20 September 2009

"August, die she must..." ~ August 31st

It's the end of August and first day of classes here in Reutlingen. The classes are a mix of disappointment and enjoyment for me. On the one hand, I love not having loads of homework, like I normally have back in the States with my demanding engineering classes. It would be difficult to plan for our trips, travel, *and* try to manage my normal courseload at the same time. On the other hand, though, I have this sinking feeling that, for the money we pay to be abroad, the classes should be better and demand more from us, so that we can really learn while we are here. I am only taking four classes so far - Art, Econ, German Life and Culture (GLC), and German 204 - but I'll be adding an engineering class come October, when Reutlingen Hochschule's actual semester begins. Herr Springer for Art is extremely knowledgable and so that class is fine, but it has no real homework yet; GLC uses a textbook that has out-of-date statistics and the readings are short; Econ is actually the most fascinating because it's taught by RH's director of the international studies, Herr Veit, and he knows everything about Germany (not quite, but still.....); and then there's German - well, that has mixed reviews amongst our group. Most of us like the review of grammar, etc, that it provides, but others of us (myself included) also wish we could be in a total language immersion course and then have our classes given in German. I for one get very little opportunity to exercise the language skills I have worked to learn these past three years at Valpo, aside from brief every-day contacts with local people in the Penny Markt or downtown or at a restaurant or such. So because of all this, I have felt the overwhelming urge of late to supplement the classes here with mini-studies of my own - mainly through books, since that's what's available to me. I think I'm reading three books right now at once: Reformers In Profile, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, Looking at Modern Painting and An Introduction to Music......so let's see....that covers Religion, History, Music, and Art......*sigh* I have to laugh a bit at my perhaps overzealousness, but it's true: if the system seems lacking, I won't settle and allow myself to remain at status quo - I will challenge myself and I will make the most of the semester abroad.

In the mean time, Hilary (my roommate) and I are attempting to plan our first weekend trip. It is a bit frustrating, because we do not have internet and we need to book hostels and look up the places we're going to. Ah, and yes, because of our internet struggles, these blogs will be end up having to be posted whenever we finally get hooked up to the server. Ach, it is a point of huge exasperation to me at times, this whole lack of internet thing. I am already getting used to not having it 24-7, but then, there are times where it would be really convenient and it isn't there. Oh well. More patience, Erin, more patience.

And now, off to read the two chapters for GLC class....that shouldn't take longer than a half an hour, ha.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.