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It's been quite a while now...

... since I wrote my last entry in here. Sorry for that. Getting onto the internet proves to be quite difficult most of the time, because I have to get a bus into the city centre (which is never on time, nevermind that it comes as often as it is supposed to...) and then find a free spot in an internet cafe. Once I have done all that I usually are not in the mood anymore to do anything really expet to read all the messages and all that. Sorry about that. And thanks at the same time for all your e-mails and all that!!! It's always great to hear from you and no, I haven't forgotten about you.

But let me tell you about the past weeks.

The last week of october was free for all of us, and we took the chance and drove into the west of Ireland. We were a group of 4: to French (also language assistants here at schools in Dublin) and my cousin and, well, humble me.  We set of to Clonmacnoise first, where we spent a nice afternoon. Clonmacnoise is an old abbey (one of the oldest in Ireland) and incredibly beautiful!!! It's located very close to the river Shannon and pretty much in the centre of Ireland, close to Athlone. Compared to Dublin, it was just so peaceful and quiet. After that we went on to Athlone and met a friend of mine, Christiane, who is a German assistant as well. We spent the night at her apartment and enjoying the pub life of Athlone...  

The next day we went on through Roscommon and Ballintubber to Westport. It is an amazing strip of land and we stopped every now and then to enjoy the scenery and all the old castles and abbeys along the way. And to admire all the sheep and cows of course....

The hostel in which we stayed was very nice. It was the "Old Mill" and as the name suggests already, it is in an old mill... The staff was very nice, the beds very comfortable, the other people we met there great and fun. That day, we started talking about the "French invasion", because almost everyone we met was French!!! At least I got to practice it a bit...

The following day we explored Achill Island. Beautiful! Stunning!!! It is very remote, and not a lot of people live there anymore, but the landscape is just amazing! Even though the wheather wasn't too good (well, when is the wheather really good???) it was still very impressive.

The next day we went all the way through Connemara down to Galway, a very nice city, which is not as loud as Dublin. Connemara was very nice as well, but as everyone had told us before, it was raining... Heavily... Well, I guess that's just Ireland, but since we were in a nice warm car, we didn't get all that wet.  We also went to see Kylemore Abbey, which was built by some increadibly rich Englishman about 100 years ago. He and his wife had spent their honeymoon there, and a couple of years later, she asked him to have a castle built there for her. And he did! Can you believe that!!!?

Anyways, after a Halloween night in Galway (with a singing priest and a male nun and many, many Elvises...) we went to see the Cliffs of Moher. Very nice place!!! Very impressive, but very touristy at the same time. Again we met a lot of French, but this time also a lot of Spanish, American and German people.

When we came back to Dublin, we couldn't quite believe it. The traffic (was not caused by sheep for once), the noise, how busy people were. But to some extend it was also good to be back.

The rest of our holidays we went to see movies ("step up": don't waste your money on that movie!!! It's just a new version of "save the last dance" but by far not as good!!! The other one was "a good year". It's good, but I've seen better ones...) and we explored more of Dublin.

Then the following week I went to 2 concerts with 2 other German assistants. They were really good, although I enjoyed the second one more than the first one. The first one were the "Dropkick Murphys", the other one "The Futureheads".

Back at school, it was quite boring, because my students had exams this past week. So I did quite a bit of preparations and all that, but I hope that tomorrow I can go back to teaching.

I hope you all envy me now for my trip...  

Take care!

Love, Wiebke

PS: you can find some new photos on my profile on www.studivz.net (search for my full name). Unfortunately, it's all in German and you have to log on to be able to see them. Logging on is free... And you don't have to be a student... *lol*

19.11.06 14:37


Getting used and adapted...

Well, it's been more than three weeks by now, can you believe it? Actually, it's going to be a month on Thursday... Wow.

Anyways, I've been quite out of touch with basically everyone, because my internet access is VERY limited. When I get a chance, I usually just read all the e-mails and things like that.

Well, the past 2 weeks since my last update have been really good. I really, really like Dublin and really enjoy my time here! I've met a couple of people, that I get along with very well, and we spend a lot of time together on the weekends and explore Dublin and the suburbs and all that. Most of us are French or German, and most of us again are language assistents from the schools in and around Dublin. It's great,  because we get to share our experiences and still don't talk too much German (or French for the French amongst us ).

