Tuesday, December 30, 2008


A couple of other AFS'ers and I are going to be making videos about germany for everyone to see!
We're all really excited about it and we hope you are too! I will be posting a video every thursday. We're not really sure how it is going to work but it will probably have themes for each week. There will be a video every monday, tuesday, wednesday and thursday. Eventually we will have a sunday but not yet! Please let us know how you like it and what you would like to hear in it!

This is a link to where our videos will be:



Chirstmas and Pictures

Merry Christmas everyone! and happy new year. I really miss everyone this year!
Here are some pictures that i took over christmas.

Tree Decorating

In Frankfurt at Thomas's BRothers


Why is the american wearing shorts?
and no socks?

I haven't talked about this yet... Music...and TV.
Almost all music that germans listen to is american music! About every 5 song on the radio is a german one. It really makes learning german difficult when all you here is english all the time. There are some good german bands and they aren't all techno... For example, Die Ärzte, Seeed, and Peter Fox are all good bands. Die Ärzte meens The Doctors in english.

The majority of TV shows are english shows that have german voice overs. In the beginning, it was weird to see the mouths not matching the words but i'm used to it by now! Many movies in the movie theaters are english also.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Its been a while

Sorry i havent made a post in a while....i just dont have the drive to write!

and apparently my grammar/spelling skills are beginning to leave me so i would like to avoid giving people further oppurtunity to make fun of me :)

From the 23rd to the 25th, i was in Frankfurt visiting Thomas's brother. In germany, they give their presents out on the 24th///around 7 oclock.... You go up in a room and then they ring a bell when everything is ready...Ill post some pictures tomorrow and talk a little more about it... im pretty tired right now so...gute nacht!

If you want to see some written german by me...make a comment saying if you would like to see it or not..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


On saturday we went to get a tree....here in Germany, it seems like a bigger deal....they have a specific day that they go every year and they stay at the tree farm four a couple of hours....i was there for 3 and a half hours.

We got there and then had some food....i had this thing called "suppe" or i think it was that...and it was tasted like stew...it had a huge brotwurst sitting in it...i really liked it... they had lots of tents, things for kids to do and Glühwein. The tree hasn't been set up because someone else took it home in their truck... but i here they dont put up to many decorations.

I'm sorry i haven't been posting much...im just not sure what to write about!
Vacation starts this weekend...and on friday, my class and i are taking the train to Magdeburg to go to the weihnachts maarkt. It should be fun........ill be making a video soon about germany so ill post the link on here once its done!

I have now been in germany for over 3 months! The turning point in learning the language is supposed to happen soon and i can't wait for it to happen!

I got this in the mail yesterday! Go Phillies!
I really really appreciate getting mail. it seriously makes my day. i am trying to write back but im often very busy with schoolwork. Vielen Dank!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nicht so schlecht.

Advent Calender!

Today and yesterday were not bad days. They were actually pretty good. I understood what my teacher was talking about! I also had a conversation in german that went something like this.
*after recieving my test back with no grade*
"What would my score have been?"
"Do you really want to know?"
but besides being crapped upon by my bio test, it was a good day. Religion was a little harder and i didn't understand as much but its better than usual.

Today was good because i actually talked to people! I'm talking more and more everyday and my shyness is starting to fade....but dont think that this meens ill never revert back to my old antisocial/shy/cant speak german American.

We had some english homework due today and i had 3 different people have me check their homework. It was pretty cool.

Last Friday i went to see some world champions box with Thomas and Leo. It was fun. MY pictures arent very good.

Here are some christmas pictures that we were made to take.Pony By the Weihnachts Maarkt!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This post will be about the differences in culture.

