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.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
This practicum in Mannheim is expensive, so I've put up a GoFundMe page.

Feel free to link to this post and the page.


20 Nov 2013 01:31 pm
feuervogel: (writing)
1. I have a room in Mannheim for February, and I have plane tickets.

2. I've now had a mobile carrier called Fonic thrown into the mix; apparently they use O2's network. The rate is similar to Telekom's, so I guess it'll depend which store I find first.

3. I have three short stories out on submission right now. This is highly unusual and is a result of Viable Paradise. One story is my application piece; another is the dreaded Thursday Story.

4. I am re-reading up to where I left off in writing the novel, and I had a terrible (in the good way) idea, so I think I have to use it. But that idea kind of sets up a sequel, and *flail*.

5. I may have to reread the whole thing to make sure I didn't put any hints in that I never followed up on, but that's the thing that will happen when I get to the end of this draft (which I tend to call draft 0, because it's a glorified outline).

6. I joined SparkPeople; let me know if you want to be friends there. It's part of Operation: Fit Into The Jeans That Fit Last Winter Goddammit. Paying attention to what I eat is a pain. Also, I may be making lentil stew to freeze and have for lunches, because I need more protein, and lentils are full of protein. Added bonus: Ben won't eat them, so I don't have to worry about sharing.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Bought plane tickets to Frankfurt for February. Procrastination/indecisiveness paid off, because between last week and yesterday, the price dropped $130. I'll be arriving at 7:50 am Feb 6 and leaving at 1:45 pm Feb 24, and the last weekend I'll be visiting a friend in Stuttgart and hopefully seeing Hertha play live, depending on what the DFB schedules.

2. I got a response to my WG-Gesucht post! The room is 90€/week, which is super cheap. She's going to email me photos.

3. Can you buy just the extension part of a MacBook cord? I don't want to deal with outlet converters, since I only have one. The part I'm talking about is the part that snaps into the brick if you slide off the flippy thing, the extension cable. There's this, which goes into the brick, but I don't know how far the cord will have to reach for an outlet.

3b. What's the best place to pick up a USB charger port thing? tells me they're called a Ladegerät. (Ie what's a German Best Buy type store?)

4. Vodafone vs T-Mobile/Telekom vs O2 vs other: go.

5. I really need to get off my ass and finish this module (on language acquisition theory and language pedagogical theory) so I can get at least another after that done before I go teach for 2 weeks.


7. Contemplating (again) applying to the Middlebury MA program. 4 6-week sessions where you have 3 classes doesn't seem too bad, and the course offerings sound interesting. And maybe I can place out of/get credit for one or two with whatever certificate I get from this thing. Augh. (Mainly considering this because there are so many "MA required" jobs out there.)
feuervogel: Mesut Özil hugs Cacau (german team 10)
So, I need to go to Germany for an internship for 2 weeks in February, and I'm not sure where the money's going to come from. Which means I'm going to beg from people on the internet, I guess.

I know people who have used indiegogo to fund an educational thing, and people who have used GoFundMe, too. There are so many crowdfunding sites out there now, I hardly know where to start.

I'm leaning toward indiegogo, because I feel like I should offer people something in return for them throwing money at me. Straight up donations makes me uncomfortable, but I don't know why.

I could offer related things, like German lessons (over Skype or in person) or postcards. But those are very specific, so I could also offer unrelated things, like quilted e-reader or phone covers.

What do you all think? What are your experiences with these sites, and how do you feel about donating vs getting something in return? Other thoughts?
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I've put up a listing on WG-Gesucht. Maybe someone will be looking for a short-term sublet.

(Does my entry look OK? I've never done this before.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Have been for several days now. I wrote a post about it here. It's entirely inadequate, though.

I've been catching up on things, doing laundry, napping, and getting over the plague (which came to us courtesy of Lynch and Bear; hey, someone's gotta be the plague bearer among the 40-odd people). All I have left is a bit of a cough, so that's nice.

Friday I'm driving to PA for my 15th college reunion and seeing old friends. Today I got my oil changed and my tires rotated (and patched up a bit where some asshole hit me while I was parked). My brakes are ok, but I need to get them changed soon, they said.

Have I mentioned how awesome our mechanics are? I trust them not to bullshit us into spending more money, and they certainly go beyond the call of duty. One of them loaned Ben his personal car (truck) for a couple weeks while Ben's Golf was having the entire steering column replaced. Wagner Tire in Hillsborough, NC. Good people.

