Do you still get that back-to-school, starting a new year feeling? It’s been eight years since I finished my Master’s, the last time I was taking classes and worried about new semesters, and yet, I still get excited about resetting in September and starting again.

Which glitter notebook do I use?!

Which glitter notebook do I use?!

This fall will bring a few changes in our household, as both The Mechanic and I are going back to school! Well, sort of. We are both taking German classes. The Mechanic is taking beginner classes through Arlington County Parks & Rec, and I will be taking an intermediate level class at the Graduate School USA, located in Washington, DC. Both of our classes will be on Wednesday nights, starting in mid-September. His classes will be 2 hours long, while mine are 3, and I think there are more weeks in my class. But I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully helping The Mechanic with his homework will help reinforce some of the basics I learned a long, long time ago. I know there is some grammar I was fuzzy on even when I was somewhat fluent, so I need to focus on that. It will be fun to practice with each other.  This is the beginning of our “move to Germany/Europe someday” plan.

Four shelves of German books and I need a language refresher!

Four shelves of German books and I need a language refresher!

The other education item on my September list is to get the certified through The Center for Green Schools as a “Green Classroom Professional.” The Center for Green Schools is a part of the U. S. Green Building Council, founded in 2010, with a mission of turning all schools into green schools through what they define as three pillars – environmental impact, human health, and eco-literacy.  I’m interested in the certificate because I want to learn details, and because I am curious as to whether or not transportation is even included in the environmental impact category. Well, any of them, really. I’m pretty sure that LEED standards for buildings are more detailed or rigorous, but it isn’t a huge time commitment or cost, so why not? If nothing else, I can suggest ways to better incorporate green transportation.

New Buildings in Arlington must be Silver Level LEED, but that doesn't mean I can't learn what they consider a "green school"

New Buildings in Arlington must be Silver Level LEED, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn what they consider a “green school”

This means that I won’t be publishing blog posts on Thursdays for a while, because I won’t be home to write them Wednesday nights. So I think I will shake things up a bit and publish on Tuesdays and Fridays. <gasp> I know, I know – a rift in the universe. But not to worry – even though I’ve added one more free time activity to my life, I will still be blogging, sewing and biking.

Speaking of sewing, the other new thing I’ll be trying this fall is to only make my clothes. Eek. I’m not sure how this is going to go, actually, between not having enough time to sew and moments of weakness where I *need* some instant gratification. Instant, sewing is not. But this is the first season I’ve honestly felt as if I don’t need new clothes. (Boots are another story.) I haven’t gotten enough wear out of what I’ve made or purchased this spring and summer, and I don’t want to buy anything. Once it gets really cold, I’ll need to invest in new sweaters, because I’m not about to try making those on top of everything else, but I want to see how much of my own wardrobe I can create. Wish me luck! Sewing TableDo you feel like the year resets in September as well? Do you set any “resolutions” for the new school year, whether or not you are in school?

 

5 thoughts on “New Year September Resolutions

  1. Interesting ..what is inspiring to live in Germany eventually? It is a lovely, clean country, scenic..but culturally after awhile I would feel slightly stifled.

    I’m so intrigued because my partner immigrated from Germany as a little boy in 1950’s. Yes, he’s been back visiting at least 10 times over the decades, combo of travel and relatives. He was given a choice in his early 20’s, to inherit an uncle’s bakery in Germany. No, he stayed in Canada where his life took a totally different course.

    He finds German culture still….abit stoic, stiff and ….still some hard attitudes concerning migrants. It angered him to hear their attitudes about Turks who live and work for many years…

    I will be honest….: I wouldn’t want to be living in Germany unless I really became fluent in German. After being with my dearie for past 24 yrs…I know less than 10 German words. Yes, he still knows some German but satirized German language because of its propensity to compound words to create a new word for a new concept. He prefers the evocative suggestion of French language.

    It’s the Germans who live for several years overseas, are more flexible in their attitudes….at least in my personal interactions. A few years ago, I did work for several years in Vancouver. with a global German engineering firm with a lot of foreign expat German engineers and other staff. The firm favoured hiring Germans instead of more CAnadians. I was more the exception, as a Canadian employee who ran a dept.

    • I guess you could say it’s been a goal of men for the last 33 years. I took my first German class when I was 10, after listening to my grandmother and great-aunt speaking it. I took German classes (and French) throughout high school, then as much as possible as an undergrad. When I was doing my Masters in German history, I also took about a dozen German classes (but sadly I couldn’t get a Bachelor’s in German at the same time as a Masters in History). I’ve been to Germany several times to visit family and friends. The longest I’ve ever stayed there was three months, while I was in grad school, and I was just beginning to click with the language when I left. I know that being there for a few years would make me so much more fluent. The Mechanic and I are pretty well traveled but neither of us have lived in another country, and plan on making that happen eventually. Of course, we’d be happy many places in Europe or the UK, but I really want to spend more time in Germany. I think any long-term experience immersed in another culture will be such a wonderful learning opportunity, with good and bad experiences. We know it won’t be easy, but that’s where growth comes from.

      • I agree real growth comes from living in a totally different culture and language for several years. And not hang out with just the ex-pats there.

        I’ve never lived anywhere else except Canada and probably never will. Sounds narrow and perhaps it is. But I’ve had the traumatic/dramatic experience of learning English in kindergarten so I know what a non-English language speaking immigrant feels like: dislocation and feeling marginalization.

  2. I totally feel like the year resets in September too even though I’m not in school anymore! I love it when the shadows lengthen and it feels like there are lots of new possibilities! Good luck with your German! I live in Germany and I learnt German from scratch! It’s so much fun learning a new language!

    • Yay for new possibilities! How long did it take you to feel comfortable with the language? I’m at the stage where I can hear the mistakes as the roll off my tongue and it makes me mad, haha! It was so great to be there for a while (when I was in grad school in 2006) and just listen to how sentences were constructed and pronunciation and stuff. That’s part of the reason why I really want to go back for a long period of time, to let it sink in.

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