After a long hiatus, the critically acclaimed (by my mother) blog continues! In this blockbuster sequel, there will be even more laughs and pratfalls as the American boy struggles to adjust to life in Europe and to teach bored students English. The critics are already raving about it:
"A fiery, feisty, roller-coaster ride. This is travel writing at its best"
"I read it for the articles"
-random guy on the street
"Where did you leave the remote control for the TV?"
But seriously, folks. As you probably already know if you are reading this, your humble narrator is once again in Deutschland teaching English. This time, however, I am in Weimar, located in the center of Germany, in former East Germany. Here it is on the map:
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Weimar is the cultural capital of Germany; it is where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, two giants of German literature, used to live and write. Here is a statue of the two of them, who were contemporaries and close friends:
Weimar was also the home of the Bauhaus architectural movement, probably the most influential architecture school of thought of modern times. After World War I, the new German constitution was signed here, because the unrest in Berlin made it too dangerous to do there. Thus, the democratic period of German history between World War I and Hitler's rise to power is called the Weimar Republic. Not bad for a little town of about 60,000 people!
A lot of dukes and royals and such lived in Weimar. A Russian princess lived here and built this cool looking Orthodox church:
On the flip side, one of the first and most infamous concentration camps was built very close by. Here are some pictures from Buchenwald. "Jedem das Seine" literally means "to each his own," but more colloquially, "everyone gets what he deserves." Horribly, Buchenwald was even used by the Soviets for their political prisoners for several years after the end of World War II.
One big difference is, this year I am teaching adults. My school is for adults (most range from 19-30 years old) who have already been to vocational schools and worked, but would like to earn their A-levels so they can study at university. Here is a picture of my school:
Having visited Weimar last spring, I made some friends here, and so I was able to find an apartment with three very nice roommates. Here is a picture of my room:
So that was a quick update on where I am and what I am doing. I have already had some vacation time, so very soon there will be a post about my trip to Italy.