Saturday, April 3, 2010

She's back!!!!

Just add a creepy poltergeist tone to that when reading lol. So I know I have been mia for a few weeks and I apologize for that. So I thought I would just start with an update before jumping back into the swing of things.

As many of you know last week was my week of exams. No I did not go back to elementary school, but it did sure at times feel like it. As many expats already know and for those of you who don't- people who immigrate to Germany are required to take part in a 945 hour integration course. That is 900 hours language instruction and 45 hours history, culture, and government. You are not only required to complete the course but also to pass a few hearty exams.

I wrote previously about the orienterungs test which was the 45 hours of history and politics. I have not yet gotten my score back yet, but the teacher was pretty confident that the majority of us passed.

As for the language component I had to complete a German language b1 exam.

What that mean is a b1 level of german comprehension, this is described under the common european framework of reference for languages as:

Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Sure sounds easy, but I guarantee you it is not. So this test was spread over two days. Friday composed of writing, reading, listening, and grammar. And then Saturday was speaking. 

For the first part of the test I feel it went pretty well. I understood everything in the listening component. The grammar section was not too bad. And reading I am aware of a few mistakes, but overall I am content. Then writing I had to write a letter to the lost and found regarding losing my purse on the bus. From these 3 sections (writing and grammar are combined) only 1 has to be level b1.

Now for the speaking section of the test it has to be b1, or you do not get the certificate. So even if you are 100% in all three previous areas, but mess up a little in speaking, well you are sol. When you do not pass it means 300 hours and 300 euro more. Then another test. 

I am happy with my speaking performance. I did the best I could do and now all I can do is wait for the results. This test had three sections first introducing yourself, then describing a picture and discussing the theme, and last a dialogue. Our pictures related to health and the dialogue was we had to plan to help a friend move. 

The results generally come back with in 4 weeks. After that point you will "eventually" get a certificate. Not that last group has been waiting over 6 months. But you also get 50% of your course fees back. 

So that was my exciting week of exams. 

This last week has been pretty low key. Monday a group of us went out to dinner with our teacher at a greek restaurant. And then on tuesday we had our next ladies meet up at my Indian friends house. Oh how I love indian food. I will be adding pics from those in the upcoming days. 

It was a short week since friday- monday are holidays here. Yeah for four day weekends. 

Thursday was hubbys 28th birthday. We had a nice dinner- chicken and potatoes. And rented a great comedy called old dogs. Highly recommend it. You cannot go wrong with Travolta and Williams. 

Friday was the biggest religious holiday in Germany. We ate fish, homemade potatoes, and a veggie melody. As meat is strictly prohibited, dun dun dun. :)

Today we have gotten some things done in the house. We made a trip down to the recycling center. Yes we finally found it after one year of living here. Fail. But we got rid of three bags of plastics, and a bunch of boxes from furniture and appliances. I am so happy to see those things gone. And I am sure the landlady will too. 

So now we are just waiting for the government trash to come and hall away the old furniture and then we will bring in new living room furniture and get the living room all set up. I am super excited.  I can't wait to get it all finished and start inviting people over. 

On a side note, I really scored this month at lidl I found a bread machine, a blender and food processor and a kitchen scale all for under 85 euro together. I will add pics later.

And on that note, hubby has a new addiction, smoothies, and he wants one now ha. 

So I am off. Expect some new photo blogs in the upcoming days :)

Hope you all have a happy Easter!

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