(Not the) Rosetta StoneNovember 12, 2010 at 5:57 AM | Posted in Annals of Travel, Geography, Germany, Personal Development | 4 Comments
Tags: Germany, Ingrid Mackey, Tubingen
Just a few days after my wife and I got married in August of 1973 we flew off to Germany to live for six months or so. Ingrid was going to the University of Tübingen to study and I was going to — well, I had no idea what I was going to do. My one contribution to the preparation for the trip was to buy suit cases, one which, stuffed with heavy books, ripped apart an hour after we landed in Germany. I am struck by how lacking in curiosity I was by what now seems a grand adventure. It wasn’t as if I had spent my youth on the Grand Tour, as I hadn’t been anywhere.
Prior to Tübingen we spend several weeks in the less than glamorous city of Mannheim and it was a sort of prep for the months to come. We went to wine festivals and did a tour of the wonderful Eichbaum Brewery. Ingrid was quite busy and when I learned that a basic German class was offered I thought that it made sense to give it a try. I went to one class and bowed out. I had just finished Grad school and I could not sit one more minute in a classroom. The only German I learned were curses and oaths in the factory that I eventually worked at.
Since then, and particularly in the last several years I’ve been to Germany numerous times and have gotten by well with English and 25 German words. But now, all of a sudden, this doesn’t sit well with me. As a courtesy to the many people I meet, as a bow to their culture, I want to attempt their language, as they have attempted mine.
I have, like so many others, chosen RosettaStone to guide me. I’ve loaded the discs and done my first lesson. It seems a great and innovative system. It has everything except coeds.