Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our (Absent) Thanksgiving

It has been a really busy fall season. Between school, basketball, and family, there hasn't been much else going on. It has been one big juggling act. I am actually typing this post on the bus heading to Münster, so if the post abruptly ends, you will know the exact point where I throw up coffee in a sweet old German lady's lap.

I have had basketball 5-6 nights a week for the past few weeks and am really in need of a break. Both my body and Dana are at the 'this schedule needs to end' point. We will get a long break over Christmas when we head back to America for the holidays. The schedule, once we get past January, should not be so hectic.

I am currently taking two classes, Econometrics and Experiments for the Phd program. While the experiments class is no major cause for stress, the econometrics class is a bear. Both of these classes are taught in English, though the Econometrics class might as well be in Greek. Oh wait, it is. If attrition is any indicator on how a class is going, we started the class with 25-30 students, and now are down to 10 as of the last class. It doesn't help that the class starts on Friday morning at 8:30 am in Münster. Unfortunately, I have basketball practice every Thursday night until 10 pm. That means, I don't get home until 10:30 pm and I usually don't get to sleep until 12-1am. My classmates must think I have a major drinking/and/or smoking problem when they see my puffy, red eyes every Friday morning.

The class that I am teaching, a Master's level Behavioral Finance class, is done with the class material and will be having the final exam in the middle of December. Here in Germany, it is typical to only have one comprehensive exam at the end of the semester that counts for 100% of the grade. The 60-70 exams will be waiting for me to be graded when we come back from America after the New Year.

Thanksgiving came and went in a blur. I taught the final Behavioral Finance class on Thanksgiving morning and had an away basketball game on Thursday night. We weren't able to have Thanksgiving dinner or watch any football. Fail.

The good news about not celebrating Thanksgiving in Europe is that Europeans get to jump into full Christmas mode earlier. In America, you usually wait to bring the Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. Or, in my parents case, on December 22 at the last minute. Here, we brought out our Weinnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) and our very few Christmas decorations the weekend before Thanksgiving. Christmas markets started here around November 20th, and as you can see from Dana's previous post, it's impossible not to get into the Christmas mood when you have to walk through a Christmas market every day to get to the bus stop. Dana even has 4 different Christmas cookie batches under her belt. We both know that Christmas=break=sleep, which is probably why we are in the Christmas spirit so soon.

There are more things I would like to write about, like how I missed 4 free throws in two games or Dana's 6 month review of her role as Residential CFO of Foltice, Inc, but we will have to wait for the next bus ride.

Here is Dylan reading Frosty the Snowman.  This "audio book" is narrated by his Oma and Papa, so every time Dylan opens it up he thinks he is talking to grandparents. 

Our Christmas tree.

Here is Dylan "helping" Dana in the kitchen.  By "help" I mean "eat cookie dough and lick the beaters."

Borken's Christmas Market over Thanksgiving weekend.

Dylan got to ride the lion on the carousel.  No other seat would do - it absolutely HAD to be the lion.  He actually waited a round or two until the lion was available.

He got to ride the lion once a day for the duration of the Christmas Market.  He was really sad when we walked through town the Monday after the market was over and the lion was gone.

More Borken Christmas Market...

This is one happy little boy ... last time on the lion until next year.


Rea said...

I've been reading your blog since last year and I'm really digging it!
One question that came up in my mind: Why does Dylan say 'Oma and Papa' instead of 'Oma and Opa'?

Enjoy the holiday season!

Dana said...

Hi Rea! So glad you enjoy the blog! We tried to teach Dylan to say "Opa" but it just came out "Papa" when he repeated it back to us. I guess Papa was an easier sound for him to make and the name stuck. I think eventually he might switch to calling him Opa, but for now it's Papa.

Have a great Christmas and New Years!

Rea said...

Hey Dana,
thanks for responding so fast.

Greetings from Borken. Yes, that's right - I am from Borken, too ;)