The next phase...

Well, for those of you who have been following along, things are going a little better. A couple more emails passed between GE3 and myself, and they are working with me now. It was a total turn-around, and things are moving along now. I also had my meeting with Frau Doberenz on Friday. Here is the current situation in Mittweida...

When I first began taking courses here, the subject matter matched very closely with material I submitted on my GE3 Application. This was great. However, courses here were being taught on a higher level mathematically than I was comfortable at, and I was having language frustrations. After meeting with Dr. Thiel, we decided I would do better if I were in a 1st/3rd semester (Freshmen and Sophomores) environment this semester, and tried to move into a 4th/6th semester environment next semester.

Later, after I'd given thought to what was going on, I looked up what courses would be available in Mittweida next semester (2/4/6/8) and compared them to what Mittweida had returned on my GE3 application. Almost none of them fit. GE3 and Mittweida had matched me with almost entirely 3rd/5th semester courses. That contributed greatly to my impression that no courses were available next semester.

At the meeting with Frau Doberenz, we looked over the book of available courses for 4th semester, and they look promising. I am somewhat disappointed that they do not appear to match perfectly with my options at CWRU, I am hoping that they will at least be useful. I'm working on translating the list of course subject materials, to send to my CWRU advisor, so he can determine the extent of my degree they will contribute towards.

I asked GE3 to continue to look into other German speaking universities which offer courses in the Spring which might more closely match my original submission, and they said they'd see what they could do. Now that I have some idea of what Mittweida will be able to offer me for next semester, I have prioritized my options like this:

  • 1st: German University which offers me a majority of the courses on my original GE3 application (also listed below)
  • 2nd: Staying in Mittweida and finishing Spring semester here.
  • 3rd: Returning to CWRU and finishing Spring semester there.

English-speaking European universities fit in there somewhere, but I can't decide where. The crux of the current situation is that I need to send the list of Mittweida's 4th semester offerings to my CWRU Advisor quickly, and receive a return from him quickly with information on how well Mittweida's 4th semester fits into my CWRU education. So, that's my big "mission" now.

My number one priority would be to find a German university which offers courses I originally asked for in the Spring semester. Yes, Mittweida offered those courses in the Fall semester, but remaining in those courses did not appear to be the best choice available to me at that time.

Again, the 19 Dec. deadline looms. Without solid information from my CWRU Advisor, or a substantial alternative available at that time, it would appear to be in my best interests to return to CWRU for their Spring term.

Oh well.

I also went on a big adventure to Chemnitz this weekend, trying to find a Christmas present for my brother. He collects Star Wars stuff, in particular a card game based on the movies. It usually sells in America at bookstores, like Waldonbooks, and I heard they recently went international. I checked in a few places on the internet, and asked people if they knew of stores near me that might sell the game. Somebody suggested a store in Chemnitz.

I headed out there on Friday, trying to relax a little after my meeting with Doberenz. The store was remarkably easy to find - a big improvement over my last adventure in Chemnitz, trying to find the import office - but was... not exactly what I had in mind.

It was just around the corner from the train station, really, a few blocks up a side street (more like an alley) and in the front door. First thing that hits me as I walk in is a strong blast of incense, and a wierd, Satanic sounding chant from the back of the room. It sounded artificial, so I decided it must be on CD.

I looked around a little. On my left, was a bookcase with various books, all bound in dark black, leathery covers. The one on display was titled, "Das Necronomicon". That's a rather well-known Satanic text. I was in an occult bookstore. Yipe.

I ignored most of the rest of the books. Their titles were harder to read, and a lot of them had pentagram symbols drawn on the covers. The shelves in front of me had lots of bottles. Some looked like wine, others may have been incense... for all I know, they may have been "Eye of Newt" or "Goat's Blood". I was beginning to feel a little out of place.

The table to my right was laid out with a line of weapons and armor. That's right. Plate and chain mail, helmets, daggers, swords and crossbows, leather sheaths. I wondered if any of it was remotely authentic, but I didn't feel like asking...

A little further back, they had racks with different kinds of incense, and some less disturbing books. There was also a big, thick, antique table where a girl was sitting, doing some kind of work. She gave me some kind of greeting, which I returned. I said that a friend had told me I might find a Star Wars game here. She came over (wearing all black isn't so unusual here, but she pushed even the European standard) to the rack of less scary-looking books, and pointed to a sign. She said they didn't have it, but that they would order anything I wanted.

I decided that wasn't a good option. I wasn't all too comfortable hanging around here, and I certainly wasn't looking forward to a return trip. I looked around a little more, and left.

Very weird store. Not my cup of tea. Although, they also carried a bunch of herbal teas, too...

Anywho, that's all thats news... how are you doing?

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