Tag Archives: english

end is in sight.

example pp slide

That is an example slide from the final presentation I have to give.  I worked through about half of it today, so this is very first draft – in fact, I already see two mistakes just on this slide!  I am trying to use the power-point style that we use at Calvin in our engineering presentations… I’m not sure what my employers will think – hopefully they will like it!  It is very different from a few of the power-points I have seen that Sylvia has made. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, I will be going to the MWG headquarters to give this presentation of my work from this summer.  So MWG employees, Sylvia, Herr Ball, and Professor Neumann will be my audience.  I think it’s a very good thing that I have to do this, even though I don’t really want to prepare for it.  If this were in English, I would kill it.  But the fact that I have to do it in German… it’s going to be interesting.  I’m just going to have to practice… a lot!  This will be different from my night speech class last semester, where I would run thru a speech I had just written two or three times while eating, running out the door and walking up to class… and then have my professor say that I was one of the few that ‘clearly prepared extensively’.

But I’m trying not to look that far ahead yet, otherwise I will miss out here.

Things are simmering down in the dorms as people continue to leave… Or maybe it’s just me getting anti-social and removing myself a little more. Or I think I’m finally used to living here and the initial dorm excitement has finally worn off.  Despite this feeling, I know that I have made some friends here that I will keep in touch with.  And it’s great, because the invitation to stay with any of them if I travel has been extended.  I have also given the Chicago/Grand Rapids invitation… so we’ll see if anyone ever comes to visit!

elevator friends

bread and blanketsa few pictures of friends before and after we grilled in the park one night. countries represented: hungary, italy, poland, latvia, uruguay, united states of america. crazy huh?

OK really funny story.  So in the top picture, in the elevator, the guy on the far left is my hall mate.  He lives right across the hall from me.  He is the first person I ever met here, so he has a special place in my heart.  His name is Ferenc Kun.  His nickname is Feco.  This is pronounced ‘Fatso’.  Im not kidding.  When he first introduced himself as ‘Fatso’, I thought he was kidding.  He wasn’t.  The other day, I was in his room and he was skyping with his brother.  He said goodbye to him and I almost started dying of laughter.  His brothers nickname is ‘Chubby’.  No joke.  Feco didnt understand why I thought it was so funny, so I had to explain what being ‘chubby’ meant, and how it was similar to ‘fatso’.  So there we go, Hungarian brothers by the names of ‘Fatso’ and ‘Chubby’.

I have already gotten a few birthday things in the mail 🙂 I just open them – I can’t wait for longer.

Side-note: I hope it’s okay that I created my own Calvin logo up in the corner by cutting and pasting different images together… If it’s not, someone please let me know.

a game.

Here is an update on my language situation.  In the dorms with all my friends, we speak English.  Only this is very poor, broken English.  In order to communicate, I think of what I want to say, then think of the dumbest and easiest way to say it.   And I have to talk slowly.  Doing this works, we are all able to communicate.  It’s really fascinating actually.  But this means my English is actually getting worse.  I will find myself using words incorrectly or saying things are grammatically atrocious.

My German on the other hand isn’t really getting practiced either.   My listening and comprehension is better from being at work, but I really don’t talk a lot when I am there.  So I would say that my speaking hasn’t really improved that much.  Which is sad.  Ok, I’ll be fair – my German is definitely improving, how could it not be, I am surrounded by it when I step foot outside of my dorm, but it’s not at the rate I hoped it would be.

So my English is getting worse and my German isn’t really getting that much better.

Here is the game.  A lot of the students here actually do have pretty decent English.  So when they talk in English, I try to see if I can express what they just said in German.   I usually can.  But then there will be some phrases where I really have no idea!  And then I get frustrated haha.  I think some people have seen me and been a little confused as why I am slow to respond to what they just said.   I just randomly started doing this in my head and then realized that I was doing it…  sometimes I think I am so weird.