Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Highs and Lows 2015

It's the last day of June, and therefore the day I recap the month. The last month of school in Baden-Württemberg starts tomorrow, whereas school ended in Wisconsin in early June. The German students moan when I tell them American kids get three months off for summer, when they get only six weeks. We have to appreciate the longer and more frequent breaks during the school year, but in the end German students still do 220 days of school every year to Wisconsin's 180.


  • long walks in the valley, spurred on by my Mi Band and my daily goal of 10,000 steps

  • Reitturnier (horse show) in Nordstetten

  • daughter's college graduation

  • spending time with family and friends in Wisconsin

  • meeting six of the seven middle school students from Sheboygan, Wisconsin participating in this year's Sheboygan-Esslingen summer exchange and having the opportunity to tell them a little about what to expect in Germany

  • buying (actually eating) fresh string cheese from Baker Cheese

  • not actually hating my flights to and from Chicago via Zürich on Swiss Air. On the way over I had three empty seats next to me! There was hardly any turbulence, and the food was enjoyable, not just edible as it is on Delta.

  • celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary at our favorite restaurant with M's mother and our witnesses from Edinburgh, who happened to be passing through at the right time and spent the weekend with us


  • not being able to bring the fresh string cheese back to Germany with me - I could kill for some as a snack right now.

  • the Fremdschämen of watching on German news hoards of Americans protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from government buildings in South Carolina. Don't worry, people. You can still glue Confederate flags to your bigass pickup trucks, wear confederate flag t-shirts, and fly the flag at your own home to advertise your affection for the values that flag represents. Sweet Jesus...

That's actually it. I've got some exciting things coming up in July:
  • a day trip to Strasbourg, France for a visit to the EU Parliament with my friend and Sprachpartnerin, H
  • our final preparation meeting with the exchange families for the summer exchange; the American students arrive near the end of the month
  • a weekend trip with M to Bamberg, a beautiful Bavarian town I've not been to before
  • a tour of Esslingen based on an historical novel that takes place in the town in the 14th Century

I hope you've had a good month and will find plenty to enjoy in July.


  1. Anonymous1/7/15 11:02

    Three months of summer holidays? How do the parents not lose their minds?

    1. They send the kids to week-long camps, the kids play on sports teams all summer, and there's even summer school for a few weeks for those who need it or are interested. By the end of August even most kids are ready to go back to school! As a teacher, if I hadn't had those 3 months to recuperate, I might have gone mad. First month of school is general spent reviewing material they forgot during the 3 months of summer, though. Luckily for the students there's no graduation test in the U.S., so they don't actually have to prove they've learned anything during their 12 years of formal education.

  2. Oh, am I jealous of your string cheese and cheese curd consumption! And congrats to your daughter on her graduation! Always exciting for a parent. :) Lawrence looks beautiful... I've only heard good things about that school so how nice that you have a family tradition there!
    Looking forward to hearing about July... we were in Strasbourg last year and absolutely loved it.

    1. Thanks! The graduation was really special, and we're proud of her. She graduated cum laude, which is more than her parents and grandparents can say! :-) I'll surely write about the trip to Strasbourg, though that and two others of my upcoming events all happen next week and weekend!