By golly

I don’t know what it is that has me always pining after some gorgeously awesome guy, and always wishing hat somehow, someday could he possibly ever be interested in me, want me?

I mean… grow up, right?

When am I going to let go of this little girl nonsense and be a woman about it all?

I don’t necessarily behave like a little girl out in the world – though I occasionally do – but I definitely do in my head.

If I had been being the woman I want to be way back when, I would have told him hen and there: Whenever and if ever you get over your breakup, let me know – I’d love to go out with you… no pressure intended.

But I didn’t do that.

I sopped around feeling unwanted and undesirable – thereby making me les want-able and less desirable – and depressed myself slightly by constantly considering all the ways I knew I was inadequate for him and which made it make perfect sense that he wouldn’t be interested in me.

And so here I am, months and months later, a whole new calendar year later, and he is in a relationship with someone else, and I keep having the same thoughts of inadequacy about myself, still wondering if, even in an alternate situation, he ever possibly could want to be with me, of all people…

I mean… Seriously(!), banana…. wt??

I am amazing as a human being.

People love learning just about anything from me, and I have a plethora of worldwide knowledge and experiences and oddities and silliness and wisdom… I am gorgeous both physically and on the inside – and I’m healthy and enjoy silly jokes – and am an all-round wonderful human being whose main goal is to share her talents with the world as an expression of her God-given love for Creation… I have silly quirks and I love wholly and truly and intensely; I am a natural teacher and communicator; I love myself and am grateful for my life; I take care of people, and have recently learned to start taking care of myself, too… I will not settle in life, and I aim to empower others to go for their own dreams and goals and what works for them in life… I have been through total bull and have come out clean in the other side, ready to use my experiences to help others in the world around me… and I am very smart and rather highly educated, and I am a genius dancer (not joking either)… I accept people for who they are while simultaneously hoping for and helping empower them to be the best possible versions of themselves… I tell the truth…

I am darn lovely as a human being and as a woman.

I need to get over this nonsense of always semi-subconsciously considering myself not good enough.

It isn’t like I actually say to myself, “You aren’t good enough for him,” or anything like that.

I just have all the other comments that show that I think I’m not good enough for him.

But I am good enough.

And for anyone.

I think being our highest and best selves means to be who we are meant to be…

Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.

Teresa of Avila

And I am doing a very good job, especially in this past year or two, at being that person… and my world keeps lighting up more and more…

I have minimal money to my name right now, yet I had someone tell me tonight that I am “lit up”… and I know that I am.

I am terrified at the risk and the newness of a lot of this stuff, and also at the extreme potential I have to be my best and most beautiful and most powerful self in this current world around me… and I am lit up by it.

I don’t know right now what else I want to say about the sulky pining situation… perhaps I just needed to express that I am acknowledging its existence… for now, anyway.

Maybe, just my naming it and calling it what it is, it will disappear… that is kind of a thing in life already…

Yes, perhaps…

For now, though, I shall go to sleep, for I need to sleep and I want to start going to the gym again starting tomorrow (I only just got back home over the weekend and have been sick since then)…

So, goodnight fair world.

May we all recognize fully the beauty that we are and the love that we each bring to the world by our own individual existences…

Post-a-day 2020

Snuggle bug

The final night has arrived: I return to Texas tomorrow.

It is weird; I don’t feel like saying, “I’m going home…” it just doesn’t feel quite right.

For at least part of me, this is home – I am at home in Japan… in a way.

No, I do not want to stay permanently.

In dinner conversation, the idea came up of my working at an international school or special private school in Japan… and I almost felt a need to quell a rising panic…

But I reminded myself that I am safe and okay, and that I am perfect as I am, and I was able to remain calm easily and communicate nicely – aka I didn’t shout like a five-year-old, “Dame!” (No way!), but instead moved the conversation forward with a different route, so as not to offend.

(Because who wants to be told, “I kind of hate living full-time in your culture, thanks,”?)

Japan is a place for me to visit, that is for sure.

I even could see myself coming for slightly-extended-stays in the future, maybe for photography or something of the sort.

