everything in there is written in german

Applying to a German University

Have you ever wondered what it would be like, not just to study abroad for a semester or year, but rather to be a full-time student at a German university? These thoughts may cross your mind, and may be held back by looking around to see everyone else staying stateside. We assure you, however, that there are others out there applying abroad. Germany has some of the top colleges in the world (3 in the top 50) and generally comes at a much lower cost than those in the states.

This said, we get that it is an intimidating process to apply abroad. There are fewer people to ask questions and guidance counselors aren’t typically informed about options. We’d like to do our part to help! As such, we recruited American CBYXer (see here: ) Mackenzie to answer your questions on the application process. She herself is currently at the end of the process with acceptance letters in hand.

What made you want to apply to a German university for grad school rather than an American university?

I completed my bachelor’s degree at Jacobs University in Bremen Germany, and I’ve been working with a German organization since graduation, so Germany is sort of like a second home for me. Other than that, cost plays a big role.

What was the first step to applying to a German university? Could you give a general step-by-step process of what took you to now deciding on a specific university?

I started off by searching for different masters degree programs in public policy, political science and international relations. Once I had a list of programs, I narrowed it down based on location, program quality, and university reputation. When I began the process, I didn’t think of considering any German-language programs. I’ve learned German for about 6 years now, but I didn’t think that my written German skills were strong enough to pursue a degree program 100% auf Deutsch. Once I started shopping around, I realized that taking the TestDaF (basically like TOEFL for non-Native German speakers) would give me more options down the road, and allow me to apply to a few of the bilingual programs I found particularly appealing.  

Other than price, what is the biggest difference between applying to a German v. American university?

German universities need a stamped form for everything from language requirements to internship experience to high school transcripts, and this can be quite time consuming. I was quite surprised when I had to call my high school in Kansas to tell them I needed an extra copy of my high school transcript.

Do you need to know German to study at a German university?

Not necessarily. Almost all of the private universities in Germany are taught exclusively in English, and more and more public school programs are being offered in English as well. This being said, it doesn’t hurt to be able to read a bit of German to help you navigate the application process as well as your future life in Germany more generally.

Explain the language requirements and when you would need to take those tests

Oh boy. This was by far the most stressful part of the process. Once I discovered that one of the programs I had planned to apply to had a TestDaF requirement, I was pretty nervous about how I should get started. Luckily, I knew a few people who had already taken the test, so I asked for advice on how to prepare.

The TestDaF has reading, listening, writing and oral components, and is graded on this scale:

The program that I wanted to apply for required a minimum average score of 4, but I know that some programs have other requirements (e.g. at least a 4 in all categories, minimum 3 etc.)

To prepare, I had a friend bring back a prep book from Germany (they are surprisingly hard to find on Amazon), and I worked from the book. The test is similar to standardized tests in the US in that a lot of the process revolves around familiarizing yourself with the style of questions, and making sure that you are able to complete the exam within the given timeframe. Once you know what to expect, and can identify your weaknesses, it is much easier to prepare.

What do you predict will be the full cost of your studies?

It depends. If I decide to study at a private university, it will cost me roughly 30% of comparable programs in the States. For example, the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at an elite private school like Georgetown has a sticker cost of around $50,000 year, whereas the MPP program at the Hertie School of Governance is priced at 16,250 euros/year.

If I accept an offer to a public school program, I will only need to cover my living expenses (rent, health insurance, public transportation pass, etc). In a German city like Berlin, these costs are all very reasonable.

What is the difference between public and private universities from the perspective of someone applying?

I’d say the differences are pretty similar to the differences in the States. A private school education will get you smaller classes, more one-on-one time with professors, better networking and/or professional development opportunities etc. Because Germans can attend university tuition free in Germany, public university programs are often quite large so the experience is a lot less individualized. I should say that this really depends on the program though!

What advice would you give an American starting the process of applying to a German uni?

Do your research, read the fine print, and make sure you understand all of the requirements! Most of the application deadlines are later than US university deadlines, however, some special programs (particularly the ones designed for a more international audience) have earlier deadlines. To be on the safe side, start doing your research about a year and a half before you plan to start the program. Also, always get stamped copies of everything- because Germans are old school like that.

What were the most helpful resources as an American in finding a university/applying?

I found the TestDaf website helpful, as well as the universities themselves. When I emailed a program contact, they typically got back with me within a few days.

Have more questions for Mackenzie? Shoot them to us and we’d be happy to follow up with a video on follower-questions!

On Men of Letters, British exceptionalism, different British

The Kendricks school. It’s where the British Men of Letters train their operatives. It’s like our…
Exactly. Kendricks is the largest collection of occult lore in the world.

You know, monks like Martin Luther were among the earliest hunters. He even wrote parts of the book you’re holding.
What? This lore dates back to the 16th century?
Yeah. Well, in Europe everything’s old.

After the episode aired I wrote down some thoughts over the Men of Letters (the ones we know of are British, Irish, American - I wouldn’t be surprised if the chapterhouses in the rest of the world were founded by British/Anglo-Saxon colonizers and are not integrated with the lore/systems of dealing with the supernatural of the local cultures) being the heirs of a Germanic, Protestant tradition. Luther obviously can’t be one of the first people in Europe to deal with supernatural creatures, as the ancient world and the middle ages are obviously full of lore, which suggests that the modern concept of hunter/man of letters originated as a form of distancing from the traditional role of the clergy as the people who’d deal with the supernatural. I’ll copy and paste the things I wrote:

I went back to the scene and Mick says ‘monks like Martin Luther were among the earliest hunters’ and I think there are multiple ways to interpret that - I’m thinking that ‘hunters’ in a modern sense was a concept invented in the early modern era, which makes me think that before the 16th century or so there was no such thing as being a ‘hunter’ as a profession, but, at least in Christianity priests and clergy figures in general dealt with the supernatural as Christianity would saw everything ‘unnatural’ as caused by demons and the devil. We even had a mention of the “old-fashioned kind” of Catholic priests in this season, so I’m pretty sure in the middle ages dealing with the supernatural was the job of priests. I mean, even today every diocese or so has at least one exorcist, i.e. a priest specialized in… demonic stuff.

