November 3rd, 2007



...well, I'm not officially doing NaNoWriMo this year. I'll still try writing things, but I could do without the pressure whilst I'm still planning classes. Tommorrow will be spent trying to figure out how to explain Bonfire Night to about half the school.

The lessons on Thursday went all right, though. I spent a lesson with the Year 9s talking about the English school system, and I did this by asking them what they knew, and then taking one area at a time, explaining it, and then asking them whether it was better in England or Germany. Funnily enough, German students are happier going to school early to gain free afternoons, and they also think the breaktimes at my old school were too long, however they would still rather take Technology than Latin. I didn't realise that the lesson finished at five past, however, thinking it stopped at ten past, so I ended up not giving Fee the time she asked for at the end of the lesson. I'd have stayed to apologise, but I had to skadaddle to my 10th Class...

...and for once, I really mean 'my class'. I'd already taken two lessons with 10b, but this time, I was doing it on my own, having to sign myself in for the Stunde, and controlling a class of 25 for 45 minutes. It went all right, even if I did run out of time a bit, not giving them time to do their roleplays...(the lesson was on stereotypes, and the exercise was having to be as stereotpically German and English as possible based on what we'd discussed). I gave them homework too, evil little me. It wasn't much, though, and they need to actually do some written work, rather than listening to me yak on, and answering my questions. Incidentally, the Germans find the idea that 'their trains are always on time' absolutely ludicrous.

Enough talk about school.

I've been kissing goodbye to a lot of money lately. The big thing was when I got back on Thursday to find a note on my door saying I should go to the office at 3pm, but it was already past 4pm. After two hours of worry, I chanced across Frau Heymann on my way to buy some food to restock my kitchen, and she told me I needed to pay my rent. Fair enough, but it was a bit jarring: up until then, they'd been saying 'Don't worry about it', and given that I'm still without a bank card, I hoped they understood that paying was a little tricky. Oh well...I coughed up the €845 using a combination of the money in my German Konto, my English bank account, and the money Opa gave me for Germany back in September. I paid in cash, and seeing that much money disappear was a little sad. A good thing that that morning, upon walking with relief away from the end of 10b's lesson, I found a letter on my desk informing me I'd been paid for October...

It's not just rent, though. As I mentioned, my wardrobe is glaring at me with its inadequacies, so I've been yielding to pressure, and buying things. I ordered some things from a Gothic mail-order company last week, and I got one of the CDs I ordered off Amazon on Wednesday: a collection of Studio Ghibli themes performed by a professional cellist. It's very pretty. I spent a lot today too, but I'll explain that in my next update. I'd feel very imprudent if I didn't know I've got more money heading my way soon, especially once I get that grant...I may even go and have another meal at the Brauhaus to celebrate. Green cabbage never tasted so good!

You can't pretend it's early Autumn anymore. November is like a seperate season, not yet truly Winter, but more akin to Autumn's ghost than Autumn. Trees around here are divided as to whether to have really deep reds and oranges, or to be threadbare and needle-like in their nakedness. I feel like there should be fireworks outside now, but that's only in the Germany, we're already looking towards Christmas.
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