“Wait, she’s that girl in college where all the boys, ALL THE BOYS followed her every move, took French to be next to her and then kept her on the dance floor all night. Or was it a movie???”
See. Technically, I did not look like that on campus. I looked like this on campus.
[What, you thought film students wore make up?]
And technically, it was not French. It was German. And, things went a little different.
I showed up for first day of class. Everyone else showed up for first day of class. And then —
Frau Miller showed up for first day of class.
Frau Miller was East German. The real deal. Like, she lived behind the wall when there was a wall. She was older, but you could tell she had been built like Jane Mansfield. Bombshell material. Also the real deal. And she walked into that classroom, up to the front of the room, and rattled off some German at the class –
And the whole class answered back.
I am not kidding.
The whole class —
Except for me.
I did not know what in hell she just said. Let alone how to answer.
Frau Miller smiled. “You see? You can understand German just through context.”
And I stared wide eyed around that room and realized, Frau Miller believed that. That people could understand German just through context, and somehow muster up a response in German, a [hello!] foreign language, just, you know, going on context [wtf!], and she believed this because she had been teaching a long time, and every time, got a room full of ringers..
[Ringers are people who already know something or are partially proficient at a subject and just take the class for an easy coast for the gpa and credits.]
I was not a ringer. I was someone who did not know German. I was not the only person who got this right off either. I was sitting next to a cute guy starting out. Who I am pretty sure sat by me because he thought I was cute. I was sitting by a lot of people, when that class started. I was in the middle of the classroom surrounded by desks with people in them.
Frau Miller talked some more, auf Deutsch, natch, because we would all know what she was saying because of “context.” And everyone answered, auf Deutsch, because clearly they did know. Through [coughcoughringerscoughcough] “context.” [I am not kidding about ringers either five girls in that class were German, yes, German, as in from Germany, transfer students, grew up in Germany speaking, hello, German.] And then she said we would take a break and after the break we would partner up with people sitting next to us.
We all went on break.
We all came back.
And every single person who had been sitting next to me going in was now sitting at least one desk, sometimes two or three, away from me.
Frau Miller gave me a weird look.
I do not think she got why I was sitting in a circle of empty desks in the middle of the room.
Dear Frau Miller, it was not my breath. Really. I had tic tacs.