The work at the school is also going great. I have to say, that teaching really is a lot more fun than I originally thought.  There have been days, that weren't too great altogether, but usually it's a lot of fun both for me and the girls. I learn a lot about Germany myself. Just last week, some of my students asked me about the political system and the political parties and all that. So I had to look up all the names of the people from the local parliaments and what coalition (if they had one) they are in... That was really interesting for me, too.

A lot of the times, I have been asked about the German history regarding World War 2 a lot.

Last weekend, we went to Howth to the seaside (one of the many places where Bono, the lead singer of U2, has a house, but we didn't get to see him ). It was really, really beautiful! Loads of tourists, but great anyways!

This week, we had our introductory seminar from the Goethe Institute, which was really good and interesting. We got to meet all the German language assistants, who are all over Ireland. They were all really nice. The seminar itself was really good, too. They gave us a lot of help and material on the subjects and all of that kind. And we explored Dublin even more with them, especially the pub scene... Which was very funny...  Of course we went to see the Guinness Storehouse, and got a free pint there as well. But please don't think that all I do here is going to the pubs. It's just a part of the Irish culture as well. Ok, I admit it, it's a huge part of the Irish culture.

Oh, did I mention that I will have my first visitor to Ireland on Wednesday? It's Henner, my mum's cousin's son (complicated, I know, so let's just call him my cousin...). I'm really looking foreward to that! So who is going to be the next???

Well, I have to go now. I hope you are all fine!

Love,

Wiebke

22.10.06 17:34


First week at work

Well, so, now, the first week at work is complete. And it was really good, I really enjoy it.

On Monday, things started very cassually for me, until I met my contact teacher, Sr. Maria. She looked very stressed and unwell, so I asked her what was wrong. Well, one of the other sisters at the convent had passed away the saturday, and now Sr. Maria had to prepare everything for the funeral, which was going to be held on Limerick (that's on the west coast of Ireland) the wednesday. So she said, that she wasn't going to be at school on Tuesday and Wednesday and that she wasn't able to find a substitution for her German classes. Well, here I am, right, so I said that I will take them. And I did.

She had told me, that there were some kids in her classes, that sometimes are up for some trouble, but actually, most of them were very nice.

I teach the all classes from 2nd to 6th year (6th to 12th grade that is), and they should know some German by 2nd year. Well... My first class was a second year one, and they were quite ok, keeping in mind that they had only started with German a year ago. Then I had some 5th years and they were really good, until I went away from the questions I knew they had written down. They didn't quite know how to answer me, I guess, because they didn't learn the answers by heart... But they tried, and so I was happy.

Tuesday, I had the 4th years for the first time, and they really gave me a hard time. They just didn't seem to be interested. When I asked one girl in German, what her name was, she said "I don't know, Miss, we never did this, Miss." I couldn't believe it! After more than 3 years of German, she was unable to tell me her name... Well, so I went back to the VERY basics, and then they picked it up slowly again. They gave me the impression though, that they weren't really interested about all this.

All my other classes then went really fine throughout the week, and it really feels like this could be the right job for me.

Well, since most of us language assistants have the fridays off, I met up with 3 other Germans on Friday morning and we talked about how the week had been, how we are settling in and all that. It was great! We had a lot of fun and decided, that we should start exploring the "night life" as well. So we did... It was very funny. We went to 2 different pubs. The first one wasn't too good, very touristy and loud and not really what we wanted. Then we went on to a very old pub, which was REALLY nice!

Well, on Saturday I met up with the French assistant, that's at my school and 2 other French people, and we explored the town a bit more. The one French girl spoke almost no English, which was surprising, because we all (no matter what nationality) had to do an English test before we came here... Well, at least I got to practice the little bit of French that I still know...

All in all, I'm really enjoying my stay here. I'm starting to settle in, and I'm getting used to this Dublin accent.

I hope you are all fine!!!

Love! Wiebke/Wiebi/Bibi/Sweets

PS: Thanks for all the entries!  Unfortunately, though, I can not use the internet every day, so I have to catch up on replying...

8.10.06 15:42


Time is flying already!!!

I just arrived here on Tuesday, and it actually feels like I have been here for just a day... or a year... The time is just flying past, and I sometimes feel like I have been here forever, but then again I feel like I have just arrived (which is true, of course!)

The flight here was ok. I'm not too fond of getting on a plane to go to places, but it's usually the easiest way. We (that's my parents and I) left Dresden VERY early in the morning. Very, very early!!! And you all know that I'm not a morning bird.  The check-in was ok, just like always. Then it took us forever to actually take off: they were looking for one passenger by the name of Miroslaw, but never found him. So we left about an hour late, but that was ok. I sat next to a very nice couple from the US (Kentucky), and we had a chat about what we wanted to go see, what we were going to do once we got to Dublin and things like that.

