Posts tagged journal
Posts tagged journal
Aww yeah mothafuckin advent calender!
I’ve never had one before!
So, on Thanksgiving I totally forgot it was Thanksgiving until one of my teachers (who had studied in the US before) cheekily reminded me. whoops! But to be fair there was no way to remind myself of it, it was just a normal day. My mom sent some recipes for some Thanksgiving classics like cornbread and pumpkin bread and pies and creamed corn and stuff, but we haven’t made any because my host mom says she’ll have to go to a different store than just our little corner shop to get half the ingredients.
So then besides the non-Thanksgiving, what else has been going on? I went to that Maturaball, which was awesome! There were two separate levels in the building and on the top level was a club and on the bottom was a more traditional ballroom type thing going on, and everyone just went between them freely. The whole thing was extremely elaborate- at midnight there was a whole show put on by the students from the school hosting it. It was pretty cool!
Other than that not much has been happening. I’ve got a physics test coming up and I have to write an already overdue essay.. bleh.
Because part of the reason I haven’t been updating is how frustrating getting my computer to work with my camera has been. I was determined to do an update with all the pretty pictures I took, but really that’s just not going to happen. I’ll probably make a photoset or 10 once I have it figured out.
Where did I leave off?
Oh wow Halloween!?
I’m so sorry, please never leave me I’ll never do it again I swear ;.;
So we went to Venice awhile ago- that’s a story best told in pictures. It went very much the way you’d expect a 2 day trip to Venice to go. It’s only about 5 hours away from where we live
damn Europe, why so small and I continue to find myself flabbergasted at the beautiful countryside- especially in Italy! Again- best told in pictures.
Then.. we went to a monastery.
Took a train there. It was my first time on a train, and I’ll never not be amused by the look on peoples faces when I told them that. We stayed at what was probably the nicest youth hostel on the planet- best food, coolest rooms, awesome scenery. The first day was boring- we were led around by monks and teachers as they showed us the place and answered questions. I understood approximately 0% of what was being said- but then I learned later that most of it was about architecture and stuff. Jan, my dance partner for the ball, translated all the interesting stuff. That night we went on a candle-light forest walk which was just about the coolest thing ever. My crazy friend and I discovered that if I sing The Campfire Song (from Spongebob) is English while she’s singing it in German really loudly, we become unintelligible.
That night we played games and gossiped while some others started taking shots and playing BS. I think my favorite thing about the trip though was that they had us go to the monastery’s distillery first thing the next day and try some schnapps before going on a 3 hour hike, haha. Not the best organization there, teachers. The hike was my absolute favorite part of the trip though! But again- it’s something best told through pictures.
Then not much happened at all- I’m sucking at school. Making C’s on tests and stuff. Except physics. Have I already mentioned how weird it is to call science my best subject? That’s never happened before in my life. I went to my first German class- it’s only once a week, which isn’t very helpful. Also, the average age is about 12. I did however meet another exchange student, from Washington (state). We sat next to each other, but didn’t say much. He seems cool enough- might be just a bit shy.
Then today is my birthday! 18!! As I keep being reminded- legal drinking age here! At school I got lots of birthday wishes and all from my friends which was nice, at home my mom and sister gave me presents (a scarf, a bed warmer water thingy, and some super legit Chinese hair things) and ate cake. I made brownies last night, which didn’t turn out to be the best brownies ever but my family liked them so what do I know (… actually, what do they know? They’ve never had brownies before, ‘cept my sister!). I was planning to take some to school, but wouldn’tcha know it, by morning they had all but disappeared. I haven’t got a party planned, but one of my friends also has a birthday next week and she’s suggested we do something together. And another one ALSO has a birthday next week, and she’s already got a party planned, and really how many parties does one need?
Tomorrow I’ll be going to my first Maturaball! Which means right after school I’ll have to go buy a dress. I’ll also be spending the night with my friend afterwards.
..yeah, pics soon. photosets, anyone?
The second half of today was really really busy. It’s like we didn’t do much of anything this week and then BAM!
The morning was nice and relaxing though.
First of all, it’s Friday so I slept in because I don’t go to French classes (first period on Fridays) but I slept in too much and missed second period as well.. which turned out to be just fine since more than half the class was taking some sort of generalized French exam or something.. I’m not sure what it was about, but it wasn’t a test for the school. Anyways, they were still taking it by the time Religion class rolled around, and we had a sub for religion anyways. She did have worksheets to give us, but between the 8 of us remaining we convinced her to let us watch Simpsons episodes instead. I really love how relaxed my school is about everything, but we’ll get to that another time. Then for German class I went to the library and read/listened to a learners book which is about an apparently desperate woman at a club who was interested in a man drinking mineralwater, but was decidedly not interested in a man in a BMW shirt, but who was unfortunately interested in her. It was fun. Then during art class, we had another sub who just let us look up pictures for ideas for our ball.
