German Lessons

Three days ago I picked up my German lesson books again. I recently bought "501 German verbs" and have been learning 6 new verbs a day, conjugating only in the present tense for now. I also pulled out my textbook and workbook from my semester of classes at the Goethe Institute and have started reviewing the grammar we learned. I don't think I'll have that much time over the next few weeks (less than 6 until I go to Switzerland and I have a million things to do) but I want to spend 20-30 minutes twice a day working on my German. I seem to learn and retain more by studying in short sessions several times a day. A lot of people have recommended to me taking an intense immersion course to make headway with my German but I don't think that will be feasible in the immediate future with my work demands. It looks like I will take class one night a week, study on other evenings and practice with my mentor and with M.

This weekend I broke the news to the other family members that matter to me. I told me sister and she took it very well. She's actually excited about the opportunity and her and her boyfriend are planning to come visit me and his sister this spring. Her boyfriend's sister has been living in Italy for several years and will likely be staying there for the duration so they have a few crash pads to explore Europe from.

My paternal grandparents and my aunt found out from my father about my plans last weekend. I went to have lunch with them yesterday and told them all about it. They also think I should go for it but they feel that M. should come live here after a few years before we decide where our more permanent home should be. They are firm believers that relationships that are built to last must be a 50-50 partnership, each person equally giving and taking. I'd love it if we could swing something like that but until this is more real to me I'm not ready to plan past the initial few months.

I seem to have hit a point where things are feeling kind of surreal to me. My sister took my TV and TV stand today. It's the first thing I got rid of. I have started to organize my belongings that are currently sitting out in the garage, still packed up from when I moved back to CT a little over a year ago. The first box I opened was a box full of all my photos and albums. As I was looking at the pictures of all the fun times, fun trips, friends and different phases of my life I really didn't feel sad to be leaving much of that behind. Because of my work and travel situation, most of my friends are more virtual than real anymore anyway. We get together once a year or so and stay in touch by internet. I expect that will continue.

The tangible aspects are what get to me more. No longer being able to spend the time in person with my family that I have for the last year and recognizing that we are going back to visiting only a couple of times a year is tough. Also, deciding what of my belongings to keep, sell, ship, store and give away feels a little strange. When I came back to CT I thought that within a few months I would buy a place in Boston and settle in there. That didn't come to pass and now all those boxes that were packed in anticipation of that need to find a new purpose and new homes.

Finally, my parents have started talking about the move more. They have offered some help. They both don't think there is anyway I will make it there more than a couple of months and continue to make comments as such. I'm letting it roll off my back. I'm not into making predictions at this point since this is a change unlike any I have undertaken and I don't know how it will turn out. I will adjust and redirect as I need to. That is life afterall.


jen said...

501 german verbs has been my savior with taking german lessons. Hold on to that book as if it is your best friend and your god rolled into one white tight package. I fondle that book more than my kraut and i love my kraut.

brave girl. but until you move, you'll have no idea how brave you really are.

good luck with the plans and (hear austrian accent) "I'll be Back!"

Michelle said...

Thanks for the advice and well wishes! 2005 has been quite a year for me and I'm sure next year is going to be one of the toughest but also hopefully most rewarding of my life. I've already taken to lugging the 501 book everywhere with me. When I get 10-15 minutes I run through a few words/conjugations. I've also been reading your blog - very fun and also informative. :)