(photo of my school!)when i was applying for my fulbright grant, however many years ago, i often stopped and envisioned what it was i was trying so desperately to achieve. did i want to move back abroad? yup. did i miss my salzburg lifestyle – the traveling to other countries at the drop of the hat? duh. did i want to make more international friends? of course. did i want the title? absolutely. did i want to represent my university, my state, and my country to the best of my ability? certainly. did i want to help german-speaking children/teens improve their english? sure. did i want to perfect my german in the process? yes, yes, a thousand times yes. my ambitions were both self-serving and altruistic (i’ll let you decide the ratio), but there was one benefit of being an english teacher in germany that i never foresaw; the hilarity that is almost each and every conversation with my students and the laughter that results from it. seriously, i know all teachers have cute stories about their students but i like to think mine are extra funny. if you don’t believe me, read the conversation below. but if you’re not a harry potter fan, then just forget it.
sweet little german girl: do you like harry potter?
me: yes, i do.
sweet little german girl: do you love harry potter?
me: yes, i do.
sweet little german girl: do you love snape?
me: i do! he is the best character of the whole series.
sweet little german girl: do you love malfoy?
me: mmmm, no.
sweet little german girl: what about crabbe and goyle?
sweet little german girl: what about borgin & burkes?
me: i probably wouldn’t go into borgin & burkes.
sweet little german girl: do you like snakes?
sweet little german girl: why not?
me: well, they’re scary…to me.
sweet little german girl: which house would you be sorted into?
me: ya know, i think i’d be a hufflepuff. maybe ravenclaw, but probably not. and i don’t think i’m brave enough for gryffindor. i’m guessing you’d be a slytherin?
sweet little german girl: [30 seconds of silence pass as she stares at me with a look of horror on her face] I. HATE. SLYTHERIN!!!!!!!!!!! I’M IN GRYFFINDOR!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY WOULD YOU EVER THINK I’D BE IN SLYTHERIN?!?! THAT IS SO OFFENSIVE!!!
…yup. happy wednesday!