Saturday, June 16, 2012

Abi Abi Abi! Oi Oi Oi!

...Wait, I think I did that wrong.  ;-) 

I hope some of you got that, but I suppose I should probably explain.  The Abis (students who just made their Abitur/graduated) will occasionally break out into a cheer that goes something along the lines of "Abi Abi Abi!"  "Tur!"  "Abi!"  "Tur!"  and so forth, and it's essentially the "Aussie Aussie Aussie!"  "Oi Oi Oi!" cheer. 

So, it's been more than a month since I wrote something on here.  I'm terribly sorry about that, but it's been pretty busy.  The show in Mannheim went very well, and I really had a ton of fun there.  We had a pretty good turnout, too, except the last show; that one was a little spare.  In between those shows, I was trying to keep on top of corrections and school work, and was only marginally successful.  But that's all behind me now.

Last week my Aunt Pat was here to visit me, which was a really great time.  I had a lot of fun with her, and she really enjoyed seeing the "real" Germany.  We didn't place a huge emphasis on sightseeing, but rather wandered around Mannheim and Heidelberg a lot, and ate lots of traditional German food, and had a beer or two, an apple wine or two, and of course pretzels. 

However, since she was here, I didn't really do much by the way of school work, except what I absolutely had to do.  That means that I had to finish the rest of my students' last Klausuren in the few days between when she left and Thursday, when final grades were due.  It was crazy, and made crazier by a lot of other things going on. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were almost wholly consumed by setting up the exhibition for the Living History Project.  This is a class Romy Schuster and I have been working with all year, and the students have put together an exhibition on the partnership between St. Olaf and the Martin Luther Schule.  It's a great exhibition, and very informative.  Tuesday evening I also took part in the Abikammerkonzert (Abitur Chamber Concert), singing with the Voice Boys.  A number of Abiturienten/innen performed various musical acts, and a couple were really impressive.  Similar to St. Olaf, there is some real musical talent at this school.  I think it would be good for us to try to foster some stronger connections between the music departments here, and maybe the Band/Orchestra/Choir's next international tour ought to be to Germany. 

Wednesday was the opening of the exhibition, and it was also a day when the Abis pretty much take over the school.  We came in to find that the teachers' lounge had been filled with balloons, and the Abis blocked all the entrances and exits to the school grounds with squirt guns and paints.  Anyone attempting to get through was doused and painted.  It was a pretty crazy experience, and one that I don't think would fly at all in the U.S. 

Thursday I had coffee and cake with Thea Jakob, the widow of Willi Jakob, who was very influential in the reemergence of the program.  It was a very pleasant meeting, and she is more or less famous for her cakes, so that was wonderful, too. 

I've booked my flights to Sweden and then to D.C., where I'll finally get to meet my best friend's fiance, and then back to Chicago.  Grades are in.  I have already had my last 11th grade dance class, and my last conversation class.  I'll have my last 8th grade dance class on Monday, and my last English class on Wednesday.  My main commitments now are musical; rehearsals for the Abi Ball, and then also for the CD the Big Band is going to record.  I'm very much looking forward to that.  I'm going to sing Minnie the Moocher at the Abi Ball with the Big Band, too.  I can't wait. 

Thursday marked exactly one month till I leave Germany.  It's crazy. 

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