In America, there is recycling and most people do it, but its mainly things like paper, glass bottles, cans and things like that. In germany, everybody does it! and its pretty much required. In every house, everyone has 4 or 5 different types of trash cans. Things for glass bottles, plastic bottles (more about that later), paper, food waste, plastic things, and other items with this little arrow on it. Its crazy. It takes some getting used too. Another thing is at train stations or other public places, they don't have a trash can for everything. Its split into 4 different containers. Its quite confusing trying to figure it all out.
Everytime you buy a plastic bottle, its the price of the bottle +25 cents. Once your done with your drink, you can go to any supermarket and it has a machine where you put in the bottle. It crunches it up, and gives you a receipt for 25 cents. This encourages people to recycle because you would be stupid not to do it. Its like throwing away money.

It almost doesn't exist here. In american, you see american flags everywhere! In front of schools, houses, supermarkets pretty much everywhere! Its because the flag reminds us of are freedom, it shows we fought, and still will fight to keep that freedom.
Here in germany, people relate the flag to the army. Many people are still quite ashamed of WW2 even though its not their fault. Theres been a few times in the past century where germans were proud of showing their flag. When the Wall came down, in the 2006 FIFA world cup because it was hosted here, and in Euro 08 because they made it so far.

Food is amazing here. Its always great and theres plenty of it. Nobody ever makes to less.
The breakfasts are my favorite part though. They warm up bread, and put 4 differnt butters, about 6 differnt meats, 3 differnt jelleys, cheese, pretty much anyhting. If you want it, they have it. The only thing i cant eat is meat paste... its literaly meat turned into a paste and its in a tube......
Another thing about food is how they eat it. The keep their fork in their left hand and and their knife in their right. It doesn't matter if your right or left handed. They think its funny how americans switch hands to cut food, or don't use knives at all and use their fork to cut it. They also keep they're wrists on the table when they're eating and when they're done, THEY CAN STICK THEIR ARMS ON THE TABLE. As kids, apparently they are discouraged from keeping their hands under the table, which is the complete opposite in america!
I've glady adopted this custom.
And i now twirl my spaghetti with a spoon.
They dont have free refills at restaraunts.
All their water is carbonated. Its really difficult to find just a plain bottle of water... I have been forcing myself to drink the carbonated water for the pasty 3 months and i still cant do it without cringing...ahh.

The public transportation system here is really great, compared to America. They are occasionaly but you can generaly rely on them. Most towns have buses and a transtation. A smaller town may not have as many trains coming as often as a bigger city but you still get a decent amount. With my 25% BahnCard, i gets 25 percent off all tickets, its a pretty sweet deal.

Drivers lisences are really difficult to get here. You have to take i think10 or 12 hours of theoretical and then after that, around 20-30 hours driving with an instructure. And you have to pay for every hour with them. The tota price for getting the lisence ranges from 1500 - 2000 Eu. Thats crazy. PLus the driving age is 18.

Movie Theaters
In Movie theaters, you can't just sit wherever you want. You have an assigned seat....... I found this extremely odd.

It doesn't really exist here. Its not even a temptation. You just don't do it. IT doesnt matter if there are no cars and the light thing is red.....they stand there untill it turns green.

Drinking Age
The drinking age here is extremely relaxed. I still haven't gotten a straight answer on what the drinking age. I'm pretty sure its 16 for beer and wine and 18 for hard liquor. But it was supposedly changed last new year to 18 for everything. Whenever i ask, my answer is split between the 16 & 18 and only 18. AFS, my organization says its 16.

The schedule changes everyday and the rooms change frequently too. Classes are normaly two 45 minute periods in a row.
They take gym class serious here.....a little to serious for me....
I'm too used to
"Lenio! i'm not running today."
"Why not?"
"I dont really feel like it..."

Theres a couple more things on my list but i think ill save them for another time. I hope you enjoyed it. suggest any other things you want to hear about

Friday, November 21, 2008

I havent forgotten about this

I'm going to make a post about culture soon but i figured if im going to do it, i should make it good. I'm even making notes so i wont forget anything.. It will mainly be about the differences in culture...

i would translate the article from my previous post to english but i cant yet. i will try in a few months to see if my germans is improving.
Liebe Grüße!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gettin Famous

I was recently featured in an article in a local newspaper.

