It being the last day of the year, and me having nothing better to do, I think it’s a good idea to post an entry looking back at everything that’s happened. 2008 was a year full of milestones, a year in which my life situation changed more dramatically than almost any other. I’ve lived in three different places and had three different jobs, lost a few friends and gained a few more, left behind an old life and began a new one. All in all, a major turning point in the greater context of my life.
These are the dates of my journal entries that paint the full picture of the way things developed, including all milestones and major events. Feel free to click on the links to the archives and read anything you think you might find interesting.
What the Fuck am I Doing With My Life?
1/20/08- I ended the year in such a radically different life situation than I’d envisioned, as when it began I was still working at the Doubletree in Santa Barbara and taking teacher education classes, expecting to be in the exact same situation for the next two years. In this entry, I explain why I dropped out of the teacher education program and decided on a different course of action which also didn’t come to pass—returning to graduate school to pursue a career in the field of Philosophy.
2/6/2008- Although I’d already decided not to teach, I was still on the call-list for substitute teachers, and this entry recounts the first and only time I got called in to do so, which I’ll always remember as one of the most out-of-the-ordinary experiences of my life.
2/26/2008- The departure of Krissi from Santa Barbara is what sparked the later events which would totally throw my future up into the air.
2/29/2008- This was the day I got fired from my awful job at the hotel, which may not have been “planned” exactly but which I clearly did deliberately, as with no hope of getting into grad school for another year and a half, and with Krissi gone, I just couldn’t stand the idea of continuing that horrible job for such an excruciatingly long time.
3/9/2008- In this entry I’m considering another possible future, of moving down to San Diego to once again be near Krissi, an idea which didn’t last very long for various reasons, including my having long since grown tired of Southern California, as well as the unsettling nature of the idea that my life would more of a result of Krissi’s decisions than my own.
3/29/2008- The actual future finally comes into focus in this entry, when I discuss my reasons for deciding to go the route of overseas English teaching, reflect on my time in Southern California, and look to the immediate future of returning home to New Jersey to get my old pizza delivery job back while working on my certification and finding a job.
4/6/2008- A party thrown by a co-worker from the Doubletree marks the last time I saw most of the people I worked with for well over a year of my life.
4/23/2008- My final entry from Santa Barbara recounts the last time I ever saw Krissi and my thoughts regarding the wide open future ahead of me.
4/29/2008- My first entry from New Jersey briefly recounts the drive across the country and my feelings regarding the new, albeit temporary life situation.
5/19/2008- This is my longest journal entry of the year, and also probably my favourite. This is the detailed account of the sailing trip I was able to go on with my dad, his brother, and a few of their friends for a week in Antigua, which in spite of all of the other awesome experiences I had might just be the highlight of the year.
7/5/2008- Following a slew of introspective entries regarding my sexual frustrations is this one which actually describes some real events that happened during this period, including a canoe trip down the Delaware and the only time in my entire pizza-delivery career that I was invited into someone’s house for a beer.
7/28/2008- This is a dense entry that includes a revelation regarding my sexual peculiarity as well as a few little events such as my last visit to my grandparent’s house in Upstate New York and a drinking party that my little brother’s friends threw at our house while our parents were away. This also marks the first time that Hannover, where the year would eventually take me, is mentioned.
8/12/2008- My final entry from New Jersey provides a detailed account of the trip I took with my family to Niagara Falls.
16.08.2008- This entry recalls what can only be called the biggest milestone of the year, my arrival in Hannover and the very beginning of the craziness that would become my struggle to get myself situated in this new life.
18.08.2008- My hilarious misadventure to Berlin over my lost passport that wasn’t really lost is recalled here, as well as a brief account at the beginning of my first meeting with my landlady in which she didn’t ask me for any money which would lead to some dramatic happenings a few months later.
19.08.2008- Not really a milestone but a great entry nonetheless, describing what happened when I realised that my lost passport hadn’t been lost and I’d gone through the entire Berlin fiasco for nothing.
25.08.2008- This is also nothing major, but it does recount the Method Training for Inlingua, the only actual “training” I would ever really have for teaching English before I started doing it.
