Weird things that I miss right now…

1. Late night/all-night study sessions/paper writing in the dude, the fishbowl or the ugli. Accompanied of course by non-stop Pandora and probably Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Watermelons and/or Arnold Palmers.

2. There was a second thing, but I accidentally payed attention the Sarah Silverman Show in German (and I really hate Sarah Silverman, so I don’t even know why it is on), and now I have forgotten it. But I’m sure I will miss it again in a day or two, so then I’ll share.

I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life

Hey all! It has been a lovely week so far!

The first day of class, Monday, wasn’t TOO exciting… It actually started out horrifying when my lead teacher actually kicked me out of the first class of the day and left me with absolutely nothing to do for two hours saying, “I’ll meet you in the staff room at 9:50.” Hmm. I actually started to read the history book that I had brought along, which I was going to use for the US map in case I actually was going to teach. Anyway, eventually one of the other English teachers found me and helped me out, which was I so thankful for! She showed me around the school a little more, introduced me to some people and got me a key to the building/conference room/bathroom. I taught one class and then ran outta there hoping to get my Meldezettel and pay my rent. The internet told me that the office was open until 2:30, but when I got there at 12:10, the guy was already gone, so I had to leave my stuff and come back the next day. So, since I couldn’t get the Meldezettel, I couldn’t get a bank account or my residency permit that day. I bought some food for lunch at the grocery store and went back to my apartment to relax. I awarded myself with a nap after a “long day.” I woke up, cooked some dinner, watched some American-sitcoms-dubbed-in-German, emailed and such and then went to bed around 11. Bad Aussee- always thrilling!

Tuesday was a much better day at school and was actually a really awesome day in general. I taught a bunch of classes with my “Intro to Alaina/Michigan” lesson (haha) and some classes were good, some were bad. I taught what was a 5th form class (about to graduate, supposed to have really good English) and I was astonished at how bad their English was. But some classes were a lot of fun! It was a good day, in general. I left school and went to go do all my official stuff. I got my Meldezettel and residency permit (which I had to pay 110 Euro for grr) but of course the bank was closed for lunch. So I did some hardcore grocery shopping for the week (something I always enjoy) and then went back to my apartment. To my surprise, HILARY’S PACKAGE HAD ARRIVED! I was so excited I exclaimed and ran up the last flight of stairs. In it were a batch of Emi’s famous cookies (still fresh), half of a BFF necklace (aww!), the new Cosmo (w/ Megan Fox on the cover), a sweet mix CD and a pumpkin candle holder (my only Halloween decoration!). It made my good day much much better! Especially the music- something about new music is just so great. So, I got ready to go out again to the bank. It was a bit confusing at first to figure out where to go, but I figured it out. I got led into the office and this CUTE Austrian is sitting at the desk. His name is GERHARD- how great is that? To make a long story short, there was some flirting and when he handed me his business card, he wrote my account number on it and said (in German), “And this is my cell phone number” and I laughed and said “Ooh” and then he said just kidding haha. ….then he gave me his business card again right before I left and said “If you need anything I’m always here” ha. So maybe I’ll see him around Bad Aussee again. After that, I walked out of the bank, sent some postcards and it was raining a little bit but to my delight there was a rainbow!!!! I had to walk around the little park and enjoy my amazing mood. After that, I went back to my place, took a nap (waking up at 6 am is really getting to me!), woke up, ate dinner and some cookies hehe, watched TV then went to bed around 11.

Today I woke up and cooked a breakfast burrito with 1 scrambled egg, cucumber, green onion, tomato and parmasan cheese. DELCIOUS. And it was also a good day in school. I went to 4 classes and, again, really enjoyed one of them but the rest were OK. One class wouldn’t speak any English and wouldn’t shut up. Grrr. But then I went home and cooked the most delicious grilled cheese I have ever had in my entire life. It included red pepper, tomato, cucumber and green onion. Yummmmmmm. Then I took a nap (I’m going to try to break this habit next week….) and just been hanging around. Now, I’m watching Catch Me If You Can in German and relaxing. I don’t have class tomorrow until 9:55, so I think I will sleep in a little tomorrow :). Sounds nice! Then Friday is freeeeeee and Frankie is coming this weekend! I keep getting told to go to Salzhaus (the disco in BA) on the weekends, so I’m excited to check it out haha.

