As you can see, I took a one-year recess from blogging. It was a tumultuous time for me: my parents and my brother got divorced, my dad took on a new girlfriend, I finished college and moved back home, and I went traveling through Europe with my ex-boyfriend. BUT I got a puppy, a lovely little Basset Hound named Leopold, so it all worked out for the better. Don’t feel sorry. During this time I was very sad and upset with my surroundings, so I kept most of my writing–yes, it got quite dark–to myself. And Leopold kept me plenty busy too, of course. But enough excuses. I owe many thanks to my friend Emily for inspiring this current act of bravery, that is, beginning to blog again. Her assertiveness in everyday life and her own blog are what encouraged me to write publicly again. So thanks, Emily. Now I’m in Marburg, Germany at the beginning of a one-year Fulbright grant. We have five and a half more weeks of German language courses before we all (30 American students, most of us recent grads from our respective Bachelor’s programs) head our separate ways to get to our real work. Right now, however, German is consuming my life and sucking every bit of sensuality out of it. Even Indian food is tasteless–I know! I’m starting to form a grudge against this language. I hear German vocabulary shouted in my head when I’m trying to fall asleep. I wake up early to finish German essays (it’s so hard to make myself write an essay when I know I’m already done with college). I even throw in German words in my Skype conversations. My friends don’t know German. They don’t find it pretty. I don’t find it pretty either; it’s just that invasive. I want to have a day without German. But how can I shut this language off?