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.)

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.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Home, Home, Where I Wanted to Go

After four stressful months in a dorf in East Germany, a trip home was just what I needed. The jet lag wasn’t fun, but I got to see my parents, brother, grandma, uncle, pet coyote, and two of my closest friends, which more than made up for it.

At first I couldn’t even believe that it was real. It seemed like one of the nice dreams about home that I have occasionally, and I was afraid that I’d wake up at any moment. When I saw my bedroom again for the first time, I actually cried.

What I did at home:

-I caught up on American documentary films, finally seeing “Supersize Me” and “Fahrenheit 911.” In the original English, as opposed to in (retch!) German dubbing. (I liked “Supersize Me” better.)

-Taking advantage of the U.S.A.’s much lower prices on jewelry and textile goods, I purchased a sweater, three pairs of pants, a purse, a shirt, a nice pair of earrings, a necklace, and a new trench coat. (Ok, technically my mother purchased some of those things. But I picked them out!)

-I ate American food. Turkey with mashed potatoes and stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Candied sweet potatoes. Enchiladas. A gyro. Divine!

-I pulled out the glasses-cleaner roughly every five minutes because my pet coyote insisted on “washing” my glasses for me with her tongue.

-I read books in English-- and marveled at how much quicker it is than reading in German.

-I put together the Graduate Teaching Fellowship application I need to get funding (hopefully!) in grad school next year.

Things I was happy to see:

-The aforementioned friends and family.

-My parents’ house

-My old neighborhood in Ypsi

-EMU’s campus (unfortunately the buildings were locked up for Winter Break, so I couldn’t go inside and stare at ID’s door)

-Downtown Ann Arbor

-Gigantic American grocery stores

-Midwesterners who are so polite that they apologize to you even when they haven’t done anything wrong!

-Ann Arbor yuppies (even though I actually can’t stand them)

-American television (even though I actually can’t stand that, either—with the exception of “World News with Peter Jennings,” of course)

It was definitely worth it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adrienne, we certainly enjoyed having you here for the holidays. I hope the remainder of your time in Germany is productive and that you will be able to travel and see more of Germany and Europe. love Mom

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Even if we weren't able to see, I'm happy that you came home for the holidays. Your family missed you and they were estatic to have you home. I'm glad that we were able to talk to you. May the rest of your time over there, go quickly.


Judy, Scott, and Elyse

10:18 PM  

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