Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

Weindorf, Spargel, and summer trends

 Well the weather here has been amazing (minus the past few days of course, but the vineyards need rain). Right now in Würzburg we have the Weindorf, or “wine village” in the town center, built similarly to the Weinachtsmarkt but with fewer stores and a lot more places to sit! I went last weekend with a friend and we enjoyed some local wines. They also serve something called a “bowle” which you can get with different fruits, usually strawberry or peach. Apparently it’s a combination of fruit, white wine, sekt (like champagne) and lemon. I didn’t try it; I thought it looked a little questionable (not to mention they were way overcharging for it)

 Another food and drink-related piece of information I’ve come to learn (but not understand) is the German appetite for asparagus. Yes, asparagus. And it’s not green here either, they eat the white variety. I’m not exaggerating when I say there’s asparagus everywhere. Since about the beginning of May, there are individual stands all over the city that exist solely to sell asparagus. Well, sometimes strawberries too, but only if you’re lucky. The daily specials outside of restaurants consist of combinations of food I wasn’t aware of which could include asparagus. There’s your basic asparagus with hollandaise sauce, but asparagus soup, asparagus with ham, or potatoes, or rolled in meat and baked with cheese and tomatoes, or in a casserole, or fried, or au gratin are all new ways I’ve learned that one can enjoy asparagus. I don’t particularly have an aversion to it, I just wouldn’t pick it off the menu given other, better options.

Food aside, it’s hard to believe I’ve only got one month left here. I didn’t get the extenstion, due to an abundance of first-year applicants and grantees- the second years wouldn’t get placed until all of the first years have a spot. A classmate of mine from BC will actually be at my school next year, and I’m really excited for him (and to dish a little bit on what to do/not to do).  This means the job search is on for me, yes, over here in Würzburg. I figured, next year’s completely open anyways, I like it here, have friends and my lacrosse team, so why not? I’m planning on coming back in August or September, regardless of the job situation (which will hopefully be resolved in the upcoming months). Druck die Daumen für mich! (German equivalent of “cross your fingers for me!”)

I am sad to be leaving the school though, I really like the students. I was interviewed yesterday since there’ll be a short piece on me in the yearbook (celebrity status) and it was a little sentimental, I definitely got “graduation goggles” (HIMYM reference, anyone?) thinking back on the past year. But my students in the 10th and 11th grades have begun to find me on facebook so I have a feeling we’ll keep in touch somehow. I got to do a lacrosse “sample-lesson” with some of my 10th grade girls last week, and they loved it! Five of them actually came to our practice Monday to watch, and they want me to start a U19 team for them which would be amazing! I’m doing the same lesson with the 10th grade boys next week, and a few of the guys from the men’s team are going to come in and help me out (plus it’ll be cool to see all of the pads/equipment/helmet).

Lacrosse ladies at the mafia party

Otherwise May’s been a pretty low-key month. No big travels, aside from Munich for a weekend to celebrate a fellow teaching assistant’s birthday as well as my first experience with EuroVision. EuroVision is a Europe-wide song contest, in which each country selects an act or singer to represent them. It’d be like American Idol consisting of 50 singers, one from each state. We watched the finals which consisted of I believe 30 or so acts and somehow Azerbaijan won. I wasn’t under the impression that Azerbaijan was even part of Europe but hey, they’ll host the contest next year now. Overall Munich was a great time, as always, and aside from a mafia-themed party Würzburg hasn’t been too wild. With the nice weather everyone’s outside grilling or enjoying a beer by the river (YES open containers are allowed) and I’m sad I won’t be here the entire summer.

But don’t worry, in June I’m sure I’ll get more than my fair share of traveling/more upbeat events. It’s a little sad, but also exciting, that every weekend from now until I come home I’ve got something planned! (and it’s all to do with lacrosse. surprised? you shouldn’t be) This weekend I’m going down to Vienna with another girl from my team here to play in the Austrian Lacrosse Open. Next weekend nine of us girls and ten of the guys are going to a training camp, and then from the 15th-27th of June I’ll be joining GlobalStarzLax, an American lacrosse team, in tournaments in Berlin, Hannover, and Amsterdam. I’m so excited! We’ll have a lot of opportunities to learn and improve as a team, and I’m so proud of the girls already for how far they’ve come. Oh and as a last note, we also were lucky enough to watch the NCAA championships this past weekend, congrats to both the Northwestern women and Virginia men’s teams on their titles! They were great games to watch.

