First Lasts and Last Firsts

“What if this is my peak? What if this is the last yearbook I ever make?”

It was Tuesday evening, and we were at the Burrito Company taking a quick dinner break from working on the yearbook. The Burrito Company has quickly become our staple food over the past few weeks. I’m not kidding; I think I’ve eaten there four or five times in the past two weeks. (It’s tasty, but it doesn’t quite reach Chipotle level, meiner Meinung nach—in my opinion.) Anyway, the yearbook was due on Wednesday, so we were simultaneously celebrating and (somewhat) lamenting (in a slightly joking tone) the fact that we were almost done.

And after a little more design work, another article, some copyediting, a few more pictures (including our own editor family photos), and several inside jokes, we finally finished it up. The hardest part though? Switching between German and American keyboards. The main difference is the opposite placement of the”z” and “y” keys; I’ve hit the wrong letter more than once on both keyboards.

We took four pictures, and it's hard to decide which one's my favorite, but this one is pretty great.
We took four family photos, and it’s impossible to decide which one’s my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with a goofy one.

But back to the the feeling of being finished. Done. Fertig. Over. It’s a very satisfying feeling, yet also a somewhat sad feeling at the same time. I know I’ve been mentioning that I’m almost done with my time in Munich for the past few weeks, but I’ve now come to the beginning of the “last” things. For example, I finished one of my courses on Tuesday and will finish two more today. I also visited my last Vorlesung (lecture) for intercultural communication on Tuesday, and my final two tests are next week. I have one more church service left, one more pizza and Reign night with Amy and Amanda—we have to finish the first season after all. One more week of taking the U-Bahn and walking through the streets of Munich and running through the Englischer Garten. One more week of buying Brezen (pretzels), gelato, and cappuccinos. But as Dr. Seuss wrote, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”

The Fourth of July was a great time spent with wonderful friends.
The Fourth of July was a great time spent with wonderful friends.

And so I will smile as I think of all of the fun memories I’ve made here, including our Fourth of July party this past Saturday. A few JYMers graciously organized a fantastic celebration complete with giant hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, watermelon, delectable pies, a pie-eating contest, s’mores, and a few fireworks. The sun was bright in the sky while we flew the American flag, sang American songs (I even heard country songs that I’ve managed to avoid for the past few months), and dressed in red, white and blue. It was a little hot, so in order to cool down, we munched on some freezy pops and jumped in the Eisbach, the quickly moving stream in the Englischer Garten not far from StuStadt. We may not have been in America, but we made it work! And looking around the atrium, while eating Susie’s delicious pies and singing along to “American Pie,” I realized once again how lucky I am to have spent my semester here with these people. It’s definitely one to remember.

The amazingly delicious Fourth of July pies, thanks to Susie.
The amazingly delicious Fourth of July pies, thanks to Susie.

“Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

—“American Pie” by Don McLean


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