January 13th, 2009


Um die Ecke

Term has started again. Campus had a few more people on it than usual at the weekend, and then Monday erupted, and suddenly, everything is back to usual. Students everywhere, schedules, the sense of electricity flowing through the wires once more. In some respects, it's glorious. In others, it reminds me of what I did and did not achieve over the holiday. The weekend itself was to a good extent spent reading up on the DEFA and their films for my dissertation, and realising I wouldn't be able to watch them yet because my DVD player, bought in Eutin, required a plug converter.

I was actually going to do this update last night, but I was feeling irked, so I didn't. I'd gone into the International Building to watch the DVD Berlin Schoenhauser Corner as part of my dissertation research (finally getting onto watching the films). However, I got kicked out at 1am by a security guard, who figured me wrong. That left me in an irritated mood, but I don't have many reasons to be that way.

Lessons so far have gone okay. I got the results back for my GDR Lit essay, which I ended up having to madrush, and somehow got a very good mark out of it (a solid first), so that perked me up a little. My Wannsee essay is still to return, however. It's oddly nice having Anja back to teach grammar to us, because she did in First Year, back when we all much worse at German. We have a new lecturer for GDR Lit, and she seems really nice so far. My 'big' course, Berlin, was a bit tedious on Monday because we spent a good deal of time talking about the final days of World War 2 in regards to the population of Berlin and their morale, and while I know a fair amount and can make strong educated guesses, I did want to move onto another theme. I think I'm more in tune with post-war German History, but that's a hard claim to sustain given some of my 'specialist' areas.

Dr Muhs wants to see me on Wednesday, giving me the choice between 9:45am and 1pm. I went for the early one, because I've been having serious difficulties getting up in the mornings lately, and having a set appointment will make sure I do. It's going to be a review of dissertation progress, and I am scared, because I'm not as far as I am sure I ought to be. The more cupboards I open, the more shelves I find, when it comes to my chosen topic. DEFA films about East Berlin are plenty enough, but there are 'Rubble' films filmed by DEFA before East Germany existed, West German films on East Berlin, and post-war films. I could probably make a shortlist of 100. Clearly, I'm going to need to sift this down a good deal, but quite how will be clearer when I've seen at least 10 films!

I did get to watch 'Schoenhauser Corner' today, though, on my corectly-plugged DVD player, which has set off a few avenues of theory in my mind. It's not a bad film, either, although it's nothing like the films of today. I also watched Dee's DVD Tribute to the Schlessis, and realised how terribly distant the Year Abroad is beginning to seem, despite the images still popping up as my screensaver. I may actually have a really good job lined up partly based on my experience last year, but I won't say any more until I know for certain, lest I jinx it.

Dr Muhs may also ask me for the essay that got indefinitely extended at the end of last term. If so, that will be my Thursday-Sunday pretty much gone. I know I need to avoid the trap I fell into last term, but with my dissertation also now fully in the running, I'm already feeling a little confused. I just have to remember to keep doing things, I suppose. Now that term's begun, after all.
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