I was looking through a fashion magazine yesterday and saw an ingredient for a facial cream called vitamin C-8(actually a small 8 but I couldn’t do that on my computer). Not that I have a clue what they did to vitamin C to make it an 8…but anyway, when I saw that, I took a small trip down memory lane to my Freshman year of High School and my German 1 course.

When I was in High School, if you were in the College Preparatory Curriculum it was mandatory that you take two language courses(it might have been 3, I can’t remember). I took German because of Danish being a Germanic language as well…thought it would be somewhat similar. (My brother was a German teacher at the time in another school and I also thought if I had trouble he would be able to help me).

Frau S was a small, formidable woman well past her retirement years(at least that’s what we all thought at the time). Memorization was our basic means of instruction and I must admit, I can still recite what she taught us. The girls were Fraulein and the boys were Herr while we were in class. Quizzes were numerous and the monthly tests were sheer torture. Frau S had a unique grading system and no matter what grade you received, if you had any questions wrong you were required to come after school to her room and correct them.

The grading system was A, B, C, D…all normal so far…then came F, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7 and F8.
The people who had A, B, and C would be in the after school session for maybe 5 minutes or so, correct their mistakes, take them up to her and have it approved. She would mark it corrected and smile at them as they left.

D took longer and the various Fs…well, I hate to tell you, but I was one of the poor souls who got F8 on tests sometimes…it was sheer torture. Every afternoon after school I would have to sit in her room and correct my mistakes and really not knowing what I was doing. I would take what I thought(and hoped) was corrected…she would look at it totally exasperated…NEIN, NEIN Fraulein!!!!! and would send me back to my seat. One time it was two weeks of daily torture of an hour each day…I grew to hate the smell of mercurochrome because she would wear that like cologne. I would sit there and watch my classmates leave one by one…looking back at me in pity.

At the end of our Freshman year, Frau S announced that she was retiring that year and the next year we had someone straight out of college…Mr. H…Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome himself…did I say he was single as well? The poor man…every girl in the class had a crush on him…and we continued taking German…did I get any better at it? Well, I went on to take it in college and actually had my minor in it…why I ever continued with it I have no idea…but that’s a whole other story.

til next time…Eva


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