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playing with more germs

Written on: Saturday September 8th, 2007

A journal entry from: Fall for Germany

I'll backtrack a few days before I get to today's exciting news. 



The play (i think i posted something right before the play as well).  Hated it.  Schiller's Don Karlos is not the easiest play in the world.  It can be a bit confusing even if you are fluent in the language.  My Gasteltern (guest parents) were a bit miffed that I had to attempt to read the play and go watch it my very first week here (as was I).  Herr Whisnant would have liked for us to have 2.5 weeks to read the play and then go see it, but we didn't have that time.  So.  We went to Köln (Cologne) and watched a modern interpretation of it.  The set was a bit sparce and futuristic: metallic panels which stagehands/actors moved around and an emphasis on lights.  Brief scene changes were accompanied by techno music.  The actors didn't really interact with each other.  I think this was an attempt to visually convey Schiller's theme of friendship and it's development (at the time written, friendship as a social idea was being developed.  A few characters go from the formal using the formal "Sie" to the informal "du" in the play).  In the first act, 90% of the dialogue was presented as monologues given side by side with a panel between them and panels flat across the stage.  Keep in mind, this was all in fast German and none of us had that great of understanding of the basic plot because we never finished reading the play.  There were few hand or body movements and each one was deliberate.  Read: STATIC.  I think it's an effective technique in smaller doses, but an entire act of it in a language I don't have that great of a handle on?  Absolutely boring.  The second act had a bit more interaction in that dialogues were presented with all the characters on stage (as a chorus) and the two main characters CS and side by side with a more open staging (the panels actually formed a 'set' instead of a wall), but still little movement.  It was slightly more interesting, but still weird and boring.  Their costumes had strong red and black motif and extra high hightops (Chucks for the boys, boot like things for the girls).  Everyone had this painted white stripe right above/in their eyebrows.  One of other students thought it might be because there was historically some inbreeding and stuff in the characters... I don't know.  Oh yeah, instead of the 15-18 characters, there were 6.  I was confused most of the time.  Easily one of my least liked plays.  And that includes they disaster that was Antigone at the Oregon State Competition my junior year.  Even if we couldn't hear them (in the 3rd row!), at least we could see the plot developing and occasionally understand what was happening.  (By the way, that does not accurately represent Oregon theatre.  They trading hosting the Competition for presented a play in it- which was only half ready for presention).


One class, meet the deputy mayor, and a brief historical tour of the area around the AIB.  Then Punctsmarkt (I can't spell that), which is the largest 6 day festival in Germany.  Yes, octoberfest is bigger, but that one is 2 weeks.  Basically a huge fair with big rides, lots of vendors selling anything from t-shirts and vegetable peelers to dried fruit and mushrooms to curryworst. And oh yeah, a biergarten with traditional music.  Since I'm not the biggest fan of large groups or bier, I think most of the event was lost on me.  I loved people watching out in the fair, but at the table reserved for all of the AIB students (Loyola-Marymount and Furman) I didn't really know that many people, didn't enjoy my small bier (most people had 1L, I only had .4L) and ended up leaving early. 


The day isn't half over and already adventure!  I've had a cold basically since I got here.  A cough, stuffed sinuses, general ickyness.  I took some meds and started to get better.  This morning I woke up with red dots all over me.  Told the Gasteltern (guest parents) and they took me to the hospital.  Jacqui, I'm so glad it it was a much better experience than you had, despite it being a Saturday.  Hospitals/doctors are usually closed on the weekend, but they had a little emergancy doctor on call and I got in to see him within 30 minutes.  My Gastmutter was worried it was something that translates as either German measels or rubella (yes, I realize I had shots for when I was young).  The doctor didn't quite know what it was either.  It looks like either allergies or scarlet fever or some other children's disease.  They itch, which is like allergies, but the dots are everwhere except around my mouth, which is characteristic of scarlet fever.  However, I don't have a fever, my lymph nodes aren't swollen (though they were last week...) and they itch.  They gave me something for the itching and if that takes care of it, then it's allergies.  If I get a fever, I go back and they give me antibiotics.  We can't figure out what I might be allergic to though.  I was tested for allergies at home and I had none; the detergent Baerbel uses is allergen or something free because of Anna; I haven't eaten anything unusual lately.  I'm sick (though getting a bit better, now I'm just stuffy) and a bit miserable from that and now I have mysterious red dots all over me. So please pray for me.  Yay for Deutschland. 

This week's events:

Sunday (I may or may not go because of sickness): the Gregorian chants at a Catholic mass

Thursday: House of German History

Friday: visit the Beethoven house (he was born in Bonn) and Beethoven concert. 

Saturday-Monday: Long weekend.  I don't know what I'm doing yet. 


From Jess on Sep 10th, 2007

hey! i hope you got my email last week. if not, i'm not going to be in copenhagen this weekend (of all weekends) from thursday until saturday. but other than that, any other weekend should be cool. or sunday/monday. talk to you soon! jess

From Jacqui on Sep 11th, 2007

Wow, I'm glad that your hospital experience was so much better than mine! What did you think of the Haus der Geschichte? It was one of my favorite museums. Bonn is totally in love with Beethoven, and the concert and tour of his house were cool enough, but I was a little bored. What did you think? Anyway, I felt special that you mentioned me in your post, so I thought I should comment. I hope your adventures improve!