Wednesday, August 31, 2011

das Blog Awareness Day

Did you know you can follow das Blog?! It's true. 
<------Just look right there! Those are all the really awesome people who already follow my blog.
Did you know that by following das Blog you can keep up with all my really important and really entertaining posts?
You wouldn't have to miss a single one just because you missed the link on Facebook or Twitter!
I can tell you're really excited now!

Did you know that you don't have to be a member of Blogger to follow das Blog?!
all you have to do is have an account with gmail, twitter, yahoo, aim, netlog, or openid.*

Did you know that following das Blog has been proven to lead to higher test scores, enhance your enjoyment of life, increase procrastination skills and give you super powers
(don't believe me? follow me to find out!)

Did you know that it is SUPER easy to follow das Blog? Just go the left side bar at the top where it says "all the cool kids are following das Blog" and underneath click the button that says "join this site"

Did you know I'll love you forever if you follow das Blog?

Happy das Blog Awareness Day!

*Don't worry if you don't already have an account at gmail, twitter, yahoo, aim, netlog or openid, it's really easy to set up....
and totally worth it to be able to say that you're one of the cool kids that follows das Blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: rolled r's and tongue twisters

I might have mentioned a few times on das Blog how much I enjoy the German language. Well get ready for a whole post about it.

One more thing I love that hasn't yet been mentioned in The Zeltlager Series, is the way German just combines any and every word it sees sitting around. It really is all about the compound words in this language.
For example, this was an animal created during one of the games in the Zeltlager, and even though it's a made up word, it's a completely legitimate use of compounding words in the German language. Where as in English we might call this merely the "green dot snake hunter" in German it's the "Greendotsnakehunter." This is also how we get real life words like my job title. In English: Foreign [fremd] - Language [sprachen] - Assistent [assistentin]. in German: Fremdsprachenassistentin. Way cooler. 
Right, so what does all this have to do with the Zeltlager? Along with the trip being a fun getaway in the middle of my break, it was also pretty much an intensive German course. For 5 days I didn't didn't speak any English (ok, except for a few words when we were discussing differences, or a couple tongue twisters). For the week, I got to wake up speaking German, spend the day speaking German, and go to bed speaking German. It even got to the point when I was alone and talking to myself (I definitely get that from my mom) that I would speak in German. And I loved it. It was pretty much what I imagined every year abroad would be like. Even within a mere 5 days I could tell how much I had learned, or how much more easily the right words came to my head.
And everyone was jumping on the "Emily, please speak better German" bandwagon. If I pronounced a word insanely wrong, I had to stop, listen to everyone else say it, then say it a million times till it got better or I just gave up.  One afternoon, we practiced saying the word "sorry" so many times it didn't even sound like a word anymore (fun fact: Sorry is basically an international word, it's just all in the pronunciation). I taught everyone how to swallow their r's and make it sound American, and they taught me how to bring the German r back to the front of my mouth. 
One major problem we ran into was my complete inability to roll r's. Bet you didn't know that Germans roll their r's did you! Well, I guess it depends a lot on the region and dialect, but it's true. While in the US it's pretty normal that some people can roll their r's and some people can't (it's not like we ever actually use it in the English language), in Germany (or in Franken) everyone really seemed to be in disbelief that I just completely lacked the capacity to create this sound. One night while playing Prost, Oberbürgermeister! a rule was made that instead of #6 you had to roll your r's. I counterattacked with saying the word "the" at #5.
On the last night around the campfire, we spent some time trading tongue twisters. I taught them "Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers" and "She sells sea shells by the sea shore" and my favorite "how much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood." And they taught me "Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut und Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid" (which I really struggle with), "Fischer Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt fischer Fritz" (which basically all sounds like the same word when I say it), and "Zehn zahme Ziegen ziehen zehn zentner Zucker zum Züricher Zoo" (which I'm actually pretty good at!).
So I'll leave you with that. Please practice before we meet again.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: Prost Oberbürgermeister [and other games]

You've heard a lot about the Zeltlager at this point. But if you're any good at math, you may have noticed that the time spent singing songs, baking bread in the campfire, and one night of initiation can't really fill up an entire week. So what did we do with the other 17 hours of the day that we weren't singing, baking or sleeping? 

