Monday, September 28, 2009

berlin and my week

This is the holocaust memorial. It is huge. it has thousands of these giant grey block that can be as tall as 15 feet. it is crazy cool. but of course sad too!
This is the Giant Berlin Bahnhof (trainstation) this is he station where i came in from and it is overwhelming. it is so big and so modern!
Brandeburger tor from the parliament building!

this is in the middle of the holocaust memorial. these blocks where aroround 15 feet heigh. it was really really cool.

OK so this week was great! I had my first soccer game 2 saturdays ago and we won 5 to 1. i am playing forward, not my usual defense position. i am one of the fastest players on the team so it is a good position for me. my footskills are getting a lot better and by the time of my second game on saturday. i scored and also made this sweet pass to someone behind and to the left of me where someone passed it straight to me and i let the ball go through my legs and then kicked it to the left with my right foot. this is for u dad haha but it was really sweet and i cant wait to see how much better i get. anyway in this car ride to the first soccer game i saw more windmills then i have ever seen in my entire life in the US. i must have seen thousands upon thousands. Germany uses something like 40 or 50 percent wind energy. it might be 60. i have no clue but it was a really high number! So i had dinner with leos family on friday and they are really nice and funny! i prolly have 3 best friends in germany currently besides philipp and thats Leo, Leah, and a boy named marcel who is really cool and nice. So i went to berlin on saturday with my host family as u can see in all these photos. it was beautiful and so nice! germany is very very modern. sunday was the election and it is really hard to explain but im an expert on german government now. I had my first math test last week and i got a 2plus which is pretty much a B plus. that is really good considering the test was in german and i only had about half the lessons for the test. Anyay ill wright again soon but im am lacking much time! fun facts time! germans actually have 2 votes. one for the politcal canidate and one for the politcal party. Germany has a couple political parties that are actually nazis. and they also have a few communist parties. however these only take up about 2 percent of the votes. also the piraten (pirate) party is becoming more and more popular. they advocate legal internet media sharing AKA Torrenting or lymewire. Germany is just 5 or so latitude degrees south of Alaska. Also in germany we get absolutely no hw. i have no idea why but the schooling is really easy. anyway till next time! love ya guys!
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more berlin!

The Brandenburg Tor of course! this the famous gate that was just on the east side of the berlin wall. it is probably the most famous structure in berlin. it is huge! and beautiful! on the other side of the tor is a plaza with restaurants and a fancy hotel and the giant american embassy. its pretty!
me with the fernsehen Tum behind me! the Fernsehen Tum(television tower) is the tallest building in the european union and can be seen from all over Berlin.
A beautiful opera house looking building that used to be the building for the german congress or something i didnt really understand what electronic tour guide said but apparently the cement roof was a gift from america to west berlin in the late 40s.
My host family! philipp, Georg, und Claudia! this is on top of the parliament building.
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Berlin parliament building!

So last saturday after my 2 soccer game, which we won 6 to 1 and i had the first goal! My Gastfamilie decided to take me out to berlin and show me around! so these pictures are of the German parliament building. The architecht made it so that the funnel of mirrors and windows shown above actually lights up the giant meeting chamber below. when we were in the glass dome we could actually see the seets and stuff from the chamber through the glass. also we went the day before the big german election so there were camera ppl and news crews all over. i even saw a famous German Newsanchor! So ya this dome has ramps that lead all the way to the top of the funnel with a informational hand hold audio player that guides u and informs on german history and polotics the whole way up. its really cool cuz you can see the whole city!
The big dome on top of the parliament buílding
Philipp and my host mother claudia! we were posing at the top of the dome.
Thats the German parliament building and u can see the dome right on top of it. this building was around during the times of world war 2 and you can see plenty of repaired bullet holes. The interior is completely modernized however.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This is the house of my Gastfamilie! It was built pretty recently so it has a very modern feel to it. I love it. it is quite perfect.
This is the Church in my town of Seeburg. I am forgetting its name however. it looks nice and it is right smack dab in the middle of our small town of 1,800 ppl. Also most small towns in germany have a church very similar to this one. with the wooden Tum (tower) and Uhr (clock).
Georg (pronounced Gay-org) and philipp my Gastvater und Gastbruder. This was at Leos (pictured below on the left) birthday party.
This is Leo who is one of my best friends here! she teaches me german and i pretty much go with her every where cuz i do not know how to use public transportation! she knows all the bus times and where they are going to be at! there is about 7 different bus stops that we use in potsdam! She also has all the same classes with me as i do with about 15 other students. Lea is on the right and she is also a good friend of mine.
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This is the brandenburg gate. I dont really know much about it but it is huge and really cool looking. Oh and it was built in 1770.
The Rathaus which is city hall. I go bye this building everyday. if u look closely u can see a bus stop. I get dropped off there every morning from the bus.
This Große Kirche (big church) is called Die Peter und Paul Kirche. This Kirche is right in downtown potsdam and i see it pretty much everyday. its really tall. it is on Brandenburg Straße (street) which is pretty much the focal point of Potsdam.
This is the Hermann von Helmholtz Gymnasium. this is where i go to school! it is a beautiful old building. apparently it was originally built in the 1600s or so but it has been restored and fixed up since.
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Ok so last weekend as i talked a little bit in a past blog. i think. i went on a scavenger hunt through potsdam where i when to the Friedenkirche pictured above and below. This kirche (church) was beautiful and it is also the place that my art class went to for 2 hours.

