work.

So yesterday was my first day of ‘work’. I got all dressed up and sat in my room waiting for a call from Herr Ball, who was going to pick me up.  When I went downstairs, I saw the back of a man wearing dark skinny jeans, brown leather shoes, and a white collared shirt with a popular brand here strewn across it.  We exchanged greetings, something I’m still not that good at, and headed over to pay my rent.  Herr Ball studied here 20 years ago, so he’s in his 40’s I assume.   In the car ride to Schönebeck we talked about tons of stuff, not just professional.  He’s really nice and speaks some English which is good. But we did talk a lot of engineering, and its cool and hard at the same time to be learning about this stuff in German.  At one point he even pulled over and picked a plant that they use for fuel here.  He talks in a very careful, rushed and caring way.   He mentioned they are building a new office building thats very near to where I currently live, and even through out a “maybe next year…”  Haha I was thinking, you don’t even know if I’m a good worker or not! 

The office is very quaint and open. Herr Ball said the firm only has 16 people in it. I am the only intern this summer.  I met the receptionist, two other engineers, a young electrical engineer [it was his first day of work too!], and the office girl.  So there are at least 4 women that work in this office which was good news for me.   It’s almost a loft type, there is an upstairs where a few people work, and a conference room on the main floor. It’s kind-of small, but I like it a lot.  

Herr Ball brought me into the conference room, made me a cup of coffee and brought out this huge map.  While he was gone, I slowly started putting the first part of my project together.   Basically, there are a ton of buildings in Magdeburg that are under consideration to put Solar Panels on their roofs.  The two things on this conference table were a digital camera and this map.  On the map all the buildings being considered are colored in.  They are VERY spread out.  So I am to go to all of them, take pictures, and file the pictures in my laptop.  Oh yea, they gave me a laptop for the summer.  We had a ‘crash course’ about solar panels, because I don’t know any of the words used to describe them.  Then he had to leave.  

I sat at his desk for an hour, educating myself on solar panels.  Then I got invited upstairs for lunch.  This was crazy.  So there we sat, the whole office; the receptionist, the office girl, the woman engineer, the man engineer, and Martin[the new guy].  They were fun. I didn’t say much, only really answered their direct questions to me. The office girl is real quite and timid.  After lunch, I went back to his office, did some more research, and at 3:30 left with ‘Frank’, the man engineer. When we were driving home, I didn’t feel so hot, mostly because it was really hot, I hadn’t really eaten properly [I only packed a small lunch, not knowing what to expect], and Germans drive crazy.  But he was nice enough and after 30mins I was home.

Went to a Stammtisch [a so called locals table] with Cisco and Hugo, both who speak English and German fluently. Met some new people there, including Kaylan [a girl from Spain who was super nice and is studying Engineering also], and  Dominik [a red-haired German].  But most of the night I talked to Juan Pablo, a mexican who has been all over.  He knows a lot of German, but his accent is very strong.  He knows American English and hates British English.  They were all super nice and want to throw a welcome party for me haha. 

Today, I met Juan for lunch at the Mensa and sat with some of his friends, Edgar [from Georgia, the country], another girl, and Clemnitz [German].  This guy knows a lot of people.  We made plans to go the big CampusParty and the Hochschule [this is different than the University where I live].  The Hochschule is where Prof. Neumann and Ulrike teach.  She told me about this party, saying I should really go.  Martin from work [the new guy], invited me to go with him too.  So apparently this is a big deal.  

I’m getting picked up in a hour to go look at a Bio-Gas Plant.  Thats what I’m doing for work today.  🙂  I don’t know who the guy is, but we already talked on the phone.  

liebe aus deutschland **

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One response to “work.

  1. Katja,

    Having a nostalgic moment looking at pictures of your room and remembering my own from way back when. Loved the photo of your bike–priceless! I can’t even imagine the engineering language used for everything you will be working with this summer, but I’m guessing very long words. solar panel — Sonnenkollektor??

    I’ll bet you come home exhausted from all of the conversations and new words you’re learning each day. But what a terrific opportunity!

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