Part One: A Typical Day
First I want to start off with a typical school day. Throughout language camp we had cultural sessions upon cultural sessions upon cultural sessions. At one session we talked about school. I remember one of the teamers distinctly saying, “Now you may ride the bus, or train, or walk, or ride a bike, or ride in a car to school.” Notice after every mode of transportation is the word “or”. Well for me that word changes to “and”. Yes, I ride the bus, the train, my bike, walk, and ride in a car just to get to school. Thus, my day begins at 4:45 in the morning. Before the roosters have awoken and when the stars are still out in the pitch black sky.
So here is my typical day:
4:45 a.m.: I wake up and lay in bed for about ten minutes waiting for my host sister to get out of the bathroom. My time in the bathroom begins at 5:00. At 5:20 I leave the bathroom and finish getting ready for school in my room.
5:35 a.m.: I go downstairs and prepare breakfast for myself. Lately I have been eating Musli with fruit, and a cup of black tea. Then I get a water from out of the pantry and grab either a banana or apple for a school snack. Then I head down to the basement and put on my shoes and coat.
5:55 a.m: I head out the basement door and to the shed to get my bike.
6:00 a.m.: I turn on my bike light and head for the train station. Many mornings as I am riding, I look up at the stars and wonder why I am up so early. If I somehow lost my sense of time, and someone took me outside and asked me what time it was, I would probably say 11:00 p.m. But anyways…
6:15 a.m.: I arrive at the train station which is now under construction. I lock my bike up and go and stand on the platform with the other 30 people also waiting for the train.
6:23 a.m.: I board the train and head for Flensburg.
6:39 a.m: The train arrives in Flensburg. Flensburg is the last stop of the train route. At 7:03 the train heads back in the other direction. Everyone exits the train except for me and a few other people. I wait in the train (warmer) until my bus comes.
6:55 a.m.: I get off of the train and go downstairs. I usually read the electronic board which runs brief news articles, the weather, and ads.
7:04 a.m.: My bus is supposed to arrive at the train station, though it is usually 2 or 3 minutes late.
7:25 a.m.: I arrive at the bus stop near my school. I then walk about 7 minutes to my classroom. My host sister and I are always the first two from our class at school. When I get to school at 7:30, I have been traveling for 1.5 hours.
7:45 a.m.: School begins. By this point I have already been awake for a whopping three hours, and school is just beginning.
On Mondays and Wednesdays class ends at 3:15. On Tuesdays class ends at 12:15. On Thursdays class ends at 4:45. On Fridays class ends at 1:05.
After school I get on the bus and ride to the central bus station (the ZOB). There I wait for the bus to the train station. This comes usually at 40 minutes past the hour. Then I wait until 3 minutes past the next hour and board the train for the 16 minute ride back to Sörup. Then I get on my bike and ride 15 minutes back home.
Thursday is definitely my longest day. At least on Thursdays my host dad picks us up from school. So we get home at 5:30. When I go to school on Thursdays and when I get home from school on Thursdays, it is pitch black. When I get home I eat, and then get ready for soccer. My ride comes at 6:20, and I get home at about 9:15. I then usually head straight to bed.
Part Two: A Little Update
I have finally shipped my Christmas package to my family. On Wednesday I went to the post office. I had 35 minutes to mail my package and catch the train home. More than enough time, right? I got in line, which was out the door, and waited a good 18 minutes. When I got to the front the lady told me that I had to fill out a special form if I wanted to ship my package. That meant I had to get out of line, fill out the form, and get back in line. At this point I had only 15 minutes to catch the train. I got back in line, which again was out the door. Luckily it moved quicker this time. By the time I got to the front of the line and paid, I had only four minutes to make it to the train station. Luckily, the train station is right next to the post office. I sprinted from the post office to the train station, and boarded the train with 30 seconds to spare before it took off.
It was weird not to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. After soccer practice I Skyped my family while they sat down to eat the Thanksgiving meal. Every year for as long as I can remember my siblings and I are required to make some sort of creative project that explains what we are thankful for. Then we have to present it at the dinner table. This year, I made sure to keep the tradition. I made my project and sent it in the mail early to make sure it got there in time for Thanksgiving. So it was awesome to Skype my family and still get to hear all of the presentations and even my own, as my sister read it aloud to everyone.
I got a letter in the mail the other day from Experiment asking me to book my train ticket for the Mid-Year Seminar. Hard to believe that I have almost been here for six months. The Mid-Year Seminar will take place just outside of Bonn at the end of January. I couldn’t be more excited to see all of the people from camp. Though I talk with them often, it will be nice to see them again.
Last weekend I went over to Mary’s house. Her host family recently put in new flooring. Therefore the house was very chaotic. She was sleeping on a mattress on the floor and her host parents were sleeping on a mattress in between the kitchen and the living room. I helped put Mary’s desk and bed back together and also her host brother’s dresser. It was quite the weekend.
Today is a really big day in Germany. It is the first day of the advent calendar. This morning when I woke up the house already had three advent calendars up and decorations. After breakfast we continued to decorate. My host mom has been decorating the entire day. Needless to say, Christmas is definitely a big time holiday around here.
Part Three: The Naval Academy
So, I am also in the process of applying the Naval Academy right now. I actually have an interview for a possible appointment with my Congressman next weekend. An appointment is required in order to attend the Naval Academy. I read the other day the Class Portrait for the Class of 2016. Of the 20,601 people that applied, 4,820 of them were women. 345 of the 4,820 received appointments. I already have the possibility to get an appointment, a step many people who apply for an academy rarely make. I guess this means only one thing… I need to rock my interview next weekend. Please pray for me.
To close: GOOOO DAWGS! Show Alabama what’s up!