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Monday, July 14, 2014

I quit the second time and I do not mean blogging (so, no worries, please)

This is the beginning of part II of ‘I quit’.

Since this is all a little longer than I had thought, I divided it into different parts which I am going to blog during our holidays. ... If the schedule function works as told, that is. And I am sorry that I may not be able to respond to comments immediately.

Introductory apologies
Yes, I know, it is always very bad style to start something like this with pleas for mercy, but since this is personal I have this urge not to put myself into a completely unfavourable light. At that time I think I’d have deserved no better, and they belong to the worst years. After that, I have learned to be better. And I know more about my limits. I behaved so stupidly at that time, and there are so many things I would do differently now, if I ever came into similar situations. But I would always have left the literature department (see part I).

I love my friend Amy dearly. The most recent entry (about her and hubby), which probably contained too much information and was rather thoughtless, was meant to show some of how close we are. I would never again let her down, and in a way, because of what has happened between us (and which is based on events that happened years earlier, at school), I feel as if she has this justified and hard earned claim on me which goes beyond anything I have ever known, apart from hubby’s claim on me. I owe her, and this has a very positive connotation, because I am allowed to be friends with the best woman I have ever known. 
 We have a lovely word in Hamburg (lower German language) for what I am doing here concerning Amy; it is called Lobhudelei and means something like excessive praise or paean (?). If you hear the word, it is actually a very cute word, just like there are some lower German swear words which sound so cute that nobody is seriously miffed, even though you insulted them the worst. Yep, I have tried it all.

Since this is so long ago and I simply trust in you as readers, to accept that people change, I thought it would be safe to let it all out in my blog. This is a place where I can do that without worrying. And I told Amy that I would write it down and she could have vetoed. She did not, because I promised not to give away anything which would identify us today, and she agrees, it is too long ago to cause problems. When I showed her the pages, she was very surprised, because I had written so much about it (14 typed pages) and she asked about a lot of what I had written. She speaks little English and just let me tell her the different parts. It was a little like reliving some of the moments, which was a small drama in itself, for both of us. It was easy for me just to write some of this down, but talking it over again was a different matter. Imagine how you would tell your best friend that she disappointed you once. There were some funny moments, of course, but all the frustration and extreme up and down we went through, was suddenly back. I had warned her first, asked if she was sure that she wanted to hear it, after all, this had been forgotten for such a long time.

Most of it ended when hubby and I married eleven years ago. If you count in my first two years of studies in literature, all these troubles took four years of our time. That’s another reason why I do write it down. Those four years were crucial, definitely shaped us and even though they are long past, they have ended with drastic changes. The best of it, with writing it down and talking again about it, it felt as if the book is closed again after understanding better what happened.

 If this proves just a waste of time for you, I apologize for that. I tried not to use a too reporting style in all parts, though I am still doing so in many.  

1. Arts and a phone call
… My thinking had cleared up, slowly, but steadily. “So, what you mean is, I should go and do arts?” Amy nodded eagerly. “Yeah, why not? You are just the right one for it. You could be a teacher or…” Here she left it. I grinned, while I finally also had a bite of the roll. “Or I could be a cleaner, to earn a living. I am not good enough for more and I told you that.” I studied what Amy had left on the tray and dipped my finger into some red jam. Hmmm strawberry. The roll followed and I munched. Amy had not spoken and waited. Obviously she wanted me to listen closely to her. I stopped eating and looked at her. She has warm eyes and an abundance of patience, whenever necessary. Guess who she needs that for, usually. But I wanted to be nice, too, stopped chewing and waited. I could see her motherly instincts come forward, and I have always known that she was going to be an awesome mom. No, she would be THE MOM. She is lovely with kids of any age, … . Well, she is lovely with me, too. She waited, until I was ready to listen to her. “You can do that easily. They are not literature at all. You’ll find all you are looking for with them.” I basically agreed. According to what I had told her as my main reasons to let studies go, the art school we had visited once, would be the ideal place. 

