I was supposed to be studying music at the Mozarteum in Austria, but I couldn’t get myself to care. I had been sprung from boarding school in early June and boarded a plane for Europe shortly after. I was scheduled for a summer of study, before landing in another music school in Cambridge, but how could I study? I’d just been put in a cornucopia of new experiences and cultures. Why would I put my face in a book or run up and down musical scales in another academic world? 

The night clerk where I stayed was young and cute. He owned a red Vespa and offered to show me the countryside.

Show away! I said. 

salzburgI did show up for classes a few times, but when I walked into my German class, my instructor actually announced that he hated Americans. Well you know what, I hate ya back. You are just the excuse I need to get out of here.

Our group was watched over by Jesuit priests from Georgetown University. I found my favorite guy and told him a story about being overwhelmed and unable to adjust to a full academic schedule. He agreed to tutor me, so my class schedule was cut in half. The gates were open. I’d return home with half the credits, but didn’t care.

I still tell people I was in Salsburg when Van Cliburn won the international Mozart competition. He was amazing and wonderful, but the truth of my summer would be found more honestly in another place. I was the girl with hair flying free on the back of a red vespa.

One can never be too careful about the stress of academic overload.

One thought on “Vespa

  1. 17 march

    fun to read “vespa”
    tightly written
    good con (…overloaded !)
    kept me smiling throughout

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