I don't have anything particularly exciting to write about I just felt like writing so I'll make up a little something to keep things strung together.
I think I'll begin with a little frustration I've been facing with my school. They seem to have trouble knowing what to do with me and I seem to have trouble being the only one to force myself to do work in Dutch. Result? Not too much. I'm not saying I'd like to be forced to make every test and do every homework assignment, let's face it I'm done with high school and that has mental ramifications no matter how you slice things on this end. I would however like to change the opinions of my teachers and fellow students that think I can't speak a word of Dutch. I get asked multiple times a week if I "already speak a little Dutch" or if I understood, I get stuff translated for me when it's unnecessary but I don't really want to be rude to people that are simply offering a helping hand. I'm going to have to call the Dutch out on something this time (because I wouldn't wanna make a habit of it...ha): I'm sorry that not many people visit this country except for when they want to see tulips or smoke weed. Unfortunate? very. True? more than likely in many cases. The Dutch are used to people coming to their country for a very select number of reasons, learning to speak Dutch and about their way of life is typically not on that list. But jesus I'm here as an exchange student. I think that's really difficult for the Dutch to understand. "Why would anyone want to come to this country?" is the downtrodden question they usually pose when I first meet many people. My point is - I already speak a good amount of Dutch (I'm impressed with myself, ok I think I've written this but don't get the wrong impression, I'm far from cocky) and some of my good friends in school here still seem to not understand that! Translation isn't necessary - appreciated, but not necessary.
This paragraph is going to be a lot of random, disconnected thoughts smushed together - enjoy. It's finally getting sunny here (We've had three straight days of sun with limited rain!), and while it's still cold it's progress. The winter was so dreary and gray here I'm really excited for warm weather to come and be able to sit outside and enjoy. Also my family is coming in a tiny bit over 3 weeks and I honestly can't believe it. When this all started their trip here felt like forever away. Even in January I felt that their coming (and imminent going) would signal the beginning of my final chapters here in this country. I suppose that is still true but I feel terribly unfinished in this country. Do I leave at the end of May? or the middle of June? I'd say at this point anything will be too early, but that's the unfortunate side of time, it only works in drive, not reverse. I think I'm ok with that though, the idea of having a summer with Shaker kids is so amazing yet so foreign at the same time I can barely stand to think about it anymore! That's a lie, I think about it all the time. To my friends from home reading this entry, I want to say one thing. We may not always have had the best contact this year (6 hour time difference can do that to you) but I have thought of you guys so much this year and I hope freshmen year has been superb but get ready because I am down with summer 2010.
Should I tell you plans I have for the next couple weeks/months now? Den Haag Model UN, a gathering (slash shit show) with AFS in mid March, proefwerk week 3 (here we go again! This shouldn't be in my plans but whaterr), my family coming for a week (Amsterdam, Eindhoven, and whatever else we get to!), Antwerp with AFS in April, general spring in the Netherlands, Rome with school, May vacation (partial eurotrip with Gabe or Copenhagen with Moniek? I don't know yet), Brussels with French class, Ardennes for my host family's family reunion/trip of sorts (I hope I'll still be here for that). It's strange that I can see it now - but at the same time I can't...the end. By the end of May beginning of June I'll be peacing out. There's still way more to figure out though. How much will I have spend on train tickets by the end of the year? Will I ever find a wife again with the new SHOPers? Can I get them to believe I can speak their language? All stuff that needs answering, luckily there's still a good chunk of time!