Sunday, December 18, 2005

December 18

Koln

I’m not at all ready for the exam this Thursday – I can’t imagine most of my fellow students are any better prepared than I am, with the exception of two or three highly motivated girls who have applied themselves diligently throughout the course. Four weeks is a short time to cram in so much information. It’s been stimulating but many times my head as been spinning at the end of the class. We do the equivalent of two regular German classes each day and if you don’t pay close attention you fall behind, and I mean really close attention. The teacher moves through the lessons at lightning speed and she does not particularly like to go back over material once she has moved on to the next subject. There have been two times in particular when I didn’t listen carefully enough for less than one minute and I pretty much lost the gist of the lesson. At this point I just want to pass the exam and move on to the next level.
I took the intensive class because I had a short period of time available to me and wanted to be able to at least walk the streets without being totally helpless. Later in the new year, when my work settles in, His Holiness is in his school and Mama has started her new job, I will return to school and the next time I will try to enroll in a regular class – at a normal pace. My fellow students will be moving on next month to Level two. There are 12 of us in the class and we have bonded during the last four weeks. Almost all of the students are in their teens or early twenties, students preparing for college or graduate school in Germany. They will spend the next 4-6 months at the language school until they are proficient enough in German to take an exam required for all foreign language students attending German universities. It’s a good group – loads of energy and enthusiasm. I will miss them.

Later this morning HH, Mama and I will take the train to the Dom and visit the nearby Weinachtsmarkt. HH has been asking to ride on the train and I want to get a little more practice using the transit system myself. So off we will go … Although we live in the Innenstadt and can see the Dom from our street, this will be our first visit to the Dom since we arrived. In the weeks leading up to our departure from New York, I would sit with HH at night and show him pictures of Germany and Koln in particular. The Dom, being the singular feature of the city, was featured prominently and I look forward to seeing his reaction when he comes face to face with the imposing structure.

Finally, as we enter the Christmas week, and you set off on travels to be with loved ones, or prepare to celebrate at home, here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and here’s to the coming year, may it be a peaceful one.

2 Comments:

Blogger J said...

Happy holidays to you too, CB.

I'm heading off to our sorry excuse of a Christmas Market for a cup of gluewein this afternoon, so I'll think of you at the Cologne one.

Cologne's public transit is quite good (albeit expensive if I remember correctly) and it'll be very easy for you to get around. Unfortunately, I haven't found central Cologne to be a cyclist friendly place so it might be a bit difficult to get around by bike there (if you're interested in doing that).

11:50 AM  
Blogger christina said...

I'm sure you'll do just fine on your test, Richard. You've probably retained more than you think you have.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful first Christmas in your new home!

8:05 PM  

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