Saturday, December 25, 2010

Seemingly Pointless Post

I have not been a consistent blogger by any means. 

Blaming my busyness doesn't satisfy my obligation to blog. This is where I make an analogy about my blog being a living thing, all living things need to eat to live, and if I don't "feed" my blog it's going to die.  
The consequences are drastic. 

So on this wonderful snow covered Christmas day, I will give to you, readers of my blog, a song for your listening. It's what I'm listening to while my host sisters listen to their music, my host parents take a nap, my host brother plays his Harry Potter 7 computer game, and I wait for my family back home to wake up and get on Skype.  

And the angel said to them, 
“Fear not, 
for behold, 
I bring you good news of great joy 
that will be for all the people."

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Tomorrow, Friday the 3rd (ten days off...), I will be writing my first Klausur in German. Klausur is roughly translated as "big, nasty essay test" or "headache." Take your pick. Unfortunately, I must take both. My actual first Klausur was in English class, so that doesn't really count...
I'll be writing for my History course, and the subject is the "1848/49 German Revolution." I've been reading in English to prepare myself better on the material, aber Ich auf Deutsch schreiben muss.  It's going to be interesting to see how I do.

We had out first freeze last week on Thursday, and unlike Oklahoma, it has stayed at or below freezing since then. I wasn't in shorts and a T-Shirt three days later. In fact, I don't think I have worn shorts since the beginning of September. I miss Shorts Friday.
We had our first snow on Monday this week, and unlike Oklahoma, we've still had school despite the fact that there is snow on the ground.  Crazy, huh?

We are finished with Badminton in sport. I am incredibly grateful.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


 I am my brother's keeper.

I am not my brother. 
...or uncle for that matter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

In the past two weeks, I became famous. 
Last Thursday I was visited by Jens Spahn, a Bundestag(Germany's equivalent of Congress) representative who oversees the CBYX exchange program between Germany and the USA. That's right, he came to my house. It was really neat to be able to speak with one of the people who is making it possible for me to come to Germany for the year. He even gave me his card and told me to email him before I go to Berlin in May so that we can meet up. That just doesn't seem happen in America.
But how exactly does that make me famous?
It's a pretty big ordeal for someone from the Bundestag to come all the way out to Wettringen. So, why not put it in the newspaper or Internet TV? Last Saturday I was in the Münstersche Zeitung and on VOIS TV, then a few days latter, in the “big newspaper" Westfaelische-Nachrichten. I think everyone reads the newspaper, because Last Saturday night when I was at Wettringen's annual Musiknacht, there were a lot of people who came up to me asking questions about how I liked Germany, why exactly I am here, how long I was staying, etc. All questions answered in the article about me. Maybe everyone only scans the newspaper.
The other bit of fame happened during Musiknacht. Before my friends and I went to the actual event, we met up at Juri's house, a friend on my soccer team who also goes to my school. I was playing his guitar a little to get the music started for the night. One of the songs I played was Tom Petty's “Free Falling”. About 30 minutes later we were at our first stop of the many musical venues. The acoustic duo was doing really well, but I stepped outside since it was really crowded. Before I knew it, I was humming along to “Free Falling” as the band played inside. After the first chorus, the song didn't continue. The same four chord were repeated for a while until Jena found me outside and said “Komm rein. Du singst.” So that's what happened. I went inside and sang the rest of the song with the band playing behind me. That was the highlight of the night for me. Or stopping to eat a pizza with Felix while the others thought I was lost. I also enjoyed that.

I guess there are some perks to being an American in Germany. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's cool to have a blog...'s better to update it.

Since the last time I've posted a few things have happened. Actually a lot has happened. I should be a little more frequent with my posts.

I had two weeks off of school (I guess that is actually counter to happening since school was not in session). So to all of you students out there who are thankful for your fall break, just imagine how thankful I was. It was incredibly wonderful to time away from what is currently my biggest mountain to climb: die akademische Welt auf Deutsch. But, now I'm back to it. I am technically an exchange student.  During my free weeks, I was fortunate enough to visit the area around me, Köln, and Bremen. It was really cool to be able to see a big city in German, since I've really only seen smaller places. I never had thought Tulsa was very big, but now that I live in a village of about 8,000, Tulsa seems rather large.

After five different days of not going because of the normal gray and rainy German weather in the fall, I was finally able to summit a wind turbine! Absolutely cool. Though climbing a ladder for 65 meters, strapped into a harness is not my favorite thing, the end result was wonderful. It is quite the view! The scariest part was doing in all with my camera. I did NOT want to drop that thing. It would have had no chance of survival.

I've also been trying out different things with my beard trimmer, and have been sporting a goatee for a while now, but that will all change tomorrow since I'll be participating in "No Shave November."  The end result will be interesting. My hair is also longer, but no ponytail... yet.

Soccer has been really good. Though I've acquired a rather purple and blue nail on my left big toe that might stay longer on me than I will in Germany, I still have enjoyed myself. I've played in two different scrimmages, and will finally be able to officially play with the team this week. It's taken a bit longer than expected to get my card that says I am allowed to play. Other than that, it's practice every Monday and Wednesday.

