5/3/2016 (This one got lost in my Word doc for a bit!)
So far, there’s been some English, some German, and a minor identity crisis. I’ve been studying German all through high school and college, but with no idea of what I really wanted to do with it. When people asked me, I brushed the question off by saying that I enjoy studying a foreign language, but now I think I understand why I was drawn to it. It’s what brought me here—to Europe, or a corner of it, at least. I’ve seen almost nothing—barely even scratched the surface of Mannheim—yet everything just clicks. While I may never end up getting a job in German or pursuing it at a higher level of secondary education, it really doesn’t matter—what matters is the connection that it’s offered me to this culture, this place, this people. It took me a while to recognize that, and even longer to decide to go after what I saw. But now that I’ve realized what’s out there—just how big and exciting and beautiful the world is—I see no reason to stop. Language is the spice of life—it’s what gives mundane things a spark, what makes them come alive. Without other languages, just think how flat and boring the world would be, and how little it would truly offer us. It’s this mix of cultures and nationalities, this openness and warmth, that’s making me fall in love with European culture. I love it here, love it here, love it! I’m already thinking of ways to come back next summer, though I’d be happy with a little less smoke.
Off to speak more German with people I’ve never met before. Wish me luck!