Anyway. I'm also researching flights for my practicum in February. Leaving the US Wednesday or Thursday the 5th or 6th and coming back Monday the 24th costs the same ($1077 on Delta right now). It's just a matter of whether the inexpensive B&B is available and if I want to try the youth hostel instead (cheaper, but shared bedroom and no guaranteed desk space). Now, it'll be February, which isn't exactly prime time for tourism, so the hostel might not be too bad.

I also need to decide if I want to fly back through JFK and leave on a 1:45 pm flight, which would allow me to leave my friends in Stuttgart at a reasonable hour Monday morning or avoid JFK and potential ice by flying through Atlanta (9:45 am departure), which would necessitate an evening train to Frankfurt and a hotel. There's one at the airport that's cheap (45€/night) and has a free shuttle. Honestly, given my travel hell flying through JFK in NOT bad weather, I'm inclined toward ATL regardless.

I won't know until mid-December at the earliest when the Hertha v Stuttgart game is going to be. If it's Friday night, I won't likely be able to go. If it's either Saturday game or Sunday early, it won't be a problem. Sunday late would be less ideal but still manageable (since I'd have to get that late train to FRA for an early flight if I went through ATL). But even if I can't make it to the game (the Friday night match is 1 out of 9), I can see Joey, and he can show me around Stuttgart, where I've never been. And if I can make the game, he can get us tickets, and we can watch together.

I've also revised and submitted the UST short I was working on. If CG doesn't want it, I haven't lost much. I don't know if there's enough of a spec hook for other magazines, but I also am not allowed to reject myself from magazines; that's all the editor's decision. But I need to make sure it's not something completely off their regular list. (ie, don't send it to Analog or F&SF or Lightspeed. Which rules out a lot...) Even if I can't sell it anywhere, I've got some character backstory for the novel, which isn't a bad thing. I like writing character vignettes for backstory.

I need to revise my Thursday story and submit it; I haven't had a chance to start that yet. I read a collection of Grimm's fairytales I picked up in college to prepare for it, though. I also need to revise my application story, which I haven't had a chance to even think about yet. Except that I'm indebted to Bear for the new title of it. Which is a good one, actually. (I am rubbish at titles.)

I'd intended to take a nap this afternoon, but that hasn't happened. Oh well.
feuervogel: (shiiiiiiiiiit!)
I'm so not ready for VP this weekend. Augh. I've got laundry drying right now, so I can pack tonight, if I'm lucky, or tomorrow. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to wear.

I'm close to finished with this short story (which needs a better name; I am terrible at naming things and I hate it), so I'm looking for a few good beta readers. I'll email you the file (.doc, .rtf, or .odt--your preference) and hope to get it back by the 20th. I won't have time to work on it while I'm at VP, of course. Comment or PM me.

I get to finish things off in the house, like the almond milk I use for post-workout smoothies, which Ben won't use and won't keep until I get back. Not sure whether I want to make a smoothie for lunch today or tomorrow, though. I also have a persimmon I bought Saturday that is finally starting to become edible. I hope it's ready tomorrow.

I still need to finish The Lies of Locke Lamora, which I am enjoying a lot but not having time to read. I can take it on the plane, but I was kinda hoping to sleep, since I have to get up an hour early Sunday. We'll see.

I'd also like to make more progress in this module, which has finished being about language acquisition theory and turned into instructional methodology.

On which note: progress! I am confirmed for Mannheim Feb 10-22, and after I get back, I'll look more into flights and housing. The woman I've been conversing with sent me documents with hotels and apartment search information, which I will make use of. If any of you German friends of mine are in Mannheim or have friends there who are willing to put me up for about 18 days for less than 500€, please let me know! If you have any tips about Mannheim, also let me know. I've never been there.

(The youth hostel works out to about 440€ for the length of time, and it includes breakfast. But it's a shared room, so ... One plus is that each room has its own shower. I don't know. Hard to unpack in a hostel I think, but everything else is so expensive.)

Anyway, I'm hungry, so I need to get lunch and then get back to revising this story.


21 Aug 2013 11:22 am
feuervogel: (moo)
I heard back from the second GI I contacted. They asked where I live (to see if I need a work permit), and I told them I'm American. That was Monday.

