Monday, November 3, 2008

New Beginnings...?

Well, I've been living in Germany for three months now, but for some reason tonight feels like I am starting over. Maybe it's because today was a good day after my very first string of very bad days and making it 'a new start' implies that I can somehow manage to maintain it. 

Also, my room is clean. That always makes me a feel like a new person.

I've been terribly homesick lately. I talk to my mom and my sisters a few times a week, but I only get to talk to my dad about twice a month and we always get so choked up because it's been so long we spoke that I don't ever get to talk to my Goofy Dad, just that Dad That Loves Me So Much and Is So Proud Of Me. And then yesterday we were able for talk for more than five minutes and he was making me laugh like usual and then we were both crying because it hadn't happened in so long. I feel better now, though. We are going to try and talk every Sunday. 

I was mostly homesick because there were two big parties here recently and they just made me want to go home and have one of my family parties. I love hanging out with my family. My parents and sisters most especially, but I also have amazing aunts and uncles and a ton of fun, crazy cousins. They also live both really (12 houses away) and relatively (1.5 hrs) close, so I see all of them all the time.  So, I am always around people who not only like me and know me (which is something that is hard to manage, and is also something that is really important to me, but, yeah, that's another post) but people who really, really, really love me. That's been the hardest part about being here. Any given person here has only known me for three months so how could I possibly love them and how could they possibly love me? And I'm just positively spoiled in that department, to the point where I really think I have trouble being acquaintances with people. Or even just casual friends. I always feel like its not worth the effort, so I never get close to anyone new. But now that I'm all alone I really need to change something. I love being here and I'm not homesick enough where I am thinking of giving this opportunity up, and I think it's really important for me to never stop thinking of it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn German, an opportunity to live on my own and most of all an opportunity to really understand how I work and grow in the ways I want to, without any of the convenient excuses nor the usual coddling that keeps me well within my comfort zone.

Sigh. Way to be emo for the first post of the new blog, Caitlin. I think I shall force myself to talk about things that are brilliant, even for just a moment.

I've implemented a sticker chart for Max and Mike. It works brilliantly. They crave stickers. They'll do anything for a sticker. And it's way cheaper than pokemon cards. I was going through a pack a week, sometimes more if I needed them to do something they REALLY didn't want to do (in my weakest moment I gave Mike 4 packs of cards so he would do his homework, NOT good). Now they need 20 stickers to get a pack of cards. Which, at the rate they get stickers means a pack every two weeks. Also, their are better prizes if they get more stickers, so chances are I'll have to shell out 20 euro in a month or so which is actually wayyyyyy cheaper than the method I was employing before. PLUS, they have been soo sweet. Max actually opened the door for me once. My mouth literally dropped in shock. 

In other joyous news, I adore my German class. I was flipping ahead in the course book and I can't believe what I will apparently be able to understand in a months time. I'm really feeling optimistic about my speaking level when I leave.

Also, I'm just going to come right out and say it, but I'm totally the smartest person in the class. I haven't had that since high school and I am LOVING it. I get put in charge of helping others and just, guh, I really think it's in the cards for me to be a teacher. Then you ALWAYS get to be the smartest person in the class. And really this isn't me bragging but I think I am actually rather talented at explaining stuff to people. Tonight I was in the bathroom with the boys haranguing them to brush their teeth and Mike comes up to me and says, "Caitlin, you forgot to finish saying why you don't like the other guy. The one with hair like Papi."

He was of course referring to the fact that I had been telling them about tomorrow's election over dinner. The guy with hair like their Dad is John McCain. So, I started discussing it with him again and then he got all excited because he remembered the current President is George Bush (mind you, this is a seven year old who lives in Germany, so this is pretty impressive) from our conversation like a week or so ago and then Max joined in and he was all like "And the other guy is Barack Obama!" and then he pretty much recited verbatim everything I had said to him Friday at lunch (the kid has an insane memory) and I was like dying it was so cute. And then their mother was changing in the other room and she comes in slack jawed and she is like "Caitlin, are my children speaking knowledgeably about US politics?!"(haha, nottttt)

And it just made me feel so good! And in German class when I can help I love it too! And I don't think it's just a superiority complex. I think it's destiny! Heh.

Okay, I think I am done for now, haha. BUT, I am going to be really good about this blog stuff. I mean, I really have loads of spare time. I am the perfect candidate for a blog.


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