But not living here again.

I am sad to leave, but I am relieved to be going home to Houston, a place that always will hold a spirit of home for me.

I am nervous to go back to my low-budget life as a graduate student slash tutor slash up-and-coming photographer.

However, I actually am quite excited at the terror of what is to come next with all of it – classes and thesis, lots of graduation announcement photos, developing my editing skills, creating my kimono art show, teaching art & yoga (bilingually at that!), tutoring and teaching French and Spanish And Japanese, studying Japanese… maybe even watching some Olympic Games (I did buy some temporary tattoos and nail art to be a Japan fan during them…)…

Yes, I am looking forward to the next steps.

Especially getting even more fit… the gym has been something crazy for me this past month.

I have been totally fine without it, and even eating anything and everything delicious-tasting… and I have grown accustomed to being comfortable with myself more fully…

I am excited to return to the gym as my more-developed self that I now am… more true to myself than before (which was already purty darn good and true).

I am excited to see and to interact with my semi-crush-ish guy, and to be totally comfortable and okay with our being friends forever…

And to have that place be cleared up for something new and a bagillion times better to come into my life… I am ready to take on this life…

Thank you, Japan.

Thank you, Sara, my once-again snuggle buddy (now aged nine years).

Thank you, God.

Thank you, Texas – here I come. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Fish for dinner, but not to eat

At a friend’s home tonight, I had a homemade dinner combined with a spontaneous private lesson in Japanese Kanji (Chinese characters).

The lesson was mostly about fish and how, even though the pronunciation is different for different fish, they all have the same first character in their name: fish, sakana 魚 🐟.

What was extra fun about it is that some of them actually helped me learn what on Earth the fish actually are.

For example, saba ι―– is the word for mackerel.

It is a combination of fish and blue.

Aka “blue fish”.

Did you know that mackerel have blue all on their backs?

I do now. πŸ˜›

It was definitely a fun lesson, and it all started with her showing me the kanji for shark, and my saying that it looks like a shark on the right and a fish on the left.

(It really does!)

And then she got all into how “fish” is in the kanji of all the little fish dude names.

It turns out that shark is made up of “fish” and “crossing” (and not something like “fish” and “monster”, like I was imagining).

Shark calligraphy

I guess it makes sense: the thing that crosses fish…

But “crossing” still totally looks like a shark to me.

Post-a-day 2019

Friday Night Lights…?

Q: What are you doing on this fine, crisp, beautiful Friday night?

A: Sitting on the floor at home, filing my next set of aligners (for teeth, like Invisalign), contemplating life…

Truly, I am…

I had two big things today… one was a total win, and the other is something I would like to call a win, but which doesn’t quite feel like one yet…

The first, it was great(!).

It happened this morning (well, noon-ish, really) at the gym.

For the first time e-v-e-r, I took off my shirt in public.

Okay, except for the time at the topless beach in Barcelona, but that is a totally different situation…. and all the times at the onsen in Japan… again, totally different situation.

This today was during the workout at the gym, when I experienced my long-sleeve shirt to be too much in the middle of the workout… I had contemplated losing it at the same time as the gorgeous latinos were ditching their shirts early on – aka my favorite time of the workout – but was not ready for it, nor desperate enough for it.

However, on the last two of seven rounds of fast squats and burpees (as fast as was sustainable), I had hit the limit of caring about how I might come across to others and how much I wanted not to be wearing my long-sleeve shirt anymore.

I mean, I had even considered how I wanted to lose my pants/leggings, but I didn’t have shorts with me, so the shirt was kind of the only thing I was willing and able to lose without being too ridiculous, even for my own standards… I mean, this was public, not home (and we all know I go without pants at home quite often… like right now, even), so pants needed to stay on.

Anyway, I ditched the shirt, stayed present with myself and my intention of improving my efforts and performance in the workout by having removed my shirt, and I did just that: improved my performance in the workout.

And I wasn’t embarrassed when the guys encouraged me in my workout, but actually encouraged.

And it was kind of totally no big deal that I had no shirt on.

And that was wonderful and absolutely beautiful.

