Episode 2 │Cherish Everything (GERMANY)
Updated: May 4
"I still keep a lot of German in my heart... It's still a part of me. It's a part of my soul." (Cathy, Episode 2)
My friend Cathy Chow and I go way back! Through middle school, high school, attending rival universities (University of Michigan is her alma mater) and meandering down our own post-undergraduate paths, we've managed to keep in touch and still stay good friends. There are many things that endear me to Cathy, but one that's especially relevant for this episode is that she's somewhat of a linguist like I am. She's been engrossed in studying, gaining proficiency in, and actively using the German language for over a decade, and has been to Germany six times so far!
Her visits to Germany have varied in both purpose and duration, lasting anywhere from a week to nearly a year. Locations included Heidelberg, Berlin, Dresden, Schwäbisch Hall, and Mainz. Of her stays there, one was a vacation, two were language study programs, two were internships, and one was a teaching assistantship with the Fulbright Program. She was gracious enough to tell me about each one in this episode.
"I poo-poo on prestige."
Cathy is a very passionate and accomplished person, but she avoids arrogance and doesn't seem to care about titles that academically or professionally-successful people might be inclined to care about. As she put it, "I poo-poo on prestige." Though she did work really hard on her essays, she talks about her Fulbright application and interview process (and the job-hunting process in general), as if it were just another thing to check out to see if it was worth her time or not. It's hard not to obsess about pleasing or impressing people in high-pressure situations such as interviews, but Cathy usually lets her inquisitiveness take over rather than nerves.
At this point, even though she is working in tech and not required to use German on a daily basis, it's still part of her, and she maintains her connection to the language and culture as much as she can. Cathy can be found on Twitter (@cathy_chow1) or her portfolio website (cathyychow.com).
Be sure to listen to this episode, "Cherish Everything (GERMANY)" for more! And don't forget to check out the resource list below!
Danielle G. is the creator, host, and producer of Young, Gifted and Abroad. You can find her other writings at DeelaSees.com.