feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
http://www.uic.edu/gcat/LAGER.shtml#d (too expensive)

http://www.gsstudies.uga.edu/programs/german-MA.html (I know a lot of people in Atlanta now)

http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/dllc/GERM/MA (Columbia isn't *that* far...)

https://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/germanic/GraduatePrograms/Overview.php (I know people in Austin now, as long as they don't move away soon)

https://sllc.umd.edu/german/graduate/maprogram (I know a LOT of people here, and they state up front that people NOT going into academe are welcome; shit, son, living inside the Beltway is expensive)
feuervogel: (writing)
I've got an invitation to submit to an anthology, and I've started a story for that. It's up to 480 words (1k-4k). No guarantees of acceptance, of course.

I've gone outside my usual comfort zone and am writing about Slovak, specifically Moravian, history, though I had an idea for a story set on the Rhine. (That one didn't have a plot, just a setting/pastiche. I may write it at some point anyway, because it's cool.)

One of my VP classmates coincidentally knows a bit about this tangentially to her own particular branch of history and may be able to keep me from looking like I just pulled some shit off wikipedia. Yay.


9 Apr 2014 05:29 pm
feuervogel: (moo)
I got a notice that one of my stories out on submission made it to the second round, after which point it has at most a 50% chance of being acquired at this publication. I have 2-4 more weeks' wait on that.

My other story out on submission right now is at 142 days. Other people are reporting responses around 145-150 days, so maybe I'll hear on that soon, too.

I also have a flash piece out right now, and I'll hear back on that in another month or so.

I submitted my exam for the 4th module in this course, and now I'm in that weird period where I'm waiting for the result and not starting the next module because I don't know yet if I'll have to rewrite the exam. (I am very not confident about this one.)

Now that I'm halfway through this thing, I'm frustrated because no one here seems to recognize the certificate, and (of course) everyone requires experience, which you can't get without a job, and fuck that. So I've likely wasted something like $4000, between tuition and costs for the internship I did, because there's only one school in this area where they teach German to adults, and it's been a month since I applied there and I've heard nothing.

Community colleges here require an MA to teach, and there seems to be no interest in an evening non-credit German course (I emailed Durham Tech). And we can't move to Germany next year, where this certificate is widely recognized, because of Ben's job, four cats, and a house. Ugh.

The alternative is for me to apply to one of the few grad schools that offers a terminal MA (Maryland and Georgetown; Middlebury) and get teaching experience that way.

Which is peachy, until you remember that the reason I decided to take this certificate is I don't want to go to grad school. Also with the cats getting older and more complicated, I can't just fuck off to the DC Metro area and leave Ben here. And he can't come with me because of his job.

feuervogel: (sideways days)
Friday afternoon, Mylene (our 11-year-old orange girl) started vomiting. Repeatedly. I took her to the vet, where they did blood work and found nothing wrong (except some intestinal gas on x-ray), gave her nausea meds, and sent us home with the instruction to call the on-call vet if she kept throwing up. Which she did, but the on-call vet said it was our decision to take her to the vet school, and to go if she looked bad.

In the morning, she hadn't perked up, and she refused breakfast, so we packed up for Raleigh. We spent 4+ hours at the vet school while she got blood drawn and ultrasounds. She stayed overnight, and she apparently perked up enough to love on all the techs. (She's very friendly when she remembers she likes people because they give her scritches.)

They saw a thickening of the abdominal wall on ultrasound, which they said was either IBD or lymphoma, and the lymph nodes looked enlarged.

Sunday they did aspirates on her spleen and let us take her home. The vet said that the detailed radiology report didn't show enlarged lymph nodes, so it was more likely to be IBD, and they'd let us know what the aspirates said.

Meanwhile, Luna has been losing weight and eating a ton, but her thyroid and glucose are normal. So we sent off a blood sample to Texas to get vitamin levels, since that could tell us whether it's a nutrient deficiency (ie IBD) or cancer. Those came back yesterday, and apparently it's colitis.

So we're supposed to give her antibiotic powder on her (canned) food, as well as probiotics, for 6 weeks or so. I picked them up this morning, and she refused to eat her dinner with the powders on them.

Mylene is on metronidazole suspension and a floxacin tablet. We can't get the metronidazole in her, and her dose is 1/10 of the smallest available human tablet. So tomorrow I get to call the vet about a) getting a local pharmacy to compound it for her (rather than the usual place in TX), b) seeing how to get the dewormer the vet school wanted us to give her into her (it's also a liquid, which we got all over us the only time we attempted that), and c) asking what to do about Luna's antibiotics.