BUT AS SOON AS I LEFT SCHOOL THE CHAOS STARTED! See, I was supposed to be getting my ball pictures done tomorrow, but the changed all the times at the last minute so that everyone did them today. So I had to finish putting together my cowgirl outfit at the last minute, but at 3 I was also supposed to be rushing to the tailor’s to get my measurements taken with my friend Katy for our dresses for the ball. So we went shopping for our last-minute things and then, already running late, we went to the tailor’s, stopping at Katy’s house along the way and meeting her fun mom and Very Scottish Dad. Because we were late for the tailor’s, it was nearly 5 when we got back to Katy’s house and my pictures were at 5:30. So I called the girl in charge and by some miracle got my time switched to 6:30, but I still had to rush home (all the way across the city), shower, get everything together, and then get to the college they were using as a studio. I made it at about 7:15, whoops.
I keep underestimating how long the trams will take.. I’m still used to my driving logic of ‘well, if I’m running late I can just go faster’. But no matter how late or panicky you are, the trams will role along and whatever speed they please.
The pictures were great though. I wasn’t so fond of mine (I thought of a million better poses than the one I chose after I was done, as always) but everyone looked so legit.. they’re gonna look amazing hanging up. My favorites were of the 2 guys and three girls who decided to wear just cowboy hats.
Just cowboy hats.
Just to cover their privates.
Like I said, the school is super relaxed… students at my old school would have never gotten away with that!
Now I’m home and curled up and tired, and tomorrow I have a party to go to, so goodnight :)
(Pssst.. and I promise I’ll try to take more pictures! I just gotta remember xP)
Today two of my school friends decided they were going to speak German to me (though I replied in English) slowly enough for me to understand. We actually were doing pretty well until she asked me “Do you like any of the guys in our class?”
and I thought she was asking “Do you know any of the guys in our class?” and I thought, well of course I know them, it’s not a big class, so I said “Ja..”
and she’s like “Oh? Who?”
And of course I went “All of them!”
Friday I went to watch Johnny English 2… in German! It was reeeeaaaally funny, but my older host sister didn’t like it that much (dunno why). Something interesting about Austrians: When we go to the movies, we’ll get a ticket that tells us a seat row and number… and even if the rest of the theater is wide open and we could grab better seats without bothering anyone the national thought seems to be ‘these are the seats that were assigned to us and we will sit here goddammit!’ I’ve been to the movies 3 times, with 3 different groups, and every time I’ve suggested we get a better seat (the theaters we all practically empty) and was always met with weird looks and “Umm, but these are our seats” type answers.
So, if you ever go to the movies in Austria, make sure you sit in your assigned seat!
Then on Saturday, out of nowhere, it got really really cold! And overcast! So we stayed in all day and had soup and hot chocolate. The cold has persisted though, so it seems like fall is finally here to stay. Feels like the middle of winter to me though! And everyone calls me cute or laughs when I say that.
Sunday was the Graz Annual Marathon, and my host dad was running in it! So we went to watch that… and I took my camera! I keep forgetting that with proper internet connection I can show y’all pictures.
Runners at the 2km point.. they ran around the city twice, the first round there were a LOT, but this was shot during the second go-round and there weren’t so many and they were all spaced out…
Cute little cheerleaders at the finish line! Apparently a fairly recent American import.. my host mom tells me she’d never seen a cheerleader in Graz until a few years ago.
And then today…
Today at school sucked, it was freezing when we were walking to school and I had double period of Spanish in the morning, then I usually have history (the one class on Mondays I look forward too) but the teacher was out so we filled the slot with math and then we had math again right afterwards… 2 double periods of my least favorite subjects back to back first thing on Monday. Then chemie (chemistry) which I usually don’t mind, but I didn’t really understand anything today and after all that math and Spanish I just wasn’t in the mood to think. Then I had an afternoon class of world geography/politics, which I like except today was a geography day and we spent two hours talking about the Jordan river… which is actually a really fascinating subject, but not something I want to talk about for 2 hours straight.
On the plus side, I’ve been invited to watch Johnny English again on Wednesday, this time in English. I think something like half my class is planning to go, so it should be fun. Then on Saturday 2 girls from my class are throwing a joint 18th birthday party, and its a superhero-themed costume party! I wonder if it’s normal to buy a gift… I wouldn’t at home unless I was close friends with the girls.
But tomorrow should be colder than today :(
Earlier I was like “damn I should update my blog, I could really say a lot!” but now I’ve forgotten what I wanted to tell y’all.
