Monday, September 28, 2009

written in the stars

"Don't hurry the process; everything will unfold according to its own rhythm if you show up consistently and do your best."

Today's Capricorn Horoscope by Rick Levine

Normally I'm not one to put much stock in the stars, apart from their potential entertainment value (especially as per The Onion). However, the line above sort of...settled me when I read it. Besides, it's not so much a prediction as it is a truth, at least for me. "The universe unfolds as it should" is one of my oft-quoted lines, and it was nice to be reminded of that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

happy weekend

Perfect lunch spot.

In the gardens at Schloss Charlottenburg, where I planted myself on a bench, stared at the lake, ate a sandwich made with a fresh roll from our local outdoor market, and did puzzles in my new Sudoku book.

The path leading to my aforementioned lunch spot.

Perfect card.

Turns out there's Bikram yoga studio 20 minutes from my house. Ten days for ten euros. Glorious.

Perfect present.

Lovely daisies and gourds from my lovely roommate. I bought her a giant (and I mean GIANT) hydrangea as a congrats/stay positive present in her first week of student teaching. Today I came home from yoga to find my own wonderful surprise waiting in my room.

Aren't they beautiful? Yes, yes they are.

Perfect dinner.

I finally busted into the mac'n'cheese I brought from home. And it was sooo good.

In honor of Frau Rutz :)

Yep. It was the perfect day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

run, lasagna, run

We ventured into Mitte and stumbled upon the marathon...

Since we were already there, we figured we'd get a better look.

Box of lasagna running. If you look to his right, there's also a fork.

The city views weren't bad, either.

As Eloise might say: Ooooh, I absolutely LOVE this place!

Friday, September 18, 2009

like a fish to water...or maybe it's land

My favorite part of my bedroom - the shelf by the window, complete with a recently purchased plant the florist said was "winter hearty."

Been having trouble sleeping the past couple nights. My eyes get heavy and I'm physically exhausted, but my mind just won't settle down enough for me to actually drift off. I can feel this ball of excitement in the pit of my stomach; I seriously can't wait for the next day to start. Thoughts of exploring my neighborhood and new parts of the city, sitting at an outdoor cafe drinking coffee, visiting the kids in my class again....These are the things that keep me up at night. It's like the positive version of anxiety, if that makes sense. I'm even excited at the thought of breakfast!! But who wouldn't be when it involves Nutella-smeared, fresh-from-the-bakery goodness? (Ok, so I admit to getting excited for breakfast a lot, even in the States. Usually it's the hot cup of coffee I drink first thing, while still lounging in bed. Yep, I'm that dorky. Or Zen. It's a matter of perspective.)

On a bench in the gardens at Schloss Charlottenburg.

Today was a glorious day. Not only was breakfast fab (I ate in bed, naturally), but so was lunch. A German(ish) meal, cooked by moi. SO satisfying.

Creamed spinach, potato dumplings, and a (veggie) bratling. ::Sigh:: AND I ate it on the balcony. AND there were leftovers. Cook once, eat at least three times, that's what I say. Er, at least, now I do, because we don't have a microwave, so cooking actually takes time. Who knew? (Though BBS - the Berlin British School - happens to have one in the staff room, which should make reheating leftovers quite convenient...!)

Speaking of BBS, yesterday I visited the Middle School (where I'll be working) for the first time. "Middle School" is British for "Year 1 to Year 5," which is British for "Kindergarten to Grade 4."

No, this is definitely not the school - it's a villa in the palace gardens.

I know. It's confusing. I'm certainly confused. Or I was, but I think I'm getting there. Years 1 and 2 comprise Key Stage One, while Years 3 through 5 fall under Key Stage Two. So I'm working in Key Stage One, Year 2, made up of 6- and 7-year-olds. But I don't work with students - I work with pupils (yes, that'd be the British version of students), many of whom are German. This means English is not their first language, so a few are designated EAL: English as an Additonal Language. (Whereas in the US we obviously have ELLs, English Language Learners. The education gods do love their acronyms, don't they?)

Ohhhh, man! Clearly, this is going to be somewhat exhausting. I'm definitely going to be learning AT LEAST as much as the students - oh no, wait, I mean PUPILS. Pupils, pupils, pupils, pupils....Drill and repetition, right?

Er, hold on - do they have that in the UK???

A meadow intended for lying about. Necessity? I'm going with yes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

mein zuhause

I drew the above sign my first night in Germany, when I was all alone in the apartment and couldn't sleep. After discovering some chalk hidden above the closet door, I decided to make a sign to greet Laura when she arrived the next day. It's the first thing you see when you come in the front door.

Another view from the front door (you can kinda see a bit of the chalkboard in the lower righthand corner). There used to be a massive painting of a woman's wide-eyed face, but Laura and I both agreed it was beyond creepy. So we promptly put it in a closet and hung this street scene in its place.

Continuing down the hall, you enter the living room on your right, via the doors in the photo above. It all feels very grand :)

But not quite as nice as having these French doors (in the living room - this is a corner) as the entrance to your bedroom. The gilded pair above opens into Laura's room. (Sorry, don't have any photos of it for you because, well, that'd be a bit weird. Also I don't think she particularly wants me randomly snapping pics of her room when she's not around.)

The living room (a bit dark, but here it is anyway. Audrey's on the wall, Buddha's in the corner, and my computer's on the ottoman.)

View from the right side living room window.

Our kitchen. Again, dark but there. It has both a washing machine AND a dishwasher. Let me just say, after a year in an apartment without a dishwasher (or washing machine, for that matter), this is HEAVEN. Modern appliances, my heart beats for you!

All the images of my bedroom were ridiculously dark, to the point where it was pretty much impossible to see anything. Plus, my bed wasn't made and had stuff piled on it. So all you get is the view from my bedroom window, of our courtyard below. Which isn't so bad, if I do say so myself :)

A biking/jogging/walking trail that goes through the gardens at Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace), just one U-Bahn stop and a five minute walk from my apartment. I strolled there yesterday, this morning, AND tonight. More photos from those walks to come, along with a few from my trip to the zoo. But it's gute Nacht for now - I can hardly keep my eyes open!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

less than 48 hours



(A two word post? This is more like "tweeting" than blogging, isn't it? Ugh, how disgusting. Oh, well! Commence packing.)