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February, 2004 - Nr. 2

 

The Editor
Sweet Surrender
Herz und Rose
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
Toronto Connection
Dear Mom
Consulate's New Address
Neue Konsulatsadresse
KW and Beyond
Symphonic Delights
Fischer-Dieskau Saga
Tony Bergmeier
Business Association Meeting
Sauter's Inn
Kasseler Food
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehŲrt?
Health Newsletter
At the Berlinale
Movies made in Berlin
Movie "Das Parfum"
"Wunderkind" Phenomenon
Cars fight AIDS
Canada Day Poster
High-Tech Rail Running
Made in Germany vs. EU
Mars Exploration
Engineers Award Nominations
German/US Ties
Munich After All

Vienna Connection

Caroline KuehnOne more day and my first semester at an Austrian University is over...already! I canít believe how quickly this term has gone by! My singing teacher canít either. We were just discussing that this morning at the crack of dawn, which is when my Thursday morning singing lessons are! 9:00am singing is truly torture for a singer! But to tell the truth it was really good practice for my muscles, and a definite change for me, since back at U of T, I donít think I ever had a singing lesson before 11:00! A 9:00am lesson really wakes you up...whether you want it to or not! Sometimes, I would really rather it not have woken me up, since Wednesday nights I have choir rehearsal, which is followed by choir StŁberl (translation: feast, drink, and make merry after a long rehearsal) and those could last for several hours, and to have to be up and sing at the crack of dawn after tasting good Austrian wine... (or if my parents are reading this, good old Austrian GRAPE JUICE!!! Am particularly partial to GrŁner Veltliner. If anyone has the chance to try some, itís rather light and fruity...for a grape juice!!!) Anyhow, early morning lessons, well theyíre not the most enjoyable! But today I received some wonderful news...next semester, because Iíve been good, I get to have a later lesson! YAY! Actually, yay doesnít even explain how I feel about this! Letís just say, it will be much more enjoyable waking up on Thursday mornings!

So, one more day left before the month long Holidays (yesss!), although in the Konservatorium, I only get a week, but I will take a couple of extra weeks off at the end of the month in any case. Over there, weíre in full swing with staging rehearsals, so thatís definitely something to look forward to. Although because itís the end of the semester at the Universitšt fŁr Musik, that also means itís exam time, and Iím right in the swing of it all right now. This semester, 5 exams. So far, Iíve had 2. Theyíve both been easy. One of them was in fact today, and I think I scored a 1. (Different marking system. We do percentages, which to me is much more precise, but they kind of have like the letter system we got in Elementary school, but using numbers instead...1 being the highest, and 5 being the lowest! In which case, Iím happy with my result!) Although the harder exams are coming up. The next oneís on Saturday, but my major one for now is on Monday, and thereís going to be a definite group study session for that one!

Iíd almost forgotten what exams are like, because itís been 2 years since I was in the Bachelor program at U of T. But Iím finding that things are so much more, well, relaxed and informal here. A lot of exams are during class time and tend to be oral (as is the Saturday exam, and thank goodness for that, because I canít stay the whole 4 hour time period, as I have to run off to a rehearsal for a concert on Sunday). And for the written ones, there are lots of different "Termin", or opportunities to sit and take the exam. You actually get to choose which one suits you best, instead of having to schedule yourself around the one time slot youíre given! I kind of like this idea! And because you have to actually sign up to take the exam, itís not a given that you will take it. You might actually choose to take it the following semester if you feel youíre not ready yet! I think this is a great idea, although I wonít be doing this. Iíd rather have my exams over and done with instead of having them loom over my head like a pesky cough that just wonít go away!

Anyhow, I will celebrate the end of exams with going to the opera. The Wiener Staatsoper is amazing. If any of you ever visit the city, and I HIGHLY recommend you do, you must definitely make a trip to this institution, or as I like to call it, my shrine! They have some of the best singers in the world, and thereís a different show on every night, which is pretty amazing in itself! I try to go maybe once a week (standing room is 2 Euros!!! And actually, standing might seem slightly stressful, but if you know where to go, and I do, you can actually sit and see perfectly!). I know some people who go maybe 4 times a week! Thereís really nothing like this anywhere else in the world! They make culture accessible to everyone, and I think thatís great. I wish the Canadian Opera Company had standing room, but sadly the Hummingbird Centre doesnít really allow for that! Weíll see what happens with the new Opera House that will be opening soon. Finally! It will be great to be able to hear some singers in Toronto in a house that compliments them.

Well, this is the end of this instalment from me. Iím still hoping that some of you will send some feedback and maybe write a piece yourselves! If not, I really have no problem rambling on. Those who know me can certainly attest to that! I should get back to life now, I still have 1 day left before my holidays officially begin. Enjoy your February everyone, and to you University students, enjoy your reading week...Iíll definitely be thinking of you all during my whole month off! tee hee! What a nice way to reward all the hard work of the first semester!

Caroline Kuehn.

 

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