AuthorsDen.com   Join Free! | Login    
USA Independence Day
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

SIGNED BOOKS    AUTHORS    eBOOKS new!     BOOKS    STORIES    ARTICLES    POETRY    BLOGS    NEWS    EVENTS    VIDEOS    GOLD    SUCCESS    TESTIMONIALS

Featured Authors:  Randy Richardson, iDR FRED BELL, iMark Sutton, iKen Brosky, iDave Cole, iMark Lichterman, iNicholas Coe, i

  Home > Cultures > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Frank Koerner

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· 128 Titles
· 205 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
·
Member Since: Aug, 2006

Frank Koerner, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.




Featured Book
Maggie and Kate: A Friendship Begins
by Peggy Schmuldt

Maggie and Kate are going to kindergarten. Kate is nervous. Can Maggie help Kate? Will they become friends? Read this book to discover how understanding and caring leads ..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members



First Day of Alpine Skiing…….Grade: “F”
by Frank Koerner   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2006

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Frank Koerner

Person Needed for Light Work
Making Sense of the Euro Crisis
A Train Of Thought
Word War, Too
Fourth First Prize Awarded
Binghamton: Gathering Ammunition For a Shot in the Dark
A Light Side of Christmas
           >> View all

Schuss ! A culture clash on skis.



Oktoberfest accompanied my Munich arrival. After a Paulaner beer, tablemates suggested I try skiing. I’d taken a two-class course with one on-slope session in Maryland. The second class had been cancelled by rain. We’d herringboned our way up a 5 foot rise, graduating to a rope tow rising 20 vertical feet. I fearfully descended that novice incline several times and uncontrollably slammed into hay bales at the bottom. I could ski ! Now, after another mug of Paulaner, I felt ready for the Alps. Big mistake. In November, I purchased Saturday ski lessons in Munich. My ability was probed. Was I an “Anfänger” (beginner)? No. I wasn’t…..(see above). Bigger mistake. The clerk asked, “Where are you in the levels of A to F?” I thought, “Don’t be foolish. State the lowest grade.” “F”, said I. Biggest mistake.

The Alps beckoned as Saturday came. I arrived pre-dawn at the downtown Marienplatz’s U-Bahn station lugging cumbersome, rented paraphernalia. Fellow course-takers sleepily trundled onto nearby busses. Daybreak heralded our Garmisch/Partenkirchen arrival by illuminating the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest point. The Zugspitze rises to a height of 10,000 feet……straight up. I embarrassingly recalled the “baby” Maryland slope. I gulped, but didn’t yet grasp my folly.

Abilities dictate class level. Appropriate placement follows skill demonstration, but not Class F. Class F skiers possess excellent ability by experience and training. My belief that “F” reflected the lowest ability persisted. I assumed I was with novices, who had nothing to demonstrate. Concern grew as my class assembled at the three-seat lift. Everyone exuded confidence. All mounted the lift, adroitly handling gear. I un-athletically plopped onto the lift, equipment rattling. I sat alone, worried. The lift scaled 60 foot tall trees. I was such a novice that I didn’t realize a pull-down safety bar was within arm’s reach directly above me.

After a white-knuckle ride, the summit was reached. Frantically clasping my skis, I somehow managed to exit the lift. The peak was icily treacherous. It had rained overnight, and thence froze. My class reassembled. The instructor, an Austrian named Franz, announced we’d regroup near a fir tree perhaps 100 yards downhill. I squinted. From my perspective, it appeared 2 inches tall. The class adroitly buckled boots, effortlessly clipped on skis and, one by one, schussed downhill. I struggled clumsily with boots, skis, poles, gloves, and goggles. I needed a graceful exit.

Graceful, my exit wasn’t. My class assembled at trailside near the tree. They peered uphill and impatiently beckoned. My courage was fleeing. I accelerated down the mountain violating all techniques of “snow plow”. Sporadic glimpses of my fir tree goal were necessary, while I focused on remaining uninjured. As I sped closer, panicky glances watched the fir increase from its original 2 inch size…..to 1 foot, then rapidly 5, 10, 15, 30 feet tall. The neatly queued class became a blur. I had a hay bale flashback. I couldn’t stop. Braking had been the intended topic of my second, rain-cancelled lesson. I knocked my entire class asunder. As I slammed into their neatly formed queue, each knocked over the next person, domino fashion.

I ended up on an icy snow bank miraculously uninjured. Luckily, neither was anyone else injured. Classmates were strewn all over. German epithets were hurled at me. Franz skied over and diplomatically admonished me, “You are improperly assigned.” I profusely apologized. He’d assign me to the Beginner’s class at lunchtime. He suggested I ride the lift down. I assured him I’d carefully make my way down. I did. It took the rest of the day ! In spite of my misadventure, I enjoyed myself. Next weekend, I joined the Beginners.

Oddly, the humiliating experience was my first culture shock encounter. America uses a grading system that values “A” higher than “F”. That doesn’t mean all other societies follow suit. Everyone living outside one’s native country must learn to cope with such simple realities. Many such instances would occur in many different forms in the future. I learned a lot. I even learned to ski. However, my first combined encounter with culture and skiing definitely received an “F” grade.            
  
Copyright © 2007 by Frank Koerner      

Web Site: CLICK HERE to sample Frank's 5 time award-winning, travel adventure book.....


Reader Reviews for "First Day of Alpine Skiing…….Grade: “F”"


Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!


Reviewed by Lisa Mercer
I had to laugh when I read this. The first time I tried skiing, I could not stay up for one minute. Ten years later, at the age of 45, I tried again. Five years later I moved to Colorado to open a sport fitness studio. Two years after that, I received a book contract to write a ski-fitness book for baby boomers. Keep the faith!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
It hurts to read this. Bravo for taking the risk.
Next year it will be easier. Did they give you that line? ROFL.

Enjoyed reading.

Popular Cultures Articles
  1. The Chinese Experience in Hawaii
  2. Cup-Marks and Pre-Historic Rock Carvings:
  3. What If?
  4. Hey Dumb-Ass
  5. Britain, Britain
  6. Detroit Institute of Arts
  7. Primer on Islam
  8. Deluge Myths based on Fact?
  9. Moving On...
  10. Why Democrats Have No Integrity

Ma William and Her Circle of Friends by Giftus John

A story of life in a Caribbean island as portrayed by a shopkeeper and her "trusted freinds."..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Chinese puzzle chinois - photography by Albert Russo by Albert Russo

Photo book on China with texts in English and French by Albert Russo, Eric Tessier, Daniel Michelson and Sébastien Doubinsky..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.