It meens "I find Germany great!"
I acutally didn't say that.
I didn't say anything.
They just wrote that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mail Me!

If anybody wants to send me a letter or a postcard(or Reeses Peanut Butter Cups), you can send them to this address:

John Rogan - Leimbach
Bäckerstieg 23
06449 Aschersleben


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"I have both buttons, so i'm right either way."

Nothing much has been happening lately. I went golfing last weekend and i didn't do to horrible. Golfing is actually pretty fun and i cant wait until im better at it. I can't go and play on the course unless thomas is there because i need a license for it.
I had to get dressed up...i didn't wear the hat though..

Thomas was invited by the U.S General Consulat to an election party in Leipsig. There we're over 300 people there and it was pretty cool. They had a singer there who was dressed up like elvis and singing elvis songs. It was pretty entertaining.
It's crazy to think that people in other countrys, like germany, care what is going on in America. I guess it just shows how imporant this election is. It was pretty funny to see everybody wearing Obama buttons and the Mccain buttons laying in shunned piles. For every 1 Mccain button i saw, there we're 6 or 7 Obamas.
I took a quiz about the election process for america and i got everything right so they called me up around 12:30 A.M. and i recieved an "American Roots" CD and a magazine about it.

Thomas and I had some time before the party so we went to a place where they used to keep cannons stored for wartime but i cant remember what it was called. Its now a bar/ restraunt and it was pretty cool... it was all undergound and the food was cheap. It started to fill up when we were leaving. The have one room that can sit about 25 seats and they show soccer games for free.

We also went to
Völkerschlachtdenkmal which is the tallest monument in Europe. It was dark but they had lights on it so you could still see it. ITS SO BIG.

I don't update this blog much because nothing interesting is happening! If anybody ( about the 4 readers that i have) has any suggestions about what you think i should write about or what you would like to hear, post in the comments.

There are some more pictures that i will post but i don't have them yet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Alles Glänzt

This is Sylvia before going to the OKtober fest celebration. I thought it was funny so i took a picture of it. It is stereotypical germany!

My mondays at school are relatively easy. I go in at 7:30 for 90 minutes of Physics, then 45 minutes homeroom and hten 90 minutes Politics. Then i go home because i don't have to take latin.

Ill try to take more pictures to post on here but i never have my camera when something is picture worthy. Im going golfing tonight so i will take it then.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

52 Days

I have been in Germany for about a month and a half now. I really can't believe it. Time is going really fast. This year will go by really fast. But i feel like im not making much progress with the langauge. I can understand a little but not enough to hold a conversation. AFS told us that we would be "fluent within 3-4 months". thats complete crap. I have started going through the dictionary and picking out important words to help build my vocabulary. I think the thing that confuses me the most is the articles and word order.

Before each noun, there is an article (der-Masculine, die-feminine, or das-neuter....die-plural). And you have to memorize it for each word. In english, its just "the". Thats it. I have become pretty good at guessing the articles though. Im not sure why. There are some patterns but there are enough exception to make them useless. It kind of like that "I before E except after C" thing. Everybody says it but it is rarely true.
Then after memorizing all of these articles for every noun, they change. There are 4 differnt cases in the German language. Nominative, Akkusative, Dative, Genitive.
For each case, the articles changes. For each article, there are 4 things it can change to! So 16! For example. In the Akkusative case, der changes to den. in Dative, der changes to dem.
Its not to hard to memorize all of these but its hard to figure out what to change it to when you don't understand the language!
Indefinite articles change (a). So do the endings of adjectives depending what case it is using...
Word order is also difficult as well but i'm hoping it will come with time.

There are some good things about the german langauge. Well...i can only think of one!
There are many words the resemble english words.. (cognates i think?) For example. testen meens to test. die Katze- Cat. die Maus- Mouse. Sometimes it makes memorizing words extremely easy. There are also big words in german that look complicated but if you break them down, they make sense. verantwortlichkeit meens responsibility. but literaly it meens responsible ability. thats not the best example and there are plenty more but i cant think of them now.

