Super Fun Fest 2010 (Day 30)

Schauinsland. It basically means “A Look at the Country” and is the name of the mountain on which we had Super Fun Fest 2010.

What it is, is you meet up at the Freiburg Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and get on a train going toward the Black Forest. After a couple stops you hop off and get on a bus that drives you up the mountain. You then get off the bus and haul yourself and your overnight gear the rest of the way up the mountain for 30-40 minutes before you arrive at some youth hostel. The purpose of the meet-up, as far as I can tell, is to be a lame-ass let’s-get-to-know-each-other orientation à la UMass, and an advising session for those students who don’t go to Freiburg, and don’t enjoy such a close relationship with the spectacularly useless Silke, who is based in Freiburg.

I had a LOT of problems with this. In no particular order:

  • I don’t really have any desire to get to know these people. I already know everyone from Freiburg, and I’m not going to see any of the others again, except maybe at an IPO meeting back in Massachusetts.
  • Most of them were &%#$ing annoying as hell! Conversations took on this verbal Twitter quality where everyone simply informed everyone else of every mundane thought they had. Essentially giant surveys where everyone spoke and no one listened or cared. Totally infuriating, and yet listening to it, you feel strangely compelled to participate. To throw your stupid ass thought out there, lest you be lost and forgotten forever, and cease to be a human being. Here’s an example:
    • Person 1: Oh my god, I slept so badly last night!
    • Person 2: I slept really well! I like the sleeping bags; they are cozy.
    • Person 3: The blankets are really scratchy, and I didn’t fit into my bag. I tossed and turned all night.
    • Person 4: I just wrapped the sleeping bag around my head. Problem solved.
    • Person 5: I kept waking up, but generally slept OK.
    • Person 6: I would have slept better if I had my kitty with me. I always cuddle up with my kitty at night.
    • Person 7: I like kitties, but I prefer dogs.
    • Person 8: I think dogs are silly! (etc., etc., etc.)
  • The food. Germans like to eat a very light supper. Americans like to be in a food coma before bed. I would not have had a problem with them catering to our American tastes, as there were like 30 of us, and no one else there. I was hungry.
  • It is absolutely pointless. The whole thing. You don’t need to meet or hang out with anyone, or watch movies. The meetings are about shit you’ve basically heard before in some form or another. If you need to give forms to Silke, you can simply drop them off at her office or mail them to her. If you go to Freiburg, you’ve already had your advising session. If you go to Mannheim, you’ve already been here for three months- hell of a time for an orientation. So, since this only appears to be useful to non-Freiburg students who need advising, why not simply go to their universities, instead of making them come all the way to Frieburg, and then to the Black Forest? It was a long trip for some.
  • Major conflict of interest. A fee for this stupid bullshit was included in our costs for the Germany program. The hostel is associated with the University of Freiburg, but guess who owns the damn thing. Silke and her husband! Thanks, but no thanks!
    Good Things:
  • I found out more about my scholarship. I actually have to do much less work than I originally imagined. No reason why I couldn’t have learned the same information in Massachusetts, but hey, it was still useful to know.
  • Got to know Emily a little bit better. Emily, you are hilarious.
  • “The Spoon Drawer.” This was the official name of the top-bunk shared by Catherine and I, after someone made a joke about spooning. Fellow spoons of all shapes and sizes were welcome. I imagine we were actually loud, annoying assholes the whole time, but…whatever.
  • Regine is not that beastly. She seems far more beastly during the application process, (probably because the process is really unpleasant), but she’s actually a very decent lady. She can be rather helpful, and has a detectable sense of humor. Compared to her Germany counterpart- Silke- Regine simply kicks ass.
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One Response to Super Fun Fest 2010 (Day 30)

  1. grace says:

    you havent been online in forever! where art thou!

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