Chapter 32 of the Peter and Gertrud Story – Part IV

Biene’s Academic Endeavours

KingsCollegeChapelWest

Cambridge University, which administered a branch in Manchester – wikipedia.org

To strengthen and further develop her language skills Biene enrolled at the Manchester branch of the Cambridge University, which offered English proficiency courses to foreign students. By some administrative error they had placed her at a lower level program, which was way too easy for her. When she brought her concerns to her teacher’s attention, he made sure that she would participate in a more challenging course. There the curricular material was quite difficult. But Biene, never afraid of tackling new challenges, attended the evening sessions with vim and vigour. Many nationalities were represented in her class, all striving to obtain the prestigious Proficiency Certificate. In spite of having less time for studying than her fellow students she made excellent progress. She soon became known in her class as the ironical author. Her instructor was so impressed with her ironical style that he read out her essay to the students as an exemplary piece of writing. The topic was ‘First Impressions of the Typical Character of the Englishman’. Based on her own experiences, she attempted to show and to prove that there was no such thing as typical Englishmen. Like other human beings, they all have their own individual character traits. The recognition, which she received from her teacher, was a great boost for her morale and strengthened her self-esteem. She was proud to see not only her language skills improve,  but also to see herself evolve as an independent thinker. Great was her joy, when she heard that her composition would be published in the official school magazine.

The Dream Word of Bienes Stories

Her facility to express herself well in the English language also came in handy in the Lande household. Being able to communicate well with the members of the family had become truly a source of great pleasure for her. This was especially the case when dealing with the older children at bedtime. She discovered the joy of story telling, not just any story that she may have read in a children’s book. In fact, she invented them in her creative mind at the spur of the moment. Caroline and Simon were fascinated, because they were involved in shaping the development of the story and felt important that they had a say in how the story would end. Each time Biene got lost in the maze of her own thoughts and paused for a brief moment, the children would spark with their questions new wonderful ideas and thus often contributed to a fanciful, fairy-tale kind of ending. To the children the most popular stories with all their variations were about the ‘Little Moon Man’ and his friend, the ‘Little Star Friend’. When Caroline and Simon listened as quiet as a mouse, Biene was happy about her success and dreamt of creating story and picture books for our own children. Until then a lot of water would spill over the Niagara Falls, she regretfully wrote to me in one of  her letters.

14 comments

  1. ultimatetravel8 · November 17, 2017

    Very interesting writing! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Edda · November 18, 2017

    Da hat sich Biene ja sofort den großen Herausforderungen gestellt,alle Achtung!!
    Und daß sie gleich so tolle Erfolge hatte, spricht Bände! Sich außerhalb der Kinderbetreuung auch noch gleich in das Erlernen der neuen Sprache zu stürzen, zeugt von großem Ernst und Willen, sich auf das Leben mit Dir zusammen vorzubereiten, Peter.
    Caroline und Simon hat sie also mit ihren schönen Geschichten so richtig in den Bann gezogen! Hat sie wirklich später auch welche für Eure Kindern erfunden??
    Alles Liebe ,Peter und herzliche Grüße an Euch!!!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · November 18, 2017

      Liebe Edda, ich habe gleich heute Morgen Biene deinen lieben Kommentar vorgelesen. Wir beide haben uns sehr über deine lieben Worte gefreut. Mit Bezug auf ihre Kreativität möchte ich noch sagen, dass in der Zeit, als unsere fünf Buben aufwuchsen, Biene nicht dazu kam, sich Geschichten auszudenken: Man war zufrieden, dass sich unsere Buben ihre eigenen Geschichten und Abenteuer ausdachten. Abends waren Biene und ich dann froh, ein wenig Zeit für uns selbst zu haben. Vielen Dank für deine lieben Worte, ohne die mein Post schon gar nicht mehr komplett wäre! Gruß an euch alle aus dem fernen Kanada!

      Like

  3. taphian · November 18, 2017

    I like it when people are ambitious and diligent and try to speak other languages as good as possible. She was probably an able person to deal with kids, too. It seems she really learned a lot in England. Best regards to Biene, dear Peter, Mitza from grey and rainy Hamburg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · November 18, 2017

      Thank you, dear Mitza, for your kind comment and for taking an interest in our love-story! I will pass your greetings on to Biene. Thanks again!

      Like

  4. Ann Coleman · November 18, 2017

    I’m happy to hear of Biene’s success with her class and her work, but that last sentence has me wondering what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · November 18, 2017

      Thank you for your thoughtful response to Biene’s success story in the UK. Don’t worry, the last sentence merely hinted that there will be a few twists and turns before she could tell or write stories for her own children. Thanks again, Ann.

      Like

  5. arv! · November 21, 2017

    Was it very common for a German to learn English during those times? Or was Biene aiming for more secure and happy life?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · November 21, 2017

      Yes, every high school student had to take English and French in those days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • arv! · November 22, 2017

        English, I can understand….post war compulsion… may be. French? that’s confusing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peter Klopp · November 22, 2017

        Languages in my high school program included 9 years of Latin, 6 years of English and 5 years of French. This has been the program for over a hundred years. Thanks for seeking clarification, Arv!

        Liked by 1 person

      • arv! · November 22, 2017

        Wow! that’s something new for me. I’m happy to know such system in Germany. hanks for the info!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Bun Karyudo · December 31, 2017

    I’m very impressed to hear that Biene could write so well in English despite at this stage having been in England for a relatively short length of time. It’s also wonderful that she could make up stories in English on the spot. You’ve mentioned before that she is a very creative person, so I guess this is just one more instance of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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