by Alexander Young/Staff Writer
Traveling has affected many people’s lives, including that of Ms. Cathy Clements, German teacher, better known as Frau. Ms. Jennifer Holzhausen, fellow GC teacher and friend, believes that “traveling has been a defining feature of (Clements’) life.” Ms. Clements has not traveled all her life but when she did it affected her immensely, she says. She has always liked traveling for what she describes as “experiencing a different type of day, a different type of environment, a different landscape.”
Clements thinks it is amazing to experience the different cultures of the world and how they are different from what we are used to. Out of the 14 times Clements has been to Paris she has been met with friendliness. In Paris, Clements found an experience that you usually wouldn’t find in your everyday life. The friendly culture of the French allowed for her to make friends with a complete stranger over the conversation of mosquitos and how they love certain people or when she went to a concert in Germany where she danced with the Germans in a way that the Germans have never seen, she said. Other cultures have impacted Ms.Clements immensely in terms of “being a part of the world and being able to connect with other people and find things that they have in common,” she says.
Clements wouldn’t always travel long distances. She believes that you don’t have to travel far to have a good time and learn something also you don’t have to travel often to experience new things. When she was a kid she would usually travel to her grandparents and stay there for two weeks in the summer where she would have fun with them, she said, and once her and her family went to Florida by driving. Clements had never gotten on a plane until she went to Germany in 1981 to study.
Clements also believes that you can learn a lot from traveling to new places and cultures even if it doesn’t involve the place you are traveling to. Ms. Holzhausen says of Clements, “Traveling has made (Clements) a more effective teacher in the classroom.” Clements says while traveling she picked up many skills; one of the most important ones is organization. Ms.Clements always makes sure she has everything she needs to allow her and her friends to have a good time and not worry during their trip also so she is on her playing field when it comes to using things. Even when she forgets something or something problematic happens, she is able to solve the problem even if it is with a couple of words. For example in France her pants ripped so she had to ask for a safety pin and she was able to because she can speak the language thanks to her trips and learning, she says.
Clements has learned, experienced, and become a part of many cultures thanks to her traveling from dancing with locals to experiencing new friendships.She learned to be a better organizer and has enjoyed the fun of traveling, she said. Clements believes that traveling was a life-changing experience and that everyone should do it. She believes that it doesn’t matter what type of traveling you do specifically, just do whatever draws you and puts you out of your comfort zone. All of these are things that involve traveling are a part of what makes Clements who she is.