dogs and children. children and dogs.

They somehow very much are the same. I many times have gained many weirda looks from people when acclaiming this insight but I keep deeply being convinced by both my work experiences:  the ones wth “difficult kids” and the ones wth  “difficult dogs”.

du petit prince

It seems to be the time the people come back to where they have grown up for a visit, or a longer while.

An early bird just whispered to me another friend from youngster days arrives in town tomorrow.  Somehow I do not manage to keep in touch over the distance after she migrated to France five or four [?] years ago. Allthough since our last meeting last year, when I came to see her son the second time, I even have her email adress.

Little Lucien the first time I saw him was a baby. Last fall then I joined them to a local Kindertheater production about a rainbow fish’ s adventures who masters all kinds of odds and scary encounters in order to get a healing plant for his fish friend’s gastro enteritis who had eaten too much yammie plants.

That was a one of a kind fun with the singer and her son. ☺

the art of writing..

.. certainly is not made up by the capability to produce text, but by one to eliminate text.

..and now it almost is 2009.

I have been out of joint at uni for two semesters to find a basis to continue my studies and–as one of the last mohicaines in Germany these days– write up my M.A. without B.A that is. I will pay my extra longterm student fee for the first time the upcoming semester and for personal reasons it is ok. I have taken my time. Theres more important issues about university fees than me having to pay one semester or two. For ten yrs of education. Hey.. *winks

I never heard anyone complain about one certain paragraph that is included in our university fee reform papers [edit, if its me, pls let me know]. It targets mature students above a certain age, like 50+ or so (I shall actually research taht passage and quote), who in any case must pay 500 Euros extra for each semester they take. Even if its their first take on higher education. Thats a discrimination. But that group obviously had no lobby. [To those not familiar wth the recent historical developments of the constitutional Free Access on Education Germany calls its own, this is about laws changing. And about Germany loosing something I have been proud of–at least of the idea, even if practice hasnt shown some concepts work out in one regard. The trick is to ask why did things not work out. And it rly rly rly makes me sad to face we are on the way to give up something important, step by step–allthough I wholeheartedly give those 700 bucks that upcoming semester will cost me. Now that I can count on that I will be able to pay that fee once or twice.]

ah well.. *heh

I have had so many jobs the past two yrs I shouldnt even mention it and some I wont. A surgery in April this year brought me a completely new titanium spinal disc in my neck which giveth me reason to claim I objectively am cyborg now. :p

whats up

The generous private student founding I received has run out in February which means I am working again. It’s things I cannot really talk about in this public that are rumbling on my mind so I shy away from blogging. Job thingies, y’a know? I had run a well paid job self-responsibly for eight yrs before I decided to drop it in 2006 in order to move towards my M.A.  I’ve done good progress the last two semesters but still am not finally done, so currently living is a bit difficult–a little more difficult even than blogging seems to be. I must learn to be an employee.

Worked in a magazine store at the airport in March. That was quite interesting, because I entered something I was unfamiliar with before: the Einzelhandelsbranche. The store was one of these franchise shops which are perfectly organized in theory–a microverse in the metaspace of HDS Retail. Interesting (and important) for me (as a future Kulturwissenschaftler) too was the variety of journals I could face there which was a total of 2000 international and national titles. A flood of print media. And I was the man in the machine–selling, getting out the notsold and getting in new issues again. Something exciting was to hold a New Yorker in my hands, for from online I had imagined it to look different. Same procedure every time.     

The past eight weeks I worked for a European Union founded local educational project that is called job4u. Here I was given the opportunity to experience a Großraumbüro the first time.  Since it was a limited contract running out this week I’m on job run again.

Additionally since March 6th I am working for the Günter Grass Foundation Bremen as a Freier Mitarbeiter assisting them to build up their digital media archive that is supposed to be put online in September. [And no, unfortunately that is not going to be open accessible.] 

The semester is running, too.  Being a little limited in my capacities I decided to concentrate on known land for recovery and went back to one institution I come from who is Doris Kaufmann. This class is a true highlight and touches some of the themes that appear on my blogscreen the way it deserves a separate post. 

So more later.