I haven't heard anything from the first GI since I told them I'm from the US.

I'm starting to get worried, because I need to get this practicum sorted out ASAP. I've got a sinking feeling that I can't go over to a GI because I'm not a native German speaker and that's their thing. But I don't know how else I can meet the practicum (or 120 hours of teaching experience) requirement!

I can't get a job teaching without experience or certification, and I can't complete this certification without experience. YAY FUCKING LOVELY.

I need to have this requirement met by March 2015.

If I don't hear anything, not even a "sorry, we can't do that," within the next week (after DragonCon I guess), I'm going to write to the Middlebury Language School and ask if I can work something out there next summer.

I don't know if the Waldsee Immersion Camp has enough contact hours to get 50 or 120, but I can ask them, I guess.

But both of those basically mean I won't be home at all next summer, between family vacation in Berlin and 2-? weeks elsewhere.

Before I signed up for the class, I asked if it was OK for me as a foreigner to do a practicum at the GI, and they said yes. So if I don't get an affirmative response on scheduling a practicum soon, I'll email them back and say, "hey, I'm trying to schedule my practicum but neither of the GIs I contacted will let a non-native speaker teach, so I'm kind of fucked here." Except more politely and in German.


7 Aug 2013 09:26 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
With [personal profile] ratcreature's help, I polished up the practicum inquiry letters and sent them off yesterday. I heard back from the Frankfurt GI a little bit ago, and they said it's possible to do one in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of an intensive 4+, see internet for schedules, and the fee is 200E. (I don't know what the magic key combination is to get the Euro symbol on my Mac.)

Airfare to Frankfurt in January is $1100. I assume I'll also have to pay for housing, which I'll ask about when I reply to this email. So airfare + fee + housing + food...probably another $2k.

This is still cheaper than grad school, and more focused on what I'd like to do.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
Wie ihr schon wisst, mache ich jetzt einen Fernstudiumkurs durch das Goethe-Institut, um DaF-Lehrerin zu werden. Ich muss ein Praktikum machen, und ich suche gerade eine Stelle. Ich habe 2 potenzielle Möglichkeiten: eine beim GI, die andere bei einer anderen privaten Sprachschule. Es gibt Rahmenbedingungen fürs Praktikum.

Hier folgen 2 Briefe, die nicht 100%ig gleich sind. Ich habe nie so einen Brief geschrieben, und ich weiss nicht genau, wie man einen auf Deutsch schreibt, die Formen usw. Zu formell, zu informell, usw. Und was benutzt man für die Anrede, wenn keinen Namen bewusst sind? (Und in eine Web-Form geschrieben wird...) Grammatik auch bitte korrigieren!

an die Sprachschule )

Für das Praktikum beim GI muss ich mich zwischen Frankfurt und Mannheim-Tübingen entscheiden. FRA hat billigste Flugpreise; Mannheim-Tübingen ist näher einen Freund in Stuttgart. Ich könnte an die beiden schreiben, und es würde nur die Anrede anders sein. (An welche Person sollte ich schreiben?? Die erste Vier sind Betriebsführer usw.)

ans GI )

Jo, zu kalt? Zu informell? Grammatische Fehler? Danke nochmal *küsschen*


26 Jul 2013 09:12 pm
feuervogel: Mesut Özil hugs Cacau (german team 10)
So, Ben's brother gave me a copy of Soccernomics for Christmas, and I've finally cleared my reading slate enough to read it. I'm enjoying it a fair amount. There's a lot of statistical talk (in layman's terms, mostly) and asides like, regarding Manchester in 1876, "the city so miserable it inspired communism" or "Many people believe that Manchester United is evil. No one thinks they're boring." (paraphrased from memory)

There's this one problem. When I was thinking of applying to grad school, I wanted to write a thesis on integration and German football. This is making me want to write it again.

I REALLY REALLY don't want to do a PhD. Really really. Some places won't even accept terminal MA applicants, and the places that do don't necessarily offer funding. And there's no way in god's green hell that I'll be taking out loans for this.

So I'm back to square one and confused again.

Middlebury has a program that fits me (4 6-week summer sessions of 3 courses each), but their big papers aren't independent research projects; they're related to a course. (As far as I can tell. There's a course listing for Thesis, but I can't find anything about such a requirement on the site.) They don't require the GRE.

