Zoom Fatigue, Broken Fridges, and Technoseum

November 15

    Everyone’s most likely heard of Zoom fatigue. I’ve had some online classes before the pandemic, but now it’s starting to hit me real hard, much to the point where I keep blanking out during class. How many years has it been? Like two years? I’ve been working away at my laptop and computer, staying home like a hermit. Birdwatching and gardening are two activities that keep me sane, but now I don’t have the time for that while I’m in Germany and trying to balance work and school life. Sometimes, my eyes feel weird, and I’m 99% sure that my eyes are getting worse. But it’s the middle of November. Most of my projects and essays are due near the end of the month and in early December. So? What happens after that? After my last exam on December 14, I basically have all the free time I want.

The Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) is being set up in Innenstadt! There’s still some uncertainty with the fourth wave of rising cases of COVID-19 though…

November 16

    Something…is not right. I hold the block of butter in my hands from the refrigerator, and it’s unnaturally soft. Is this mold on the ham? The milk doesn’t expire until next week, but it smells weird! And the freezer? I don’t see or feel the cold air anymore. Once again, our fridge is broken. But I’m too busy to go out to eat! What do I have? Some sunflower bread, eggs, onions, rosehip jam, mushrooms and rice. Toast with jam, and toast with over-easy eggs should do for now. Ahhh…so hungry.

What’s that growling noise? Oh, that’s my stomach.

November 17

You know the drill! Nothing to highlight for today.

November 18

Just another day of work and typing away at my 15 page essay. I have a lack of food since I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping. Maybe that’s why I feel so crazy and unmotivated the past few days. I hear my phone ring, and it’s an e-mail notification. Must be for work. Alright, what’s the update?

Oh, it’s all in German. Must be a newsletter from a German bank. I quickly scan over the email, but I rub my eyes feeling confused at what I’m reading. You’re kidding, right? Maybe I’m hallucinating about hope! I scanned over a translator over the e-mail to double check that I’m reading everything correctly. It’s about my residence permit…my residence permit?! The citizens service office actually got around to my documents! I do a celebratory cheer in my head, only to realize that I need a blocked account or a letter of declaration. Why? My Gilman scholarship appears to only be valid until December 22.

Wait, wait, wait! I’m literally leaving Germany on December 23! Proof for funding my studies? Everyone’s gone and done that at the beginning of the semester. Let’s just hope that there can be an exception to this!

(It’s Day 85 of 90 before it becomes illegal to live in Germany without a residence permit)

November 19

There are posters plastered onto pillars everywhere in Germany. That’s one way advertisement gets around! When I first came to Germany, I recognized a poster that was talking about the Technoseum. I should go there before I leave! Today? Something familiar caught my eye. The Greatest Showman, and it will be live! I love that movie! But, oh, it’s next year…during the spring…where I’ll be on my last co-op in the U.S.. Although I am disappointed that I won’t be able to see this live performance, I sure do hope that it goes well!

Looks like it was actually cancelled in 2021. Here’s the trailer!

And speaking of the Technoseum, today VISUM has an event here! It is a guided tour in English. I remember that the Technoseum was one of the highlights I talked about during my German project on Mannheim. I was especially excited that I showed it to my cousins who were well-versed and interested in technology and cars! I may not be as enthusiastic as them, but I’m ready to learn what the museum has got to offer!

As I waited in the front of the museum (we were missing a few people), I saw a sign that talked about a new exhibit that opened a week or so before. It’s about work and migration. Was I correct? Yes! There was so many things to look at in the museum, and many that I actually recognized from previously exploring the website’s VR tour. There’s the train! Waterwheels! Looming machines! Cars from the past! Marine animals and birds figures! Paul the robot! Maneki-neko! As you can tell, I had a lot of fun here.

I didn’t have all the time to check out everything, but it’s definitely a place people should visit when they come to Mannheim. I’ll come back here with my family the next time I travel! Some of my favorite moments during the museum was excitedly gushing about my love for the environment with the waterwheel having reminded me of Fairmount Waterworks at Philadelphia, and where renewable energy is going in Germany. There’s also the moment with an interactive machine that tests out your knowledge of bread- I’m not knowledgeable of the ways of the bread.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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