It's been about two weeks since I've updated everyone with life here in little 'ol Rimbach, so here's what I've been up to, with some added commentary.
Two weeks ago ended up being a great week! Classes went more or less smoothly, and I continue to play basketball twice a week. Furthermore, on Thursday, I went out to Winzerfest in Bensheim with several other teachers, which is basically a festival in the middle of town where they only have wine to drink. We all drank a bunch of wine and hung out and it was really fun! I also made tentative plans with another teacher, Timo, to possibly visit Sweden and Norway this coming summer, so we will see whether or not that works out.
On Friday I played more basketball and I was offered a job coaching in town! That sounds like a great and fun opportunity, and a nice way to earn a little more money! Furthermore, after basketball one of the players told me he was driving back near Rimbach, so he offered me a ride. He even bought me dinner at McDonalds on the way back, and we spent around an hour talking and driving back, all in German of course. He dropped me off near Rimach, where my bike was, and I rode it through the center of town, when I thought I heard "LUKE!". After investigating, it turns out a friend of mine was taking a short break from work and had seen me. I'm finally getting to the point where I see people I know almost every time I go out in town! Victory! I got a few beers with him in a pub and met some more of his friends. One of them spoke very good English, and after learning that I don't have a car, offered to give me his scooter! So we will see if that happens. I could be living the dream soon, scootering around Europe! I spent Saturday evening going to a colleague's birthday party. Throughout the weekend, I was struck by the generosity I have so far encountered in my travels. Everyone seems more than willing to help me out when I have questions, they are generous with their money and buy me drinks all the time, and they give me rides back from basketball! Such encounters really make me reflect on how amazing people can be.
I didn't have much to do this last week, as one of my classes involved working on a presentation all week, and the other consisted of an exam. That does mean, however, that I now have a pile of exams to grade. Woo! One of my students showed me how to watch the NFL online though, and it's great to spend a Sunday evening procrastinating and watching football! Just like in college. My conversation class is going really well, and the kids really enjoy participating. After class this week, several of the kids had 45 min till their next class and they were sitting outside talking so they asked me to join them. We spent the next 45 min just chatting in English, but it felt great to be building better relationships with my students.
I also began coaching basketball this week, for kids ages 14-16. I don't completely know what I am doing, but Romy kindly lent me a basketball book and it's helping me learn more about my favorite sport! The kids are great, and they asked me to coach them in English since they said that that is the language basketball was meant to be played in. Meanwhile, I've been called for traveling many times in basketball which is frustrating and partly due to a difference in European vs American rules, but I am working on it, and this Friday I played some of the best basketball I have played in a long time, though I partially dislocated my shoulder for like the 9th time just because I moved it too fast, so it looks like I'll be dealing with weak shoulders until bionic joints become more readily available.
A couple more thoughts that I've had the last two weeks are as follows. I have noticed consistently that Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week, and it is also the day that I work the most. It's really interesting how I often feel very lazy, but that hard work really puts me in a good mood. I think I need a job where I am very engaged and work hard all day, but don't have to take my work home with me. Who knows though, my career is still up in the air. I am also really glad that I took positive psychology last year. Sometimes it gets boring and lonely here and I start to get down, but it's incredibly important to live in the moment and see how many things I have that I can be grateful for. Every time I start to think about how I am living alone in Germany, learning more about myself than I could have imagined, it's impossible to stay down for long. Even when I'm lonely, this experience is something that I need to spend every moment soaking up. Lastly, I have often been struck by how many people I have met who really remind me of someone back home, in the way that they look. It makes me think of dopplegangers, and given the near 7 billion people in this world, the odds really don't seem too extreme that somewhere in this world there is someone who looks almost exactly like most people we know. Of course, upon encountering this person, most of us would likely deny it to be true. Anyways, just a thought.