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Wednesday Morning Vamp

In a bit of a hurry this morning so I’ll dash this off quickly and come back later.

For all of you who were crossing your fingers, eyes, er, whatever, for Brooke, who had applied for the AATG German Prize of summer study in Germany, you can stop now.

She won!

{{Cue the Snoopy Dance}}

This prize is sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany every year and winners are selected from 23,000 American students who took the National German Exam administered by the American Association of Teachers of German.  The exam is the first step to winning the prize.  High scorers have to complete an essay section and after passing *that* step have to pass an interview section in German.  Forty-four winners are selected from 65 national chapters each with 2 finalists.

The prize includes a round trip flight to Germany, residence with a host family for 3-4 weeks, attendance at a gymnasium and tours of historical and cultural interest.  Brooke is incredibly honored to win and very happy that the German government is sponsoring this program.  With our current employment situation, she never would have been able to go on the regular German club trip.  It would have been too expensive.  It just goes to show that with a lot of hard work and the help of a lot of people, including her German teachers, guidance counselors, aunts and Grandparents, it is possible to cram enough German into your head to win a prestigious prize like this.

Thanks to all of you for hanging in there with us.

25 Responses

  1. Awww, that’s wonderful. Congratulations to Brooke! 😀

    And … she might already be doing this, but if not, I can recommend blogging, whether just reading or actively participating, to get into the everyday ‘lingo’ of a foreign language.

    • I think they *want* her to use social media. We’ll have to see what form that takes. She’s going to have to borrow her dad’s video camera because the Flip is a pain in the ass to download to our macs, and somehow, I have to rob a bank to buy her a new computer. She’s been surviving on my old Mac, which is going to bite the dust any minute now. The keyboard is broken so she uses an external. Not exactly good for travel.
      As kids go, she is not cheap.

  2. Very cool. Congratulations on all the hard work paying off. Seems to me the trip will be that much sweeter having earned it.

  3. I am so excited for her, Riverdaughter. Have they said what city she’ll be visiting?

  4. Congratulations to Brooke!

    One of my former ladyfriends is a professional German translator. It’s a notoriously difficult language to master — THREE genders and the dative case, and many long sentences with verbs are ending.

    On the other hand, pronunciation is pretty easy. Learn how to pronounce “Tannhäuser” and how to spell “Sieg heil,” and you’ve mastered the tricky stuff. But to understand the grammar, you really do need to spend time immersed in German culture. It also helps if you aren’t a lazy bastard like me. I gave up pretty damned fast.

    One of the main problems with that language is the fact that German writers are usually addicted to tautology, and often display a weakness for reiterating in different words an idea repeatedly made over and over again, endlessly recapping notions already made familiar in a most repetitive and redundant fashion that virtually duplicates points that have been stated and restated earlier in what one might even term an echo-chamber effect.

    Brooke may have noticed this tendency. If she hasn’t yet, she soon will.

    • They asked her if her knowledge of French helped her learn German (she speaks French fluidly, this gene did not come from my side of the family). She told them yes,it helps somewhat but that she really liked studying declensions. She probably made the interviewers feel all warm and fuzzy. But she means it. She studies languages obsessively. Her favorite thing? Verbs. LOVES them.

      Totally weird.

      • I have no particular talent for languages. I sing in different languages but never really retain much for real life usage. Still, I have always thought that German and English were similar enough that German might be easier to learn than the French I attempted in HS.

        • I took 4 years of Spanish in HS, didn’t retain it (if you don’t use it, you lose it). And then took a semester of German for my degree, didn’t retain any of it.
          German is harder to learn, IMHO, because it is inflected. But once you get the hang of it, it’s easier to communicate more complex ideas because to create new words, you just stick old ones together.

      • I’ve often thought I could be quite the linguist if there were no verbs.
        Congrats to Brooke, that is an awesome win.

  5. Congratulations!

  6. Congrats to your incredible daughter!

    Ask Brooke to scarf up any employment applications she see for mom. 🙂

    Have her look around at Germany’s health care system and report back to you so you can report to us how it works since we won’t get that info from the media.

  7. ps…. to Brooke, you are going to love college. It is so much better than HS. I will eat peas if I am wrong.

  8. I rarely comment on any blogs anymore, as things are so damn depressing and spiraling ever downward, but this news (which I have been waiting for) has made my day. Excellence will out sometimes. I have always felt as if Brooke were a little bit mine and all of ours who have ever been involved with this blog. I am so very proud of her. What a magnificent person she is – and what a magnificent achievement. And she is also lucky to have a mama who appreciates what a treasure her daughter is. Thank you for sharing and kudos to you both.

  9. Yea! So proud of her! Congratulations mom!

  10. Congratulations to Brooke.

    Meanwhile, if anyone was thinking of buying the “Lint Lizard”, these reviews say it’s a ripoff.


  11. I never doubted for a minute that she would win.
    Congratulations to Brooke! 🙂 🙂

  12. That’s really awesome, RD. And congrats to Brooke!

  13. Wonderful news! Bless you all for supporting foreign langusge learning!!!

  14. Congratulations to youi both! I feel the same way everyone else does… Brooe is the TC daughter.

  15. Congratulations to you Both. And I. too feel as though Brooke is the TC daughter! I am so very proud, Brooke.

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