School Daze

Annie and I both had a big day today; I started German class while Annie tried out her daycare.

Dad took Annie to her new Kindergruppe. She is in a class of about 12, but there were only 8 children there today. This daycare has an easing-in period, so they only stayed 1 hour. Annie, of course, dove right in and enjoyed playing with the children and the toys. Tomorrow Markus is going to request that he leave for a bit, as Annie does better when we are not around and doesn’t seem to miss us. (I’m going to say that this is a positive thing.)

My German class was great. The teacher is enthusiastic and keeps things moving while ensuring we repeat the words and concepts often. For the first couple of hours his exercises all involved learning the 16 student’s names, which will certainly help us to get to know each other and feel like a class. I am the only native English speaker, but a few students speak a bit of English so I was able to chat with them at the break. I picked up a few of theĀ  students’ stories already, and hope to hear more…it is so interesting to discover what leads people to move to a country where they don’t speak the language. So far:

– A mom who is in Tirol for the year while her 16-year old son attends a tennis school in Seefeld (about 30 minutes outside of Innsbruck)

– A veterinarian who is spending 3 years in Austria as part of his training (not sure why exactly yet)

– A young woman staying with her sister for a few months

Most of the students seem to be from Croatia, Slovenia, or Turkey. There is a real mix of ages, but everyone seems very keen to learn. Having reinforcements from multiple sources (newspapers, signs, conversations) is certainly going to help me to pick up the language. I imagine that by the time I’ve done the third or fourth 3-week course I’ll be able to chat a bit with the locals (as long as I pick up some of the Tyrolian dialect.) Very exciting!

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