Hope everyone had a happy/relaxing/fun Memorial Day weekend and next big American holiday- 4th of July- I’ll be back to celebrate in style!


May 31, 2011 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


So, one of my resolutions is to keep up on updating. I actually thought I did pretty well up until December, but really I wasn’t near a computer for the last half of the month so not completely my fault. My family and Jessie came for Christmas and New Years which was absolutely great, and I’ve forced them all to become guest bloggers for various parts of the trip. So, as the reports trickle in I’ll post them. Until then, here’s a quick catch-up of what’s been going on:

zurich at night

Second weekend of December I headed down to Zurich with my friend Nadiya to stay with a friend of hers. Zurich is ridiculously expensive (in comparison to what I’m used to in Germany) but apparently people earn much more there so it all balances out. From what I experienced in Zurich, I liked it, but I don’t think I could live there permanently. It’s a hub for a lot of businesses and of course has tons of the infamous watches and chocolate. We were lucky enough to take a day trip to Luzern (Lucerne), about an hour away from Zurich, which is absolutely beautiful. It’s still in German-speaking Switzerland (thankfully) and the views are wonderful due to the lake and backdrop of mountains. A side note about Swiss German, or Schwitzerdeutsch- it is nearly impossible to understand if you’re not from Switzerland. The Swiss can easily understand the Germans, and everyone understands one another if you speak Hochdeutsch (high German, which is taught in the schools and is what I learned, no dialect), but Swiss German might as well be another language.


Back in Würzburg, school rolled right along until Christmas break (which didn’t start til the 23rd!), but during my conversation lessons with the students, I did learn a great deal about Christmas in Germany. It’s celebrated on the 24th, instead of the 25th, and the 25th and 26th are two observed holidays. So, really, Christmas is 3 days long. Awesome.

There’s a pretty distinct North-South divide when it comes to the Weihnachtsmann (the equivalent of Santa Claus) or the Christkind (has the same role as Santa, but is an angel with long blonde hair, or the baby Jesus; my students were always split half and half on how the Christkind looks). Anyway, bottom line is the kids still get their presents from this foreign, magical source but they get them on the 24th. Apparently sometime after church (which is attended on the 24th as well), back home all of the children have to leave the living room and the doors are closed so they go watch tv or something. Then, magically, 15-20 minutes later a bell rings from the living room. The bell means the Christkind/Weihnachtsmann has come and the kids can come into the room and open their presents. This is where I have a problem. What?! Presents on the 24th? Okay, I could deal with that. But no build up of anticipation, dancing of sugarplums in their heads, waking up at 6am to race down the stairs and see what Santa brought? No. Not to mention the complete lack of imagination involved here (a bell, that’s it?). Somehow it still works. Good for them.

And while we’re addressing slight cultural differences, New Years here is called ‘Silvester’, named after a Pope who apparently did lots of important things, among them converting Constantin I to Christianity. What I found to be one of the coolest things about Silvester here though, is the fact that everyone lights fireworks at midnight. No, not just the official-sponsored city fireworks show, everyone. It’s like the 4th of July, in the middle of winter, and probably way more dangerous. We were in Cologne and the street we were on clouded up within 3 minutes of midnight, people had sparklers left and right and fireworks were being shot off literally from street corners. Of course this lasted about 30 or 45 minutes, and I can’t forget to mention the legality of open containers so of course we popped open some champagne as well. I already mentioned one ‘resolution’ (to update this more often), but I’m really not a big fan of New Years resolutions. I think from age 8-16 I vowed to stop biting my nails which of course never lasted more than a few weeks (still guilty), so instead I like to make goals.

Other resolutions/goals:

– Get the lacrosse team officially registered and have a schedule for next season

– Don’t turn down an invitation. My friend Pat, in Russia, has commented on this more than once in his blog, but you never really know who you’ll end up meeting or what kind of fun you’ll have when you get invited somewhere.

– Keep traveling/taking advantage of my current position. I have absolutely NO idea where I’ll be next year (the possibilities are literally all over the globe) so I’d like to take advantage of my place in central Germany, not to mention central Europe.

Hope everyone had great holidays and look forward to entertaining updates coming from my family and Jessie!

