Ada Abroad: Living and Working in Germany

An online journal recording two years spent as a Fulbright/Pedagogical Exchange Service Teaching Assistant at secondary schools in Germany. (2003-2004 I was in a village near Bautzen; 2004-2005 I will be in Nordrhein-Westfalen.)

Name:
Location: Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

I'm an American living in Germany, working as a foreign language assistant at a secondary school. Future plans: getting my Ph.D. (probably in Germanic Linguistics), becoming a professor, living an ethical and meaningful life.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Let´s Git Orientated

I´m really sorry for the time lapse between posts, but there was one computer with internet access at the orientation site, and this had to be enough for almost 200 people. Needless to say, I didn´t get online while I was there. But anyhow, orientation was fantastic.

Monday morning I dragged my luggage to the train station where about 100 other future teaching assistants were milling about. I talked to a couple of people, and then something kind of funny happened. I recognized this girl from my plane (from Frankfurt to Köln). I remember thinking that she looked the right age to be a teaching assistant, and I wanted to talk to her, but I was so tired and shy that I didn´t risk it. So the two of us kind of just stared at each other. Then we went our separate ways. Well, at the train station it became clear that she was indeed a fellow TA, and we recognized each other, so we sat together on the bus to Altenburg. Anyhow it turns out that this girl (henceforth simply `the Jewkrainian`) was pretty cool, and I suppose we bonded, because we hung out most of the time from then on.

Most of the time at orientation we were herded into a large room to listen to lectures, or in small rooms for group work, but there was also plenty of time to socialize and get to know people. Having a winning personality (in addition to epilepsy, Tourette´s syndrome, and a problem with my jaw) I naturally made some friends: the Baileys from Arkansas (a cool young couple who will be in a dorf in Rheinland-Pfalz), MO (going to Niedersachsen), CA (I forget where they´re putting him), ME (Saarland), MN (in Sachsen, near me!) and a few more. And the Jewkrainian too of course, who will be in a dorf in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Highlights of the Orientation
-Staying up way too late talking to my roommate, MN.

-Helping one of the Baileys (and it should be very obvious which one!) stuff a maxi pad under her knit hat because she didn´t have any pockets.

-Reacquiring my highschool habit of cursing like a drunken sailor. I blame this on my new companions.

-Chocolate. Ice cream!

-Performing my ´Frau Uhltzscht´impression for the entire conference at the variety show, with the Jewkrainian as an extremely southern school secretary. We were quite a success. (For those who don´t know, Frau Uhltzscht is an imaginary German Hausfrau who needs to call an elementary school and enquire about the welfare of her children. This is how I bother my mother when she´s at work.)

-Drinking way too much wine on our last night in Altenburg and having MO and the Jewkrainian tell me that I was acting like a person on acid. (They know this from hearsay only, of course... Ahem...)

More tomorrow, I hope...

2 Comments:

Blogger teddy makwa said...

hello Ada,been wondering how to talk to someone overseas.I and a friend are starting up a online store,to sell native art,carvings etc. My friend is working on a website www.nativeartsales.bravehost.com. It's a work in progress,what do you think, we could use help to get something started in Germany.Or if you know who to talk to. thank you for your time.......later

11:23 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

Um, I really don´t know anything about setting up a business overseas. I´m just a volunteer on a government-sponsored program in Germany. Best of luck anyhow.

6:29 PM  

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