Soooooo the dirt on my school- I am teaching a 3 different schools: HLW (a technical school or business and tourism), HAK (a technical school for business/industry) and BORG (I thought it wasn’t a “real” Gymnasium, but I guess it is). I tried to go into the school without any preconceptions (thinking the BORG kids would be better in English)….but it turns out they really are. The HLW/HAK students aren’t as excited about English, but some classes are. So I guess I can’t generalize….. But, whatever. Some classes are really good about speaking English to their teacher and to each other, but some I am constantly saying: “ENGLISH ENGLISH” – mostly because I can’t understand a word of German when their speak in their slangy dialect. Punks.

Anyway, in the conference room there is an automatic coffee machine and I’m in love. It’s great being able to just press a button and get coffee haha and for free! (You had to pay 40 cents at the school we taught at in Graz haha). All of the teachers are really friendly and they feel the need to remind me that two the assistant in previous history have fallen in love in BA and still live here. Ha. I speak about half English, half German with the English teachers, but if I speak in German they will switch. I’ve been told a few times that my German is really good, so I’m happy about that :).

And I’m starting to feel really at home and comfortable here in BA. I like the school, the teachers and students seem pretty good and I’m starting to get a feel for the city. Most excitingly: I have found the GYM and the LIBRARY! I haven’t been to either, but I know they exist, so I’m quite excited. The gym is only 210 Euro for 6 months….so that’s pretty awesome. And I’m pretty pumped to try out the disco! Hope it’s worth it :). The only thing that I don’t like about being here is missing everyone and everything from home :(.

Hmm….so what else? I think that’s about it for now.
Hope all is well!!!
Love, Cheers,
Alaina

Tick tick tick tick on the watch, life’s too short for me to stop

Oh man! Tomorrow is the biiiig day! I’m a little nervous and a lot excited, but at this point it’s just like “I want to get the first day done!” and then it will all be easy. OK, well maybe I have to get past the first week for it to be easy, but you know what I mean! 🙂

Last night, I had a dream(/nightmare?) that I got into school, my teacher put me in front of the class, and I didn’t have a lesson planned and all of the kids were bored and just staring at me. And I was trying to talk to them and tell them about myself and they didn’t like it at all. Then, I went to the next class, and they were even worse because they were just talking to each other and totally ignoring me! In my dream, the whole time, I was thinking, “This isn’t how they said it would go at orientation!” hahaha. Ohhhhh dear, let’s hope it goes better than that!

I’m kind of afraid I’ll just get up there and be like “umm, umm” the whole time. But I guess if I’m prepared, it will be good! And even though I’m not sure if I’m actually teaching tomorrow, I have planned a lesson. It’s more for students who have had about 3-4 years of English, so I hope I don’t have to teach the 18 year olds or the really young ones….but I think the youngest in my schools have actually had about 3-4 years of English…so we’ll see! I kind of feel like my teacher said I’d be observing the first few days, but I don’t remember. I would like that. Especially because I have no idea what my schedule is and I have no real supplies- it’d be cruel to make me teach tomorrow. Maybe just introduce myself, but nothing more. EITHER WAY- I’m prepared! 🙂

BUT! Frankie is coming this weekend and we are going to go to the disco! Yesss, I can’t wait! I haven’t been there yet, but it’s the only one in BA, so I’m bound to run into my students. And Frankie, too, since there isn’t a Gymnasium in BA and she teaches in one in the town over. So it should be quite exciting.

