Tag Archives: german

Jetzt Ist Sommer Video

This is the link to the video that I edited and starred in for a German project. The song is Jetzt Ist Sommer (Now Is Summer) by the Wiseguys, a German group. I’d say they’re a pop band, if anything.

The people in the video with me are (in order of appearance) Daniel Gross, Josh Samuels, Emma Austen, and Linus Erbach, all first years taking my German course with me. And yes, they’re all so much better at it. It’s been great working with them and learning from them.

Here’s the link! 


October Is Octover

And that’s a wrap!

The wonderful month of October (or, for some, the month-long holiday of Halloween) is over and November is settling in quite well. Trees slowly change color in St. Andrews and litter the streets with their colorful leaves. The salty wind blows off from the North Sea and makes everyone’s faces numb. It’s my favorite time of year.


Frank N. Furter actor, by Maxx Borges. Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, 30 October 2016


Rocky Horror Cast, by Maxx Borges. Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, 30 October 2016

The Halloween season was wonderful! One of the biggest events of it wasn’t Halloween itself, but the day before where some friends and I went to go see St. Andrews’ Rocky Horror Picture Show! I was sorely disappointed I would be missing Whitman’s Rocky Horror while I was abroad, but then a friend of mine bought several tickets and invited me along. It was an amazing experience! Many of the performers attend the University of St. Andrews and all of them did an amazing job. My favorite part were the goody bags all viewers were given and then prompted to use during the film and performance. Toast was thrown. Party hats were worn. I was pelted with rice during the opening wedding scene since the people behind me couldn’t throw far enough to the stage. People were bedecked in splendid costumes and the lady who won the costume contest was dressed up exactly  like Colombia! Her costume was an exact replica and I was blown away. She looked wonderful.

Besides that, I’ve mostly been studying, which is a good thing! I’ve had some new modules introduced that are very interesting and all about cognition and perception. It’s definitely a throwback to Psych 101 and I am sincerely enjoying it.


In My Inherited Robe, by Maxx Borges. Andrew Melville Hall, St. Andrews, 2 November 2016

One of the most exciting things that has happened to me, though, is that I got a robe! Let me explain; I’m not getting all excited over a bath robe with rubber duckies on it, though that’s something I would probably get excited about, to be completely honest. No, the robe I’m talking about is the gowns that students at St. Andrews buy during their first year to wear to their fourth year graduation. The best part is that I didn’t even have to buy mine; an amazing alumna of Whitman College that also attended St. Andrews for her study abroad sent me the one she had back when she was here. She graduated in 2003 from Whitman college and had been hanging onto it. It was so sweet of her and also a testament to how Whitman affects people. She was still checking in on abroad blogs, still connected to her Alma mater, and made the effort to reach out to me, someone doing what she did over 13 years before. I’m going to continue the tradition by passing on her robe, now mine, to a first year student and friend here. All I ask is that she do the same. I’m writing our names on the inside and our graduation years. Who knows? Maybe someone will get back to me about their robe and how I was involved in their accumulation of it. Maybe they’ll be emotionally moved by it. I know I was so moved when that alumna sent me her robe.


Dagaz Rune = Awakening/Realization with Whitman Colors, by Maxx Borges. AMH, St. Andrews, 2 November 2016.

It’s like looking back in time for me. She even sent me photos of Whitman College in the late 90s and early 2000s, as well as a photo of herself in the robe that I had received. You can really connect with people that way, be transported back to a time when someone else was in your shoes, doing what you’re doing, and seeing things from a completely different perspective. I was really moved by it. Attached to the whole package was a post card wishing me luck and reminiscing about when she was in the same hall at St. Andrews that I’m in. Its so weird. In both the photos from Whitman and St. Andrews, I feel like I’m having a huge wave of déjà vu. These are places that I’ve been to and see, experienced in my own way and yet, I’m looking at them the way they were seen through someone else’s eyes. Maybe it should be disconcerting, but I think there’s something beautiful in it as well. That, and the fact that Whitman was able to foster this meeting between two very different generations following in each other’s footsteps and finding some similarities along the way. These are things you just don’t think about until you leave that Whitman Bubble and venture out across the country and the Atlantic ocean only to find that you’re not completely alone out here, regardless of what you thought before. There are always connections to the past and the world is such a small place, in all the right ways, after all.

Well! That was emotional! To lighten the mood, I’ll also mention that over Independent Learning Week, my German course had to get into groups and make lip-dub videos of German songs. I got the honor of editing the video since one of our group mates wasn’t there. Also… it just needed editing. I’ll post it to the blog a bit later for everyone to see (don’t worry, I have permission from my group mates).

So that’s that, for this week. Shout out to one of my former bosses for sending me a post card during the event at Whitman. I super appreciated it and it made my week!

