Sunday, December 9, 2012

Orientation week (9.10-15.10)

Tuesday afternoon I went to a presentation about this program called TODDLERS. It is a research project a group of professors, and other important people, are conducting. They are trying to learn more about daycare and preschool and kindergarten and trying to improve the training of those that work in the those settings and overall improve the experience for the children. There was a discussion/presentation that was being held and Sabrina thought it would be good for me to go, even though she could not.
It was a very interesting few hours. There were 8 of us all together that came. The two guys in charge of the session had us talk about parent involvement. I walked away with lots of new information and ideas. I think I also surprised everyone else in the room with how daycare works back in the US, well at least how the daycare I worked at works. The fact that we send home daily communication to the parents, plus do child evaluations/parent conferences, and we have video cameras in the classrooms was surprising to them. I wasn't sure how the whole thing was going to turn out, but I learned some things and made a few new friends :)
That night Sabrina and I did some pinteresting :) I introduced Sabrina to pinterest upon my arrival (maybe even before that?) and she was hooked real fast. We found a couple of recipes to try out and Tuesday night we made a creamy pesto sauce and our first batch of apple pie moonshine. Both were delicious. :)

On Wednesday, our orientation week started. We started off with the paperwork. Everyone else was late (I was on time because I was with Sabrina...), and the whole thing lasted a couple of hours. Frau Becker and Frau Kimmel talked to us about classes, and afterwards Frau Kimmel told me where I would be doing my Schulpraxis, which was pretty exciting. The only part I wasn't too sure about is the fact that I will be teaching German. To second graders. Who probably know wayyyyy more German than I do. Yikes.
We also made Käsespätzle. I did the same thing this summer when I was here, so I was a pro :) My group rocked it, except for the burnt onions on top. But I would have picked them off no matter what.

On Thursday all of the internationals went downtown to the immigration office and town hall to do more paperwork. I didn't have to go to town hall, but had to sit in the immigration office instead. Joy. But it all went just fine.
After that we went to get everyone phones and minutes. I already had a phone, and a plan for getting minutes so I just waited for everyone else to be done. Everyone was calling home and all excited to have phones. Not gonna lie, it was kinda cute :)
On Friday morning, a group of us went to the bank to open accounts. I am so grateful to have been given the scholarship I have. It really helps with rent and food and such. Anyways.... the lady having us sign all of the papers thought I was hilarious. And my signature is hilarious. If anyone has seen my signature recently, they would probably agree. It's just two crazy scribbles. Writing my whole name is tough. It's long. And I can never spell it right. I have to think out each letter.... K-A-T-H-R-Y-N. Ugh.
Saturday was a fun day. We took the train downtown to Stuttgart.

Once we were there we walked around (and kept losing people because they weren't paying attention.... haha). It was not my first time in Stuttgart, and not my first time sightseeing there. After a few hours of walking around we headed to Bad Canstatt for the Volksfest. It was very similar to the Frühlingsfest we went to when I was in Schwäbisch Gmünd this summer. There were beer "tents" which look more like giant buildings, but they call them tents... so.... Lots of food and sweets. There were rides (none for me). And everyone was dressed in traditional clothing. I wanted to wear my dirndl, but it was cold. And I didn't have anything warm to wear under my skirt. Sooooo I didn't. And I regret that. Just a little.
Sabrina, Dayna, Bert, Christoph and myself stuck together. We went into a tent, which was packed full of people. We never even found a seat. I would have ordered a big ol' beer, but I really didn't feel like holding it, and drinking while standing. So no beer for me, at least not yet. The boys drank their beers. The girls sang and danced. It was fun.

We left fairly early, and then Sabrina and I headed back to Adelberg for the rest of the weekend. Sunday morning Sabrina's parents (and Sabrina) had to get up sort of early to head to train station. Her parents were going on a week long cruise in America! So they were off to New York. And we had the house to ourselves for the next couple weekends :)
Sunday we decided to try and bake some pinterest ideas :) The first thing we tried was a white chocolate brownie. Nope. We screwed them up big time, especially in the amount of salt. There was a miscalcuation somewhere when converting to grams. Oops....
They were rock solid and made you foam at the mouth. Pin-FAIL.
Next we made s'mores cookies. If any of my water polo girls are reading, it's like the "diabetes cookie" but with a s'more inside instead of an oreo.
It's a chocolate chip cookie with a s'more buried inside :) I'm not a s'mores person so we also made some plain chocolate chip cookies for me.

They came out HUGE! They were as big as your hand. But apparently they were good :)
Monday we were home until the early afternoon when we headed back to SG. We got lucky and both of us don't have class on Mondays. Woo hoo!

Lots of love from Germany!

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