Goodbye (Mentally I am in the Former BCB Library Bathtub)

I’m writing my farewell post to readers of Die Bärliner not from Berlin, but from a country road in upstate New York. Already situated in a new environment, I’ve spent the last few weeks wondering how to wish the blog farewell. I’d almost psyched myself out of the whole thing until I curiously drove past a resort in the Northern Catskills called “Ridlbauer”. I’d long forgotten that miles away from my hometown, there exists a German enclave riddled with cheesy imitation architecture and seedy beer gardens. Despite myself, the familiar sight of “Eingang” left me nostalgic, and I figured it was probably time to sit down and really give this a go. 

Reflecting on my last weeks at Bard College Berlin, they comprised of a lot of what I talked about on Die Bärliner— I pet the neighborhood cats (said goodbye), thought a lot about Pankow’s history (uttered farewell), and read about swamps (a continuous process). Writing this now, I’m considering what Fanny Howe spoke of in one of her poems from Beauty Will Save The World, which begins with the lines, “Sometimes the job gets you and sometimes/You get the job.” Though this could be read as an anti-work statement (especially post-graduation), I choose to interpret it optimistically, at least for the sake of this goodbye. What I’m trying to say is that I think somehow my experiences with Die Bärliner were the first which really suited me, and thus they have left a mark. As a writer in my third year, I was lucky to have editors who essentially let me talk about whatever I found interesting. East Germany’s diplomatic quarter! Intimacy in performance spaces! Hyper objects! In the past year as editor of the blog, I’d say that I was even more fortunate to experience both reading and working closely with others’ writing, gaining insight into the many modes of very decisive creative processes that exist within the community. 

A farewell is incomplete without a statement of gratitude: To everyone that I’ve worked with over the last couple of years, thank you! I could not have asked for a better team, truly. I write this feeling very sentimental. Also leaving a pre-emptive thank you to next year’s team for continuing the spirit of the team, here. 

Ultimately, I think saying goodbye to Die Bärliner has been difficult for me to approach, because in many ways it also feels like a final goodbye to the Bard College Berlin community, which I have so cherished being a part of. Now, full of drama, I’ll conclude this by saying that I’ll miss both the bathtub in the original BCB library building and getting looks for wearing bizarre outfits to Rewe, but mostly I think I’ll just miss all of you. 

Hugs and H.A.G.S.

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