I am totally emotionally drained this week, because I am dealing with some potential plagiarism issues and it's just really a nasty experience all around. On top of this, everyone needs me in different places for different meetings, and I just discovered that about 1/3 of my Grade 7 class do not know the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (As in, given simple, one-step situations, they randomly choose one operation to apply.)
So, I am in need of some silver lining, and that comes from the German class I've started last week (which also sucks up 6 hours a week in class, plus two extra commute hours a week, plus homework that I do in the mornings on the way to work). I really love this class, and the teacher keeps it moving, which is really nice.
I think my feel for grammar is improving within the structured lessons of the class. My vocabulary is also slowly expanding, because our teacher gives us "pop quizzes" from older lessons, which motivates me to keep careful track of new words and to review them on my own time. Her first quiz was hard! Even though I had been reviewing all the new words, I was only able to muster up about half of the answers on the sheet, and that was a lot better than most other students. (The words I managed to translate from English: Remember = erinnern, challenge = Herausforderung, success = Erfolg, and foreign language = Fremdsprache. She didn't have a word box or anything, so you had to just generate the word from scratch, and previously she didn't give us a list to study -- they were just words she randomly picked up from readings from the Ch. 1 of the textbook. So, it was not trivial.) Anyway, silver lining! Here's my introductory piece about my family, which the teacher will collect and correct for me. (We are reviewing grammatical structures for objects, which they call accusatives and datives in German. For everyone else, anyway, it's a review, but for me all the grammar things are new. It's initially a bit confusing, I think more so than direct and indirect objects in French/Spanish. But I hope that it will get better once I grow accustomed to seeing and applying the rules in class.)
Ich habe eine kleine Familie. Meine Schwester lebt in California und
meinen Eltern leben in China. Meinen Eltern haben nicht seit drei Jahre
gearbeitet. Ich lebe in Berlin mit meinem Freund, wer ist auch aus dem
USA. Wir uns heiraten nächste Jahr. Sonst habe ich noch zwei Onkel, zwei
Tanten, und drei Cousins in dem USA. Meine Oma noch lebt und sie wohnt
mit meinem Onkel. Sie ist 83 Jahre alt und ihr Gesund ist nicht so toll,
weil sie nicht gern aus geht. Meine Schwester arbeitet als Chemiker und
sie lebt alleine. Sie ist älter als mir aber kleiner und sie sieht
jünger. Meine Schwester heißt Flora, und sie liebt Hunden.