And, though the whole experience was new and slightly uneasy for me, I was comfortable… and that was great.

What’s more, after I had grown comfortable with this all, and the workout was finished, I did a brief evaluation in front of the bathroom mirror…, and I discovered that I not only wouldn’t have been bothered by seeing another female in my physical condition shirtless, but I would have even approved it as quality enough to show off comfortably in other settings – aka though it isn’t required for being shirtless, I look fit enough to show it off, which is a whole ‘nother win for myself today.

I was comfortable and confident enough to ditch the shirt, and I am at a fitness level that I’m even a bit proud of how I look…. I already have been proud of how hard I have been working in these past several months, but today I got to be proud specifically of how I look from all of that work… which is a wonderful little bonus to all the rest. πŸ™‚

So, that was awesome.

Now, the second thing was kind of total suck…

I was told, after practice today, that blah-blah-blah I am not allowed to coach the boys anymore… and not by any fault of my own, mind you… administrative blah-blah-blah was the declaration.

Based on many other events that have happened since… well, over the past while…, it definitely didn’t feel like that was the reason, and I definitely, for the first time in my life, could relate to the desire of throwing a flaming bag of s*** on someone’s front porch – dog, not human, because human would be just too much… eew… anyway…

Naturally, I dismissed the idea easily, for I didn’t actually want to do it, but part of me wanted to release the extreme upset caused by certain others.

You know what I mean?

Anyway, so I don’t get to coach the boys anymore – I love them dearly and I miss them already, and this was a conversation I was expecting to be having one day soon… and I am glad that it is over and done with now…

Yes, total heartbreak for me.

No, not the end of the world.

Just the end of this part of it…

And, the reason I want to call this one a win, even though it definitely doesn’t feel like it at present, is because I accept that this is a clear sign from God and the Universe that something else is coming for me… I had to be removed by shock from the place and state and situation of dis-ease – because there was just too much unease for me in that place, despite the fact that I felt so much love from the lacrosse folks – so that I would make a change in my life to develop something infinitely better in my life and with my life.

As I said to myself earlier today, I have so much to offer, and that just wasn’t the best situation for me to offer myself and my life fully – something better will arise, now that it has the space to do so.

Now that I did not have that time commitment, I have loads of time open for something else, something better… something more specifically tailored to using my skills and God-given talents to serve the world, to be God in the world around me, to let my light of God within shine and have it inspire those around me… this little light of mine has been growing, and it is starting to burn like a fiery blaze… not everyone is ready for that yet, so I must find whoever is ready for it.

And that’s what I’m contemplating tonight, as I file my teeth aligners and prepare for bed on this beautiful Friday night that everyone else seems to be out celebrating (but I have to be up really early tomorrow morning, so I can go earn some money for this insane life I seem to be leading). πŸ˜›

Anyway…

Let’s roast some marshmallows, y’all… this fire is ready.

πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Wordplay

There is something about watching my students strain with the effort of counting by hand their 100-word-minimum essays at the end of their test that brings to me a flood of joy, tumult of joy.

First, their unreasonable reaction of having to count by hand 75 words the other day on a partnered assignment – now that was too much, and I merely scoffed at their shock that they had actually to Count the words…

Automatic word count on the computer has spoiled them, and they know no other way of obtaining a word count – some actually didn’t understand how they were supposed to know how many words they had, if it was hand-written… I just looked at them with doubt and distaste, and let them figure out (finally) that they have to count it themselves.

Then, the fact that they tend to annoy me just about every day with their nonsense and casual rudeness of chit-chat while I’m talking or when I ask for silence – “quieter” and “silence” are not the same thing, just FYI – plays a role.

When they sit down in class, all backpacks against the back wall, with only writing utensils and any notes they want to use – but nothing digital – and receive the article and accompanying packet that says they must complete it for a trade by the end of class, they suddenly realize that this task is important.

I take almost everything for a grade in class, but I think that most of them do not check their grades regularly, and so have no idea that I do this.

Today, wit bit written clearly at the end of the instructions on the packet, it somehow finally clicked for them: This is for a grade.

