^Wow, I never make Day To Remember references… until now, haha.
It feels like I’m just now settling into summer… even though it’s basically gone…
If you recall my last post, I was going off to a German hibernation of sorts, hidden from the outside world. My earlier hypothesis? It would be “either fantastic or really rough”.
I’m happy to say it was the latter. Times 100.
Being thrown completely into a non-English environment was cooler than cool, even if it was a bit scary at first. I’ll admit, the first week was hard. And I was easily intimidated by all of the fluent or nearly-native speakers. But it faded after the first week– I was learning so much. The whole experience made me wish my classroom environment were that awesome….awesome in that we had an enthusiastic group of students who found it cool to speak the language and actually wanted to put effort into creating as close to a full immersion environment as possible…
But it was amazing. I grew close with so many people (what else do you do when you’re around them for 3 weeks? lol) including one of our RA’s– Maria. She’s super into theatre (it’s part of her major), really cute, (short, like me!), has a great sense of humor, AND she does trapeze for fun/exercise. PLUS her German is flawless (she studied abroad in Heidelberg and I am so jealous). I learned so much from her, and what amount of wanderlust I didn’t already have, came from her. I can’t tell you how much I want to go to Germany (or just Europe in general) now. Annnnnnnd those opportunities may come– my aunt has said words about visiting her brother, and a friend proposed her visiting there and her need for a translator….. :O So we shall see.
I really can’t fit all of my experiences into a single post, so I’ll just say that we lived, laughed, ate, learned, had drama, all in German. I even started to dream in German, which was totally weird but also very fascinating. The day my parents came to rescue pick me up, I could not English. It was a struggle. And hearing the English of my instructors and RA’s for the first time was…. earth-shatteringly weird. Oh, and did I mention I learned Chinese? Only a bit, mind you. Since English
So just because I can, here are some pictures in an attempt to somehow show you guys how epic gov school was.
|People + me in a Luray Caverns– the tour was in German! (left to right: Sandra, peep Dylan, Alexa, Marley, Katie & Me in front)|
|Me in cave + RAs Mariah and Meredith (left to right.|
|ME AND LU LAOSHI our Chinese teacher– he was so sweet, so patient…so amazing.
(Lu Laoshi ist Lieben, Lu Laoshi ist Leben)
|A pic with a huge group of people before the last dance of the German Academy.|
|Wandern! (German for hiking, but it’s got an added spiritual element to it– it’s not just your average trekking through the woods experience.|
|Washington and Lee has some gorgeous forest and water around it 😀|
|…The mountains are gorgeous too…|
|All of the people in the academy after wandern 😀|
|Just me with an inflatable dinosaur.|
|Our attempt to make a star with our bodies on grass. (same day, July 4th)|
|Found a four-leafed clover that day too|
|Not far from the university, they had hot air balloons in the sky (this was also the 4th of July) and I pride myself of this artsy shot with the lamp post right in the middle LOL|
|The Wiener Cafe!! You could invite your German teacher to this traditional-style eating get-together in the W&L dining hall– traditional dress was encouraged, and I though all these guys looked amazing, so I snapped a pic 😀|
|….Steve’s shorts in honor of ‘MURICA day… (he was one of the guys who broke the window, btw)|
|The guy in the yellow shirt and white pants was the bane of my existence. RA named Lenny. He’s only 19 but he’s.. insane. He fooled all of us with a wig on the first day…|
|Left to right, our energetic RA’s… Makenna, Leah, Matt, Mariah, Meredith, Lenny.|
|Marley and Me with a mustache (LOL she hates it when people make that movie reference with her name, but I love her so it’s okay).|