Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relief

The German professor was much, much more lenient with me than I could have ever expected.

We sat down and had a conversation in German about what I study and what I'm going to do in Germany. He started off with easy stuff (asking me my name and such) and then gradually worked toward more complicated conversation, repeating or explaining himself whenever I didn't quite know what he meant. And I didn't do perfectly, sometimes garbling my sentence structure or forgetting words, but I managed to answer his questions.

And then, when he got to the form, where he had to evaluate me on a scale of "a" (fluent) to "e" (extreme difficulty understanding anything), I was inwardly praying "Please don't give me any 'e's. I'd be happy with 'd'." And he gave me "c" on both understanding and speaking (that means I can handle more than just basic sentences!) and then when he got to the writing and reading part he said, "You took the reading course? Well that means you'd have an easier time with reading than with speaking. And do you find that it's easier to write than to speak?" I confirmed that I had an easier time writing, because then I had a chance to stop and think of case endings and word choice. And so he gave me "b" on both of those. Which is huge. He just told them I'm a step below fluency, on both writing and reading (which are the important ones, when you're researching). I don't think I deserve it, but that's going to be really helpful for my application.

(And then he recommended that they pay for me to get a couple months of a German course once I'm in Berlin! He said that it won't hinder my application any, and would make my transition to Germany easier. That would be very helpful.)

That means I just might have a solid application to send. I'm going to start breathing again.

12 comments:

C said...

high fives!! huzzah! see?! i knew it would be fine! aren't uvic profs great?

Anastasia said...

"The German professor was much, much more lenient with me than I could have ever expected."

Can we rephrase this so it says "I'm much, much better at German than I give myself credit for being, and the German professor saw that"? Kthxbai.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Okay okay. I'll allow that maybe I don't give myself enough credit for my abilities. Although I'm not sure that I deserve to be considered "nearly fluent" with either my reading or my writing. (A, you are good for me!)

roger said...

You are totally super-smart. That is why you're my go-to girl for all things tea and Russian history (though I admit I'm somewhat intimidated by the 1K pages I'll be reading on it).

Queen of West Procrastination said...

You don't need to read both those books! Just the People's Tragedy.

And I'm going to put that on my CV: "Roger's go-to girl for all things tea and Russian history."

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Yipee!!!!! You've been working on this a long time -- and I suspect that, as a result, you're better than you think.

roger said...

No joke:

Product Details
Paperback: 1024 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (March 1, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 014024364X
ISBN-13: 978-0140243642
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds

I don't mind. This will fulfill my lifetime requirement of Russian revolution information.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ha! I forgot that it was that long. I do remember it being pretty big, come to think of it. Of course, I don't think I read the whole thing: I just read the introduction, skimmed the parts that didn't concern me so much, and then read a few chapters in detail.

roger said...

Really? Well, I'm just going to read the TOC. Beat that!

LynnieC said...

Something else that will help you transition to living in Berlin: detailed directions from me on where to get the best donairs, lasagna and ice cream in the city. Luckily, lasagna and ice cream are both in Potsdamer Platz. Donairs are all the way at Ahrensfelde, but worth it. SO worth it.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Wait a minute: is this best ice cream place better than the place near Alexanderplatz? Because I still dream about that stuff.

Oh, Germans and your desserts.

LynnieC said...

Yeah, maybe I should have said "biggest" not "best". Seriously, it was a disgusting amount of ice cream. But AWESOME.