It’s a gloomy day today, around 22ºC (72ºF) and drizzly. Perfect day to stay inside and catch up on house- and homework.
Converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit is challenging, although it’s getting easier. Basically, 10ºC (50ºF) is cold, and 30ºC (86ºF) is hot—not as hot as I’m used to from Georgia, but then, we don’t have AC here, so it’s plenty hot enough! The days in July-August run from around 12-14º overnight to 20-25º during the day, but it has gotten warmer on several days. When it gets cooler in the fall, we have to figure out how to use the gas stoves in our living- and bedrooms.
Sheridan is off at her language camp in Berlin. I hope she’s enjoying it! I think it’s going to really help her out when school starts in September. She’s also going to meet folks from all over the world—not only the US, but UK and Australia, India… there are even a bunch of native German students there (I assume they’re learning English). I’ll be going to my own intensive language course at the Uni in Erlangen, starting 8 Sept.
Several friends and family have asked me exactly what I’m doing here in Nürnberg, and at the university. It’s the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen, where I’m on an exchange fellowship for one year—awarded by the department of Germanic & Slavic Studies at UGA. Basically, I’m here taking classes (5 total: 2 for grades, 3 pass/fail) while I complete the writing of my dissertation. Since the school year here ends in August, my plan is to graduate in December of 2009 since my credits for “Spring” 2009 won’t be recorded at UGA until after the deadline for an August graduation. I also have to schedule my dissertation defense sometime early in the Fall 2009 Semester—not an easy thing to do in summer when most professors aren’t around.
My fellowship pays €400 per month stipend, for one year starting in October—which just about pays the rent. So not a whole lot, but it helps. Classes start in early October (after the language course), and I’ll be taking a class in “Postdramatic Theatre” based on the theories of Hans Thies-Lehmann, centered on modern dramatic form which doesn’t rely on pre-written, plot-based scripts for its genesis.
I’m not teaching, or working, or anything like that for my stipend, but I’m completing my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and plan to tutor English and offer translation services to supplement my income. I can’t do a whole lot, as there are strict regulations on the amount foreign students can work (90 full or 180 half days in a year). Kev is ahead of me in the TEFL program—he’s just about finished, and plans to go to Berlitz here in Nürnberg for a position (they’re advertising openings now). I’m planning to focus more on the Erlangen area since I’ll be taking classes there. I’m also going to try to work it out so that I can teach a class at the Uni in the spring, maybe on American theatre history. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m going to try.