January 8, 2011 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tomorrow is Mantelsonntag- literally translated as “Jacket Sunday”. In Germany, all of the stores are closed on Sundays, but on this one, the stores will be open with special discounts on coats, winter clothing, and most clothing in general. I should be receiving my monthly stipend money any day now so needless to say, I’m pretty excited for tomorrow. In other news, this week has been great, probably the best so far (and here’s why):

The Weather: YES we are back into fall and momentarily taking a break from winter! The trees have changed to colors other than just green or a weird yellow, the temperature has been in the 50s sometimes even the 60s the past few days, and this weekend the market square is full of vendors. Since Halloween isn’t really celebrated here (and I’m really bummed about that) they tend to focus on All Saint’s Day (Nov 1). So there’s no school/work on Monday and the market this weekend is in celebration of that holiday.

Lacrosse: There’s a men’s team here in Würzburg, but no women’s team. However, the guys have been really great in helping me trying to get a team started. Monday was student activities day at the university. Somehow our table ended up in a not-so-prime location: in the corner with all of the Wohngemeinschaften (living communities which are usually religiously affiliated or conservative). However, we still drew a good amount of people over including lots of girls! Each one of the guys likes to think he’s solely responsible for this but I beg to differ… Anyways after about 10 minutes I finally had my ‘student activities day’ speech down which went something like this: Hi are you interested in lacrosse? Have you heard of it? Well it’s a sport and we don’t exactly have a women’s team here but I’m trying to start one. Here’s a list of our practice times/places and you should come try it out! No pressure, we have extra equipment for you to borrow’ and the other person was usually somewhat interested, somewhat confused. But, come practice Wednesday I had 5 other girls there! I think my first day as a coach went well, but I definitely have some vocab to work on. I’m trying to get established here as the official coach of the team, which is a little intimidating, but hopefully works out. Two of the girls are making flyers to hang around the university and once we can field at least a full team (12 people) then the real work begins. Wish me luck!

Market stall

Apartment: I finally got one! I don’t get to move in until February, but that’s fine by me. I’m renting the room of a girl who’s going to study abroad in Denmark next semester, and she’s leaving me her bed, dresser, tv, and dvd collection (yesss)

Friends: With the university finally starting up, the British teaching assistants getting settled in town, and the lacrosse project, it’s much easier to meet people/hang out. There are two British teaching assistants in my town; I’ve only met one so far but he’s really nice and we’ve hung out a few times. At student activities day I met a Canadian girl, and we actually went out to lunch Friday at this amazing Indian restaurant with a mutual friend of ours. The lunch buffet, complete with the best curry and vegetables I’ve had, was 7 Euros.

Travel! On Tuesday I leave for Cairo to see one of my roommates from BC for 5 days and I couldn’t be more excited! Expect a really exciting update (and great pictures) after I get back

In other news… I applied too late to receive an absentee ballot for the elections Tuesday, but everyone else should go vote! I’m actually kinda glad I get to sit this one out. The campaigns for governor of Illinois have been (unsurprisingly) dirty and perfect examples of why I think a two-party system doesn’t offer enough choices. So, fellow Illini, choose who you deem the lesser of two evils and hopefully things will start to look up.

Teaching is going pretty well at school, and we’re oh-so-slowly nearing the units on North America. We’ve just finished with Australia in the 8th grade and did a few days on the Rabbit Proof Fence (a film I actually had to watch for one of my sociology classes), and I’ve had some really interesting discussions with my students regarding fair trade and boarding school. I’m trying not to get frustrated when students say they wouldn’t pay more for items, even if the money went directly to the workers, or other things I may disagree with, and so far I’m succeeding. What I found really interesting, was the complaint from the majority of my students that they find their class sizes too large. Ideally, they think it should be somewhere around 15 students. They would like to talk more in class, not just read, and are envious of close student-teacher relationships, as seen in the article. They were amazed at the fact that we could email our teachers in high school for help, weren’t afraid to go talk to them, or even had the chance to get to know them better through co-curricular opportunities. I definitely took those things for granted, and I know as a high schooler, I wasn’t too concerned about things like that- I thought only parents worried about that stuff. (yes my dad was the one asking all of the questions on college tours about things no one seemed to care about- libraries, class size, etc). Turns out I was pretty lucky with the high school teachers I had after all.

