Hey all! I've got good news by the barrel and I'm really excited about it.
First, I've finally got a thesis! It involves oral storytelling traditions in indigenous...Mexico! My mother is pretty sure I'm going to get kidnapped by a drug cartel, but I'm really really excited (about the thesis, not the theoretical kidnapping) and have already started hitting the Spanish book I borrowed from Roommate. Hitting that book rather hard, if truth be told. I've also started doing background research, planning my project, and looking for avenues of funding--so if you or anyone you know has approximately 4,000 euros that needs disappearing, please talk to me before you start folding it into koi fish or spit-balling homeless people with it. Or whatever it is rich people do with money they don't need.
Second, I got a scholarship! It's not a crazy one that pays per month, but it basically takes care of my tuition next semester, which is thrilling. I say "basically" because I do plan on spending approximately 30 dollars of said scholarship on a sweater, because I am seriously hurting for warm clothes right now. Tank tops don't really cut it in German autumn, regardless of how many layers of fleece I pile on over top.
Third, I started my job! I'm a student assistant, which is a fancy way of saying I scan books for a really kickass research institution. It's still early in the game, but thus far, I'm a fan. Everyone is super nice, all the things I have to scan are interesting and I get to skim through them, and it's just generally fabulous all around. I'm so happy to finally be doing something with myself. And because it's a distinct possibility that I might one day work for this institution (or one like it), I'm really enjoying being able to check out how it works. Plus, it's nice to finally have some direction.
All in all, this semester is starting out about a thousand times better than the last one. I finally feel like I am in control of the ball, as opposed to standing in the net and getting continually hit in the face with it.
In other news, Al and I went to a Poetry Slam last night, and it slammed almost as hard as my psychotic neighbors with their doors. Most importantly, I learned that while my German is fluent enough to write papers in and take classes in and fight with institutions in, it is apparently not fluent enough for poetry slams. German humor doesn't frequently go over my head--chances are, if the Germans are laughing, I am too. But there was one kid in particular last night whose poem had everyone on the floor howling, and I sat there with my eyebrow raised trying to figure out what was so goddamn hilarious about a trip to Romania in verse. Apparently, it was all one giant euphemism for having sex with a transvestite. Yeah. Missed that bus.
Fun things that happened today! I got yelled at not once, but twice, by people who disapproved of the way I was riding my bike. The second lady actually stopped me in the middle of the road to inform me that I was riding my bike on the wrong side. I pointed out that it was a one-way street, and since she was going against traffic, technically she was the one messing up. She sat there for thirty seconds watching the cars (going one way), before informing me that I was incorrect. At which point my anger bubbled over (second random yelling stranger that day, don't get on my case if you're the one in the wrong), and I very politely suggested that she go fuck herself. In English. And then felt much better. This should probably be taken as a sign that the eighteen months of living in Germany have not succeeded in making me any more German, they've just made me aggressive. My mother was right, I'm way too sensitive to live in this country. Maybe I should move to England, where people are polite to the point of being annoying.
At any rate, the universe balanced itself out five minutes later when I asked a nice old man for help finding the building I had to drop my scholarship form off in, and he walked me to it. All the while congratulating me for getting said scholarship and complimenting me on my lovely French accent. Which I have, apparently.
Good times, Germany, good times.