Friday, December 2, 2016

German class this semester

This semester, I'm taking a B2.2 German class. I remember the first class that I took at the Uni; I felt so lost on campus and nervous about attending lessons entirely in German, even though I had already earned an Associate degree in the language.

What a change there has been in the last two years! Now I know the campus reasonably well and have met a decent amount of students along the way. I can find the class and reasonably easily converse about the topics, make silly remarks, and even better yet, join the class's grammar debates.

Yes, you heard that right. Since we're an upper-level German class, we've moved beyond regular grammar and are learning about academic-level usage, as well as learning about bettering our writing and expression. Along the way, sometimes we get into debates about grammar, usage, and other topics. Since I love language and grammar, it's right up my alley, and reminds me of home (we've debated redundant phrases and the pronunciation of Spanish at my family's holiday meals before).

Sometimes our class conversations are downright ridiculous though. We were reading an article about food waste and one of the example sentences noted that the bananas had "Stellen," or spots. This word effected confusion and chaos because there are other definitions for the word.

Then we somehow transitioned to a debate about bananas specifically, what color they can be, and the fact that they cannot be brown, according to one student. He needed to be doched and so then I extolled the virtues of banana bread, an excellent use for bananas that have gone brown. The other students didn't believe me that such a thing existed. I then shut my mouth because I realized that I was inadvertently part of the hijacking of the class. Our teacher is patient about answering our questions and we actually are quite engaged -- maybe too much so!


  1. What a perfect opportunity to spread the love of banana bread! Grab some next time you're at the store, let those suckers sit until the fruit flies start to move in, and bake some awesome bread to share in class! Be prepared, though - I have yet to meet a German who likes it! :-) It's like root beer in that respect. Then again, your classmates aren't Germans!

    Your family sounds like mine - we have language and history discussions all the time and really enjoy them! I agree about "Stellen" for brown spots on bananas - I'd call them "Flecken". Ah, and I agree with your classmate that bananas cannot be brown (if I'm going to eat them). ONE brown spot on the peel, and it's going to become banana bread - even though I know perfectly well that with just a spot or two on the peel, the inside is still just fine. We all have our quirks, right?

  2. My tandem partner wants to try some banana bread, so it looks as if I'll be making it for her. Some friends invited me to Christmas, so I'll make some for them. I've made it before and they liked it a lot (a German and Romanian couple). However, they do like trying new food and were excited by the rajmah masala and gobi aloo I had made for them. They also like spicy food. It's fun to hang out with them because I don't have to worry about them being resistant to new things. I do adjust the recipes to remove half of the sugar in American recipes though. It doesn't taste good to have sickeningly sweet baked good, even to me, and my friends are accustomed to less sweet European desserts too.

    My classmate meant that he didn't believe that bananas would taste bad when they're brown; instead, he thought that they didn't exist! Funny, huh? I do get grossed out by eating a regular banana that's gone mushy but it's all fair game for the bread.