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Highs and Lows

The past few weeks here have presented me with way more challenges than I thought possible in such a short amount of time but I think everything’s starting to even out. I’ll try and sum everything up in terms of highs and lows. (I’m starting with lows because really, everyone wants to end on a high note)


– After 5 weeks of asking my name to be put on the postal box, it wasn’t, and I found out I haven’t been getting any of my mail. Included in that would be 1. my German bank account information and ATM card (-1) 2. my German train discount card (-1) and 3. a package from my mom (-1). I don’t usually crave oreos and peanut butter but as soon as someone tells me it’s on its way, I am checking the mail twice a day to make sure I don’t miss the package slip. Score: Germany 3 Colleen 0

– The changes in weather are nuts. Last weekend was in the low 70s and now I’m lucky if it hits the high 40s. As if the weather itself wasn’t bad enough, my sinuses have decided to revolt against me leaving me inside and sleeping most of the weekend instead of off having fun European adventures. Germany 4 Colleen 0

– I was supposed to get my passport back after 2 weeks with my visa in it. Instead, I got an email saying I needed a biometric picture (yeah I had to look that up online) and proof of health insurance. As far as I’m concerned, no one else had to do that. Thanks bureaucracy. So that left me a total of about 5 weeks, in a foreign country, without a passport. Germany 5 Colleen 0

– We’ll refer to this as “the washing machine incident”. I have somehow prolonged doing any laundry until this past week. I worked up the courage to ask about the laundry room (which is locked far away in a dark corner in the basement and consists of one, yes one, laundry machine). I was told it would take about 30 mins for a wash cycle, which is fine. I had 3 loads to do and the first load still wasn’t done after an hour so I figured something was wrong. A total of 90 minutes later it’s finally finished and I’m so thankful pulling my clothes out of the machine. Throw in the second load, head out of the dungeon, and run into the equivalent of an RA, except they’re all 50+ year old Fraus. She asks me if I intend on returning the key soon because she’s closing the office so I somehow have to find a way to speed up my laundry. Fast forward to an hour later, me frantically trying to open the door to the laundry machine, failing, and breaking off the handle. Great. Now I’m trying to put the handle back on the machine/am freaking out about my clothes in the machine/am wondering if I even get to do my 3rd load, and I know there’s nothing left to do but go find the RA/Frau. No one’s in the office, so I go across the hall and find her watching tv.

Me: Hi, Sorry to bother you, but, um, I can’t open the door to the laundry machine

Frau: *sighs because I’ve interrupted her show* The wooden door to the room (clearly thinking, you’re dumb, you have a key) or the door to the machine itself?

Me: No the door to the actual machine

Frau: Well I never do laundry here, no one really does, so I don’t know how it works.

Me: (Great why doesn’t anyone ever tell me these things) Ooookay…. Well can you try and help me?

Frau: Okay fine. (waddles downstairs, me trailing after her. Gets into the room, tries to open the door but the handle is cracked in two so obviously it comes off). What’s this?

Me: Oh it looks like the handle’s broken (Okay I’m a little reluctant to admit it was me because I don’t know how anything works and all I really want are my clothes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to go that long without clean clothes?!)

Frau: (now enters the phase where she treats me like I’m five. Including using a childish voice) Well it wasn’t broken this morning, and now it is, what do you think happened?

Me: (stuttering because this woman instills the fear of God in me) I-I couldn’t open the d-d-oor and I j-jjust tried to pull the handle a-a-and I guess I pulled t-t-too hard and um…. I’m really sorry… T-there was a (lack of vocab again kicks in…) a break in the handle, I-I mean it- it was already broken… *silence*

Frau: Well now you’ve broken the whole machine. I can’t open the door without the handle. You can’t get your clothes. The machine is ruined. We’re going to need a whole new one. Did you pay a deposit?

Me: What? I-I don’t know. I just asked to use the machine and they gave me the key to the door

Frau: Well you’ll probably have to pay for a whole new one. The Housemother will be in between 7 and 8 tomorrow morning so you’ll need to go see her then (on my day off.. really?). But I hope you’re ready to pay for a new one.

Me: oh… okay (then I run upstairs and proceed to have a breakdown based on all of the previous events and call my sister on gchat. except I can’t even do this in the privacy of my own room because I don’t get internet there so this is all happening in the middle of the hallway) Germany 7 Colleen 0



– I now have my name on the mailbox and receive mail, including my bank information which I had to ask them to resend (+1), my train card is on its way (+1) but there’s still no sign of the package. Germany 7 Colleen 2

– I found the equivalent of a CVS (+1?) well I’ve stocked up on cough drops, Kleenex, and am getting no less than 10 hours of sleep per day this weekend. Germany 7 Colleen 3

– Got my passport back, complete with visa. Free to travel the world!! (+1) Germany 7 Colleen 4

– I get internet in my building! No, not exactly in my room but I no longer rely on public wi-fi in bookstores and the library to get internet access. Let the skype dates begin. Germany 7 Colleen 5

– Yeah I’ve really got nothing for the laundry incident. Except the fact that my sink’s really clean since I had to wash my whites by hand.

