The fruits of work

As I reported last week, I am extremely busy. But now that the year gets closer to the end, the result of my hard work starts to show. I was featured as artist in the “Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous Artists” (Piece titled “Sharing Breath”, Upper right corner). It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other young artists! I also received a letter telling me that I would be inaugurated into the “Cum Laude Society” at my school. The “Cum Laude Scoiety” recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence (Areté), justice (Diké) and honor (Timé) (http://cumlaudesociety.org/). I cannot express how grateful and happy I am to receive such an honor from my school!

Yesterday, we had our last concert with the choir. The seniors traditionally receive a little dagger that signifies their contribution to the Fine Arts program at the school. My art teacher then, after naming all the seniors, called Toni and me up to the front and gave each of us one of these little daggers. It might not sound important, but it meant a lot to me. I had a hard time not crying.

I try not to think about the “end”, but it feels inevitable. What once was far away, so far from any grasp, is now coming closer at a terrifying speed. I try to keep my head clear and live each day to the fullest.

Alice, Canterbury School, IN

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Spring is finally here

While time is passing by faster and faster, things get busier and busier. The activities I loaded on myself at the beginning of the year now become overwhelming – in a good way. Although I’m very busy and barely have time to sleep, I have the feeling I’m using my time to the fullest. I always tell myself that I can sleep when I get back to Austria.

And that is exactly something I am not completely looking forward to. Canterbury has become a home and a family for me. My host family has become a true second family for me and I can’t imagine not being here in Fort Wayne.

The only thing I haven’t been very lucky with lately was the weather. The one spring I’m here is the rainiest and coldest spring in years. The fields in our neighborhood were flooded last Friday when we left for school. Although the sun (finally) came out today, it is still freezing cold. My blanket we made on Sarah’s birthday is one of my best friends right now.

So much has happened since I wrote last time (which really was quite a while ago). I hope I will get this in the right chronological order and not forget anything important (which is very likely to happen).

76081_335545486564581_2095611850_n385809_335545099897953_709682172_nWe had another play starting after Christmas Break. It was the “Good Doctor” by Neil Simon. Very Russian, very funny and definitely very unique. It is built up from different little scenes joint by “author scenes”. The cast was a very talented group and 21773_335545213231275_347381251_nalthough no one felt ready the opening night of the play, we took the crowd in. This play was unforgettable and supported my love for theater once more.

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Now that I’m in my Junior year, well almost done with it (saying this with a tear in my eye), I need to make out the colleges I’m interested in, rule out majors I don’t care about and center my attention to a specific field of study so I can find the best college for me. I always struggle with decisions so this is in no way easy. My current idea is a double major, which would immediately rule out any colleges out of the US. Since I am very interested in theater and television, I am thinking about majoring in that field in order to become a producer. But I doubt that I can make it far in that business and I don’t really know if I would really like the whole atmosphere. Which is why I need a second major that can give me a safer career. And that is where I am as undecided as ever. It fluctuates from Journalism, to Law, Neuroscience or even Architecture.

But before I bore you with my Pros and Cons of those majors, I’ll better carry on with the description of the past months. I sent in a few of my art, photography and writing pieces into the Scholastics of Art and Writing competition and won an Honorable Mention, 2 Silver Keys (all in Photography), and a Gold Key in Poetry Writing. This poem got the chance to compete on National Level, but wasn’t recognized there. The region of Fort Wayne, on of the smallest in the US, is among the top 3 regions in the US, ranking before cities like Chicago and complete states like Texas.

The last weeks before Spring Break were a struggle – a combination between the need for a break, the general discontent about the weather and the overload of work. But when Spring Break was finally here, it was still meant to be working time (which I foolishly wasted). We went to DC, which was absolutely incredible (but cold!). We saw three of the Smithsonians, the Spy museum (which had an AWESOME 50 years of James Bond villain exhibition!!), all the monuments and Hello Dolly at the Ford Theater, where Lincoln was shot.  After that, we drove down to North Carolina (Davidson) to visit Ben and Hannah (the two older siblings that are in college). The weather was a lot better, even though Spring was delayed even there, at least compared to Furman, Hannah’s college.

One big part of Spring Break was March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament. It was full of surprises, tragedy and cheer. Our favorite team, Michigan (go blue!), surprisingly made it to the Final, were it was defeated by Louisville in an amazing game. The biggest shock was Kevin Ware’s accident. Jumping to defend a three-pointer, he landed on his leg and broke it. I will spare you from the details since it is nothing you would want to picture.

IMG_7735But the best part of Spring Break was when my parents came to visit. Seeing them was surreal. Somehow they didn’t fit into the whole image. But after a day we were back to normal. Almost talking non-stop and of course some friendly arguing. When my parents were in Chicago, my parents discovered that Max Raabe (a German performer) would be giving a concert in Chicago two days later. I have been following his works for a while and had never had the chance to see him live, although he often performs in Berlin. My parents, awesome as they are, asked me if I wanted to go to that concert in the Symphony Center. They drove all the way from Chicago to Fort Wayne, had dinner with my second family, spent the night in my room while I was in Hannah’s room and then left for Chicago with me. We drove through Shipshewana, an Amish community approximately an hour from Fort Wayne, which was, as a lot of things seem to be around here, very impressive. The carriages on the side of the road were awesome to watch. When we finally came into Chicago, we stayed at a beautiful hotel (and went to Starbucks, like a lot). The concert itself was so good I can’t even put it into words. The best parts were probably when he sang in German and barely anyone understood. The time with my parents ended too fast, although everything just went back to normal when they left.

Now I am stuck with a lot of homework and cold weather. Prom is slowly approaching (May 18) and the drama around it seems to be as much a part of American culture as the prom itself is. But even then: I’m excited!

I couldn’t be more blessed with such an incredible host family who gives me the possibility to live this experience to the fullest.

I’m pretty sure that I forgot something, but I can always add that later.

Greetings from Fort Wayne, IN

Happy Days

I got the approval from the doctor on Thursday. I am now able to do activities again! I have had a stress fracture from my soccer and put me out of both tennis and soccer practices for eight weeks. I am so excited to start playing tennis now again – it is the sport I’ve been wanting to play ever since I came here to Indian Springs School in Alabama.

The spring holiday ended approximately one week ago. Our choir here at Indian Springs went on the annual choir tour. There are some certain cities that the school visits and performs in, but I had the luck to come this year, when we all went to New York City. The whole choir, which is roughly 40 percent of the school student body, and 120 people, packed onto three buses and headed from our school and started a too short long journey up to New York City. It took us 22 hours to reach our destination. I would get bored sitting in a car more than 2 hours usually, and this journey took 11 times more time, but it was in no way discomfortable. I enjoyed sitting on the bus talking to my friends and having a good time socializing while we were on our way.

In New York City, we performed at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Bartholomew’s Church, a friend school and some other places. St. John the Divine is the biggest cathedral in the world, and we could really hear that. An F4 for the guys and a high F for the ladies in fortissimo gave a resonance in that amazing building for about 11 seconds. I had never heard anything like that before.

After the performances we had some time exploring the Big Apple. I went to a jazz club called Birdland. Even though the food was bad, the music was awesome. The only jazz I knew from before was maybe “Mack the Knife”, a song I learned in choir just about a month before coming here.

Another night we went watching the musical “The Phantom of the Opera”. My only comment is that you have to watch it if you are in New York City. Like, you really do have to watch it.