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Gospels in Concert
Posted by zb on 17.06.03

Well, it's now been two weeks to the day since the big choir concert that I know I've mentioned before. For the entire two weeks, I've been wanting to write something about my experience, to let you know how things went, and, of course, to entertain you a little. But as you can see, I haven't done that until now (which means I've probably forgotten a couple of things, but certainly not anything very important). For some reason this is the most difficult story I've written so far, though the weekend was absolutely wonderful.

Für die Deutschen, die das lesen, soll ich zuerst sagen, dass ich es für meine Website geschrieben habe. Die Website ist so was wie ein Tagesbuch im Internet, das meine Freunden zu Hause lesen können, um zu sehen, wie es mir in Deutschland geht. Deswegen habe ich auf Englisch geschrieben. Hoffentlich wäre das kein Problem. Wenn ihr schon wisst, was passiert ist, kann der erste Teil vielleicht auch ein bisschen langweilig sein :o).

More Photos
Posted by zb on 09.06.03

I've added several more photos (15 or so) to the photolog. Go on over there to check them out (complete with comments). Of course, previews are on this page.

On another note, I'm planning to post my writings about the choir trip to Göttingen last weekend at some point. It's taking me a while to finish it, though, because it was a long and rather eventful trip. Not to worry, you'll have it soon and you'll enjoy it :o).

Yep, I'm here
Posted by zb on 14.05.03

I think it's a pretty strong sign you're in Germany when they're giving away free beer in the student cafeteria (yes, I know the website's in German. I couldn't quickly find an English equivalent.) It was pretty good, too.

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New Weblog
Posted by zb on 05.05.03

I seem to really be getting into this weblog thing, so I've gone and created Yet Another Blog for the random things I feel like sharing that are completely unrelated to my being in Germany. It's called (for now) "Odds and Ends" and it'll be located at http://www.forty2.com/odds/. Enjoy!

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Jena Trip
Posted by zb on 01.05.03

So, I've decided it's finally time to write about last week's trip to East Germany. It's going to be a long one, so get ready to read a whole lot.

The day got kicked off when I got up at around 7:30. I needed to be at Universitätsplatz (which is where the student center is) at 8:30; that's when the bus was scheduled to leave. I was among the first to arrive, as I was worried about making sure I was on time, and I wanted to go up to the center first to check my mailbox. (I didn't have any mail.) We ended up leaving Heidelberg around 9:00, after stopping to pick up Amy, who'd thought we were supposed to be leaving at noon.

Roommate
Posted by zb on 28.04.03

In other news, I now have a roommate (this is news to me). I just heard him open the front door. His name's Edgar (he said to call him Eddie, though). I just had a bit of a short conversation with him. He wanted to know if he could use the cabinets, refrigerator, etc (I think I'd have just done it, myself, but it's nice that he asked).

Lots of New Stuff!
Posted by zb on 28.04.03

So, there's a whole lot of new stuff I have to post here, when I get the time.

To start off, I went to the gospel choir rehearsal last night, which went well. Very well. There were only five other people there (the choir is small, but there were a couple of people missing, I'm told) and they just let me jump right in. They haven't had a rehearsal for almost two months, because of semester break, so yesterday was a sort of "let's try and remember the songs" meeting. I also started learning them, and actually, I already knew I think three of them from my time in the Touring Choir. For one of them, the director (and piano player and bass. Yes, the bass) asked me if I knew it already, and when I said yes, he said "I thought you must. You kept singing this part correctly." The practice started around 7:30, and I'm not entirely sure how long it actually lasted (probably until 10:00) because apparently they have a tradition of going out to a pub afterwards. Of course I couldn't say no, so I didn't get home until about 12:10 or so :o). It was a great night, and I'm incredibly happy and excited that I get to sing again for a couple of months. It's going to be wonderful. Apparently they've only been singing together since December, and their first big concert is going to be at the end of May in Göttingen (which I may well have spelled wrong) with two other choirs. There's also going to be a big concert here in Heidelberg at some point in October. It's too bad I won't be around for that one :o(.