– I’ve gotten wonderful/hilarious email and facebook message updates from friends and family and they’re all great. Thank you so so much, all of you. Also I somehow got ESPN3 to work very sporadically last night and watched my first portions of a football game since last year, and I got to see BC almost take down FSU. But it was a great game to watch. (+1)

Final Score: Germany 7 Colleen 6

In spite of everything, I’m not ready to throw in the towel and come home yet. I was talking with one of my friends the other day and the truth is, this year is not a ‘study abroad’ round 2. There are no pre-packaged groups of Americans waiting to be your friends, no one to hold your hand and show you how to do things to get by. Moving to a completely different city, different country where you don’t know anyone is extremely difficult. I was very ready for the teaching aspect and I’ve actually found that to be one of the least challenging things. The hardest part, is making your own life out here for a year. But as my friend said, at the end of it I’m going to be ridiculously independent (even more so than before) and be able to appreciate everything I’ve learned over here.

October 17, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Back to school to prove to Dad I’m not a fool

And so ends my first full week teaching at school. Phew. It wasn’t bad at all and the kids are great. I’m a huge hit with the 10th grade girls who begged to get out of class to talk to me. I felt like a celebrity. Most of the teachers have me taking small groups out of the room to work on English conversational skills, but others have me working on grammar and lessons in class. The 8th graders are learning about Australia so I’m pretty useless there, but I have to come up with a lesson regarding the Pope’s latest visit to Britain for Wednesday so that should be challenging, to say the least.

I’m in 12 different classes per week, ranging anywhere from 6th to 13th grade. The German school system is really different than ours, and I’m at a Gymnasium, which most resembles a typical American high school. Except they end every day by 1pm. And they don’t have nearly as many clubs or sports teams as we do- it’s almost as if they have more time to just hang out and be kids. It’s kind of nice. It turns out that my school isn’t just a music school, but also a language school (fear #1 put to rest) and most of the kids live in the town or nearby so very few students board (fear #2 gone too). So Germany is trying to convert its education system more to an American one (distinguish between Bachelors/Masters and so on), so they’re making 12th grade the last year in high school, instead of 13th. But it’s a transition process so this year both the 12th and 13th grades will be taking their “abitur”, the exam they must pass to graduate. The 13th grade will take it in February so they have the option to enroll at a university for the 2nd semester (which starts in April) so the universities won’t be overflowing with recent graduates next fall.

So I think at this point I’ve pretty much seen all of the major sights here in Würzburg. I took a tour of the Marienberg fortress last weekend- it’s 100m up a hill, the highest point in the city, and therefore has a really great view. And I swear the weather is perfect every time I bring my camera out to take pictures but it’s not like this all the time. The fortress was originally built by Celtic people when they were in the area and was then rebuilt by the German Prince-Bishops who lived their for safety from the Würzburg people. The people wanted to get rid of him and only pay taxes to the emperor (long complicated history) but it all worked out in the end. The fortress I believe is the largest in Europe and was finished being restored in the 1990s after it was nearly destroyed in the bombings at the end of WWII. (for the history buffs, a little bit more info:

View of Würzburg from the Fortress

So I think the only thing I have left to do then is go on a tour of the vineyards (that shouldnt be too difficult to do) and still find an apartment. I thought I was going to get one, I even had an interview, but the girl was only leaving for 6 months and I need something for longer.

Inside the first quad of the fortress

I tried to get a picture in front of the city (I found some British tourists) but it wasnt a point and shoot camera so I came out completely dark. In other news I tried to find a ‘sprachpartner’- someone who speaks German and wants to better their English, so we met up for drinks last night and he definitely thought it was a date. And had no respect for any personal space boundaries. So that was interesting. But my friend Nadiya from BC is coming here tomorrow and then we’re off to Oktoberfest on Saturday!!

gardens, vineyard, and part of the town

PS mom- Ive decided youll want someone to get married at the Fortress. It has all of the qualities of your other 3 wedding destinations:

1. Napa Valley- there’s obviously wine here

2. Mackinac Island Grand Hotel- it’s a fortress

3. Botanic Gardens- hellooooo gardens

And a great backdrop for pictures.