It would make sense that the monks that ‘broke up’ with the Catholic church would be the precursors of the ‘modern’ idea of a ‘hunter’ as a professional figure with no affiliation with the church.

I think that Mick is referring to a ‘modern’ concept, not that they don’t have lore pre-dating Luther - more like, people like Luther wrote ‘modern’ books about hunting, a kind of ‘secular’ hunting non strictly associated to the clergy.

I think that documents pre-dating early modernity are ‘sources’ (like, obviously there is info about sirens in ancient Greek poems, etc) but ever since Luther people have been writing ‘manuals’ for hunting in a modern sense. Of course someone like Aristotle would be writing manuals for hunting back in ancient Greece too, but modern British people would only consider stuff written in a post-middle ages, protestant setting as ‘academical’.

So now that I’m thinking about it, Luther being among the “earliest hunters” makes a lot of sense, if we want to accept a picture of the British Men of Letters being the ‘heirs’ of a growingly secularized, germanic, protestant tradition.

I can easily imagine the concepts of ‘hunter’, ‘man of letters’ etc to be strongly anglo-saxon/germanic and anti-catholic at least in origin. Fits with the whole ‘WASP’ vibe of the Men of Letters that we know of, anyway.

Reblogging myself because I forgot some things…

First of all, the idea of ‘old’, that Europe has a long history and tradition while America is *rolls eyes* young. The whole ‘in Europe everything is old’ idea - which implies that America doesn’t have a long history - makes sense in the mouth of a British character - the colonialism and imperialism in North America comes with the idea that North America was a blank slate that started being filled with civilization consistently since around the 17-18th centuries (there’s the idea that the oldest historical buildings in the US are the neoclassical ones, for instance). Obviously a British person would (even without realizing why exactly) have this stereotype of the ‘old world’ and the ‘new world’ (heck, people here still call Europe and America like that!). In Europe everything is old, in America everything starts when people from Europe brought them! Like there was nothing there before. But I’m kinda digressing with this.

I wanted to add that we know that the Campbells were on the Mayflower - which suggests that the idea of ‘hunters’ in the sense of the Campbells is something imported from Britain around the centuries of early modernity. I can see that the Men of Letters/hunters system as it is intended by the current British Men of Letters is a distinctly British and/or Western European+Protestant concept, and that around the 17th century or so the entire system (the Men of Letters seem to require hunters for their functioning, as they don’t do the field work but they delegate it to the hunters), developed in those times in the Anglo-Saxon/Germanic world was brought to the (sic) New World as it was colonized.

So I’d say it makes sense for the modern ideas on ‘hunters’ and ‘men of letters’ to have been developed through the 16th and 17th centuries in that kind of culture. Of course there have always been equivalents everywhere else - people hunting monsters, writing records about them, etc - but I’d say that what Mick has in mind when talking about hunters is a specific kind of hunters that has developed historically in the specific context of the Protestant world in early modernity, thus it makes sense for him to name Martin Luther as one of the earliest hunters in that sense.

I mean, we have met plenty of Pagan deities that lamented how people used to worship them before Christianity and then they had to hide - I’d say that before Christianity people had a radically different relationship with the supernatural, then Christianity came and turned everything ‘unnatural’ in the work of the devil and his demons. Then early modernity brought anti-catholic sentiment and progressive secularization, and the supernatural became an academical (non-religious) field of study (for men of letters) and a job (for hunters).

This said, I want to consider those quotes by Mick I reported at the beginning of this post. The feeling I get from his words is that he trusts that kind of Germanic-then-Anglo-Saxon protestant tradition to hold the Truth™. He calls the ‘founder’ of protestantism one of the earliest hunters, automatically demoting everything that came before Luther as ‘non hunter’. The fact that they’re using a manual written by Luther and his companions means that they embrace that kind of tradition as their own, they identify with it. The Truth™ about hunting, the supernatural, the occult has started with Luther and is continuing with the work of the Men of Letters in Britain and other countries (but the other countries are not as good as them - they have places like Kendricks that are the best! And they actually do a great job in Britain! Yay!).

You get where I’m going: these British people think they’re better than anyone who is not protestant and anglo-saxon (other protestant people are okay if they’re germanic I suppose). I guess that Americans are kind of a complicated case because in the eyes of people like the BMoL, Americans are weird, even the WASP ones :p so they can be treated as equals only if they accept all the terms of the BMoL…

Anyway. The conclusion we’ve come to is: the British Men of Letters think they are the best and they know everything and they are Right™. Southern Europeans/Catholics and, god forbid!, non Europeans? Nope.

Kendricks is the biggest collection of lore in the world! We get it. But… does it even have the important stuff?

I found this book. It’s a lore book, “the Book of the Damned”.
Sounds legit.
It’s in a library somewhere in Tuscany. It might be a dead end, but I figured…
I’ll go check it out.

They’ve been after me since I dug up the Book of the Damned.
You found it? Where?
After some near misses and some broken into museums, I found historical documents that led to a monastery in Spain. It burned down years ago, left for dead, but, uh, I had this hunch about it. Turned out I was right.

