feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I got email about a job interview yesterday from a place I sent an application in February and had pretty much given up on. It's part time (probably only 3 hours a week), but it's teaching German, which I need to gain EXP in, so whatever. Also that's about the right amount of time for me, with everything else I'm doing. So it won't, like, be a huge source of money at all, but it might keep us in beer.

The costumes for DragonCon continue apace. We will be spending much of the weekend attaching hardware and straps (I hope; I'd like to get the bulk of the build done this weekend so we aren't up really late finishing Monday & Tuesday.)
feuervogel: Alex on the bridge, deciding a course of action (sad)
We had to put Mylene to sleep on Tuesday. The vet wasn't sure what it actually was, but it wasn't lymphoma. The cytology had histiocytes in it, which made her think it was a histiocytic sarcoma, which isn't treatable at all in cats. There was nothing we could to to make her better, so we had to make her comfortable.

She'll always be my sweet little foxy-faced girl who made the most adorable sound when you touched her if she was asleep.

Some pictures and my favorite picture.

Again.

15 Aug 2014 10:57 am
feuervogel: Alex on the bridge, deciding a course of action (sad)
Monday Mylene was limping, and it wasn't better Tuesday morning, so I took her to the vet. They thought it was arthritis and tendinitis, gave us tramadol and Dasuquin. Tuesday evening we gave her a second dose of tramadol, and she responded poorly. Like, trip to the closest vet hospital poorly.

So we go to the vet hospital in Durham at 9 pm, get her on fluids and oxygen. They take some blood. Her hematocrit is 14%; she needs a transfusion. They keep her overnight, and the radiologist & oncologist will look at her in the morning.

This time it's definitely lymphoma. As opposed to March, when the vet school said it was IBS.

She's doing fairly well at the moment, though she doesn't want to eat much. I offer her food every couple hours, and sometimes she eats, sometimes she doesn't.

We need to decide whether to take the aggressive, most expensive 20-week treatment option that could give us another 6-9 months or the less aggressive, less expensive 15-week treatment option that would give us 4-6 months.

In the meantime, I'm considering making and selling to order laptop, tablet, e-reader, and phone sleeves to get some funding for it (so we don't have to keep digging into savings). I have a stash of Amy Butler fabrics (3x2+ yards) that are nifty (and I think out of print), which I could probably get a decent amount out of. Plus some remnants. Any of that has to wait until after Dragon Con, though. Too busy trying to finish my armor.
feuervogel: (michel)
This week I:

- signed a contract for Shatterdome ATL
- typed up all but one of the answers for the exam I have due on Tuesday
- did a lot more con-related stuff
- wrote unpleasant con-related emails

And that pretty much ate all my hours between 9 and 5.

Other things I did:
- ordered stuff for our costumes for DragonCon
- revised & submitted a story

Thing I am proud of that I did:
- ran (jogged) a full mile at just over 12:30 min/mi. (I only slowed to a walk briefly to check my pace and see that, indeed, I was running faster than I thought and no wonder I was so wiped already.) This regular running thing is improving my stamina, yay.

Fun thing:
- A bottle of Special Effects Purple Smoke arrived at my house, and I just need to get some bleach.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I get the feeling I will never sell a fucking short story.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
With the DashCon fiasco fresh in people's minds, I made a tumblr post on what you need to think about before you decide to run a convention.

Some of it I learned the hard way, but I didn't tell them that.
feuervogel: (tanaka)
So, Ben and I are planning to do drive suits for the Kaidonovskys for DragonCon.

DragonCon is in 42 days. Neither of us has ever built armor before. We've looked at a few tutorials online and talked to a local guy (who is sweet but kinda flaky) who has a lot of experience with it. He's supposed to help us out, but god knows.

