Post 468: miscellany

foot 1972

Why not? So I took a photo of my left foot!


beethovenstrasse backdoor showing rathaus 1971

Kaiserslautern, 1971: You can see the Stadt Kaiserslautern Rathaus from the Beethovenstrasse apartment. It is a concrete (pun intended!) expression of the Kaiserslautern slogan of the time, “Was neues in West ist.” [“What’s new in the West.] A handsome, imposing building, it was built on the site of a castle overlooking the town. The citizens of Kaiserslautern are justifiably proud of this striking and modern building. Even after nearly half a century, it’s “lookin’ good”!


I had good grades in school so got to take Project English, an honors curriculum in which we studied the Transcendentalist writers of the 19th Century. It was heady stuff for 11th graders, and we were spoiled for life with the idealism and Puritan certainty of it all. I know. I’ve talked with classmates who’ve confessed to still having their copies of Emerson’s essays and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. It matched well the Zeitgeist of the 1960s.



We had an excellent teacher for the class, but he fell ill. The substitute teacher (also very good) got to cover a section in which we learned about evanescence. To demonstrate the concept in a memorable way, she placed a rosebud in a vase on her desk. The rosebud had just one purpose: to evanesce! But it didn’t. 🙂

On the other hand, half a century later, I remember the experiment and the meaning of the word. Our teacher made the point, even though the rosebud experiment was a failure.

11 thoughts on “Post 468: miscellany

    • I was second from the bottom of the top quarter of my class. It was a tenuous hold! I didn’t even know or care about my class rank, and was surprised when I got to wear a gold cord with my graduation get-up. My grades were excellent in classes I liked. Unfortunately, classes like algebra and Latin killed my GPA. I got passing average grades in those types of subjects, and was damn glad for them! 🙂 When I moved on to the University of Nebraska, German was my all time worst class. Ironic, eh?!

      • You and I followed a similar path. Math and languages were the roughest – I could do them, but I hated them, so they ended up bring down the GPA.

        • The irony, again, of my lousy math skills is that I routinely applied statistical process analysis tools (probability theory applied) to manufacturing data as a routine part of my job. Algebra was my friend. I know, I know! I don’t believe it either. LOL!

    • I agree! That substitute teacher went on to complete her required courses to renew her teaching certificate and taught at the local high school till she retired. SHe was great! Thanks to her, I became a fan of JS Bach as well. You never know who will have an impact on your life or how, so it pays to keep one’s mind and eyes open at all times!

    • How true! It was a difficult job, I’m sure, teaching teenagers, let alone about anything so intense and philosophical. On the other hand, the idealism of the Transcendental group played well to us at that age.

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