Georgetown and Maryland both have thesis options. Georgetown says they're "committed" to funding all graduate students; Maryland's funding is "highly competitive." Both require the GRE.

I DON'T KNOW, Y'ALL. Blargh. Stupid brain.

Not that I couldn't, like, do some research, outline a nonfiction book proposal, and shop it around... Come to think of it, I know enough people (via twitter) who are involved in real football journalism that I might be able to get a tip or two.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I got my score on The Exam That Would Not End. 23.5/30, satisfactory/befriedigend (3). Passed. YAY.


24 Jun 2013 03:31 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear back from VP. It's only been a week since the submission period closed, and I got my rejection letter June 30 two years ago. So it could literally be *any time*, and the longer it goes, the more convinced I am the answer is, once again, no. Seriously, every new email ding makes me anxious.

2. This is the exam that never ends. I have 10 of the 12 questions answered, hopefully to a fuller extent than the first exam, so I get a better score than last time. The last two questions I hope I can get finished today or tomorrow. I need to read a few chapters again (or a dozen more times) and see what I can tease out.

3. The con starts Friday. (Thursday night, but that's only the GOH dinner, and we're not going; besides, I have the last sword class until September.)

4. My exam is due at 5:59 pm Saturday (11:59 pm German time). I need to get this exam completed by Thursday afternoon, because I'm going to be too busy after then to work on it, and I won't have a steady net connection, either. (I did, actually, plan it this way. I purposefully timed it so I'd have to have it in before the con, rather than having the con be in the middle of the test period, and I didn't want to postpone starting it until after the con.)

5. I need to organize all my notes for next year's con and the one after into an obviously titled google doc.

6. I haven't written a word on my novel in close to 2 weeks. I miss it. But this exam is eating all my usable brain cycles.

Busy busy

18 Jun 2013 01:43 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I requested exam 2 in the teaching German course to start Friday, so I've been doing that for 2-3 hours every day since, about as much as I can manage before my brain leaks out my ears.

This time I'm asking a million questions about the test questions, because last time I did so poorly (barely passed), and I want to do better. You only get 3 exam retakes, see, and there are 8 modules.

I haven't written anything in about a week, but that's OK. After I've wrangled this shit in German, my brain is done.

I'm reading through this year's Hugo nominees so I can vote. I'm putting my opinions here. Right now I'm reading Throne of the Crescent Moon, and I have to say I'm not impressed. It's generic epic fantasy set in a pseudo-Muslim culture. I'm about halfway through, though I considered giving up around chapter 3, because I was just that bored. I decided to keep going so I could have a fully informed opinion. It's still not urging me to run out any buy the rest, I have to say.

Dude I know from COUP who worships Bill Gates thinks my criticisms of the XBox One are completely irrational and unfounded. Riiight. This is the guy who liked this fucking show so much that he bought a Midori hand puppet. So I'm going to go with "he's a fucking dumbshit who doesn't know what he's talking about" on this one. Also because every time I respond with actual evidence that MS is doing seriously shitty stuff, he stops responding.


22 May 2013 09:42 am
feuervogel: (michel)
I made a to-do list last night because I feel like my ability to mentally organize things is gone. I keep meaning to do things and then either forgetting them or falling into the hole of facebook flash games.

I was feeling consistently awful and low-level migrainey for a few days a couple weeks ago, so I went into my doctor's office, and they took thyroid levels. They said I needed to go down on my T3 because my TSH is too low. So I've been taking 10 mcg instead of 15 for about 2 weeks now, and I don't feel all that great. No migraines or anything, just lack of motivation, dry eyes, mouth, and skin, and low energy. I can't focus worth a damn, either. (And because of my neurologist's verbot on caffeine, I can't just make some black tea and make some focus, either.)

It could be that 15 mcg is too much, but 10 isn't enough. Unfortunately, the medication comes in 5 mcg unscored tablets. Though it also comes in 25s, and 12.5 might work out. Except for reasons completely unknown to me, because I've never had 90-day supplies called in before, the nurse authorized 90 days with 3 refills on my last T3 rx, while doing 30 days with 3 refills on the Synthroid, because I don't even fucking know. Maybe she goofed and read the #90 as 90 days, but #90 and #270 are a lot different.

