It marked the final step of Michael’s seven month long journey in German class. Okay, sure, he missed a month when we were in the States over Christmas … and a week when the elevator was broken. But other than that we were pretty much there every Monday through Friday from 9am – 12:15pm. Test day is a big deal. It’s an official language level test that will get you a certificate for the level that you test out of. The goal is B1. On the European Framework, and the scale of fluency, that’s about a beginning intermediate language speaker. If you pass, in a culture where official paperwork is everything, your B1 certificate is your key to the German world.
On test day, nobody was allowed into the office until it was exactly their time to take the test. Originally they were all waiting outside in the beautiful, sunny weather, then came in for test time, except that the previous testers were delayed, so everyone (except us) waited in the stairwell. Kris took the photo. Thanks, Kris! He loved taking pictures of the group.
Michael and I were already inside waiting for his test to begin. Because he required assistance filling out the answer sheet and flipping pages, he was tested separately while I waited outside of the room. Results are estimated to come back in 4-6 weeks, but no more than that. There was a lot of testing being done all over Germany, so it will probably be mid-July before the results come in.
And this is the most patient and beautiful teacher one could hope for! She was a Venezuelan immigrant from many years ago, and we love speaking Spanish with her.
One day, Michael and I found out it was her birthday, and I knew we had to celebrate her. It was early before the class, but I told the other students who were there that it was her birthday. Then I went out to pick up some supplies. On the way, I met some other students walking to class and told them too. They bought her roses! Awww…
I thought I was just going to be buying some fruit and a slice of cake from the bakery. But then I found these things and decided it wouldn’t be too hard to whip up a couple cakes for the whole class …
So I hung out in the kitchenette of the office and threw together a couple easy cakes. Should you ever need to do this in the future, you can take this as inspiration for your own creation:
2 pre-baked cake bases, approx. 10 inches
1 x 250g jar of strawberry jam — could be any flavor, really
2 x 250g packages of cream cheese
2 vanilla pudding cups — or other flavor
1. Spread half of the jam on top of each cake base.
2. In a bowl, soften the cream cheese with the back of a spoon. Mix in pudding until uniform in consistency.
3. Dollop half of the cream cheese/pudding mixture onto each cake and spread gently to the edges.
4. Top with cut or whole berries.
And that’s it! To be spontaneous, you just need flexibility and creativity. Other options ran through my head as well:
- Trifle: Cut or crumble pound cake or even soft muffins. Layer in a dish or cups with sweetened yogurt or pudding and fruit.
- Pudding Pie: Buy a pre-made crust. Buy pudding cups. Spread pudding in crust. Serve with whipped cream in a can.
- Pudding Trifle: Layer crumbled graham crackers with pudding and whipped cream.
- Any other combination of a cake-like substance, fruit, and something creamy — keys to an on-the-spot dessert that can be served in minutes and also look beautiful.
Credit to Mirtsa for the video! When we decided to sing and present her with the cake at break, a couple other students decided to go out and buy balloons and candles. Such a great idea. It was a very nice celebration of a woman that we grew very fond of.
All in all, I love our German school, Anglokom Germany. It has been a source of so much joy since we started attending. Our teachers and front desk intern are genuine, enjoy their work, and put so much effort into what they do. It shows every day. And besides that, they are teaching integration courses full of foreigners like us. That takes a lot of patience. And it’s amazing that their work has a direct impact on people’s lives, enabling them to live fully in society by giving them the tools of language. I’m so happy that I get to continue taking bi-weekly courses and that we can continue seeing our favorite teachers.
New Routines for the Work from Home
The last class day was a week and a half ago on a Friday. Come Monday, there was no more morning class, and we felt completely disjointed by the abrupt change in routine. It’s taking some time to settle into a new rhythm, but I think we both really appreciate the freedom of not being pressured to get out the door by a certain time. And I enjoy having time to make the beds in the morning too, rather than later in the afternoon. It’s the little things.
One thing we’ve kept is a regular bedtime and wake-up time for Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday are “free days” for staying up late and sleeping in if we want. This kind of routine feeds my soul. It helps me be more in the groove of keeping the rest of my day rolling and getting things done, which can be a little tricky with so much unscheduled time at home.
My new mantra is: Don’t be lazy! I have always been a procrastinator. And that tendency just gets fed by having plenty of time to get things done in. But that often just results in putting things off and taking forever to do something. So now I remember my goals and my mantra and — like Nike says — just do it. I’ve always found that little phrase to be motivating.
Get things done
Live with integrity
Take care of our home and family as a priority
With love from Germany,