Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
One of the things I like about being in school is that I'm always learning unexpected new things. One of the classes I'm taking this quarter is Survey of German Literature I, a class at UD that focuses on the 19th century. In this class one would expect to learn about authors such as Goethe, Schiller, and Heine and about literary movements such as Sturm und Drang, die Weimarer Klassik, die Romantik and das junge Deutschland. Or perhaps it would be better to say that coming to this class I wasn't surprised to learn about such things; I'd never heard of die Weimarer Klassik (though I had of course heard of Weimar) or das junge Deutschland or Heine before.

We're reading Heine's "Deutschland: ein Wintermärchen", and, as often happens because of my limited but growing German vocabulary, I came across a word I didn't know, "Lorbeerblättern" in Caput IX. Using my handy dandy PocketPC German<->English dictionary (SlovoEd), I found that "Lorbeerblatt" is "bay leaf."

Given the context in the poem, I was confused as to why anyone would wear bay leaves. Dr. Schellhammer was surprised that I wouldn't have heard of Greek athletes having worn wreathes of laurel. Well I had heard of that, of course. The reason she was surprised is that she hadn't realized that in English, unlike in German, there are different words for "bay leaf" and for "laurel," and had I looked up "Lorbeer" instead of "Lorbeerblatt" I would have realized that too.

Not all English speakers are as ignorant as I as to the source of bay leaves. The Encyclopedia of Spices, though naturally it focuses on bay leaf as a spice, tells of the history of laurel. Can you name the Greek god associated with laurel? (Hint: think god of poets or god of the sun.)
Thursday, September 30th, 2004
I'm taking GER361 at UD (read how and why here) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it's been fun for many reasons, one of which is that today we got to have class outdoors. Dr. Schellhammer made us promise not to tell anyone. One of my classmates took a picture of this rare event, so I decided to take one too. No one reads my blog, so posting it here doesn't really count as telling anyone.
Monday, August 16th, 2004
Today was college bureaucracy day, although it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

It actually started in June when I met with my German advisor before leaving for Germany to make sure the classes I was going to take in L?neburg would be applicable towards my German degree and to outline what I should take over the next year. Because Wright State's German program is small, only a handful of German classes are offered each quarter, not enough for me to graduate in June 2005. Dr. Hye suggested that this fall I take another German lit class at another college, explaining that I could pay Wright State tuition for it, through what he called "the consortium," which is actually, I learned today, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education.

Since I met with him just a couple days before I was to leave for L?neburg I didn't try to take care of things then but instead put it off until today. It's just as well that I hadn't tried to get it done beforehand because I actually wouldn't have had time.

First, I had to jump through hoops at Wright State. To register for a course at another college, one must, of course, complete a special form, and to get the form I was sent to the registrar's office (although while writing this entry I discovered that the stupid form is available online). This form must be signed by one's advisor. Dr. Hye had told me that if he weren't in his office, the Modern Languages department secretary could sign it, but today when I trekked back to Millett Hall I found a student worker covering for her. Luckily the department chair, Dr. Garrison, was there, and I was able to corner him briefly in transit to get his signature.

Back at the registrar's office (in the Student Union on the other side of campus from Millett), I realized that taking a 3.0-semester hour class at UD when added to my 16 quarter hours would put me over the 20 hour limit (3 semester hours = 4.5 quarter hours), requiring me to take a different form back to Millett to get permission from the College of Liberal Arts for the extra .5 quarter hour. UD's semester starts 2 weeks before WSU's quarter and ends 4 weeks after so the way I figure it, 1.75 of those 4.5 hours for the UD class are outside of my WSU class load anyway, but that doesn't matter. I trekked back to Millett, only to be told by the COLA secretary to leave my form so one of their advisors can look up my academic record and determine if I can handle the extra load; I can pick up the form tomorrow. After I explained that I'm not on campus every day (imagine that!), she said the advisors were both busy, but I could wait if I liked, which I did. However I lucked out again, catching one of them on her way to lunch but convincing her to sign the form without the background check.

Back to the registrar's office, and finally after almost 2 hours, I was done with Wright State paperwork. But can Wright State's registrar communicate with UD's registrar to register me for the class I want to take? No. I have to take a copy of my signed form to UD's registrar's office to register. I decided to go home to eat lunch to get some more strength to handle the next round of bureaucracy.

Refreshed, I drove to UD where, probably for the last time, parking is a breeze as I'm a visitor and thus entitled to park in a visitor space. The registrar's office is even close, in Albert Emmanuel Hall, and there's not even a line in the office. The friendly woman there explains that since I'm not in her system, I have to go to another office to get entered, but that office is just one door over. The woman there says I am in the system after all, amazingly since I last took a class at UD in 1985, and she toggles whatever flag is required to make me eligible for registration. Back next door, and I'm registered. Easy enough.

Of course, I'm going to need a parking pass, and the friendly woman in registration tells me where Parking Services is (on the other side of campus, but UD's got a smaller campus than WSU). Do I need a UD ID? No, not unless I want to use UD's library. I took a walk through the pretty campus enjoying the unseasonably cool weather and see the sign along the side of the Parking Services building stating, "Absolutely everyone must apply online for parking permits." I went in anyway and said that I saw their sign but need to know how to apply online. The friendly woman there explained that to apply online I would need to know my LDAP/Novell username and password and directed me to the help desk in Miriam Hall where I could get a sheet explaining how to set that up.

Luckily I was clever enough to realize that to deal with a help desk I'd need a student ID, and so I was able to stop at the Power Building on the way to Miriam Hall to get one. I got lost in the bowels of Miriam Hall but finally found room 53, and there the student worker at first thought I wanted a sheet explaining how to set up Novell (as in a Novell network, which, in my prior life, I've actually done). Once he realized I just wanted to set up my Novell account, he tried to look me up in the system, but my information hadn't migrated yet there from the registrar. I would have to come back in a few days.

Defeated in my quest for a parking pass, I went to the bookstore to get my books, and I was defeated there too. Tons of books for the other German classes but none for GER361. I guess that leaves some bureaucratic fun for later.
 
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