Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Weeks 3 & 4 (16-29 March)

So I haven't updated my blog for 2 weeks now. What have I been doing exactly? Well, after my disastrous 3rd test netting me a problematic 52% (I need 60% to pass the A1 exam), I realized that things needed to change if I don't want to repeat 2 months of very basic German. So I've been much more involved with homework as well as learning extra circular German.



Tests


So, as the line-graph above demonstrates, things have improved. But I can't stress how much easier the stuff we have been doing has been vs. the stuff coming up. So far we've been learning very basic words and their genders (if they're nouns), but now we're being introduced to shape shifting grammatical rules - which would be okay if it weren't for the myriad of exceptions which keep showing up. For example in Greek we have random genders for nouns most of the time, but in German a word can switch genders depending on the case you're making... and you just have to learn them.

Needless to say that my German proficiency is still very close to 0. However despite some noticeable improvements in the past 2 weeks, my confidence that I can do all 10 months without a hiccup, has been deflated somewhat.

How cool would it be if I could get a good level of proficiency in this language by December? And that's the thought that's been carrying me through so far.

Nevertheless, no matter how I view the challenge ahead, days have become like a conveyor belt where I get hammered with new things every day, all week long. There isn't any respite as the weekends are too short while holidays between now and December will be nonexistent.

This will be the single longest semester of schooling I've ever done in my life. Either way I don't want to sound like I'm unhappy because I'm not. I'm extremely happy while at the same time cautious about the road ahead.

Outside of Learning


I've had nothing major come up in the past two weeks, but what has come up has been very important in distracting me from the daily learning grind-fest.

Courtesy of my Chinese classmates, I got to see their very good "Dorm" (1 tier above mine) located right at the center of Hauptstra├če (Hauptstrasse). When I was there I played the Chinese version of this years' PES on a laptop (lost 2-1). And I also got to meet 3 Cypriot girls who have been here since September. Asked them a few questions and I adjusted my expectations accordingly.

I also witnessed Borussia Dortmund and Marco Reus () crash out of this year's Champions League to Juventus. I was at a pub (The Dubliner) with a bunch of Chinese and 2 Italian friends, one of which was supporting Dortmund oddly enough!

Expenses Report for Weeks 3





The above line graph shows the timeline for ALL expenditure from arrival date up to the end of week 4 (29th March).


Since I've combined all weeks together in the pie chart above, food has finally overtaken household expenses as my biggest money sink. I certainly consume a lot of food.



Still, I have managed to have the biggest cost savings on food so far. Hopefully week 5 will be better.



Above bar graph shows that my household expenses have plummeted over time. I have a mop, I have a vacuum but i'm mulling over whether to buy a TV. I had ordered one but it broke down so I sent it back. Don't know if I want a massive household expense to ruin my cost cutting efforts.





Note: Report has been short because I've been pressed on time. My emphasis going forward will be doing the reports every week even if I only write down 100 words. I figure it would be valuable to look back at years later.

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