After I told them to begin, the room was silent.

And it remained silent.

This was the first time this class had ever been silent for more than about 30-45 seconds at a time…

… and I could not stop smiling.

I actually had to turn around and cover my mouth, I just couldn’t stop smiling at their lasting silence – they were also not only silent, but working, too.

We’ll see how they did… if they followed instructions throughout the quarter, they ought to have middle to high A’s on the exam… if they haven’t, well, then they won’t have so good grades…tant pis.

And so, nearing the end of this silent hour, I delighted in watching them, just for once, suffer a task, especially one that has always seemed so commonplace to and for me…

A whole new round of smiling popped out of my mouth at that point, and I loved it. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

The past in the present

I recently came across this bit of journal-esque writing I did several years ago, and, since I found myself reading almost addictively, and I happened also to find it a bit hilarious to see how young I came across – which makes me wonder if I actually sound much older now, six years later – I figured it would be fun to share here, to see now how I wrote in the past… the past at present, so to speak. πŸ˜›

Therefore, happy reading. πŸ™‚

……….

Mon 4 March, 2013

Today I am sitting on the couch. That is not to say or to suggest that this, sitting on the couch, is such an out of the ordinary activity – though it has been the case that for the previous seven months leading up to this week have left me without a couch on which I even could set myself. It is simply to state that today, I am sitting on the couch. I am not really doingmuch of anything else. Unless of course you would like to believe that breathing, watching a film, listening to music, eating food, digesting, drinking drink, and the occasional conversing with one’s stepfather are considered “doing something”. In that case, I’m doing quite a lot today, and am being very productive. However, in my head at least, that is not the case, and I am not up to much today. I am simply sitting on the sofa (Oh, look: I’ve used the word “sofa” this time. Such creativity is at work in me today!). I think it’s because I’m avoiding doing anything else. Perhaps I would feel guilty if I put my efforts to something else other than that which my mother wishes for me to do…. or, for that matter, other than what my father and stepfather wish me to do. That is organize out things in the house and get a job that pays well. They would likely say that they just want me to get a job, almost any job. Just a job that pays is their goal. However, if I were to get a job that pays, but the job is not very fancy and does not pay very much, they would very much be dissatisfied. For example, if I began work with the trash pick-up in the neighborhood, they would not be so proud as to say they were glad for the job. They would see it as an as-short-as-possible-term job for me, waiting for me to get ‘a real job’. What if I profess myself as a long-term devotee to trash pick-up, and that I see it as the first step in making a change in the world? That I must absolutely do this job so that I can understand people better in order to change their way of thinking. That by starting at the base, by discovering what they see to be trash, I can then begin to alter what they see as valuable. What if I do that? Well, I don’t know, but it ultimately does not matter, because I know that is not what I am going to do. Although there might be some value to that idea. I seem to be good at that: pulling some jargon out of nowhere in attempt to prove some point that I don’t fully believe, and then find myself with a quite amazingly powerful argument. I guess it’s one of the talents God has given me. I think it came out of my mental expansion, or whatever one would like to call it. I’ve spent a good deal of time – though time is completely relative, and I have only been physically around in this body for a short time in comparison to the world and, of course, to other people who have been around for “ages,” as women in their forties and fifties and sometimes even thirties an dupper twenties like to say. As I was saying, I’ve spent a good deal of time studying people, and a bit their cultures. I even did it semi-officially for a while in high school and college. More in college than in high school, though I think that fact is somewhat irrelevant. Anywho – that’s a word I’ve come to enjoy in my lifetime, though I’m not actually sure it’s technically a word. But what do technicalities matter anyway when we’re dealing with full self-expression? Anywho, I’ve studied people throughout my life by simple observation and conversation. And interaction, of course. I have spent my whole life sitting on the sidelines, just watching people pass by, taking notes in my little notebook full of comments of opinion about the world around me, completely missing my own participation in it. No, no. I have been quite the participant in life. I just have paid attention while doing so.