So I have a metric shit ton of 5 mcg liothyronine tablets (at 2 a day, they will last me 135 days, or approximately 4.5 months), and I refuse to pay for a new prescription when I already paid 3 months' copays for the bottle I have. So if my doctor agrees at my physical next Thursday, I'll see about either taking 2.5 every day or adding a third in the afternoon. Or going to an endocrinologist, maybe.

I have this writing idea that I've been letting float around in my mind for a while, and I finally had some insight into it last night. So I made some rough notes around which the idea can coalesce while I work on other things.

I'm going up to DC next weekend (via Amtrak) to see the US and German men's soccer teams play at RFK stadium. I am excite. I'm staying with my sister Fri & Sat, then going to the game and staying with Ben's brother Sunday, then coming home Monday.

I need to write a letter (in German) to a language school and ask if I can do a practicum there and if they meet the criteria set forth in my course description. I don't really want to do it, but I need to. Ideally, I'd do the practicum in winter when airfare is cheapest, but I don't know ... well, there are a lot of things I don't know, like whether they'll even accept non-native speakers as praktikanten or whether they'll have openings in winter or how far in advance I even need to make arrangements. Argh. (I am fairly certain that there are no practica that meet the course criteria in the US unless you are majoring in education and doing your student teaching. There is an alternative to the practicum, which is 120 hours of teaching experience, which would take me far too long to acquire, if I could even get a job without a certificate and experience.)

Anyway. Stuff. I need to get started on my to-do list before I lost the entire morning to faffing about. This has already taken over half an hour to write, in part because I got distracted and wandered away for a few minutes several times.

I suck.

24 Apr 2013 09:03 am
feuervogel: (sideways days)
So I got the result of my first test in this class back. I passed, barely: 19.5/30 (passing is 19).

I don't know why I did so badly, and the office people won't explain why because it's a Leistungsergebnis and all I can do is read the commentary on my exam, which is shit like "read this section of the book again," and I'm just "Bitch, I was fucking LOOKING at that page when I wrote my answer, why the fuck do you think reading it again is going to help me one fucking bit?"

I've gone between upset-sad and upset-pissed about this so many times, and I'm convinced I'm just too fucking stupid to figure out their vague questions and imprecise definitions. (See also: become more familiar with the terminology and principles of interactive learning... The former isn't exactly well-defined (I had to go to fucking WIKIPEDIA for some shit), and the latter wasn't exactly in the book. So leck mich.))

I feel like I've wasted two thousand fucking dollars.

I need to do a practicum (in Germany, because I don't know of any sites here that meet their criteria), which means another thousand+ dollars for airfare, plus living expenses, plus any fucking fee the site charges.

And I can't learn the way they expect me to. I don't have the ability to guess what they're getting at, I've never taken a linguistics course, the way I learned grammar 20 years ago bears no resemblance to the things I'm reading in this text, and most vitally, I need much more precise, clear explanations of material.

Seriously. I read something, I understand it as far as what's in the text goes, and yay. Apparently I'm supposed to ~reflect~ on everything when I read it so I can teach myself? I don't fucking know.

I'm too fucking stupid to take this class. I can retake up to 3 of the exams (8 total). I'm not terribly hopeful that I can pass at least 4/7.

Fuck all this.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Slow Travel Berlin (run by English-speaking expats) posted today about language schools in Berlin. So I'm going to collect the links here. (rather twee, holy god) (I should contact them about the practicum I need to do for this course I'm taking) (I can't tell if they have job opening things)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Our forsythia is starting to flower. The rosemary is flowering, but that doesn't mean anything. The rosemary flowers in December. I need to cut away last year's mum so this year's has space to grow, but I want to wait until it stops freezing overnight. I need to prune the rosemary and many of the other giant herbs in the side garden, but I am an indifferent gardener at best.

We've had sun, lots of sun, lately. It was a cloudy, rainy winter this year, unusually so.

My birthday was fun. I had a party Saturday with a bunch of friends, and I made muhammara (awesome), what I am dubbing the Rage Torte, because it didn't work right (tasted good anyway), and chocolate chip cookie cupcakes with cookie dough frosting and a cookie on top. Yeah, it was awesome. We stayed up way too late, especially because it was spring forward, so I spent Sunday all zombiefied and feeling hungover, even if I wasn't.

