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Yes, I am in Poland, as the title says, and as my wanton capitalizing would have you believe, I am very excited to be here. My being in Gdansk, Poland, right now, as I write this, is a direct result of my being in the Bethel College Concert Choir. Every year, the Concert Choir goes on some sort of tour around the United States (maybe even Canada) to sing in various churches and learn various things about different parts of the country. This normally occurs during Spring Break.
But not always.
Every four years, the choir takes the tour during Interterm instead (Interterm is the best thing ever: during the coldness between Christmas break and 2nd semester, the entire college switches gears from the a-few-classes-repeating-themselves-every-other-day routine to plunge into intense study of one class, three hours, every day. It lasts for basically January.), and travels across the continent of Europe. And it just so happens that that is occurring this year. And it just so happens that this is my first year as a member of the Bethel College Concert Choir.
I am a tenor is that choir, although when I started my post-secondary education at Bethel I had not only no chance of passing the audition to get into the choir. I had no knowledge of music whatsoever. I didn’t even know I was a tenor.
So how did I end up in Europe with the very best singers in the entire school?
Truth be told, I don’t know. I auditioned for the choir last spring on a whim that proved fruitful. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, without it I would not know that there was a legend that one night the Fontanna Neptune (Fountain of Neptune) spontaneously started spewing Goldwasser, a Polish liquor, and the legend has proven so enduring that even today there is a cast-iron fence around the fountain in the center of Gdansk. Oh, the things we learn when we broaden our minds!
Which is what Bethel is all about (although, to be fair, so are most other colleges, oh, but none so well as Bethel). Not only am I learning a ton about a continent which lives and breathes history, but I have learned at Bethel how to become a singer (and that it’s tons-o-fun), adding my voice to an ensemble that is now halfway across the planet discovering a Renaissance-era harbor crane that was powered by prisoners forced to walk in giant, person-sized wheels. And we have only just begun learning about this continent, and my blog posts will grow to reflect more and more as the Bethel section of my mind is clouded over by all that Poland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands have to offer.
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