Okay, here’s what I’ve learned so far. About 700 years ago, a nun locked herself away after having visions of darkness. After a few decades squirrelled away by herself, she emerged with this. Each page is made out of slices of her own skin written in her blood. I told you, it’s eekish. According to the notes I found, it’s been owned and used by cults, covens, and even the Vatican had it for a while. There’s a spell inside that thing for everything. Talking some black mass, dark magic, end-of-times nastiness.

The most important spell book in the world was in Spain. Before then, in Italy, apparently. And the Vatican had it at some point. Now, since we know a German family had it, I assume the Vatican had it before the Frankenstein, then the Frankenstein at some point got it for them (possibly one thousand something years ago, if according to Sam “one thousand years of nasty. They made a ton mopping up the black plague. They started the 100 years war” - the black plague started in 1346/7 and the 100 years war started in 1337 so it’s possible that the Frankenstein got the book in the early 14th century).

I assume the Vatican had it before the Stynes (with others in between or not, doesn’t matter). Then the Book went to the Stynes. But then they lost it, as at some point it was in Tuscany, and eventually in Spain. So the book went back to Southern Europe/Catholic territory.

And the Men of Letters? Cuthbert Sinclair knew some stuff - he had some knowledge of the Mark of Cain and the First Blade, he got Nadya’s codex - but we can’t say that if Magnus knew something/deemed something important, then the Men of Letters as a whole knew it/deemed it important.

Basically: the Men of Letters possibly never attempted to get the Book; I mean, if Charlie, a single person, fairly new at that kind of job, recovered it, then it would’ve been a joke for the organization to get it. So, either the Men of Letters didn’t know about the book, or didn’t think it was important, or couldn’t get it from the Frankenstein and gave up even if the Frankenstein did lose the book to someone that brought it to Southern Europe, or (possibly the worst scenario?) knew about the Frankenstein using it and just… let them do their thing.

Anyway, it’s meaningful that the Book of the Damned is associated, other than the Frankenstein and various covens throughout history, to the Vatican, Italy, and Spain. The opposite of the world of Martin Luther and his associates whose footsteps the British Men of Letter seem to be following.

And what about really old stuff? Written by someone, eh, kinda a little more important than Martin Luther?

What am I looking for?
Well, for starters, uh, anything about archaeological dig sites.
Like Indiana Jones stuff?
All we know is that Dick has been digging all over the world, and we need to know what he’s looking for.

We’re in 7x20 and Charlie is looking through Dick’s stuff. Later:

Here we go. Something in his suitcase left Iran last week. Spent the last 72 hours in armored cars and private planes. Whatever it is, it’s coming here for Dick tonight. 

Now, Dick Roman just started looking around the world and found the Leviathan tablet in an archaeological site in Iran. He didn’t find it with special Leviathan powers - just looked around archaeological sites until he found what he needed.

So: the Leviathan tablet was in Iran, no one having dug it up and taken from there before. Would that be impossible for the Men of Letters to find, if the Leviathan (who’d been stuck in Purgatory throughout all of history) found it so fairly easily?

The demon tablet was retrieved by Crowley after he found out about the existence of the tablets. The angel tablet, inside of one of Lucifer’s crypts, is probably the only one that humans couldn’t find on their own, although again Crowley found a lot of Lucifer’s crypts. I am pretty sure that Crowley’s methods of finding things are not really different than the ones an organization with (supposed) knowledge and means like the Men of Letters would use - “human” research and a bit of magic, possibly.

Basically: do the Men of Letters even possess something of big value?

It’s possible that the things of most value they have are the recent inventions (something like the anti-possession egg, for instance, was needed by Rowena and Crowley to get Lucifer out of the vessel and make Rowena’s spell to send him to the cage possible), while the things they’re so proud of - their history, the oldness of their sources… - pale in comparison to the things Dean, Sam, Charlie, Crowley etc have acquired through the years. Heck, 12x12 was about a weapon that Crowley got his hands on in the first place and voluntarily gave Ramiel, and a weapon that an American hunter made and was used by a line of American hunters, then got to Crowley himself, then to the Winchesters… the British Men of Letters were after the second, but wouldn’t have gotten it without the entire Winchester team plus Crowley.

Now, Crowley’s name is popping up a lot, right? Now that I’m thinking about it, the British Men of Letters are proud of possessing ancient lore and fabricating cool technological-slash-magic tools. Now, magic is Rowena’s field, but tools and knowledge? That’s Crowley’s territory. What he does is acquiring knowledge and collecting useful tools.

The British Men of Letters are being framed as opposed to Rowena - in fact, they literally chased her out of her country, and she holds a personal grudge against them, in addition to witches’ general grudge against the Men of Letters in general - but also opposed to Crowley - in fact, “acquiring the Colt” is exactly the first thing we know of Crowley doing, and it’s the first major thing the British Men of Letters do in their American operation. (Have we ever talked about that kind of parallel?)

I wrote “different British” in the title of this post because, while I’ve been talking about the BMoL sense of “British exceptionalism”, we end up having a contrast between them and other British characters that are the opposite of them - in fact, underprivileged British people. Rowena and Crowley both came from utmost poverty, and, well, one’s a woman (abused by a wealthy powerful man, in fact), the other a queer man (both using those elements - womanhood and queerness - as weapons once they found themselves struggling to go up the social ladder).

Now, we’ve had several mentions of Crowley and Rowena in some kind of oppositions to the British Men of Letters. When Dean and Sam get arrested, Cas suggests they call Crowley and Rowena, but Mary refuses, so they call Mick and Ketch instead (first instance of Cas aligning with Crowley and Rowena, Mary with the BMoL). In 12x16, Mick tries to insult Dean by referring to his ‘palling around with demons and witches’.

