I've considered doing this for a while and being in Provo has put me over the edge: I'm going to write about how Jeremy and I met for Flashback Friday, in several installments. The only sad thing is that I don't have access to any old photos right now - they're packed up in a storage pod. The perfectionist side of me is really bothered by that. On the other hand, maybe I can scrounge up a few from somewhere. In any case, the first part of this story doesn't really have photos, so let's begin Part 1.
It was the autumn of 1999. The 20th century was coming to an end, unless you listened to the history nerds, who insisted that the 21st century wouldn't actually begin until 2001 (I think they were right). Y2K was still a real concern. At the BYU, NCMO and one-strap backpacks were about to take the Daily Universe letters to the editor page by storm. The Soapbox would soon become one of the coolest things about an on-campus lunch hour. Life was good.
My major was linguistics, and that required me to take 12 credits of one foreign language and minor in a second foreign language. One of the two had to be a non-Indo-European language. I chose to minor (and ended up being two classes short of a double major) in Japanese. The other language I took was German.
Like many entry-level language classes at large universities, German 101 classes were commonly farmed out to TAs to teach. I'm sure there were at least ten sections of the class that semester. My particular section happened to be taught by a native German speaker who I'll call Fritz. He was a student himself, and was also the "RF" (resident facilitator) of the German House of the FLSR. That will be important later.
My class of about 25 people grew to be very close-knit over the course of the semester, unusually so. We were all comfortable with each other and had a good time collaborating on class projects. Our teacher Fritz also got along well with all of us and at times it seemed like we were all just a big group of friends who spoke mostly very poor German.
The end of the semester approached and for our final class project, Fritz organized us into small groups and assigned us to make a video presentation, in German. We could do whatever we wanted, but the idea was to write and present a creative skit, and then videotape it for him to watch and grade.
I was lucky to be put in a group with four or five other people who I especially got along with. We all had kind of a quirky sense of humor, which led to us writing a skit in a murder mystery style. They somehow convinced me to play the villainness of the story, which continues to amaze me because it was so unlike me to agree. I was just about the youngest student in the class and I generally tend toward shyness, particularly when it comes to making a fool of myself on camera. Still, make a fool of myself I did, very thoroughly. I recall doing the following on tape: speaking bad German, singing a German folk song - solo - shortly after killing someone as part of the video, and pedaling a huge cruiser bike down the street in the freezing pouring down snow while wearing an oversized helmet and being pursued at 5mph by a police car. Not my most stellar moments, in other words. I guess I agreed to do it only because I thought no one would ever really see it. Just our German class, and our teacher, right?
When it came time for everyone to watch the videos together as a class, everyone LOVED our zany little murder mystery. We may have even watched it twice.
I know Fritz enjoyed it, too, because he ended up inviting his roommates to watch it as he viewed it again at home (at the FLSR) to assign us our final grades.
One of his roommates was Jeremy Palmer.
Next week, in Part 2: the best pickup line ever.