The time has finally come and I seem to be in a surreal state. Am I really going to be in Austria all next week?
I haven’t even started to pack and only just now realized the exchange rate between a U.S. Dollar and a euro, but nevertheless, the answer is yes, I’m leaving on Friday. I am both excited and nervous as I try to remember the German lessons we had during class: Guten tag! Ich heisse Janna. Ich studierre Art and English… and then I must refer to our language packet for help. But, despite my difficulty with the language, thus far I have enjoyed my Preview class, “Music and Culture in Austria,” have learned a lot, and can’t wait to experience the country for myself.
I was unsure what to expect upon taking such a short, condensed class, but Dr. Elizabeth Murphy, the professor, was able to provide us with the necessary tools and information about what to expect once we cross the Atlantic (a preview to the Preview if you will). We touched on the basics of conversational German ranging from food and introductions to numbers and directions. (Fun fact: If you ask for the “menu” at a restaurant, they won’t bring you a menu, but will instead assume you wanted to order “the special.”) We tasted some traditional Austrian food, such as soft pretzels, sausage, and apple strudel. We were even able to sample the kind of breakfast we would have at the hotel (a lot more cold cuts than you would think). She told us helpful tips concerning the Austrian way of life and how we should neither put our elbows on the table or our hands on your laps while eating (for that would be suspicious) and how we usually will be expected to pay a small fee to use a random bathroom (which are kept impeccably clean).
Dr. Murphy gave us a brief history of Austrian music from Mozart to Falco and offered to show The Sound of Music at the end of our last class to really set the mood. After she answered all of our practical questions about our passports, money exchange, luggage and what to pack, I felt my restlessness only grow more and more. I know this is a new experience and I still might not know exactly what to expect until I’m actually there, but my Preview class has helped me feel more prepared for departure, and I’m anxiously waiting for the adventure to start.