Last night at the KampusFest I met Herr Neumann. It was good to finally meet him in person. We talked about how my first two days or work went, I expressed my gratitude for sending Frau Ahlers my way and lamented about my struggles of obtaining a Student ID. He said that when I have problems its very important to tell him right away. He was surprised that I was actually going to have to commute to Schönebeck everyday, and said he would talk to Herr Ball to see if I could just work at the Fachhochschule. I feel like he is too important/busy to take on the responsibility of monitoring me, so I’m thankful that he actually does! I get the sense he is well respected. He introduced me as an American intern to a number of faculty, and each asked, ‘Oh, she knows German?’, to which he would respond, ‘But naturally, yes.’ We met up with Frau/Professor Ahlers and then he had to rush off somewhere.
I don’t know how to do ‘business’ here in Germany. As in how formal to be over here. Maybe it’s because I, myself, don’t feel old enough to warrant being addressed formally. Once I great someone with a hug/kiss on cheek greeting, I assume its ok to always do that… In German, there is a formal form of you, ‘Sie’, and an informal form, ‘du’. Adults usually decide when they will use ‘du’ with younger people. For example, both Ulrike and Slyvia told me we could use the informal ‘du’ with eachother. They told ME. I don’t feel like I have the power to tell Herr Neumann and Herr Ball to use ‘du’ with me. So they use ‘Sie’. And its weird. I don’t like it- it makes me feel awkwardly old/important, which I definitely consider myself to be neither in the scheme of things. Another awkward moment: Me going in for the hug/kiss with Ulrike at KampusFest. I assumed that’s what I should do, since thats how we had been greeting each other. But she went for the handshake. And I was already mid-hug. It didn’t go so well. Hahaha somehow we made it though. However, I think the other professors watching thought it was cute.
Ulrike sayed with me for an hour or so at the KampusFest and bought me a Wurstchen [small sausage] and Beer. Always so generous. She kinda cracks me up. We just stood there as the band played talking with whoever Juan Pablo happened to know, and all of the Students would introduce themselves to her and just start talking like no big deal. Then this guy working on his Doctorate came and randomly introduced himself to me and Ulrike. He was nice, but in a creepy German sort of way. When I got tired of listening to the German bands play, Juan said he’d walk me home. Edgar [from Georgia] left with us. It was a chilly 2 mile walk back.