Vor einigen Wochen interviewte ich Rose Eichhorn aus Colorado im Ventil. Sie verbrachte von September 2016 bis Juli 2017 eine Sprachassistenz in Österreich. Endlich geht der Text online.
VENTIL: Dein Name ist Rose Eichhorn. Kannst du dich an den Zeitpunkt erinnern, an dem du begriffen hast, dass das ein deutscher Nachname ist?
Rosie: Honestly, I don´t remember a time when I didn´t know that it was German. My dad´s family came from Germany and he was always very proud of that. Honestly, I don´t remember a time when I didn´t know. Maybe they told me when I was in elementary school. Maybe I was nine or ten when I found out, but yeah, I always told my friends that my last name was German because we always got asked about it: “That is an interesting name, what is it?”
VENTIL: Hast du gewusst, was der Name bedeutet?
Rosie: Nein, not at first, no. I didn´t know it until I was about fourteen.
VENTIL: Du kommst aus Colorado. Wie sieht´s dort aus?
Rosie: It´s on the western side of the country, near California almost. It´s actually like twelve hours from California, but that´s not the big deal for us and it´s a square state, it´s a perfect square. I live near mountains. I grew up on a farm. We also lived near a lot of hills. There is also a lot of good ski places in Colorado. Some of the best ski places in the country. I said that California is like twelve hours away. Even on a weekend I have friends who have fun driving 12 hours to get to California and back. So it´s not an uncommon thing for that to happen.
VENTIL: Welche bekannten Plätze gibt es in Colorado?
Rosie: We have the Park Canyon, which is a National Park. There is Denver, which is the capital and has a lot of cool theatres. You can go to ski areas like Aspen and Telluride, which are well known places. There is the Rocky Mountain National Park. I would say, those are the most interesting.
VENTIL: Fühlt man sich als Amerikaner oder als jemand aus Californien oder Colorado (wenn man in den USA ist)?
Rosie: We definitely feel American, I would say. When I first introduce myself, I say I´m from Colorado. Maybe Californians feel more Californian, because California has kind of another culture, and maybe when you are from Hawaii, you would say that you are Hawaiian rather than American, but I would say that we feel American, not necessarily from our state. I personally feel American rather than from Colorado.
VENTIL: Gibt es Vorurteile für Leute aus deinem Bundesstaat?
Rosie: The only thing I would say is that we legalized pot a few years ago. So when people hear that you are from Colorado, they say: Oh, you smoke weed-it might be that.
VENTIL: Die Legalisierung existiert erst seit 2014. Kann man zum Beispiel obligatorisch Schi fahren, wenn man von dort kommt?
Rosie: I wouldn´t say there are any prejudices if you say you are from Colorado. They might think that you smoke weed rather than you like to ski or you are a “ski junkie”, as we call them, but it´s not like they would build up a wall because you are from there.
VENTIL: Kennst du Vorurteile für bestimmte Staaten?
Rosie: Not really. Maybe for New York a little bit. Because there is kind of this stereotype “into themselves”-a little bit.
VENTIL: Wie fühlen die USA im Moment?
Rosie: I think, there is a lot of hope right now with all the marches, which are going on at the moment. There was the women´s march, there was the march for science. I think there is hope. The situation in the world right now is kind of insane. If you don´t have hope–what do you have really? So I think people and the Americans will continue protesting the injustice and hopefully the future will get better.
VENTIL: Wenn wir schon bei der Ungerechtigkeit sind–in Europa denkt man, dass die Unterschiede zwischen Arm und Reich in Amerika extrem sind–sieht du das auch so?
Rosie: I would say the difference between the rich and the poor depends on where you are. Let´s talk about Colorado–this is, what I know. You have homeless people, you have people who try to get money on the street and whatever. The rich people of Colorado live in Telluride, they have cabins in Telluride. The are living on the mountain itself of this resort. When you go on the skilift, you can see these people´s huge cabins right next to you. There is definitely a big difference of how the rich and the poor live, but it depends on where you are and how it is handled–it´s different from where you are. There are programs to help the poor people to get jobs, to help them raise money. We have for example the Colorado Work Force. They try to give these people advice on how to get a job. They try to help them to make a way for themselves in the world.
VENTIL: Findest du die Schere zwischen Arm und Reich in Europa weniger sichtbar?
