Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Word 'Yeti' Comes From Tibetan, Meaning 'Bear-Man'

This past week has been moderately hectic with random fun-time thrown in for good taste and balance. I had a quiz Monday that I know I did well on, the normal two-chapters of German on Tuesday, a hunk of reading on Grimms faerie tales for Wednesday in addition to my work for global issues, and then a frankly outstanding Thursday.
German started my Thursday out in the best of ways; occasionally I could catch auditory glimpses of the organ downstairs, which is one of my favourite things about Grey Chapel as a whole, and then we got to listen to several pieces of music off of a CD as a connection to the Romantic period, which we had discussed on Tuesday as a part of the reading. All of the operas were quite enjoyable, but Erlkoenig definitely took the proverbial cake. My high school German teacher did a massive German poetry unit at the start of my senior year, and Elrkoenig, a very famous German poem by Goethe that I rather adored. (Think of Goethe as something like a German version of Shakespeare in terms of his fame.) Herr Wolber offered another interpretation compared to the one I was already familiar with, but now I believe the two combine nicely and work very well. The focus I had seen before with it had been on nature being an unconquerable force that man often tries to fight against, but ultimately can never overcome. Herr Wolber presented it as a battle between the Romantic and reason, with the Romantic period’s ideals winning out in the end, and nature clicks with the Romantic rather well. Highly enjoyable either way, and it was rather hard not to sit there grinning to myself as I recited the poem mentally along with the singer. Wer reitet so spaet, durch Nacht und Wind?/ Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind...
Later on I attended Stammtisch once again, and I believe I may be entirely sold on the concept. Granted, I don’t talk a whole lot, but I’m not always the talkative type. (I love to listen though, especially since the discussions are all/mostly in German!) Herr Kremling has been dropping in for the past two weeks while he’s back for roughly a month from his trip, and he did make a few valiant attempts at getting me to talk more. Perhaps I’ll bring along one of my German poetry books and read a favourite or two that we could then discuss. Most of us ended up staying until a half an hour after Stammtisch officially ends, and I had a great time.
I returned to the dorm, talked with my neighbor about her plants for a while, and then was whisked away by another friend to attend the so-dubbed ‘Crazy Night.’ Crazy Night entails a small group of friends from sword club hanging out, watching anime, and acting crazy to get off the week’s stress. Quite enjoyable, and proverbially chilling with one’s friends all night is great. (Not having to worry about getting my reading done for Friday also helped, since my class for the day was cancelled! Huzzah!) Crazy Night ended the day very well; I grabbed a cup of hot tea* and enjoyed some good music before calling it a night.
Friday is looking to be a great day for me as well; my grandmother is coming over to attend Professor Olmstead’s reading at noon with me, and we’re going to go out for tea together. Both of these events are guaranteed for a high degree of outstanding-ness, so the weekend will hopefully follow suit.

*Herr Kremling- I boiled double the needed water for my tea and tossed the second cup’s worth into the night, and it’s instantaneous turning to a burst of steam before drifting away is entirely worth the cold.

German Word of the Week: Fraktur (mostly pronounced as it appears, but be sure the “ur” is pronounced like ‘your’ minus the ‘y’)

Fraktur is the German calligraphy script that scores of old German texts are in, so it’s rather valuable to most German students. It can be tricky to read until one is actually used to the lettering, but it comes fairly easy with a little practice.
Here’s an example using an exert from a poem by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff:

Tina’s very pretty orchid she kept me updated on the blooming of:

Here’s a rose that Abigail got from Mr. Tom; the light was hitting it so nicely that afternoon that I had to take a picture, and my pictures are rather plant-themed today anyway:

My plants! I have aloe, bamboo, and lavender at the moment; before break I had several others, though. I’m so glad my plants are happy here; they’ve been growing like crazy. My aloe needs a new pot already!

And last in my little parade of plants is the set of pines in front of Thomson; their odd shape and canopy-like view from below endear them to me more than I can express. Or maybe I just like plants too much.

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