening, I chose a club in Prenzlauerberg, Icon, to go to because I had seen an advertisement saying that one of the guys from the Propellerheads was DJing. Ashley and Drew came with me and the selection of music was pretty good. It was electro, so it was a surprise to see Pablo with his friends Alex and David. Sure, I had invited them to come with us, but I didn't expect them to go. Pablo always goes to drum & bass parties, which, unsurprisingly, he went to afterward. Anyway, that was basically Drew's visit.

Last week was also the first week of classes. I realized that I'm not as stressed out as last semester when I had to pick them out, and it's probably because I know the rules of the game. It was pretty funny today because Ashley, Cam, and Gergana (Mt. Holyoke student in the Midd Program) came to a Vorlesung (general lecture) that I went to last week. At the beginning of the class, the professor said that he had to speak to the one American student afterward. I was the only American student last week, all the others were Austrians. (Short digression: Can I just say, Austrians doing their 'abroad' year/semester in Germany is a little ridiculous? That'd be like Americans going to Canada for an 'abroad' experience.) Anyway, Ashley, Gergana, and I discussed writing a Klausur (written exam) for the course and Cam asked if he could take a 2 hour one. The professor said the Klausur would be around 45 minutes, so Cam can't take it (not enough for his program), and Gergana asked, "Wait, are we allowed to do that?" On the sheet we give to professors, it says the Klausur has to be 1 hour and a half long. I wanted to just nudge her really hard and say, "It doesn't matter!" I explained later that it doesn't matter because as long as we're writing a Klausur, the program director doesn't need to know the tiny little details. It'll say on paper that we did an exam and that's all that matters. It's learning the rules of the game.
Dan on the jungle gym at the Wannsee. No, he didn't knock little kids off.

I'm almost done choosing classes...I'm definitely taking Massaker in der Frühen Neuzeit (Massacres in the Early New Time), Das Kino aus Taiwan (Taiwanese Cinema), and Geschichte der öffentlichen Kommunikation: Der Nationalsozialismus und die deutsche Gesellschaft (History of Open Communication: National-Socialism and Germany Society). Das Kino aus Taiwan is actually a Hauptseminar, a.k.a. graduate level course. However, it's being taught by an American, so his German is actually really easy for me to understand. Even so, I'm probably crazy for taking a grad level course in German!

Last thing to mention is the trip to the Wannsee. Cam thought it would be a good idea to go out to the lake, have a picnic, play a little Fußball. That's exactly what we did. A bunch of students from his program came and Ashley, Dan, and I were there representing the Midd program. We played an impromptu game of Fußball (Ashley's shoes acting as one goal, two empty bottles of Beck's being the other), which was not too bad, considering most of us playing are American. The only Germans playing were Cam's roommates Anna and Joanna. However, some Turkish kids wanted to play with us, so we let them. They weren't half bad. It was really amusing, too, because Cam would urge them on, saying, "Ok, Ahmed!" and "Gut gemacht, Aqbar!" (however you spell it). Ashley thought he was being mean and making up names for them, when in reality, those were really those names. We also 'adopted' a German girl, Sammy, who was pretty brutal, and then a little German boy whose name I didn't hear. All in all, it was a very active day.

And this has to be the most scatterbrained entry I've written in awhile.

Oh, but here's a joke that Ashley told me that I really enjoyed. But first, the background story to why it's so funny to me. A lot of Americans I know here have been adopting German grammar. In German, you would say, "Kommst du mit?" in order to say, "Are you coming?" However, the literal translation of that is "Are you coming with?" What I mean to say is, many of Americans are just tacking on prepositions to the ends of sentences and questions, where in German it would work. Obviously, it isn't grammatically correct in English. And now, the joke:

There was a prospectus walking around the Princeton campus, admiring the buildings and wandering. He wanted to know where the library was, so he stopped a student and asked, "Hey, do you know where the library's at?" The student blinked at him and replied, "Yes, I do. In the English language, ending sentences with prepositions is grammatically incorrect. I know where the library is." The prospectus paused a second and rephrased the question: "Do you know where the library's at, asshole?"

Ashley and I found this joke quite humorous because we're ending sentences with prepositions now and we both have a small dislike for Princeton. The End.

Oh, and sorry for all of the pictures from the Wannsee. I just didn't take any pictures really when Drew was around. And I don't have any pictures from my classes, obviously.


Joel W. said...

Sounds like fun. Glad you made it to the LTJ and Dropkick show! I've seen both bands, just not together like that. Was that creepy guy as bad as or worse than "Kenny G" at the Nerf show? At least he has the energy to be a concert predator as opposed to internet predators who are just plain lazy.

P.S. I don't normally spam, but ya gotta check this site
it has video clips of almost anything-bands, commercials, tv shows, sports events. A fun place to spend a lot of time.

Stiny said...

Um, of course I'm reading your blog. And I remember Drew, he was awesome! Say hi to him for me. I am so jealous of that concert it sounds wicked fun...who knew all the great american music was in berlin. Oh higher ground...

Jackie said...

Haha. That's insane that you're just starting classes for the semester. My final exams begin in 2 days!

And speaking of random American concerts in foreign cities, Jennifer Lopez is here right now. I guess the States don't want her anymore...

Anonymous said...

Du hast ja schon eine Menge Sachen in Bln. gesehen. Schon in Köpenick gewesen? Tagesausflug in die Köpenicker Altstadt, und Schrörs am Müggelsee (der schönste Biergarten Berlins) in Friedrichshagen kann ich sehr empfehlen...

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