Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Back to School

My last proper school day was at Librarian school, in the summer of 1988. Therefore, I was slightly worried about how I was going to cope with an entire week - Monday to Saturday - of lessons from 8.30 to 5.00; so many hours of just sitting there, listening to a teacher, making notes and answering questions every now and then.

But I needn't have worried: it was all different this time. Back then (not at Librarian school, but before that), I didn't particularly like school. I was often bored; I didn't like some of the teachers, and I was not exactly popular in my class. This time, I was very motivated to get the theoretical background for my practical work, and of course at 46, I feel different towards teachers and lessons in general than when I was 16.


It was a great week! There was a lot I already knew, and the lessons served to plant those things deeper in my mind (we'll find out how deep after the exam in June). Lessons were given in manageable portions with enough breaks in between. The other participants (11 of us) were nice enough, as were our professors, and it was good being away from home with all its destractions so that I could really focus on learning and revising.
The hotel were most of us were was just across the road.

 
Ulm isn't that far away from where I live, only about 1 1/2 hours on the train, but it is always "one jacket colder" there, as the saying here goes. It snowed twice during the week, but the snow didn't stay. There was plenty of sun, too, which made for nice long walks after class to get my head ready for some revising before watching telly or reading until bedtime.

We had the opportunity of a guided tour in the town center, which was very, very interesting, but unfortunately very, very cold (in spite of wearing a padded winter coat, scarf and an extra pair of hand-knitted woolly socks).

On our last evening there, I took my camera and went for the longest walk of the week, nearly two hours (which isn't long if you are used to do a lot of walking, but the sun was setting then and I needed to get back to my room for some more revising - and some food!). 



When I arrived back home on Saturday evening, I found that my birthday parcel from England had arrived, my Dad had put bunches of yellow tulips and daffodils in the living room for me, and spring was in full swing outside my kitchen window:


21 comments:

  1. Hello Meike:

    We are delighted to learn that your week's course was not only successful but enjoyable too with, additionally, time for you to explore the town and its surroundings. We are surprised to learn that it was so cold; here we have been experiencing the loveliest of spring days.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      same here - but it is always colder in that area than where I live, although it is not that far away. Maybe it has to do with the rivers; the Danube is the largest one going through Ulm, but there are at least two others.

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  2. Congratulations on the successful week, and it looks like a beautiful time to come home!

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    1. Coming home after I've been away for a while is always great, but even more so when it is warmer and nicer here than there :-)

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  3. Sounds like you had a good week. I went to University when I was in my 40's and it was so different than when I was in school. Like you I was frequently bored, anxious to graduate so I could get on with my life and had no real interest in learning. Going back as an adult was so much better.

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    1. Exactly! This time around, I was there because I wanted to - not because I had to.

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  4. I felt sure you would enjoy being a student again. I began my university career in 1963 and graduated in 1996! I felt like the longest running student on earth, though probably not.....The four years when I finished my degree I loved! It was so much fun - well, my degree was studio art, though I still had some more academic courses to finish. Your walk led you to some wonderful places, spring in the wildwood and a cat who walks alone, and what a great return home to flowers and birthday presents!

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    1. Wow, that is indeed a long-running course :-)
      I very much enjoyed walking every evening after class, but the last walk was the longest and best. The woods were beautiful with anemonae on the ground and the first tender green on the trees. The cat I met further on was very friendly and came up for a stroke.

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  5. Hello Meike, looks like you had a good week! Isn't learning fun when you're older!

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    1. It is, Mary! I am already looking forward to this week Friday, when I'll have time to revise.

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  6. ULM HIGH SCHOOL, ULM, GERMANY
    SCHOOL REPORT - Miss Arian (Class of 14)
    During her week in Ulm, Miss Arian worked diligently, comfortably achieving her learning goals. However, she was rather shy, often giggling nervously and sometimes drawing intricate doodles on her notepad. The hotel across the road reported that they found two empty vodka bottles and a broken wine bottle in her room. Rather than mixing with the other students she preferred to go on solitary walks in the nearby woods where it is rumoured she had a secret liaison with an engineer from Dusseldorf called Hans. I wish her well in her future studies.
    SIGNED
    Herr ADALBRECHT MULLER
    Head of School

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    1. Well, at least she achieved her learning goals!
      Giggling nervously and being rather shy is the exact opposite of me :-D
      As for Hans - I hope he had a big fluffy warm blanket with him.

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  7. Glad you enjoyed the week! I did think that you would probably feel a lot more comfortable with "going back to school" than you imagined beforehand ;)

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    1. You were right there, Monica :-)

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  8. In my senior year of my undergraduate degree, I was like you, in that I could hardly wait till school was over. But when I went back for my master's, I loved almost all my courses because I knew how they would fit into my teaching. Then later, I took many summer courses which were strictly what I wanted, those were the best! I still love learning, which thankfully, many bloggers like yourself, help me to do just that.
    Your hotel room was quite lovely in its simplicity. And I liked the way the sunlight hits the tree in the last woods photo. I hop you feel rejuvenated after a week being elsewhere.

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    1. OOPS! I meant 'hope' not hop!

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    2. Yes, I know what you mean!

      The late afternoon sun in the woods had an almost magic quality. There were very few people about; the occasional runner or cyclist and I came across someone walking their dog once or twice, but other than that, I was alone with the birds in the trees.

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  9. I think your hotel room looked so nice, the gray color making it restful but cheerful with those bits of orange (or red?) I love the way the tree was on the wall, with the leaves blowing off, even going over to the next wall.
    Glad that all went well for you on your course! And I love the view from your window...and the photo of the white flowers pushing up through the earth in the woods, that's lovely. Happy Spring!

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    1. Happy Spring to you, too, dear Kay!
      I liked the mural in the hotel room, too. The deep orange was balanced off with the grey, so I guess even if it had not been sunny every morning, the room would have a cheerful atmosphere without being "over the top".

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  10. Hi Meike, I'm glad you enjoyed your course. And the scenery was beautiful too! I went back to school in my 40's and I enjoyed it so much more, I guess when you're older you appreciate it more! :-)
    And how sweet to have flowers waiting for you when you got home.

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    1. Yes, that was such a lovely surprise, to find the flowers there and the parcel from England.

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