We’re going to see a situation that will put Crowley and Rowena directly against the British Men of Letters, and if 12x09 is foreshadowing, Cas will side with the former, Mary with the latter. Dean? No doubts. Sam? Mmm.

Rowena, Crowley, Cas and Dean together represent underclass status and queerness; they’re the freaks, each in different ways (but also very similar). The other side has middle/upper class status, privilege and normality. Sam is always tempted by those things, and is being tempted right now…


by Uzodinma Iweala

I have held an 800 year old book in my hand. Do you know what that means? This is insanity! To think that pages can survive in these conditions for so long. This happened at the Ahmed Baba Center which is the major government run institute dedicated to the preservation and study of the numerous famed manuscripts of Timbuktu. The old center is a small cluster of sand colored buildings located close to the main hospital of Timbuktu complete with a large convention hall (which they were cleaning in preparation for the visit of Iran’s President) and numerous other bungalows that house reading rooms and preservation workshops. We started the day off in the library with director of research who gave us a complete history of the center and a run through of the manuscripts. I’m not normally one for museums or historical ramblings, but there is no way not to be fascinated by all that is captured in these books, some of the most beautiful of which were stored in glass display cases – their brown and yellowed pages still intact with Arabic scrawled across in perfect lines, some with student crib notes from four or six hundred years ago in the margins. The copies of the Koran had beautiful gold leaf illustrations and patterns on pages facing texts. The volumes of legal documents, or medicine had tables. The volumes of astronomy had star charts that though hundreds of years old still twinkled. These books are a living legacy of Timbuktu and to hold one as I did later in the restoration room is to feel absurdly empowered as a human, as an African. I shook. I smiled. I trembled. I have delivered babies – that is held a living being so precious because of it’s newness to the world – and who would have thought that to hold history would provoke the same nervous joy, the same protective instinct, the same awe. Indeed some of the private libraries only allow women to work in the restoration laboratories because it is thought that only a woman who has cared for a new born understands the delicacy required to manipulate these documents, this history. I’m not sure how to feel about that. I have to say the major disappoint for me is not being able to read Arabic script. A book is a scared thing, but even more so when its meaning is understood. Perhaps most remarkable is what I can only term as the amazing fusion of cultures that these texts represent. Before leaving for Timbuktu, I remember commenting to a friend about my unsure feelings due to the fact that these celebrated African written texts are actually written in Arabic. Are they really an example of the African written word? Can’t somebody easily say that we sub-Saharan Africans don’t have our own record of our own languages? I am so glad I came to this place for the questions it has answered and the numerous questions it has stirred inside my thick thick skull. As the director of research for the Ahmed Baba center explained to me so many of the texts are Arabic script, but indigenous languages. Imagine that! I thought about it and thought about it and I guess the best comparison I can come up with is the fact that French, German, English etc. are all written with Latin letters though none of these languages is actual Latin. Chinese and Japanese use similar scripts but are two very different languages. My conclusion: the script isn’t so much what matters as the language that’s written and the ideas. And then, what a fabulous exercise in cultural exchange. That is Timbuktu encapsulated – nothing is what it seems – everything is a reflection of everything including identity. As such you are forced to see yourself in the other in a way the wider world may not allow and your mind opens. I guess this is the purpose of books – even if you can’t read them. I don’t know that there’s all that much for me to say now that I’ve seen these libraries – at some point the boredom sets in and leather bound volumes that you can’t read cease to be exciting but wow that initial rush. We decided to turn to other aspects of life in the city and being a medical student, high on my list of priorities was the Timbuktu hospital which is conveniently located just behind the Ahmed Baba center. Behind a high tower and blue gates is a series of one story bungalows situated around a dusty courtyard in which patients and their family’s sit and wait for care or cook food for the sick. It reminds me of many a hospital I’ve been to in Nigeria – the same structure, the same stillness in the courtyards, the smell of Detol disinfectant along the open corridors and in the doorways of rooms. I got the chance to see patients with the chief of medicine – a youngish man who was the first person in his family to attend school. There in each of the rooms, we push through cases holding plain films that show pleural effusions and enlarged hearts, bone infections and tuberculosis up to light streaming in through windows. It is a far cry from the “state of the art” medicine that I am learning in New York City, but because of this I feel better about myself as a potential Doctor. Medicine in Timbuktu, is like other things in Timbuktu, about people and connections between them, not machines, not academic journals and articles, not prestige and recognition. I’ll explain further. When learning medicine in the States, so much is focused on technology and protocols, on the precision in memory and diagnostics that will allow us to treat anybody who comes in the door. It often feels like the reason why I wanted to become a doctor (why most people what to become doctors) is lost in the mix, that ability to lay on hands and heal. Healing may not mean curing a disease but it does mean making a person feel more human. As we walked down the halls, between the beds, I would whisper to Lauren that this patient with the liver cancer or that patient with the enlarged heart probably has less than a year left in the absence of treatments readily available in the west. And that bothers me a lot. I want that to change. But what I don’t what to change is the way the Doctor must connect differently with a patient in the absence of these life saving treatments. Medicine cannot be practiced by handing over a prescription for a series of tests and then a series of drugs after twenty minutes of speaking. The conversation is extended. The doubts tendered and expelled and if it’s loss of life that one must face, the coping practiced together with the provider of care instead of in private. This is be a simple minded rendering of this situation, but I never claimed genius. I turned to my friend Lauren – an engineer by training who dutifully traipsed around with us striving to understand medical jargon delivered in French – at one point at told her “I can do this. I can be a Doctor. I like this!” She laughed because she is so used to my enumerating the various reasons why medicine is just not for me as a profession. To think I had to venture a thousand miles from anywhere to see healing (as opposed to treating) and hear that still small voice that says yes you do care about people and how they feel. They say Timbuktu is a city of mysteries. ________________________________________ History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors

A little linguistics lesson. Note that is family tree is very, very simplified!

