Finally, final are done, Christmas has passed, and I am now free to travel and write till my hearts content.
Finals: Damn, they suck. Finals week is a time where un-humanly and un-healthy acts are performed. Chain drinking Red-Bulls, not going to bed, and reading a semesters worth of chapters in as little time as procrastination permits. This makes for an interesting combination of emotions; you go from thinking you’re f***d, to thinking you have a chance, and then to knowing you’re f***d.
German schools are set up so that there is no homework throughout the semester, and attendance is not mandatory by any means. This creates an atom bomb of procrastination and stress. It was a strange time in the Villa during finals; you certainly get to see other sides of a person when put under excess stress, an information overload, and the summits of caffeine followed by the troughs. There is a delusional state of mind created from the mixture of caffeine, lack of sleep, and too much information. Most of us wandered around the house in a zombie state insecure of the upcoming days of tests. I moseyed down to the TV room to find mountains of paper, empty coffee mugs, dull faces and weary eyes; without saying a word I sat and proceeded in my own quest of finals mode.
Not going to lie, Christmas wasn’t the same not being in Minnesota, and at times, depressing. However, it is amazing to witness how well friends support each other in times like these. I believe all of us are feeling a bit homesick at this point. We are close to going home and it is making us all slightly anxious. Since no one has family here we’ve had to relay on our friends to make this Christmas something special. Christmas Eve we had a gathering at some of the international’s flat to enjoy a Christmas dinner. A full table set up with a buffet of food from different cultures (I made BBQ’s). It was great to see how well we can all pull something together for dinner…simply just like at home, we all brought a dish and enjoyed.
We all sat and had a moment of silence and my Finnish friend Jukka read a bible passage that his family reads every Christmas Eve. This was incredibly special to me, to see people from every culture come together and share a meal with big hugs and open hearts. Friends from China, Finland, Mexico, all meet at the table to exchange stories and traditions. I can say that I did contribute, throwing in “come lord Jesus be our guest, let this food to us be blessed” (courtesy of the Dobberke family).
Christmas day was just as enjoyable. I planned out a Christmas day/night party with a smorgasbord of food. Let’s just say drinking at 11am and cooking all day is a GREAT idea. None of us knew how to make a green bean casserole, turkey, or the two chickens we bought but needless to say we succeeded and it was delicious, or at least from what we remember it was. Funny how I’ve never paid attention to how my parents cook but when put in the situation of now being the chief I somehow started to remember little tips and trades from Ma and Pa Cyr transforming into a buzzed Emeril shouting “BAM” every time salt or pepper was added. The day was a great time; everyone was consistently leaning on each other (not from drunkenness but rather a figure of speech signifying friendship) and just being happy. Without a doubt this will be the drunkest I’ll ever have been on a Christmas but I’m not holding myself to it. We created a huge mess and in the process grew much closer as friends.