Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Lebenszeichnen = sign of life.
After another 2+ month hiatus, I feel it is time for a new post. If I still have an audience, I hope this post reaches you well. As usual, I've had a few ideas about things I want to write about, but never the discipline to sit down and simply do it.
The time flies by, it seems. In the past two months I've been to Florida and back, and also to France for a wedding. I've had a few projects in school, I've made some new friends here in Berlin and found a new apartment (though I'm not moving in for another week) that suits me much more than my current domicile.
In a little over three weeks, after my semester ends, I'm heading back to Florida-- for a whole month this time. I am very much looking forward to it, though that has very little to do with the actual destination.
And more excitingly, albeit further away, my vacation to Oktoberfest in München followed by Cairo is also approaching! Less than 3 months left! All the hotels and flights are taken care of, though AirBerlin has changed their timetable making it impossible to fly with them back to Berlin unless we just want to be in Cairo for 1 day, which seems like a huge waste. In any case, I'm not that concerned and we'll just have to find a new flight home. Luckily there is still plenty of time to figure all this out.
[edit: AirBerlin refunded the flight and now we are flying back to Berlin on a different airline -Turkish Airways- with a couple of hours of layover in Istanbul.] I was pretty pissed at AirBerlin for changing their timetables, but they redeemed themselves when they issued the refund without much trouble.
I've been looking into Ph.D. programs for next year, after my Masters will (allegedly) be finished. From my research, it seems that the best schools in terms of job placement for the kind of program I'm looking for are all Ivy League or otherwise highly reputable schools. (Stanford, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and UC Berkeley to name just a few.) I wouldn't mind living in California again, I lived there as a kid before moving to Sarasota. In any case, I know I want to live in or near a city where stuff actually happens. The idea of moving back to a place like Tallahassee after living in Berlin gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach.
So, I've been thinking more and more about where life will take me after I am finished here. Though, I suspect that I will never really be "done" with Germany. I've invested way too much time and effort in learning the language to just throw it all away and decide to be a baker or a plumber. (Not that there's anything wrong with those professions!) I want to have a job that enables me to travel at least once or twice a year. Ostensibly, I shoud be able to do that if I had a good teaching job at a college or a university, since those professor types always seem to get the summers off, which is awesome. Hopefully during my doctoral program I will be able to "do research" here in Germany, which is a nice excuse to come back to Europe.
It also seems, according to several websites I've been looking at, that many grad programs demand proficiency in more than one foreign language. Having taken French for years during middle and high school, it seems like that would be the obvious choice. But, to be honest, I don't really want to. I also took Spanish at MCC, and that seems like it is a much more practical language to know in America than French. I don't know if I'd ever be able to become as good in Spanish (or anything else) as I am now in German, but that doesn't mean that I can't at least cultivate a decent reading/listening comprehension and also be able to do simple conversational stuff. Anyway, we'll see. It's on my list of medium-to-long term goals. It sure would be nice to be multilingual...