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November 2003 - Nr. 11

 

The Editor
Von Muskelprotz...
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
"Kreidekreis" Review
Toronto Connection
Dear Mom
Young Leaders
Junge FŁhrungskršfte
Briefly
German Pioneers Day
Culture in Concerts
KW and Beyond
German Festival
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UofYork Honours
Bekanntmachung
"Liederabend" in Kitchener
44 Language School Awards
Pumpkin-/Oktoberfest
Early Mardi Gras
"Liederabend" in Hamilton
Barbara Hall's Campaign
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehŲrt?
2003 Radweltmeisterschaften
Music-Land Germany
German Christmas Markets
German Arts Now
Luther's Home Searched
Grimm's Dictionary
Berlin's Worth
Economy to get stronger
Financial Advice
Newton Donates Works
No Growth w/o Reforms
Read Out Loud
New Waterway
VW Designer

Vienna Connection

 

Caroline Kuehn

Last month I wrote about leaving home in pursuit of your goals and aspirations. Well, itís been about a month now since I wrote the article just before boarding the plane, and things are most definitely different than when I last checked in. Different in a good way of course, since classes have started and life is very busy as of now.

To my own shock, Iíve only been to the Wiener Staatsoper once! It was a beautiful production of La Sonnambula, by Bellini, but there was so much that I would love to have had the chance to see, but just wasnít able to because of time constraints.

Iím now studying at the Konservatorium Wien, which is what I originally came here for, but on top of that I decided to do an extra audition for the Hochschule fŁr Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien, and was very pleased when I was also accepted into that school. So, being the workaholic that I am, but absolutely loving every single minute of it, I decided why not just bite the bullet and do 2 programs at once!

Well, to North Americans this might seem a little on the crazy side, but Iíve found out that Iím not the only one whoís doing something like this. Several people join programs together, it just takes them a little longer to get through them, thatís all! This brings me to my main point...the rush we all seem to feel in our daily lives. I for one am the first to admit that I am a culprit when it comes to needing to be the first, the fastest, the best.

Donít know what it is, there is just the impulse to achieve, achieve, and then achieve some more, that lies within. For some people itís a little bit more buried than others, but I KNOW for a fact that Iím definitely not the only overachiever out there! People seem to take a lot more time here. A lot more time to figure themselves out, to live, to experience...maybe thatís the true Meaning of that infamous word, GemŁtlichkeit; taking the time to Geniess, or to enjoy the moment in which weíre living instead of moving as quickly as you can trying to cram the most information in as possible so that you can just get out there and move on to the next thing on your plan.

Now donīt get me wrong, Iím not advocating to sit down with that Tim Hortonís coffee (which Iím very much missing...English Toffee Cappuccinos are my own personal delight and sin, anyone who knows me will know this fact!) while taking 10 minutes to open the lid and smell the aroma before bringing the thing to your lips, (mmm, suddenly craving Tim Horton's...) but just taking the time to enjoy that moment away from whatever hectic experience you seem to be in, and just think. Think about the colour of the sky, or a sport youíve always wanted to learn, or for crying out loud, why thereís a Hare Krishna sitting at the computer next to you, ready to hand you a mysterious cake (yes, even in Austria!). Think of something! We go through our lives in such a routine that we donít have the chance to use all of our senses. We have 5 of them, some are even lucky and have a 6th (my mom would say sheís a part of this group...). Take the time to hear (or rather listen!), to see, to feel, to smell, to taste (oh, especially to taste!). Make the most out of all of your experiences, and enjoy what youíre doing right now, even though that might be the last thing you want to do.

At the risk of sounding like a very corny email forward, Iíll end this optimism talk and move on to a brief description of Vienna. Itís a gorgeous city, of course, a music-filled city (big reason why Iím here) and also a city where tradition plays a very large part of daily life. We donít have that same kind of experience coming from a relatively new country, but you KNOW that this place has a distinct culture and tradition that goes way beyond the buildings, the coffee houses and the Infamous Sacher torte. (although these are quite enjoyable too!) There is a certain way things are done here, as chaotic as they may be. I recently experienced the mayhem known as University Anmeldung or Inscriptions here, which well, I wonít even start to describe, because thatís another topic all on its own!

Letís just say that itís a big mess, but itís never going to change, nor does anyone seem to want to make an effort to change it. Everyone loses sleep, waits in line-ups for hours only to be told to come back the next day because the office will only be open for 2 hours a day, and canít accommodate the thousands who are fighting for a spot...literally it almost came to blows! But in the end, life goes on, classes start, and youíre either in them, or youíre not. So youíve got to learn the way things have always been done, or get left out in the cold...literally, it's freezing cold here in the city!!!

Well, hopefully next month Iíll be able to report a little more about the cultural scene here, seeing as I will try to attend many more events and be participating in some as well! Now that Iím actually enrolled in my programs after wondering if my spot in the line would ever reach the door, I can look back and laugh about the experiences, and the people Iíve met along the way. I can appreciate a little more just what the word tradition means...even when something is not the most efficient, itís the way things have always been done, so itís going to stay that way, like it or not! I hope that we all can keep some traditions in our lives, and no this is not just a shameless plug for everyone to go out and join the nearest German speaking choir, or dance group, although having done that, I have many great memories from my youth and I do highly encourage anyone to at least give it a try. Iím just saying that we should be proud of who we are, and where weíre from, and enjoy every bit of it.

 

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