Day 2 – First Day of Work Experience

Today was the first day of work experience Рand this week I am working at the Kindergarten Tegelh̦rn.

I needed to be there at 7:45, which meant getting up at 7:00 in order to leave the house at 7:30.

That was actually quite easy, because in England I normally get up at 6am… 7am in Germany is 6am in the UK.

Taking in to account the time difference and the fact that life starts an hour earlier anyway out here, I figured that I was living two hours earlier than usual.

Frau Carstens drove me to the Kindergarten this morning, and when I got thee Frau Rickert greeted me, and explained that she did not know much English. I then attempted to answer in German, and failed… miserably. Frau Rickert then showed me round the building.

All of the Kinder were in the Kindergarten by about 8:30. The routine for a Monday morning is that the Kindergarten go to the sportshall at the EMA School. The Grundschule where two of my AS class were doing their work experience.

There, the daily routine started with a little bit of running round in some sort of mad shaped circle, before sitting in a circle in the middle of the room. There, Frau Rickert explained to the Kinder that I am a “student from England, come to stay in Itzehoe for the week and work in the Kindergarten”.

Afterwards, the Kinder played with some of the sports equipment – some of them played football. They got me playing. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but I managed to work out that maybe the reason they were shouting “Ja” was because I let all the goals in. They were probably telling me off for not being very good…

In Germany, most schools and Kindergartens close in the afternoon. Tegelhörn closes at 12 midday. In the UK, thats only 11am. My day had finnished before my sister, in school back in Cirencester, had even had a break! 😀

I walked down to the Sophie-Scholl Gymnasium an texted Arne to say where I was, he came and found me and explained that before we could return home he had one more lesson to go to. It was an English lesson… and I understood everything!

Afterwards, we went down to the new cafeteria, which had not long been opened at the school (either within the last week, or maybe even that morning). We had lunch, and by that time some of the other English visitors had finished work experience and had turned up also.

Having been speaking German all weekend, it was a relief to be able to speak English once more. German’s good, but very tiring! We chatted about our weekends, and then went to meet our teacher at the entrance to the school, she wanted to know how we were getting on.

It only took 5 minutes, and then we all returned with our hosts to the varous houses in and around Itzehoe for the afternoon. Although there was nothing planned by the teachers for the evening, I knew that most of the others were keen to do something together.

That evening, after Abendessen, Frau Carstens drove Arne and I to one of Itzehoe’s pubs. There, I was able to meet up with some of the other English (I think there were 3 missing, who had either chosen not to come, or weren’t aware) as well as the German hosts and their friends.

In Germany, the drinking age is 16 and it is perfectly legal for you to go into a pub without an adult, up until about 9 or 10 o clock. Not sure which, but we left at 9.

I write this shortly after returning from the pub. I didn’t drink any alcohol, as you can probably tell by the fact that my spelling is still normal.

Although, I am using a German spellchecker, and everytime I write “its”, it gets autochanged to “ist”. And I’ve also noticed, that there is an Strg button instead of a Ctrl button.

There is no keyboard shortcut for bold or italic text, because Strg+F brings up the “Find” box (Bold in German appears to be Fett), and Strg+K brings up “Hyperlink einfügen” (Italics in German appears to be Kursiv). The normal Strg+B or Strg+I that you might expect to find, don’t work either.

Will try and write again tomorrow. The article shouldn’t be so long… hoffentlich!

(Strg+S for Spiechern (save) works perfectly – I’m writing this in German Microsoft Word because the Internet ist kaputt).

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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