Classes Have Begun

February 3, 2017

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My first day of classes was yesterday and I must say it was a rather stressful first day of classes.

The first class I attended was “International Institutions” which wasn’t entirely stressful. Like most first days of class, we didn’t learn a great deal. We went over class expectations and set up groups for class projects. The prof explained a game called Diplomacy that we’ll be playing the first 2 weeks of the class online against each other. This is kind of weird to me… last semester I “played” ancient Roman senate, but that was different because it was at least rooted in history and fact. This game seems to be just that—a game. Not sure how I feel about this class so far. It seems like there are a lot of nitpicky little assignments. I’m thinking that I might drop it since I still have wiggle room in my schedule.

From here, I went to my next class which is called “German Politics & Culture”. This class is actually a lot of fun! While it’s predominantly exchange students (or entirely?) it’s still subject matter that none of us are entirely familiar with. The stressful part of the day occurred here. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to present on the first day. Each class a pair of students has to present the beginning of the lesson and Dariya and I got to be the volunteers. In the profs’ defense, we did volunteer for it…but that was only because no one else did! Prepping for this presentation wasn’t a lot of fun, but it’s 1 of 2 assignments we have for the WHOLE SEMESTER. So yeah, nothing else until the final. I’m cool with that. A little stress at the beginning was worth it.

With that presentation and Dariya in mind, I’ve been spending a lot of time with her and Daniel. We’ve become pretty good friends, although I feel like I’m prematurely secluding myself from the rest of the exchange students at times. We’re planning on going to Hamburg this weekend, so I’m excited about that (and will definitely be writing a post on it!). I really enjoy being around them and we always have deep and meaningful conversations, whereas I feel like my conversations with many of the other American exchange students are kind of “small-talky”. Of course, that’s a really broad generalization that doesn’t apply to everyone.

Still, this doesn’t prevent me from hanging out with the other American exchange students. Sometimes it is nice to just have a stupid night talking about nothing. Last night I went to see some Lafayette students in the Nordmetall (my college) common room because I couldn’t figure out how to copy my passport. Eventually Lillian helped me and then I hung out with the group for about an hour. We drank and talked and it was really nice. Still, I just didn’t feel comfortable or like I fit in with them. I feel like there’s an expectation that they have. That I have to LOVE drinking and partying to hang out with them…and that’s just annoying. Dariya and Dan still enjoy drinking and partying sometimes, but it isn’t all they do…that’s nice.

Since I got to Bremen there have been several tasks that have been looming over me. I have to register with the authorities in Bremen, I have to get a residence permit (kind of like a visa), and I have to get health insurance (which is like 600 Euros wtf Europe). I finally registered with the authorities (woo) which took getting up and waiting in a German DMV at 7:30 in the morning, but I’m still worried and annoyed that I have to do the two other things.

I’m now planning a trip to Hamburg with Dan and Dariya (as I mentioned previously) and will post later how that went…