The answer is simple: we played games. After breakfast we played card games. After lunch we played big group games. After dinner we played drinking games certain games you would only legally be allowed to play after the age of 21 in the US.

The morning games were really a come and go as you please sort of deal. You just had to find other people who wanted to play with you. For the first couple days we basically only played Tick, so I was pretty proud to pass that on so successfully! We also played some old favorites like Phase 10, Uno and Yahtzee (called "Kniffel" in German). 
of course, if we ever got tired of playing card games, we just played with the actual cards themselves...
The afternoon games could really be described as organized activities for the whole group. One day we did a sort of marathon of games including trying to untie a human knot and balloon soccer. Another time we split into about 5 groups and had to go on a little hike stopping at different stations along the way to complete various tasks. One of these stations was to name and stamp as many different body parts as you could that started with the letters N, S, B and A. As you can imagine I was at a slight disadvantage. However, I had learned a new word literally the day before, so I was super excited to contribute Speiseröhre (it means esophagus). I wore my S stamp proudly for the rest of the day. On the last afternoon we split into 4 different groups: one for singing, one for dancing, one for fashion, and one for acting. Each group had the afternoon to create a song, dance, fashion show and play respectively. I was in the dance group. We decided to do a ribbon dance to the Circle of Life. And since I'm, well, me, I had the part of the person who danced like an idiot in the middle of everyone else. Representin' America, what can I say
The night games, although mostly spontaneous, were probably some of the most fun. The first night we played a simple German game that involved a level of colloquial German that I'm just not at yet. But suffice it to say, I learned a lot of vocab you definitely don't get in school. The next time we happened to start up some night games, I got the chance to teach them an American game. It was one I've actually only played once before, but I have been dying to play again ever since. In English it's called "Cheers, Governor!" (in a British accent, so really more of a "Cheeyas, Govnah!"). I translated it roughly* to "Prost, Oberbürgermeister!" (I know that Oberbürgermeister isn't the exact translation, but it's by far the most fun German political position to say). 

The game is very simple: you count around in your group up to 21. The first rule is that 7 and 14 are switched (6, 14, 8, 9... 13, 7, 15, 16, etc.). When you reach 21 instead of saying the number everyone raises their glass, says "Cheers, Governor!" and drinks. The person who was then #21 gets to make up a new rule for a number. Sometimes it's just to say something in place of a number ("Frauen - komma - sind anders - punkt" instead of 9), sometimes it's a direction change, sometimes it's a category (instead of saying 13, you have to name a cocktail), or sometimes you had to do something (at number 4 you have to run around the bench). Each time you reach 21 you add a new rule, but every time there is a mistake, you start back over at 1. Simple, elegant, and so much fun. It was such a hit, we even played this past weekend at a party. 
And that was the much longer-winded than I originally intended explanation of how we enjoyed the majority of our time at the Zeltlager

*I later learned that another meaning of the word "Governor" in British English is the barkeep, 
more likely the correct meaning in this game. Oops.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: Stockbrot

A few nights around the Lagerfeuer, we got to enjoy the occasional campfire treat. One night they had chocolate bananas (wrap it in tinfoil and stick it in the fire for a few minutes, delightful!), on the last night we we had Glühwein (a sort of Christmas in July August treat since it's a typical Christmas season drink). But my favorite of these probably had to be the Stockbrot
Again, another example of why I love the German language so much. It is almost comically literal. Stock = stick, brot = bread. Thus, Stockbrot is bread on a stick that you cook in the campfire. 
Stockbrot was quite delicious, but that wasn't really the reason I loved it so much. It really had to do with the fact that it was so quintessentially German. Ask any American who has been to Germany for an extended time, heck, ask any German that has left the country for an extended time: they have some pretty damn good bread here. Seriously, they are all about the bread. None of that mass-produced, wonderbread stuff most of us grew up making our lunch sandwiches with. No, we're talking about fresh, hot off the shelf, straight from the bakery German bread. It is no coincidence that bakeries seem to be the only places open 7 days a week in Germany. So, naturally, I thought it was wildly appropriate that the typical cook-in-the-campfire treat here is bread. 
And yes, I made my own stockbrot as well.
I think you can tell a lot about a country by what kind of food it cooks in its campfires. In America, every kid sits around campfire roasting marshmallows and sticking them between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate. There is nothing like the roasted sugar with more sugar between two sugary crackers goodness that is S'mores to an American kid. In Germany they wrap some dough around a stick and cook bread in the campfire. I'll let you draw your own conclusions... 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: Ode to the Wespen

oh Wespen
That means wasps in English
well actually it's yellow jackets 
in American English,
but I digress.