Mylene's aspirates came back, and they're "cytologically uninteresting," which means no lymphoma. Yay. Just a novel protein diet and a month of antibiotics.

Also, every time I think "OK, this month won't be too bad; maybe I can buy a new pair of shoes for summer because my Tevas are 8 or 9 years old and dying," we get hammered with $2k of vet bills. *sigh*
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
By which I mean terrible, of course.

We lost power right about 7 am yesterday morning, and it freezing rained all day. Ben went off to work (where there was power and internet), and I stayed home. I excavated my desk, which mostly just meant shuffling things around a bit, but the entire area around my computer is actually usable now.

I read more of the assigned reading in my distance learning course, until my hands were too cold to keep out of the blanket. Then I sorted through heaps of things I've been avoiding on a shelf for years. You can't really tell I did anything with the shelf, but I can.

Ben came home and fed the cats, and we ate cold cereal for dinner in front of a fire, which we kept going until the power (and heat) came back on around 9:15 pm.

When the heat came back on, it was 55 degrees inside my house. Today it's 65, and I have some windows open.


Here are some pictures.

I'm home.

25 Feb 2014 11:21 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
My return flights were blissfully uneventful. The worst I had to deal with was an over-tired child shrieking on the train.

I got a whole row to myself on the transatlantic leg, and the vegetarian lunch they served was actually pretty good. (Nicely-seasoned tofu, cooked to a good consistency; the mashed peas glob was nasty, but I hate peas. I think it was maybe partly potatoes too?)

I unpacked and got a good night's sleep, though I may take a nap later.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
May the travel gods smile upon me this time.

ICE 612 Stuttgart-Frankfurt (M) Flughafen 09:51-11:06
DL 107 FRA-JFK 13:45-16:45
DL 2920 JFK-RDU 18:45-20:17

Week 2

17 Feb 2014 09:02 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I don't want to go home :P My flatmates are nice, and I feel comfortable here. But I need to go home and see Ben and the cats. Also all 11 kg of my course materials are at home.

I've been poking around the GI website, because I'd like to take the C2 exam (the Grosse Deutsche Sprachdiplom) eventually, and I was looking for some self-study materials, etc. They have some free online, or I could buy this book. They recommend a distance learning course in grammar, which I may opt to do even if I don't take the exam. (After I finish the current study thing. Two at once is absurd.)

I don't know that getting that qualification will do anything special, other than show that, hey, I can speak German really well, so I'm not going to teach people terrible German.

Of course, afaict there are no sites in the US where it's given. Oh, no, they'll give it at the GI in DC and Boston. Getting to DC would be easier & cheaper for me, though since my sister moved back out to Maryland, I don't have a convenient downtown location to sleep for free. The one in Boston looks like it's on the red line between Arlington and Copley.

Either way, this won't be happening this year, and next year looks less unlikely, but they only offer it once or twice a year. So.

La. I think I'm going to go take off my makeup and wash my face.

To do

13 Feb 2014 08:05 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
-Go to a Schreibwarenladen.

-Alternately, go to the Schreibwaren department of Galeria Kaufhof.

-Buy a Lamy Al-star with a fine nib, if such a thing exists. (Thalia seemed to have mostly medium nibs.)

-See how much the new German away jersey costs and buy one if it isn't stupid expensive. Jerseys are $90 plus tax and shipping at soccer.com, or $106.29. So if it's €78 or less, it's a better deal to buy it here. (Even if it's €90, it might be ok, because I can get the MWST (VAT) refunded when I leave. If I remember to get a VAT refund receipt or something. But then I might have to mail it home; my backpack is quite full.)

-Wander around MA and hack some Ingress portals. I can make a couple control fields that go to my apartment. Unless this guy takes them over for green first :P

-Get a train ticket to Stuttgart. I can go in ~40 minutes on the ICE for €39, or I can go on the S-bahn and IC in 1h15 min for €30. On the one hand, save money. On the other hand, takes longer. Maybe I'll do the cheaper one since I'll have to use the ICE to get to Frankfurt airport Monday morning.

-Sleep more.

Day 3

12 Feb 2014 06:11 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Still liking this practicum thing. All the teachers (and also my WG people) say I have clear pronunciation and have only a slight accent, so I just need more self-confidence. -_- They mostly think I could teach within Germany, at VHS oder so. The teacher from Monday meinte, that some Goethe Institutes allow non-native speakers if they have 100% perfect German. It's a level I aspire to, but yeah. Gar keine Fehlerchen.