My clock on this computer shows that it is currently 20.29. It is somewhere that proclaimed time (speaking of proclaimed time, my computer will tell me in just a moment that it is 20.30). However, that is not technically the time here (oh, look: a technicality). The time here is actually, well now, 13.30. I mentioned that I hadn’t had the availability of a sofa for the previous seven months. That is true. I was living in Wien in a shared room, with two closets, two beds, two desks, two night stands, and a set of shelves comprising the furnishings, and a slightly musky odor filling the air-tight room when my co-habiter was around. Now, the point of sharing this just now is unknown to me. However, I will use the opportunity to make a connection to my studies of people. I was in Wien to learn German. So I said and thought, anyway. I learned much about the peoples living there, as well as much about myself. I also very much developed myself, and was, for the first time in my life, able to proclaim honestly and whole-heartedly that I was exactly the person I wanted to be. Rather, that I was being the person I wanted to be. I still am that person. And that’s great, actually. The trouble comes in, however, at the point where I’m not entirely sure what to do with that person, now. So I’ve done my cultural study in Wien, I’ve learned a good deal of German, I’ve met and visited the family of mine who lives in Germany (and has for hundreds of years), and I have returned to Houston, Texas, where I technically lived before embarking on this last European adventure. I did want to avoid returning, and even began to set up things so that I could succeed in avoiding the return. At least for a while. But the fact that I am here right now shows that I did not do that. I said to myself that to avoid something means to leave something incomplete in your life. After I said that, I realized that I needed to return to Houston. I didn’t actually need to see or talk to any specific people in Houston. I just needed to return to Houston. Because by not returning to Houston, by avoiding the return, I was avoiding what came with the return. And that’s the next step of my life. I’ve always had something sturdy on which I could rely for my immediate and somewhat near future. Until now. And by not returning to Houston, I could avoid dealing with that, with my lack of suredness, with my fear. I would be hiding a fear inside of me. And hiding things really just doesn’t work. No matter how much we try to do it, we cannot succeed in keeping something hidden. Not completely. We ultimately reveal all that is hidden within us, wheter verbally or not. I think it is part of our nature as humans. We’re just plain blabber mouths with everything. If our mouths don’t give it away, our emotions and reactions most certainly do.

A friend once sent me something that said “Only trust people who like big butts. They can not lie.” It still makes me smile, although that friend seems to be in a dissapeared mode right now. He’ll come around. Hopefully it will be before he dies. That would be quite a disappointment for me, and even for others, as he has a lot of potential to make an amazingly large difference for a great number of people in this world, as well as for the natural side of this world. His impact will likely still be large if he doesn’t alter his current way of being, though it will be quite limited and likely very disappointing in comparison to the one he could make with a simple reappearing act. We’ll see. Well, someone will see, at least. I don’t know that you and I will see the future of his situation, or even that I will see it.

So, I said I was not doing much today. I changed my mind. After watching that movie, I was inspired. I still am inspired, and by that film. I changed my footwear and went outside to play some volleyball and to pursue my desire to learn to skateboard. I think we can pursue all of our desired activities, though there is only one time in our lives where we will actually succeed with them. I tried playing guitar several times as I was younger, but never went past a few chords in the best attempt to become a guitar player. In the last year, I have actually taken my own steps, extra steps, to learn to play the guitar. I don’t play much, but I learn to play songs that I like, and I oftentimes become a great deal of ease and release when I play, rather than the struggle that comes to a beginner of a foreign task, as it once was for me. After years of attempts at guitar-playing and even more occasions of stopping the attempt, I finally can play guitar. I’m not amazing like different performers or people who play ‘just for fun’, but I can play and I enjoy playing, and that’s always been the point of my learning to play guitar. The point of this: I’ve finally fulfilled this desire that I’ve attempted several times in my life to fulfill. And the point of that point: We won’t reach certain things until the time is right. The time was finally right for me to learn to play guitar, so it actually worked for me this time – my head was in the right place at long last. This skateboarding thing is similar. I’ve wanted to skateboard as far back as I remember my brothers starting to skateboard. Every attempt has left me unsuccessful, still scared, and oftentimes hurt. I’ve thought for months on this, though, and I think my hesitation, cause by my fear, has been a major factor in my getting hurt. Today, I was not only putting myself out there confidently on the skateboard, but I was almost not even present to a fear. Once I let go of my hesitation, and look at the logistics of the activity (that it required that one just keep balance and GO), it becomes something completely different. It becomes somethign do-able. Yes, it takes practice. But I am capable of it. I find that really cool. Uh-oh. That last sentence might be giving away my age (as though my writing in general in no way does that already). Okay, as I sit here typing, taking the occasional sip from this bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha juice, … I don’t actually have an end to that sentence. I just wanted to say what I was drinking, I think. My aunt is actually making her own Kombucha juice right now. My cousin, her son, apparently taught her how to do it. I believe it takes several days, if not weeks, to make the juice. It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. It tastes like it’s been sitting somewhere for weeks before it was bottled and kept in a cooler. It always does, Kombucha juice.

