Bible Study

Completely by chance, I noticed a poster advertising a weekly bible study. The only information was the times, the location, and the organization name: Campus Bible Life (Campus Bibel Leben). I decided to pay a visit.

The bible study took place in an old building in a sort of apartment-like office space. I was greeted by a friendly Korean woman and soon introduced to the others there. The group consisted of seven people, two of whom were students and 4 of whom were from Korea. That surprised me somewhat, since Aachen doesn't exactly have a high Asian population outside of schools. Then again, it doesn't exactly have a high American population either.

We started off with singing praise songs with a guitar accompaniment, then a quick prayer and on to the text. We went through the 4th Chapter of Deuteronomy (just called 5th Moses in German). Each person read a verse aloud, going around in a circle. Honestly, this made it a bit harder for me to follow. I've always found that I understand less when I read a text aloud or read along while hearing it spoken. However, follow along I did.

During the discussion, the woman who had first greeted me proved herself to be somewhat scholarly. She gave clear, well reasoned responses to questions and sited other parts of scripture to make her point rather than just saying "It means he loves us" as so many are wont to do. That's like answering the question "What is Sally trying to do?" with "achieve her goals". It doesn't shed much new light on the situation.

After we closed our study, I was invited to share some tea and bread they had left over from when they dined together beforehand. It was pleasant company and pleasant food.

Finally, while walking back home, I asked one of the people going the same way as me what the group's affiliation was, protestant or catholic. THE ANSWER WAS NEITHER!

At long last, I have found a nondenominational community in Germany!

Residence Permit Pickup

I have my permit!

I went to the given address with my passport and my letter, pulled a wait ticket, which was almost immediately called. I handed over my documents, signed a form saying I did not want any special online features, and received my card. It's holographic and everything. I also received something called a Zusatzblatt zum Aufenthaltstitel (Additional Sheet to the Residence Permit) which has the official reason for my permit written out and must be supplied along with the card itself if I need to get an extension.


I've been putting off blogging for far too long and for no particularly good reason. Let's fix that!

What has happened since last I blogged?

1. New Years

I did quite little for New Years Eve. Fortunately, I didn't have to! I could see a fireworks display right outside my dorm. I do not know precisely who was setting them off, but kudos to them for a lovely show.

I did make a resolution: No more candy or desserts. I can enjoy candied fruits (too expensive to go overboard with) and Nutella (still working on portion control there...) However, the days of eating nothing but chocolate for a meal really need to be over.

2. Instructions concerning residence permit
In the mail, I received both a letter with the codes for accessing my electronic residence permit as well as one telling me where to pick up the physical card. The electronic residence permit system is pretty nifty. Officials can scan the card, enter a code of their own, and view all your relevant information. However, no one else can get a peek. That makes forgeries a heck of a lot more complicated as they would require fancy hacking skills. Then again, any hacking is fancy and magical to me.

The instructions are simple; go to the foreigners' office with the letter as well as current and old documentation, pull a queuing ticket and wait to be called. I hope the fact that I have no old documentation is not a problem...

3. Resumption of lectures

The first week after break is over, and I am so proud of myself. I got myself to go to every lecture and exercise except my last one on Friday. Since all the notes from that lecture are uploaded anyway, I can still perform the exercises at home. I do, however, need to make sure that I focus in my room. The recent, rather unintelligent decision to get a Tumblr will not make studying for the upcoming final exams any easier. However, if I treat it like being back at CMU where every problem is required, not just recommended, and I find a good site blocking program, I ought to keep myself on track.

The finals coming up in February: Heat and Mass Transfer, Introduction to Literary Studies, and Translation from Middle High German. Time to get to work!