Posted by: trierbound | October 25, 2009

Einführungs Seminar

The oldest Jewish home in existence, conveniently converted into a bar

The oldest Jewish home in existence, conveniently converted into a bar

Trier Flag

Trier Flag

Train ride to Saarbrücken

Train ride to Saarbrücken

Well, my Einführungs Seminar is officially over. Tomorrow I start my first day of real classes, and I’m not really sure what to do with myself until then.

The Einführungs Seminar was great, and I would highly recommend it to anyone coming to Trier! There were lots of excursions and get-togethers and other chances to meet lots of people, and I’m so glad I’m going into the semester with a small support group of friends who are all also going to be overwhelmed. It’ll be nice to have something comfortable to fall back on. Plus, the class was for the most part really helpful. I know, introductory seminars can’t be all helpful. There are days that are boring, and days when you just don’t want to be there, but overall I think it was really helpful.

The last two weeks basically went as follows:

Class the second week was class, and there’s not much to report about that. My evenings the week  before last were both interesting and busy. Monday night was the monthly “Stammtisch”, which means something like “Table of Voices”. Basically, it’s people that speak or want to speak multiple languages all meeting together in a huge student bar/hang out area for a cultural exchange. It was really fun, and some girls from Greece taught me how to dance –I think it was salsa –which was really entertaining. There’s also a foosball table for those who are so inclined. Needless to say, it was pretty noisy, but it was also a lot of fun. Tuesday evening my class (we were split into classes of about 12 at the beginning of the seminar based on learning abilities) and the class above us went out to eat on the University’s tab. I had the most delicious steak and potato salad. Really, German hot potato salad is the best potato salad I’ve ever tasted and I am bound, set, and determined to find a recipe or, better yet, find someone to teach me. Wednesday night was Film Night, graciously provided by the University, and we watched Solino. This was my second time watching the movie, and I hated it less than the first time.

The plot revolves around this family who moves from Italy to Germany to have a better life. They open up a little Italian pizzeria that quickly becomes very popular. It’s also a coming of age story for the two boys in the family. One of the boys is absolutely positively the worst person I’ve seen in a movie that could actually be a real person. He spends the entire movie stealing things from everyone, especially his little brother, and ditching said brother in horrible situations. The younger brother struggles between his dedication to his brother and actually being a decent person. Beyond that, there are a bunch of scenes with people in their underwear for no reason that I can see. That being said, a lot of people I talked to afterwards really enjoyed the movie, so maybe it’s just me.

The weekend was very relaxing and spent hanging out with friends before classes resumed on Monday. This was the last week of the introductory class. Monday after class I went to the Post Office after class. My sister had sent me a package with important documents I had forgotten, and it hadn’t shown up after a week, so I went in search of it. After explaining my long story to the man at the post office (the scariest part of the whole ordeal) it was incredibly easy, and everyone was incredibly happy. Especially me.
Tuesday we signed up for classes. I’m signed up for a whole bunch right now, but the Germans apparently normally take 11 or 12 classes a semester. I think that’s absolutely crazy, just so we’re clear. But I’ve got 11 right now. I’ll probably drop it down a few classes, but I do need to keep full-time student status. That was the hardest part of signing up for classes –making sure I was taking enough classes and things that would transfer back well.
Wednesday was just class as usual, and that evening I watched a movie with some friends. The first one I’ve watched here without subtitles. It wasn’t the best story ever, but it was good to listen to some German. Thursday we had the final test for the intro seminar. Results will be posted Wednesday, and German as a Foreign Language classes start the next Monday (a week later than regular classes). Thursday night we had an International Food night. I worked with the Americans, and together we brought Fried Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Sweet Tea (that part was mine). We are definitely all southern.
The food was delicious. I wish I knew what everything was called, but it was incredibly delectable, and very interesting to see what everyone brought. Afterwards some friends and I tried to get into this popular dance club called “Forum”. Thursday night is student night, and much cheaper. Two of us got in via mutual friends (not my mutual friends… I totally got in by chance) and we ended up having a good time once we found the room that had a better variety of music, and not just techno. I’m totally fine with techno; my friend is not. Unfortunately, I missed the last bus and had to walk back home, which was ridiculously long.
Friday was the last day of class. We watched the film Sonnenallee, which is about being a kid in the 70s in East Berlin. I had already seen it last year, but it was interesting to see again. I definitely appreciated it more this time around. After the film we got our Student ID cards. Finally!! Now I can do laundry in the building instead of having to go to the laundromat and pay a gazillion dollars.
Saturday was the end of the year party for the exchange students. I had a really good time. Honestly, the best time I’ve had since I’ve gotten here. We danced for hours, and at the end of the night they started playing ridiculously old music, primarily in English, like Y.M.C.A. and Barbie Girl. I mean, they also played some cool current music, which was a lot of fun to dance to, but the last hour was filled with songs like those mentioned above that everyone knew the words to.
My only regret from this whole week is that I never did take any pictures like I was planning. I even had my camera with me most of the time. I’m just really bad about remembering to take pictures.
Today some friends and I went to Saarbrücken. It’s close enough to be free with our student cards, which makes it all that much more appealing. It was a really great way to spend my last day of “summer vacation”. It’s strange to think that I’m starting classes tomorrow, but it’s equally weird to think that I’ve been on break since May. I can’t believe I haven’t had school in six months!
I’m very sad that the intro seminar is over. I made so many friends, and I’m just hoping we’ll still be able to hang out with everyone’s crazy schedule. I am a bit nervous about classes on Monday. Fortunately, Monday’s a lighter day for me. It’ll be good to ease into taking normal classes with normal teachers.

The oldest Roman Tor this side of the Alps

The oldest Roman Tor this side of the Alps

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