Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Timetable

So, after the first day of long lessons, I decided I could use some time in the Internet after all.

A number of people have asked me about the timetable, so I thought I would post it here.

Monday: 9-12.30 Language lessons
Tuesday: 9-12.30 Language lessons, 2-3.30 Culture, 4-5.30 Literature
Wednesday: 9-12.30 Language lessons
Thursday: 9-12.30 Language lessons
Friday: 9-12.30 Language lessons, 2-3.30 Literature, 4-5.30 Culture

Some days we also have additional excursions planned, and I have the list of them in my room but not here!

Tomorrow we are going to St. Peter in the afternoon. (Whatever that is)

And now I must go and do my homework...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lessons begin, and catching up with the weekend.

Today we started our German lessons.

Our group of 33 has been divided into 3 levels of classes, though there isn't that much difference in ability between us all.

It's seems we will be mostly focussing on speaking, with all exercises expected to be completed in pairs, or groups of four. We are also going to be doing some grammar exercises, to reinforce or to learn how certain things are done.

Since my last post things have been rather hectic.

Thursday we were paid our scholarships, and then a group of us took at train to Offenburg, a nearby town, for something to do. We walked around, made a tiny snowman, took photos of things, and then came back. This took all afternoon.

On the way to Offenburg I also lost one of my gloves, and bought a new fingerless pair for €1. They are excellent for getting things out of my bag, but not so good for keeping my fingers warm. I often resort to wearing 3 gloves now, my new ones, the one old one I have left, and stick my other single-gloved hand in my pocket.

Friday was an excursion for the whole group, to Basel in Switzerland.

Saturday we had another excursion to Titisee in the Black Forest, where the lake was frozen and we got to walk across it. I hope to go back and go skating on it. We also ate Black Forest Cake with much too much cream.

Sunday we went to lunch at the house in Kirschzalten where a number of the boys in our course live. We then went to the theater and saw the opera the Valkiries, that was written by Wagner.

I could write much more about all of these things - and planned to - but there is about to be a lesson in this computer lab, I must leave!

Tomorrow we have lessons all day, so you might hear from me again on Thursday (my time)....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Freiburg

Today we went on a tour of Freiburg (of the old inner city) and it started to snow!

The morning started with a little excitment, as I woke at 9.15, and thought that I could sleep until 9.30, before getting ready to leave for the tour, for which we had to meet in the city at 10.20. Having so decided, I was quite shocked to reawaken and discover it was already 10 o'clock. Apparently my ability to reset an alarm while half asleep needs some work - the time was set, but I hadn't answered the last question, so the fact that the specified time had passed was completely ignored...

Luckily, the lady I am staying with has a brilliant apartment that is literally a minute from the main train station, and just outside of the inner city, so I scrambled to eat half a slice of heavy german bread, dress and drink a glass of milk, and was out the door in about 5 minutes, leaving 15 minutes to reach the Rathaus (townhall) from where our tour would start.

Typically, having decided yesterday that it would be best to wear my sneakers as we would be doing much walking, I got out the door to discover that it was snowing - though only lightly. My sneakers have lovely airy material toes, and are not designed to get snowed on... Luckily it was cold enough that the snow was not melting, and even now my feet are still reasonably dry.

But yes, walking fast though the light snow, I managed to make to the Rathausplatz exactly on 10.20, which turned out to be about 10 minutes before our progam leader and the tour guides arrived.

The tour is captured photographically in one of my new Facebook albums (the one appropriately titled).

Since I have now spent about 2 hours fighting the facebook photo program, it is dinner time, and I have run out of impetus to write any more.

I hope to write more tomorrow, but until I do, do look at the photos on Facebook!

(Those of you who don't have facebook accounts, I sent out email invites to let you see them. If I missed anyone let me know.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Arrival

After more hours in transit than seemed really necessary, I am finally here.

That is, in Freiburg, Germany, my home for the next 6 weeks.

I am about to sit the German test will will allow them to divide us up into 3 streams of language classes, and two streams of culture classes... I hope not to be in the 1st level of the language course because it starts on Tuesdays at 8 am! All of the rest of the courses starts at 9 am.

I am really looking forward to learning in an immersion environment! Ficve weeks on German lesson, in Germany, should do wonders for my language skills. The lady I am staying with doesn├Ąt seem to speak English (I didn't ask), so my German has already got a work out. It seemed to be a little lacking, but the jet lag probably wasn't helping matters either... I definitely was becoming incomprehensible by the time I excused myself to go to bed last night (at 7.30pm!).

In terms of the course, this week looks like it will be mainly orientation exercises, before beginning the actual course work next week. This is good, because it will be a chance to recover from the jet lag before I try to do too much learning...

Tomorrow we have a tour of the city, and then of the University. Thursday we get paid the scholarships. Friday and Saturday we have planned excursions... Friday will will take the train to Basel in Switzerland, and Saturday we are going to Lake Titi (excellently named, I know) in the Black Forest.

I have not yet had time to organise a mobile sim card, but it looks like I should have reasonable internet access - I am currently using a computer at the uni, and can also use wireless here, and the lady I am staying with has wireless as well, but I have yet to discuss with her whether I can use it, etc.

I hope soon to be able to put up some more details about the flights etc, and hopefully some photos, but I had better go now for the test!

Love to you all, Kerryn!