…with Germany, that is! A strange yet fascinating passion for this place has gripped my heart for about 4 years now and has never let go. The opportunity to study at a German university has been my dream for quite some time, this being my 6th time here, and generous scholarships through the DAAD, U.S. Department of State and International Education, the Junior Year in Munich program, and many others have made it a reality at last.
A few things about me: I am from St. Louis, MO (just about everyone knows about it, as it is a fairly large city with about 320 or so thousand people) and am finishing up my studies at Webster University. Webster University, although founded in St. Louis, has now expanded to become a world wide institution – literally. We have campuses in Europe, Asia, exchange programs all across the globe and in practically every state in the U.S. I believe wholeheartedly in placing the acquisition of knowledge above all things, and seek not to know everything about something, but something about everything. If there’s one thing that is true, he who does not learn history is doomed to repeat it, or perhaps in other words, one cannot change the world if one knows nothing of it.
My goals with this blog? Transmit to readers a sense of adventure, if my writing shall allow such thing. Perhaps inspire someone to take a trip, conquer the fears of being in a new place, learn a second language, do something crazy and out-of-the-ordinary (now, I didn’t say ILLEGAL!), and not only be changed but eventually to change.
I’ll be an architect one of these days. Young young young I am but still I’ll start graduate school in August to get a dual Masters in Architecture and Urban Design. A death profession, yes I know, and contrary to popular belief, by no means my “dream” profession. “What?” Folks are shaking their heads. A “dream” profession for me would be motivational speaking. But that I can do at any time, so to say. Architecture and urban design (and sustainable planning) is that by which I, with my given assets, can bring about the most change.
I stopped in Vienna for about a week to catch up with some friends from the last time I was here (January – May 2009) then took the train to Germany. I’ve been herefor two weeks now with an awesome awesome host family right outside of Munich, in Dachau. The food is amazing and still the weight is falling off! I’ve ripped through numerous books in German since I’ve been here, and I recommend Patrick Suesskinds “Das Parfuem.” No doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. Monday we’ll begin the Orientation at the LMU-Muenchen, and the hustle-and-bustle of everything sounds exciting. I’ve opened up a German bank account, got myself a bike, and by May I will speak very fluent German. Only thing missing now is a German/EU Passport, otherwise I’m on my way to being a proper citizen.
The three months before arriving here were treacherous. Three jobs – one in a restaurant, tutorer in German, Spanish, and science, and as a campus tour guide -, a business team, 16 credit hours, all in 8 weeks. Somehow I made it. I taught me three valueable lessons that will be helpful to all who are reading:
1) Imagine: A room full of folks all write their worse problem on a piece of paper and put it in a bucket. The bucket is shaken a little bit, and everyone goes in line to “trade” their burden with someone else. After picking your new “burden” in the hope that it’s lighter, you slouch back to your chair wishing you had kept the old one, for the new one is much worse that you could have imagined,
2) Write down your goals and look at them, recite them if you have to, each day. If I did not know exactly what date I would be flying to Germany, and didn’t meditate on it often, there is no way I would have made it,
3) when the storm has passed, you’re going to look back and laugh at how stressed out you were because only then do you realize it wasn’t that bad.