oh Wespen,
I hate you.
How you were the only bad part of the Zeltlager,
and you annoy me,
and sting people.

oh Wespen,
I just wanted to put some Nutella on my bread,
and drink some Apfelschorle,
and enjoy my kaiserschmarrn.
but no,
you always attacked.

oh Wespen,
I've seriously never seen so many of you in one place
it was kind of gross
and a little frightening
and I hear buzzing all the time
even when you're not there.

oh Wespen,
you would drown in our drinks 
and land in our hair
and follow us when we ran
the most fun I had with you 
was watching the boys beat you with a hammer.

oh Wespen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: am Lagerfeuer

Lagerfeuer is one of those words I love because it is a compound word where both parts translate exactly to the same parts of the compound word in English. Lager = camp and Feuer = fire. And thus we had our campfire.
Aside from being a very likable word, the Lagerfeuer was pretty much the place to be every day after sundown. At our particular campsite the campfire was in a covered area with stacked benches built in around it, which made it particularly nice the first couple nights when it rained.
Early in the night there was usually a game or two for the entire group. After that most people sat and chatted or played games in smaller groups. 

If anyone fell asleep around the campfire they would get drawn on. But the rule was that they could only be drawn on by members of the same section. I got to partake in this ritual hazing on the second night when one of the younger horn players fell asleep pretty early in the night. 

At midnight every night we sang songs (I mean, it is a music club). It always started with the same three: the song for Franken, the song for Bavaria, and then the German national anthem. There were words and music for the first two, but the national anthem they said "you all know it from memory"... so I just hummed along after the only three words I knew ("einigkeit und recht und freiheit"). At least I knew the melody. And, unfortunately for everyone else that was present, on the first night 
they had me sing the Star Spangled Banner. Alone. I mean, it was pretty bad (probably on par with the usual sorostitute that sings at the Basketball games), but at least I didn't forget the words! Thankfully, I only had to do it that once (I'm sure they decided they didn't want to have to suffer through it again). After the standard songs, we would sometimes sing for a little while longer, either well-known German songs or old pop songs (Hey Jude came up a few times). 

More often, however, we sang my favorite kind of songs. For lack of better word, I will call them the prost songs (prost means cheers). I don't know whether to love it because it's such a German thing to always cheers while drinking, or to love it because it's such a music nerd thing to have songs for it. Musicians are the same all over the 
world, for the record. 

So I will leave you now to reflect on the Lagerfeuer with a Zeltlager recording of "Ein Prost mit harmonischem Klangen" ("A cheers with harmony")

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I'd like to wish a happy first anniversary to das Blog

It honestly almost passed by without notice (hence this post coming a day late). 

It's a weird feeling, hitting the one year mark. On one hand, it feels like yesterday that I was standing out on the curb of Hartsfield Jackson with my mom trying to hold on to the last box of mac and cheese and still stay under the baggage weight limit. But on the other hand, it feels like that was a lifetime ago. 

Although the year was not without stress from time to time (and then some), I can't help but feel really proud of myself for being able to write this post right now. 

Ever since coming home from Zürich, all I've wanted to was to get back to Europe and stay. Fulbright was a great opportunity, a pay check, and definitely a resume booster. But first, and foremost, it was a foot in the door. And now I can say I did it, I managed what I set out to do, I'm staying in Germany.

Sure, for now it's only one more year, it's not exactly the be all, end all opportunity. But who knows what it will lead to, how long I'll stay in Germany, or even how long I'll want to stay.

The fact is, I'm here now, and I'm staying. One year later and I've found myself exactly where I hoped I would be and I couldn't be anymore excited! 

So here's to you, das Blog, and a second year that will hopefully be as good as the first!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: Taufen

Every year, the people on their first Zeltlager have to take part in a little event known as Taufen. Taufe literally means baptism in English, and is basically the initiation for new Zeltlager participants. 

