I'd like to get back into the rhythm of updating on a somewhat-weekly basis, because I don't like having posts as long as my last one. But it gets difficult when I had a week like last week, where nothing terribly exciting happened.
I'm kind of getting into the motion of being in university classes again. I'm finding that it's difficult to keep up with the reading though, for a multitude of reasons:
1) Most obvious, it's in German, not English. It's hard to get through reading when I have to look up every third word.
2) It's more reading than I ever had to do at Davis. At Davis, I'm always doing homework and worksheets, first for math, and then for economics. But now that I'm taking 3 history classes, I don't get those handy little worksheets and homework that make me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something and learning something.
3) I have to do all the reading by the end of the semester. As in, middle of February. Yes, my logical mind says that I should be starting the reading now so I'm not freaking out at the end of January, but as pretty much every student knows: hard work might pay off later, procrastination pays off now.
Slowly but surely, I'm falling into a rhythm here. I'm starting to develop a schedule and regulate my life a little bit more. I'm learning more about what I need to do in order to live here, enjoy life, and thrive. For example, last week I figured out that I need to buy organic fruits and vegetables here. I hate doing that in America, because "organic" is usually synonymous with "expensive," but here, it's the only way to buy fruits and vegetables that actually have flavor. Still expensive, but at least the expense is worth it, in my opinion.
I also have a tandem partner now. We've met twice so far, for two hours a week. We spend an hour speaking in German and an hour speaking in English, and this way we both spend half the time practicing our target language and half the time teaching the other person. I was nervous at first to meet with him. Not that I'm shy, but usually if I meet someone, I haven't immediately scheduled two hours of talking with them. Fortunately, we hit it off pretty well and so far haven't had too many pauses with nothing to say. I also don't feel too self-conscious speaking German with him, since I've caught enough of his mistakes in English.
Actually, something did happen on the 5th of November. I took another tour of the Reichstag with EAP. This time, though, we took a general tour of the building, rather than just sitting inside the parliament room, and we learned more about the history of the building itself, from when it was built during the Weimar Republic, to the burnings and bombings and the rebuilding. Even for somebody not terribly interested in architecture, it was quite a fascinating tour.
I'm currently in the process of planning a few trips during the next couple of months, too. I know I'll be going to Rome and Madrid in December, and I might be going to Nurenberg and Rothenburg later this month. Even though they eat up a lot of my savings, I'm always looking forward to traveling more and seeing more than just Berlin.
So, that's my life right now. Nothing terribly exciting happening, but that's okay. I think I can use a quiet week here every now and then.