I nodded. “Maybe, but we’d see less of each other, because they are in the opposite direction.” So far, we had had many times when we met on campus, had the same ways, could meet easily whenever we wanted to. This would change. “Oh come on. You are not going to skip this chance because you have to take another bus line, are you?” I waited and thought for a moment , but I knew she was right. I’d still need some time to get used to these upcoming changes, but inwardly, I had already agreed. Amy grabbed my piece of roll with jam, pushed it into my mouth and held my arms. “Say it!” Munching, I nodded “Promise, deal, ok!” We hugged and as usual she had made me feel like a champion, as if I had achieved something. “Good girl.” I kissed her on her cheek ”Thanks. You made things easy. Bribed me with Aspirin and rolls and not leaving an alternative.” I pressed her closer a second time. “I am glad that you helped me”. She beamed at me. “My pleasure. … I knew the rolls would do the trick.” She laughed and started being Miss Buzzling. “Up now, get dressed, there are so many things to do.” I was not inclined to follow suite, but she had stood up, taken the tray and simply pulled my blanket away, before I even knew what was happening. She loves that, and although she is the warmest and most understanding woman I know, she also enjoys bossing sleepy flatmates around on occasion.

The following weeks differed a little from my original schedule on campus. Before I had decided to ‘Let it go’, I would have appeared in the literature department, would have attended courses and written my papers. Kafka! This was my first one I would not write. I wouldn’t collect the credits and felt free. Instead, I went to the arts department. It was around fifteen minutes from our flat, so no big deal. I had weeks off, because I did not attend the courses. Amy had suggested that I’d work some more in that time, which was the obvious thing to do, after all I’d need a few new things.

Now and then, I got calls from my former department. It was always the same phone number. I had only once in this time made the mistake to answer the call. “Hello, Nina xxxxxxx speaking.” I had been far away with my thoughts. “I am glad to reach you. Where have you been?! I worried.” I did not know what or if to answer, but my professor went on before I could. “You should have left a note that you could not attend my course. We wouldn’t want to exclude you from my course due to such a slip. … Would we?” It took only this little moment to feel as if I had been thrown in front of a car. “What? Well, ehm, sorry…” I was absolutely dumbfounded. I mean it is easy to do that to me, but hearing this woman’s voice was like a very chilling shower. And I had not expected her to call me. There was no reason. Her office deals with these petty things, like unruly students.
“We can talk about it and there will be opportunities to avoid problems. I have no time this afternoon. But please do me the favour and meet me in my office at 7pm. We can discuss everything.” I hated every word she said, but the way she stressed this ‘everything’ made me almost vomit. “Be there in time. Goodbye!” This brought life back to my senses. “NO! Wait. I can’t… I won’t come.” She was still there. I could hear her breathing in. Either she was smoking, which I did not believe, or she was getting annoyed, because I was rebellious and appeared to complicate matters now. “O.K. Then tomorrow. Same time, 7 pm…” Quick now. “No, thank you Ma’am. There is no reason for us to have an appointment. I have left your course. I apologize that I caused any inconvenience. There is no reason to call me again. Goodbye!” I almost smashed the phone receiver into the cradle. It was done. I had had the last word, too! No more buxxxxxt from her side. I had kept all air in, which always happens when I am nervous or too excited. Try to speak then. She must have heard how nervous and agitated these few words had left  me. I did not want to hear her voice again, ever. She was too awful. Another four seconds and the phone rang again. It was her, and she let it ring for quite some time.

Around three months later I was officially declared an arts student. Amy even bought me one of the cliché black French berets, so that I would look the part of the poor artist.

 This is scheduled for Monday, 14th July, 7.00 AM. Hope it works!


  1. Congrats Nina, the scheduling worked! I can't even imagine what I would have been like in your shoes, when the professor called. I always panic and end up being over polite, agreeing to things I don't want to do. Thank goodness you said no! I hope you are relaxing with family and having a good time right now!

  2. Hi River, sorry for the late answer, but we only returned yesterday. Talking about panic in such a moment, yes, I think I came so close to that too. If the circumstances had been different, she might have gotten her way and persuaded me, and even though I am proud to this day that I at least managed to reject her on the phone, it left me completely agitated for the rest of the day/week. LoL, I guess I am not made for that kind of confrontation. There is one more encounter I have written down with her,and it was meant to be auto-published during our holiday, but it disappeared. I'll try to publish this soon. Oh, the family was so lovely, and we had a lot of time to exchange news about what has happened to them and us. Just being with them and hugging them often and as long as possible without appearing weird, was worth the trip :)




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