Once I knew I'd be able to join for the Zeltlager, people started feeding me horror stories about the Taufe. Most of them had to do with having to eat some horrible combination of food. Even after I realized that most the other people taking part in the taufe were under 12 years old, I still couldn't help my imagination getting the best of me (think American frat/sorority hazing, except all in German). 

So on the first night, all the first years marched down to meet early before the Taufe and find what fate awaited us. 

In the end, it turned out to be pretty tame. We all got giant sheets of paper that we had to decorate with, who I'll refer to as(sticking with the theme of American frats/sororities) our big brothers/sisters. We decided to decorate mine with German/American stereotypes, which resulted in the following hamburger and flag for America, and bratwurst, Lederhosen/Dirndl, and beer for Germany.

After we all decorated our sheets (which were worn as shirts), we went up in groups of 4 or so the campfire where the rest of the campers sat waiting for us. In each group we had to introduce ourselves (name, age, instrument) and answer a different question each. Mine was something like what was the closest city to where I was born - nothing bad, really! 

Finally, we each got a piece of paper with an animal on it. We had to act out the animal while our bigs drew what they thought we were on our backs (on the paper, of course). So we only had to make fools of ourselves for about 2 minutes (which, if you know me, isn't really anything new). 

After surviving the Taufe, I was then ready for the next 4 days of camping as a full-fledged Zeltlager participant! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Zeltlager Series: An overview

Last week was one of the most fun weeks I've had since moving to Forchheim. As you may recall, it was just over a week ago that I packed up and headed out on my first real camping trip, if not ever, than definitely in at least 15 years.  And since this seemingly quick 5 day adventure has spawned at least a week's worth of posts (Seriously, Imade a list), I thought it would be good to prepare you, my faithful readers, with a little overview of just what happened and what you might be able to expect in the coming posts. 
We left on Saturday for the Musikverein's annual camping trip (in German: Zeltlager). Until the following Thursday we (about 60 or so members, I think) stayed on a camp site in a small town called Fornbach, which was described as having more cows than people (how often have I used that exact description for Watkinsville?). 

With the exception of having a main house offering a few of the usual amenities of civilization (a full kitchen, showers, toilets, etc), it was a legit camping, as far as I'm concerned. We slept in tents, no computers, no telephones (except in choice spots with occasional reception), no electricity (I mean, for the most part), a campfire every night, and lots of annoying tiny animals. But more on all that later. 

We woke up every morning at 8:30 for breakfast and sometimes didn't get to bed till after 4am (needless to say, I slept for over 12 hours the night we got back). 

We spent our days outside playing games...
laying on blankets in the sun...

going on small hikes... 
and making up ribbon dances.
You know, just the usual camping stuff. 
Like I said at the beginning, this post is just an overview. So it will really be the following posts in The Zeltlager Series that will hopefully give you a little more detail and better idea of just what made this one of my favorite weeks in Germany. 

Try to contain your excitement! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Summer According to Beer Festivals: Annafest

If you remember, I opened the summer season back in June with the Berg festival in Erlangen. But the real highlight of the summer beer festivals for me was just a few weeks ago right here in Forchheim. 

The first time I heard about Annafest was probably over a year ago when I found I was would be moving to this city I had never heard of before. And just like any rational, uniformed person, I read the wikipedia article on Forchheimn - including a small bit on the town's biggest attraction, a beer festival in the middle of summer. 

Annafest is an annual 10 day festival that takes place in the Kellerwald in Forchheim. Along side the 23 beer kellers, they set up all kinds of carnival rides and games. Running till 11pm everynight, you can enjoy liters of beer, live music, traditional food, and the company of several hundred thousands throughout the week. 

Of course, when I read the article, I didn't really realize just how big of a deal this Annafest was. How was I supposed to know that I would hear about it at least once a week while living in Forchheim. That whenever I asked the question "What is there to do in Forchheim?" inevitably the answer "well, have you heard about Annafest?!" would work its way in. So when the festival finally arrived, I was very excited to see how the reality lived up to the rumors.