But for now, I’m watching Ocean’s 13 in German (no Star Wars on tonight haha) and I’m about to drink a glass of wine so that I can fall asleep soon. I’m not really nervous right now, but I know when I lay down, I’ll start thinking a million different things and then on the walk to school tomorrow I’ll pretty much be crying out of nerves haha. It will be weird because the students will all be walking with me, but I don’t know any of them yet, so it’ll be kind of awkward…

Anyway, time to relax. I hope everyone is doing well. And please wish me luck! I need it 🙂
Cheers!
Alaina

7/4 Shoreline

Yes, it’s fall time. School started yesterday in Ann Arbor, and I’m feeling a little nostalgic…even though it’s only been exactly 1 year since I was in the same position everyone else is in. It’s kind of weird not being there when I know everyone else is there, but I am really glad that I’m not in class- couldn’t handle any more of that.

Anyway, here are some things I miss:

  • The time in between early Saturday football games and dinner time/going out again time. It was a good time to take a nap, borderline sober up or just keeping drinking right on through.
  • I do miss that first day back to class feeling. You know what I’m talking about? The exictement, the prospect of learning something life changing, looking forward to boardening one’s mind, hoping to change a little in the next semester…
  • I miss brand new textbooks and how they smell. But I definitely don’t miss buying them and therefore I am a couple dollas richer than those returning students.
  • I miss the campus, and the leaves that will soon change and fall on the ground. I miss the smell of fall. Although I’m sure fall will be similar here, there is just something about Ann Arbor and the campus that makes it better.
  • I miss the new fall shows that are starting on TV. And even though I don’t watch much TV, I still miss that I could. I can’t even watch the TV shows online in Europe! WTF! I have to download whatever from iTunes, which may get expensive and take a lot of time… grr.
  • I miss all my friends and just sitting around bullshitting with some beers for hours. Most likely in 1225.
  • I miss my old apartment and my cool bed on the floor.
  • I really miss my pillows. My pillows here are subpar.
  • I have always missed Mexican food but it’s just getting worse as time goes on. I just want a damn Big Ten Burrito burrito or nachoes! OMG! Is that too much to ask?!
  • I miss Charley’s Fishbowls- Purple Rain specifically. mmm
  • I miss Dance Marathon! Another year with those people would have been great…
  • And I miss Hilary and Emily and Amy so so so much!

So that’s that.

Around here, I really haven’t done much for the past couple of days. I got internet (I posted some pictures!) and have just been keep a low-profile. I walked around the city a little bit and I have some errands to run (sending those DAMN postcards…) but mostly I’ve just been resting and sitting around my apartment trying to catch a good dubbed American TV show or movie on the Austrian channels. So far, along the lines of “good” I have seen: Bring it On (haha!), The Professional, Crash, random episodes of House and Law and Order: CI, Catch and Release…blah blah blah. It’s helping my German understanding :). I finished my book, Wicked, which, by the end, I didn’t like much anymore. The beginning was really good, but once I hit the halfway point it really dragged on and I didn’t like it. But I finished it.

I started listening to music again. I didn’t realize until my mom mentioned it that I didn’t listen to music anymore. I guess I just kind of stopped for the last few months and didn’t get back into it, which it is a little weird to think I just stopped listening to music. Like, it’s not something you really need to DO…. Hmm. But I put on Broken Social Scene this morning and from just the opening two seconds of their self titled album, instantly I fell in love all over again. I literally stopped what I was doing, listened intently and swooned. So that was good.

So yeah. Today I’m going to try and figure out if there is a gym in the area (I want a treadmill!) and how to get to the nearby Grundlsee via bus. It’s been quite sunny and hot around here, so I’d like to go swimming again sometime soon. I’m going to Bad Neustadt sometime coming up, but I’m not sure when because I want to be able to just leave, go to NES, Freiburg and Oktoberfest then straight to Graz for my orientation. So it’ll take some good planning haha.

Anyway, that’s all for now! Until next time…
Love,
Cheers,
Alaina