Here's what we need to do (in approximate timeline order):

- acquire (more?) blue masking tape and possibly more duct tape.
- draft all (remaining) pattern pieces (8-10 hours, July 19-20)
- figure out what we're going to use for the suits they wear under the armor (underarmour or other sport leggings/tops? look for Russian surplus at Sid's?) (by July 26)
- order Ben's wig and restyle mine; style Ben's wig when it arrives (find card with which wig to order written on it; it's on my desk)
- get hardware (1/8" jacks, bolts, etc) from Radio Shack and/or Home Depot (July 26-27)
- get a dremel and a good box fan, oh and probably a workbench would be useful
- get contact cement & paint & Bondo
- cut, glue, mold, & paint foam (August 1-23, at least 60 hours; this will probably involve some weeknight work.)

Home.

2 Jul 2014 01:00 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
Been home a few days now, but there's been football and unpacking and homework and this fucking cold. I never really posted much after the first couple days in Berlin, so I'll give a précis for the rest of it. The weather was variably terrible and bad, with a brief foray into pleasant followed by an immediate return of terrible.

June 20 )

June 21 )

June 22 )

June 23 )

June 24 )

June 25 )

June 26 )

June 27 )

June 28 )

I dumped my pictures into dropbox. This link might work; I can't tell because I'm logged in.

Ben posted a bunch of photos on tumblr, and he collected them here. He had a photo pass for Sanssouci, so he got inside pictures, whereas I just got outside ones.

I feel really comfortable in Berlin. I can't get Ben to do much more than say "yeah, it could be fun" when I discuss moving. But that's an entirely different blog post, and this one's taken me an hour to write already.

In Berlin

19 Jun 2014 08:09 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
Our flight was entirely uneventful, and we spent yesterday shopping (groceries, looking at sport jerseys) and resting. Thanks to the early flight departure time (we were awakened for breakfast at the time we usually go to bed), we were super exhausted, so we took a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Then we hung out with [personal profile] kriski and [personal profile] dirtyzucchini until it was time to collapse in exhaustion.

Today Ben and I wandered around the Hauptbahnhof until we found the Hertha fan shop, where I bought a scarf (ARGYLE!), a pin, and an old t-shirt (5€!). Then there was something going on at the platz outside, which turned out to be something to do with volleyball. After that, we were going to take the train down to the area near our hotel to get intel on the surroundings, but I wanted to get out at Hackescher Markt and walk, since that's at the top of the Museum Island and our hotel is just at the bottom. We discovered a market going on, with some handmade stuff for sale (and food), but the only thing we got was orange juice. (Fresh pressed, yum)

Thanks to the construction zone for the castle reconstruction, the plan to just walk down the center of the island didn't work, but we eventually made it. We found a few restaurants and cafes in the area, so getting breakfast won't be too bad for people who eat bread products. (Ben's brother is mildly allergic to gluten, so he only eats a minimal amount of them. Yes, it's a documented IgE response. Skin test.)

After that we took the train toward the Zoo, but I said Oh right, I wanted to stop at the Anhalter Bahnhof, so we got off the train early and walked around there some, then got back on the train to the zoo. We went there because there's a Karstadt (a German department store) Sport there, and they sell the jerseys cheaper. So I got a jersey with Klose on it for 75€ instead of €90+ (I even got a women's jersey, which I've never seen for sale in the US.)

Then we got mango lemonade because we were really thirsty, then we went to meet Kriski and Dirtyzucchini for a street food fair in Kreuzberg. I got empanadas yuuuum, and an ice cream sandwich (with cookies). Then we came home.

I walked 13000 steps today, according to my phone. Up next: internet, then sleeeeeep. Tomorrow we need to leave at 8:15 to meet Ben's parents at the airport.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
In 24 hours, if there are no airline/airport shenanigans, I will be flying from JFK to Amsterdam.

My travel day starts earlier, of course, since we have to get from here to JFK, which flight leaves at noon, so we have to be at the airport around 10 (international travel). We have rides to and from the airport, yay.

It was requested to bring Reese's Cups for our hostesses, so we picked up some king-size (4 cups) packs at Target. When we checked out, the cashier said she wanted to party with us (because a stack of Reese's Cups.) We also got peanut butter M&Ms. (And Goldfish crackers for traveling, and protein bars, and a bathing suit that fits, and some t-shirts for Ben...)

