Montag, 29. August 2011

First Person Fluid Dynamics

This was the last weekend before the classes start and it was great once again! Friday was the last day of Catapalooza, the on-campus fair for all kinds of associations, club, etc... In the afternoon, we fought our time with Ultimate Frisbee. I had never played this before I came here, but it's a lot of fun and so I played it for three days in a row. It's a little bit like American Football; you have to get the Frisbee over to the other end of the field without the enemy team or the ground touching it. Since your not allowed to move while you have the Frisbee, you have to pass it around. So it's mainly about running, tossing, catching, and covering and since nobody counted the points, it was all about the fun! Also, I think much of the fun was due to the people I played with. It was one of the many christian fellowships, that had a booth at the Catapalooza. It was quite catch ... I haven't been in touch with my religion that much since Bremen 2009 and I'm actually thinking about attending their liturgy or maybe the Bible study ...

Saturday, I was on a trip to the Yellowstone River for some White Water Rafting action !! That was an incredible amount of fun ! The trip was organised by the MSU Outdoor Recreation and costed 40$ including transportation and equipment; lunch had to be brought individually. I didn't have any appropriate shoes, so I might have ruined my everyday shoes. Well, those were cheap and would have to be renewed soon anyway. The action was worth the sacrifice !! :D Unfortunately, I was unable to take to many pictures because my camera is not waterproof and I didn't want to risk it. I have to say though, that the valley of the Yellowstone River is really amazing and worth a visit! The river crawls through deep canyons, along vast steppes and cliffs of boulder. The riverbanks are partially covered with trees, partially it's just shrub land. We haven't seen any bears (I'm not mad about it!) or eagles, but some deer and a crane. And the greatest part of the raft was, when we all hopped out of the boat and enjoyed the wild waters in close combat - it's a natural white-water ride!

The evening was successfully topped off with a gig of one of the English exchanged students. I've got 75 minutes of HD footage of this, but I'm not sure how good the sound quality is... I have to process at least some of it for you to see ...

Sunday, yesterday, was a lazy day. The only action I had was riding downtown to open up a bank account. Besides, I did my laundry, watched some videos, cleaned my room ... in the evening we had our first floor meeting (it's the first meeting, not the first floor!). As far as I can say for now, the entire campus seems to be a strong community with many even stronger sub-communities. This is way different from what it is in Germany, although I have to admit that I never lived in a dorm in Germany...

And now, today, finally, it is the FIRST DAY OF CLASSES!!! My day starts at 11 with Japanese for Beginners. I'm quite excited. In the afternoon I'll have Advanced Algorithms at 2 and Machine Learning at 3. I can't wait for it to get started !!

Okay then, I have to gather my stuff and ready myself to go. Have a nice day!

Mittwoch, 24. August 2011


It's been just two days, but it feels like an eternity! I feel like so much stuff is happening every day, it would be enough to fill two or three days at home! Let's see, what happened so far, shall we ... ?

At the end of the last entry, I wrote about the car show that I was going to attend. I uploaded about a hundred and fifty photos to a facebook album about that. If you haven't noticed it, you might probably not have my contact yet. If that is the case, contact me!

On Monday, the orientation for the international students begun. From 9 to 1 we had all kinds of introductions and it was really interesting. At least most of it ^^ Some parts, like the "your away from your parents houses for the first time" didn't really appeal to me, so I just sat back, grinned and nodded. But in general, it was really interesting to get to know, what the University offers. The campus Health Care Center and the Campus Police Station are just two examples (yes, real police officers!).

After these four hours of introduction, there was a small market with like 18 booths representing different clubs or associations of the campus life. We were lured to talk to the people of the booths with a raffle. There were nice prices, but it wasn't my lucky day... never mind!

After the orientation was over for that day, I had an appointment with the head of the Computer Science Department about my individual studies. Dr. Paxton is a gracious person and he really seemed to be glad he could help. He presented to me six different possible topics for individual projects and I decided to take a closer look at four of them. He set the contacts up and soon I'm going to meet the corresponding person in charge of the projects.

The rest of the time, we had a nice chat. He told me, that he had been to Germany quite recently. He taught in Leipzig for one year (if I'm not mistaken). He also visited Hanover, because he once hosted an exchange student from Hanover. We talked a little bit about cultural differences, his and my experience (so far) and plans for the closer and the further future (ouh yeah, he said, if my individual project is really really good, it shouldn't be to hard to come back for a Ph.D. !!! :D ). He offered me to maybe join in on a tour to Yellowstone some day, to elaborate the matter (mainly the cultural difference- and experience-matter).

In the evening, I hung out with some people I literately just met a few days ago and some other people, I had never seen before. There wasn't much going on, but it was a nice calm evening anyway.

Today, Tuesday, the second part of our orientation took place. This time, it was for all of the exchange students separately - still about 50 people! After we introduced ourselves and had small enforced conversations, we heard about some more and some less important topics again. The entire orientation gave me the impression, that studying in the U.S. seems to be far more guided than it is in Germany - although I've never been to the Freshman Introduction in Hanover either ...

