it is so amazing to be back in america. really i mean back in new york. i dont know much about the rest of the country. i've been with my sisters and laughing til my stomach hurts. we took the boat to fire island and i got to smell the beach and get really big hair from ocean spray and i got a tan! i have an apartment in manhattan and i am paying bills and i think it's really fun in weird way. everything here feels new and 1000x better than i remembered.
packing is kind of fun when you don't leave it to the very last second. i am so incredibly organized! i printed out a itinerary for the massively fun european adventure me and paula are embarking on in 10 days and i've already printed out all of our ticketing info. i nearly killed a tree doing it, but it looks so fancy in its plastic sleeve! i feel like a grown up :).
i have used the word 'booboo' alarmingly frequently this week. mike is missing a sizable portion of his knee and whenever i am tending to it i call it that and afterward i always feel icky. i'm 21 and he is an 8 year old boy. neither of us are really at an age where calling an injury a 'booboo' is in anyway appropriate.
i wonder if after this year i will ever be able to speak english properly again.
the housekeeper has been completely evil to me lately. i just don't understand. she acts like she hardly knows me yet during the winter she treated me like i was her daughter! i know she is upset with the family we work for because they seriously cut down her hours, but since that happened she has been down right cold to me.
just today there was a cutting board on the table and she told me to put it away. i got up and did it with out saying but she started ranting that it was my job to clean up after myself and i said conversationally, whilst i was doing exactly what she asked me to do, that nicole had left it their. she repeated it was my job to clean up breakfast and now i was ticked off so i replied that i was in charge of cleaning up after the children's breakfast, which is perfectly true. i'm the au pair and she is the housekeeper -- which of us d'you think is responsible for cleaning up after the mother and father?!
i absolutely wouldn't mind either if she just asked with even a hint of the warmth she used to. i used to do all kinds of things for her with a smile on my face (i still do in fact, she has no problem leaving all the laundry at the bottom of the stairs without even asking me to haul it all up two flights of stairs) but it is much harder for me to do favors when she is so cold. almost everyone i've spoken to has warned me about her though. i'm just sad that it looks like our relationship is ending on such a sour note.
i truly can't wait to not live in this house anymore. i am going to miss max and mike but it is very uncomfortable for to me to live with people who so obviously view me as an employee. many of my friends who are au pairs are much closer with their families, but i feel very uncomfortable around mind (the exception, of course, being the children).
well, here i am blogging again, and therefore complaining. this blog is really just a forum for me to whine.
i want to take a moment to reflect on learning german.
my class ended this past thursday and i have to that i really am satisfied with how much i know. before i got here i was convinced i could become fluent in one year, and while i think it is possible with many languages and even with german it was not possible for me. considering i never spoke german outside of my class save for a few phone calls or quick store interactions and a conversation here and there with the housekeeper i really know tons! i understand i would say 60 percent of the spoken language, but most everyday happenings i understand 95-100 percent of everything said. its just when i get into television aimed at anyone older than 14 i sometimes get confused!
with reading im even better! even when sometimes isn't immediately clear after a few rereads i am always able to work more and more out without ever reaching for my dictionary. ive read first harry potter book and am now working my way through feuchtgebiete, which is like legit. i felt like i was cheating with harry potter because id read in english so many times, but i feel just at ease reading this book which as of yet does not even exist in english.
speaking. sigh, this is the real hurtle for me. i am still very embarrassed to speak german with native speakers. i trip and mumble and blunder and usually give up halfway through and beg for them to speak english with me. BUT on the few occassions when this hasnt been possible after a few minutes ive seen my fears get left behind and i stop thinking about grammar so much and i really CAN do it. sure there are mistakes and i need to search for words and i need to use some funny phrasings but its getting there! of course my opportunities to speak german are going to seriously dwindle once i leave, but hey, thats what the internet is for, right?
i just really want to keep working hard with my german. i dont want to forget anything and i want to go back to columbia next year even stronger than i am right now.
once i began learning german with earnest my realistic goal was to learn enough to be able to take the 300 level once i got back to school. and i really think i am there!
so. after living for about 8 months with no main source of light in my bedroom i finally stacked a chair on top of table and risked my neck to get a new light bulb in my light fixture. i forgot how pink it was. it's kind of psychedelic.
i cannot get an acceptable picture with le macbook so you will just have to take my word for it.
i should sleep but im feeling giddy. im excited for paula to get here and to travel. im excited to go home and hang out with my cooky family for a few weeks. im excited to get my very first apartment. im excited to decorate that apartment. from here, everything is looking shiny and fun.