Today I walked to the credit union to make sure my debit card wasn't going to be frozen if I used it over there. Apparently the note someone left when Ben dropped by never made it into the system. So now the card should be OK to use without being flagged for theft. I left around 8:15, and it was already super disgusting out. I was sweaty before I was even to the corner. Ugh. Summer in North Carolina is appalling.

Still a bit nervous about Luna, but D & R said they could come over during the day (most days between the two of them), so if something happens, they can alert the cat sitter early.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
It's the first day of the World Cup, and I am perpetually without cable. Most of the matches will be on ESPN or ESPN2 (cable), but some will be on ABC. I guess I'll be befriending the folks at Italian Pizzeria III (super sketchy storefront, decent NY-style pizza) and/or Fitzgerald's (Irish pub) when I get back from Germany. Or doing what I usually do for the Bundesliga.

I leave for Berlin in 5 days. I have a packing list, and I'm working on a shopping list. I have most everything I need, but I'm almost out of protein bars (excellent airplane/travel snacks/emergency food), and my bathing suit doesn't fit anymore. (It never quite fit, but it was good enough. Not so much anymore.) But I hate buying bathing suits (because ones that fit my top are $75 wtf), and I'm not entirely sure I'd use it (while there are swimming areas in Berlin, I don't know if we'd have time to go to them, though our hotel has a sauna).

I'm worried that Luna will get sick while we're gone. The last 2 times we've been away, she's gotten stress-sick. So we started her on Prozac (which won't have built up enough to be effective before we leave), got a new Feliway plug-in, and have some xanax for her. We also have anti-nausea medication and antibiotics which theoretically will prevent diarrhea.

I really don't want to get a phone call from the cat sitter 3 days into an 11-day trip telling me the cat is sick as hell, you know? Argh. So we're doping her to the gills and hoping.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
After my experience with the convention I used to work with (that shall not be named), I was expecting to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the last week or two, then be constantly busy with doing stuff during the con.

Apparently, if you're not a micro-managing control freak, and you trust your department chiefs to a) be competent and b) get shit done, it's a lot easier.

My tech ops chair has 17 years of experience at Dragon Con. All I know about tech ops is that it's important and involves a/v and making sure things work right. At the post-con imbibing of scotch, there was a mutual "you're awesome!" "NO U!!" going on. My security chief has about 5 years of experience at Dragon Con, and she asked me something a few months ago about security, then made a team (from Dragon Con people).

I am really good at big-picture stuff, organization, timelines, to-do-lists, spreadsheets, and that sort of thing. I have a result that I want, and I'm not extremely fussed about the steps taken to get the result (as long as it doesn't result in shoddiness). I'm a compulsive planner, but I tend to get bored at the point of execution.

It's weird: I always thought I was kind of a control freak (or have been called that), but what it really is is that I like organizing things. A lot. (I'm an ESTJ.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I was in Artist Alley sometime in the early afternoon when one of the artists said, "Hey, Rob Kazinsky just tweeted that he's in Atlanta. We should tweet at him." I said, "Sure, go ahead," thinking pretty much that he a) wouldn't see the tweets and/or b) wouldn't come.

I didn't think about it much, except when I ran into other staff who said, "did you hear he's in Atlanta?" I had things to do (I had to sort things; I'm good at that), and didn't think about it again.

I was finishing pre-judging the costume contest when I heard the sound of fangirl squee in the hall. Ben said, "I think Rob Kazinsky just showed up." I turned to my fellow judges and said, "Let's ask Rob if he wants to judge the costume contest."

Some part of my brain said, "Oh shit they're going to mob the poor bastard." Another part of my brain said, "My entire security and ops staff work Dragon Con. They've got this." I get into the hallway, and, indeed, they had this.

We escorted Rob back into the room where we'd judged the costumes to come up with categories. He signed the award certificates *and* the posters we gave out as prizes. He did a little Q&A, then we made a group photo.

We used our staff privilege to get private photos.

Also, we sold over 20 badges at the door. Go us.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
We're driving down in the morning. I've gotten everything I need together (I hope), but I still need to pack my bathroom stuff in the morning. I need to use it first.