Since it has been a while since I've last posted (sorry), I guess a big change would be the amount of German I now know. Although it is not a immense change, I have been able to follow along far better than I had been. My community representative for my program said that she was very impressed that I am as far along as I am for having never taken German in America. I am by no means fluent, but I am slowly working  in that direction.

When my mom was in high school, her family host an exchange student from German, and I happen to live about 20 minutes from him. About three weeks ago, he, Christoph, and his wife, Ruth, drove over on a Sunday afternoon for a wonderful visit. The last time I "met" him, I was probably two years old, so this was my first time to really meet Christoph, and not just know who he was. I really enjoyed talking to someone who knew about Tulsa. Hopefully I'll be able to go visit him in Münster soon since he has invited me to stay with him for a weekend. We'll see!

The next post will be in under two weeks. I promise.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear People of the Blog,

Because I haven't updated my blog you might be thinking I'm actually on a secret spy mission or so. Well, I'm actually on an exchange program. Boring, right? WRONG!
I've been having a wonderful time, but part of having a wonderful time means I don't have much free time. That's why my blog has been bland for the last month.
It's true that I was in Language Camp for the first month; however, I am not going to write about that (yet).

Saturday the 11th of September in the year 2010, about 2:30 in the afternoon. Robert Rusco had trimmed his beard to the bear minimum three days prior in the thought that he would be better received by his host family. He proceeded to get off the train very awkwardly with his two rather large suitcases, full backpack, and mandolin. Within seconds he spotted his some new family. He uttered a rather American sounding German greeting, and officially met Christof, Anja, and Mereike. On the car ride to his new house, Robert had to control his excitement. Although he felt like laughing, he wasn't able to since his brain was being over loaded with German. Once arriving to the house, he moved his luggage up the rather modern staircase in the rather old barn house . Abandoning his belongings in his new room, Robert was escorted around the house. The rest of the day consisted of eating muffins, making pizza, trying to solve some stupid puzzle, unpacking, meeting his host brother, eating pizza, and trying to understand and speak/stutter German. Robert was finally with his new family, and it was spectacular.

I'll stop writing in the third person.
On Sunday, I got up and ate some wonderful, freshly baked brötchen. (look here) They are so good, but unfortunately I don't think they are in America. Later that day, my host brother, Michael or Michi, gave me a tour of Wettringen and the surrounding area. Not nearly the size of Tulsa, but I was expecting that. There are about 8,000 people, and it's near bigger cities. I like it.
Monday was my first day of school. It was incredible to be in school, but everyone wanted to test out their English with me. Since everyone in my class has had English in school for the past 6 years of so, they actually CAN communicate in more that one language. As much as I didn't want to, I had to ask them to please speak in German. I got my schedule the next day and since then I've been a student in Germany. Here is a picture of what my school week looks like: ...different than American high school. I'm in the 12th grade except for in English. I've got the same class as my host brother in the 13th grade.
Outside of school:
I visited the school's Big Band with my host brother. I might play the piano with them for a few songs. We'll see. I also went to the school's choir. They were singing a 15th century English piece and I got to help them understand the old language, but I don't think I'll join the choir. Even though most everyone in the upper grades of school can speak and understand English, they still have German accents, and it's more apparent when they sing. I found it amusing. This past Monday, I went to soccer practice with two of my host brother's friends. It was very fun. I think they were surprised that an American could play soccer. The team practices every Monday and Wednesday at 7. I'm definitely going to joining, but I have to attend a few more practices before I can play in a game.
On my very first day with my host family, I learned how to play Doppel Kopf (Double Head). It's a popular German card game for all the kids my age. It's like Hearts, only more complicated and in German. Fortunately, I picked it up fairly quickly. I'm still not good though.
I understand more and more every day, but I still have some ways to go. I know enough to keep a simple conversation going. There are those moments when whoever I'm talking with might think I'm a total idiot, but that will change. Michael has a program called Phase6 that I've been using to learn vocabulary. I try to spend time reviewing my notes from Language Camp. It keeps me up on my grammar. I also read my German-English dictionary. Either I'm a nerd or I'm trying to survive. Reading my German Bible (Thank you, Ort Family!) is another way I am trying to learn. I currently have to read it with my ESV and dictionary at hand. In a few weeks time, this language problem should be smaller.

I love hearing that people back home are praying for me. It's an incredible encouragement!
In the future, I'll write specific posts about my spiritual life, my host family, transportation, school, house, food, etc. If you have suggestions about what I should write about, make a comment below.

Till next post... 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

T minus 3 days... and counting.

Not long from now, I will be making my way out of the States and into Germany for the next 10+ months.

This blog is dedicated to update my family and friends (and anyone else who stumbles across this webpage) about my time in Germany.

I would like to update frequently, but that requires that I lead a life that is worth writing about every day.
That being impossible, I will try to update regularly to let you know I still remember that Tulsa and everyone I know on the other side of the pond still exists. Otherwise, assume I am alive.

I would recommend that you either follow my blog or save the website somehow. A link to this site can also be found on my Facebook.

It's going to be a wonderful year!