Friday, January 31, 2014

This semester

I think the title sums up what's going on my life right now: school.

Well, I mean, work, being sick, and hanging out with friends have all occurred since the new year, too, but when I'm not doing that, school is on my mind. Heck, it's sometimes on my mind then, too!

I have German class again this semester. After this, I only have two more classes and I'll have an associate's degree in German. Our instructor for the class is the same one from last semester and half the classmates are from last semester's class. The other half were people I didn't know, except for a guy from the Berlin class I had in the summer; seeing him was a nice surprise.

Anyway, this class is a riot again. We tease each other, laugh, and learn. Our instructor still talks a hundred miles a minute but I'm used to her now so it's not so daunting and her perky, cheerful personality is always a good way to welcome the class. I don't take as many notes as I'd like but I'm definitely learning a ton.

We even had a session that I would call "Talk to a Real Live German." A German colleague of one of the students came to visit and we had to ask him questions using our new vocabulary, which was talking about traveling. He pretended to be the hotel clerk. One student asked him if there was an ice machine. The rest of us hooted with laughter. I asked the student, "did you just arrive in country? They don't do ice here."

I have to say that this is definitely the most difficult semester we've all had so far in German. It would make sense, considering that it's the third of four classes and it has a lot of complicated things to fit in. Our brains have been stretched to the breaking point after cramming in all the new vocab and the complicated grammatical constructions like subordinating conjunctions and the genitive case (I'm having more problems with the former).

I think that last night in class we went through similar emotions as those laid out in Kübler-Ross model of stages of grief; there was definitely denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. The only stage that we were missing was the last one, acceptance. One of our classmates had brought a giant bag of candy and as we worked through the grammar, that bag got passed along quickly for people to grab candy, making me think of nervous people chain-smoking.

I'm sure we find acceptance one day.

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