Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Two groups of pictures! Some random people from before I left Cologne while I was bored waiting for the bus, and some pictures of the place I'm in now: Haus Altenberg.

So, today they split us up by school type. I am one of the few, the proud, the fourteen of us (out of 200) who are destined for a Berufschule (career, job, technical, professional, etc., school). This makes us special because A.) our schools will be focused on a profession (electrical engineering, accounting, nursing, and in my much-envied case, baking and brewing) and B.) our students will be in the 16-30 range rather than the 9-18 range, as with the rest of them. So we get special attention.

This was actually really useful. The teachers were an English/computer programming teacher at a Berufschule in this general area (he looks like an aging British rockstar, and he's very funny), and his English teaching assistant from last year. They were very blunt and straight-forward, unlike everyone else here, and so we learned a lot. I'm not sure how glad I am I have to teach the older kids, but it beats 9th graders, anyway.

We watched a few training videos, in which other assistants do stupid things in class. The best of them was this guy who decided to do a song ("Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkle) in class, and instead of playing it, just handed out a handout, and read it himself first in a hilarious rendition, and then forced the class to go around reading it out loud in hilarious German accents, and so forth. It's funnier than it sounds - the whole group was in hysterics. The other video of note involved adorable children with thick German accents discussing in English what their favorite day of school was. Eight year olds with German accents can't be beaten. Well, they can. Fairly easily, the scrawny whelps. But they're darn cute.

Additionally, the guy in charge of the American Consulate in Duesseldorf came to talk to us. He was the worst public speaker I've ever heard - I've no idea how he got so far in diplomacy. He seemed very nice and knowledgeable, but he spoke in a very rapid low monotone interspersed with plenty of "ummmmmmmmmmmm"s. Irritating as all hell.

We also made a lesson (three of us) and are presenting it to the class tomorrow. Scary.

So, that done, I had supper with some people - not as good as last night (breakfast was good, though). The conversation was pretty good. We (well, mostly me and Adrian) talked politics a lot, after discussion about each of our education and homeplace and destination. Afterwards we walked to a local village (Odenthal?) - me, Adrian from San Diego, Trevor from Oregon, and Ariana from Indiana (we're getting to be rather friendly, Ariana and I). It was pleasant. It's really pretty around here.

So, yeah, that was my day. Now I'm posting this. Ta-ta.

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