Ben's parents are coming here this weekend. His mom is giving a talk at NC A&T in Greensboro tomorrow (she's flying out today), then his dad is flying out tomorrow, and we're spending the weekend doing Family Bonding Time, including a birthday dinner at Panciuto (where we pretty much only go when his parents are buying). We have a con staff meeting tomorrow evening, but I told Ben we're leaving by 8 pm because of other obligations (it's scheduled to start at 6:30, probably won't actually start until 7, and will likely run until 9. Half the people leave by 8 anyway, because of other obligations.)

His mom likes gardens and things, but with the colder winter, she is resigned to there not being much out yet, so we'll just go hiking or something Saturday, and Sunday maybe indoors stuff (since it's supposed to be cooler and have a higher chance of rain.) Dunno. Stuff.

I got the box of study materials from the Goethe Institute on Monday. The box weighed 11 kg (24.2 lbs.) I had to rearrange the shelves so I could put them on the more stable one. Which means I had to move all the old pharmacy school texts that were there, and now they're in the newly cleaned space in the 4th room, which means I should just get another bookshelf to put in here. Recycling a book I paid $100 for is ... painful.

Though I found a pair of really nice Minami Ozaki prints that I could ebay.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I got a response to yesterday's query, and I can register for the course. Woo!

I'm gonna eat lunch first and then spend some time figuring out how to do an international wire transfer from my current financial institution. When I was at BofA, I could do it online, but I don't remember if the SECU has that option. (I looked into it before.)


20 Feb 2013 02:32 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I'm trying to figure out what to do for the writing sample required for grad school applications. They want a 10-20 page "major paper" from an undergrad German Studies course. I ... don't have any. We wrote short papers that were in response to a series of questions/prompts. I have a 5-pager I wrote while I was in Marburg (about Schnitzler's Reigen). I can't find the 3-pager I wrote on Marx & Hegel in Ideas & Power (I found all the other papers, but not that one :P Does anybody have a functional 3.5" floppy drive? Maybe it's miraculously on one of the dozen diskettes I have.)

What I should do is just email the directors of graduate studies and ask which is better, to submit multiple shorter papers (which don't have secondary sources or research, either, because we didn't have access to German journal in college) or to write a new one.

What I've been doing is checking out books from the library and downloading all the articles that sound interesting.

I thought maybe I could do a translation paper, so I translated a piece and then found this and gave up on life. Like, LITERALLY minutes after finishing the translation, I went to that site to look up this article for ideas on things to include in a translation paper, and OH LOOK at what's on the front page. GAH.

It's a good story, though, and you should go read it.

So maybe I'll pick something else. There's one that looks like a fun challenge because of all the plays on words and cultural references, and another longer piece that I liked (which would make it easier to hit 10 pages ngl).

I don't know. *flails*


31 Jan 2013 12:02 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Now I'm all worried about my qualifications for the Goethe Institute program, because they want you to have "Germanistik or another neophilological course of study" as either major or minor/second major (I think Nebenfach translates closest to double major).

I have German as a double major, but I'm worried my coursework doesn't adequately reflect the philology part.


Though I've installed an app on my phone that lets me use the camera as a scanner, and I've scanned my college transcript and the 3 Bescheinigungen from the non-chemistry courses I took in Marburg. One of the courses is "Das heutige Deutsch (Standardsprache; regionale, soziale und funktionale Varietäten)" from FB 08 "Allgemeine und Germanistische Linguistik und Philologie" of Uni-Marburg, and I got a 2,3 (gut) and 4 ECTS-Punkte. Which really ought to count, you know?

feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I asked a friend who just finished a foreign language degree for some advice, which got me looking at things again.

These are the qualifications to teach German at a Goethe Institut, and if that's what I want to do (or something similar), I should get an MA in DaF. But there aren't really any programs in that in the US. While you get training and experience in pedagogy, it's not strictly speaking equivalent.

I could email my teacher from 2010 and ask her what she advises, and if it's even possible for me to get a job over there, since I'm a foreigner and would require a work visa, and it's not like there's a shortage of Germans with that qualification.

There *is* a distance learning course in teaching German as a foreign language through the Goethe Institut, at a rather reasonable price of 1350 Euros for a 10-month course. I would need to take the C1 exam, for an additional fee ($175 at GI DC).

But I don't know if the certificate they offer (from LMU-Munich) is equivalent to an MA DaF, or if I could use it as a qualification for an MA program in Germany. (I still need to figure out what I need to ask the German universities. That would be a good question to ask the contact person at the GI, too.)

