Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2008

*Essay Writing*

I've got essays on the mind this week, so it's the perfect time to post about them.

English-style essay: I have something I've researched. I'm going to fight it to the death. In my first paragraph, I'm going to spell it out quite simply for you. Then I will give you some clear examples and link them back to the first paragraph. In my last paragraph I'll restate what I've fought so hard for another way just in case you weren't smart enough to get my point.

German-style essay: I have something I've researched. Here is one side of the argument. I'll give you a few reasons why this argument is good and a few reasons why it's bad. Here is the other side. I'll give some good and bad sides of this viewpoint. Then in my last paragraph I'll surprise you with the side I've decided to support, of course assuming this whole time that you can follow my writing because you're a smart person.

These differences of course cause some difficulties between cultures. Germans writing in English have to be told to fight! Take a side, sound sure of yourself! English speakers writing in German have to be told that they sound bold and uninformed because they haven't explored both sides.

Mittwoch, 9. Januar 2008


For those of you who don't speak German, that's "Shpotseeren." It's the word that is used in German when people want to go for a walk. So what's so special about it? This word is used more often than any American would expect. Don't take your spazieren lightly!

If you want to go spazieren like the Germans do, follow these instructions:

1. Schedule a specific time to go. Do not change this time, and make sure you don't have any pressing issues close to that time.
2. Invite other people.
3. Take the spazieren seriously.
4. Saunter. Do not, in any case, walk fast. (I have trouble with this one.)
5. Do not have a goal in mind. You are just walking around. (I also have trouble with this one.)

Donnerstag, 3. Januar 2008

*House Shoes*

House shoes. In every house in Germany, there are places to put your shoes by the door, and they have house shoes for you to wear so your feet don't get cold. They will never be flip-flops, because then you can't keep your socks on. Perhaps they also do this to keep the floors cleaner? I think my roommates wonder why I walk around with my normal shoes on.


Somehow Germany is stuck in the days where there is not heating in the walls. Instead, they have those little heating systems (usually located under the windows) that have to be turned up and down. They make weird noises and they command a lot of time every day. The bigger picture is to show you how the heat is adjusted (as an American, I always turn it up the highest it goes). The smaller picture has a chair in it to show how big the heaters really are.

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