30.08.2008- I suppose my first real adventurous walk through Hannover is somewhat of a milestone, as this entry about my walk to the Stadthalle, through the Eilenriede, and around a street festival indicates.
31.08.2008- My second adventure through Hannover was somewhat less enjoyable than the first though also a milestone, as my non-encounter with a beautiful girl on a bike during my walk around the Maschsee continues to stick in my mind as the quintessential example of a missed opportunity due to my being a pussy.
02.09.2008- This entry is another true milestone, recounting my first actual English lesson, although it was with a student who I’d only have four actual lessons with before she seemed to drop off the face of the earth.
12.09.2008- My first lesson with Mr. Dörge, thus far my longest-lasting student, is recalled here as well as the first time I got serious about looking for work outside of Inlingua.
15.09.2008- This is not a milestone at all but I just like this entry. Why is it so fucking hard to find a can-opener in Germany?
27.09.2008- Also not a milestone, but a very nice account of my first walk through the Großer Garten is in this entry.
07.10.2008- A true milestone is recounted here, as I was interviewed by Frank for a position at Planeo, the language school that basically saved my ass and provided me with enough work to earn enough financial security to remain in Hannover and not end the year by returning to New Jersey in defeat.
09.10.2008- A hell of a lot of events are squeezed into this one entry, the most significant being the first time I met Amanda during which I sat in on one of her classes, which was also my first taste of what it was like to conduct an actual business-English lesson.
13.10.2008- The first of two entries that could be said to constitute the “climax” of the year as the sudden reappearance of my landlady and demand for way more money than I had on what just happened to be the first day of a two-week torrent of substitution lessons for Planeo was a prelude to the high drama of the following day.
14.10.2008- This may just be the entry of the year, which recounts both my first actual business English lessons ever as well as the heart-pounding, mad-dash-to-the-finish-line struggle with the banks that could have plunged the entire year into disaster but ended up allowing me to squeak by and continue living in Hannover for at least another month.
17.10.2008- A detailed recollection of my first week of business English lessons is given here, which includes such milestones as my first lesson in Helmstedt as well as the first time I tried to actually make a friend, although nothing came of that particular try.
24.10.2008- The only actual milestone in this entry recalling my second week of business English lessons is my first meeting with Alan that occurred right at the end of the week, and our resolve to go to a Tuesday night Quiz Night thingy which didn’t actually happen until a couple of weeks later.
04.11.2008- Quite a big day in the history of my life, as well as the world. Not only was this the day that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, but it was also the day where I officially found out for certain that I’d be getting the money I needed to remain in Hannover indefinitely. Finally, the biggest milestone of all is the first real socialisation I had in Germany, at Quiz Night with Amanda and Alan.
05.11.2008- Barack Obama! Yes we can!
15.11.2008- Not a big deal, but the first time I had my class with the apprentices in Helmstedt.
19.11.2008- The deep reflective entry on the big 10-year anniversary of the most significant date in my life, the day I met Aimee.
24.11.2008- Also not a milestone at all, but my second walk through the Großer Garten on the morning after a snowfall was definitely an experience worth remembering.
30.11.2008- Here’s a good one. This entry is the account of Amanda’s crazy flat-warming party, which is quite possibly the most unbridled, rip-roaring fun I’ve had all year. Jesus loves vodka!
06.12.2008- This is another great entry describing the Planeo Christmas party, including the go-kart-racing madness, the brief appearance and disappearance of the wunderschöne Petra, and more drunken fun with Alan and Amanda.
15.12.2008- I decided to post my journal entries online.
Kemstone’s Online Journal
17.12.2008- This is the first entry I wrote after Corey decided to end our friendship after reading from the online journal archives, and it also mentions what would be the last time hanging out and drinking with Alan and Amanda of the year.
23.12.2008- My last entry from Hannover recounts my last lessons of the year, my decision to leave my apartment, and more thoughts regarding the ongoing (possibly forever) Corey situation.
24.12.2008- My first entry from what has become the Final Destination for the year, the house of my German relatives in Ichenheim, describes the night and the possibility of moving to Freiburg, an idea I’m currently leaning away from.
31.12.2008- The year comes to an end. Goodbye, 2008. What a long, strange trip it’s been.