On a completely unrelated and pointless note, I've recently discovered that what I find to be the best brand of dairy products I've tried here yet (and I've tried a lot. They do this rather gross thing where they super-pasteurize the milk or something so you don't have to keep it in the refrigerator and it lasts like 3 weeks. It tastes like crap, so you have to find a brand of "Frischmilch" (fresh milk) so it's actually drinkable) also makes very good strawberry yogurt. Yum :o)

Maybe later today or tomorrow you'll get an account of the Jena trip, or maybe even my first day of classes. You never know! You might even get more pictures! Anything's possible...

A bit of travel
Posted by zb on 16.04.03

This morning began when I woke up to my alarm clock at 5:35a. You might very well be wondering what on Earth I was doing up so early, even though I'm supposedly on vacation. Well, I had somewhere to go. Specifically I was going to the Hauptbahnhof (train station). I had a train to catch: I needed to be in Mannheim by 7:39.

Great things are afoot!
Posted by zb on 14.04.03

I'll say more either tomorrow or the next day.

Bestanden!
Posted by zb on 08.04.03

bestanden -- past participle of bestehen, meaning, in this context, to pass. Which is to say, I found out at about 2:30 this afternoon (8:30am in the Eastern time zone) that I passed the DSH exam. I don't even have to take an oral exam. This means it will officially be easy for me to take any classes I want to this semester. I guess that means I should put some effort into deciding which classes I'm going to take sometime soon :o)

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Pictures!
Posted by zb on 06.04.03

I've uploaded a lot (31, if my count is correct) of pictures to a new weblog. It's located at http://www.forty2.com/de/pics, so be sure to look through them and let me know your opinions in the comments section there! I'm going to also be adding links to the appropriate entries in this log soon. For now, the five most recent entries are displayed in the side panel of the index page, as well as a link (under "(photolog)") to the entire weblog.

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München, days 2 and 3
Posted by zb on 05.04.03

When I left off last time (almost a week ago!) I'd just finished tellling the story of my first day in Munich. The second day was really quite a bit less eventful, but I'll do my best to keep you entertained. I'm also going to write about day three in this entry, instead of giving its own entry, since it was cut short by having to catch a train home.

The big test day
Posted by zb on 05.04.03

started with me waking up at around 6:30 (my alarm was set for 7:00). I got up, got ready to go, and went to the student center (most of us were meeting there at 8:15) We were supposed to arrive at the test building at 8:30, and we were going to walk over there together. We walked over, and through the door,

Die deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber,
Posted by zb on 03.04.03

or as we usually refer to it, the DSH, is tomorrow. This is the language exam I have to take to be able to take classes at the actual Uni (well, I guess it's not 100% necessary, I think we can get around it somehow, but it would be hard). This is a standardized test that will last somewhere around 4 or 4.5 hours. If I pass, I'll get a certificate that says I'm certified capable of speaking German.

I think I'm ready for it. If my score is borderline, I'll have to take an oral exam on Tuesday afternoon. The kicker is, I won't know until Tuesday morning whether or not I passed. They say, though, that the graders of the test tend to give students in the program I'm in a much easier grading, because they know how good our preparation course is. I'll tell you tomorrow how I think I did. Wish me luck!

Oh, btw, I'll write another entry about Munich either tomorrow or Saturday. I didn't forget! And I'm going to put up some pictures, too. I have a couple of very nice time-lapse exposures that I'm anxious to share with you guys.

Quick update
Posted by zb on 03.04.03

Just a quick update today, as nothing much really happened. We had a test on one half of our preparation course today; it went much better than I was expecting. Basically the test was "write down everything you know about one of these topics". I thought it'd be hard, but when I actually started writing I quickly got up to the suggested length. Also, we did one third or so of a practice DSH (language) exam (the actual test is on Friday, and we'll know our results on Tuesday). That also went well, I thought. I'll let you guys know how I did when I find out.