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Closing a Chapter

I’m sitting in an empty airport. To my right are the soaring double sealed windows that seem to be every terminal’s “unique feature,” complete with the nose smudges of small children, the signature of unseen predecessors left behind from pushing eager faces up against glass.… Read the rest

Berlin, Botschaft, Bundestag, Merkel, and the YFU Family

I am not Merkel’s masseuse.

An arm’s length distance separated my hands from Bundeskanzlerin Frau Dr. Angela Merkel’s shoulders…along with respect for world leaders, people’s personal space, and let alone, common sense. Besides, President Bush already has it covered…

(I wonder if President Obama also exercised his hands while at Schloss Elmau?)… Read the rest

Victoria’s Visit

Surprise, surprise! My phone buzzed with a Facebook notification.

“Message from Victoria R,” the preview read.

Oh, I haven’t heard from Victoria in quite a while! We were friends in High School, and now she’s at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor…I wonder what she’s up to…?Read the rest

Those first few months

Learning a language while living im Ausland is quite the adventure. It’s simultaneously incredibly difficult while surprisingly easy, completely lackluster but full of hilarious mistakes.

I’ve been asked time and time again what being immersed in and learning German was like, especially during my first few months on exchange.… Read the rest

Celebrity Status

In the hallways or on the street I’ll hear children whispering, “Ja, das ist Andrew, der der ein Austauschschüler ist!”

And, kids being kids, one or two young students will come up to me and shyly say “Hi Andreuu,” running away to a group of giggling friends before I get the chance to reply.… Read the rest

H&M makes Detroit weltbekannt

When meeting people for the first time, conversation usually samples something similar to these two lines;

…Ich komme aus Michigan… (I’m from Michigan)

Ach so! Chicago ist in der Nähe, oder? (Oh, Chicago is nearby, right?)

Most people seem to know of Lake Michigan, but the other three great lakes (there are actually four more…) are still a mystery.… Read the rest

One Year from One Word

I was seated crosswise at a faux wooden table, positioned with my back to the rest of the classroom and enjoying the lovely view out the classroom window, which featured the yellow bricks of the courtyard’s adjacent wall.

To my left sat my friend Ramia.… Read the rest