I feel like I'm learning a good bit about methods and how to teach at different levels, though I'm not sure how best to integrate two different levels within the same class. But then, neither have been any of the teachers I've worked with thus far. It's a difficult question.

I went shopping at Thalia again. The train stop is right outside it, and I am weak against bookshops. I was looking for a Schreibwarenladen, and I know I saw one while I was out flanieren the other day, but damned if I remember where. I'm also looking for books to use to teach Ben German, and I'm also looking for some C1-level review/etc books for me, because I'd like to take the GDS at some point. (Though I suppose I should actually take the C1 exam first...I don't think they require it, though.) I'd want to be living in Germany for at least a few months first, though.

I picked up 2 kids' books, one Pixi Wissen about football, and one story about a hedgehog that was cute. There's this series that looks popular now about a dragon that goes on adventures, but those were more expensive. I picked up a pocket reference for verbs and a vocab trainer, both for Ben. For me, I got a German dictionary (monolingual, finally, the pocket Duden) and a 5€ book on whisky. Klar. It was €5.

I'd like to pick up the Dreyer-Schmitt grammar book, of which I have a very old edition already (from before the spelling reform; I think it's about 1990 at the latest). They have the newest edition at the Institut, and I really like the new layout. Also it has the new spellings, which I still haven't quite worked out.

I'm going to reheat dinner (I had some spinach and cheese ravioli and vegetarian bolognese from rewe last night, and I couldn't finish it) then take a look at the books that the teacher I'm shadowing tomorrow uses. Then probably hit the hay. I have been SO tired.

This weekend I might make a day trip to Speyer, visit the cathedral, that sort of thing. Dunno yet. If the local Ingressers go out, I may join them.

Day 1

10 Feb 2014 05:12 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I've gotten settled in here in Mannheim. The rest of the people in my WG are nice, and I made a pot of curry for dinner last night, which we shared.

I had my first day of the Hospitation today, in an A1 (first level) class. Tomorrow I'm going to an A2 class, then B1, A2, etc. I only have a day (8:30-1) in each class. Because I didn't start until about 10 am today, I need to make up about 2 hours of instruction-observation time, so I'll have a couple times when I go to an evening course, which serves a different population. Should be interesting.

The teacher today let me help out in class, which was neat. She had me go around during group work. Not everyone will, so I don't really know what I'll be doing the rest of the time, other than observing and taking notes about how the course progresses.

In school-not-related stuff, (I just started writing this sentence in German) I bought some tea that is really nice from Teekanne, Spanish orange. Kind of like Celestial Seasonings' Mandarin Orange Spice.

It is also apparently extremely difficult to find normal stick deodorant in this country, or at least in dm. They had a ton of roll-on, which counts as a liquid, which means I'd have to throw it out in 2 weeks when I leave, because it won't fit in my 1-quart zip top bag (which is already full). I found three sticks, one of which wasn't also anti-perspirant, so I picked that up for like €1.50. I can shove it in my normal toiletry kit.

Now I should get off the computer and flip through the books tomorrow's teacher uses so I have an idea of what she'll be doing.

Made it.

6 Feb 2014 08:32 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I've actually been here a while; I got into Frankfurt at 1:30, then I loitered in the train station until the next train at 2:53.

I got to my apartment, showered, ate dinner with my flatmates, and went out shopping. I have gouda, fruit quark, cream cheese with garlic, vollkornbrot with sunflower seeds, hanuta, and beer. I feel like I'm in Germany now.

I also bought the SIM card for my phone, so I'll post my German number in a separate locked post. Next I'm going to try to get this Surf-Card working.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
My original 1:15 flight to JFK was canceled, and I was automatically rebooked on the 4pm flight. Which was subsequently canceled. So now I'm flying from Raleigh to Atlanta to Paris to Frankfurt, and not getting dinner (special meals require 24 hours notice) or an economy comfort seat (which they will refund me for, at least).

I won't get to my final destination (Mannheim) until 12:15 at the earliest (assuming no delays and speedy immigration control (which, huh, I guess I'll have in Paris, since Schengen means you don't need border controls? idk?)) or 13:15 if anything keeps me from getting the train at 11:51 (my flight lands at 11:25.)

