Friday, October 20, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus

All I wanted on Wednesday was to get from point A to point C via point B, but that was the point at which Mr. Itinerant Preacher Crazy Man got on the bus. His non-stop diatribe really killed my enjoyment of being squashed between the window on one side and 80 other standing passengers on the other. At least we got the entertainment of catching each others’ eye and cracking up.

Mr. IPC Man was in fine form: (translated from the German) “G is for God. God is great, ja ja. G is also for great. God is good, which also starts with G, ja ja. This is NOT about Hitler!” And so on and so forth.

By the time we got to my stop, I had prayed more in the 6 minutes he was on the bus than in the last 20 years. I was able to tune him out a little by thinking, “Christ Jesus and Baby Jesus! Get me off this bus!”

The next morning, I was forced to partake of a fellow bus rider’s iPod playlist. I didn’t really want to be at a funky disco bus party; I just wanted to sit and be surly as usual.

Thursday afternoon was a bit better, bus-wise. One stop after I got on, a whole kindergarten got on the bus (in Germany, kindergarten = pre-school/daycare and not the grade before 1st grade), so there were about 40 kids, toddlers up to about age 4. Cute! I shared my seat with the two tiniest, and one of them fell asleep on me. I had forgotten how tiny they can be. I actually ended up riding one stop further so I wouldn’t have to trample my way through kinders or wake up the little punkin on my arm.

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When we moved here, I planned to be done with my master’s degree in 4 years. Looking recently at the list of coursework I had completed and had left to complete, I saw that I would be able to finish all my coursework by the end of next summer semester, right on time. Except I wouldn’t be able to *get* my master’s by then, because you can only apply for admission to candidacy (basically) once all the coursework is complete and grades are turned in; at that point you can write your thesis and take your exams (2 5-hour written exams and 2 1-hour oral exams—ouch!), which you have a total of 12 months to do. So even if I finished all the coursework as early as possible, I would not be able to complete the other requirements by the end of the summer semester.

This put me in a bit of a conundrum. If by conundrum you mean a day-long crying jag. Should I go on bended knee to the department head and try to get her to pull some strings for me? Which meant I would have to cram in the coursework, thesis, exams, and quite probably packing up our household into one semester. Just thinking about it makes me want to die. Or should I drop out?

Finally, I realized that although the MA after my name would be nice, it doesn’t define who I am and wouldn’t guarantee me the job of my dreams later. So I have decided to continue with some of the coursework (dropping one upper-division class, whew!) that would be most useful to me in the case that I had the chance to teach German in the future (a teaching methods course plus student teaching, a course on second language acquisition, and a conversation course). I woke up the next morning feeling a sense of total-body relief (you know it if you’ve felt it). If events conspire to keep us in Germany longer, then I will finish up. If not, then I still haven’t wasted my time here.

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I needed to get out and stretch my legs today, so fall photos from our village here.

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Furniture made out of books! Why didn’t I think of that!?

2 comments:

westexgirl said...

Your village is so pretty, it actually makes my heart ache a little. I must have been a tree in a former life.

Nee S. said...

I have to admit that when I see the natural beauty around us, I think of my family back home in West Texas and think "Suckers!" And then I chastise myself, but just a little. ;-p