This is the Sanssouci palace was Frederick the Greats (king of prussia). The palace means ohne sorge, which in english means, Without worries, or carefree. This was the place Frederick would go so that he wouldnt have to worry about anything. The palace is a part of the Sanssouci park which holds numerous glorious builings including the Friedenkirche.
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The Porsche!!!!!!! Ich liebe es! it was so cool! and the groom went and did donuts with it on the field! wowwwww
The happy rich german couple! with the castle hotel and porsche
Family and friends with the castle
The freaken awesome castle.. it has a moat and everything. it was built in the 1600s
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Montag! the 21st

So its monday.. the longest school day i have all week! i have 2 hours of mathe (math) in the morning which i somewhat understand. My only problem so far in math is reading aufgaube (work or questions) because i dont know the english translations. I have been writing them down once i learn them so hopefully i will learn them! then i had a chemi (chemistry) test which i couldn't even answer one question but i think the Lehrerin (female teacher) was understanding. so 2 hours of chemi then i had 2 hours of Geshichte (history) which is in english so that was alright. we talked about the up coming election involving the plethra of political parties including CDU which chancellor Merkel is a part of, FDP which recently joined up with CDU for the election, SPD which the Kanzlerkandidat Steinmeier is a part of and parties including the Grün (green) party and CSU and die linke which is the radical left group and plenty more. I have had to watch the Merkel-Steinmeier debate several times in the past week. after Geshichte i had a short break for lunch and then i had a classe called Informatik which is pretty much computer sciences. for me it is impossible because i cant understand anything! so i went about the class period doodling in paint. Nach der Schule (after school) bin ich zu eine cafe mit freunden gegangen (I went to a cafe with friends). Then when i got back home i went shopping with Claudia my host mom and bought school supplies and food and candy. Ok so i think i haven't quite said enough of what germany is like in all my blog posts so for every post im gonna just say some random things that i have noticed. For instance our neighbors have a hen house. our neighbors also have a solar pannelled roof. I get to school everday by using public transportation on a bus and i come home also by bus. however i still need leoni (my friend. she is also one of my ppl i go to for teaching me german) or philipp (my host brother). I am not sure if i mentioned this before but germans only drink Carbonated water they dont drink any tap water. i think i said that in my last post but my family literally only has carbonated water, Milk and Soda. Germans love carbonated drinks! Also germans listen mostly to american musik with a few german exceptions. And German food is the best creation on earth! Hope that informed you a little bit more. and if i didn't mention earlier about the politics, there is an election next week for kanzler and other important post so there are advertisements and posters everywhere! Bis Später!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

meine erste woche!