For Indo-European languages, everything is set up in one giant family tree. For the Germanic branch, Germanic is the “mama” and the following languages are his “daughters”, which makes them “sisters”. There are more “sisters” but these are the 7 we know and love.

It gets a little more complicated under the Germanic branch. It is split up to two sub-branches, North and West. Check out the Western branch. Yes! English is very much a sister to Dutch and German.

You might be thinking huh, that’s weird, but check out examples of literature written in “Old English” like Beowulf. English was more morphologically and grammatically similar to German then.

English is a very special language that deserves it’s own chart. What with the rather complex mix of Latin, French and the influence of many other languages that sets it apart.

I recommend, no matter age you are, to go and study another language! It’s a beautiful, amazing world you are living in, go and find out more about it!

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do but know that you must.”

I saw that on a sign today. I have been afraid to truly speak out openly to my fans for fear of alienating some of them, but in a time of national emergency, it is our patriotic duty to speak up, and stand up for what’s right. I am horrified to watch as the very dystopian futures I’ve written about move closer to reality as the current administration dismantles everything that America stands for. This is not a political issue. Republicans and Democrats alike need to come together to stand against the darkness that is engulfing this nation that we love. 

The word “Nazi” was formed from the first two syllables of the German pronunciation of the word “national.” The rise of the Nazis was heralded by virulent anger and nationalism. Sound familiar? It should. The malignant form of “nationalism” that seems to have infected about 36% of Americans is nothing but Nazism. But of course it wouldn’t be called that, because if it was, most of those good people would have nothing to do with it. So instead it’s being called “making America Great Again.” But make no mistake—it is a modern American version of Nazism, and has already begun leading us down a very dark path.

This article states as clearly as I’ve yet seen—and to all sides of the political spectrum—how dire the situation is, and what we must do. And if you do not think the situation is dire, then you need to take a look at yourself, and really consider what you, as a human being, believe.

Families can be Embarrassing

Rating: T (just to be sure)

Imagine:  Y/N and Spencer have been together for a while but she still hasn’t met the team

Word count:  1636

Triggers:  None that I can think of

They were sitting on his sofa, each engrossed in their own book.  Well Spencer was at least.  Y/N was doing a good job pretending but was actually having a hard time concentrating. She glanced over at Spencer, with his eyes behind his glasses racing over the pages as he read.  Y/N envied him his distraction.  She was trying to decide how to start a conversation, one that she knew would be difficult for both of them.  She just didn’t know how to begin.

It all started at the movies.  Y/N had gone to see a French foreign language movie that she had heard good things about.  She had just got her popcorn and drink when she spotted him – Dr. Spencer Reid. Y/N knew who he was.  Everyone at the F.B.I. knew who he was.  Y/N worked as a translator for the Bureau but had never had a chance to meet him.  She always thought that he was very attractive and would have loved to get to know him but was a little intimidated by his genius status.  But when Y/N saw him standing in the lobby of the theater, she thought to herself “What the hell?” and decided to introduce herself. At first he was taken aback that she was talking to him, but as soon as Y/N told him who she was, he became very friendly.  They talked for a few minutes and when they went into the theater, Y/N invited him to sit with her.  And so it began.  Y/N and Spencer began spending all of their free time together – movies, coffee dates, late night dinners.  It was difficult with Spencer’s work schedule but when he had time off, he wanted to spend that time with Y/N.  And it wasn’t long before they fell in love.

It had been 5 months since they met and for the most part Y/N was deliriously happy.  Of course, she and Spencer didn’t always see eye to eye about everything and frankly trying to argue with a genius could be a pain in the ass.  But Y/N loved Spencer with her whole heart and was happier than she had ever been.  Until today.

Agent Hotchner had requested that a letter written in German by an unsub be translated and the job had fallen to Y/N. After she was finished, she went up to deliver it to him.  As Y/N left Hotch’s office (she thought of him as Hotch because Spencer talked about him so often), she spied Spencer talking to some of his colleagues in the little dining area.  Y/N knew who they were from Spencer’s descriptions:  JJ with her pretty blonde hair; Garcia with her flamboyant clothes; Prentiss with her beautiful dark hair; and Morgan with his chiseled good looks. Y/N only knew them from Spencer’s descriptions because she had never met them.  Spencer never made a move to introduce Y/N to his friends.  At first, she thought that he was unsure of their relationship and didn’t want to risk having a rejection known by everyone.  But as their relationship grew and deepened, it was a little troubling to Y/N that she had never met any of them.  But Spencer brushed off all of Y/N’s concerns.

Until today.  As Y/N was walking towards the double doors leading to the elevators, she caught Spencer’s eye and smiled.  Now would be the perfect time to meet his friends and Y/N was ready.  But when Spencer spotted her, he started to smile………..and then his smile froze on his face and he turned away and went to fill his coffee cup.  Y/N was stunned.  He’d completely ignored her!  As she caught the elevator back to her floor, Y/N was miserable.  Why had he ignored her?  Then the doubts started to creep in.  She knew that she wasn’t as pretty as JJ or Prentiss or as smart as the rest of the team but why not introduce her to his friends?  Was he embarrassed to be involved with her?  Was that why he didn’t acknowledge her?  The doubts and fears stayed with Y/N for the rest of the day.

