Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Flatterers

Today I was reading through messages from "interested" colleges on a college website... you know, the kind where you put in your GPA, SAT scores, and maybe an intended major or two and colleges from all over the country start selling themselves at your feet. After the PSAT as a sophomore, I admit I was rather flattered- but at this point it's just dull- I hit the delete button for about 90 percent of the messages. However, today I hit the "yes, fine, send me your massive amounts of emails" button even though I have no intention of looking further into the school. My reason? This college had a major in Turf and Turfgrass Management. So if chimney sweeping doesn't work out, I know what my follow-up career choice will be.


I consider pancakes to be a Sunday-morning staple at home. Or at least every other Sunday. For those of you who feel the same, or have any sort of pancake fetish, here is your German pancake education.

A Pfannkuchen (literal translation "pancake") resembles a jelly donut. Quite delicious, in my personal opinion. You can find them in just about every bakery.

An Eierkuchen, however, more closely resembles a crepe. My aunt makes them at home but calls them German pancakes. They're not a very large part of German meals, but they do show up occasionally. They're usually eaten with jam or nutella and powdered sugar.

If you want to find a Pfannkuchen, you're going to have to ask for a Berliner. If you ask for a Pfannkuchen, you're going to end up holding an Eierkuchen. Confusing much? If you ask for a Berliner in Berlin, people will just think you're from outside of the city. If you want an American pancake, you're going to have to make 'em yourself- nobody's got a clue what they are.

Socks: They ain't just for your feet.

People in Germany have socks for every little piece of technology they've got. Cell phones, cameras, iPods. Some people have them for their books. I get German Stares when I pull out my cell phone and it's sockless.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Today my classmates recieved their MSA grades. I'm sure I've already touched on the grading system but now I've got a better understanding and have formulated this handy-dandy table for y'all. (Note that some of these reactions are based off of MSA responses, which are more dramatic than others as this test is so important.)

1: WOW! AWESOME! I'M AMAZING! High fives all around.
2: *Sob* But I should have gotten a one!
3: Are you SURE this is what I deserve? Okay, fine, I'll accept it. But don't expect me to smile.
4: My mum's going to kill me.
5: I bombed big-time. I'll just fake the parental signature on this one.
6: I fail at life.

It's funny, I almost think people react better when they get a 3 than a 2 because when people get 2s they get really defensive and try to talk the teacher into giving them a 1. With a three, they just deal.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The German Stare

I am going to introduce y'all to a new concept. The German Stare is often interpreted as a reaction to you being a foreigner. At least I thought so- I couldn't speak German, I might have worn clothing that shouted "American" though I didn't know it, and I didn't behave like a true German. However, I can at this point pass for a German in brief conversations, and I dress subtly enough that no one suspects I'm a foreigner until I open my mouth too far. The German Stare is simply a part of German culture. It's not as if we don't stare in America- I've certainly done my fair share of staring- but we tend to look away quickly and pretend we were doing something else if the person we're staring at looks our way. We hide the fact that we're watching, we look out of the corners of our eyes, watch people from behind our magazines or in window reflections. In Germany, if you are at all interesting, people will stare. They will stare directly, look you up and down, and even make eye contact with you if you look at them. Sometimes they'll twist an opinion into their facial expression- of humor, contempt, or distaste. They don't hide it. In some ways it's good- you don't have to wonder if the person likes you or not, as you do in America when people hide behind a fake polite mask. If someone thinks you're dumb or dressed funny, you'll know.

It was just one of those days...

You know the kind. The days where everything just falls into place and feels so right. I slept in until 9 and then did a bit more college research. I went to Bikram Yoga dressed in my red Converse and my favorite blue dress that Dad bought me in New Hampshire, and that's it. (Okay I had socks and underwear on too.) It was so deliciously warm and sunny out. It's supposed to drop about 15 degrees and pour this weekend, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the sun while it's here. I'm feelin' good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I just purchased a plane ticket to Toulouse, France! On May 12 I'll be boarding a plane at 10:00 am, heading to go stay with the family my aunt was an au pair for once upon a time. At this point in time I'm going alone, but I'm hoping to find a travel partner soon (if anyone reading this wants to join me, feel free to call or email!). I'm extremely excited. I promise there will be lots of pictures taken.

About a week ago I recieved the following email: "Hi Jasmine, I’m writing to you to officially welcome you into the Junior Counselor program at Wildwood this summer. I feel you are a great candidate for this program and I’m looking forward to working with you!" I officially have my first legit job. From July 25 to August 21, my really good friend I will be working as Junior Counselors at Wildwood! Junior counselors aren't legit counselors (hence we don't have to sleep in the campers' cabins) and we get our own big cabin and all the counselor priveleges AND we get to put it on our college application. Plus I just love camp.

Speaking of colleges... I admit I've been doing a LOT of research lately. I've been making a lot of lists and taking notes on all the colleges that look remotely interesting. Mostly I've got a lot of northeast/ New England colleges, a few Universities of California, and one in Minnesota. My list is getting slowly shorter, and I'm becoming more and more interested in a select few. Of course, I'm also getting remarkably overwhelmed by the enormous tuition fees and tiny acceptance percentages. My mom did tell me about a Northamptonite who recieved $50,000 a year for her tuition at the college she was accepted at, so I'm just keeping positive and hoping for a massive scholarship. Either that or obtain California residence and only pay $7000 tuition or so.

I've got a lot of fuzzy future plans... I'll write more about them as time passes. For now, I'm going to go to a student q&a session for Boston University online... and enjoy the fact that I have no school tomorrow! One of the few positive features of being in the 10th grade is that the 10th graders have to write a Mittler Schulabschluss, which is a big test including German, English, and Math written sections and a presentation. And I will be sleeping in. Sometimes I really enjoy being an exchange student.

Langweilig- boring.

Today it was well into the 60°s, and sunny! I bombed a math test (I sort of forgot to study, and I've always been terrible with probability anyway) and aced a physiks test (I think), which evens out to an average academic day. Yesterday evening and again tonight my orchestra is playing along with the school choir in one song during a sort of concert-presentation about Alexander von Humbolt. I haven't actually seen much of it, but it's about this adventurer Humbolt, with a random selection of songs to sort of act as a soundtrack. It's a cool idea, it just isn't quite well-formulated enough to be great.

So what have I been up to lately... oh, I started watching Glee online- I now understand the new American phenomenon! It's extremely entertaining. Plus it always makes me wish I had the lungs to belt out showtunes without sounding like a strangled duck- ah well. Maybe in my next life. Speaking of American phenomena, I've heard there's quite the health care craze going on! Personally, I think it's an improvement simply because we're going somewhere. If Obama revokes the new bill, we'll just be moving back into the same rut where we've been stuck for several years now. Obama's shown he's got the strength and enough followers to pull across his ideas for improvement, and now there's only one direction to go: forward.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I went to an Australian restaurant yesterday with my liason. I ate a wrap with delicious mango sauce and kangaroo. Not kidding. It was really good.