Rosie: Here actually I haven´t noticed it that much. Maybe it´s because I´m here in this smaller place, but even in Vienna and Graz, I didn´t notice huge differences between poor and rich. Maybe I didn´t pay enough attention to it.
VENTIL: Wann gilt man in den Staaten als reich. Wann kann man sagen „Ich hab´s geschafft“?
Rosie: It´s the whole American Dream thing. Once you have done what you wanna do, once you´ve fulfilled the dream or you at least tried to fulfill a dream – you can say, that you are rich. For example I studied theatre; I love theatre. If I do something, if I have the opportunity to be in a play somewhere in a prestigious theatre in Nashville, I would say, that would make me rich. Even though I´m not the huge star, I am still getting to do what I love and still get to do it with people that I love –that makes you rich. I think that´s the heart of the whole American Dream: If you work hard enough, if you continue to do what you love, you`re gonna make it, no matter what, you`re gonna be fulfilled and happy. And there are always different opportunities. You might not become a big star, but there are still opportunities to do theatre and things that you love, even it´s not the big thing…So I would say: They feel rich when they continue to do what they love and they are able to make money from it.
VENTIL: Welche Berufe haben Prestige in Amerika?
Doctors for sure, lawyers definitely – cause you have to go to school for a very long time for those. Even nurses too have prestige. Maybe not as much as they should.
VENTIL: Nurses in einem Krankenhaus?
Rosie: Yes, or even just in a doctor´s office, cause they are helping. They are the ones you see before you even see a doctor. Even actors and actresses, artists.
VENTIL: Wovon träumt man? Wovor hat man Angst?
Rosie: As I said before: If you can do what you wanna do. If u are successful in that– The fear is, that they won´t be able to do that or the fear that they get to this certain point and then everything goes away. I would say that these opportunities I talked about won´t be there anymore.
VENTIL: Wie gut ist das Amerikanische Gesundheitssystem. Hat man Angst davor, krank zu werden?
Rosie: I don´t think that they have a fear of getting sick, but there is definitely a problem in our health care system. A lot of people don´t want to see doctors. A lot of people think that they can handle it themselves. Maybe because it costs a lot of money. If you go to see a doctor, depending on your insurance, it can cost a lot of money. So people don´t wanna see a doctor. We have doctors who can help and who are qualified to help. You can go on this thing called Medicaid of Obama Care and his Affordable CarAct. If you make under a certain amount of money a year, you go on that. That means the government pays for everything basically.
VENTIL: Wie wichtig ist Arbeit in Amerika?
Rosie: I would say what people do in America is a huge part of who they are. It´s a big part of how they feel about themselves, of their self-worth. But there is another part of it where they don´t want their self-worth to be tied up into their job. But it is definitely important. You come home, you have a husband, he asks you about the day, what happened at work…
VENTIL: Wie viele Stunden arbeitet man?
Rosie: I would say it´s the same as here. Depending on what you do it´s “nine to five”, “eight to four”, “ten to six”. It is usually seven/eight hours.
VENTIL: Mit zwei Wochen Urlaub im Jahr? Was macht man da?
Rosie: Some go to Mexico or Hawaii–the dream vacation for everyone in America. Or you go to Florida-cause you have Orlando, you have the amusement parks. A lot of them go camping. That was what me and my family did. Because I grew up on a farm and my mum and dad always wanted to be outside. So we did a lot of camping.
VENTIL: Jetzt bist du neun Monate lang in Österreich. Als Sprachassistentin weißt du, wie es in der Schule zugeht. Ist es da ganz anders als in Amerika?
Rosie: We have no choice between a Hauptschule oder Gymnasium, everyone has to go to elementary school, middle school then high school and instead of nine compulsory years that it is here, we have twelve. The thing that we have maybe more control over that they don´t have here is our subjects. We have a lot more extracurriculas that we don´t have to take but can choose to take. I did music, I did theatre, I did Speech and Debate I also took extras in history classes. We have a lot more control over that.
VENTIL: Das ist das, was unsere Schüler beklagen. Das wäre der Schlüssel . Wir arbeiten an unseren Schwächen und verlieren Zeit mit den Dingen, die wir nicht können…
Rosie: Another thing is also-after school. A lot of people do sports or a lot of people do theater. That´s what makes up someone´s highschool career in America -it´s what they do after school, the different programs they are in. Or for example: The teachers go to their students here. In America, the teachers have their own rooms and students go to them.
