CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 8, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 4

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DAVID: OUR GERMAN EXCHANGE STUDENT Part 4

To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

     I interviewed David at the end of his year 2000 stay as an exchange student from Germany.

     “My reason for coming to the United States was to learn the language, to speak it fluently. I think I met that goal,” David said. “I also came to get to know a different people and their culture.

     “My biggest impression is that the United States is big. I didn’t really expect it. You can drive twenty hours in one direction and still be in the same country with the same language. In the same driving time in Germany you would pass through four to five countries.”

     There are not so many churches in Germany as there are here, “where on one street there are ten churches and two are the United Methodist. Church…People go to church in Germany but not really that often like here.”

     According to David, almost everyone in Germany is in the church, “I am, but I go once a year, on Christmas Eve.” He said he is still at work at 10:00 a.m., or he doesn’t go because “I am just tired.”

     “Here, Sunday is just about church. In Germany, Sunday is to (more…)

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November 4, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 3

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DAVID: OUR GERMAN EXCHANGE STUDENT Part 3

To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

      He didn’t like Alex, the exchange program coordinator, and he didn’t feel he could respect the rules.

     “I can do what I want,” he said.

     Back at our house, he demonstrated some skate board moves, showed me a skate board magazine and showed me his paint ball gun.

     “I’m against war, but paintball is a game,” he said.

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     One of the rules was that David had to do his own laundry. After all, my kids had done theirs since age 13 (albeit by their choice). He seemed surprised at this.

     “I didn’t do theirs, and I’m not doing yours,” I stated.

     On Thursday, David said he was ready to do his laundry.

     “I’ve never done it before,” he said, using his magnetic smile, I am sure, to convince me I should do his for him.

     I couldn’t be cajoled into doing it for him, but I would teach him.

     “I hate you but (more…)

October 11, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 2

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DAVID: OUR GERMAN EXCHANGE STUDENT Part 2

To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

    We laid some ground rules—basically, we weren’t going to do things for him we didn’t do for our own children. We wouldn’t play a wake-up game with him. He would have to get himself up in the mornings. We presented him with an alarm clock.

     Neither would we drive him to school. As my children learned, if they didn’t get ready on time, they would have to go without a note the next day.

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     It was Wednesday when Jared knocked on our door. It was dinnertime at his house, and David was expected. David was sleeping, so we had to awaken him, and he doesn’t wake up easily.

     I walked across the street to the neighbor’s house later that evening.

     Rene and Tom said David spoke about getting a driver’s license during dinner. Rene seemed in favor of the idea, and was encouraging Tom to take him out for practice. I was less enthusiastic, wondering if he could get a Social Security card.

     Jared, David and I played Uno for a while. David asked if he could spend the night at the neighbor’s house, since there was no school the next day due to an ice storm. He told me Rhonda said he could, and I responded sarcastically (in fun) that I was in charge. He replied that sometimes old people think (more…)

October 4, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1

CAROLYN”S COMPOSITIONS

DAVID: OUR GERMAN EXCHANGE STUDENT Part 1

     Perhaps if I’d retired to my porch rocking chair, spending my hours catching up on all the old magazines and books piled in my study “for future use,” I wouldn’t have had a teenager living in my house. But then, David, our German exchange student, brought much excitement into my life.

     My husband, Monte, and I, had just returned from a visit to Germany, where our son, Nolan, held a post-doctoral position at the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (German: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften Eingetragener Verein).

     My teeange neighbor, Ryan, a junior high school student, was studying German. When I handed him a pile of fliers and thick newspapers he could use for (more…)

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