4 months in, a new phase of my time in Berlin has begun. Eight people, including myself, are staying through the end of July to take a class at Humboldt Universität, one of the local universities. I'm taking German as a second language at the B2 level, which is nice because most people in the class can converse decently in German. Sometimes it can feel like playing a game when speaking a foreign language with other Americans. I've had success talking auf Deutsch with the Dutch person I sit next to, for example, whereas many Americans would switch back to English for convenience. The past couple of weeks have been busy finishing my four other IES Abroad classes while starting my Humboldt one. Now with the IES Abroad semester concluding this past week, I have a lot more time to work on my creative projects.
With everyone saying their goodbyes, I've also been reflecting on the semester and how mine differed from others this spring. As an artist, I've felt an always present need to create. This means that I kept up with my extracurriculars while others didn't. Many of my evenings were spent painting or editing my podcast. In these 4 months, I've recorded 7 episodes of Buttercups & Moonbeams, sound-designed 3 of them, created 2 oil paintings, and wrote 10 blog posts as a correspondent. It felt internally like something I had to do, I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Still, I think with that came isolation from not socializing as much as others. I noticed about a month or two ago that I wasn't invited out as much as in the beginning. Multiple people I met in February were barely acquaintances by May. From the get-go I was spending my time with more extroverted people, as I am one myself. It's been challenging to be someone who finds energy from other people when I’m only willing to spend one or two evenings a week socializing. Eventually I wasn't part of the groupchats they used to communicate. But in the spring my loneliness improved. I had a short fling with a boy visiting the city for a month on a Watson scholarship, but he eventually moved from Berlin to Belgrade. I also strengthened connections with some more introverted friends, who tended to be more loyal than the extroverted ones. With Abby and Adrianna, my energy was reciprocated. We would get coffee or take walks in Kreuzberg instead of big nights out until 2 a.m. If I was busy, we could make time later in the week. On Saturday, those two left the city, leaving me with a new beginning and two months to spare. With these last two months, my plans are to complete the podcast's first season, finish a short film I started last winter, and continue making art. With only one class a week, I should have more than enough time to achieve all my creative goals and still find time to strengthen friendships with those acquaintances I met this spring. I also have a friend from home visiting the city in June, which will be an exciting change of pace. Although the need to create may have hindered my friendships abroad so far, I'm very proud of my accomplishments. They reassure me of my devotion to my craft, and these projects will act as stepping stones to something more significant. I know my motivation and work ethic can one day make big creative projects a reality. But for now, I hope to wind down this summer and appreciate the dog days without a strict schedule or an over-demanding boss. Who knows what the journey will bring?
P.S. I have attached all the mannequin related images I have from the past month as a lasting farewell.
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<p>Guten Tag! Ich heiße Corey! I come from a small town named Groveland, Massachusetts about an hour north of Boston and now study at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I have a double major in Film and German with a minor in Studio Art and am studying abroad in Berlin Spring 2022. In my free time I tap dance (for the past 15 years), finger paint with oils on canvas, and direct an improv comedy podcast. In Berlin I'm super excited to live in a city for the first time and experience the hustle bustle on a daily basis.</p>