The Month of the Presentation

May has by far been the most stressful month of my graduate school career thus far. As if the seven classes on their own are not enough to deal with, I have also given a total of 6 presentations throughout the month. This is why May 2015 is now known as “the Month of the Presentation.” The semester goes through mid-July, but I like the idea of getting presentations out of the way ASAP. So, that is why I had so many to do in the month of May. Oh, and let’s not forget that 5 of those 6 presentations Continue Reading

Vermöbeln | Mistranslation Monday

A lot of German verbs begin with the letters “ver.” Verbessen means to improve. Versüßen means to sweeten. Verabreden means to arrange (a meeting). The thing about all of these verbs (and most German verbs that begin with ver), is that when you take the “ver” away, you are still left with a German word. Besser means better. Süß means sweet. Abrede means understanding or agreement. So, when confronted with a German verb that began with “ver” recently, I used this base to try to understand the meaning. The instance occurred when Marco yelled at me, “Ich werde dich gleich vermöbeln!” Continue Reading

An American’s Reaction to Holidays in Germany

In terms of public holidays, Germany and the U.S. are fairly similar with around 10 public holidays each (the actual number depends on the specific U.S. state or German Bundesland). However, Germany takes public holidays much more seriously than the U.S. So, on German public holidays like today (Christi Himmelfahrt – Ascension Day), the following situation is embarrassingly common: When the Germans have a holiday, that means everyone gets a holiday — even the cashier at the grocery store and the barista at the coffee shop. Considering that I have memories of shopping at Walgreen’s on Christmas Day and buying Continue Reading