Let’s go back to the part about my age. I was reading a book recently where it was mentioned that adults, grown up people, are nearly obsessed with numbers. Numbers like how old one is or how long one has done something or how far away one is from something or what time one will arrive or how much something costs and the likes. That wasn’t exactly what the book said. It’s what I’ve specifically noticed as being significant to adults since my reading that. I’ve also noticed how I tend to do that. I’ve been working on stopping that. It’s been gonig quite successfully, actually. I do it less and less, and I notice almost every time when I am considering asking a number question, and I opt often not to ask it, as I see the lack of any importance in hearing the answer to the question, thus losing my point of asking the question. But to apphease the adult in me as well as the adult in you, I shall give you at least a few numbers. Seven, twenty-two, three and a half, a few thousand, and eleven hundred.

Okay, elaboration. I’ve just returned from seven months abroad, becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. Just a few days ago, I became officially twenty-two years old. I completed college in three and a half years. I currently have a few thousand dollars of school loans to repay (I think). And I expect that finding a job that gives me at least eleven hundred dollars a month will be enough for me to live sucessfully on my own for a while until I find something else to do with myself. Oh, and my name means “Grace” in its language of origin. To me it just means “me”, though that’s sometimes scary, as in the times when someone says it with annoyance or frustration, suggesting I’ve done something upsetting and now have to work hard to make things good again. I think to most people, it’s just a name, though. Hannah is it. Hannah banana to certain individuals. I enjoy when people call me Hannah banana. Probably because it shows a specific enhanced degree of love when they say it, when they decide or choose to use it.

Well, I’m going to go back outdoors. I’ve had a good break here writing. Now I’m to continue my goals of improving my volleyball (re-enhancing it, actually, after several years of not playing almost at all) and skateboarding performances. I’ll write again, and likely soon. I guess my sitting on the couch today has altered. Perhaps it’s like addiction problems and other problems. Admitting that one has a problem is the first step to solving the problem. My problem was sitting the day long on the couch. I feel it to be utterly too underproductive for my capabilities. So, once I admitted that fully, I was able to rid myself of the problem. Cool.

13 MΓ€rz 2013

Heute haben wir einen neuen Papst. Francisco. Er ist ein Jesuiten. Sehr cool.

—–

I’ve decided I want to write a book. Not a book like everyone else. But a book in present tense. Yes, in present tense the whole way through. I tell a story with the book, but it hasn’t actually happened until the reader reads it. So to speak. πŸ™‚ Well, that’s my idea, anyway.

………..

P.S. The programming is likely to destroy my double spaces after periods, so, please, kindly ignore that change, and assume the appropriate spacing after each period… yes, I’ve shared all about my opinion on the spacing here… ugh!

Post-a-day 2019

German Rank

By the time I arrived in Germany for my summer of German language courses as a precursor to my Fall/Winter study abroad semester, I had done the whole foreign language study and foreign language immersion thing a couple of times already – I knew what I was getting into and how I wanted to go about it.

True fluency was my goal, and I knew how to manage that.

The day I arrived, however, my German was absurdly limited and rather laughable…. I could hardly ask questions, let alone understand the answers (more on that some other time).