Ben doesn't really want me to go to school in Germany for logistical reasons, like his job, whether to sell the house, all these other things. I don't know. I want to live in Germany, but I don't want to move there and back if I can't get a job.

There are also dual MAs in DaF and translation.

Which reminds me of another downside of studying in Germany: you're required to have 2 modern foreign languages, or one and Latin. (I have German and English, but only English counts.) I can take 2 years of Turkish at UNC (as a continuing ed student, at something like $2000/course), which should get me to the B2 level, though I have no idea where you'd take that exam. I also don't know if Turkish counts as a modern foreign language for their curricular purposes.

If I actually studied translation, I don't know that I'd use it. Sure, dual degree blah blah, fine. But I was thinking of translation as a kind of side thing, which I could do to pick up some money, not like full time.

So I guess I'm undecided again :/ Though this Goethe course sounds reasonable, as long as it qualifies me to do what I want. (And if I do it and still decide/change my mind and want to go for a PhD anyway, I'll have a fancy certificate already. Yay?)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I could take a couple classes at UNC (though not this semester, since it's too late for that).

I could get a second bachelor's and transfer all my general education stuff. I don't know how my existing courses would transfer, or how I'd fit into the requirements. (I think option 2 is the one I prefer? Since I'm interested less in the literary stuff than in history and non-lit culture?)

I could apply to a different program entirely? Various people have suggested Comp Lit, which, well, I don't really want to compare two literatures. Though I like the idea of queer/feminist studies.

But what would I *do* with that? I think I want to teach German as a foreign language. I've taught before, but not full time on my own. I did a rotation on my residency where I taught pharmacokinetics (I was pissed about that; it's my worst subject). I made lesson plans, gave homework, lectured, and gave tests. Yay. I've also done patient and peer education, which is a bit different, since you just give a seminar on a topic.

I need advice. From someone involved in the field. Who can tell me whether a research-oriented PhD is overqualifying. Who can tell me what types of jobs I can get (other than academia) with a PhD.

Uncertainty is very stressful for me. I do not like this.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I compiled as much information into a single location as I could.

One thing I may need to find out is how to transfer into a BA program and get credit for courses already taken, if that's even possible. (maybe?) I'm not entirely certain I have a strong enough background for German universities. (But I have the contact info for the Berater, so that's a start.)

Then there's the whole matter of collecting all the required documentation for application (eg)

I am perplexed by the German higher education system. It's all so confusing...
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Had my dental cleaning. No crowns or fillings needed!

2. Revised Friday's scene in the new short story.

3. Written another scene in the new short story.

4. Read forums at

5. Poked some of the links from the collection.

Need to:

1. Organize the massive flood of information into some semblance of order so I can
2. Make sense of it and figure out which schools I even want to consider applying to.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Called Duke Health to get them to straighten out this bloody stupid billing issue, because I paid this thing last March, and it's not my fault they moved that money to a different (wrong) account.

2. Edited and posted my review of Interfictions.

3. Played stupid facebook games.

4. Read my RSS aggregate thing.

5. Looked up more German Studies graduate programs, including one in England and a 2-year MA program that starts with a year in Salzburg.

6. Turned the synopsis of the currently untitled short story into an outline.

7. Waited for Duke Health to call me back.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I'm looking for a novel published between, say, 2005 and 2010, by a Turkish German. A Bekanntin from Twitter gave me this, which kind of helps (though not if I can't find any of those books here for reasonable prices).

The reason I want this is so I can write a paper for my grad school application. (I need to give them a 10-20-page paper, theoretically written during my undergraduate German studies. We never wrote real academic papers, with journal references and stuff, in college. So I need to make one now.) I want to write about Turkish Germans, though I don't have a paper topic specifically.

My alternate idea was to write about reunification viz Friedrich Christian Delius' "Die Birnen von Ribbeck," which we read in one of the college classes, maybe "lit since 1945," and the current state of affairs. (The pears thing uses a lot of metaphors, like "you have to graft trees together carefully, otherwise it won't take.")

If I knew anything about film/media analysis, I'd write about Gegen die Wand (which I have a bunch of articles on) or Das Leben der Anderen. Or Türkisch für Anfänger.

ETA: Do you have recommendations? Have you read any of those books and liked them? Or books by other German Turkish writers? If I click, Amazon helpfully gives me similar books, but I don't know anything about them.


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

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