So when I eventually got here, I had practiced my English already a little bit. But I was NOT prepared AT ALL for the Irish accent! This is so hard to uynderstand!!! It started of with Wiebke going to get something to eat. Very funny adventure, because the lady at the shop and Wiebke had to use their hands and feet to communicate, although both were convinced they were speaking English. After that, I tried to find my way (or "me way" as they say here) towards the correct bus and then towards the city centre. There, I had to change the busses to go on to the very south of Dublin (the airport is in the very north), and when I asked where the bus was departing, the people from the bus service asked me in return, where I was going. When I told them, they said that there was no bus going there.  So a slightly tired, exhausted and confused Wiebke made her way to the Tourist infromation, and there the same thing happened. By then, our little Wiebke was really confused, but then decided to just take the bus that the contact teacher had adviced her on taking.

On the bus, I made my first Irish friend: a very cute red-haired baby with huge blue eyes. She was maybe just half a year old, but was flirting with all the people in the bus anyways. And she kept smiling at me, so I felt a little better. At my bus stop, I asked a man if he knew by any chance where the school was, and he pointed it out to me. "Just a 5 minute walk, love, around that wall there." So I started of on that "5 minute walk", which proofed to be way longer with a heavy suitcase... I finally arrived at the school, and was welcomed by my contact teacher, Sister Maria, one of the three nuns working at the school. She was very excited to see me, and took me to the staff room and started to introduce me to the other teachers there, especially the other German teacher, Lisa, who is only 25 years old. I spent about 3 hours at the school, before Sr. Maria took me to my accomodation, which is not even a 2 minutes walk from the school.

The lady I'm staying with is around 70 years old, and very nice. Her husband passed away just 8 weeks ago, so it's all not that easy for her. Her children and grandchildren come over pretty much every night to see if she's ok. I really like her, and we get along very well. Still I can't stay there, because it's just way to expensive!!! So right now, I'm looking for new accomodation, which prooves to be rather difficult. If anyone of you knows someone who has a place where I could stay at here in Dublin, preferably Dublin 12 or 6w (Greenhills, Kimmage...), then PLEASE let me know!!!

Wednesday was my first day into town, and I really enjoyed it. I got to see Trinity College, O'Connell Street, Halfpenny Bridge, Henry Street and the bus ride in and out of town. The city is really beautiful, and I really like it!!! You should all come and see it sometime!!!

Thursday and Friday, I spent at the school working already and getting to know the place. The students are really nice, and seem to be interested in learning German. My collegues are all really nice, well, the ones I've gotten to know so far. It's quite a big school with 78 permanent tachers and three language assistants (a French one, which is only arriving in Dublin today, a Spanish one and me).

Although it's a catholic school, it's not as catholic as I thought it would be. The nuns don't wear those uniforms, and the teachers all seem to be very young and outgoing. They made me feel really welcome and it sounded as if they were really looking forward to having the 3 of us here.

Last night, 20 of us from the school went on a literary pub crawl. It really was a oub crawl for most of my dear collegues... Luckily I wasn't forced to drink too much. Some of them won't really remember last night though, I guess... A literary pub crawl is actually just a walk through 4 pubs and Trinity college, led by 2 actors who give you an inside view on the Dublin literary places and act out a couple of small things that were written by Irish writers, such as Yeats, Beckett, Joyce. It's really good! In each pub, you have about "20 minutes of quality drinking time", as the 2 actors called it. And people were really making the most of it...

I hope I have given you a small insight on the past days here. It really is a lot of fun!

Come and visit some time!

PS: If you want to comment on this, you have to click "Gastebuch" and leave your name and e-mail address (the address will only be visible to me) and a message of course.

 your favourite teacher, Wiebke

30.9.06 16:31


just 2 more days to go...

Hello everybody!

Just 2 more days to go before I leave for Ireland! Dublin, here I come!!! Actually, I can't wait, even though there are soooo many things that are not sorted out just yet. I still don't know how this whole thing is going to work on Tuesday. Who knows, maybe someone will come and pick me up or give me some directions on where to go.  If not, then I'll just try to find my way to the school with the busses and taxis and whatever else.

So, as you can tell, I will update this regularly to let you know how I'm doing and what I have been up to. At some point, I will figure out how to upload some photos.

Take care,

Love,

Wiebke

23.9.06 14:55





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