I made it up to the festival several times during the week. Sometimes just to pop in, take a few pictures and grab some Gebrannte Mandeln (my favorite German treat, roasted almonds!), while other visits were for the whole evening, enjoying delicious food and beer with friends. I would go on, but I think the pictures can do it more justice....
You could order beer at your seat, or you could just walk up to the kellers and get a beer to walk around with
"During Annafest (July 23 - August 1), the Lohnmühl is closed"
There were many bars and restaurants in town that had signs like this up during Annafest.
One of the 4 stages in the Kellerwald that had continuous live music
With the standard Annafest Maß - 1 liter of beer
There was even a ferris wheel
My delicious schäuferla (pig shoulder), after it was devoured 
The main path up into the Kellerwald lined with food and game stands
The bigger carnival rides - all lit up for night here - were down below the kellerwald

Friday, August 12, 2011

in the wilderness...

Tomorrow I'm going on a camping trip.

It's not my first one ever... I don't think.

The last time I slept in a tent was in high school in a friend's back yard. 

I don't remember the last time I actually went camping. But I'm sure it has happened.... probably.

It is the annual band camping trip with the musikverein and I'll be roughin' it from Saturday to Thursday.

I'm pretty excited - I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

But for now, let's just hope I packed everything I need!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

9 hours at 35,000 feet

Let's start this one off with a very general statement: I love flying
I enjoy my little seat, tray table, and tiny window (I'm a window seat kind of girl). And the longer the flight, the better.  So the fact that in the past year I've been on 5 international flights of about 9 hours each has been no problem for me.  And my flight back to Germany two weeks ago was no exception, even though it was only with Delta (I mean, Delta isn't bad, but my favorite airlines that I've flown before are KLM and British Airways)

As many of you will know, flights these days are always packed to the brim. There is usually not a single empty seat, and a handful of people left at the gate who were hoping to be fit in. So as I took my seat, that old shimmer of hope of having my own row didn't even really come to mind. As the seats around me filled, I was joined in my row by a high school girl going to visit friends, and across the aisle an obnoxious graduate student who wouldn't stop talking. After it came out that he was a Florida student, I was a little less surprised by his creepy and inappropriate flirtations with a girl 8 years younger than him. Of course, once the inflight movies started, I would be able to plug in and block out their small talk for the rest of the ride. 

But just as we headed to take off, I started to notice quite a few empty seats. And hark, yonder across the plane and one row up an entire two seat window row was completely empty! So as soon as the seatbelt sign went off I headed for the flight attendants: "If there is an empty seat, is it ok to change?" "Oh honey, if no one is in the seat, you can sit where ever you want."
Done and done.

So for the remaining 8 and a half hours I got to enjoy my mini-pretzels and ginger ale (my favorite airplane combination since as long as I can remember) stretched out over two seats all to myself. 
And one thing I do love about Delta flights is their inflight trivia. I mean, I love trivia in general, but inflight trivia is pretty awesome because you play against the other people on the plane. For the most part I think it was between me, 21F and 32A. 
But even without the movies and pretzels and trivia, I'd still be pretty happy just enjoying the view out my tiny window. Especially getting to see sunrise at 35,000 feet. You have to admit, it's pretty cool. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

a very brief and not particularly helpful German lesson

Since not much is going on in the way of me having a life this month, I have been racking my brain other ways to annoy entertain the internet. Then it struck me. I have been in Germany for the past year, basically for the sole purpose of improving my German (I mean, and teaching English...). So I have compiled a list of my favorite German words for...

