How is SSN College doing

# 005 - Nothing works here without the letter

Good morning,

there is a lot coming up to me now. My first full week in Fredonia was imminent and one or two official procedures would have to be dealt with. Since Janice had to drive to work, Bob was my companion for my first goal: The Social Security Administration. In the office, my aim is to get the Social Security Number, which every US citizen receives when they are born.

What I didn't know at the time was the fact that it would be a very laborious process for me. The lady at the counter didn't even have to look at all of my records to tell me I was missing a letter from college. So without arguing, I picked up my cell phone to call my college coordinators. Unfortunately, both women were only in the office again on Wednesday, so I was able to push the topic of SSN backwards for now.

American small town idyll - oil on canvas, 2018

Our next stop was the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV for short. The car will be bought within the next few weeks and I've heard that insurance would be cheaper if you have an American driver's license with you, and you can also use it as an ID in the USA. At the DMV there was the next surprise for me: To get the driver's license, I would have to pass a written test, take part in a five-hour course and of course take the practical test. The woman in the DMV gave me all the documents I needed to study, so it was clear that I would read a lot in the next few days. Sounds great at first, of course, for someone who has been on German roads for seven years. JUHU!

So soon I'll be able to drive American cars (what a big difference!)

In the evening Bob took me to nearby Dunkirk on Lake Erie, where he had an appointment with his ex-colleagues, a group of young teachers, for a game of beach volleyball. The group played in a fun league all summer long as the “Beach, please” team against other teams and, according to their own statement, learned a lot because they all started out as laypeople. Some of the teachers were just as old as me, which made me think about the various teacher training courses in Germany. Permanent teacher at 25? That is as good as impossible for us.

Watching the Beaches play in the evening, that sounds really good

Fast-forwarded, after a few purchases on Tuesday, it went straight back to Wednesday. At 1:30 p.m., I had a meeting with Erin and Naomi, my college coordinators, in their office on campus. But since the day was just too beautiful to waste even a ray of sunshine, we first drove back to Bear Lake. I should definitely build a hut by the lake in the next few months, it's so beautiful there! In the campus office, I had a nice chat with the two women who, in addition to a few tips, also gave me the schedule for the orientation week next week. So I was able to plan my next steps now.

These are the places that really make your way to college look better

Now that I had the letter I needed from college (yes, it's a university, but everyone here calls it college anyway), I drove back to the SSN office with Bob. When we arrived at the parking lot, we were able to turn around again, because the office was only open until noon. Well, that was my second attempt for this great number ..

Doesn't the Social Security Administration want the way you want them to? Go to the nearest barber shop and just let your worries cut off

Thursday has broken and Janice and I made my way back to the office. There was a different lady at the counter today, so everything could only go better. As I said, actually. The tax ID was missing on the letter from college. Where should it go now? Back to college, of course! Erin quickly printed out the letter with the tax ID, as you couldn't just write the ID on the letter by hand. So let's go to the fourth round of the Social Security Marathon! Relaxed, I went back to the counter, where the dear lady had to tell me straight away that the college called and said that another number had been forgotten. Maybe I'll just leave it with the Social Security Number, after all, I “only” need it for almost all other administrative procedures.

After an hour of waiting and a helping Erin, Janice and I were able to leave the office successfully, the SSN should then arrive by post within the next two weeks. Let's hope that's true! In the evening I first had to relax with another beach volleyball game. Because of my injured ankle (sports injury that I actually suffered a week before departure), I wasn't an alternative on the field, but I was an active spectator with many fan chants. Together with the volleyball players, I later went to a trivia evening in a nearby restaurant, where we were able to get 6th place from a good 20 teams. Let's go, beaches!

Chips in a color combination that I know very well (SCHLAAND!)

The rest of the week was very calm and relaxed. At the beginning of the weekend it would rain again after a long time in Fredonia, but that didn't stop us from having a nice campfire with the family at the lake on Saturday.

Even in the late evening I just don't want to leave this jetty anymore

Sunday the church visit was announced again, this time followed by a lunch for the parish. If there's one thing that's really nice to look at, it's a community of young and old who eat and help each other. In the evening Janice and I visited an elderly lady in the local retirement home. The conversation with her was very entertaining and I was very happy to see the lady smiling all the time. These are the things you like to remember after a week like this!

See you soon,

Your Leander