All I'll want to do is take a fucking shower.
feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
I read this link on twitter the other day about class and "identitarianism," which rings true in parts but not in others, and I'm not sure I can explain it well.

I've been incoherently pondering it the last few days, but maybe some of you smart people can discuss and help me figure things out.

(Warning: sh*tt*rly in comments)

That Guy

29 Jan 2014 11:56 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
A friend is seeking Actual Questions asked by That Guy at cons (on panels, at the bar, standing in the dealers hall...) so they can give actual answers to them. Drop me a comment if you have any particularly hilarious(ly egregious) ones.

For example: Q: Why don't girls like guys who like science? A: They do, but not you.

Leave comments with your examples, and I'll pass them on.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
So I'm doing this thing. I'm kind of co-chair of the con, and I roped Ben into heading up programming.

We're selling badges and other goodies for people who can't attend. We've reached 25% funding in the first 24 hours.

Please share these links with your friends! If you want a handmade Knifehead plushie, act fast: there are only two left.
feuervogel: (writing)
It's the opposite of every previous crit for this story (including one from someone whose critique is often scathing; he said this was really technically well done, though he said it was polemical :P ). Before I got this crit, I was going to give it another quick cosmetic polish, except now I think it's terrible and sucky.

She also wants me to add in a lot of ~showing~ and ~body language~.


She also didn't believe that two people who would break up if one of them got a job far away are/were really in love. I don't agree with that assessment, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that no one is entitled to someone else's sacrifices.

So, now what? Do I take the, like, two points I think are actually valid (one of which is a streamlining of a couple sentences) and ignore the rest? Do I trash the whole thing and start over?
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
When I got my current phone, it was to replace a phone I dropped one too many times apparently and no longer detected SIM cards. (If I had a tool to crack the case open, I would see if it's fixable.)

The salesman talked me into getting insurance on my phone, which I've never had before. It's $10/mo (ugh) and covers out of warranty replacements (with a $200 deductible). So I'm paying $240 for the privilege of getting a replacement phone plus a potential additional $200 if that becomes necessary. At which point, I may as well just go to Best Buy and get an unlocked one, right? (*goes to account and cancels the service after writing this post*)

So I'm looking at cases for it. I like about half the ones listed here, some of which are available on Amazon for a bit cheaper than direct from the retailer. (And I have a lot of Amazon points, so I could get it approximately free.)

- HTC Flip case: I don't really need a stand for it to watch videos, but I like the front cover to protect it in my purse.

- Belkin Grip Candy: I dig the look of this. I don't have a lot of trouble with it being slippery, so added traction isn't strictly necessary.

- Incipio Feather Shine: Understated, sleek. Comes in silver. Currently at the top of my list.

- Seidio Surface: see above re: stand, but I like the look of this. Also, it comes in purple.

- Cruzerlite Androidified: Candy-colored, inexpensive, and slimline.

There is also this from the same company with a different design on the case. I kind of dig the circuitry look.

My question: how do I choose a case? Pick one I think looks good and is a reasonable price? I don't need something heavy duty like an Otter Box; mostly it's sitting on my desk beside me or in my purse. I have a crocheted slip cover (sock) for when I put it in my purse.

Do any of you have experience with any of these brands? Any you want to warn me away from or steer me toward?

ETA: I ordered the purple Bugdroid because it had good reviews on Amazon and the Incipio Feather's were mixed.

Word count

2 Jan 2014 01:26 pm
feuervogel: (writing)
+1177; 4427 words. First draft complete.

Tomorrow I'll reread and make first revisions, then send it off to the two people who volunteered elsewhere.

Word count

1 Jan 2014 05:04 pm
feuervogel: (writing)
+1420, 3250 total. About 2/3 done. Not entirely sure it's a story (as opposed to a character sketch or something), but I'm writing it. I may not be mean enough to the character, but I'm not sure. That's what beta reading is for, no?
feuervogel: (writing)
+1830 on a new short story. It's maybe about half done. I intend to submit it to Lightspeed for their Women Destroying SF issue. It's got a bisexual woman in a relationship with a lesbian. I want to destroy SF a lot, apparently.
feuervogel: (writing)
I forgot to post this earlier. While I was flying to STL for Xmas, I wrote to the end of the novel. Note that I didn't say finished it.

51,160 words. I think I'll aim for 75k in revisions.
feuervogel: (food)
1 large or 1.5 med onions, diced (about 2 cups)
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 28-oz can chunky tomato sauce
3 Tbsp molasses
~1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped small
~6 oz canned pumpkin
~1/2 package Quorn grounds
1 bottle porter beer
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder

Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent.
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high 3-4 hours or until done. (Spice quantities are estimates; adjust to taste.) (I assume you could do it longer on low.)

