|Tina, Anke and family|
"Early this last August, 15 year old German student, Tina Petersen, like many other exchange students over the years, began her year-long stay with an American family in Seattle, Washington, through the Youth For Understanding Program. Several weeks before this, Tina and her family from Glücksburg, Germany (near the Danish border) capped off an RV tour of the northwest U.S. by spending a week here in Sherman, Texas with me and my wife, Marcia. Not your typical way to finish up touring the Northwest!
Well, for us and Tina's mom, Anke, this was all a kind of family ritual that began back in 1986-77: then Anke spent the year with us on the YFU Program while we were living in Morgantown, West Virginia.. At the end of that year (summer of '87), Anke helped us pack up our entire house and move to Sherman, where I had just taken a job teaching here at AC.
But there' s even a bit more to the "repetitions" of this story. While Tina's mom, Anke, was staying with us then, our oldest son was off spending his junior year in high school with the Gerner family in the small town of Nienburg an der Weser (near Bremen). Over the years , we have been fortunate enough to visit both the Petersen and Gerner families--and very much count them as part of our extended family. Now, for Marcia and me, this was all set in to motion when we both spent our junior years abroad in Munich ('68-'69) with Wayne State University's JYM program there. Marcia is now a (mostly!) retired, high school German and Spanish teacher. And me, well, I continue to teach here at AC, still pursuing my favorite research on German philosophers and German Studies more generally!"