Most of what I've been doing the last few days is organizing things and sending email to the people who are getting the things done. Which leads me to the realization that a functional con comm is a glorious thing, as opposed to the utterly dysfunctional one I used to be part of. (The chairs are micromanaging shitlords who can't delegate worth a dog's fart. Whereas I've said, basically, "Ops person, you are experienced. Do your thing and keep me informed." And since I really like organizing things, this is so up my alley.)

I'm sad that my new jeans will be arriving tomorrow almost certainly after we leave. I hope they fit.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
A friend asked on the book of faces why some people on livejournal ask for permission to link/share on twitter/facebook, because "everything on the internet is public," so you should assume that people will link to your public content, and if you don't want to be linked, flock everything.

I said that an LJ/DW is semi-private/semi-public, with a generally known audience of a certain size, and linking widely opens the discussion to people who don't necessarily know the OP and can lead to harassment. Also some folks don't have the time or mental energy to dedicate to moderating a contentious comment section. Or they're just done talking about the subject and don't want to anymore.

He's got a few more questions based on my responses.

1. How often does this security by obscurity approach tend to leak in practice?

2. Who is your intended audience for public posts?

3. What steps do you take to make these social norms about linking known to visitors accustomed to the rather different norms that prevail in places like Twitter, Tumblr, and the traditional hyperlinked web?

Discuss. And, yes, feel free to link.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
My VP17 classmate [livejournal.com profile] captainecchi tagged me in this writing meme.

1. What am I working on?

Writing-wise, right now? Blessedly nothing. I have 3 stories (no, 4) on submission and a 0.5th draft of a novel, for which I am reading a book about the politics in Berlin in 1961 as research, and once I finish, I'll start revising it.

Not-writing-wise, I am in frantic pre-con mode for Shatterdome Atlanta (May 31) and taking exam 5 in my German-teaching class. I'm not certain I'll pass this one, and this time I actually mean it. Like, there's one 3-point (out of 30) question that's all or nothing. 19 points is passing. (The first exam I got 19.5.)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Uh. Which genre? The most common theme/genre of my writing is (alternate) historical fiction with places as characters that is somewhere between fantasy and magical realism (that's 2 of the 4 shorts out right now; the novel is alternate history with superpowers and spies). They're also mostly set in Germany (and mostly Berlin).

One short is science fiction on a space station with cyborg prostheses and a bisexual dockworker protagonist. The last short is a flash pseudo-fairytale.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because people seem to like it. My two published pieces are (alternate) historical fantasy, and a historical fantasy got me in to VP 17. I suppose that also means that I like it and that I'm good at it.

I wanted to write politically driven space opera, but it turns out I'm terrible at it. I love reading it, though.

4. How does my writing process work?

I've recently started using the outlining method Mary Robinette Kowal describes here. I find that it suits the way my brain works quite well, even if I kind of fudge the last stage and have a few "and then a miracle occurs" points (quite frequently the ending).

I tried not outlining a novel or two, but as it turns out, that means I have to delete a whole lot of words where there are plot holes or the plot sucks. In short fiction, if I don't outline, it's not as arduous to fix the broken shit in the middle.

In the novel writing process, the 0.5th draft (I don't call it a first draft until it's something I could give to a beta reader) is a detailed outline, and there's some amount of writing to figure out what happens next. There's not much description or emotion, especially at the end (when I just want to get the damned thing out of my head already). Then once I know how it ends, I can go back and fix the beginning and middle, add foreshadowing and characterization and description and all the other things. And take out the things I already said.

I use Scrivener on my Macbook Air, and I love it.

I'll tag whoever wants to do this.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Conrunning is all the bad parts of group work in school, except at the end you have a convention.

Have I mentioned that an important staff member is on vacation out of the country for a week right now? THE CON IS IN 20 DAYS.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
It's coming soon. Like 21 days soon.

We have a tentative schedule. We have badge art. We have -$1000 because our expenses are more than our income.

And I think it'd be fun to do this again.
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.

Stuff

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.

*sigh*
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.

What.

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.

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