Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting the Ball Rolling

Nothing terribly exciting, but some things getting moving I figured I ought to say something about. Last Thursday Romy and I met with Helmut Hartmann and Hans-Jurgen Schmidt about the Living History project we are heading together with some of the students at MLS. We talked for hours (I mean that literally) about the history of the program and the new generation of teachers, about how the program was funded, and all sorts of other things.

Romy and I (she does the lion's share, I have to admit) will be working with a class of students to create an exhibition that will be showcased at the end of the year, chronicling the history and development of the program, and how it exists today. Frau Wilhelm's hope is that it will be transportable, and that we can bring it to St. Olaf to be showcased there as well. Herr Hartmann and Herr Schmidt gave us a lot of information, and we'll be working with the students on Thursday to get things started in full.

On a thoroughly unrelated noted, I had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night two other teachers and I, Annett and Susanna, went to see Planet of the Apes. I was unsure as to how I would like it, especially seeing as it was dubbed, but I had wanted to go see it. I'm glad I did; it's rare to see a science fiction film that is moving as well as thrilling. I highly recommend it.

On Saturday I went to see a band called Soulfinger. They were playing at Rimbach's "Cool Tur" festival, a pun on the German word for culture. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I really loved the band. They had some great vocalists, good instrumentals, and put on a great show. I also met a number of Americans at the front of the group of people dancing. They noticed my dancing, we all started dancing together, playing off each other, and at one point I asked one of them where she was from. She said she was from Alabama, and I told her I was from Wisconsin. She was a bit taken aback, and told the others, and we all sat down after the concert. Turns out they all live in Heidelberg, and the husband of one of the ladies was one of the singers in the band. So I got to meet a couple of the band members, and made some new connections in Heidelberg. This is their website, for anyone interested: http://www.sweetsoulmusicrevue.com/
There's a handy little pair of flags in the upper left corner of the text display that you can use to toggle English or German. One of their singers toured with James Brown, as well. It was a pretty great night.

Other than that, things are going well.

Oh, and one more thing....

Friday the teachers are heading to Mannheim, I believe, for part of the day, and then afterward I'm going to take the train to Heidelberg, where I got in touch with the Blues scene. I've been in contact with some of the dancers there, and I can crash at one of the dancer's houses for the night, since the trains to Rimbach don't run very late. I'll probably stay Saturday in Heidelberg to swing bomb a park there with some of the dancers, and then there's a (Blues?) houseparty that night. Knowing Blues dancers, there will probably be at least some dancing that night. It will also be a great opportunity for me to get in touch with the dance scene in Heidelberg, and make some connections there. I can't wait. :-)

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