Posted by: trierbound | June 14, 2010

Fußball and Eurovision

Five weeks left. Temperatures still 70ish, but with some rain. Hopefully that’ll go away soon.

For the next five weeks I’ve got some major plans. They revolve around seeing new places, enjoying time with friends, and writing papers to get good grades. These are good goals, right?

My daughter and I will be traveling to France this weekend, which is exciting! We’ll be doing some touristy things, but also just taking the time to hang out, be lazy, and enjoy our surroundings. Hopefully the weather will favor these plans. Before that, though, I will have written one paper. Outlining starts tomorrow, and Wednesday will begin the writing portion. I would start writing tomorrow, too, but I have a mini-paper due Wednesday morning. Priorities.

Tomorrow promises to be busy. I’m baking cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party at school on Wednesday, having lunch with a friend, and going downtown to pick up a present for another friend whose birthday is Thursday. Plus writing this outline and paper and making calls about my research project. Pretty much every day is like that. I mean, I’m not making cupcakes every day (though it’s not the worst idea…), but I’m packed to the minute. It shows, too. My calendar looks ridiculous. I’m a big calendar person, so I spent fifteen minutes this morning before my class started redrafting my calendar for the next five weeks and moving this week’s events to my planner.

Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have visited France and written out two of my five papers, at least in first-draft form.

The most important thing happening right now in Germany is the Weltmeisterschaft, or the Soccer World Championship taking place in Africa. It’s everywhere. The Kabab place by the school has a high-def tv right outside for people to eat and watch the game. If your establishment doesn’t have a tv, you’re not getting any business durning game times for the next few weeks. Even the club room in the basement of my building has dedicated an entire wall to a huge screen to play the games on. Everywhere you look there are people wearing jerseys, especially German ones (of course). My Luxembourgish class had a discussion about soccer and which team we thought would win and why. I’m, of course, rooting for Germany (Germany-Australia 4-0!!), but I think Spain has a good chance. I got some ugly looks for saying that in class today…but I got backed by my teacher who’s majoring in Spanish, so I didn’t die. Yay! Plus it’s not an unfounded thought. (See European Cup 2008) And this from the girl who absolutely does not watch sports. When I came to Germany two years ago the European competition was taking place, and the excitement was infectious. I was so excited to know I’d be back in Germany for the Weltmeisterschaft. It’s life here. Every afternoon you can hear soccer songs being sung around campus. It’s such a wonderful atmosphere. So animated, so patriotic! It’s wonderful to see Germany exhibit national pride, which is something they haven’t really done since WWII until a few years ago…and all because of soccer. I, personally, am glad that Germans as a whole have stopped being so hard on themselves for WWII. I’m not saying that any part of what happened was good or right. I *am* saying that I hate to see children 60 years later feeling guilty and carrying an emotional burden for something they had no part in. Germany is very good about staring their faults in the face, which I admire, but there’s a point where it becomes a problem, and I’m glad that people my age are starting to say “Yeah, it happened, and it was terrible. But it wasn’t me. I didn’t make that decision, and I’m proud to be German in spite of that part of our history.” Coming from a land with a strong sense of national pride, I can honestly say I support supporting one’s country and having a sense of pride in where one comes from. And soccer (as well as other things) has allowed Germany to do that. Friends of mine say that five years ago you would never see a flag in the streets or on someone’s car window. Now you can.

Also, German singer Lena won Eurovision. Eurovision is best compared to America’s “American Idol”, though it’s much older. Each country sends one singer/group to represent their country in a singing competition that selects one winner for all of Europe. There are five countries -The Big Five- that automatically make it into the finals because of their important role in the funding and founding of the competition, and both before and after the finals countries compete for a spot in each new round. More information for those of you interested can be found on wikipedia. Here’s a link to a youtube video of the winning song “Satellite”:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QSgNM9yNjo

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