In general, this has been a good week. I finished my Intensive German Course and received my certificate—although it’s the first non-“A” grade I’ve gotten since I started grad school! German grades run 1-6, with 1 being excellent and 6 being failing. In general, a 1 is very difficult to come by—you don’t see nearly as much grade inflation here as is present in the US (to give you a sense of perspective, a 1,2  or better on the “Abschluss” test pretty much guarantees you’re going to medical school). 2-3 is above average, generally pretty good, but not perfect. As the Dozentin (teacher) explained, students in language classes should be getting 2-3s. A 1 would mean the class is too easy, a 4 that you’re not working hard enough, and a 5-6 that the class is too difficult for your current level of language comprehension.

I got a 3.

I’ve realized that, while my reading comprehension is pretty good, and my listening comprehension is improving rapidly, I’ve forgotten a lot of the grammar work from my German classes. The texts I’ve been reading are already grammatically correct, so I’ve forgotten how to properly apply the rules to create correct grammar. This is especially frustrating since I’ve always prided myself on my writing. So my solution is to take a review-level grammar class during winter semester (which starts next week).

Anyway, on to the “tragedies” I mentioned in the title. The first is the loss of my favorite coffee mug. While this may sound trivial in and of itself, keep in mind that this was a mug that Kev bought for me at Pier 1 several years ago, and that I took the trouble to carefully wrap and ship to Germany with our stuff. We each picked one mug to ship, our favorite, and those are the mugs we’ve been using since July.

And now mine’s broken. It fell off the arm of the couch (it was empty, thank goodness) and the handle broke off.

“Just glue it back together!” you may say. Well, here’s the problem with that: I glue the handle back on (in three pieces), and at some point, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, the glue fails due to repeated use and washing—and suddenly I’m covered in hot coffee with cream and Apriva. Now, I’ve been burned by hot coffee once in my life, and it’s not an experience I’d care to repeat.

Kev also offered to grind the rest of the handle off and turn it into a handle-less mug. First, we don’t have the equipment to do this, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a new mug. Second, it may shatter in the process (gee, fun). Third, assuming it survives grinding, I’m then left with bare ceramic on the side to get soaked with stuff and harbor germs. No, thank you.

So my favorite, use-every-morning coffee mug has gone to “The Great Coffee Shop in the Sky.”

My other “tragedy” isn’t so much an immediate thing as an alert for a potential upcoming tragedy. Remember my photo of my Apriva stash?

August 29


Now, when I filled this container in July, I had around 60-80 packets left over in my ziplock bag. I’ve since added them to the canister. However, between coffee and yogurt on a daily basis, my stores are running a bit low:


At this rate, I estimate that we have about 5-6 weeks left. Unfortunately, that’s BEFORE mom comes to visit in December.

This is the true tragedy.

We welcome any “fat” envelopes containing Apriva/Splenda packets (Apriva is available at Kroger and is cheaper than Splenda, but they’re the same thing). I don’t think the Post Office will suspect that it’s cocaine, but better leave it in the brand packaging to be sure (the packets, not the box). Without the box, a “fat” envelope would work, and be much cheaper than shipping a package.

I’m just sayin’.

2 thoughts on “Tragedies!

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