When I was in college my mother wanted desperately for me to make my "debut." My father, who understood me much better, took me aside and made an offer I couldn't refuse: wouldn't you rather spend a summer studying abroad? Oh my, yes!! Anything else! He said it would be more enjoyable for me and cheaper for him. We struck a deal.
Mary Baldwin College (MBC) (now Mary Baldwin University), which I had attended for my first two years of college, was offering a study-abroad summer in Germany. I had at one time considered spending my junior year abroad in Germany, but my roommate and I spent our junior year "abroad" in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California instead. That wasn't the original intent, but that's how it worked out. The appearance of this summer program was perfect. It fit nicely between my junior and senior years of college and provided the incentive to transfer back to MBC for my final year.
The MBC program started with two weeks traveling around Germany with Professor Kurt Kehr, or Herr Kehr as we called him.
Afterwards we divided into two groups to attend different campuses of the Goethe Institute. I was assigned to the program at Kochel am See in the Bavarian alps. The larger group went to a location in the Black Forest. As it happened I got a much better grounding in the language because most of the students in Kochel were from somewhere other than the US, e.g., Brazil, El Salvador, Morocco, France, Iceland, India, Thailand & Tunisia to name a few. Almost all of the Black Forest students were American. Of the girls who stayed in Kochel, the others had already paired up together. I seldom had any interaction with them for the rest of the summer.
I requested a non-American roommate. My new roomie was a delightful young Japanese woman who spoke wonderful German and no English. We became fast friends and my schoolgirl German improved apace. My pronunciation is excellent, my grammar was and is spotty, and my vocabulary has declined with the years, but I can still make do after a little practice.
Mostly I am putting this together for my own personal remembrance, but anyone is welcome to follow along. I've tried to make the narrative a complete summary, but I've used many links to other web sites to provide additional details and sometimes pictures. You can either stick with the basic narrative or explore the various links. At the time this album was updated, the links were all valid, but the WWW is in constant flux and that will surely change. If you encounter broken links, please send me some email.
Click your "back" button to return.