Everyone is really kind and helpful. Where ever you stand and walk, people come up to you and ask how you are and if they can help you. I think, slowly but surely, I'm getting used to the "thanks, fine, how are you?" whenever I see somebody. I somehow like it that way. I know, it's probably somewhat superficial, but it's still quite a nice environment, but I don't think, it could ever happen in Germany :D I mean, people had to be friendly for no reason ... tse.

Later today, I discovered the gym more thoroughly. I didn't take much time to train today, but I'm planning to do it far more regularly this semester than in Germany.

In the evening, there was a pizza party around the corner and many many of the international students came, met, ate, and talked. It was really nice; you could have a different conversation wherever you looked. I got in contact more thoroughly with some of the people I already knew and even talked to some I hadn't talked to before. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so no pictures of that event...

Well, I guess that's basically it for now. I'm not sure if anyone's going to read the entire article at all, but if you are one of these rare individuals, I'd like you to post a comment. ... I'm not sure, what I want you to state on specifically - maybe I'll come up with something for the next entry.

Well... me tired. Late. Needs to sleep. Bye bye!

Sonntag, 21. August 2011

Unintentional Flash Mop

Yesterday (Saturday), I meet with a whole bunch of the international students. We must have been like 20 to 25 or so ... It was really interesting to watch. At first, everyone stood in one circle. But as the group size grew, it reached its critical mass and disintegrated into three small circles, each with its own conversations going on.

At one point, we decided to be complete and started our march to the bus stop to go down town. The buses here have like 25 seats in total and as there were some other people in as well, some of us had to remain standing. It almost felt like home :D

Now the funny thing was, that we didn't really have any chosen leader. No one knew, where we wanted to get out or where we wanted to go in general. The only thing, everyone knew was that it was about lunch time and everybody was hungry. So when we crossed Main St, the group started moving and we exited the bus to find some place to eat on Main.

We came by some bars and restaurants and the people of Bozeman don't seem to be used to such a big group of students wandering around in the city, because everyone was looking at us. Then, we came by a place, that seemed suitable for the three or four individuals walking in front of our group. So they entered and everybody followed. But when the head of our group reached the end of the location, noticing that there were by far not enough seats and table for all of us, they exited through the back door and everyone follow again.

The look on the faces of the people sitting and eating there would have been worth a photo, but unfortunately I wasn't fast enough as the entire action took only about half a minute. It was hilarious and I really had to laugh hard. I thought, this was a really nice Flash Mop, only this one was totally unintentional, which made it even better!! Maybe we can do something like that again, another day...

We finally found a place to rest and I had a really good sandwich. I think we stayed for like one and half an hour. Afterwards, the group split up because different people wanted to do different things. I joined a group with two British people and one girl from New Zealand, which screwed my accent for the rest of the day :D MAN, these folks are hard to understand! Especially, if they talk that fast and (at least in my ears kinda) slangy :-/

Nevertheless, after some second hand stores, we reached our destination: Walmart. It was the third time I was there since I arrived and I took the chance to buy a bike. I had already thought about it for some days and I had decided to buy it, because 100$ is an ok price in my eyes and the use will definitely exceed these expenses!

Today, there's going to be some kind of a car show on Main St. So I might just grab my bike and give it a look, see what's going on there. I think that's it for now. Maybe I can manage to add some pictures ... let's see ... I really have to figure out, how to layout them correctly. This looks just horrible !!

See ya later, guys

Donnerstag, 18. August 2011

I has arrived!

More than 48 hours have passed already since I arrived in the United States of America. My 2.5 hour stay in Minneapolis was sweeten by the aquaintance of Charlie. I arrived at my gate, when he came to me and started a conversation. Appearently, he works at the airport and likes to get in touch with poeple from different countries all over the world.

At 1 a.m. local time, I finally got into my (temporal) room. Yesterday, Tuesday, was time for me to check the campus out, get my student ID and arrange myself. Today, it met another international student and together we traveled to downtown Bozeman. It's a nice small city and incredibly Wild Western American. Altogether, I feel like I'm in a movie. Everything looks so American here. I think, I'm getting used to it quite quickly... Everybody is so friendly and appears to be open minded. Well, we'll so what the long term investigation results in... :D

After downtown, we've been to Walmart and got ourselves new cell phones with prepaid cards. Walmart is an incredible place. It's been quite a while since I visited a Walmart in Germany, but I think this one is bigger. Except for vehicles and real estates I think you can find everything there. (Oh, I didn't see any weaponry either, but I don't mind) I found quite trustworthy bikes for around a hundred bucks. I think, I'll get myself one within the next couple of days, since it seems to be fairly nice to ride around here.

Concluding, I have to say, it was not exaggerated to say, this is the best time of my life. At least not so far.

See you around

Donnerstag, 4. August 2011

The beginning of a new Era

I have just launched my first vlog video. You can find it right here. I'm trying to make this a regular thing so that all you people who care can see what adventures I'm going through :)
So, go ahead and enjoy !
(I know it's not the best, but since it's my first vid, be lenient! )