i have big plans for when i get home and i need to promise myself right now to follow through.
wow, having a busted computer really puts a damper on the whole blogging thing. i was going to give it up for good but then my advisor sent me an email reminding me that if im not going to come back to school i should at least be blogging about my non scholarly misadventures.
which brings me to my first point:
i am not going back to school next year.
i am going to be working with city year new york. you can read all about it here. i think it's a good idea and i think it will really help me get my head sorted once and for all about the whole future thing. except that i just watched three seasons of house in a little over a week and now i want to be a doctor. so maybe it's not as simple as all that, but either way i think it is a good opportunity.
i do miss school though. i get my fill now with 16 hours per week of german class but there are no grades, no papers, no reading assignments and im starting to miss that kind of stuff. its been years since ive gotten a good grade on something and i am really starting to miss it. i think this is good. when i go back to columbia maybe ill finally have learned not to waste the precious opportunity that attending that fine institution of higher learning is supposed to be.
nitschkes & co. are in egypt so i have free reign of the computer. its deliciously sunny though so hopefully i wont be spending all my time at this desk typing away at my sad little attempt at blogging that is apparently going to secure me a job in the future (that is, according to my rather loony academic advisor).
tomorrow i turn 21. i dont know how i feel about it. maybe ill blog about it later.
...and while I still think the book as a terrible overall message and the plot isn't innovative by any means and if one more person compares it to Harry Potter I'll snap there neck, but all that aside, I kind of really liked the last book! Her writing, while still mediocre, actually did improve tons (I laughed out loud at least every few chapters) and I don't know, it must have been alright as I read all 750 pages of it in like 6 hours. I think it was mostly due to the fact that a good chunk of the book is from Jacob's perspective and he is by far the most interesting character in the series. He was very funny and I really enjoyed his bickering with Rosalie.
I haven't made a to do list in like 2 years. I am just not that kind of person anymore, which is crazy because to do lists were kind of what got me through life a little bit. I am making one now because yelling at myself about the reading thing on my blog really worked out for me as I am actually ahead of schedule for book reading this week! So, let's give a try:
1. Locate the library, attempt to register. I am so lazy about studying my German and I have decided it is because I have absolutely no where to study. Ok, there is an office with a desk about 3 feet from my room but it is SO. COLD. I simply can't study in there. Everywhere in the house I would feel weird spreading all my books and things and kind of taking over, plus I find libraries very motivating.
2. Go to the gym. I need to get back in the habit with this, I've gotten very lazy.
3. Buy shampoo and hand lotion!
4. Finish Brave New World.
5. Purchase my next German text book (hooray for being on level A2!) and Breaking Dawn.
Max: "Okay, you are like the best Au Pair we've ever had."
Mike: "Yeah, you and Kelsi. I mean Crystal. Actually, no you. You never gave me a time out."
I want to leave it at that but I am going to bore you with details, because I am particularly jubilant. They have said I am the best Au Pair before but it was usually in the context of them wanting something, this was totally out of the blue. We were just chatting at dinner and suddenly Max stopped the conversation to announce 100 percent sincerely that I was his favorite Au Pair. I WIN.
It was kind of bittersweet, though, because now that I'm through the halfway mark and they have their next Au Pair and the date I'm leaving is getting more and more definite I can just feel the end looming. I'm such a weirdo but these two kids were my favorite part of coming here. I hope they come and visit me.
Sigh, I am feeling emotionally raw right now. I love it here, yet I am feeling anxious for home. Blahblah blah blahblahblah BLAH. I need to conclude this as my thoughts are just going all over the place. This was supposed to be a happy entry!
I am so behind on my 100 books mission. I think I'd need to read 3 books a week to finish on time. That, in my head, is doable but considering I wasn't able to keep up with two a week, going for three week will probably prove impossible. I'm going to give it a shot though. I figure it would help if I chose the three books in advance, otherwise I can't make up my mind and end up getting 50 pages into a million (like I am right now) and that just isn't helpful at all.
So, this week I need to:
finish Brave New World
finish Life of Pi
buy and read Breaking Dawn so I can finally be DONE with this god awful series!
I know I should just STOP with the Twilight series but, ugh, I guess I've already invested 1500 pages and I do thoroughly enjoy mocking people who like it and being able to support my mockery with quotes of purple prose and enormous plot holes. IT'S SO BAD THOUGH. I am probably dumber for having read it.