Train Ride to Magdeburg

I didnt have school this week. Instead i went to Magdeburg with leo everyday to a bloodbank in a university. Maybe i will write about it in a few days. I will also post a picture of Sylvia (hostmother) in a bavarian dress before she went to an oktober fest celebration.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


School started last monday. I went to my first class expecting people to say hi to me or approach me in anyway. which was the opposite of what happend. Before school leo had said that everyone was really excited to meet me and kept asking about when i would come but when i got there, it was like i didn't exist. The first day kind of sucked.

Tuesday wasn't really to much better.

I didnt have classes on wednesday because there was "sportfest". Instead of going to school, you go to a track and just do events and get graded for it all day long. They didn't have pole vaulting though which was disapointing because thats the only event im really good in.
People did talk to me though! It was pretty cool. It was a mixture of german and english and it worked out ok.

In case anybody is wondering, german is not coming along very well. I cant understand anything going on in class and only sometimes do i understand what people are actually saying to me. And im trying really hard too!

Here is my schedule:

Monday- 90 minutes Physics, 45 homeroom, 90 politics, 90 latin

Tuesday- 45 Latin, 90 german with 5th graders, 90 Bio, 90 Religion

Wednesday- 90 Math, 90 german with 5th graders, 90 english, 45 Latin

Thursday- 90 Phycology, (what would be a 10th grade german class. 90 minutes free) plus there is a 45 minute break after those perriods so i go home for 2 hours. 90 minutes english, 90 minutes gym.

Friday- 45 German with 5th graders, 90 math, 90 german history, 90 chem.

I have off all next week because of fall break so i'm not sure what ill be doing. Then they week after everybody in class is going to Magdeburg to do internships((kind of). So i don't have shcool for the next 2 weeks. This will give me time to learn the trig that we are learning in math class!

Crazy Sword Guy


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last weekend i went to an AFS camp. I expected it would be extremely boring and pointless, which for the most part it was. But it was cool meeting all the people from differnt countrys. There were 18 kids there and most of them we're from differnt countrys. Of course english was the common language between everyone so that is what we spoke.

Me and 3 other people stumbled
across some Midevil festival.
It was kind of awesome.

group picture
Group picture again.

I will post later today about my first few days of school

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


hey guys. i haven't posted in a while but i had an AFS camp over the weekend and i just started school. I will make a post maybe tomorrow or the next day but i will eventualy get to it. I have been really busy... gute nacht

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dinner when parents are out.

I haven't posted in a while but not much has been going on. I have been going to Language school everday and i still don't feel like i'm getting the language. Real school starts next monday and i'm reallly nervous about it.

On thursday when i was walking to school, two guys around 20 cornered me against a wall and started speaking rapid german to me. i told them i didn't speak much german and that i was from America (in german). One ended up being from California and the other from Utah. They're here in germany spreading the word of Mormon.....they said to stop by their "church" on the 3rd floor above a burger king to get a free book of mormon.....Seems legitimate.

I'm not sure if i have talked about this before but german breakfasts are amazing. There are 3 or 4 differnt kinds of bread to put cheese, meats, butter, peanutebutter, NUTELLA!. anything you want. Its amazing!

At the local Zoo

Sometime this week i will post a bunch of pictures of my host family, Aschersleben and other things. If i'm bored ( and need a distraction from studying german) ill make a video!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My host family enjoys golfing in the rain...

I don't.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I hate creating creative blog titles

Me-"So in Iceland, you talk down to women?"
Iceland Kid-"Yes....but then you don't get dinner."

I went on a run today and explored the woods of Aschersleben. People walked by me on multiple occasions. I gave up smiling and waving after the third time somone gave me a suspicious look. Apparently smiling too much is frowned upon in germany.....ohhhh the irony.