VENTIL: Siehst du Unterschiede im Verhalten bei den SchülerInnen?
Rosie: At the university, since you are paying so much, everyone there is really focused because they wanna make their time there worth it. Again, it depends on where you are. It depends on what school you are in. In some they might be well behaved, in others they might not be, depends on what families they come from…
VENTIL: Wie groß sind die Klassen?
Rosie: I graduaded with 600 students. And because you got to choose these classes, you get to know all these 600 people. That´s why we have reunions. You become friends
VENTIL: In den Kursen sind alle unterschiedlichen Alters?
Rosie: Some can be freshmen, sixteen – all different ages.
VENTIL: Ihr schreibt mit und macht Übungen-wie sehen die Kurse aus?
Rosie: A lot time you have to take notes, or you do worksheets or we have to do projects or work in teams on something.
VENTIL: Jetzt sind wir im Alter 14—18 gelandet.Da geht es auch ums Dating. Ich habe im Netz amerikanische Dating-Rules gefunden. „The list of steps“ fürs Kennenlernen. Gibt es den Ausdruck wirklich: „Are we exclusive?“
Rosie: Yes, up to a certain point this does get asked. Are you gonna see other people? What is going on here? But in some relationships you don´t need to ask that because you´re dating, and that´s that. But yes, this phrase is existing.
VEntIL: In welchem Staat würdest du gerne leben, wenn du es dir aussuchen könntest?
Rosie: Probably Tennessee or New York. Nashville Tennessee is such a wonderful town. There is so much music-I love that and there is lot to do. It´s really green and beautiful with old plantations from the 1800s and it´s where my friends are now. And New York- that´s New York. If you love theatre, it is the perfect place to be.
VENTIL: Welche Bilder hat man in den USA von Europa?
Rosie: The landscapes and the history.
VENTIL: Gibt es einen Kleidungsstil oder Lebensstil, der typisch europäisch ist? Erkennt man einen Europäer/eine Europäerin?
Rosie: I was working in a restaurant. I could tell when foreigners came in by the shoes they wear. A lot of German and Austrians wear Pumas or Adidas and things like that. Of course we have that in the States, but the style´s kind of different. Also like our hats. Of course all people like hats, but we wear baseball caps.
VENTIL: Hast du irgendetwas gefunden, von dem du sagst – das ist Europa!
Rosie: Maybe chocolate, Mozartkugel, Wr. Schnitzel… I would say food, because the food is very different.
VENTIL: Es gibt wahrscheinlich auch Vorurteile für Europäer in Amerika. Welche sind das?
Rosie: It´s more stereotypes than prejudices. Some of them are like “The French drink a lot of wine” and “The Germans drink a lot of beer.” From most people I know, we have a pretty good view on you. You don´t have the adiposity problem as we do. You guys walk to a lot of different places and we have cars. The distances in America are so huge. Like for me: I have to drive an hour and a half just to get to a mall, just to get to a good shopping center. Where I come from, you have shops. But if you want to have options, you ´re not gonna find that really in my town. So I would say, people in general are much healthier here. I look in the newspaper and I see the Verstorbenen and most of them are 90, 80. That really surprises me–the healthy lifestyle here.
VENTIL: Was gefällt dir ganz besonders?
Rosie: The landscape. Everything is so beautiful. The people. I´ve been here a few times. I like also the moving lifestyle-to walk- too.
VENTIL: Worauf freust du dich, wenn du wiederkommen wirst?
Rosie: I wanna go to Salzburg. I wanna go to Ireland.
VENTIL: Worauf freust du dich, wenn du zurückgehst in die Staaten?
Rosie: I will be working on two jobs in the summer, then I will be moving back to Nashville and will be the maid of honour of my best friend of the world and hopefully find a theatre job.
VENTIL: Was fasziniert dich am Theater?
Rosie: Performing for a live audience. Seeing how they feel about it, being able to move an audience, get them to feel certain emotions and maybe doing a show, that talks about things. Things that are definitely in our society today, that need to be brought to people´s attention and doing shows that open people´s minds a little bit. To get them think about certain things.
VENTIL: Thank you for this nice interview, Rose!