Serve with pumpkin spoon bread. (This is why there's a remnant of canned pumpkin in the chili, you see.) Bake the spoon bread toward the last hour of cooking, and it'll be nice and hot in your bowl.


26 Dec 2013 03:20 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Spending time around Ben's family always reminds me how working class I am. I hate it.

I see pictures of the 2-week trip to Hawaii they took when Ben was about 13 and his brother was 6, where his mom talked to their teachers to let them be taken out of school for an extra week and they had to keep a diary of what they did and what they learned. And the trip to Australia before Ben's brother was born.

I hear stories about various summer educational experiences they had, what they learned at camp, how they were encouraged in pursuit of knowledge. Everything with her is educational. His parents critiqued a ride at Disney World because it wasn't "accurate." THAT WASN'T THE POINT ffs.

All it does is remind me that I had a shitty life as a working class piece of shit, whose only encouragement toward education came from her teachers; whose own fucking mother refused to allow her into the gifted & talented program (with the explanation, when I asked her later why, that "you would be made fun of in G&T." I wish I were joking.); whose mother didn't understand why she wanted to go to college; who never received support for building a career or even fucking KNEW that support was available.

I honestly believed that you had to do everything on your own, without asking for help--because no one ever told me you COULD ask for help. Mentoring was as foreign an idea as living on Pluto.

Now that I'm working to become a teacher, she tells me "go out and make contacts" as if it's some magical incantation, or something that you ~just know~ how to do.

She asked about the friends Ben and I are staying with in Berlin for 2 days before everyone else shows up, how I knew them, and whether they were "good, upstanding, employed" types of people; you know, trustworthy. (Also she said "my mother would be nervous" about staying with "strangers" from the internet; I think that's her roundabout way of saying that *she's* nervous.) So I had to justify to her why one of them doesn't work but is regardless trustworthy. I didn't mention that they're both women and are dating/engaged.

Equating trustworthy with employed is seriously bullshit. I'm not gainfully employed. I said that later, and she said, "But you have a plan." My "plan" is to keep writing and maybe someday someone will like something I write enough to give me money for it. Then she said about the teaching, which isn't really a good plan, because there's not really much call for it around here.

(This is where "build a network of contacts" came in, you see.) She said I should "just" contact people at the university to ask if there are students who need tutoring. (College students get tutors? Seriously? Also, that's what grad students are for, not some Jane Shmoe.) I should also "just" ask around and make contacts.

I get more frustrated every time I interact with his parents (though I've gotten to the point with his father that I just roll my eyes and swear a lot when he starts being "every statement you make in a discussion over the dinner table must be 100% accurate and I will pick at the points that aren't 100% accurate and attack your statements" ffs dinner table discussions aren't peer-reviewed papers; they're off the cuff).

I try talking about this with Ben, but he just sits there and sort of grunts. Or says nothing while I wait for him to hold up his side of the conversation. Which is doubly frustrating.

But he doesn't understand at all the point I'm trying to make, which is that class markers are learned culture, and you can't lose them. I tried analogizing it to moving to another country and being able to adapt to the local customs and manners but still being an American* at heart, but even that didn't work. He didn't seem to grasp the difference between internal and external.

*The analogy I flailed to, at midnight when thoroughly exhausted yet unable to sleep, used Workingclass Land and Middleclass Land.

*flail* Argh. All I can do at this point is just get up and leave when discussions of things that bring out my inner ragemonster happen.
feuervogel: (writing)
+710, 50410

I've figured out how the novel really ends. Or the climax, anyway. Not sure how to get the denouement in. That's going to be the exciting part :P
feuervogel: (writing)
+485, 49700.

Close to 50k! I think I'm targeting 75k for the complete first draft (ie not this one). We'll see.
feuervogel: (writing)
+665, 49215

If the word counts don't seem to add up day to day, there seems to be a bug in Scrivener that randomly loses words from the tally and returns them if I scroll through the scene list. It originally said 45-something, and I thought, hey, that's not right.
feuervogel: (writing)
+420, 47675.

Not much, but I finished the scene I started yesterday.
feuervogel: (writing)
Wednesday: +570
Today: +740, 47255

I keep finding scenes that need to exist, which means the completion date keeps moving further. :/


feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

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