With this entry I would like to begin a series of entries that will be dedicated to the next year of my life, which will be spent in Salzburg, Austria (and hopefully a few other choice european destinations as time allows). I cannot believe it has taken me a month to get an entry up but to put things into perspective – it took about the same amount of time to get my internet working and to get health insurance again. So the first weeks have been difficult: deciding on (and FINDING) classes, locating the nearest stores of weekly importance, purchasing a means of transportation, suddenly reading large sections of foreign books weekly, and trying to decipher what the hell Austrians are trying to say to me in – wait that wasn’t German was it?
My room is about half the size of my parents’ bathroom. Truthfully I’ve slept in smaller rooms but never without a secondary room -a living room, dining room, maybe a sitting room? I guess technically the shared kitchen could count as a secondary room. I do spend a considerable amount of time there cooking and studying with Jordan and Toni (my fellow grad students that live here in Haus Merian with me). For those of you who don’t know – I am doing a Masters in German through BGSU (Bowling Green State University) and while I’m not so bad at the german language in general, the reading, writing and general expectation of historical background knowledge are a bit tough for an Electrical Engineering undergrad major. I knew it was too good to be true when I was told I didn’t have to take any more history and literature classes about 10 years ago now. Haha – all kidding aside I entered into this on my own free will. I may be lacking in knowledge but not in motivation and curiosity. I want to know what I’ve missed out on and transform myself into something I never imagined I could be.
The city of Salzburg is in many ways “my kinda city.” It’s multicultural and internationally recognized (and surrounded by the Alps!), yet small and quaint. You can get anywhere in the city in an hour or less by foot and with a bike, bus or car you can make it nearly anywhere within a half an hour. With the exception of the typical european store hours (closed by 7pm on week nights and all day Sundays), it is relatively convenient to live here. Last weekend we went on a school excursion to Vienna. I certainly enjoyed my trip several years ago to Vienna hanging out at the Christkindlmarkt with friends of friends during the Christmas season, but this time I got the more educational/touristy visit, in which I went to several museums and on a pretty comprehensive city tour (for such a big city at least!)
My class schedule is a bit insane. As I recall, I never had more than 5 classes during my undergrad years (and most semesters I had 4), whereas now I have 6 (YIKES). I have 3 required courses which are basically History, Literature and German (language) – all relating to German of course. Then I have elected to take a course on language instruction/acquisition research and a course about the physco- and neuro-linguitical aspects of foreign language acquisition as these two classes relate to my future thesis topic -or so I hope! Then I am taking Arabic (for fun). Yeah I know what you’re thinking but there is something about starting a new language that is refreshing, almost as an ego boost as it’s something I feel i “know how to do.” We’ll see if I still feel that way after a semester of it!
This week we’ve had two days off for All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This 5 day weekend (since I don’t have class on Fridays) has been a nice chance to try and catch up since I wasn’t feeling well last week and consequently got a bit (or a lot) behind in my work. I went to Salzkammergut (very beautiful area just outside Salzburg) with another program participant and our program coordinator/professor – Thanks for inviting/driving! Other than that I’ve been reading, studying and putting up lots of dates up on my timeline. Oh, yeah – I almost forgot to mention the timeline. Since I am so historically clueless I have built a timeline (see picture of my room above) to remember the most important points relating to my classes or just things that I should know as a human being with basic cognitive abilities (lol).
Well I’ll have to say Auf Wiedersehen for now as I really need to do some research. Bis zum naechsten mal meine Freunde!