Friday, June 19, 2009

That is different!

I am not claiming to be an expert on American culture. There are many things that happen, on a daily basis, I am completely in the dark about. However, having been in a different culture for a little while and promptly jumping back into the American culture, there were quite a few things that jumped out at me. I would not say I went through, 'culture shock' coming back to the States, but I did have to chuckle every now and then as I found myself shaking my head and exclaiming, "Wow! That is different." This is in no way an attempt to bash American culture, rather it is simply me recognizing the differences. It is my hope you find the following differences entertaining...
- Grocery stores are...MASSIVE. Honestly, how many variations of peanut butter can there be?
- Not only are the grocery stores big, vehicles are quite large over here as well.
- While speaking of vehicles...the other day I was driving and while on the road something seemed so bizarre, and so unnatural, but I couldn't immediately put my finger on it. Then I realized, there was a car traveling next to me, going in the same direction! In Germany, besides the autobahn, I don't think I ever drove on a single four lane road.
- Germans park their cars in the middle of the street, and think it is no big deal. Try parking slightly over the white line in America, and be prepared for plenty of scowls.
- In America, cell phones are no longer a handy device, or even an accessory, they are a vital part of your body.
- BMWs and Mercedes Benz are NOT used as taxis.
- Germans walk or bike everywhere,.
- Americans drive everywhere.
- In Germany, unlike America, a bottle of beer is significantly cheaper than a bottle of water.
- People in America always seem to be in such a rush.
- Fashion. Words cannot describe this one - tight pants, crazy hair, cartilage piercings on guys, men wearing 'kapris', big sunglasses... I won't say which fashion style I prefer.
- Just a side note on the fashion... I NEVER saw a German wear a baseball hat.
- A sad difference... a lot of Americans are overweight. You would be hard pressed to find an overweight German.

And perhaps the biggest difference I have noticed...

Thank you for continuing to read my blog.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Travel galore

The past week I have done a lot of traveling... a lot. Over a four day span I was on five different planes, touching down in four different countries. Thankfully everything was on time, and there were very little travel difficulties.
Over the course of my traveling, there was a 48 hour time period where I was only able to get seven hours of sleep. I admit part of that is my own fault as I failed to begin packing up my room in a timely fashion, but it also stemmed from the crazy and hectic conclusion to the school year.
It was extremely difficult to part ways with the students. At Sonne, we had nine seniors graduate, and four other students who will not return in the fall for various reasons. I am extremely proud of our seniors and will deeply miss them. They are some incredible young men, who have a lot in front of them.
It was also very hard to say good-bye to my fellow staff members who will not be returning. At Sonne, two of our six staff are returning (CB and me). All three of the individuals working in our Res. Life office will be leaving, which not only leaves a big hole in our boarding program (Though I have full confidence in our new supervisors).
I walked away very encouraged by my first year at BFA, and very encouraged about what next year holds. I know it will be different and full of challenges, but I am excited.

Following the sadness of leaving BFA for six weeks, I jumped right into the celebration of Caleb and Melissa's wedding. Caleb was my roommate for two years in college, and has been a close friend since our freshmen year. Caleb was always a close friend who challenged me, encouraged me, and definitely kept me laughing. I was honored to be the best man in the wedding, and got a little help from my BFA guys in writing the speech! Their wedding was absolutely beautiful. Those two are very special to me, and I was glad to be a part of their wedding day.
The wedding also gave me the opportunity to see many friends from Grove City I have not seen since graduating. It is amazing how fast a year can go, but equally amazing, how a year of separation doesn't really mean much between close friends.

After the sadness of leaving BFA, the joy of the wedding, the hours of travel, I came back to New Hampshire late Sunday night, and crashed. I will travel to two more weddings throughout the summer, but will spend a lot of time resting and preparing for my second year at BFA.
I have an active cell phone while at home, so please feel free to call me at any point. 603-988-3179. I am looking forward to catching up with you over the summer. Please call if you have a free minute. I would love to hear from you.