        

2007

So. I’ve found an affordable living-, learning-, and writing-friendly appartment for Owl and myself. I’ve finished the first draft of my first ethnography. I’ve passed midterm exam. The past two semesters I’ve already attended all seminars necessary to enter term paper writing in my main subject Kulturwissenschaft and one of two for history. I’ve finally socialized enough with the institution to make my Projektschein. I’ve learned a lot. 2007 will be a good year.

So

I’ve passed midterm exam. I’m a Hauptstudiumsstudent now which is and is not comparable to being a grad student.  This level is ought to take one year. Time to find a supervisor.

fadenscheinig

Fadenscheinig is a beautiful german adjective. Its immediate meaning translates to threadbare.  When used figuratively it describes something that is specious–something pretending to hide its real essence that leaks through.  E.g. we speak of a fadenscheinig argument, a fadenscheinig person or a fadenscheinig subterfuge.  A few days ago I had an encounter with a fadenscheinig bureau.  

Almost twelwe months ago I quit my wellpaid job to bring my studies to an end and went to uni fulltime. This was made possible by a generous one year private funding I received that is running out this month. I ve done good effort this year. Theres only three seminars left I have to attend next semester, the rest is a good lot of reading and writing at home.

So I’m on jobsearch again on the open market and for urgency reasons I don’t exclusively look for “qualified work” which is.. an experience. Things have changed in the past nine years. The local announcement magazine I bought first [A-Z] by the time is not job source no 1  anymore, but the internet is, that is. Fortunately I do have access at home again so I can check several online sources every morning for updates.

The other surprise was, two regional circulars [Bremer Anzeiger and Weser Report] every household receives automatically for free, which I formerly regarded as unwelcome offline spam multiplying my Altpapier, now include a large job announcement section as I explored by coincidence. The Weser Report even cooperates with the local Agency for Work in their sunday print [‘Agentur für Arbeit’ a few yrs ago has replaced the ‘Arbeitsamt’ in the official language] . 

Last week I’ve been to an obscure interview. The announcement I had answered to called for “leichte Analysetätigkeit”, easy-to-do analysis in a financial advice office.  No, I would not need any specialized knowledge, I was told on the phone so I made an appointment.

The bureau was newly taken in use the man on the phone had said. A long corridor, chairs in front of one of the long walls, some people obviously there for interview too, and doors to the right and doors to the left. The young man who welcomed me immediately struck me for his overdressed but nonfitting black suit and the waxed hair–can’t tell. The next curiosity was the spoiled wardrobe where I left my jacket. Obviously the bureau had been taken over with used furniture which had not been refurbished before moving in. The walls too showed extensive signs of use and had seen fresh wall paint years ago. Some carpet flatstones the floor was covered with bent their edges up and the air was interspersed with mugginess.

I was given a questionary to fill out and a shrink-wrapped information sheet that told me the interview would be divided in three parts. The first section would give me general information about the company, the second would exemplify the first and in the third part I then could ask my questions.  (I managed to do the first obediently but interrupted my interviewer to ask questions on the concrete job in question in the second.)  Each part of the “interview” was conducted by different persons and took place in different rooms.   I met three men, all dressed in black suits. A bureau full of black suits. And the persons in these black suits and with their waxed hair, with each single gesture pretenting to be wealthy, chic and successfull in a very weird way did well fit into the shabby backdrop by specific details.  The very contradiction was the contrast between that office and the high gloss booklet I was given in the end.   

The first introduction was approx. 3 minutes long and told me the company’s name, how many banks, assurancy services, public fonds and-I-cant-remember “there are”  and ended with “we have 9000 possibilities! 9000 possibilities!” The second exemplified the first one by presenting how someone with so-and-so-much investment could ensure their old-age pension (based on a building-loan-contract and a certain subvention from the state). The third then told me what I was applying for which would have been conducting interviews with clients going through a questionary and then feeding the data into a computer.  

After an hour I was done and after they asked me to call again a few hours later I went home, highly irritated. Except of my scepticism the payment was well and taking up data for further analysis through experts did sound well in the end.  However I was undecided.  Back home I fired up the computer and typed in the company’s name: wikipedia entry, wikipedia explanation of company type  and statements of former associates.   I quickly understood the function of the interviews which was data-mining that I would be supposed to conduct and quit the application process.   So this anecdote clearly is dedicated to the concept of the Information Age.

What excites me more though is the experience of having learned to read the signs.