Aschersleben watchtower/oldwall!

oh yeah, i hate the german language. Why do you need 3 articles? There is no reason for it. except maybe to confuse foreigners.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Now that the high of "Wow! I'm in Germany!" has worn off, i cant stop worrying! What i'm mostly concerned about it the language. I feel like i'll never get the hang of it. I am on my 3rd day of my language class and i feel like i am not learning fast enough. The teacher is an idiot and only speaks in german. If you have a question, she answers it in german thus making me more confused and still no answer. And did you ever realize that a person has an average vocabulary of 40,000-50,000 words?!??! I have to learn every single one.l I start school in less than a month and i'm going to fail every class. Then i won't get credit for this year and i will have to repeat 10th grade. I almost want to go home.

My host brother Leo is probably the best teacher i have. He helps me with everything! He devotes about an hour a day helping me learn new words.

I wish American schools started teaching forein laguages in 2nd grade....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Don't let him get the olives!"

I had a 1 day at assateague.
"Don't let him get the olives!" - my dad

Hey guys. I'm in the house alone right now and ill be leaving in about an hour for my language class. Yesterdays class was alright. i learned a few thing but not as much as i would have liked to gotten accomplished in 3 hours... todays lesson is only 90 minutes though.

I get up every moring about 7:30 and i leaving at 10:30. it takes around 20 minutes to walk to the bahnhof(train station) and my train comes at 11:18. Its a 33 minute ride to halle and then a 10 minute walk to my class. I think its so awesome being able to walk/bike/take a train everywhere in germay. The public transportation system here is amazing.

Everynight since i have arrived in germany, Leo has helped me learn vocab. Its really useful and i have learned so many words just in the past few days. I cant create sentences yet though :(

My town from a ferris wheel.

Host sisters boyfriend and I on ferris wheel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


The last few days have been very busy. i left on friday at 5:32 and arrived in gemany 9 hours later. the plane ride sucked, to say the least. Want to know the first words i heard from a german was?.....fucking americans! AFS enjoys being unorangized and we were just relxing in the middle of the airport when this phyco crazy german came running through us screamng that. it was an enlightening experience.

We then sat in the trainstation for about 12 hours(seriously) as other AFS countrys arrived. i met some cool kids from china, BraZil, Australia and even Italy. it was awesome. I took a few trains and finaly got to my host family. they had a sign saying my name and everything. They all speak english and are wicked cool. Leo ( my host brother) talks in an english accent (which everyone makes fun of him for) because he was in london for 10 days.

There was a festival going on in aschersleben which my host fmaily wanted me to go to. i was crazy tired because i had been up for like 36 hours but i went anyway. my rule for germany is never turn down an invitation.

Today i start my german language crash course. i have to walk to the train station *all alone!* and then take a train to halle. I start real school in a month.

German tomatoes?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

D.C (part 2)

I thought yesterdays excursions were bad but todays was even worst. We sat around doing skits with our groups. it was awful. but tomorrow we're going to germany!

Yesterday, i went with 2 other girls to thank our representative for sponsoring the CBYX scholarship. He wasn't there so we had it with an assistant. The meeting lasted about 2 minutes and then he invited us to the capital for a private tour. It was pretty sweet and resulted in our group having the coolest story.

After all the orientation today, we all had about 2 hours to kill before curfew. The adults highly suggested that we use our time wisely and make sure we had everything packed and get a good sleep. Although when you put 50 teenagers together, nothing like that ever works out. We had an intense singing party and many piles of kids in multiple halls. I will never understand why we did not get kicked out.

Quiet Coyote!

I probably won't be posting as much now that ill be in germany but ill try to get on here atleast once a week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I'm sitting in my hotel room right now just being bored. I got into D.C yesterday and everyone here just tryed to get to know eachother.

Today was a busy day thoughh. it began with a wakeupcall at 6 A.M. which kind of sucked. We went to a bunch of places and heard alot of people speak. I didn't learn much and it was just a waste of time. Dinner was alright and my table and I had alot of fun with Tomatoes...................
I'm hoping that tomorrow is more eventful.