That night when Y/N went over to Spencer’s for supper, she thought for sure that he would explain why he’d ignored her today. But he didn’t.  He greeted her like he always did, with a hug and a kiss. He had also ordered her favorite Chinese takeout for supper.  Through the whole evening, Spencer never once mentioned the incident at work.  Y/N waited for Spencer to bring up the subject but since he didn’t, she decided to bite the bullet and get it over with.  If he was ashamed of her, then their relationship was a sham and Y/N knew it needed to end.  She also knew it would break her heart to lose him, but she didn’t want to be with someone who was ashamed of her.

So Y/N took a deep breath and said quietly “Spencer, we need to talk.”

Spencer, still engrossed in his book, murmured “uh huh” absentmindedly.

Y/N shook his leg and said again “Spencer, we need to talk.”

This time, Y/N’s words penetrated Spencer’s brain. He looked up from his book with concern in his eyes.  The “we need to talk” speech was rarely good.  He put his book down on the coffee table and scooting closer to Y/N, took her hands in his and said “What is it Y/N?  Have I done something wrong?  Are you breaking up with me?  What did I do wrong?  Please don’t leave me!  I love you so much!  I’ll try to do better!”  Spencer spoke quickly, tripping over his words in his panic.

Y/N quietly soothed him saying “Spencer, I’m not breaking up with you.  I just need to talk to you about something important.”

Spencer closed his eyes and taking his glasses off, put his shaking hand over his eyes for a moment as his white face slowly began to get some color back.  “Okay” he said “ what is it?”

Y/N took a deep breath and said “Are you ashamed of me?  Do I embarrass you?  Do you want to break up with me?”

Spencer looked at Y/N for  a split second before bursting into laughter.  He was laughing so hard that he actually had tears in his eyes.

Y/N got angry.  “Why the fuck are you laughing at me?” she yelled at him.  “I’m serious!”

Spencer immediately stopped laughing.  Y/N rarely cursed so when she did, he knew that she was pissed.

Spencer was still holding her hands and brought them up to his lips and kissed them gently as he apologized.  “I’m so sorry Y/N!  I wasn’t laughing at you.  I was laughing at the ridiculous idea that I’m embarrassed or ashamed of you.  I couldn’t be prouder that you’re my girlfriend!”

Y/N looked at Spencer and said “Then why don’t you want me to meet your friends?  Today at the BAU would have been the perfect time for me to meet them but when you saw me, you completely ignored me.”

Spencer could hear the hurt in Y/N’s voice and felt terrible as he realized how his behavior had appeared to her.  The problem was how to explain it to her. “Y/N” Spencer said softly “I’m not ashamed of you or our relationship.   The truth is” he said, taking a deep breath “that I didn’t want you to meet them because they’re the ones I’m embarrassed about!”

Y/N looked at Spencer like he was crazy. “They are the elite of the F.B.I. They are also like family to you. Why would you be embarrassed by them?”

Spencer ran his fingers through his hair, trying to figure out how to explain to Y/N why he felt the way he did.  “Yes Y/N we are close and I think of them as family. But that’s the problem.  Like any other family, they can tend to be embarrassing when one of the team starts dating someone new.”

Y/N was shocked that this was the reason Spencer hadn’t yet introduced her to his team.  “But Spencer” she asked “how bad could it be?”

“Well” Spencer said “Morgan would be like a big brother, call me ‘lover boy’ and want to know how good our sex life is.”  Y/N giggled as Spencer continued.  “Garcia’s the sister who would definitely pull you off to the side and ask you if I’m  any good in bed.”

Y/N leaned toward Spencer and whispered “Well I’d have to tell her that you’re not only a genius at work.”  Spencer blushed a little but also smirked at that remark. He continued.  “JJ would be a total mom.  She’d tell me how happy she was for me but then later would ask me quietly if we’re using protection.  And Prentiss and Rossi are the crazy cousins who would want to know if you could fix them up with your friends!”

By the end of Spencer’s recitation, Y/N was laughing.  Then she asked “What about Hotch?”  Spencer was quiet for a moment and then said “Hotch would just want to know if I’m happy.” Y/N thought that they did sound exactly like a family.  But they loved Spencer and Y/N wanted to get to know them.

Then Spencer said solemnly “I love you Y/N and I guess I just wanted to keep you to myself as long as I could.  But I do want them to meet you because you are the most important part of my life right now.”  Y/N’s eyes started to fill with tears as Spencer spoke.  Then Spencer said “Henry’s birthday party is in a few weeks. How about you come with me?  You could meet the whole family at the same time!”

Y/N leaned forward and gently pressed her lips to Spencer’s and then she said “Bring ‘em on.”

(A/N:  This is my first fanfiction.  Please let me know what you think - what works, what didn’t.  I appreciate any and all feedback.  Thanks!)

What brought you to Berlin? I read you wanna bring the summer with you all year long, so, why Berlin? Why this cold city?
It’s very cold, it’s right, but I think that the reason is that there’s a lot of people in the music business, very dynamic people! All the songwriters, all the singers, all the people who are doing music all day, is something that we don’t have in Barcelona and it’s very creative all the time! You have the chance to meet some people and decide to do something together.

So, not just techno and electronic?
No, no, no! It seems like that, yeah… I’m not really a techno fan! I like house music, but not techno, I like things with more melody! Berlin is very unpredictable: you get to meet so many different people and you can be influenced by all these dynamic things that happen to you!

