Oh, hi there!

Waves on Lake Michigan; Grand Haven, MI

Well, hey there Blogging World, how’s it going? It’s only been about a million years since I’ve updated and I’m terribly sorry about that. It’s been such a busy summer that I’ve barely tackled anything on my Bucket List, (sadly). Alas, c’est la vie, and I really can’t complain, as I’ve been so busy that free time was minimal anyway.

What were you so busy doing?, you might ask. Well, let me elaborate…

  1. BELL Summer Program. After a month of “vacation” (aka, sliding back into my American life) and spending time with family/friends, I started up teaching (well, teacher assisting) summer school in Detroit at the William Beckham Academy. Detroit, Home of 8 Mile, is the #1 most dangerous American city, as ranked by Forbes.com, and one of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world (along with Baghdad), as ranked by CNN.com. Yes, friends, I was busy teaching little rambunctious kindergarteners for 6 weeks in this fabled Michigan city. And while I was never told to “Fuck off!” or called a “fat bitch” by my students (like other TAs I know), I sure had my hands full. Five year olds do not listen to logic, nor do they respond well to a raised voice. Additionally, these kids needed more help than I could give; a number of them could not write their own name or identify all the letters in the alphabet. It’s hard to imagine that a 1st grader could not write her name, but I encountered it. My time there was difficult and tiring, but I miss those sweet little hellions more than you know.
  2. Logan’s Roadhouse. BELL ended nearly a month ago now (I can’t even believe it), so I was quickly on the hunt for another job… And I found one, hosting at Logan’s Roadhouse. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s “The Real America Roadhouse,” as they say, and we’re famous for steaks and peanut shells on the floor (woo.).

Beyond that, it’s pretty much been “business as usual” around here. I have managed to make it to 7 concerts (Brad Paisley, Something Corporate, Passion Pit, MGMT, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, Lynyrd Skynyrd), and I have a few more up my sleeve. Believe it or not, I won concert tickets to Eminem and Jay-Z. The two are only playing a few shows in their respective hometowns (Detroit and New York City) so it will be a wild night in Detroit, (September 2nd!).

I have spent some time Up North and on the west side. My family went up to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival, and that place couldn’t be more beautiful. I hope to spend more time there in the future. Also, I ventured to Grand Haven for the Coast Guard Festival and the waves on Lake Michigan were 3-4 feet high! People were surfing them, for Pete’s sake! So I have managed to get in some travel. 🙂

One thing that was on my Bucket List that I did was learn how to golf! I really enjoy it, though I never thought I would. I’m not very good, but then again not too bad for a beginning lefty who is golfing right-handed. Hopefully I’ll get out to the driving range again this week.

I’m gearing up to go back to Austria, and can’t wait for another year of (mis)adventure. (Part of the reason I chose to make this post, to get the blog wheels once again turning.) I still have a number of posts in mind about my trip to Berlin, so I hope to get to those before I land in Austria.

Hope everyone is well.
Cheers,
Alaina

Life, oh Life!

Today has been an interesting day. After having a great class in the morning and OK class in the middle of the day, I was oh-so-happy to end my day with the WORST CLASS I HAVE EVER HAD. I’ve had these kids nearly every week since I started, but they’ve never really warmed up to me.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the whole class together (it usually splits in two) two times a week. So, today, while the kids refused do what I specifically asked them to and they talked back to me, the teacher sat there and did nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, she seems to think it’s funny when the kids don’t pay attention and talk among themselves. It was wonderful.

On my walk home, I decided, once and for all, that I never want to be a teacher. Sure, I love teaching the classes full of kids excited to learn, who ask questions and listen when I talk (like the class I started my day with), but the bad classes, full of little shits, just ruin everything. Today has even led me to question whether I want to stay in this position next year, (that is, if I’m offered a job). Anyway, I’m going to have to give these kids a verbal beat-down auf Deutsch when I have them next week — nothing else has worked.

Further, to make this day better, I received an email from a hotel that I thought would hire me (Frankie had referred me, and is working there this summer). Turns out, they have nothing to offer me. So, it’s looking more and more likely I’ll be home in Michigan this summer, which, thankfully, is also seeming less and less horrible.

I’ll admit: I miss Michigan. I miss my family and friends and dogs. I miss having money in my bank at the end of each pay cycle. I want to have a place/home that I will live in for  more than 8 months and I want to start a “real life.” But I know most of these sentiments will change once a plan of action is in place — so functions my tiny, flighty, fickle brain.

Blah. Just blah. It’s one of those days where I question everything going on in my life. Maybe one of these days, everything will make sense and there will be a big lightbulb and angels singing. Until then, you’ll get to read about all of my messes here. 🙂

Cheers,
Alaina