1. Gegenüberliegende
This is my favorite word in the German language. It has nothing to do with its meaning - an adjective that basically means "across from." For example, if your friend calls trying to meet up with you at the usual beer keller, but today you've decided to meet at the one across from it you would get the dialogue below (don't worry about that pesky little "n" at the end, we'll save adjective endings and cases for another lesson). No, what I really like about this word is just how crazy it is to say. In the Emily Phonetic Spelling System (EPSS), it is pronounce gay-gen-EEEW-ber-lee-gen-da (keep in mind that there almost no such thing as a soft g in German). I mean, just say it, falls right off the tongue perfectly! 
2. Vergnügen 
This is another word that I enjoy mostly just for pronunciation. But the meaning also plays an important (and ironically appropriate?) role. EPSS pronunciation: fair-g-NEW-gen. Definition: Pleasure. And, indeed, I find this word quite a pleasure to say. 
3. Doch
Now this word is awesome because of it's meaning. It's an expression that doesn't exist in English. If you were to translate it, it would probably change in every context, but a more or less standard definition of it would be like "Ya-huh!" When I was first introduced to this word it was only in the sense that if you get in a "No!""Yes!" battle with someone, instead of "Nein!" "Ja!" you say, "Nein!" "Doch!" of course, you can also insert doch into sentences to be a cute and pithy way of saying something like "on the contrary." But, as I said, there is really no direct translation for this word which makes it hard (at least in my opinion) for English speakers to really learn how to use correctly. I usually just throw it into sentences, whether or not it's an appropriate or correct use. But hey, I like it, so I'm going to keep doing it.
4. Fremdsprachenassistentin 
To be honest, I hate saying this word. I always trip all over it. But it's my job title. And it's a 24 letter word. If that's not badass, I don't know what is. EPSS: FREMT-sprock-en-ah-sis-tent-in. 
5. Genau
If you ever want to fake being able to speak German, just learn this word. EPSS: geh-NOW. It means "exactly". But it's way more all-purpose than the English "exactly." When I first came to Germany in 2005, I realized almost immediately just how important and well-used this word was in everyday speech. It is pretty much the go-to response for any statement:  "I love Emily's blog""Genau!" / "I just really want to put on some lederhosen, eat bratwurst and drink a beer" "Genau!" / "Most American stereotypes of Germany are actually false" "Genau!" / "except in Bavaria" "Genau!" I could go on, but I think you get the picture. So when in doubt, just say "Genau!"
So there you have it, five of my favorite words in the German language. Please be sure to study before our next very brief and not particularly helpful German lesson!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some ways that German schools are exactly like US schools... except not at all.

Every year, students finishing Gymnasium (the highest level of high school in Germany) must take the Abitur. The Abitur can be most closely related to the SAT in the US even though it's really nothing like the SAT. But it is the big final test which affects the students later acceptance into college or other potential career paths. And the students, after completing their Abitur usually come back for one last Abischerz. This literally means something like Abitur joke, but for all intents and purposes is the equivalent of a senior prank in the US. 

Now, I've never actually seen an Abischerz, but from what I was told by teachers or my other ETA friends who had them, no matter what the actual prank entailed, the seniors carrying it out were usually already drunk upon arrival and continued drinking at school. And, unlike US senior pranks that are usually done under the cover of night leaving results for the whole school to marvel at (or scorn) for the next day (such as hanging the parking man's golf cart from the back of the football stadium or painting over the parking lot numbers, to name a couple I experienced in high school), the Abischerz is done during a school day, as a sort of "performance" (for lack of better word), usually involving some sort of audience (teacher) participation. Now, like I've said, I've never actually seen an Abischerz, so I can't really say for sure how much of what I described is entirely accurate, but it's what I've gathered from my various sources. 

This year, however, my school had seen enough of the drunken debauchery of the Abischerz. So they decided, instead, to have only a half day of school one day to be followed in the afternoon by an Abifeier (this one means Abitur celebration, more or less). It was sort of like field day in the US... kind of. The seniors set up the entire courtyard of the school with giant inflatables, a mechanical bull, food and drinks, a stage, and constant music. On the stage the principal sat "chained" to a chair, basically symbolizing that he had no control over what was going on, that he couldn't get up and monitor behavior. Four teachers were selected (I'm not quite sure how, probably because they had a lot to do with the graduating class) and spent the afternoon dressed as teletubbies and forced [nicely] to partake in activities (i.e. starting a conga line, competing against students for best time on the mechanical bull, etc.). 

According to one of my teachers, this was the biggest event the Abi-students had ever put on, the first time it was really something for all the students (remember, German high school starts at 5th grade), and the first time there was no alcohol involved. And while I did see one or two beer bottles going around, it was for the most part "good, clean fun," if you will.

So, in short, after the test that is something like the SAT, except not at all, they took what was usually something like a senior prank, except not at all, and turned it into something like a field day, except not at all

And those are all the painfully inadequate US/Germany comparisons I have for today...
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