Thankful Strother's story of his life experiences is moving and profound. He does a remarkable job of bringing the reader into his world. While reading his stories, I felt like I was in the room with him and he was sharing the details of all of his adventures in the south and in Europe with me. I felt every emotion as I read the book. - Sydney LeBlanc
Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Soldier - Free Friday - 09/06/2013
"The Soldier"- Alien in the Delta Free Friday One Day Only!
I enrolled in college in the winter of 1962. I became a freshman on the
US Air Force base in Germany,
attending the University
of Maryland extension
campus. I started going to classes about two months after arriving at Ramstein.
I took courses in history and English, getting my basic classes out of the way.
One day while on a class break, a cleaning lady asked me what time it was in
German. I didn’t understand what she was saying. Then she walked up to me, took
my arm, and looked at my watch. She thanked me and left. What happened made me
feel very uncomfortable and a little stupid. It was at that moment I made the
decision to learn to speak German. After finishing my history and English classes,
I started taking German classes. I begin with basic German and ended up taking
five different courses, as well as spending a lot of my free time studying
German. I took speech-lab classes, using headphones with microphones that
allowed a German teacher to monitor me.
I tried different avenues to learn to speak the language. I listened to
German radio stations, not understanding a single word. I asked the Germans
whom I worked with in the motor pool to help me pronounce words and to speak to
me only in German. The German people were always willing to help with the
language. Speaking German to the women in the laundry, which was on the first
floor of the building where we lived, was a daily occurrence.
After drinking beer or booze and getting a
little tipsy, I would only speak German. Drinking helped me to get rid of the
fear of making a mistake. So the secret to learning how to speak another
language is to move to that country, stay at lease two years, drink whatever
booze the local people drink, get a little tipsy and start talking.