PPS if you click on the pictures, they’ll load in their original full size (which is way bigger and better)

PPPS I added a link to my friend Pat’s blog on the side. He went to BC and is doing a Fulbright in Russia this year

September 23, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My (lack of) musical talent

Life here is still relatively uneventful but I’ve marked today down as one of the most terrifying days of my life, and it’s only 10:50 am. Let me tell you why: I’ve already had to register as a citizen at the town hall and open a bank account, and I still have to get my visa, but the office doesn’t open until 2 pm. I swear these offices keep the strangest hours because they want to make sure you really want that visa. And tomorrow’s the first day of school.

We’ll start with today. I woke up way earlier than I normally would to get to the town hall by 8:15 and find there’s already a line. Then I get sent to the worst counter I could. Herr ‘insert strict sounding name here’, we’ll call him Herr Streng, did not acknowledge my fear of speaking German or my limited vocabulary, but proceeded to rapid-fire questions at me and getting very discouraged when he had to repeat them. After looking over basic info our conversation went something like this:

Herr Streng: Have you ever been registered as a citizen of Germany before?

Me: Yes in Munich about I year and a half ago. I studied there. (very proud of my competency at this point)

Herr Streng: (not impressed) Did you unregister yourself as a citizen of Munich?

Me: Um… I haven’t lived there for a year and a half so I definitely can’t be registered

HS: But did you unregister?

Me: Uh… I don’t remember unregistering, it’s possible I’m still registered… but I left the country and lived in the US so…. I can’t… (lack of vocab kicks in) I went through a program so… they probably did it.. yeah

HS: (sighs, shakes head) OK then we have to unregister you. What’s the zipcode for Munich?

Me: What? I don’t know. (thinking can’t you look this up? you’re the one at the computer. besided Munich has like 8 zip codes)

HS: (sighs, shakes head again, getting frustrated) What was your address there?

Me: What? My address? I can’t remember it was 18 months ago. Something with the Geschwister Scholl…. uh…

HS: (clearly angry by now) I can’t unregister you if you don’t have an address!

Me: Could we just pretend I unregistered and you try registering me here as a US citizen?

HS: (huge sigh, like he’s doing me the biggest favor ever) ok

Then everything goes fine except I have to ask him to repeat almost every question and this woman interrupts with some Swiss girls unregistration that clearly must be more important than mine. Note to self: don’t forget to unregister in June. At the end of it, Herr Streng gave me a welcome brochure and told me to enjoy my time here, so it wasn’t so bad.

The bank was much better. I could open an account for free at Deutsche Bank since I’m a ‘student’ (I have an international student ID card but that’s it). They explained everything to me and I understood it (my comprehension is way ahead of my speaking ability). So I sat there looking dumb for 45 mins just nodding and saying ‘ok’. They probably thought I had some problems. Now all that’s left is the visa..

Okay but school starts tomorrow. I know 2 teachers out of a lot, and have no idea what I’m doing. I’m an assistant so how much do I teach? I think I’m just supposed to observe for a few weeks but I have no idea what the school has planned for me. Also, I may have neglected to mention this is a school geared towards kids with musical talents. Which makes me wonder why I was place here. Nowhere on my application was music listed. I mean, I played piano for roughly 10 years and can still read music. And in jr. high i was hands down the best clarinet player the north suburbs had seen. Not to brag (but bragging) in 5th grade, I was in 6th grade band, 8th grade band, and honor band- for the really good 7th and 8th graders. But this one kid in 8th grade, we’ll call him Bobby, did NOT like the idea of me being in there. He was first chair but his best friend Charlie was third chair and I was second. And I was a girl. Pretty sure he still believed in cooties. I did. So he tried to do anything to get me out of there but I was too good. Then rumor came around that he made a ‘hate list’ on his calculator and I was on it. Or maybe I just flattered myself by thinking he cared enough to put me on it. I think the school found it so then I was temporarily first chair while he was gone. Take that, Bobby.

But the point is there’s no way I am playing the clarinet or piano now. And music is the kids #1 priority so I’ll have to come up with some way to make English just as important. Oh and I politely turned down an invitation to join the faculty orchestra. Maybe if there are practice rooms or something then by June I’ll give one performance and let them think I was this talented all along. Probably not.

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , | 1 Comment