I’ve definitely settled in much more this week with the class. We focus mainly on grammar, understanding how different parts of speech work–clauses (temporal, causal, concessive, etc.) and prepositions. We also typically have a worksheet We usually have several sentences per night, as well, to generate thoughts instead of just responding to them. About once or twice a week we also have to write a paragraph or two about a given subject–a favorite film or something.
It turns out that I am in the perfect class for what I need. From talking with others, the levels just above and below are focusing much more on speaking activities. These would be fine, and I’m sure, would improve my limited speaking ability. However, for my primary goal of understanding German texts and the flow of argument, this class is great, especially with its focus so far on dependent clauses. I’m up to about 500 new words though I think I’ve got at least 1/2 of them under my belt.
The special event this week in class was a question time for a student from Israel. (He started in our class but moved up b/c he was well above our level.) Ealier, he asked me why I studied ‘theology’ because there is no theology in Israel. I didn’t get a chance to tease out what he meant by that. We have both a secular jewish guy studing central European history (but with interests in Israel) and a secular? arabic guy studing philosophy (he’s american but with lots of family in Lebannon). They both get along really well you can see a definite difference of perspective with regard to Israel and the current problems in Gaza.
The only downpoint of the week with class was my concentration at points. This was hindered by a couple of things: sleep and class. With regard to sleep, it has been just a few degrees warmer than I would prefer at night. It doesn’t usually keep me from sleeping but I do wake up more often than I did last week. The other part is just getting used to being in class again. It’s been 4 years since I’ve regularly attended class for several hours at a time, and it is beginning to wear on me a little. But I noticed that this doesn’t bother me as much on the days where I got more sleep the night before.
The cultural program continues to be a strong point of the course. I’ll elaborate in my summary of week 2 activities.