And so, by the time I was visiting with the others in my program’s group (they had also arrived that day), and had met the head of my program, everyone had been socially established in terms of their levels of German ability.

One girl was ‘the head’ of the group, so to speak, another was ‘the absolute beginner’, and the other few were sprinkled in between them… I openly declared my poor abilities that had been used throughout the day, only somewhat successfully, and expressed concern of not placing high enough to receive credit for the German courses back at my college (you had to be at least in the second level for the courses to count, and I was worried that I might be ending up in the beginner, first level, based in the day’s events).

In other words, I was ranked ever so slightly above the absolute beginner girl, and just barely below the girl who’d studied for a few semesters already (two years, I think, actually).

However, I wasted no time in immersing myself with the German-speaking head of our program, and got help from her immediately for the things I knew I would need and want to say starting the next day, when I would be interacting with all the people at the school and taking a placement test and starting classes… again, I had done the foreign language thing before, and I was knowledgeable about how to function on minimal vocabulary and grammar – I could make anything work, so long as I had a certain set of vocabulary ahead of time.

And so, to my delight the next morning, what I had prepared myself to be able to share with others about my absurd travels getting to that small town in Germany, ended up being the essay question on the placement test!

Therefore, to my pleasure and total surprise, I was placed in none of the beginner level courses, but in the first of two intermediate courses!

Since I had arrived late the day before (again with the telling another time), I had missed the regular times for the placement tests, and everyone who had taken them then was already in the first day of classes while I took my own placement test (along with a few other people who weren’t in my program, but who were also studying at the language school that month).

Therefore, when I walked into my intermediate level class – this was after multiple verifications that they were sure they were putting me into the correct class – and I found ‘the head’ of our group sitting at one of the tables, there was a brief moment of shock for the both of us, as I blew apart the ranking of our whole group by jumping rank so obscenely (I use obscene, because it rather was obscene, in a sense).

She was not happy, to say the least.

Two weeks later, when I already matched and, in some areas, had surpassed her German capabilities, I had voluntarily removed myself from the ranking altogether.

Rather than be a part of the group so much, I had become ‘the outside associated’, someone who isn’t truly a part of the group, but who comes to visit and gets along well with everyone whenever she does.

I never spoke English after that first day, not once… and that was enough to set me away from the group hierarchy.

(Okay, I did speak English once… this British guy seemed like he was about to cry one day, while begging me to speak English, because he so desperately wanted to hear how I sounded in English, since he had known me for weeks but had heard none…, but that was genuinely the only time I did it while there.)*

And it was wonderful.

In the second month, we had a similar situation happen with the new group arriving and joining our ranks… everyone was re-ranked, with me still as an outside associate for the first round of people, but ranked in a real place by the new folks (just above ‘the head’ from the first month)…

For that month, I was ranked below a new ‘head’… however, a month or so later, when we had all moved to Vienna, Austria, I was fully removed from the ranking system by all the new people, too… I had real friends who were native German-speakers, and certain parts of my German were better than anyone else (not all parts, though, because five years does teach one a lot, so the new ‘head’ definitely had some knowledge on German that I never really intended to have)… and I still used no English.

However, I eventually started throwing in the occasional bit of English just so they wouldn’t hate me so much – speaking only German had kind of pushed me way off the ranks… almost no association at all anymore…, but I got rather pushed back out by some when they discovered my many friendships with non-foreigners….

So, yeah… essentially, I ended up a distanced associate, and that actually was really great for me… I was there to learn German and learn German-speaking culture, not American anything (which was mostly all that my group had to offer), so I did just that: I learned German and German-speaking culture by being a part of it.

And it was awesome.

And I still found the hierarchy of our group to be hilarious, especially when I blew a hole in parts of it again and again. πŸ˜›

That was rather fun, actually.

I wonder how I would have felt had I been a regular member of the hierarchy, and not the super-gifted member that I was… hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

*Something tells me that I might have used the occasional translation with the outright beginner girl for the first few weeks while she got her bearings, but we kept that rather hush-hush and between ourselves, so no one really heard or knew about my occasional English words to her.