Are you planning to stay?
Yeah, I mean… I’m in an apartment and I think I’m gonna stay a little bit there! I recorded most of the songs there… it feels like home, yeah.

How do you create your songs, in which language do you write? Cause you’re half Spanish, half German…
I do a bit of everything, so I wrote songs in English, not only in Spanish, but this time I wanted to concentrate on Spanish and create a latino album for myself; this is the first time I do a solo album. Of course, it’s very different to write in English or to write in Spanish, I’ve never written in German, ‘cause I didn’t feel like writing my songs in German… So, for this time, Spanish has been easily chosen.

How could you describe your album?
I would describe it as a story: is a dynamic album, I didn’t want to work on an album where all the songs seemed the same. Hopefully, everyone will be able to feel that when they will listen to it: there are ballads, there are uptime songs and some more emotional too… The sound is very organic: you can feel the energy and the positiveness in all the songs of album!
Is this album a concept album?
It’s a concept album in the way where every track has a personal story and it is based on personal experiences, and I think that it could be described as very personal.

What are your musical influences, what kind of music do you like to listen to in your free time?
I like to listen to a lot of different styles! Right now I am listening to an American singer, she’s called Bex, but she’s more dark, that’s something different, that’s really cool. I try to get different influences from everywhere and I don’t like to listen to just one kind of music. It also depends on my state of mind, for sure, the influences for me are different too. I listen to a lot of Juanes, Shakira, also Maroon 5, Coldplay, The Fray, John Mayer, Owl City… I don’t have just one influence, it’s pretty complicated.

Have you ever thought of doing something else, not the artist?
Yeah, I studied engineering and industrial design: I wanted to become a car designer, that’s what I wanted to do before I started this career. I like everything connected to the idea of speed, when you feel the wind in your face…

You told us about your musical influences, but what about artistic influences in general? I watched the “El Mismo Sol” videoclip and it reminds me a little bit of “Into The Wild”…
My biggest influence is the multiculturalism, because I experienced it a lot in my life (he was born in Barcelona, her mother was half Spanish and half Belgian, his father was German and he grew up in Tokyo; now he lives in Berlin). My best friends are half Japanese, half German, a different combination of different people, it helped me a lot in a society like ours where everyone is international, you can meet new people all the time and Berlin is very international as well.
In the video we wanted to show this road trip that explains a little bit my story in a metaphorical way; I left Barcelona to do a road trip and the journey in the video is like the trip I did to go to Berlin: enjoying every moment, meeting new people. When we were writing the story together with Daniel, a Spanish director, we connected very fast because we had the same idea and we felt like it was a very cool story and it was taken by my personal experience too, so I felt it in a particular way.

What do you think is the secret of your success here in Italy?
I don’t know! I wish I knew! Someone told me that in the 90’s there has been like a Spanish wave of music and has gone down, maybe now it’s going up again with a niche of the market! I don’t know, but I think, in general, Italian and Spanish music have always wandered around: in Spain we listen to a lot of Italian music, here you listen to a lot of Spanish music as well. I don’t know, but I’m happy that it happened!

Your first band was with your brother, now how is the relationship between you two?
It’s perfect: we’re very united, he’s very happy for me! I told him that I wanted to do this solo project while I was still in his band, he was the lead singer of the band and I wrote the songs. At the beginning of this journey on my own it was a bit strange, because we always played together, but he is very happy, he is really supporting me and it’s very cool!

You’re a globetrotter: you lived in Japan, you lived in Barcelona, now you live in Berlin… How do you cope with long distance?
I was very lucky when I left Japan, I was 17 and when I was that age Facebook just started, so for many people Facebook is a bad thing, but for me it was perfect, 'cause I could see my friends going to parties, going on whit their lives and even if I wasn’t there anymore I could feel somehow that I was still near to them! It was not an email, it was not something very distant: I was part of their lives and they were part of mine, even if we were miles apart. Nowadays, I think we’re very luck living in a “social-media society”, where all distances are cut short by all these networks! I try to stay in contact with the friends that I left around the world!

How did you choose the songs for “Eterno Agosto” and how did it was the work in the studio?
I worked on 15 songs and the album has 13 of them: I hope that the two songs left out will come out sometime in the future! I like them, I hope that they will be listened to: it was very hard to make a decision, we have to choose between the songs and it is always like choosing between your kids, it’s not very easy! The time I spent in studio was really amazing, I have never worked with the two producers I worked with for “Eterno Agosto” and they’re very talented! When I started working on this album it was August, 2014, so I spent one week in Berlin, then three weeks in Barcelona, and then back again… they were preparing some stuff for when I came back and so it has been a dynamic creative process. We had a lot of fun making the album, we danced a lot and I hope that people will have a lot of fun listening to it, as we had making it.

Do you think that your music reflect the German or Spanish way of living?
I think it reflects more the Spanish way! The style of the music is very latin, is very summer style and it’s quite not like German style! Everyone expects something darker, more techno, in this case! I think I’m half German and half Spanish; more German than Spanish because my mother is half Belgian, half Spanish, it’s complicated… But I feel more Spanish, because I’ve always spent most of the time in Barcelona. The album is more Spanish, is an extroverted album, for sure.

Three words to describe “Eterno Agosto”?
Fresh, positive and fun.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my personal summer hit, since the 21st of April.

The man who damned the world


(this was originally written in German, but it is part of this setting’s history.)




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destroy the stereotype that Hermes kids are only good at stealing things.

they’re a bunch of jack-of-all-trades adhd kids. gods know of all the things they get up to. between everyone in the cabin, they’ve probably dabbled in every single trade imaginable (and made up a couple when they got bored).

