2013

Being Organized Pays Off!

As my stay in Berlin, and my student teaching placement at BBS, comes to an end I have made it my goal to see as much of the culture of Berlin as possible. It is not always easy, but being organized and planning really makes it possible! I get my work done and have time to travel as well- with no worries about what I should be doing if I hadn’t finished my work already!

With only 20 days left, and counting, of my stay in Berlin I had to find out places I should visit before I leave! I asked around and one place kept being suggested, Potsdam. Potsdam is just outside of Berlin… It takes about an hour to get there- including switching trains at stations! I set out earlier this morning, knowing that I am unfamiliar with the area (and anticipating that I would end up lost). As I was on the train, I noticed that the buildings were disappearing, the areas were unfamiliar, and I was getting farther and farther away from the areas I have become comfortable with! I was beginning to get nervous, very nervous. I even took a second to think about how I could get off the train and headed back toward Charlottenburg!
I had to pinch myself, and take a second to breath. I always think of the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I always thought these words were inspirational, and easy to incorporate into everyday life… but now I am truly living outside my comfort zone! I am seeing new places, teaching in new ways, and experiencing a whole new culture! It is fantastic!

After a minute, I thought to myself I am ready for this day! I packed my backpack with a lunch, a book, my camera was charged, and I bought the train tickets! I WAS READY!
I arrived in Potsdam and realized I am truly not good at planning, especially when dealing with maps! I had printed a map of places to see in Potsdam, but never took into consideration that I needed to include where the S Bahn station was… to know how to get out and which direction to walk! (Lesson learned… Always plan ahead, thoroughly.) I must say, I am pretty sure I have the “confused and lost” look down to a science! There was a nice man who was trying to “sell” tours, but kindly offered me a map and pointed me in the right direction! Thank goodness for kind strangers.

So! There I was, walking outside of the S Bahn station, into the beautiful area of Potsdam on this gloomy, cold, rainy Saturday! I walked around, following the map, and saw many different places! I saw several beautiful palaces, walked through the park, bumped into a Christmas market, and even walked almost 2 and half miles out of my way (Again, my map skills are not my strong suite!).

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City Palace, Potsdam 

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Potsdam Museum 

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St. Nicholas’ Church

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Potsdam Film Museum (Closed due to construction) 

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Brandenburg Gate at Potsdam 

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The Church of Peace (Friedenskirche)

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The Church of Peace (Friedenskirche)

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Sanssouci Picture Gallery 

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Schloss Sanssouci 

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Schloss Sanssouci 

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New Palace 

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New Palace

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Orangery Palace

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Orangery Palace

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Belvedere on the Klausberg 

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Ruinenberg 

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Ruinenberg 

I have had a fantastic Saturday! I am so glad I decided to keep going with my plans to travel and explore today!
How many people can say they ate their lunch sitting on a bench in front of Schloss Sanssouci, walked the garden of the Orangery Palace, and trekked through the woods to see Ruinenberg? Even though I did get lost at some points… I am proud that I am no longer scared of being lost. I can honestly say this experience has changed my perception of “being lost.” Being lost is not a bad thing, it is a good challenge, an obstacle that I can conquer when I take a minute to be self-reliant, read the signs, and have confidence! I am learning so much about myself not just in the classroom, but outside of it as well… it truly is a wonderful experience!

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One thought on “Being Organized Pays Off!

  1. If I would have counted the times I got lost when I traveled in Europe even you would be impressed. Do love your ‘Life begins….” quote > a very good one to remember as we make decisions about career and life in general. 🙂
    I never got to Potsdam – guess I need to remedy that.

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