so my first week... i took my time writing another post cuz i wanted to get a feel for germany. so here is what happened. monday my first day of school was quite intimidating. i didnt really know anyone and i understood absolutely nothing of what the teachers taught. but as this week progressed i still understood little to none but i started to make friends which made the classes less boring. most the ppl here are very nice and willing to work with my poor german skills. soccer practices have started and they have been great. i haven't really seen that huge gap in athletic ability between germans and americans that everyone talks about. im pretty much on the same level as them. philipp (my host brother) is probably one of the better players on the team. so i have been hard at work during the english classes this week. all of the english teachers pretty much use me as an assistant for reading passages or answering questions with my american english knowledge. plus i have 2 different english teachers. one for advance and one for the lower level and they both made me stand up for an hour and let students ask me questions. it got very redundant. i have explored downtown potsdam as much as i can in my free periods and afterschool with friends and it is a beautiful city! during art class on thursday the whole classe went to this beautiful church to make sketches of and the teacher didnt even come with. it was so much fun and there was also a castle and a huge garden and plenty of tourists. and so far it has been sunny every single day so i have seen germany at it's best everyday! i picked up tennis here in germany also. my small town of around 1500 ppl is a host to one of the most famous tennis clubs in germany apparently. they host the national womans tennis tournament here every year and we get free tickets to the matches because we live in seeburg! all of the courts are carpet which is really neat! i like them a lot! i played tennis with a really talented 10th grader and it was a good time. claudia and georg (host parents) came and watched and took a few picures also. i went to a greek restaurant on friday with my parents and philipp and it was pretty good! unfortunately im going to have to get used to there being no free refills and u must pay for water. and germans only ever drink mineral(sparkling) water which im actually starting to like. and the waitress gave us free cocktails for dessert! lots to get used to. today i had a big day! i slept in to prepare for my first trip on the autobahn. we had a wedding about 150 km away and my host father likes to drive fast! the wedding was very nice. it was in a castle. WOW and the groom recieved a porsche as a gift. it was the nicest and coolest car i have ever seen. i have pictures that i will put up as soon as i solve some difficulties. but wow. i was so jealous! and after the wedding philipp and i left my host parents cuz they were spending the night in the castle hotel and we took a train to potsdam. on the train was a group of 2 germans and 2 polish men all extremely hilarious and drunk. they were the most drunk i have ever seen anyone be. it was hilarious. and they just kept on taking shots and drinking more and more beer. all on the train mind u! anyway in potsdam i saw district 9 with a bunch of ppl. it was in german but it was still entertaining! and then philipp and i took a bus home and we are to now. germany is a lot of fun i already have nice friends and my family here is perfect! i miss u all very much and i apologize for jumping around so much in this blog i just wrote things down as they came to me and i also apologize for grammatical errors. im sure u dont mind! anyway miss u all!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Germany... first few days

So I am in germany.. It is awesome. my host family is very nice and my host brother is great. so after my way too long plane ride and then train ride to berlin my family picked me up. It was awkward at first and my german is no where close to being as good as i thought it was! haha but i already see improvement! i don't have pictures at the moment cuz i can only upload my pictures through my laptop and my family doesnt have wifi. but i'll figure something out. so my first night here my family who consist of Georg (pronounced gay-org) my father, Claudia my mother and philipp Neubauer my brother. for those ppl reading who know him, philipp looks a lot like chistian manchester. german food is so amazing! i had my first dönner, i think that's how it is spelled. it was so so so so so so good! but i couldnt finish it :( from what i have noticed german teenagers have no end to their appetite. philipp hass like 3 servings of what i can barely stuff down one and my friend leo said that most guys can eat around 2 or 3 dönners in one sitting where i onlz ate about half. haaa i have no idea why americans are so fat if they are not eating all this food. i went to a birthday party of the girl i mentioned earlier called leo and it was my first encounter with other germans other then my host family. they were all so nice and understanding and they even gave me champagne. woop. drinking age is 16 here unlike the 21 in america. Today i had my first day of school and struggled by, each day is different but i had all 4 of my classes with leo so i got by. i had math, chemi, politik, und computer. chemi was impossible, i just sat there and drooled while the teacher talked cuz i understood nothing. and politik is in english so of course the teacher asked me about obama and american government and the health care issue. uggg. then i went home on the bus with leo who is very nice and very understanding and i went straight home and took a 3 hour nap :D leo und philipp are my german teachers they are so easy to talk to so i just ask them questions and they try to understand and then answer me. they rock. so taking a step back orientation was a lot of fun in the end and im going to miss all my friends there! the plane ride was long and the train ride was almost just as long. but i had friends on both trips so it could have been worse! also on another note, in seeburg there are more buckeyes here then i have ever seen in ohio... there are so many! ok it is dinner time! bis später!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My trip to D.C.!!

Washington Monument at 8 o'clock in the morning! Plus it was wet! It was super exciting... specially since i just saw it in June. Our Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) went on a trip to D.C. today to got to the Department of State, German Embassy, and visit our congressional reps. We did a little sight seeing too!

Not even half of the CBYX crew... We are posing in front of the German Embassy. Quite a nice building. Fun fact: i don't remember his name but the ambassador from germany to america during the rise of power of hitler was the only man to openly refuse to Hitler as leader. He lost his job and was sent home. He was Dead within a year. One of the rooms in the embassy is named after him.

Capital Building!! it became quite a nice day later! This is right before I went to go talk to Marcia Fudge about the CBYX program. She is the congressional rep from the 11th district of Ohio.

Later that night we went to a restaurant called mozart cafe. which was supposed to be a german restaurant. It was ok but I am betting that the real german food that i will be eating in a few days will be much tastier! Sehr Lecker!
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Love in the back of german Class. Going away party in German class. :( Last day of school before I leave for Germany. People brought in food and drink. It was quite nice.

Andrew, Alena and me.

Kari and me!! so sad! gonna miss you!

Mr. Moore!!! One of my favorite teachers of all time. I was saying good bye for a whole year. Professor J. Money... I'll miss ya.

Karli and me!! Birthday buddies.
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