See you all next week!

Going Into The Woods and Over the Garden Wall…

If anyone gets either of those title references, that would be so awesome! If not, I’ll leave links at the end of this post because both are great things that should be loved and cherished – especially during this time of the year!

Fall is my favorite season. I feel like I should start off with that, just so everyone knows why I’m so excited about it. In the 4 languages I study, this is how you say autumn/fall


Path, taken by Maxx Borges, St. Andrews, Scotland, 22 September 2016

  1. English: Fall, Autumn
  2. Portuguese: O Outono
  3. German: der Herbst
  4. Russian: осень (OH-s-EE-n)

Russian… doesn’t have articles. So, no the, an, or a. Also, they just… sort of leave out the present tense to be. It’s an adjustment. Anyway!

As some may know, I’m a city boy through and through. I have small patches of grass for a backyard (and I’m one of the lucky ones) and the only nature we get are the city parks. This just makes me love the woods even more. At home, if I go by the beach, there are usually woods nearby, and if I visit my family members in the small towns next to my city, they usually have an abundance of woods, rivers, and lakes, all things that I really don’t have in the city. I’ve speculated with my sisters that this may be why I find myself going to school on the west coast in Walla Walla, more a town than a city that’s quiet compared to what I go home to. It also may be why I find myself in the even tinier town – village, really – of St. Andrews, where there are woods, hills, and honest-to-God garden walls.

Yes, garden walls. Which I, of course, tried to climb.


Apple Tree, taken by Maxx Borges at St. James’ Church, St. Andrews, Scotland, 3 October 2016

This past week, fall has really been settling in at St. Andrews. The few trees that change color here are changing color. The local Catholic church, St. James’ (pictured left) has an apple tree that’s got fruit ripe for the picking and I’m determined to ask the priest if I can have one next week at Sunday mass. But this is not a post about my apple tree obsession. This is a post about how beautiful Scotland is in the fall. It’s been getting colder and colder as the days go by, the wind has been picking up, and I’ve been going on adventures. With some of the friends I’ve met here, we walked to the small, 1/2 foot deep pond that’s just by Andrew Melville, my residence hall. The other night, I was out on a hill over there and I could see the stars and all of the constellations that are out this time of year. It was amazing. At home, I can sort of see Orion’s belt, The Big Dipper, the North Star, and Venus. On a clear night. Maybe. I f I squint and tilt my head to the right. In Walla Walla, the sky is a bit clearer than at home, so I can see more –  which was a lot of fun when I took an astro course last spring. But in Scotland, you can see the faint outline of parts of the Milky Way, that’s how clear it is.

The nature here is amazing. By the lake, there’s a wood bridge leading over a part of it that leads into tall, dry grass and trees that are 100% climbable. So, I climbed them. By them, there are many flowers that bloom in the autumn instead of in the spring, so those were popping up. Daisies grow everywhere and I definitely take advantage and sit around making daisy chains when I can. Among the flowers though, were thistle, forget-me-nots, and, as I sadly discovered, nettles. Nettles sting, friends. And they hurt. At the back of our hall are several blackberry bushes that we can freely pick from. The only catch is: they have nettles near them. A little sacrifice is needed to enjoy the free-range fruit, but honestly, it’s worth it. I never get this at home and if I saw fruit that wasn’t on a farm or in a supermarket, I probably wouldn’t go foraging for it, either. The change is so welcome, and apparently, this happens here all the time? I love that, that you can go outside and pick yarrow for tea (good for joint pain and swelling!) or get blueberries and sloes if they’re growing nearby.

As for the garden wall that I tried to climb? After we climbed trees, those peppered with small bird houses for our local aviary friends that consist mostly of seagulls or ravens, we made it to the end of university owned land. In front of us? A giant wall with more flowers growing at the foot of it. Being Scotland, the wall was stone and old, probably there for at least a century, if not longer. Stones were falling out and I swear, next time I’m posting a picture of it. On the other side, I could hear animal noises and I got excited. Along with one of the guys that was with me, I got a foothold and hoisted myself up, clearing the top with my head just in time to see some sheep before I fell off. No worries, I was only up by half a foot, so I wa s fine. But it was another thing I’ve never had the pleasure of doing. The rest of the evening was spent looking at the bees the university kept back there and then wandering through some more woods until we found a hill, climbed up, and came out in a field that had just been made into hay bales.

It’s a beautiful place they have here. Between the beaches with historical shores and the woods with their many secrets that I can’t wait to discover, I’m going to be plenty entertained and awed when I’m not being buried in my school work! But that’s a tale for another day. Thanks for tuning in to hear about the beauty that is Scotland!

Over The Garden Wall is a mini-series by Cartoon Network. Into The Woods is a Broadway musical by Steven Sondheim.