I got internet working on my laptop! No more mooching off everyone else, aaaaand I have my itunes! Huzzah!
The other day Jan (my dance partner, remember?) showed me where the English bookshop is. We were talking about it because he and another girl from my class, Angel, were discussing how disappointing it is that it’ll close down in December. In the meantime, however, all the books are 50% off! It was very nice and.. cozy. It wasn’t very wide, but there were two stories and every space available was crammed to burst with all sorts of books.
Then yesterday I was invited to a girl’s 18th birthday party this weekend. It’s dress up, and then we’re going to go out! I don’t have anything to make a costume out of though, so I’ll have to figure something out. Then next weekend is another girl’s party, another dress up party! But it’s going to be a house party. Should be fun!
Also, in the last week or so my German skills have suddenly jumped up a level. Not veeeeeerrrryyy much, but now I can mostly understand people if they speak to me reeeeaaally slowly and are talking about subjects I’m familiar with. Also, at night I read children’s books in German. Let me tell you, they are exciting. But my speaking skills still don’t exceed “Ich habe Hungrig” and a few other key phrases. I guess the real test will come tonight when I go to watch Johnny English with my host sisters. Though today I did manage to tell a kid that “Meine Schuhe sind nass,”
Speaking of which, boy were they! Yesterday it was so sunny and warm and then this morning I woke up and thought the house was about to be blown down! It was cold, cold, cold, and raaaaiiiiny! I don’t have the right clothes for this! All my shoes- even my boots- are made of cloth or something equally not waterproof. So I guess that means I’ll have to go shopping!.. and socks, I have no long socks.
I was going to write a comparison of my American school and my Austrian school, but I think I’ll save that for later because I’m pretty tired.
One last thing though! For anyone that might actually actively follow this blog (I doubt your existence though) would you prefer I do shorter posts more often or only do a post once every 2 weeks or so but have it jam-packed full of info? Which would be better?
Because my pronunciation is “pretty good until you try to roll your Rs on the back of your tongue”
Because I can’t roll them on the back of my tongue. I either do it with the tip of my tongue or I end up going “Ahhhhhhhhgdshadgfdsjarrrr”
I went in a sex shop today. Very exciting! Just kidding. About the exciting part I mean, I really did go in a sex shop, but it was a little boring because we were just trying on corsets that we need as part of our dresses for the matura ball. Since the theme is (ironically, i think) cowboys/western we are wearing a black corset with a big red skirt of the bottom that is pinned up on one side. I don’t know how Western it’ll look, but since the guys will be wearing cowboy boots and hats, I’m sure the onlookers will get the idea.
But Jan, my date to the dance, didn’t stop teasing me about how we’re going to a sex shop. Hey, he’s 18! If he’s so jealous he could just go to one himself!
Which reminds me- I’m not 18 yet, so technically its illegal to be buying such stuff from such shops. Whoops.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but everyone speaking English to me, while nice, is not very conductive to my German-learning purposes. I knew and understood absolutely zero german when I got here, and now nearly a month and a half later my undertanding has risen to only a measly 5 or 6% and my ability to speak is still around nonexistant. I feel like it should be much higher. With full immersion, most people are able to understand quite a bit after only a few months. At least thats the impression I’ve garnered from other exchange students. But I’m not getting full immersion am I?
Its all good and well with my host family, who purposfully speak German to me knowing full well they may have to slow down and repeat themselves, but we hold all our interesting conversations in English, and after you hear ‘Du bist hungig?’ for the 50th time theres not much you can learn from it. My school friends all speak English so well they hardly have to think about it (with the exception of a few) and they would much rather converse easily in English than watch fumble through understanding what they say in German and then not even be able to reply to it. All my classes are in English too (huzzah for going to an international school) so theres no help there. Once a week while they have German classes I go do a fun little german-learning program on the computer, but thats not really doing much for me (though I suppose it has helped with my grammer some)
I guess I’ll just have to encourage my friends to try to speak more German with me. Hmmm.
In other news I went shopping with my host mom yesterday and bought a very nice warm hoodie that should get me through a bit of fall before I need heavier stuff. Its really not that cold yet, everyone keeps talking about how unseasonably nice it is out! So I’m spending as much time as I can outside, today I just sat around reading in a hammock. I also skyped with my mom for the first time since I got here! I asked her to send me my itunes library (we have it saved to an external hardrive) and my dog, Pumpkin! I miss him so! She’s gonna try for the first but the second might be a bit difficult. I think she might also try to send me my semi-proffesional camera which would be AWESOME. I couldn’t take it with me because I wasn’t gonna put it in my luggage (hell no) and I was already carrying too much for carryons. But maybe I’ll have it now! *crosses fingers*