Wonderful, actually. Let me count the ways.
1. Today it is SUNNY OUT! And it is a lovely fall day, and the air smells fall-y, and it's not raining! It's like a miracle.
2. I have been here for TWO MONTHS! I remember a couple weeks ago I was thinking how darn slowly it was all going, but then those passed in a flash and now I think I'm really starting to get into the everyday rythym here. That's why I haven't really been writing- it seems so boring to write about what happens every day now because that's just it- it seems so everyday.
3. I would say that the end of October was kind of a falling point for me, because I got sick and then I couldn't stop thinking about how long eight months would be and how slow the process of learning a new language is. But now I've been back at school for two weeks and I feel fabulous! I can understand SO much more, and I actually took a math test the other day- I think I failed it, but at least I gave it a shot. And in most of my classes I can actually understand the general idea of what's going on, except in Physik and Sozialkunde, in which I am COMPLETELY lost ALL the time. Hopefully once my German skills really pick up I'll be able to get at least a little bit out of them. Plus I've been having longer conversations with my host parents, all in German! It's kind of exciting!
4. I'm connecting a lot more with my host family! Simon and Clara seem to find it normal to have me here now, and a couple nights ago I had a conversation with my host parents after dinner that lasted for an hour and a half, almost completely in German! We talked about a lot of things, and it was so nice because all the things I'd been writing about only in my journal and that were constantly on my mind I was able to talk about with them. We talked about learning German and making friends, and dealing with the fact that it will feel like you have two families by the end, and even boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. It's a more open topic here- it's often one of the first questions people ask me when they meet me. "Do you have a boyfriend?" But I felt much better after that, and I hugged Daniela goodnight and I think that sort of opened up a door for her. Since then she's hugged me goodbye when I go off to school or out with other exchange students, and I think it's because she was waiting to see when I felt close enough to them to give them a hug. But that's just my theory.
5. I think I have officially made some friends! There is a group of girls in my class who are all really nice and helpful. They often invite me to come with them to the cafeteria or courtyard during our Pause (break between classes), and make sure I get all the papers I need and understand the essentials.
6. I attended my first orchestra rehearsal on Tuesday! My school has a small orchestra (10 violins, 1 viola, and 5 or 6 cellos) that practices together once a week. I am surprisingly one of the best violinists- I guess I was surprised because in Northampton there are SO MANY amazingly talented musicians that I feel like a beginner beside them. But here, I was given first violin part and I was able to sight-read it easily and play along. They're playing some fun pieces, and I had a lot of fun being back with a violin again! I'm borrowing one from the school for the year, so I don't have to pay, which is really good. I hear the dollar is even worse lately... ah well.
7. I've actually felt like I have stuff to do lately- not just sitting blankly through a school day, coming home, and sitting blankly through the afternoon and evening with nothing too productive to do. I am caught up with NaNoWriMo (20,000 words today!), which has been taking an hour or so every day. On Tuesday evenings I have orchestra, and on Friday evenings I have rowing training. Yesterday I met up with some other exchange students and we went to see This is It (the Michael Jackson movie) in English. It was really fun! I love having other exchange students to connect with, because we're all experiencing a lot of the same emotions. On Saturday I'm going out with a different exchange student, and we're going Christmas shopping and having some English time! Plus I've been able to do some homework lately. English, of course, and a little Latin, and Ethik (which is currently being conducted in English because we're reading an English book about a fictional school massacre). I'm trying to do German, but it's not working out super well... and the other subjects either don't really have homework or the other students don't do it, because mostly my classmates just do work in class and then leave their books in the shelves under the desks until the next class.
8. Today is Thursday, so I only had 4 1/2 hours of class.
9. Tomorrow is Friday, so it's almost the weekend!
10. Christmas break starts in 5 weeks!
Okay that's all my reasons for now. Bis später! Tschüss!