  • someone has a thing for linguistics and everyone else spent a summer helping them, and now the cabin has a secret language. basic conjugation is written on a poster board in medieval-esque calligraphy and tacked to the wall.
  • there’s about 12 hammocks in the rafters of the cabin because of that one kid seven years ago that learned how to weave them from Athena cabin.
  • the Hermes and Apollo kids got together ages ago to form their own concert band. they play everything from Bohemian Rhapsody to Molly on the Shore, as well as pieces composed by Apollo cabin.
  • some fluency in Spanish, French, German, and Elvish is fairly common.
  • the walls of the cabin are lightly blanketed in pictures and post cards from travel destinations. some have been brought back from quests, others are cut from magazines, all of them are on someone’s bucket list.
  • they know pretty much every card and dice game ever invented, and cheating is only frowned upon if someone abuses it. you’re as likely to see an honest game of bridge as you are a lesson in cheating at euchre.
  • parkour is a plague. Chiron gave up yelling at Hermes kids in high places centuries ago.
  • storytelling is a traditional nighttime activity, and campers are encouraged to tell one of their own or make something up on the spot. the one-sentence-at-a-time story improv game is every sunday, and every cabin member participates; other demigods sneak in just to listen.
  • they visit the monster-infested forest often, and a common dare is to camp for a night under the trees. those who dabble in cartography have mapped most of the forest.
  • Hermes kids are extremely welcoming to young, scared, and unclaimed demigods, distracting them from their fears by teaching them random skills, and being respectful of their guests’ belongings.

don’t forget, Hermes is the god of hospitality, among a ton of other things. stealing may be his cabin’s most widely known talent, but don’t you dare think it’s the only thing in their skill set.


2nd hour of today. read a full (”for adults”) manga volume, without pronunciation help. i think i’ll switch to only learning N2 words (not reviewing N3) until they’re all learnt, because it makes me feel like i’m progressing faster.

dreamt that i was taking the JLPT in my closet and another test-taker was getting everything loudly translated to german for them so i couldn’t concentrate. the test answers were supposed to be written out so i kept forgetting the main character’s name from the reading and had to double-check 50 times how to write their name. i was panicking about not having enough time, yet i still passed with 50% (somehow i magically knew if my answer was wrong or not right after i wrote it).

in the waking world, i did my first vocabulary test for N2 on an app and passed it with 73%, even though i’m only halfway through learning all the N2 words. i read 3 doujinshi yesterday.

I was talking about how the German subjunctive is cool because you can avoid having to repeat “he said/told me/mentioned/etc” all the time and my roommate was like “You love weird things and I love that”

so I was watching the “Civil War” trailer

and at some point they’re in Germany but…

can someone explain these uniforms to me? I mean…it’s not the normal police that’s obvious but the SEK (special operations command) wears black and has totally different helmets and everything else the police wears is blue/grayish?

the helmets look a little bit like Bundeswehr but then there wouldn’t be written “POLIZEI” on their vests

maybe I shouldn’t be thinking too hard about this…I mean what do Americans know about the German police anyway but yeah…maybe we have some special unit I didn’t know about that wears exactly these kind of uniforms and someone can enlighten me haha

Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer…
—  Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 July 16th letter to Franz Xaver Kappus, from Worpswede, translated from German by Charlie Louth

anonymous asked:

38 cop/person getting a speeding ticket au barduil please? Cop Bard is just <3333

WHY DID I EVER AGREE TO THIS, I CAN’T WRITE SHORT THINGS. I first wanted like a playboy!Thranduil taking the mick out of relentless grumpy cop!Bard, and I ended up with… this, and a whole mysterious AU forming in my head. I have no idea how this happened. take it, just take it from me.

It’s 10PM on a Saturday, an hour past Bard’s already overtime shift, which means he has absolutely no patience left - all he wants to do is drive back to the station and clock off, and get home in time to put his children to bed, but no, that would be entirely too simple, of course.

The roar of the engine is rich and obnoxious, and he sighs a resigned sigh even before the car passes him, a sleek dark thing, very out of place on this narrow road leading back to town. Still, Bard doesn’t really have to concentrate too hard to know that the driver is speeding, and his eyes automatically slide to to the car’s license plate. For a second, he considers the option of just letting this one go, but then he’s already switching the siren on, and stomping down on the gas pedal himself. Stupid morals, keeping him away from a warm dinner with his children.

He half expects to chase the dark Mercedes (what the hell is a car like that doing all the way out here in the middle of nowhere?) throughout the city, and is prepared to do so, but it slows down almost immediately, stopping by the side of the road, literally a couple of steps away from the rusty Welcome to Laketown, Michigan! plaque. Bard steps out of his own car, glad to stretch his limbs and get a whiff of the cold fresh air out here, and he’s very much determined to get this over with as quickly as possible, his weariness muddling his senses rather thoroughly at this point.

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It was the cat. Marilyn. The cat was gone. I knew right away because I didn’t hear the tingaling. He’d put this collar on her… You know, for midgets… for Santa’s elves. A tiny bell. He put a bell on, thought it was cute. You always heard it. But I came home, she wasn’t there. I went, Marilyn? No bell. And the vase… in terracotta, that was filled with pennies and shit, on the buffet. Gone. So I turn around and next to the door, just my boots. No running shoes. No guy stuff at all. So naturally I tear through the place at Iike 250 mph. He’d taken everything. AII… all… all his shit. On the kitchen table there was a sheet of blue notepaper with, written in German - cause he was German… Must still be. “I don’t want to waste my Iife Ioving you badly.”

les amours imaginaires (heartbeats) by xavier dolan