The tears came before she left.
That’s probably the way Kathy wanted it. By the time we got her to Blue Lake Friday night for the beginning of International Choir rehearsals, she already had begun to get into performance mode.
That’s a good thing, because the first rehearsal of what Blue Lake calls “Intensive Week,” – read “Hell Week” – was scheduled a whole half-hour after she was scheduled to arrive. She won’t have time to be homesick.
Kathy’s been focused on this day ever since the word came that she’d been selected for the Blue Lake International Choir. She actually began rehearsals a couple of months ago. Now, it’s begun for real.
It’s a month-long adventure, beginning with a week of intensive work at Blue Lake. Here’s a typical schedule:
5:30 a.m. Awake, shower, prepare
7 a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m. Rehearsal
11:20 a.m. Language Class
12 Noon Lunch
12:40 p.m. All Group Chorus Rehearsal
1:15 p.m. Mandatory Rest Period – in bunks, feet up
2:15 p.m. Rehearsal
4:15 p.m. Orientation
5 p.m. Recreation
6 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Rehearsal
9:30 p.m. Orientation/Cultural awareness
10:30 p.m. Taps, performed by a selected horn section
Dropping her off Friday was a flurry of last-minute preparation. I got gifts for her host families – polished gemstones carved with clan dodems from the Saginaw Chippewa s. We decided there could be nothing more American, and nothing that said “Mount Pleasant” like these.
Besides, they’re beautiful. A Bear Clan, a Lynx Clan, an Eagle Clan, two Beaver Clans and two Turtle Clans.
I decided that perhaps we should include an explanation, so I wrote something. It was in English. I dusted off my high school French, and Andrew took his year of German, and we translated it. (Thank God for Babelfish.)
Bear is l’ours en Français, Bär auf Deutsch. Lynx is lynx in all three languages; Eagle is l’aigle en Français, Adler auf Deutsh. Beaver is le castor en Français and Biver auf Deutsch. My favorite is turtle: le tortue en Français, and a great word – Schildkröte – auf Deutsch.
It looks something like this:
Chez moi, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, est egalement chez la Premiere Nation du Saginaw Chippewa , une tribe du Indiennes Americaines. Voici le symbole des Chippewas du Clan de le Tortue, d’un signe de le force, de la fidélité et de la famille.
Wo ich lebe, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, auch, wo der Saginaw Chippewa, den indischer Stamm der indianer dieses leben. Das Symbol des Clan Schildkröte der Chippewas’, des Zeichens der Stärke, der Loyalität und der Familie ist.
It means: My home, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, also is home to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, a band of Native Americans , Indians. This is a symbol of the Chippewas’ Turtle Clan, a symbol of strength, loyalty and family
Strength, loyalty and family. Kathy’s on her way.